Backroads, a leading outdoor tour operator­ for 26 years, has found a simple way to see the countryside. Its Casual Inn Trips to 30-plus destinations around the world blend active adventure with low-key dining and casual but comfortable accommodations. Hike through Basque country, bike through Provence, kayak the waterways of Kauai — then check in at a lovely country inn where the owner doesn’t mind if there’s still a little mud stuck to your shoes. Six- to nine-day tours from $1,798. (800) 462-2848,