On the Portuguese Camino - photo by Tim Taylor
From your answers to the Great Adventure Quiz we know that most of you can't wait to go out and travel. And nearly half of you indicated Europe will be your first destination.
Here then is our list of 23 of our favourite hiking and walking adventures in Europe.
1) Iceland - Iceland Walking Explorer This full-circuit trekking itinerary includes four full day hikes in some of the best hiking spots in Iceland as well as some shorter hikes on transit days. We start at the Troll peninsula and hike from the remote valley of Hedinsfjordur fjord to the fishing village Siglufjordur. Then we trek in the lunar-like Lake Myvatn landscape of pseudo craters, lava fields and plentiful hot springs. We move on to the dramatic south easst coast where we hike in the Vatnajokull NP as well as hike on one of the outlet glaciers from the Vatnajokull ice cap, which covers about 11% of Iceland. Our last camp is on the south coast in Vik where we do our last full day hike. On the last day we drive from Vik to international airport for those catching afternoon flight back home that day. From the airport we head for Reykjavik for those that have extended their trip. Need more information? Email us and quote code ETSF
2) Iceland -
Trail to Skogar
Beginning in Landmannalaugar the best know trail in Iceland crosses the third biggest geothermal zone in the world where steaming hot springs are dotted through the landscape, over the yellow rhyolite mountains, through black deserts, past great canyons and into the green valley of Thórsmörk. Walk through the magical landscapes of Goðalönd – the abode of the Gods where a multitude of flowers and grasses cover the cliffs and volcanoes, lava streams and glaciers occupy the view.
Need more information? Email us and quote code UILS
3) Norway - Walking the Fjords
Norway's stunning fjords are rightly ranked as one of the scenic wonders of the world, and few visitors can fail to be inspired by the contrast of snow-capped mountains, steep green hillsides and powerful waterfalls plunging into the calm clear waters of the fjords. The majority of visitors come by coach and crowd into a few busy hotspots, whereas we discover these classic landscapes on foot, giving unique access to areas of tranquil beauty and high panoramic viewpoints. Our base at Nes Farm is a cosy family-run guesthouse looking towards the Feigumfoss waterfall across Lustrafjord, nestled between the Jotunheim, Norway's highest mountains, and the massive ice cap of Jostedalsbreen. The valley lies between three national parks: Jotunheim, Jostedalen and Breheiman. Our base is a cosy family-run guesthouse looking towards the Feigumfoss waterfall across Lustrafjord.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETSH
4) England - Coast to Coast Classic Guided Walk The Coast to Coast represents English hill walking and a long distance trail experience at its best, traversing three national parks with lots of interesting landscapes, varying terrain and old towns. Starting at the tiny Cumbrian seaside resort of St. Bees on the Irish Sea we climb steeply heading east into the Lake district to pass by some of its most famous lakes and passes. Then it is on into the and over the mystical Nine Standards Rig, before following the beautiful River Swale into the old market town of Richmond. There follows a marathon section to link up with the North York Moors National Park from where we roller coaster up and down around to the North Sea Coast to make a triumphant entrance into Robins Hood's Bay.
Need more information? Email us and quote code UECT
5) Ireland - Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney National Park
The Kerry Way is the Emerald Isle's longest trail - at 210km, it offers fantastic views of the unspoilt landscapes - a walk here will swathe you in 10,000 years of dramatic Celtic history.
Nestled in the south-west corner of Ireland, you'll spot contrastingly beautiful landscapes at every turn. From rugged cliffs to some of Europe's finest golden beaches, small friendly villages and velvety green fields to picturesque mountain ranges.
Need more information? Email us and quote code EW07KE
6) Trails of the Swiss Alps
Located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, where the great arc of the Alps culminates in some of its highest and most spectacular peaks, Kandersteg is a walker's paradise. This area epitomises the 'chocolate-box' Alps: lush green meadows bright with wildflowers, against a backdrop of rugged, wild mountains, topped with glistening glaciers. We stay at the charming Hotel Alfa Soleil, owned by the Seiler family, and discover the best of the region offers, including towering cliffs, a hidden valley headed by a glacier, a sheer gorge carved out by glacial meltwaters and more.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETDU
7) Portugal - Best of the Portuguese Way
The Portuguese Way, which is second only to the Camino Francés in popularity with modern day walkers and pilgrims, extends from the capital, Lisbon, across the border to Santiago, and this guided walk takes in the most popular, beautiful and intriguing sections between these two classic European cities. You'll visit Coimbra and Porto, enjoying guided walks and wine tastings as you go, before crossing into Spain where you will walk a section of the Way before arriving in the famed cathedral city of Santiago de Compostela. (Photo by Tim Taylor)
Need more information? Email us and quote code UBPW
8) Portugal - Walking in Madeira During the course of this week you will have the opportunity to walk through the wild and varied scenery of Madeira, from gentle strolls along flower-lined levadas and spectacular coastal footpaths, to more demanding forays amongst the jagged ridges and peaks of the rugged volcanic interior. There is plenty of time to relax by the sea in the fishing village of Machico and discover the historic importance of Funchal, an old trade centre famous for exporting sugar and wine to the Indies and the New World. Need more information? Email us and quote code ETSD
9) Portugal - Walking in the Azores
It is hard to believe that the Azores are part of Europe. Born from the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean, this lush green archipelago of volcanic islands is a far cry from its mainland government of Portugal. Be it pocked with steep craters, a haven for wildlife or a place of historic interest, each of the nine islands is quite unique and ideally explored on foot. We visit the very best that four of these islands have to offer, walking through UNESCO vineyards, lava plateaux (or 'fajas') and sunken volcanoes.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETSZ
10) Spain - Best of the Camino
The Camino de Santiago has for centuries represented an important pilgrimage route from France, across the Pyrenees and the north of Spain to the tomb of St James in Santiago de Compostela. Following the most interesting sections from Roncesvalles in Spain through famous pilgrimage cities such as Leon and Pamplona, the landscapes change daily from mountain trails to forests and open plains. With the camaraderie of a small group and local guide, the trip is fully supported throughout. At night stay in atmospheric towns in a selection of hand picked hotels where the local flavours are introduced by your hosts.
Need more information? Email us and quote code UBCT
11) Spain - Walking the Picos de Europa
Spain's third highest mountain range, the Picos de Europa is a region of dramatic limestone peaks and lush valleys. Carpeted in beautiful wild flowers in spring, this area is also known as 'Green Spain'. Its terrain, tranquillity and inaccessibility make the Picos a walker's paradise. Chamois, Griffon vultures, Golden eagles and many other species are regularly seen, and, although more rarely spotted, bears, wolves and boars still survive in this incredible wilderness. We base ourselves at the friendly, family-run Hotel Torrecerredo, positioned in the heart of the region and offering breathtaking panoramas of the highest peaks from its welcoming bar and restaurant.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETSQ
12) France - Mont Blanc Highlights
The circuit of Mont Blanc is one of the finest walking routes in the Alps. It is in reality a series of paths linking the seven valleys that surround the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc. It normally takes a fortnight to complete the whole circuit, but for those with less time this one-week Exodus tour takes in the most outstanding sections with beautiful mountain highlights each day. Throughout this walking holiday we are based in the delightful chalet with dramatic views of Mont Blanc, and use a mix of private bus and local trains and buses to travel out each day to re-join the next stage of our walk covering beautiful sections of the famous circuit. At the end of each day we return home for afternoon tea, or for those who wish, a dip in the chalet’s bubbling Jacuzzi.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETWN
13) France - Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek
For those who like to enjoy the comfort of a bed every night we offer the Mont Blanc circuit as a fully accommodated walking holiday, with all nights spent in a variety of lodgings from family run 2 and 3-star hotels to basic inns or pensions. Again keeping to the ideal duration to complete the full route, we include 10 walking days and 3 rest days, in which time we cross the borders of Switzerland, Italy and France and enjoy unrivalled views of the Alps and Mont Blanc itself. The itinerary is essentially the same as on the camping version (trip code TWB); with your qualified International Mountain Leader (IML) guiding the way you still complete the famous circuit, and your baggage is transported for you by our support vehicle, but we offer the comfort of a bed in quaint, picturesque accommodations on route so you can enjoy your walking holiday in comfort. In most places we use a hotel for just one night, before moving on the next day, occasionally we settle in for a few nights and use local transport to take us to the next point of the circuit.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETWO
14) Italy - Classic Dolomites
The small village of Villabassa, just north of Cortina d'Ampezzo, is the perfect base for this Dolomites walking holiday nestled close to the Austrian border and sandwiched between the spectacular, jagged limestone peaks. From here we enjoy an excellent choice of routes with the opportunity to relax in comfort at the end of a day's walking. During the week, we venture into the Fanes-Sennes and Dolomiti di Sesto National Parks for great views of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Historically the front line between Italy and Austria-Hungary during the First World War, the trails take us through incredible open-air museums.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETWU
15) Italy - Chianti Walking & Wine
With its Renaissance cities, mediaeval villages and cypress-lined avenues snaking through vineyards, southern Tuscany is the perfect place for a relaxing guided walking holiday. Based at the tranquil Villa Casalta, on our tour we visit beautiful San Gimignano, the market town of Greve in Chianti, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Siena and the magnificent city of Florence. During the week we sample several varieties of the world-renowned local Chianti and have the opportunity to learn more about Italian wine at the Wine School of Siena. Need more information? Email us and quote code ETDC
16) Italy - Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino
Located on a part of Italy's most beautiful coastline, nestled between the Cinque Terre and bay of Portofino, our base in the seaside town of Moneglia is a real treat for visitors. On inspirational walks through hills, woodland and coastal villages we will discover why these areas have earned names such as the Gulf of the Poets. Many of the country’s most iconic trails are situated in the region of Liguria and this trip makes a great introduction to Italy with its ample opportunities for walking, relaxing and sampling delicious food and wine.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETEH
17) Italy - Walking the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most dramatic coastlines in Europe. Mountains jut steeply out of the Mediterranean and picturesque towns nestled in the coves below. Walking the ancient hillsides studded with lemon groves and framed by deep gorges, we descend from the Agerola Plain to the quaint towns of Positano, Ravello and of course Amalfi itself. No visit to the Bay of Naples would be complete without a trip to see the remains of Pompeii under the imposing volcanic cone of Mount Vesuvius. The best is saved till last with arguably the world's best coastal walk: the 'Walk of the Gods'. Away from the trails we partake in a favourite traditional pastime and sample incredible food and wine just like the Italians do.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETDA
18) Italy - Sicilian Volcanoes
Striking active volcanoes, black beaches, thermal springs and a stunning cobalt sea make the Aeolians Islands a unique must-see destination. Exploring the varied landscape by boat and on foot is without doubt the best way to take in the natural beauty and contrasts of this part of Sicily. During the week we trek on the archipelago’s best islands: Lipari, with its archaeological ruins and lively harbour, Vulcano, with its craters and famous fumaroles and fiery Stromboli, which will hopefully greet us with spectacular shows of its explosive activity. The trip culminates with a memorable trek on famous Mount Etna, the highest and most active volcano in Europe. Need more information? Email us and quote code ETEL
19) Croatia - Islands & Mountains
Enjoy the very best of Croatia; the coast and islands, the beautiful towns, near-perfect national parks and spectacular mountains. Starting in the fascinating UNESCO city of Dubrovnik, we begin our journey along the coast where the crystal clear sea forms the backdrop for many of our early walks, followed by the peaceful sound of waterfalls as we head into the national parks of Paklenica and Krka. Here we have a chance to visit Skradinski buk waterfalls and enjoy walks through spectacular gorges, forests and mountain scenery. Need more information? Email us and quote code ETVD
20) Romania - Monasteries and Villages of Romania
Straddling central Romania and covering a third of its territory are the majestic Carpathian Mountains. Aside from the stunning beauty of the mountains and the rolling foothills, the rich traditions of the region continue to flourish through the warm and friendly locals and their way of life which has changed little through the centuries. Walking through a timeless landscape to reach ancient villages and monasteries, including the famous Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, pristine forests brimming with wildlife and carved wooden churches and farm gateways are just a few of the highlights of this engaging adventure.
Need more information? Email us and quote code URC9
21) Greece - Zagori & Meteora
Unknown to most of the world, both beautiful and unspoiled, the Zagori area is one of the best walking regions in Greece. Learn more about the myths and stories and history of the area, observe the unique flora and fauna and taste the delicious local cuisine. Walk amongst traditional stone made villages, arch stone bridges, gorges, mountains and pristine natural landscapes in Vikos-Aoos National Park, recognised as a UNESCO Geopark Network. Follow this with the chance to visit the UNESCO Worldwide Heritage Site of Meteora, exploring the trails of the ancient monks and cliff top monasteries.
Need more information? Email us and quote code EXO - TVQ
22) Greece - Walking on the Greek Islands
The Greek islands have much more to offer than most would think: archaeological treasures, history, culture, dramatic landscapes overlooking an azure coloured sea and, of course, delicious food. Our week starts on the beautiful island of Naxos, before heading to Santorini and Paros. Exploring the irresistible island of Santorini on foot will certainly be the highlight of our week. Hopping from one wonderful island to the other, we enjoy a relaxed week of gentle walks through picturesque villages, lush valleys and sandy beaches.
Need more information? Email us and quote code ETEJ
23) Greece - Crete: Mountains and Coast Guided Walk
This eight day guided walking trip explores the southwest coast of Crete, with its spectacular White Mountains, the deep gorges and coastal trails that lead us to charming fishing villages and quiet beaches, accessible only by boat. Packed with highlights including an ascent of Mount Gingilos (2080m), scenic walks through numerous gorges including the longest in Europe, the Samaria Gorge, and sightings of wild goats and griffon vultures, the trip will appeal to lovers of coastal landscapes, history and traditional Greek culture. Whilst the focus is on walking, there is ample time to swim at unspoilt beaches, explore coastal villages and soak up the hospitality.
Need more information? Email us and quote code UCMG