Leaf peep closer to home

While most people head to North America to see spectacular fall foliage, the turning of the leaves in European autumn is no less dramatic if you know where to go.

Activity holidays specialists Utracks and Sherpa are offering suggestions for the best places to go. These include:

Italian Lakes Walk

The great lakes of northern Italy have been a popular holiday destination since Roman times. This trip takes in highlights of Lake Como and Lake Lugano, where a feast of walking trails explores the forested valleys, mountaintops and traditional villages. Still used today by the local people, the old tracks offer exceptional views, while with accommodation provided in small, family-run hotels, there is ample opportunity to experience excellent regional cuisine, allowing a complete appreciation of this beautiful area.

Prices start from: from £590 per person for eight days

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Canal du Midi Cycle

France’s Canal du Midi was built in the 17th Century, overcoming great obstacles to connect the Mediterranean with the Atlantic… The best way to experience all facets of the canal is by bike. Stretching 240kms from Toulouse to Sete, the tree-lined canal travels through a landscape rich in architectural and cultural treasures, including impressive medieval cities and picturesque small villages.

Prices start from £860 per person for seven days

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Lesser known Greece

The Zagoria Villages is an unspoilt region of the Pindos mountains in northwestern Greece. Many of these late 18th century stone-built villages are within a designated conservation area, brimming with dramatic wilderness of striking peaks, deep chasms and extensive natural forests. The trip includes a traverse of the magnificent and virtually virgin Vikos Gorge, listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest canyon in the world in proportion to its width.

Prices from £599 per person for eight days

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