Steven Rittey

Active holidays specialist

Find out more about the team behind Active on Holiday

Steven Rittey

In our latest interview, we find out more about Steven and why he has decided to bring his wealth of active holiday experience to Active on Holiday.

Steven is a consultant for our team who is helping shape our holiday programme for English-speaking customers on behalf of Active on Holiday.

He has years of experience working with the Eurofun Group in a previous role as a Product Manager at a UK-based leisure cycling holiday company.

Steven is passionate about this type of active holiday and the advantages of going on a cycling or walking holiday with included luggage transfers, route maps and quality equipment hire.

My favourite route

There are so many great routes to choose from in Europe, especially along the named cycle paths and walking trails that traverse Austria, France and Germany. I enjoyed cycling along the Danube from Passau to Vienna.

The route offers so much and is ideal for beginners or experienced cycle tourers. I also really enjoyed riding from seaside resort to seaside resort on the Tuscany coast in Italy.  

My favourite things to read

I enjoy finding out about new places and collecting Lonely Planet travel guides. I also collect photography and architecture books that look cool on the shelf!

I spend most of my day listening to podcasts on BBC Sounds and enjoy listening to audio documentaries about varied topics.

Where to next?

After a successful trip to Spain with my young daughter last year, we can hopefully travel to new destinations abroad with her. I hope that she will go on a cycle tour in a trailer or child seat soon.

I'd love to head back to Japan with my folding bike or cycle along some of the impressive new cycle paths in South Korea one day. In Europe, I'd like to ride from Munich to Venice across the Alps. Though I think I'd need an e-bike to complete the tour now! 

Bike or Hike?

I am passionate about the outdoors and seeing new places. I do enjoy riding my bike and covering longer distances in a day than on foot. I am happy walking and being out on the hills or in nature.

Don't ask me about my day out to Helvellyn in the Lake District though. I am not great with heights and being high up on a windy Striding Edge was a lot more challenging than expected.

My favourite travel destinations

I have always loved Germany, Austria and Switzerland as travel destinations. There are so many different sides to explore and I love the combination of stunning scenery, interesting cities, great connectivity and wonderful active holiday infrastructure.

I also found China to be fascinating and would love to go back. The sheer size of Shanghai and its modernisation were incredible to see.

Interesting fact(s) about me

There are a few to choose from - such as cycling non-stop from London to Manchester in a day, running a marathon with just a few weeks of training or rollerblading from Paris to London.

However, in recent years, I am equally pleased with some of my other non-sporting achievements such as having a photo book about Japan published and being able to take matchday images at my local football club, Rochdale AFC, that are widely used and shared on social media.

Why should people consider an active holiday?

Going on an active holiday is one of the best ways to get something out of your time off. I am passionate about the way that Active on Holiday operates its tours and how they plan everything down to the finest detail.

Combined with the amazing logistics and helpful staff, it is probably harder to plan day trips whilst on a beach holiday for example. Every day you are rewarded with new views, locations and places to explore whilst on the bike or on foot.

My last cycle tour

Before Covid and starting a family, I used to travel frequently and try to get away at least once per month. I'd always hire a bike there and explore the local area. Doing this has given me some fascinating insights into the local cycling culture in numerous European cities and regions.

My last proper cycle tour was along the Tuscany Coast to Elba in 2019. This was an excellent route and finished on the island of Elba off the Italian coast. I love cycling, but always try to combine a cycle tour with a local ferry or train trip. In the UK, I found the Shetland Isles off the coast of Scotland to be one of the best places that I've ever been to with my bike.