What better way to experience the thrilling scenery and unique cultures of Europe than by going on a walking or hiking tour! Whether you are interested in calm, peaceful strolls through quaint cities, or rigorous hikes through beautiful, snow-capped mountain ranges, walking tours are ideal for any family vacation. Usually cheaper than other options, and offering a much more direct contact with authentic European culture and landscapes, these walking tours will grant you plenty of unforgettable experiences!
City and Town Walking Tours
Cinque Terre, on Italy’s Mediterranean coast, offers rugged landscape and awe-inspiring beauty by combining gorgeous sea coast with mountainous terrain. As “Cinque Terre” means “Five Villages” in Italian, there are five opportunities to explore the footpaths of one of Italy’s most beautiful and breathtaking regions. You will be hiking past quaint trattorias and pastel-colored buildings along rugged slopes to small, rocky harbors with dazzling views of boats on the bright blue water. Stopping along the way to sample the local cuisine, you will be both challenged and enlightened on this type of walking tour. The warm but breezy weather is perfect for excursions, and the sky is almost always clear.
One of the best reasons to go on a walking tour in the city is that it is a low-cost way to travel. Forgo the bus tours and taxi rides for an intimate experience with the city, all while getting a good deal of exercise. Often, walking is the only way to explore older cities such as Prague, and in some of the older areas of the city, motor traffic is limited to accommodate pedestrians. Many walking tours in Prague include guides, but many self-guided walking tours are also just as enjoyable. Many tour guides are natives of the city, and can lead you as you wind your way past the Astronomical Clock, Charles University, the Jewish town, and onto the iconic Charles Bridge.
Hiking Tours through the Countryside
The Camino de Santiago (“The Way of St. James”) in Spain is one of the most famous and revered walking tours in Europe, as it was a large network of routes for ancient pilgrims that culminates at the tomb of St. James in Northwest Spain. The beautiful, scenic routes themselves are not too difficult, and you are able to dictate the length of your excursion. The hiking trails offer breathtaking scenery of the countryside, and a diverse range of paths that include modern paved roads as well as cobbled streets and forest trails. The tour is also a great ways to meet fellow travelers along the way. You may be going for a spiritual journey or you may not, but you will have an unforgettable holiday experience nonetheless!
Britain has a strong walking culture, and therefore has vast amounts of walking trails and tours for you to partake in. Hiking along the Cotswold Way in Western England is an adventurous and beautiful experience, culminating at the Western doors of beautiful Bath Abbey in Bath. Much like the Camino de Santiago, you can choose to hike as little or as much of the Costswold Way as you would like. There are numerous attractions and historic sites dotted along the trails as well, including the towns of Gloucester, Cheltenham Spa, and the ending town of Bath, known for its Roman heritage.
Walking and hiking tours are ideal if you are looking for a little exercise, direct access to bucolic landscapes and distinctive European culture on your trip, as well as a lower price tag. As you are able to control the length and difficulty of most of your tours, the types of exhilarating experiences you will have are limitless!