23 Splendid Hiking Adventure Holidays in Europe


On the Portuguese Camino you hike through vineyards

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