Take the first steps on a hiking holiday: Europe trips that promise fresh air and fantastic views
Take the first steps on a hiking holiday: Europe tours on foot that promise fresh air, fantastic views and the chance to get away from the crowds
- Holiday hero Neil Simpson rounds up the best hiking holidays for beginners
- Visit the fairytale town of Sintra, Portugal on a walking holiday with Macs Adventure
- Explore Puglia’s walking tour includes pasta-making classes and wine tasting
Each week, our holiday hero, Neil Simpson, delves into a brilliant holiday topic and does all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Walking holidays for first-time visitors.
Hiking holidays promise fresh air, fantastic views and a chance to get away from hectic crowds.
“Our customers come from all walks of life, from busy professionals to retirees, and we also have a lot of solo travelers,” says Neil Lapping of tour company Macs Adventure. “Many first-time customers are looking for a new challenge with a hiking holiday. Our job is to help them find the right itinerary for them, often one that isn’t too strenuous so they can enjoy the outdoor journey under their own steam.
Holiday hero Neil Simpson shares his guide to the best hiking holidays for beginners. It includes the Explore Taste Of Italy – Walking In Puglia holiday, which takes hikers to the ancient city of Matera (pictured in the background).
“On the way, hikers can immerse themselves in the landscape and culture. Our self-guided vacations offer the freedom to explore at your own pace and experience so much more on foot.’
Hiking holidays are easier than many beginners expect. Hotels are booked along the route and luggage is transported between them.
Finding your way around is just as easy. You will receive a welcome pack with easy to follow daily instructions. Many tour operators also allow you to follow the route via a phone app.
Daily holiday distances for beginners are modest, with plenty of time for lunch and sightseeing.
A six-night hiking holiday from Sintra to Cascais, Portugal with Macs Adventure is a classic first-timer option. It begins in the fairytale town of Sintra with time to explore its castles, palaces, monasteries and tropical gardens. The route is mostly flat, with daily hikes of six to 10 miles following forested paths inland and coastal paths atop cliffs towards the seaside town of Cascais. It costs from £710 per person, excluding flights.
Other hikes aimed at beginners take place in Mallorca, Scotland, the Azores and Italy’s Chianti region (macsadventure.com).
Macs Adventure’s six-day hiking holiday from Sintra to Cascais in Portugal begins in the fairytale town of Sintra. Pictured is the city’s Pena Palace
Wine tasting stops are a highlight of a seven-day Chateaux & Vineyards vacation through France’s Loire Valley. It’s one of Inn Travel’s slightly graded holidays, which has days off to ignore your walking shoes and enjoy the well-chosen hotels along the way, including a converted 18th-century school and an old coaching inn.
Distances on hiking days range from nine to 11 miles. From £1,080 per person excluding flights (inntravel.co.uk).
If you prefer to hike in a small group, the Taste Of Italy – Walking In Puglia holiday in southern Italy with Explore is worth considering. A guide leads between 10 and 16 hikers through visits to bakeries, cheese factories, pasta classes, and wine tastings. You can also travel back in time amidst the ancient rock churches and cave dwellings of Matera. Daily hikes range from just two to five miles, and since you’re in a group, there’s no need to read a map. From £1,400 per person plus flights (explore.co.uk).
If you don’t want to change every night or are concerned about keeping up with other walkers, Flexi Walking is a smart category on offer at Ramblers Holidays. Each day has shortcuts and exit points where you can take a break and rejoin the other hikers later.
The seven-day holiday in Tavira, Pearl of the Algarve, also includes a boat trip to Tavira Island, where you can stroll along one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
Walks are between six and ten miles a day, through orange groves, pine forests and along the sea. From £1,290 per person including flights to Faro (ramblersholidays.co.uk).
Stroll along the beautiful beach of Tavira Island (above) during the 7 day Ramblers Holidays holiday in Tavira, the Pearl of the Algarve
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-11526083/Take-steps-walking-holiday-European-tours-promise-fresh-air-fantastic-views.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Take the first steps on a hiking holiday: Europe trips that promise fresh air and fantastic views