Top 10 Easy-to-Reach Holidays

While travelling deep into a country reveals regions that far fewer tourists bother to visit, sometimes it can make a refreshing change to visit parts which can be accessed more quickly from the UK.
Proximity to an airport doesn’t make such areas any less alluring – indeed, the ever-expanding network of flights, particularly new routes pioneered by ‘no-frills’ airlines to smaller regional airports, serves numerous regions of astonishing beauty. Here are some of the best walking and cycling holidays for an easy getaway, many of which offer options to fly from an airport near you.
  • After collecting your suitcases from the arrivals hall, head over to the car hire desk to pick up the car keys, and 45 minutes later you can be relaxing in the lush, fragrant gardens or swimming in the inviting pool of the Elia Traditional Hotel and Spa, which makes a superb base for a week of walking and exploring in north-west Crete. Heavenly! Fly to Chania, where you pick up a hire car (drive from airport 45 mins, drive to airport 45 mins). Traditions & History of Crete walking holiday >
  • Given that the island of Menorca is only a fifth of the size of its better known neighbour, Mallorca, it perhaps comes as no surprise that you spend no longer than half an hour in the car getting from and to the airport. Some of the easiest travel arrangements in our Top 10 Easy-to-Reach Holidays combine with the island’s tranquil charm and gentle scenery of rolling hills and golden beaches washed by turquoise seas, to make for a very relaxing holiday. Fly to Mahón, where you pick up a hire car (drive from airport 30 mins, drive to airport 20 mins). Jewel of the Mediterranean walking holiday >
  • For this cycling holiday you fly into Brive, a town which played an important role in the Resistance movement during WW2. The villages you cycle through are every bit as interesting: charming Gramat, the pilgrimage centre that is Rocamadour,  fortified Loubressac and medieval Martel. There are spectacular caves to be visited too, and the region's rich, earthy gastronomy serves as the icing on the cake. Fly to Brive, with connecting taxi transfers (out 25mins, home 25mins). Dordogne Valley cycling holiday >
  • Seemingly a world away from the resorts that stretch either side of the capital, Palma, the island’s most exquisite villages are only a 35-minute drive from Palma’s airport. Leading from idyllic Fornalutx via elegant Sóller to Valldemossa, our walking holiday explores the heart of the Tramuntana Sierra, where mountains plunge into the sea and terraces of olive and orange trees stretch as far as the eye can see. Fly to Palma de Mallorca, with connecting taxi transfers (out 35mins, home 35mins). Mountains & Villages of Mallorca walking holiday >
  • Stretching from Liguria to Umbria, the rugged Apennine Mountains form Italy’s spine and offer some of the country’s best walking. This is Italy off the tourist map, where you will enjoy genuine hospitality, yet the rail journey from Bologna takes little over an hour. Fly to Bologna, with connecting rail travel on the outward journey and connecting taxi and rail travel on the return journey (out 1hr 15 mins, home 1hr 35 mins). The Secret Apennines walking holiday >
  • The charming small city of Innsbruck is one of the jewels of the Austrian Tyrol, and its airport provides easy access to another of the region’s treasures, the Leutasch Valley. Framed by the dramatic, jagged peaks of the Wetterstein chain, whose lower slopes are thickly forested, this is an idyllic valley, dotted with pretty villages and onion-domed churches. It exudes the very essence of the Tyrol: charming and traditional, with high standards of hospitality. Fly to Innsbruck, with connecting taxi transfers (out 50mins, home 50mins). Leutasch Valley walking holiday >
  • Iseo is the smallest of Lombardy’s four major lakes and, though it nestles between the famous lakes of Como and Garda, is a secret jewel. To the north, the landscapes are rugged and wild, while its southern shores are backed by gentle, vine-covered hills, as you’ll see on the taxi ride from Bergamo. This being a very indulgent holiday, there’ll be ample opportunity to sample the area's delicious Franciacorta wines over the course of the holiday. Fly to Bergamo, with connecting taxi transfers (out 1hr, home 40 mins). Secret Lake Iseo walking holiday >
  • One of the joys of walking in the Arrabida Natural Park is that you feel as though you are exploring a virtually unknown corner of Portugal, yet it is within easy reach of the capital, Lisbon. Another highlight is the variety of the scenery: glorious beaches of white sand; vineyards producing Moscatel dessert wine; and tranquil hills peppered with reminders of bygone times. Fly to Lisbon, with connecting travel by taxi (out 1hr, home 45 mins). From Cape to Castle walking holiday >
  • Fly to Tours, and you arrive right in the middle of the Loire’s château country. And this is what this holiday is all about – gentle cycling interspersed with visits to grand châteaux steeped in history. Admire elegant Azay-le-Rideau, whose turrets are reflected in its small moat, enjoy the views over the River Loire from imposing Saumur, marvel at the splendour of fairy-tale Ussé, and learn about the many historical figures linked to the abbey at Fontevraud. Fly to Tours, with connecting taxi transfers (out 1hr, home 1hr). Châteaux of the Loire cycling holiday >
  • Ljubljana Airport is actually some 25km north of the capital, making it very convenient to reach Slovenia's famous lakes and the dramatic mountains which frame them. Our holiday starts close to the Italian border, before exploring the wild but beautiful landscapes surrounding Lake Bohinj and then finishing with a day by idyllic Lake Bled. Here, you have the option of upgrading to the Vila Bled, a high-quality hotel with a fascinating past and an idyllic location above the lake. Fly to Ljubljana, with connecting taxi transfers (out 1hr, home 45mins). Lakes & Julian Alps walking holiday >

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