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Our Europe Story

In 1998 our founder made his way to Europe with a few dollars in his pocket, a surfboard and hiking boots in hand. Surfing soon took a backseat after discovering the treasures of the European Alps, and good coffee! The lure of the Alps hiking trails, rivers, lakes and villages never went away, prompting a return to live there in 2012 with his family and carve out the foundations of Active Adventures Europe. As we've kept doing over the years with all our destinations, our Europe adventure tours are the result of our personal commitment, passion and experience in every location. 

Our Europe Story

From the beginning...

We ran the first Active Adventures trip in 1996 with just three clients, sharing our favourite parts of New Zealand. It was a great trip with plenty of home-made trifle, long but awe-inspiring hiking days and story-telling late into the night. The next trip had a few more takers and it didn’t take long for the trips to gather momentum. Soon, we had a small team of staff to run our trips and had clients from far and wide keen to join in the adventures. For two decades now, the company has maintained its identity of running small, fun, physically challenging, outdoor adventures in destinations we know and love.

Other Active Adventures Destinations

After becoming established in New Zealand, in the early 2000's one of our enthusiastic guides decided to research offering our type of trips in South America. With a vast knowledge of South America from years spent in Costa Rica surfing and teaching English, as well as guiding tours around the continent for backpackers, itineraries were designed that we knew our clients would love. With the support of an excellent and dedicated team in New Zealand, we started and launched our South America trips in Peru, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Patagonia.

Then, in 2010, we launched our Himalayas trips. With New Zealand having a very close link to the Nepalese Himalayas (most famously connected by Sir Edmund Hilary and the Hilary Foundation) we realised how well Nepal fits the Active DNA. Before we knew it the Himalayas quickly became a very popular destination for our clients, with many of them on their second or even third Active trip!

The behind-the-scenes team

We have a fantastic team running the show behind the scenes - a small and focused group of multi-talented individuals. We all bring a set of unique experiences, and with our own active lifestyles, we genuinely understand what it takes to experience a journey like no other, from the moment you get in touch and beyond. We look forward to you being part of the ongoing Active Adventures story.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 34 reviews)

    Dolce Vita 2016

    We have taken many trips in our 60+ years to places across the United States, Canada, South America, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. Our trip with Active Adventures to the Italian Lakes District and our extended visit in Italy has to be in our top three if not our favorite trip of all time! It was definitely Dolce Vita, the SWEET LIFE. The Italian Alps and the Lakes, the hikes and the paddling were certainly up to Active Adventure’s high standard. The beauty of the mountains and the Lakes and the invigorating way we experienced them were fantastic! The things that set this trip apart and put it over the top were the culture, food, and history of the region. Having the combination of Andy, our New Zealand guide, and Enrico, our native Italian, was awesome. Enrico helped us understand first-hand the Italian people and their way of life and gave us insights and access to more than we could imagine. It seemed everywhere we went, they all knew Enrico. The food experiences were unbelievable. The small size of our group and the relationship we built made it seem as if we were family and friends completing a once in a lifetime adventure. I can’t give enough kudos to Active Adventure these two guides for this marvellous experience.
    Ernest Alphin Review Image
    – North Carolina, United States
    Dolce Vita, October 2016
  •   4.75 out of 5 (from 55 reviews)

    Dolomiti

    This active adventure was wonderful for me. In fact, one of the best trips I have ever taken. I loved the trekking, fellow trekkers, guides, food, history, etc. All of it. What an amazing, beautiful, fun vacation. I feel so fit!
    Jenny Wada Review Image
    – Hawaii, United States
    Dolomiti, July 2017
  •   4.77 out of 5 (from 119 reviews)

    Lean Review

    What an incredible trip! The itinerary has the perfect balance of activities to keep the trekking exciting but not too exhausting, and provides flexibility in the case of unexpected changes that may come up. The food was one of the highlights of the trip; there is nothing quite like setting up a picnic on the side of a mountain full of cheeses, meats, and other delightful treats. But what truly made this an exceptional adventure were our guides Phil, Andy, Jean Marc, and Jean Marie. Their energy, enthusiasm, and flawless teamwork provided the signature of an ACTIVE Adventure, and continues to make these trips stand miles apart from any other travel company. Though we started as 10 individuals, we quickly became 1 family. Thank you for another unforgettable journey; we look forward to the next one!
    Georgina Lean Review Image
    – California, United States
    Tour du Mont Blanc, July 2016
  •   4.77 out of 5 (from 119 reviews)

    Tour du Mont Blanc

    This was a wonderful trip around Mt. Blanc with scenery that never quit (except that one rainy day!) The organizing was well-done, even though it is a new adventure for Active. Having the French guides added wonderful flavor and knowledge for the trip. The accommodations were all very satisfactory and we really didn't tire of cheese or chocolate! Highly recommend!
    Louise Burpee Review Image
    – South Carolina, United States
    Tour du Mont Blanc, September 2016
  •   4.77 out of 5 (from 119 reviews)

    Put this trip on your to-do list!

    Another wonderful trip with Active Adventures! That is what I say about Active Europe’s Tour du Mont Blanc. This was my fourth trip with Active and once again I was impressed with how they do business. Active’s Andy and Nick were excellent representatives for Active Adventures. They are fun, personable, engaging, helpful, and quick to help if there was a problem. The local guides, Jean-Marc, Suzanne, and Jean-Pat, were fun and a joy to be around. Their English language skills were excellent which was great since my French is pathetic! Point to a mountain or an object of curiosity and they could tell you about it. The whole crew worked together great to ensure everyone enjoyed the hiking regardless of pace, weather or skill level. The accommodations were great. Even the one hotel described a “rustic” (meaning it didn’t have en-suite bathrooms) by the guides was delightful. The food was excellent as to be expected and thankfully the hiking burned off the calories allowing for full indulgence at every meal! Oh! The Cheese! The wonderful cheese! Be prepared to sample some of the best cheeses around.
    Now, for the important part, the Tour du Mont Blanc. Definitely something everyone should do in their life. The Alps are magnificent and the towns along the way are beautiful. Active picked great trails to hike that highlighted the beauty of the area. Throw in their choice of towns to explore (especially Annecy’s Old Town), kayaking and mountain biking and it really is an Active Adventure. I highly recommend taking the gondola from Courmayeur, Italy all the way to the Agullie de Midi if the weather is nice (Mother Nature was kind to us with only one day of rain, some fog, and LOTS of clear skies). The view from the gondola over the glaciers is awe-inspiring. Definitely a highlight of the trip. Active doesn’t pay for this but it is well worth the Euros. Active does pay for an Aguille de Midi trip from Chamonix, France but it doesn’t cross the glaciers so I suggest doing it from Italy (weather permitting) and choose the Accro-Park option in Chamonix at the end of the tour. However you decide to do it, the Agullie de Midi is a must do. The views of the Mont Blanc mastiff are spectacular! If you like zip lines and ropes courses the Accro-Park is a great time. If you want a challenge and have the time I recommend doing the Black course (they have four courses; Green, Blue, Red, and Black). Overall, I really enjoyed this trip. If Active didn’t have so many other trips I want to do, I would do this one again!
    Damon Weimer Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Tour du Mont Blanc, September 2016

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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