Top seven island adventures to enjoy beyond the beach

While 'island adventure' evokes memories of sandy shorelines and palm trees swaying in the breeze, with a Just You tour, we take you beyond the beach for so much more.

These seven island tours include something more off-the-beaten path, such as learning about wildlife conservation, visiting a tailor to discover how the traditional Croatian suit is made, or heading inland for encounters with local communities in the countryside.


With four tours of Croatia to choose from, and time built in to enjoy the varied delights of the coast, from spectacular views of Dubrovnik across its city walls to getting out on the water to enjoy its beautiful islands including Hvar and Brac - Croatia undoubtedly has plenty of coast with the 'most' to offer.

Steering away from the shore however, there's plenty more to discover. In Trogir, home of the traditional Gena suit, you'll learn all about the creative process involved in the tailoring of the clothing as part of the Croatian Island Explorer Tour.

With a history of over 3,600 years of craftmanship in the town, Trogir's medieval master builders, sculptors and stone cutters left their mark here, and all these centuries later, a beautiful array of creative trades still thrive here including jewelers, artists, and of course, tailors.

The unique and fashionable Gena suit was created by Boris Burić in 1973, and based on the traditional Dalmatian style suit, he adds more elaborate and modern details that tell a story. 

Burić's items have even been worn by the rich and famous, including Formula 1 racing driver, Sebastian Vettel, and former US president, Barack Obama.


In between your wildlife adventures, spotting orangutans, pygmy elephants and sun bears as part of the Wild Borneo adventure, you'll also spend time with the Rungus community.

You'll learn some of the fascinating cultural traditions of the tribe, as well as their traditional cuisine, and typical methods of pickling, poaching and preserving local food, before sitting down for lunch.

 And there's still a little beach time included! After lunch we'll take a stroll to the northern tip of Borneo to admire the hypnotic coastal views.


On Day Two of the Sun-Kissed Sardinia Tour, a voyage of discovery begins on the beautiful coast of Costa Smeralda, known as the Emerald Coast.

Chock full with white sand beaches, remote bays, luxurious resorts and cultural treasures, there's plenty to fill your time here. Enjoy a stroll around Porto Cervo, where the most impressive yachts lie at anchor, before venturing inland and uphill to the white-washed church, Stella Maris.

This uniquely designed church blends perfectly with the surrounding landscape and crystal clear sea in the background, which gives you that unique perspective on the area, beyond the harbor.

The church is charmingly small and inviting, and visitors associate it with having a touch of design inspiration from Gaudi, but venture inside and see for yourself and enjoy the quiet and harmony a world away from the bustling harbor below.


Iconic Lake Bled awaits as part of the Secret Slovenia Tour. Within the expanse of blue-green water, sits Slovenia's only island which we will visit on Day Six of your tour.

And such a grand visit, deserves a grand arrival. We'll head to the island on a traditional wooden Pletna boat, and we'll visit the 12th century Bled Castle, which towers over the lake.

There are so many things to do despite it being such a small island. The most recognisable symbol of the island is the Church of the Mother of God. Visitors often head to the wishing bell to express their wishes and requests.

There's also the famous staircase of 99 steps here, so just to be sure, and if time permits, check for yourself and count every one.

Galapagos Islands

Of course, the Galapagos Islands are that once-in-a-lifetime holiday packed with wildlife encounters around its varied and quirky coastlines, but it's as much about the marine life beneath the waves.

Home to one of the world's finest snorkeling and scuba diving spots, Los Tuneles is a haven for Pacific seahorses, white tipped reef sharks, green sea turtles and a rainbow of coral reef fish.

On the boat ride out to the snorkeling site, you'll want to keep your eyes out for stingrays which can often be spotted feeding off plankton near the ocean's surface. And if you don't manage to spot any on the surface, there's a good chance you'll spot them on the ocean floor. But nature as we know is unpredictable, so find joy in the fact that each and every tour of Natural Wonders of Ecuador and the Galapagos is completely unique!


OK, so Edinburgh might be a bit of a way from the beach but it does make up part of a larger island of course! However what it lacks in palm trees, it more than makes up for with culture. It's home to many art galleries, museums, and iconic landmarks - all with their own mysterious stories waiting to be told.

Edinburgh Castle is a great place to start to walk in the footsteps of kings, queens and even soldiers as you learn about the Castle's unique past as a royal residence and military barracks and prison.

You don't have to venture far to feel wrapped up in the city's myths and mysteries along its cobbled streets and narrow passageways. On your first evening all will be revealed with an evening walking tour as your guide regales stories of murder and mystery that took place here in the city. 

A four-day break, we recommend sticking around for a while before making your return journey home, to maximise your discoveries from your Edinburgh Short Break.

Sri Lanka

Out of all places featured in this round up, Sri Lanka probably maintains a coveted first position as the place for golden sand beaches and swaying palm trees.

But its vibrant cultural attractions alone far outrun its coastal backdrops - and that really is saying something for those who are beachy keen!

As well as discovering the origins of tea production with a visit to one of its swathes of tea plantations, you'll head for the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya which are an absolute delight to explore.

First planted for King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha (1747-1780), and covering some 150 hectares, you'll see towering trees, elegant lawns and flowering shrubs in these well established gardens, as well as exotic crops such as coffee, tea and nutmeg. 

You'll also see the palm avenue, planted in 1905 and an enormous Java fig grown from a sapling brought over from the East Indies.

There's so much more too for such a small island, which is why a number of optional excursions are included with the Sri Lanka: Pearl of the Indian Ocean Tour. We recommend visiting UNESCO-listed Anuradhapura, the first capital and the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. 

This ancient buried city is home to ornate stone carvings and sculptures, and also features reservoirs and canals. A highlight here is its locations of the oldest historically documented tree on earth - the Sri Maha Bodhi. It's over 2,200 years old and is respected by Buddhists all over the world!

Quite rightly, this 13-day tour finishes with a few days at leisure in the beach resort of Beruwala so you can still make the most of the coast!