Spread the love
There are numerous ways to travel the world to see the wondrous sights and immerse into different cultures and experiences. Sailing holidays, boating through canals, horse riding, cycling trails, railway tours, self-drive holidays, or a combination of these. However, one of the best ways to really embrace a destination is by embarking on a walk or hike. I have put together some of the best walking holidays from around the world that will have you packing your hiking boots and backpack!
A walking holiday is basically a vacation to a destination where you walk a lot. It may take the shape of easy strolling on flat terrain from a fixed central location, or hard core trekking up a mountain, or walking from one village to another via picturesque countryside. Depending on your level of fitness and spirit of adventure, a walking holiday can be designed to suit just you.
There are guided walks that are fully organised with guides, food and accommodation included; self-guided walks – where you set off alone with a partner or group with a detailed map but have most meals and accommodation provided; or walking safaris – where you experience wildlife by trekking and tracking with an expert guide. Depending on your preference, you can either carry your own luggage or have it transported each day to your next destination.
Self-guided walking holiday companies such as Mickledore offer sustainable tourism by supporting the local businesses, to help sustain the communities along the walking trails. Nearly all the accommodation provided on the holiday is small scale, and independently owned and run.
The walking routes are carefully planned to be accessible by public transport wherever possible. Detailed information is provided on accessing the walk from start to finish by bus and train. Public transport is recommended as the most efficient and environmentally friendly method to get to and from your holiday.
Walking holiday prices include all accommodation for the entire walk and the night before you start walking and at the finish of the walk. Typical accommodation venues include small country house hotels, guesthouses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farmhouses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. The vast majority of the accommodation is 4-star or above, and usually includes your own bathroom.
Breakfast is provided at your place of accommodation each day. Packed lunches can be made for each day’s walk by the accommodation venue. Dinner is at your own expense at a restaurant or pub that is close to your accommodation. Details and recommendations of dining venues are included in your itinerary.
Prior to the walking holiday you will receive a holiday pack consisting of your itinerary with details of the name and location of your nightly accommodation, information on your evening meals, as well as luggage transport and transfers (where applicable). You will also be provided with guidebooks and detailed maps of the walking routes. Plus information on local facilities, such as cafes and other recommended places to eat, cash points, taxi companies, etc.
There are plenty of options for walking holidays in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Mickledore specialises in self-guided walking holidays and cycling trips in the UK and Ireland for the independent traveller. You can select from a wide range of walking holidays through the countryside of England, Scotland and Wales, or Ireland.
During the walks throughout the United Kingdom you can expect loads of picture-postcard scenery such as rocky coastline vistas, lush green rolling hillsides and craggy mountains. You will not only have the opportunity to experience the fascinating history of the UK by visiting ancient castles, historic villages and landmarks. But you will also see pretty country gardens, devour an authentic Devonshire tea, relax over a pint of ale, and lunch on fish ‘n’ chips out of newspaper.
Popular UK walking holidays include: Hadrian’s Wall walk, tour of Lake District, Cotswold Way, Isle of Wight Coastal Path, a variety of South West Coast paths, Yorkshire Wolds Way, West Highland Way, and the incredible Coast to Coast walk.
In Ireland walking holidays on Dingle Way or Kerry Way come to mind. Both walks offer dramatic coastline with the spectacle of rugged peaks, delightful loughs, peaceful glens and beautiful beaches. These self-guided walks can be customised to your requirements with a choice of walking the entire route or doing certain sections varying from 70 to 200 kilometres or 4 to 10 nights.
Europe’s diversity allows walking enthusiasts to explore the continent in depth from medieval villages, to vineyards and dramatic mountain panoramas. The spectacular Alpine areas of Europe including, France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Switzerland offer breathtaking scenery. The food and wine regions of France and Italy will satiate gourmet foodie travellers. The stunning coastlines will also afford magnificent vistas of turquoise blue seas and steep cliff faces interrupted by sandy little coves. For history buffs there are forts and castles, Roman and Greek ruins and cobblestoned-paved, historic villages to explore.
Some of the infamous European walking trails would be have to be the expansive pilgrim’s path of Camino de Santiago across France, Spain and Portugal; Tour du Mont Blanc in France; Path of the Gods along the Amalfi Coast of Italy; the Tre Cime in the Dolomites in Italy; Walking and Wine in Tuscany, Italy; Mountains and villages of Evia in the Greek Islands; the Lycian Way in Turkey; and highlights of Provence in France.
There are also a host of hidden gems in Eastern Europe in countries like Croatia’s islands, Bulgaria and Albania.
In my own country Australia, there is a diverse range of terrain on offer from vast arid plains, to rainforest-clad mountains; to rugged coastlines and deep gorges, to meandering rivers, and pristine sandy beaches galore. There are plenty of options for walking holidays including: the Cape to Cape walk in South Western Australia; Great Ocean Road walk in Victoria; Scenic Rim walk in Queensland; Larapinta Trek in South Australia; Murray River walk in Victoria/New South Wales; Freycinet National Park, the Overland Track and the Three Capes walks in Tasmania; and the Seven Peaks walk on Lord Howe Island. For more information read my post Great Australian Hikes.
In contrast, New Zealand boasts rugged snow-capped Southern Alps to the wild West Coast rainforests, the infamous glacier of Franz Josef, and the famous granite peaks of Milford Sound. The most notable walking holidays would be the Milford Track, Routeburn Track, Kepler Track, and Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
The world is a big place and there are so many options for getting out there to explore it. Walking holidays, although not entirely new, can be one of the best ways to experience what the world has to offer. From my point of view, every holiday that I embark on always includes a lot of walking because it truly is the best way to see the destination.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.