Sharon Reid


Quite a number of us begin the new year with a renewed sense of optimism along with the urge to climb on board the ‘New Year, New You’ bandwagon albeit through following a new fad diet or vowing to exercise more in the hope of dropping the excess holiday poundage. Or perhaps the learning of a new skill beckons? Whatever the challenge we decide to set ourselves we can up the ante by combining said challenge with a holiday. Check out my mini round –up of skills and challenge –led holidays for further inspiration:

Workshops in Rajasthanimage

Learn a traditional Indian craft, chose from six workshops led by local master –craftsmen and internationally renowned artists. During seven days become au fait with traditional craft techniques including: Dhabu block printing, Rajasthani decorative stitching, Indian miniature painting, Rajasthani cooking and photography.

In addition to learning students will also participate in visits to bazaars, cultural expeditions and a gala lunch. Available from the 1st – 8th February, priced £950 (pp) this includes a workshop and cultural package. TransIndus can arrange accommodation and international flights to tailor these packages. Please call TransIndus on 0844 879 3960 or visit:

Watercolour Painting on a Greek Islandimage

Brush up on your watercolour painting skills courtesy of British artist Chris Hughes, based on the island of Alonissos in the Sporades archipelago, Chris knows all the best spots to inspire budding artists. During five, three to four hour lessons, Chris will arm you with a range of watercolour painting techniques to help capture the island’s exquisite beauty from seascape vistas and hilltop villages to landscapes filled with wildflowers.

Seven nights self-catering accommodation at Pefkas Apartments cost from £641 (pp) including flights (Gatwick) and transfers. A week of painting sessions costs £195 (pp). Please call Sunvil Holidays on 020 8758 4758 or visit:

Challenge yourself with a Cycle ride from the Andes to the AmazonHow do entrepreneurs relax?

This is a great holiday for cycle enthusiasts and thrill seekers alike; experience the thrill of one of the worlds’ best downhill cycles. Your trip will begin in the famed Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, a ride through the ruins of the Sacred Valley will follow. The challenge continues with a climb to the top of Hualla Hualla Pass (4,700m) before a jaw-dropping 3,900m descent into the Amazon Rainforest. Departing 25th April, this 10 day trip costs from £2,099 (pp) and includes eight nights accommodation, flights (London), transfers, most meals, camping equipment (except sleeping bag), entry to sites, bike and access to the Discover Adventure support team. Please call Discover Adventure on 01722 718444 or

Work off excess pounds with an Amalfi Coast walkimage

Hiking can do wonders when it comes to burning fat, On Foot Holidays, the UK’s only walking company organise an Amalfi Coast walk, although physically challenging – the stretch of coastline is really steep, the stunning views are enough to distract. This self-guided trip is a combination of interesting towns, small coves and great food.

The price is from £730 (pp) including seven nights B&B, luggage transfers and route information. Flights cost extra. Please call On Foot Holidays on 01722 322 652 or visit: