Do you usually go on the same type of holiday every year?
Does it involve summertime, a seaside resort, plenty of sunshine and not much movement? Are you a fan of the city break, where you can storm a city for a few days, see the most important landmarks, and then leave, never to return, but boasting the fact that you’ve been there?
Or are you tired of these types of holidays, and are looking for a bit more adventure, some fresh air, and getting to know a country from a different perspective? If that is the case, then a walking holiday can be the perfect solution. You will get to work on your stamina and endurance, work up a sweat and an appetite, and enjoy some glorious nature.
Luckily, Europe has plenty of walking routes to offer, and here we will list four of them, so you can take your pick:
Places to Take Inspiring Walks Around Europe
The West Highland Way
This is Scotland’s oldest footpath, and is a very popular walking holiday indeed. The full length of the route is 154 kilometers, starting at Milngavie at Glasgow, and ending at Ben Nevis, at Fort William.
The very start of the walk includes lush pastures and you will also have a magnificent view of the Campsie Fells. Soon enough though, the road will lead you into hills and farmlands, and be just a bit more rugged, but nothing you can’t handle. You will also be passing by Rannoch Moor, which is one of the only remaining wilderness areas in Europe, so be prepared to meet a few animals.
There are eight stages of the trail in total, and you can read more about particular sections of it. The accommodation along the walk is great, and you will be able to take your pick between campsite or hotel.
Wicklow Way, running through the Wicklow Mountains was established back in the ‘80s, and has since become one of the more popular walking holidays in Europe.
You begin your walk at Rathfarnham and will be walking all the way to Clonegal – mostly through very pleasant rural areas, with some forest and country lanes to keep you company.
In the northern part of the walk, you will be able to see the mountains ahead, but in the southern parts, the climb will be much more gentle. The truth is, most people walk due south, which is the easier way, but it robs you of the sense of accomplishment you get when you climb the other way.
If you are not in shape, you should not try to make the climb though – it can be pretty harsh at times.
The French Way of the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is one of the most popular pilgrim routes in Europe, and the French Way is the most popular or all its different routes. Don’t let the name fool you – you do not need to be religious to walk this route, even though you will meet many true pilgrims along the way.
The full length of the French Way is 780 kilometers, which will take you at least four weeks, depending on your stamina. It starts out at St. Jean Pied du Port, running through many a town and village to Santiago de Compostela. Accomodation along the route is great, so you will not need to worry about that, as the French Way has the best infrastructure of all the Caminos.
Pennine Way is one of the oldest walking holidays on the continent, and it was first opened in 1965. Today it is a national trail, but it is still rural, rugged, and a pure joy to walk down.
It totals 429 kilometers, and starts out at Derbyshire, and leads you all the way to the Scottish border, and Kirk Yetholm. There are many national parks along the way, so you can choose to stop by at any of them, and explore. You naturally don’t have to walk the entire route, and can find many a shorter trail to challenge yourself. You can spend a few days in a certain area, and then move on further. There is something for everyone on Pennine Way, and you will certainly enjoy your recuperation.
Any of these walking holidays is a great way to start moving more, learn more about certain areas of Europe, and experience a different kind of holiday.