An easy escape is to get out on to the Dordogne river. Broad and calm, it is perfect for paddling modern lightweight canoes or kayaks.
Carennac is rated as one of the country’s prettiest villages, Meyronne’s ancient lanes are like a medieval time machine, bustling Souillac is renowned for taste treats ranging from truffles and foie gras to strong red Cahors wines.
Headwater (01606 822675/headwater.com) offers a nine-day Canoeing on the Dordogne trip from £1,529 (two sharing), half board. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow to Toulouse, transfers, boat hire and luggage transfers.
France’s Dordogne river is a perfect setting for trying canoes and and kayaks
On a modern electric e-bike you pedal when you please, then use the motor if the going gets tough. Along the way, pleasures include the walled town of Cortona, the location for the 2003 American romantic comedy Under The Tuscan Sun. In Montone, savour modern-meets-traditional dinners at La Locanda del Capitano, owned by star chef Giancarlo Polito.
Head on to Assisi, famous as the birthplace of St Francis. See his tomb in the 13th- century basilica, then visit the crumbling castle and Roman temple.
With vineyard wine tastings, a private tour of a Tuscan castle and only three hours a day in the saddle, this guided holiday combines great fun with easy exercise.
Cycling for Softies (020 7471 7760/cycling for softies.com) offers a six day e-bike tour of Tuscany and Umbria from £2,125 (two sharing), full board.
Price includes flights from various UK airports to various Italian airports, bike hire, guide and luggage transport.
Adventurers can view Italy’s Basilica of Saint on a bike ride through Tuscany
SPAIN: Explore the real Andalucía Walking in the mountains is good for both body and soul. But it doesn’t have to be overly strenuous, particularly when you combine exercise with sightseeing.
It has shady squares with fountains and the family-run Hotel Alcadima is a relaxed base with pools, spa and restaurant specialising in local dishes.
Days include about three hours’ walking; a coach takes you up into the hills and off to attractions. Trails take you to valleys with olive groves and to lookouts with views of the sea.
Included in the price are tours of Granada’s Alhambra Palace and Nerja’s vast caves, plus tastings at a rum distillery and brewery. l Adagio (01707 386700/adagio.co.uk) offers sevennights in Lanjarón from £970 (two sharing), half board.
Price includes return flights from various UK airports to Malaga, transfers and guide.
Guests can visit the sun soaked Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain
An hour from Lisbon, the village of Alcanede is on the edge of a Protected Natural Park, a dramatic landscape of rocky ridges and bluffs.
As for the yoga, you could opt for, say, Ashtanga (excellent for toning the body and building core strength), or opt for a more relaxing style.
The certified instructors lead you through two classes a day and are happy to teach beginners as well as veterans. But there is also time for guided walks in the surrounding hills, checking out the market in the village, exploring the restored medieval castle and going down into caves that are home to bats and red-billed crows.
l Go Barefoot (020 3290 9591/gobarefoot.travel) offers a six-night yoga break from £470 (two sharing), B&B.
Price includes transfers, B&B, welcome dinner and activities. easyJet (easyjet.com) offers return flights from London Gatwick to Lisbon from £168.
On the calm waters of the Adriatic, beginners learn the basics, from tying knots and casting off to steering. From the small sailing resort of Agana, with its whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs and palm trees, you go island hopping with just five people on a boat, plus the instructor.
Moor in tiny harbours, eat fish grilled on the beach. When you need to freshen up, dive overboard for the best swim ever.
And who wouldn’t want to go for a night sail under the stars? On shore, historic Split – built round a Roman emperor’s palace – is criss-crossed with intriguing alleyways leading to atmospheric bars, restaurants and small shops.
Sunsail (0330 332 1172/sunsail.co.uk) offers five-day sailing courses in Croatia from £574 (shared cabin). Price includes tuition, some meals. Norwegian (norwegian.com) offers return flights from London Gatwick to Split from £260.