Gone are the days when lazing on the beach for hours was regarded as an ideal holiday, travellers are now after a little more adventure and a real experience when they head overseas.
From golfing to scuba diving, holidays are becoming as much about activities as relaxation so we’ve taken a look at some of the world’s best destinations for the active traveller.
Best for hiking: Andalucia, Spain
Included by ABTA in its list of 2017’s destinations to watch, Andalucia may be widely known in the UK as the home of the Costa Del Sol, but there’s much more to Spain’s sunniest region than beaches, including a widely lauded hiker’s paradise in Alpujarras.
The historic region is littered with the beautiful white villages of Moorish Spain while wildflower-rich slopes and the snow-topped Sierra Nevada provide the dramatic landscapes in an unspoiled region which can be enjoyed year-round.
Best for golf: UK
Look no further than the UK for the best golf in the world.
Royal County Down in Northern Ireland tops Golf Digest’s list of the World’s 100’s Greatest Golf Courses and Scotland continues to play host to the sport’s most prestigious tournaments. With over 500 courses including the renowned St Andrews, golfers still flock to Scotland, the birthplace of the game, to soak up the history and play some of the most scenic courses anywhere.
Best for skiing and winter sports: Courchevel, France
Voted the best ski destination in the world in the Conde Nast Reader’s Travel Awards, Courchevel in the French Alps is a well-established favourite among winter sports enthusiasts thanks to exceptional hotels, stylish chalets and a brilliant apres-ski scene that features Michelin-starred restaurants and a buzzing nightlife.
Courchevel is also the largest ski area in the world offering plenty of pristine slopes for skiers of all grades.
Best for wine tasting; Bordeux, France
While there’s plenty of pretenders to the throne, Bordeaux wine has maintained a position at the top of a list of world’s best wine destinations for hundreds of years.
Every wine lover in the world wants to visit the famous and notoriously exclusive chateaux such as Lafite, Latour and Mouton, for those not fortunate enough to gain an invite, there’s over 3000 estates in the Bordeaux area and plenty of other amazing chateaux and wines to enjoy.
The city has also undergone an urban renewal programme which has has seen it transform into one of France’s most vibrant cities full of gorgeous pedestrianised boulevards, beautifully restored neoclassical architecture and striking new buildings to contrast the traditional Bordeaux, such as the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, the decanter-shaped La Cité du Vin and the Jean-Jacques Bosc Bridge straddling the River Garonne.
Best for cycling: Elbe Route, Germany
2017 marks the bicentenary if the invention of the bicycle by Baron Karl von Drais in Baden, Germany, and what better way to mark the anniversary than a ride along one of the world’s best cycling routes – The Elbe Route.
The 782-mile Elbe Route runs alongside the famous river starting in Cuxhaven in Germany’s north and ending in the striking sandstone mountains of the Saxon Switzerland National Park which borders the Czech Republic in the south. The route is mostly flat and offers a seemingly endless run of beautiful scenery from dramatic gorges and mountains to idyllic vineyards.
There’s also plenty of cities to stop off at along the way including Meissen, Dessau, Magdeburg, Tangermünde and Hamburg, all of which are packed with medieval architecture and top cultural attractions.
Best for diving and snorkelling: Cozumel, Mexico
Readers of the Scuba Diving magazine voted Mexico’s Palancar Reef in Cozumel as the best dive site in the world for 2017, the stunning coral reef is located within the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park and can accommodate divers of any ability. Mexico is also host to no less than three of the top ten sites according to voters – the famous Cenote Dos Ojos and Barracuda Reef rounding off the nation’s entries.
Coming in an honourable second, and also with three destinations in the top ten, is Bonaire. The Dutch island located in the Caribbean Sea offers some of the world’s best shore diving with plenty of beautiful reefs within swimming distance.