The choice of possible destinations for walking holidays in Europe is almost endless, as the continent has such a variety of landscapes and places of interest. In fact, it can be difficult to narrow down your selection from the routes through mountain ranges, along spectacular coastlines and in tranquil countryside.
There are, however, some destinations that really stand out from the others, thanks to their combination of scenery and landmarks, together with the availability of high-quality accommodation and restaurants for when you want to rest up between walks.
Walking holidays in Italy are an excellent option, with Tuscany, Sardinia, the Dolomites and the Amalfi Coast all offering excellent routes. If you are after idyllic surroundings, the best choice is the area around Lake Como in Lombardy.
The region is known as a holiday destination for affluent travellers, so has all the facilities you could possibly need for a relaxing break. Choose a getaway that involves walking from hotel to hotel and you can look forward to resting up in high-quality accommodation and eating in restaurants with magnificent views over the water.
Lake Como is surrounded by wonderful natural attractions and as you traverse paths that were once used by smugglers and pilgrims you will see cascading waterfalls and towering mountains. Scale some of the more challenging tracks up into the hills and you will be treated to vistas over the crystal clear waters of the lake and the Italian and Swiss countryside.
Lombardy has lots of historic sites to visit and as you journey from Torno to Varenna via Como and chic Bellagio, you will see Vezio castle and Serbelloni gardens, together with luxurious villas built by aristocrats and traditional villages.
If your idea of the perfect break is enjoying the great outdoors in soaring temperatures, walking holidays in Spain are sure to be a good choice. The country has varied terrain, encompassing everything from mountains to plains, and lots of beautiful scenery that is best seen on foot.
Among the top choices for this type of getaway in Spain is the Camino de Santiago, a route that has been used by pilgrims since the 9th century. For hundreds of years people set off on foot from locations across Europe to reach the city of Santiago de Compostela and the cathedral where the remains of the apostle St James are located.
These days it is customary to begin the expedition from the city of Leon and tackle the pilgrimage route in 11 days. Along the way you will encounter Roman bridges, hilltop castles and quaint Galician villages interspersed by meadows, pine forests and vineyards.
It is not just the sights that make this walk so memorable, as you will also be impressed by the hospitality of the traditional guesthouses and hotels along the route. In addition, you can indulge in some fine local cuisine and a glass or two of Galician wine.
Many people who love the outdoors lifestyle regard Switzerland as the ultimate holiday destination, thanks to its magnificent mountain ranges. You don’t have to be a climber to enjoy the scenery – book a walking break in the Bernese Oberland and you will find out why.
Spend eight days trekking between upmarket hotels in the shadow of the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger peaks and you will be treated to views of meadows, waterfalls, forests and traditional villages.