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Seven group tours for the ultimate last-minute break

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It’s not too late to escape to a far-flung paradise and meet new people this year

Have you always wanted to try travelling solo? Or are you and a friend looking for some fun-loving people to join on an exciting adventure? The following organised group tours offer the perfect opportunity to socialise with other travellers, while exploring different, fascinating destinations.

Some of them come with action-packed itineraries, and others offer foodie and cultural thrills — think wine tasting in Porto, zip-lining in Croatia and exploring colourful temples in Vietnam. Whichever you choose, it’s sure to be a wild ride.

Hunt for Nessie and hike in the wild across the Highlands and Isle of Skye
Five days, £355

If you’re looking to experience the best of Scotland in just five days, then TourRadar’s Skye & Highland Fling trip will not disappoint. Starting from Edinburgh, you’ll be making your way into the Highlands, where you’ll get to swim in the chilly waters of Loch Ness — in search of Nessie, of course — and stare at the soothing Rogie Falls tumbling into the Blackwater River. You’ll then visit the picturesque Isle of Skye where you’ll be surrounded by a gorgeous, sprawling wilderness. Get a glimpse of the majestic Old Man of Storr, before setting out to explore Fort William, Glencoe and the Trossachs National Park; keep your eyes peeled and you may even spot a native red squirrel in the forest. Hostel reservations (not costs), transportation and a knowledgeable tour guide are all included. This trip is for those aged between 18 and 39 years old.

Departure on 11 September, maximum group of 27 people



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Wander around Prague, see cute houses in Rothenburg and stroll around the canals of Amsterdam
Six days, £528

One European destination is never enough, which is what makes this Beloved Europe trip from TourRadar so special. You’ve got three whole days to explore Prague — baroque buildings, medieval catacombs and boat tours on the Vltava River included — and a bit of time spent in Czech Republic’s scenic West Bohemia region, before setting off for Germany. Rothenburg, Frankfurt and Cologne are part of this leg of the tour, which comprises more boat rides, multicoloured houses and dining in traditional restaurants. The trip ends in Amsterdam, where you’ll stroll along the winding canals, visit verdant parks and even learn about the technique of diamond cutting. Accommodation with breakfast, an expert guide and some transportations are covered.

Departure on every Monday throughout September, maximum group of 50 people

Sip on fine wine and ride an old tram in Porto and Lisbon
Five days, £699

Portugal is rife with incredible towns and cities to visit, so it can be tough to choose where to head first. Why not visit two of the country’s most beloved cities and kill two birds with one stone? WeRoad’s group trip Portugal Express gives you the chance to explore Lisbon and Porto over five days, with lots of walking, eating and taking in magnificent views. You’ll be whisked off for a wine tasting before taking a stroll down Porto’s aesthetic promenades and a visit to the world-famous bookstore Livraria Lello. As for Lisbon, picture jumping onto a historic tram and riding through some of the city’s most picturesque neighbourhoods, where you can see the beautiful cathedral Sé de Lisboa and munch on delicate pastéis de nata in the sunshine. You get to do all that and more for £699, which includes accommodation and breakfast.

Departure on 6 September

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See picture-perfect Bavarian houses, take a gondola cruise and eat gelato in Rome
Eight days, £799

Hostel stays are a great way to meet new people. Combine that with a multi-country itinerary and an irresistible price, and you’ve found yourselves the dream trip. This eight-day Western and Central Europe tour, courtesy of Hostelworld and G Adventures, will take you on an exhilarating ride from Germany to Italy. Marvel at fairytale houses in the chocolate-box Bavarian town of Oberammergau, take in the outstanding Alpine views of the Dolomites and meander around the glistening waters of Lake Misurina in Belluno. Then enjoy a canal cruise in Venice before heading to Florence for delicious pasta and Renaissance frescoes. History-steeped Rome is your final stop. All the while, you’ll be staying in carefully selected hostels, with breakfast and transportation included in the £799 package.

Departure on 5 September, maximum group of 24 people

Float past imposing karsts and visit beautiful temples in Vietnam
11 days, £677

For those who still have some annual leave left to spare, this 11-day trip in Vietnam, organised by The Adventure People, is a steal. For £677, you’ll really get to know this diverse country, which boasts breathtaking scenery, amazing food and jaw-dropping landmarks. Highlights include a visit to the Temple of Literature, a historical complex in Hanoi, a trip to the UNESCO-protected limestone cliffs of Ninh Binh and a kayaking excursion past the steep karsts on Cat Ba Island. You’ll also be able to wander around the UNESCO-listed town of Hoi An — its well-preserved Ancient Town astonishes with tranquil canals, temples and colonial buildings. One lunch, eight hotel stays and two overnight sleeper train rides are included in the price of the trip, as is a local, English-speaking guide who’ll unravel the magic of Vietnam, one breathtaking landscape at a time.

Departure 7 September, maximum group of 16 people

Read more: Sleep tourism: is it time to hit the snooze button on your next trip?



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Try sea-kayaking and zip-lining along the Dalmatian Coast
Eight days, £1,077 or £1,135 (depending on date)

The Adventure People have organised a multi-activity adventure for those who can never stay still. This group trip will introduce you to the natural wonders of the Dalmatian Coast, across Montenegro and Croatia, while keeping your adrenaline pumping. You’ll kick off your journey on the island of Lopud just off mainland Croatia, before travelling into Montenegro. Expect lots of thrill-inducing activities, including sea-kayaking, river-rafting and zip-lining. Worry not; adventure novices can also join, as instruction and relevant gear will be provided. The package includes accommodation in local guesthouses (you can share a room with someone else from the group or pay a little extra for your own), seven breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners.

Departures on 2, 9, and 16 September, maximum group of 16 people

Embark on a yacht adventure from Santorini to Mykonos
Eight days, £1,149

There are so many beautiful Greek islands to visit, so picking just one can be a struggle. But a sailing trip will give you the chance to visit several in one go. Try G Adventures’ sailing tour of Mykonos and Santorini, and get to travel on a luxurious 52ft yacht — complete with fully-licensed skipper — which features four cabins, each with a private bathroom. Inland, you can discover ancient archaeological sites, enjoy the freshest seafood, indulge in cocktails against the backdrop of Mykonos’s iconic windmills, and snap selfies on Santorini’s caldera with the tangerine sunset in the distance. You could also be making quick stops on nearby islands such as Folegandros, Sifnos, Ios, Antiparos, Paros and Naxos. Snorkelling equipment is available for use on this trip. But hurry, as there are only a few spots remaining.

Departure on 1 and 8 October, maximum group of eight people

Main photo: Felix Rostig/ Unsplash

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