Autumn is the perfect time for walking, biking, and exploring. In the fall you don’t have to contend with summer’s blazing sun, swarming bugs, and thick crowds. Instead, enjoy the crisp weather and the vibrant fall colors (as well as fewer crowds). Discover France’s Provence and Spain’s Andalucia, as well as South Dakota’s Black Hills and Vermont’s Green Mountains.
There’s a certain camaraderie when women get together. AdventureWomen capitalizes on this energy with its active tours for women age 30 and older. The walking and wine trip through Provence incorporates hikes through vineyards whose leaves turn golden in autumn, as well as visits to farmers’ markets, picturesque villages, Roman ruins, and a centuries-old chateau. Rated “moderate,” the trips’ excursions require the ability to walk five to eight miles day. For an eight-day/seven-night stay October 8 to 16, it costs $4,395 per person.
Spain: Exploring Andalucia
From Seville to Granada, Peregrine Adventures covers the highlights of Spain’s Andalucia. Although not a traditional walking-only trip, guided walks are the best way to experience the towns, gardens, cathedrals, and palaces. See Seville’s cathedral and the Alcazar Palace, stroll the ninth century town of Ronda, meander through the old silk market of Granada, and visit the Alhambra Palace during the eight-day/seven-night stay. The discounted September 4 departure starts at $1,636 per person; other departures from $2,020.
Vermont: Paddling, Fly Fishing, and Off-Road Driving in the Green Mountains
The Equinox Resort & Spa, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa in Manchester, Vermont, traces its roots back to 1769. Along with good food, the Equinox offers outdoor adventures. Discover how to handle hawks and other birds of prey at the Green Mountain Falconry School, go off-road to maneuver a Land Rover over rocks, down hills, and through mud; paddle a canoe on the Battenkill River, and learn how to fly fish with the Orvis Fly Fishing School. Afterwards, relax at the spa with its indoor pool, fitness equipment, classes, and massages and treatments.
South Dakota: Biking and Hiking the Black Hills
Explore South Dakota’s Black Hills and plains by biking and hiking with Austin Adventures. Pedaling a total of 110 miles on the six-day/five-night trip, you pass prairies, cycle the Mickelson Trail, a former railroad track with bridges and tunnels. You can also venture into part of Wind Cave, one of longest cave systems in the world. You visit iconic sites as the impressive mountain-carved tributes to US presidents at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the powerful paean to Native American culture that is the Crazy Horse Memorial. There are stops for local culture in the towns of Sturgis and Deadwood. Departures are August 18, September 4, and September 11 for the six-days/five-night excursion; prices start at $2,698 per person.