We all know walking is very good for our health, and that many people choose to include brisk walks in their daily exercise routines.
But did you know that walking holidays are also becoming increasingly popular and that there are some fantastic hiking-friendly destinations in Europe to explore this season? Here are four suggestions for an unforgettable active holiday.
One of the greenest European states, Slovenia is all about soaking in the beauty of Alpine landscapes. On top of beautiful mountains and forests, the Gorenjska region will have you standing in awe in front of two famous Slovenian lakes – Bohinj and Bled. The latter lake contains an iconic tiny island of the same name, Bled Island, which is a Slovenian national symbol.
The region is rich in trails which will take you all around the lakes and beyond. Since Slovenian tourism is based on environmentally-friendly, active principles, you can be sure that the infrastructure and services are well adapted to serve all the needs of a walking tourist. The routes link traditional old villages, and besides the beautiful nature, you will witness some incredible traditional beehives, haystacks and many forms of unchanged country living. The walks are light and accessible to anyone with average fitness and walking abilities.
The Camino de Santiago
Old pilgrim routes are walking holiday options that have been tried-and-tested for centuries. The Camino de Santiago is a group of the world’s most famous pilgrim trails and walking holiday options. Some people take on the Camino de Santiago for religious reasons, while others simply want to enjoy the calm and peace of ancient trails and serene landscapes. Whatever might be the case, it is almost guaranteed to be a physically and psychologically transformative experience.
Traveling the Camino can take you anywhere between a week and six weeks, depending on your starting point and the route of your choice – and the options are many. For example, the most popular Camino Frances will take you over the rolling French pastures over the Pyrenees and into Spain. However, know that there are more Caminos you can choose. A skilled and experienced agency such as Follow The Camino will help you pick the arrangement which suits you best.
The Norway Fjords are the legendary home of the Vikings. Indeed, you will have to be almost tough as a Viking to conquer the trails that take you through one of the most magnificent and harshest landscapes on Earth. The fjords are home to demanding high-altitude hikes, so this is not a walking holiday option for anyone. However, for those that are in good physical shape and up to the challenge, walking the Fjords might be an unforgettable experience. In the crystal northern breeze, you will enjoy intimate green hills, impressive glaciers, and stunning peaks. Besides hiking and trekking, biking, rafting, and kayaking are also options you can try.
The Oddadalen region is the heart of fjord expeditions and is known as the Valley of the Waterfalls. A 10-kilometre hike along Buerdalen valley will reveal many of its beautiful namesake waterfalls. You can also opt for a full Buerdalen hike, which is 16-18 km long, and lets you see even more waterfalls, slopes and will get you to higher elevations.
Crete is Greece’s largest island. It features very varied terrain – from sandy beaches to picturesque villages and churches, to stunning gorges and mountains. All of that makes Crete a lively walking holiday destination. The paths are easy-going and not crowded.
The fact that the trails are safe, the locals are friendly, and there are plenty of options to have dinner in one of the very social and hospitable tavernas makes Cretean ideal destination for solo walkers, but also for families, who will enjoy the variety and warmth of one of the most famous Greek islands.