Types of special interest holidays


What do you want to achieve?

Active and wellbeing


Walking, stretching, pedalling – if keeping active is your favourite way to relax, then why not do more of the same on holiday? You don’t have to be hard at it all day every day; just find an itinerary that suits, in a destination that you’ve always fancied, and away you go. Yoga retreats in Spain, Portugal or Morocco; walking tours in northern Spain, southern Italy or the French Riviera; cycling and triathlon holidays for beginners in Girona or watersports in the Dominican Republic; you name it and we Just Do It. And if you fancy getting active over winter, Finland, Austria and Sweden in the snow are all amazing options. Cross country skiing, snow shoeing and husky drawn sleds will get the blood pumping much more readily than cotching up on the couch with a box set and tub of Quality Street.

Learn and develop


Sometimes we just can’t seem to find the energy to learn something new or delve deeper into a subject that initially excites. The trick is to set aside time. Find a tour that focuses on your special interest, circle a week on the calendar, and start the countdown. Take a jazz and classical guitar course in Portugal, start to salsa with professional dancers in Santiago de Cuba, or learn how to make traditional crafts in Scotland. Joining a group of enthusiasts allows you to learn together, bounce ideas off each other, share recommendations, tips and advice. A group guide will lead you through processes and techniques and give you feedback that allows you to learn and develop your passion, your skill set, in a positive and friendly learning environment. Learn a language in the country of origin; take photographs in amazing locations in the company of a pro; no more excuses, now’s the time to make things happen.
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Cultural discovery


There’s no quicker route to a country’s heart than through its cuisine, and cooking and food holidays are one of the best ways to unlock the language of the people. The rowdy markets, the flagstone kitchen floors, the chopping boards criss-crossed with a thousand cuts. From Crete to the Cote d’Azur, Santiago de Chile to Rio de Janeiro, if you’re hoping for a holiday that mixes cooking with cultural discovery then roll up your sleeves and feel the difference. Aside from focusing on food, there are plenty of alternative routes to help you uncover a country’s cultural identity. A photography tour in Vietnam and Cambodia, an archaeology expedition in Greece or Jordan, or language and walking holiday in Spain, spring to mind. Studying a particular subject in the company of a local expert is certain to help you discover the history of a region as well as finding out more about your special interest. And o there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for a snack or two along the way, obviously.

Weird and wonderful


The Arctic’s midnight sun can be just as fascinating as the Northern Lights – and both are weird and wonderful way to see a country from a whole new perspective. Getting slightly more obscure, photographing orangutans in Borneo is always worth adding to the special interest wishlist, or how about a Halloween holiday in Transylvania? Alternatively, get right into the realm of weird and wonderful on a trip to Mongolia. This is the sort of location to send your imagination into orbit with opportunities to go hunting with eagles, homestay with yak herders or channel your inner Genghis Khan as you train to be a warrior on the vast steppe. Although these sorts of tours are definitely left of centre, they’ll allow you to discover a country from a unique angle. You’ll also develop your own extra special interest in the company of local people who view these sorts of activities as pretty much standard.
Photo credits: [Active and wellbeing: Ninara] [Learn and develop: Y'amal] [Cultural discovery: Pablo Dodda] [Weird and wonderful: travelling_louise]
Written by Chris Owen
Ladakh photography tour, India

Ladakh photography tour, India

Inspirational photographic expedition to stunning Ladakh

From £3100 17 Days ex flights
Photography holiday in Andalucia, Spain

Photography holiday in Andalucia, Spain

Photography holidays in beautiful Andaluca.

From £595 8 Days ex flights
Learn to scuba dive in the Red Sea

Learn to scuba dive in the Red Sea

Learn to dive, safely, in the warm waters of the Red Sea.

From £490 7 Days ex flights
Portugal yoga & massage holiday

Portugal yoga & massage holiday

Yoga, massage and mud baths in the mountains of Portugal

From €800 7 Days ex flights
Photography holiday in Picos de Europa, Spain

Photography holiday in Picos de Europa, Spain

Photography in North Spain's stunning mountains & wild coast

From £2400 9 Days ex flights
Painting holiday in Andalucia

Painting holiday in Andalucia

Explore your painting creativity in delightful Andalucia.

From £950 8 Days ex flights
Photo credits: [Page banner: MAKE IT KENYA PHOTO / STUART PRICE]
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