Top walking destinations for 2018
You can discover so much about a place when you explore it on foot – from spotting rare wildlife to stumbling upon untouched scenery. With mount...Read more
You can discover so much about a place when you explore it on foot – from spotting rare wildlife to stumbling upon untouched scenery. With mountain treks, cliff trails and lakeside strolls, Europe has tours for every season, weather and level of experience. To help you really get away from it all, we've put together our top walking holiday destinations for 2018.
Head to Provence to wander through the land that inspired artists Cézanne and Van Gogh, taking in ancient markets, spectacular views from the Alpilles mountain range and the famous lavender fields along the way. The region’s varied walking trails cover coastline, vineyards and mountains. There’s something for all levels of experience, from gentle village strolls to challenging mountain treks. Provence's Luberon National Park is a renowned spot for hiking, and is home to honey-coloured hilltop villages, olive groves and natural rock formations.
The Alpilles and Art of Provence tour takes you on foot to the medieval village of Les Baux-de-Provence – one of the country’s oldest and most spectacular settlements. There you’ll find a chateau fortress, countless museums and balmy Mediterranean sunshine. Stop at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Arles for Roman architecture – including Arles' striking amphitheatre – and some of France’s best cheese. With a short travel time from the UK, Provence is perfect for a whistle-stop long weekend.
Slovenia might not be the first place you think of when you’re looking at top destinations for a walking holiday, but its wealth of incredible natural beauty makes it a serious contender. Sweeping valleys reveal thundering waterfalls, meadows strewn with wildflowers and the breathtaking Vintgar Gorge.
Most of Slovenia’s unmissable walks are centred around water. You'll find a number of hikes that take you on winding paths around crystal clear Alpine lakes backed by snow-capped mountains, providing perfect photography opportunities. The Nine Waters trail leads you along the banks of the emerald green River SoÄa, taking in Radovljica’s medieval architecture and the rapids of the Vintgar Gorge en route. Bled and Bovec are popular resorts, with picnic spots, trout fishing and cooling springs, as well as some world-class eateries, like the lakeside Restaurant 1906. Triglav National Park has kayaking, rafting and skiing for adventure sports enthusiasts.
Portugal’s walking trails show travellers far more than just the beach (though they feature heavily too). Dunes and sandy coves line the coast from east to west, while landscaped gardens and castles dot the rural interior of the country. The Algarve region is perfect for bird watching, while unusual flora and fauna can be found in the wetlands of Ria Formosa and Ria de Alvor. In Alentejo, you’ll discover the smugglers’ trails that wind their way along the border with Spain, as well as the rich stew-heavy cuisine of rural Portugal.
If the sea calls, head to Lagos for the Algarve Cliff Trails tour. The bleached limestone cliffs are bathed in sunshine almost year round, and this walk will take you to deserted beaches, Roman ruins and charming fishing villages. The warm Mediterranean waters dish up fresh seafood every day. Catch the best of it at the authentic, family-run Adega Dos Arcos restaurant in rugged Sagres.
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