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(The Gear Loop) - Outdoor brand Merrell believes that the modern traveller is trading in beach towels and sun loungers for more action-packed trips, as a spike in "endorphin tourism" sees more folk attracted by hiking, climbing and running trips than traditional "fly-and-flops".

Google search data analysed by the brand found a demand for sports travel increased by 130 per cent this year, with searches for running holidays up 60 per cent and hiking holidays rising by 80 per cent.

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We’ve been championing this kind of trip since launch here at The Gear Loop, but Merrell believes that a new breed of tourist is placing a higher value on a physical challenge and a connection with the planet in the pursuit of meaning and a wellness buzz.

MerrellMerrell Trails of Europe guide photo 5

Not one to rest on its laurels, Merrell has gathered some of its key outdoor athletes and put together an epic guide to light the fires of stoke within active holiday makers.

The Trails of Europe campaign is a collection of some of the finest trail running spots in Europe, curated by pro athletes and featuring no less than 12 epic locations from the UK, Spain, France, Germany and the Nordics.

Not only does the guide reveal some of the locations hidden gems and seasonal secrets, but the team at Merrell has also provided GPX routes that can be downloaded onto many devices, including fitness watches, phones and bike computers, as well as opened directly in Strava.

MerrellMerrell Trails of Europe guide photo 4

Of course, Merrell also takes the opportunity to suggest some key trail running kit while you’re there.

Some of the highlights include the Isle of Raasay, Scotland, fiery peaks in the Canary Islands and iconic mountain stages of Le Tour de France.

You can check out the guide by visiting the bespoke Merrell Trails of Europe microsite.

Writing by Leon Poultney.