Ultimate Short Break Escapes – with a twist of adventure

Due to high demand our partners at KE Adventure Travel have an ever growing collection of short breaks. It all began with their Best Selling Ultimate Toubkal Weekend in 2010 and now they have nine action packed mini adventure holidays, the newest being Mount Teide Weekend - Tenerife. True to KE style, they set out to provide a big adventure in small amount of time and many of these short breaks include summiting that country's highest and most breath taking mountains.

Mount Teide Weekend - Tenerife

Dominating the stunning island of Tenerife and the highest peak in Spain, UNESCO Mount Teide is famed for its breath-taking national park, amazing lunar landscape, endemic flora, star gazing skies and incredible views of the surrounding islands. This fantastic new adventurous weekend starts in the small coastal resort of El Medano, with its long sandy beach and lovely views of Montana Pelada “the bald mountain.” Next we head to the Teide National Park and begin our ascent to the fantastically located Alta Vista Refuge 3260m for an overnight. Our trail snakes through a brightly coloured landscape dotted with volcanic boulders and stark lava fields. Spending an evening on the shoulders of Teide ensures we catch the magnificent sunset.  An early start the following morning allows us to stand on the highest point on the island, 3718m as the sun rises and the famed Teide shadow dominates the horizon – a truly memorable experience! This adventurous short-break finishes in the capital of Santa Cruz with its pavement cafes being the perfect spot to chill out and finish the weekend feeling relaxed!

4 days, departures Jan – Nov. From £395 Land Only

Rysy Weekend - Classic Short Break in the Tatras

At 2499 metres, Rysy is the crowning glory of the Polish High Tatra. This brand new walking holiday combines an ascent of Rysy and a beautiful walk through the mountains, with sightseeing in the mountain resort of Zakopane and the old walled city of Krakow. From the charming Roztoka hut in the forests below Rysy, we climb past two picturesque lakes to access the steep northwest ridge. A scrambling ascent protected by chains leads to a sensational summit and we walk out of the mountains through the lovely Rusinowa Polana Meadow, offering a superb retrospective on the Polish Tatra range. After some time to check out the scene in the vibrant outdoor sporting resort of Zakopane, we return to Krakow and have a city tour of its most iconic sights before sitting down to dinner in one of its excellent local restaurants. With its traditional architecture, old cobbled squares and laid-back café culture, this is a great place to end our long weekend.  If you`re looking for an action-packed short break, which combines a superb mountain ascent and a laid-back European city, then this all new adventure weekend is the perfect choice!   

4 days, departures Jul to Sep. From £395 Land Only   

Mount Triglav Weekend - Slovenia

Dominating the beautiful Julian Alps and the highlight of the Triglav National Park, Mount Triglav (2864m) is one of the most impressive mountains in Europe.  Triglav, which means "three-headed,  is a real giant with an impressive triple summit and a North Face that is reputedly the second most difficult in Europe to scale after the Eiger.  Our superb journey starts in the beautiful town of Bled before we head up onto the lush Pokljuka Plateau, an area of alpine meadows, shepherd huts and lower peaks.  Rugged trails take us into the heart of the Julian Alps as we prepare for the grand finale, an airy ridge walk that takes us to the top!  The views from 2864m are awe inspiring, extending all the way to the Italian Dolomites and Austrian Alps.  This adventurous short-break finishes in Lake Bled with its beautiful mountainous backdrop and laid-back atmosphere, the perfect place to chill-out and finish the weekend in style!

4 days, departures July to October. From £425 Land Only

Ultimate Toubkal Weekend

South of mystical Marrakech lie the Atlas Mountains, rising to over 4000m and including Mount Toubkal (4167m) the highest peak in North Africa!  This spectacular peak presents a superb challenge on well-marked trails and a mere two hour drive from Marrakech, followed by a moderately-paced day hike and you're at the Neltner Refuge at just over 3200m!  Mount Toubkal can be tackled within the course of a long weekend and we make our ascent from the Neltner Refuge to the summit at 4167m. The following morning after our summit success, we trek down the valley and return to magical Marrakech.  This adventurous holiday is a fantastic experience for regular walkers who are looking for a challenge.  It offers the chance to experience the delights of Marrakech and stand on the highest peak in country!  We've put together the colourful souks of Marrakech, the pretty stone-built villages of the Berber people and the chance to stand on top of the mighty Atlas!  

4 days, departures May to October. From £275 Land Only

Bulgarian Summits Weekend

Rugged and dramatic, the Pirin mountains of Bulgaria have some of the most breath taking and undiscovered mountain scenery in Europe.  In true KE style, we ascend Kotelo `the Horse` via the breath-taking and airy Marble Ridge before heading up Vihren.  After two fantastic summits we take a cable car up to the Bezbog Hut and follow ridge-top paths and traverse alpine meadows to the peak of Mt. Polejan (2851m).  On leaving the mountains we pay a visit to the fantastically located and ornate Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally to round off this trekking adventure we return to Bulgaria's welcoming capital, Sofia.

4 days, departures Jun to Sep. From £295 Land Only, £545 with flights ex London

Highlights of Iceland in Winter

Just 3 hours flight from the UK, it is the perfect place for a short break, particularly during the period from mid October to mid April, when the country’s natural highlights are enhanced by the real possibility of encountering the northern lights. Close to the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, we start this action-packed adventure with a tour of the famous ‘Golden Circle’, a collection of natural (and man-made) phenomena that provides a great first impression of the country. We go to Thingvellir, where Iceland’s first parliament was located alongside the country’s biggest lake. Here, we can stand astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge with one foot on the North Atlantic tectonic plate and the other on the Eurasian plate! The geothermal area of Geysir and the spectacular waterfall of Gullfoss are also on our tick-list, before we drive east on the south coast ‘ring road’ to spend 2 nights at a hotel near the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. From here, we travel on to the amazing, iceberg-choked Glacier Lagoon at Jokulsarlon, site of 2 James Bond films. There are lots of great photo opportunities at Jokulsarlon and we also have the chance to explore into the glittering ice caves at the edge of the glacier inland of the lagoon. Heading back to Reykjavik, we stop off for a guided walk on the ice of the Solheimajokull Glacier and also take time out to experience the black sand beaches, pounding Atlantic waves and impressive waterfalls which are a feature of Iceland’s south coast.

5 days, departures Dec – Apr. From £1095 land only

Gran Paradiso Weekend

Gran Paradiso (4061m) the highest mountain entirely within Italy, dominates the impressive alpine massif of the same name. This challenging short break allows you to make the stunning ascent of this great snowy giant in a long weekend. Gran Paradiso was first climbed in 1860 by Englishman John Jeremy Cowell and the surrounding area is Italy's oldest national park, encompassing over 700 square kilometres of alpine terrain. Our 5 day adventure holiday begins in Argentiere, a 10 minute free bus ride from Chamonix, at Yeti Lodge, a traditional Alpine chalet with all the mod cons. From here we transfer over the border to Italy and begin our trek up to the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele, where there is the opportunity to do some crampon skills training after lunch. A true alpine start is a rude but amazing awakening the following morning as we make our way to the top of Italy. From the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele, we make the classic, easy ascent across the snow face and via a rocky ridge to the summit of Gran Paradiso (4061m), where the views extend over the Alps to the prominent peaks of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. The aim is a traverse of Gran Paradiso and so we descend to the Rifugio Chabod on the northern side of the mountain. Our final day in the mountains is another alpine classic, the trek across the Vallee Blanche; a stunning warm down from yesterday’s high – finally stepping off the snow via the famous alpinist's tunnel at the Aiguille du Midi. This final day can also be used as a contingency day if we were not able to attempt the summit the previous day.

5 days, departures Jun – Sep. Price from £795 land only


Italian Cross-Country Ski Break

Based in beautiful Val Ferret near Courmayeur, this short-break is a perfect introduction to cross country skiing, as well as being ideal for those wanting to refresh their skills. Perhaps you are a downhill skier looking for something different, you enjoy the gym, hill walking, or are a runner or a cyclist but feel the effect of the winter blues? Well why not try cross-country skiing to maintain and build that fitness level during the winter months. From our hotel accommodation in La Palud, the gateway to Val Ferret, we will be close to a network of pisted cross-country ski tracks where we begin our training. An excursion to Cogne, in the Gran Paradiso National Park, gives us access to a further 45kms of pisted tracks where we can hone our skills and soak up the mountain views. With a final evening of après-ski in the vibrant ski town of Chamonix, this is a fantastic break away in a winter wonderland. Cross-country, cappuccinos and comfort...who could say no?

5 days, departures in Jan. From £795 Land Only     

Chamonix Snowshoe Short Break

A fabulous three days of centre based snowshoeing in the spectacular Chamonix Valley, France; this short break is the perfect introduction to winter walking on snowshoes! We begin our adventure with a day 'finding our feet' in the snow and ice-covered forests around Bois du Bouchet, where our guide will be on hand to offer instruction on how to make the most of our snowshoes on differing terrain. Modern snowshoes are light and easy to use so it is possible to progress very quickly from easy trails to steep mountain slopes. Now comfortable on our snowshoes, over the next two days we will have a choice of some of the best short day walks in the Chamonix Valley, a loop of Vallorcine (the valley of the bears), or exploring around the gorge and frozen waterfalls of the Berard Valley, where the ice has formed into dramatic shapes. As a finale we'll travel into the mountains above Les Houches, where we will wander up to the summit of Le Prarion (1969m) for a wonderful vista of the whole of the Chamonix Valley; a stunning sight and a great way to end our mini snow adventure.

5 days, departures in Jan to Mar. From £595 Land Only