“In every walk with nature,” said environmentalist John Muir, “one receives far more than he seeks.” So, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or novice stroller, the rewards of a walking holiday could be far greater than you ever anticipated.
Walking for Health
Holidays, as we all know, are about new places, new experiences and making new memories you’ll treasure forever. If you want to tick those boxes, a walking holiday is hard to beat.
We already know the benefits walking can provide for your fitness, but new research reinforces just how beneficial this most ancient – and yet still contemporary – form of exercise can be. As well as improving your cardiovascular system, walking is now extolled for its bone-strengthening powers and the hugely positive effect it can have on your wellbeing.
You don’t have to want to hike the Alps or cover vast distances to join a walking holiday – the best ones are inclusive, social experiences, where you get plenty of free time to explore. The idea is to enjoy gentle exercise while you admire some wonderful views from a different perspective, exploring pathways and trails you might not otherwise get to see.
There’s plenty of time built in for coffee stops, picnic lunches and photographs.
Where to go?
Much of Europe’s warm climate makes it ideal for exploring on foot. Perhaps you’ll venture to Crete where an abundance of wildflowers line your path. Or maybe you’ll board a cable car to Tratto Spino in Italy, where you can enjoy a stroll with fantastic views of Lake Garda.
Lovers of history and architecture might choose to explore the tiny village of Valldemosa, in Mallorca, where a 13th century monastery once played host to composer Chopin. Exploring these places on foot lends a special sense of personal discovery to each of your destinations.
Or maybe you’ll choose to explore beautiful northern Spain, where along the Camino de Santiago, you can wander through the vineyards of La Rioja.
The rewards of walking
A walking holiday provides a huge sense of accomplishment that’s rarely bettered. You’ll foster camaraderie with your fellow walkers, but you’ll also find that journeying in this way, taking in nature’s sweeping vistas, allows you plenty of time to be alone with your thoughts when you wish.
Mix walking with other activities and you’ve got a winning formula for a fantastic holiday. Perhaps try cycling around Lake Garda, or walk to the pretty Maltese crafts village of Ta’Oali. On the Amalfi Coast, perhaps a boat trip along the coast of Sorrento will help you relax a little more.
Whatever activities you choose to intersperse with your walking, the people and places you experience along the way will ensure you return home with unique memories.
Enjoyment, near or far?
The great thing about walking is its adaptability. Once you’ve tried a European walking holiday, perhaps you’ll take a break closer to home, and discover the delights on your doorstep in the UK. The flexibility and range of walking holidays out there means there’s something for everyone.