Grades Explained.

To show the relative difficulty of our trekking, mountaineering, culture, cycling, family and other adventure holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. In turn these grades are divided into Leisurely, Moderate, Challenging & Tough

Clearly, there are many different factors that contribute to the difficulty of a particular holiday, including, length of day, terrain, type of accommodation, altitude and weather conditions. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section of each trip, or contact us.


Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

Trek & Walk:  For anyone who enjoys exploring on foot rather than always in a vehicle. A mixture of sightseeing and easier walking of around 2-5hrs a day. Walking paths could be around sites, through cities or on well marked trails and at lower altitudes (under 2500m). Regions are rarely flat so some ascent or descents could be expected but rarely above around 300 – 400m per day.

Cycling: For occasional bike riders; these holidays are predominantly on paved roads and involve only gentle climbs. You can go at your own pace and there’s plenty of time off the bike, to explore and to take it easy. These leisurely journeys are normally on hybrid or electric bikes. Daily distances are usually between 25 and 50 kilometres.

Family: Holidays where the focus is 3-4 days of activities or short walks, or wildlife, sightseeing. The family should have a sense of adventure and fun to enjoy these holidays.

Winter: These trips include an introduction to several winter activities but no experience is required.

Sea Kayaking: Beginner friendly paddling with an emphasis on instruction and developing your skills throughout the trip. You can expect up to 6 hours of sea kayaking each day, with breaks onshore to stretch your legs. You will be asked to assist with carrying the boats to and from the water, working as a team.



Suitable for reasonably fit individuals. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

Trek & Walk: Suitable for fit weekend walkers. May include consecutive walking days, of around 4-8 hours on generally good paths. Ascents and descents will increase and could be 1000m+ but often less. Some walking may be at higher altitude (3000m – 4500m) with the occasional higher pass and you may have some walking on snow. There may be occasions where you have to carry overnight kit on one or two days.

Cycling: These are holidays for weekend cyclists looking for a fun challenge. Mostly on paved roads, forest tracks and gravel paths, daily distances can be as much as 60 kilometres a day on an adventure cycling holiday and as much as 80 kilometres a day on a road cycling tour. Expect to encounter undulating terrain and the odd, longer, steeper climb.

Family: Suitable for fitter families who enjoy the outdoors and are capable and enjoy walking for at least 2 consecutive days, and maybe a night camping. There can be the occasional more challenging day.

Winter: For reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and downhill skiers who are looking for an alternative active winter holiday. In most cases no previous experience is needed.

Sea Kayaking: For paddlers with at least 5 days previous experience, with a basic level of technical competence. You can expect 6/7 hours of sea kayaking each day, with plenty of breaks onshore to stretch your legs. You will also be asked to assist with carrying the boats to and from the water, working as a team. The kayaking will be in coastal waters with few open crossings but you can expect to be paddling in some choppier conditions during the trip. This may be around Sea State 3 (with waves up to 1m high) but in more exposed areas and you may encounter stronger winds and waves up to Sea State 4.



Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

Trek & Walk: Previous trekking experience and a good level of fitness is required for these trips as there will be consecutive days of longer trekking in more remote areas with rougher paths. Days will be around 5-9 hours often with some steep ascents and descents. Some ice/snow trekking is possible with the use of crampons and/ice axe. You may be required to carry a heavier backpack with overnight essentials or equipment for some days and sleeping at higher altitudes (generally up to 5000m).

Cycling: These holidays will provide a challenge for regular weekend cyclists. Adventure cycling holidays on mountain bikes at this level, can include anything from forest track riding, to technically challenging singletrack ascents and descents. These tours can be in isolated areas and/or at altitude, whilst Road Cycling tours in these grades will involve long (up to 100 kilometre) days and potentially very hilly terrain. A good level of fitness and regular training, including a couple of long days in the saddle each month, is standard for these trips.

Winter: Suitable for regular winter hill walkers who are used to extended days. Previous cross-country experience is needed for the majority of Nordic ski touring trips.

Mountaineering: For regular hill walkers who are used to extended days and can involve exposed scrambling terrain, and/or lengthy periods at high altitude. Ropes are used principally for glacier travel and low angle snow slopes. Ice axe and crampon experience is usually necessary but in some cases instruction will be given on the holiday.


10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

Trek & Walk: You should be an experienced and confident trekker or mountaineer with a good level of endurance and fitness to enjoy these holidays. Days will generally be long, 7+ hours, with more days of consecutive trekking than on lower graded trips. Usually these trips spend some time above 5000m. The routes will be more technical and mountaineering equipment may often be needed. Some areas can be remote, and extremes of weather and climate may be encountered.

Cycling: We recommend these epic rides for experienced cyclists only, who relish the challenge of long, consecutive and potentially very hilly days on the bike. Adventure Cycling tours will be ‘out-there’ and sustained, whilst Road Cycling holidays in these grades can have continuous steep stages (up to 100 kilometres and 3000 metres of ascent) with some long and serious descents which require care. Demanding a high level of endurance, these holidays are aimed at regular sportive / club riders.

Mountaineering: Often in isolated areas and at extreme altitude. The climbing element may include some sustained, steep snow and ice slopes along with low grade rock climbing. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountaineering experience is essential.

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