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Inspire Magazine - A journey for body and soul

Inspire Grand Designs Cover

Inspire Magazine - A journey for body and soul

story by: Inspire Magazine

You can’t beat local knowledge, it’s the secret ingredient that turns a holiday into an experience. For example, if you visit L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in the South of France on a Saturday you’ll go home with lovely pictures of canals lined by quaint cafés, but what you won’t have seen is one of the most colourful produce markets in the whole of France – because that only happens on a Sunday.

Luckily at House of Travel, we have people who have accumulated the intimate knowledge necessary to bring foreign lands to life, and an accompanied small group tour by foot, bicycle or even kayak is a splendid way to absorb every detail. Yes, it’s a form of touring that requires more energy than sitting in a hire car, but there are different levels from easy to more challenging, and can you really imagine a better way to build up the appetite for a delicious Tapas dinner at the end of the day?

Team up with some mates, or go solo and join a tour made up of like-minded travellers. Whether you’re happiest freewheeling from one cellar door to the next, or you’re attracted by the adventure of a sea kayak exploration, there’ll be a tour to suit. Plus there’s often no requirement to lug your baggage along with you – it will be waiting at a comfortable hotel or pension.

If you want to take the time to discover the land you’re travelling through, and you have an interest in the people who make these destinations the unique places that they are, take a tour that will open the doors to genuinely memorable experiences.

If being able to take advantage of expert local knowledge appeals to you, but you prefer the option of striking out on your own, there are some excellent self-guided tours. Once again the route will have been well thought out to ensure that you encounter points of interest, and each day paced to match your fitness level. Full trip notes, complete with handy hints, are also provided so you'll be able wander the countryside like a born and bred local.

Most of the operators providing tours in this niche market pursue sustainable policies that go someway to assuaging any guilt you may feel about racking up the air miles, so it's hard to imagine a greener, more fulfilling way to bring the memories home. Why not consider a tour like this as the culmination of a more extensive European holiday? Most people travelling to Europe will be away for a number of weeks, and that's a lot of eating out, filling up on rich foods and delicious wines. A week coaxing the body back into shape could be just the antidote you need to all that indulgence.

Click here for all Inspire Grand Design articles.

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