With so many different types of holidays on offer to us now – from cycling to coach tours, to river cruises and railway journeys – it can be hard to know which route will provide you with the most authentic and cultural experience of your chosen destination. And the time to take it all in.
Walking holidays are the perfect way to get up close and personal with the local life and landscape of a country – becoming ever more popular with travellers who want to see more than they would from being sat on a crowded bus, or from gazing out of a plane window. Or from rushing around the city’s sites so as to not get left behind and miss the next stop on your travel itinerary.
Here, we’ve listed our top three reasons why you should choose a walking holiday this year:
Being able to spend quality time with those who mean the most to you is one of the best things about walking holidays. They’re a great excuse to switch off and relax together, whilst creating memorable moments exploring the architecture and heritage of a country. Whether it’s capturing snapshots of the family as you take a gentle stroll on the spectacular Amalfi coastline; gathering keepsakes as you trek alongside the Pyrenees; or educating yourselves as you walk down the historic path of St James on the Portuguese Way – there’s a walking holiday that caters to both you and your family’s interests.
There’s no better way to enjoy a country’s scenery and it’s people than being outside and exploring on foot. Fed up of only ever seeing the usual tourist hotspots? Walking holidays not only enable you to visit some of the most well-known places but also the most beautiful parts of a country that you’d normally miss – and all at your own pleasure. Be in touch with nature as you adventure through the countryside’s history, and surround yourself in its hidden treasures.
Is it possible to have a great holiday without feeling guilty that you’ve overindulged? Absolutely. The beauty of walking holidays means having that much needed down time and escape from the every day, whilst also keeping yourself fit. As reported by the British Medical Journal, exercise is as good medicine as pills for some conditions, including heart disease, with at least an hour a day significantly reducing the risk of breast cancer. Therefore, embarking on walking holiday not only means returning home in much better shape than before, but also providing you with key long-term health benefits.
Although walking holidays might seem like a strenuous exercise, especially if you don’t consider yourself particularly fit, you can choose walks based on your own ability – ranging from up to 16km a day to 37km. You can also shorten or lengthen your trip to suit the pace you’re most comfortable with, whether that be a leisurely saunter or intense hike, and how much of a destination you’re looking to cover. Either way, just ensure you have a comfortable pair of shoes, a reputable guide book, a camera, a bottle of water and energy snacks, and protective sunscreen. And, most of all, ensure you’re making the most of your walking holiday.
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