Hiking boots may not be the first thing you pop in your suitcase when heading to Europe, but perhaps they should be. Europe is home to some incredible walking trails, which take you through mountains and valleys, along coasts and cliffs and around all types of flora and fauna. A walking holiday is the perfect way to see the world from a very different perspective, and to earn your gourmet dinner. Here’s a list of some of our favourite undiscovered gems.
- Lycian Way, Turkey
The 200km adventure starts in Fethiye, and travels (mostly) along the coast to end in Antalya. It was mapped out in the 1950s by an American woman, who traversed through tiny remote villages and stepped around ancient ruins to find her way. It’s home to a number of beautiful swimming spots and over the years, has grown to accommodate homestays and B&Bs, all of which are perfectly placed to rest your weary head.
- GR20 North, Corsica
This walking holiday isn’t for the faint-hearted. The GR20 is known as one of the most challenging long-distance walks in Europe, and carries with it a badge of honour – it is truly an accomplishment to make it to the end. Considering the path is rocky, ventures through forest, mountains and valleys and requires two weeks of walking, there’s no wonder why! Running the length of the island from the north to the south, the walk also includes dramatic cliff-top paths, spectacular vistas and idyllic coastline. However, thirsty travellers be warned – one of GR20’s main challenges is the lack of water along the way.
- Coast to Coast, England
North of London, somewhere between Leeds and Newcastle, sits the Coast to Coast walk, a 12-18 day adventure through some of the country’s most picturesque landscapes. Starting from St Bees Head on the Irish Sea, and finishing 309km later at Robin Hood’s Bay, the trail takes you past idyllic lakes, mountain ranges, quaint towns and farmland. To ensure a safe and sound journey, walkers can also follow the tradition of dipping your boots into the Irish Sea before you depart, and taking a pebble to throw in the North Sea at the end.
- Camino de Santiago, Spain
The Camino de Santiago is perhaps the most well known walking holiday, but that doesn’t mean it’s by any means overcrowded. Once a major Christian pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, it is now a fantastic walking trail for people of all walks of life. If the name ‘Camino’ sounds familiar, it’s probably because there are a number of routes, all starting at different spots – some start all the way in the French Pyrenees, and take 5 weeks to complete. However, no matter where you begin, the final 100 kilometres covers the same track, running from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. Walkers can collect stamps at every village they visit, filling a booklet. If at the end your booklet is full, you’ll receive a certificate!
For more information, to book a small-group walking holiday, or a self-guided walk, contact Mosaic Travel.0