If you’re interested in finding out what we rate and what we don’t as part of our walking travel guide then you’ll be pleased to know that you have no further to travel other than right here. Find out whether you should go on a walking vacation as well as what we love and what we consider overrated.
Top self guided walking activities
Most walkers don't just want to just ‘bag’ a mountain, or race from one valley to the next. Unless they are in search of complete solitude, most walkers enjoy getting off the beaten track on vacation to help them get in touch with the real country and its culture. Not the one laid on for tourists. A lot of walking vacations cater for this craving for cultural exchange, staying in traditional rural accommodation such as a mountain auberge in the French Alps, or a village cottage on the Turkish Lycian Way. In France's Mercantour National Park, you sample food that is heavily influenced by its proximity to Italy, And in Catalonia, you score major brownie points by giving a greeting in Catalan as you cross paths with a local walker. That is one of the most wonderful things about walking vacations in remote spots. Hosts rarely feel threatened or ‘invaded’ by walkers. Turn up with a coachload of camera slinging tourists, however, and it’s a different story.
Our Self guided walking Vacations
Nothing will get you into a chat more easily than asking a local barman to fill up your hipflask with his local specialty. It opens up a whole world of conversation
Hikers like to pack their bags full of energy bars and drinks, but it is worth remembering that buying local food is sometimes the only way that a destination can make money from tourists coming to hike their natural wonders. So you need to shake off that Tupperware full of homemade sandwiches and flask of tea frame of mind, eat local and gorge yourself on the cultural goodies on offer whenever you can.
If you want to include wildlife watching as part of your walking vacation, tell your tour operator that this is one of your interests, as they might be able to include extra details in your information pack before you go. That way you won't miss the likes of the wild goats in Spain's Sierra de Gredos, griffon vultures in the Picos de Europa and dolphins along Ireland's Dingle Way. The secret is to read up on the country's wildlife before you go, bring binoculars, keep your voice down and your eyes peeled. And don't forget to just stop and listen.
If you'd like to chat about Self guided walking or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Hiking with a swimsuit in my backpack is a must. Finding a totally secluded spot for a quick skinny dip is even better though
For hikers who don't like to wander too far from water, self guided walking vacations are great, as there are so many options. Plus you don't have to worry about slowing down a group of walkers with your urge to submerge. On the Amalfi Coast, for example, you need a very fashionable swimsuit at all times, in Croatia you will fall in love with the empty island beaches, and in Wales you need a sense of adventure, and humour for total Celtic immersion.
More about Self guided walking
The biggest joy of self guided walking vacations is that everything is organised for you.
Self guided walking? Why go on an organised one when you could just go independently? After all, you want to hike alone? Because these walking companies are brilliant at what they do.
Many people think that walking vacations are all about walking with a guide and with small groups of other walkers.
You don’t need to be an ‘out on the hills every weekend’ sort of family to brave a walking vacation with your children.
From mountainous Italian vineyards to ancient Japanese trading routes – we lay out our top 10 self guided walking vacations.
You might think you know it all, but have a quick read below at some our self guided walking advice.
There are lots of stories about people behaving stupidly when out walking or mountaineering, and one of the first steps to ensuring you engage in responsible self guided walking is to do so in the hands of an expert tour operator.