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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Europe on a Budget with UTracks

From Portugal to the Balkans, seven active breaks for 2020 that will not break the bank

Travel to some of Europe's most iconic landscapes – from the rainbow-painted Cinque Terre villages to Cappadocia's lunar scenery

New in Spain: Follow one of the oldest Camino routes to Santiago de Compostela

Planning an active break for 2020 but are on a tight budget?

From Portugal to Turkey, European active holiday specialist UTracks offers below seven of the best itineraries that will set you back less than $1000 per person.

Alentejo, PORTUGAL

South of Lisbon awaits a contrasting landscape of wild beauty, where tourists rarely visit despite endless beaches and authentic fishing villages: this is the Alentejo region, which covers a third of Portugal's landmass but only four per cent of its population. Part of the Rota Vicentina long-distance footpath, the Fishermen's Trail follows the coast from the picture-perfect beaches of Odeceixe to the traditional village of Porto Covo, perched on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.

· The Fishermen's Trail - Rota Vicentina with UTracks (7 days) departs January-November, from $890 per person

Camino, SPAIN

A new trip that follows one of the oldest Camino routes. The paths predate Christian pilgrims, going back to when Celt, Phoenician and Roman traders travelled the lands; their use of the trail resulted in many hospices, temples and monasteries being built, which complement perfectly the beautiful Galician landscape today. Starting at the historic city of Ourense, the Camino Sanabrés follows quiet lanes along rural hamlets, past picturesque chapels and through shady oak and chestnut woods.

· NEW! Camino Sanabrés to Santiago with UTracks (7 days) departs April-October, from $950 per person

Normandy, FRANCE

Showcasing the land of William the Conqueror, a trip that heads through the 'calvados' (apple brandy) heartland, where visits to the cellars and pressing sheds are an essential part of the local experience. For history aficionados, the trip also offers the opportunity to trace the historic sites of World War II's Battle of Normandy on a reflective walk from Arromanches, where the British forces established an artificial Mulberry harbour, to Bayeux, close to the British War Cemetery.

· Normandy Coastal Walk with UTracks (5 days) departs April-October, from $940 per person

The Danube, AUSTRIA

Follow the winding route of the Danube and discover the lively history of one of Europe's most important rivers. Cross the fertile plains of the Wachau Valley, where vineyards climb the slopes to imposing medieval Benedictine monasteries, perched atop the hills between Melk and Krems. Wind past castle ruins and apricot orchards before reaching the capital of Austria, where you can take in a performance of the 'Blue Danube' waltz, the melody that evokes Vienna the world over.

· Cycle Linz to Vienna with UTracks (5 days) departs April-October, from $970 per adult/$330 per child

Cinque Terre, ITALY

Find your true colours on one of the most spectacular parts of the Italian coast. The famed Cinque Terre are a series of five small, rainbow-painted picturesque fishing villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – dug into the cliffs, with 15th century cobbled streets and virtually no cars. Following well-marked coastal footpaths, the route promises views of lush vineyards and fragrant olive groves, with panoramic vistas of the emerald blue sea throughout.

· Cinque Terre Walk with UTracks (7 days) departs March-November, from $870 per adult/$480 per child; exclusion dates apply

Balkan Mountains, BULGARIA

Calling all keen walkers seeking an alternative mountain experience. Teeming with history and beautiful natural landscapes, Bulgaria is a land where time stands still: old water mills are still in operation, sheep graze peacefully in their pastures, farmers still make hay with a pitchfork and wooden carts pulled by horse are the norm. The trip concentrates on the Central Balkan National Park, known for its lush green valleys, sheer cliffs, peaceful forests and quaint villages.

· Balkan Mountains Walk with UTracks (8 days) departs May-October, from $930 per person

Cappadocia, TURKEY

For millions of years the volcanoes of the Central Anatolian Plateau erupted to create unique rock formations and fairy chimneys. Through the centuries, different civilisations carved out houses and churches within these rocky pillars and the eventual underground cities left behind a natural and historical legacy which continues to be a focal point for visitors to the region. Interspersed amongst these relics is a living culture of traditional villages, spectacular river valleys and rural settlements.

· Cappadocia on Foot with UTracks (5 days) departs March-November, from $770 per person

For more information and bookings please visit or call 1300 303 368.

Quoted prices are inclusive of twin share accommodation, most meals, equipment rental, experienced guides, luggage transfers between hotels (where applicable) and clear maps and directions for self guided trips and more. For full inclusions please see our website. Flights from the Australia are not included but can be booked on request.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places