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Active Holidays in a Nutshell

There is a lot of buzz around Active Holidays but not every understands it fully. So, let me give some clarity on what exactly Active Holidays are.

Active Holidays Vs Camping Holidays

Adventure holidays have always been associated with no-frills camping holidays with zero comforts, lot of hardships while pursuing difficult adventure activities. These holidays are always around one central adventure theme such as trekking and undertaken as part of a group.

Active holidays are ones that take you to beautiful locations with permanent campsites having some comforts. These campsites then become a base point to pursue a wide range of activities with the basic idea of being close to nature, completely away from anything and everything touristy.

Who are Active Holidays for?

Active holidays are most popular with travellers with adult children and offbeat travellers who are looking to explore and experience nature at a non-touristy location.

Active holidays are popular with urban families (especially from large metro cities) offering an opportunity for kids to get a countryside living and exploration experience.

Activities on an Active Holiday

Active holidays have evolved over the years with some activities emerging as most popular with travellers, such as

Walking / Hiking / Soft Trekking – A short walk by the riverside, a hike up a hill or a half-day trek across the mountains are some of the examples of what active holiday travellers love to do. Dedicated walking enthusiasts opt for a full walking trip (stopping overnight at enroute village stays) whereas trekking enthusiasts opt for an overnight camping with a medium level difficulty trek.

Trekking in Great Himalayan National Park

Bird Watching – Destinations popular with active holiday travellers are typically situated in remote countryside areas that are rich in birdlife. With everyone having good cameras, guided bird watching and photography has emerged as one of the most popular activities. Typically, bird watching gets combined with a morning nature walk and the resident naturalist engages with travellers after these birding walks to enhance the overall birding experience.

Rafting – No Active Holidays are complete without at least one adrenalin pumping activity. White Water Rafting offers exactly that. Shivpuri (Rafting in Ganga near Rishikesh), Jayalgarh (Rafting in Alaknanda, a tributory of Ganga), Mori (near Uttarkashi), Zanskar (near Leh, Ladakh), Kullu Valley (Rafting in River Beas) are some of the very popular white water rafting areas that combine with nearby active holiday destinations.

Rafting at Jayalgarh

Water-based Activities – Water-based activities such as Kayaking, Canoeing, River Crossing are very popular with active holiday travellers. A few hours by the riverside or lakeside pursuing these activities adds the fun element to the trip.

Kayaking at Dandeli

Meals

Stays that typically offer active holidays are either permanent campsites or are resorts with an experiential character. Meals here, almost always have an ethnic flavour using local ingredients. There will almost always be a campfire in the evening. There is an option to have a barbecue by the campfire before dinner. Meal timings are fixed and meals are also fixed as per a menu and generally there is no a la carte menu available for travellers.

Modern Comforts

Stay typically is in a tent or a cottage. The tents and cottages have a proper double bed with permanent toilet / bathroom attached (except when camping overnight in wilderness). There is never a television or air conditioner in rooms. Room interiors are simple. There is always no room service.

Tents are typically double layered and fully enclosed and therefore, even under very cold and windy weather they are able to protect travellers.

Wi-Fi would be available at most locations, however may not get consistent cell phone signals while on a walk or a trek.

Safety and Security

Adventure activities are all conducted by qualified guides and instructors. There is a short safety briefing that precedes all activities. You are 100% secure as long as you follow the instructions properly. All equipments used are as per international standards (often, imported equipments are used).

Season and Length of Stay

Destinations in North India are most popular for active holidays and a popular season is April to June and October to November. However, destinations such as Ladakh are good for June to September period and Sangla Valley / Kinnaur are best visited between May to September.

Destinations in South India (around hill stations and plantation highlands) are good to travel between October and May.

The typical length of an active holiday would be 6 to 7 nights.

Resort Chains that are for Best suited for Active Holiday Travellers

Some resort chains are best suited for Active Holiday Travellers

  • Banjara Retreats – 4 Stays in Himachal Pradesh, one each in Banjar Valley, Shimla Valley, Sangla Valley and Spiti Valley

Banjara Camps Shoja

  • Himalayan Eco Retreats – GIO – 7 Stays across Uttarakhand at locations such as Viraatkhai, Sursingdhar, Jayalgarh, Kund, Chalkot, Auli, Ghangharia, etc.

Himalayan Eco Lodge Sursingdhar

Himalayan Eco Lodge Kund

Recommended Active Holidays for 2018

Uttarakhand

Himachal Pradesh

East India

Ladakh

Nepal

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