Top ten unusual combination vacations

Now before you start thinking that an unusual vacation combination might be going on safari with your sister-in-law or taking a camping trip with your nan, this top ten has been compiled to point you in the right direction.

These combinations combine classic vacation activities, such as walking, cooking and learning a language, with not so obvious choices, like walking with a donkey or archaeological sightseeing on a bike. Whatever you’re looking to do on vacation, these unusual combinations are guaranteed to get you thinking outside the box and away from the typical tourist trail.

1. Language lessons & walking, Spain

There’s just something about walking that inspires conversation. Maybe it’s because walkers aren’t facing each other or perhaps being outdoors allows minds to wander as free as feet. A vacation that combines Spanish lessons with walking provides ample excuses to test out new skills, or rekindle old ones. Spanish-speaking guides introduce you to mountain walking trails away from the crowds, and who knows, you might return able to pepper your conversation with native wildflower references.

Best time to go: May/June and September/Oct
Our top selling trip: Spanish course & walking vacation, Picos de Europa, Spain
Read more: Things to see & do in the Picos de Europa and Walking vacations in Spain travel guide

2. Winter activities & Northern Lights, Finland

An eight day vacation allows you to expand explorations through snow-covered wilderness on traditional non-polluting modes of transport such as snowshoes, husky-sleds and cross country skis. You’ll also get to hang out with über cool Finnish activity instructors and hosts. These local guys and gals will get you involved from day one with hot tubs, saunas and glasses of glögi creating a warm and cosy winter’s evening as you anticipate the advent of the Aurora Borealis.

Best time to go: December to April
Our top selling trip: Finland winter activity vacation & Northern Lights
Read more: Winter activity vacations in Finland and Northern Lights in Finland

3. Archaeology & cycling, Jordan and Greece

From the preserved provincial Roman ruins of Jerash in Jordan to Mycenae, Epidaurus and the ancient city of Eva in the Peloponnese, these two cultural heavyweights have long provided archaeologists with untold excuses to explore the ancient world. Now imagine combining an archaeology tour with cycling. Not only would you be doing your limbs and the environment a favour but you’d also be getting much closer to the key sites and local people. Cycling trip to Petra, anyone?

Best time to go to Jordan: March to June and September to December
Best time to go to Greece: March to June and September to October
Our top selling trips: Petra and Wadi Rum by bike, Jordan and Greece cycling vacation, archaeology tour
Read more: Cycling vacations in Jordan travel guide and Archaeology vacations in Greece

4. Kayaking and Komodo dragons in Indonesia

Exploring Komodo National Park is like stepping back into a land before time, with gigantic, fearsome lizards on the prowl. But before reaching the small island of Rinca, where expert rangers will take you safely searching for Komodo dragons, you’ll paddle around the park in kayaks with a small group led by a guide. Think remote beaches, villages of traditional stilt houses, picturesque bays where you can pause for a snorkel and encounter turtles or manta rays, coastal caves from where clouds of bats soar out at dusk. Nights are spent either on the support boat, or camping on the beach under the stars.
Best time to go to Indonesia: April to October
Our top selling trip: Kayaking vacation in Indonesia, Komodo dragon tour
Read more: Komodo travel guide and Sea kayaking travel guide

5. Scuba diving & sightseeing in Cuba

Admire Cuba from land and sea with an unusual combination of culture and adventure. Tailor made itineraries allow you to follow your passions, be they bird watching, cookery, salsa and drumming classes or saltwater fishing. And throughout your stay you’ll dip in and out of the warm Caribbean with a series of thrilling scuba diving sessions, during which you might encounter several types of sharks, as well as mantas and turtles. The beauty of this vacation is that you can tweak it however you want, for a thoroughly satisfying experience of Cuba.

Best time to go: November to April
Our top selling trip: Scuba diving and tour in Cuba
Read more: Cuba travel guide
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Unusual combinations or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

6. Northern Lights & whale watching, Norway

Set sail around the fjords of Norway and there’s more than a couple of natural phenomenon to keep you up all night. Watching whales and dolphins, including orca, humpbacks and fins, is almost as exciting as catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Chances of successful sightings are extremely high, and sailing from Sørkjosen in the winter is the best way to stack odds firmly in your favour.

Best time to go: October to January
Our top selling trip: Norway Northern Lights and whale watching vacation
Read more: Killer whales in Norway and Northern Lights in Norway

7. Yoga & walking, Austria and Spain

Yoga and walking fit together like apple strudel and vanilla sauce or flamenco and tapas, which is why Austria and Spain are so highly regarded when it comes to stretching in sublime scenery. Getting to know local instructors, guides and hosts in the East Tyrol Mountains or against a Mediterranean backdrop never fails to rejuvenate the senses. Your visit will also provide a sustainable two way partnership with small communities living in remote rural regions.

Best time to go to Spain: March/April and October
Best time to go to Austria: May to September
Our top selling trip: Yoga and walking vacation in Spain and Austria yoga & walking vacation
Read more: Yoga vacations in Spain and Austria walking vacations guide

8. Walking with a donkey, France

Now this is a slightly unusual vacation combination but if you’ve always leaned towards the carrot rather than the stick when it comes to vacations with kids then walking with a donkey might just be the answer to all your ‘how much further?’ needs. Find out more about local French food producers, the countryside, and each other, as you take the reins and stroll between the farmhouses of Ardèche and the Rhône Valley.

Best time to go: April/May and Sept/Oct
Our top selling trip: Family walking vacations with a donkey, France
Read more: France family vacations guide and Walking vacations in France guide

9. Cycling safaris in Kenya & Tanzania

For an unusual, and exhilarating, way to explore east Africa, combine your safari game drives with cycling in Kenya and Tanzania. You’ll ride through the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, through coastal forests and villages, on a mix of paved roads and dirt tracks, for between 50 and 100km each day. Forget the 4x4s, two wheels is the ideal way to become closer to the nature, wildlife and culture in two of Africa’s most sensational safari destinations.

Best time to go: June to August
Our top selling trip: Biking vacation in Kenya and Tanzania
Read more: Kenya & Tanzania travel guide

10. Kayaking & foraging, Sweden

Escape into Sweden’s great outdoors as you take to the water by kayak and forage in the forests for seasonal ingredients. As a 6,000 island archipelago, Sweden is an exceptional location for a sea kayaking expedition and spending nights under canvas, wild camping, offers a unique experience for anyone looking to get back to nature. Juniper mayo and buckthorn jams are just the start of things to come on a kayaking and foraging adventure around Sweden’s Saint Anna archipelago.

Best time to go: June and September
Our top selling trip: Kayaking in Sweden, foraging and food
Read more: Kayaking vacations in Sweden
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Pierce Martin] [Language lessons & walking, Spain: Kamila Maciejewska] [Kayaking & Komodo Dragons, Indonesia: altraz] [Northern lights & whale watching, Norway: Simon Infanger] [Walking with a donkey, France: Jerome Bon]