Top Destinations: Hiking Holiday

Austria

Austria Hiking Holiday

With majestic mountains, deep evergreen forests and icy blue mountain lakes, a hiking holiday in Austria will have you breath-taken and spellbound. The guided walking and hiking tours available to you will take you to dramatic mountain ridges, through to idyllic green meadows and lush forests. Whether you want to ascend one of the magnificent peaks, or if you are content to navigate your way past valleys and lakes, you will find a tour to suit you.

The Tyrol region has always been attractive to hikers and ramblers; it has over 700km of hiking routes, qualified local guides, accommodation to suit all budgets, and a range of routes to suit all abilities. Visitors go back again and again in order to wend their way through picturesque mountain villages whilst soaking in the pure mountain air. You can also make sure you see what you want to see during your hiking holiday in Austria, whether that is dramatic limestone rock scenery, Alpine peaks, peaceful nature reserves, traditional Austrian villages or stunning mountain lakes.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: German

Extra ratings:

  • Disabled Needs : 7
  • Shopping Holiday : 7
  • Culture and Arts : 10
  • Nightlife : 7

Corsica

Corsica Hiking Holiday

Hiking is one of the main attractions of the island Corsica. For serious hikers the GR20 is a must. This is possible from June to September. The hike crosses Corsica from northwest to southeast. It is 170 kilometres long with an average altitude of between 1000m and 2000m. The hike starts in Calenzana in the Balagne region and finishes in Conca near Porto Vecchio. The path follows the mountain ridge that cuts across Corsica and attracts around 10,000 hiking enthusiasts every year. This renowned trail has a route through a diverse array of landscape including forests, granite moonscapes, interesting craters, glacial lakes, torrents, peat bogs, maquis and snow-capped peaks. For hikers this experience is not to be missed.

However, people of all fitness levels can njoy the stunning scenery of Corsica and there are numerous shorter options available all across the island. Whether you wish to make your own tracks and go at your own pace, or go as part of a group, there are plenty of hiking companies that can assist with your plans. Corsica can be greatly appreciated on foot and there is plenty of variety to suit walkers and hikers of all levels. There are many footpaths that have been created to start from the sea and head to the mountains and those that travel coast to coast. The main walking season is between mid-May and early July and in September. Corsica’s landscape is varied and beautiful. Much of Corsica's forests have a whole host of fauna and flora, mountainous surroundings and wild coast are made more accessible courtesy of way marked trails, maintained by the Parc Regional. Some trails only take an hour, while others take several days so depending on your enthusiasm and fitness there are so many options. There are also plenty of comfortable dormitory accommodations exclusively to walkers. Walking maps are available in newsagents and local tourist offices.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: French

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Disabled Needs : 6
  • Shopping Holiday : 5
  • Culture and Arts : 7
  • Nightlife : 6

Madeira

Madeira Hiking Holiday

Walking on Madeira is undoubtedly the best way to see this beautiful and dramatic island. The network of levadas (irrigation channels) follow hundreds of kilometres across the island of Madeira, and can take you through a variety of landscapes in one day – from lush, semitropical rainforest, to barren mountaintop to sunny valley.

One word of warning though, most of these walks on Madeira are not gentle strolls, there can be steep climbs and you can find yourself walking along a narrow path with no safety barriers. If you’re planning to go walking on Madeira, make sure you are prepared, with good walking boots or shoes and suitable clothing – remember if you’re heading upwards it can get chilly even on a sunny day. But don’t be put off hiking in Madeira, it can be an absolute highlight of your holiday on Madeira and there are plenty of easier routes and it is also possible to go on guided walks if you would rather. And keen walkers and hikers will find there are enough walking routes on Madeira to keep them occupied for at least a week.
 

Hours from UK : 4

Language: Portuguese

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 6
  • Disabled Needs : 3
  • Shopping Holiday : 5
  • Culture and Arts : 5
  • Nightlife : 7

Canada

Canada Hiking Holiday

With so many mountains and wide open spaces, Canada is surely one of the ultimate destinations for a hiking holiday. Explore Canada's meadows which are filled with the colour and beauty of wildflowers, marvel at the panoramic view from the mountain peaks, and take in the breathtaking sight of the glaciers. These are sure to make your hiking trip in Canada a memorable one. Many hiking tours also include helicopter rides, and you can choose a one-day hiking trip or choose to hike for several days to make sure you get to see as much scenery as possible. Breathing in the unspoilt air of the Canadian countryside is sure to leave you feeling revitalised

Hours from UK : 9

Language: English

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 7
  • Shopping Holiday : 9
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 8

New Zealand

New Zealand Hiking Holiday

If the Lord of the Rings has you yearning for the New Zealand backcountry, then you're in for a treat. Hiking - or 'tramping' as they call it down there - measures up to any world-class standard for variety of terrain and pure scenic pay-off. We've put in backcountry miles in a lot of places, but have to say New Zealand ranks among the richest, yet easiest international adventure in the world. The experience is enhanced by the friendly Kiwis and a pervasive sense of light-hearted fun.

Hours from UK : 15

Language: English

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 9
  • Disabled Needs : 8
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 7

Sardinia

Sardinia Hiking Holiday

If you are planning a walking and climbing holiday in Sardinia, there are a wide range of mountainous terrains, steep hills, and winding valleys to choose from. The spectacular cliffs and gorges provide a thrilling trek for the adventurous hikers. There are a number of routes to take for a walking holiday in Sardinia including the rugged paths of the highest point of the island, Parco Nazionale del Golfo di Orosei e del Gennargentu, the limestone area of the Supramonte, and the prehistoric ruins of Sa Sedda 'e Sos Carros and Tiscali. More relaxing walks can be found in the north of the island around Monte Limbara, Alghero, and the Iglesiante area. If you are looking to take a walking and climbing holiday in Sardinia, don’t forget to bring your walking boots, a stick, and wear comfortable clothing. The heat can be intense during the summer months so prepare yourself for any long hikes or treks.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Italian

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Shopping Holiday : 4
  • Culture and Arts : 10

Samos

Samos Hiking Holiday

Samos is a very green island and is a haven for nature lovers. It has pine forests, fresh water springs, mountain villages, olive groves, deep gorges, vineyards and classical ruins. A relatively easy walk and a favourite among walkers is through the Valley of the Nightingales.

If you are visiting at the beginning or end of the season this is the time to hear them as nightingales only sing in cool temperatures. Because of the enticing combination of mountains and sea, Samos is a popular destination for walkers from all over Europe. Anything from a ramble to a demanding hike is on offer, particularly in the north of the island. Samos has an extensive network of cobbled mule tracks (kalderimia), particularly in the hills behind Kokkari.

Hikers will find plenty of shade, which is essential in the summer! The Vourliotes area is renowned for its walks and the breathtaking scenery across the area's vineyards. The best climbing field in Samos is just outside Karlovasi, near Potami. On the other side of the island, near the village of Drakaioi, there is a slope with a capacity of two or even three ropes. Near the village of Marathokambos, on the south-western side of Samos you can find the slopes of Mt. Kerkes which is the highest mountain in Samosi. This is the location of the oldest track, called ‘The Pythagorean Theorem’.

Walking and hiking paths for all experience levels can be found around the island. In a single walk you can see sea, the mountainous shores of Turkey, valleys and ancient ruins.
 

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Greek

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 9
  • Disabled Needs : 1
  • Culture and Arts : 9
  • Nightlife : 8

South Africa

South Africa Hiking Holiday

Hiking / Walking Holiday in South Africa

South Africa’s diverse landscape of mountains, forests, rugged coast and sandy beaches means that it is the hiker’s paradise. Over the past twenty years hiking has taken off in a big way. Wherever you are, you won’t be far from some sort of trail. The best ones are in the wilderness areas, where you’ll find way marked paths that vary from half hour strolls to major hiking expeditions of two to seven days for the more experienced walker. If you’re not looking for a long expedition, consider basing yourself in one of the wilderness areas such as the Drakensburg, where you can stay in chalets and set off on a series of day walks, returning each night. Unique to South Africa are guided wilderness trails which allow you to walk inside the borders of a game park (such as Kruger National Park). Accompanied by an armed guide, these walks give you a feel for the wild that no other hiking destination can.
 

Hours from UK : 11

Language: English

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Disabled Needs : 7
  • Shopping Holiday : 4
  • Culture and Arts : 10
  • Nightlife : 6

Peru

Peru Hiking Holiday

Peru's Andean highlands offer breathtaking views of mountain scenery and superb lakes. You can join one of the many organised tours in Peru and hike the ancient Inca Trail, over mountain passes. You will feel as if you are walking into a region that has been sealed off from time. Starting at the sentry post of Runkuraqay, you will pass through fascinating ruins, while you are surrounded all the time by ice-capped mountains and forests. The trail ends at the astonishingly well-preserved city of Machu Picchu. Of course there are many other hiking trips you can take too.

Many tour companies that provide walking holidays in Peru will combine hill walking with visits to archaeological sites. Some will even allow you to customise their walking tours of Peru to suit your own interests. It is always better either to join an organised group hike, or if you are an independent traveller, employ a reputable local guide. Peru is an excellent location for a walking holiday, provided you can cope with walking at high altitudes.
 

Hours from UK : 15

Language: Spanish

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 8
  • Disabled Needs : 3
  • Shopping Holiday : 5
  • Culture and Arts : 9
  • Nightlife : 8

Granada

Granada Hiking Holiday

Being so close to the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range, Granada is ideally located for a fabulous hiking holiday. Some of the Sierra Nevada is a national park and it offers superb hiking for casual and serious hikers. If your hiking trip to Granada will involve walking in the Southern valleys in the summer be prepared for serious heat. To avoid the heat, plan your Granada hiking holiday for the shoulder summer months. If your Granada hiking trip will involve tackling the higher mountain tracks, the height of summer is the best time to visit as the snow's melted and the weather's more predictable. Organised hiking tours are available in Granada.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Spanish

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 4
  • Disabled Needs : 6
  • Shopping Holiday : 6
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 7

British Columbia

British Columbia Hiking Holiday

British Columbia's unique western location means it has excellent hiking and walking trails and walking is one of the best ways to get around British Columbia’s cities (from a sight-seeing point of view) even in winter. When in Victoria and Vancouver bring a street/Skytrain map to plan your itinerary or simply wander around the harbourfront areas, Stanley Park or Gastown with historic cobblestone streets. If you plan to hike some of British Columbia's nature trails there is simply no shortage. BC has five national parks and over 400 provincial parks. Enjoy ever-changing scenery from forests to lakes and mountains to orchards, lush valleys and coastline Pacific rainforests. British Columbia's regional and national parks, wildlife reserves and wide variety of trails make British Columbia an ideal hiking location. Accommodation can be found along many of the routes. Some favourite hiking routes in BC include: Iceline Trail / Little Yoho / Yoho Valley Loop in Golden; Great Divide Trail: Maligne Lake to Jasper Alberta; West Coast Trail in Bamfield; The Rockwall, Radium Hot Springs; Baden-Powell Trail (Grouse Mountain) in North Vancouver; Black Tusk in Whistler; Forbidden Plateau in Nanaimo; Alpine Loop in Golden; and Hamilton Falls and Hamilton Lake in Golden. Be sure to wear good walking shoes, bring sunscreen and a hat, water bottles and insect repellent.

Hours from UK : 9

Language: English

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 9
  • Disabled Needs : 8
  • Shopping Holiday : 9
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 9

Laos

Laos Hiking Holiday

Hiking or trekking as it’s more popularly referred to in Laos is the best way to get around. With villages not occupying the greatest areas of landmass, you can quite easily get around Laos by hiking and there is nothing more invigorating then getting back to nature by experiencing the wildlife in the flesh. Though it’s probably not best advised to go hiking in Laos without a guide, there are many tourist companies who will be most pleased to take you on a guided tour of the best areas and some will even combine Laos hikes with other activities to boost the price. Simply put, Laos is full of sheer natural beauty and one of the best ways to experience that is on foot.

Hours from UK : 11

Language: Thai

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 1
  • Disabled Needs : 10
  • Shopping Holiday : 5
  • Culture and Arts : 9

Quebec

Quebec Hiking Holiday

Quebec's unique location means it has some very good hiking and walking trails and walking is one of the best ways to get around Quebec (from a sight-seeing point of view) except of course in winter. When in Quebec City and Montreal bring a street/subway map to plan your itinerary or simply wander around the downtown area and historic Quebec with cobblestone streets. If you plan to hike some of Quebec's nature trails, Mount Royal in Montreal is a must.

There are over 6000 km of trails open to hikers with most in the Gaspe Peninsula, the Laurentides and the Eastern Townships. Enjoy ever-changing scenery from forests to lakes and mountains. Quebec's regional and national parks, wildlife reserves and wide variety of trails make Quebec an ideal hiking location. Accommodation can be found along many of the routes. Some favourite routes include, Parc National de la Gaspesie, International Appalachian Trail, and Sentiers de l'Estrie. Other areas worth hiking in Quebec are the Nature Parks of Cap-St-Jacques, Bois-de-Liesse and Pointe-aux-Prairie. Just outside the city you will also find some very good Provincial Parks such as Iles-de-Boucherville. Quebec is fastly becoming a city dedicated to its green and historic pathways. Be sure to wear good walking shoes, bring sunscreen and a hat, water bottles and insect repellent.
 

Hours from UK : 6

Language: French

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 9
  • Disabled Needs : 7
  • Shopping Holiday : 10
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 9

Greece

Greece Hiking Holiday

Greece is famed for being a walker’s paradise with its natural scenic beauty and excellent hiking terrain. A hiking holiday in Greece is a wonderful way to discover the country, its landscape and the people. The mountain trails and ancient paths on the islands and Greek mainland provide an interesting hiking holiday in Greece. Greece is blessed with an excellent landscape for hiking with each place different from the other, depending on the climate, terrain, location, etc. Most hiking paths cross large gorges, mountains, valleys and lakes. There are a number of hiking clubs in Greece that have organized hiking tours, or you can set out on your own or with your group. When embarking on a hiking trip on your own make sure you have proper maps to guide you through and proper hiking equipment and supplies. Popular locations for a hiking holiday in Greece include the Samaria Gorge in Crete, Thassos and Samothraki in Northern Greece, Sithonia in Halkidiki, Hydra which has some of the best walking paths and donkey trails in Greece and is a paradise for hikers, the islands of Amorgos and Tinos among a host of other hiking trails. Greece scores 6 on 10 as a hiking destination.

Hours from UK : 4

Language: Greek

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Disabled Needs : 5
  • Shopping Holiday : 8
  • Culture and Arts : 9
  • Nightlife : 10

Croatia

Croatia Hiking Holiday

Hiking in general is a very popular activity in Croatia and there are many Croatian hiking holiday packages available. Easy rambling territory in inland Croatia is provided by wooded Mount Medvednica and the Samobor Hills. Higher altitudes and lengthier walks can be found in the Gorski kotar region, between Karlovac and the coast. On the Adriatic coast, Ucka, immediately above Opatija and Lovran, is one of the most easily accessible mountains, and can be safely bagged by reasonably fit hikers. The more challenging Velebit range’s main hiking areas are around the Zavižan summit, near Senj, and the Paklenica National Park at Velebit's southern end. In Dalmatia, the major peaks are Kozjak and Mosor and the most challenging of all the Adriatic mountains, Biokovo. Ranges such as Gorski kotar and Velebit seem to invite extended expeditions, but unfortunately hut-to-hut walking in Croatia is still in its early stages and no local travel agencies arrange it. Mountain refuges (planinarski dom) run by local hiking associations do exist, but they're usually only open at the weekend, making anything longer than a 36-hour trek unfeasible.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Croatian

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 9
  • Disabled Needs : 7
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 8

Vietnam

Vietnam Hiking Holiday

Vietnam is a land of pristine natural beauty and an excellent destination for holidaymakers looking to get out and about on foot. Hiking in Vietnam would be just the ideal pace to explore the country’s natural wonders and relax in some of the most beautiful countryside on earth.

The lure of Vietnam adventures lures countless tourists to the country every year. Amongst the various adventures in Vietnam, the hiking trails in Vietnam attract a huge amount of tourist attention. Each of the wooded mountains up north and particularly in Sapa are a particular highlight, while the ravishing scenery in the Central Highlands of the country, the lush greenery of the Mekong Delta and the striking seafront at Halong Bay are all also worth taking the time to explore. As such, hiking holidays in Vietnam and particularly in the Central Highland region are gaining popularity with each year. The Yokdon National Park is one of the largest nature reserves in Vietnam and houses some of the most eclectic and captivating hiking trails in Vietnam. Further afield, hiking trips can lead you to the wonderfully peculiar features of the south-east Asian tropical forests found throughout its diverse varieties of indigenous varieties flora and fauna.

Experienced hikers in the mood for something slightly different should head for the Jarai (an ethnic minority tribe of Vietnam) villages and discover their unique customs and traditions. The hiking trips in the north western part of Vietnam are replete with acres of natural beauty and will afford ample opportunities to soak in the wonder of the terrain ahead while catching a glimpse of the local San diu, Hanhi and Xa tribes.

Given the popularity of hiking as an option for adventure and recreation in Vietnam, there’s no dearth of Vietnam hiking tour packages on offer. The recognized and established Vietnam hiking trips have facilities like an English-speaking guide, accommodation arrangements, meals and shuttle services. With all the travel and transportation concerns duly taken care of, you can go about your hiking in Vietnam with a lighter baggage.
 

Hours from UK : 12

Language: Vietnamese

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Shopping Holiday : 6
  • Culture and Arts : 8
  • Nightlife : 7

Iceland

Iceland Hiking Holiday

As a large part of Iceland is covered by volcanic mountains, glaciers, lakes and lava fields, a hiking holiday in Iceland will provide a challenging and exhilarating experience for hiking enthusiasts. The hiking routes in Iceland are varied. Most routes are easily accessible and there are hiking maps for the different regions available to guide hikers before they set off on their expedition. In the national parks and protected areas, the hiking paths are well marked making it easier for the inexperienced hiker. For those who want to be more adventurous, there are routes in the interior parts and the highlands. More experience and preparation is required if you embark on these routes. Visitors can either choose to hike in Iceland on their own or join a guided hiking tour. Information about the terrain and hiking trails in Iceland plus all the dos and don’ts can be obtained from tourist information centres or park authorities.

Hours from UK : 3

Language: Icelandic

Extra ratings:

  • Disabled Needs : 7
  • Shopping Holiday : 8
  • Culture and Arts : 7
  • Nightlife : 8

India

India Hiking Holiday

Do you enjoy a good walk? Then maybe you'll enjoy a good hiking experience within the mountainous regions of India. Walking and hiking does not require an experienced person. You have to be fit and healthy and courageous enough to take up challenges. In India, hiking is not just restricted to Himalayan regions, the lower altitude regions of the Western Ghats and Nilgri Hills also provide some pretty good options to enjoy a nice hike.
For those who can spare just two or three days of walking time, there are some pretty good hiking options available in Himachal Pradesh. Suggested ones include a drive to Kullu and reaching the roadhead at the Manikaran hot springs. Next morning a walk along the Parvati valley brings up the secluded village at Pulga. Ideal for series of short excursions upriver before returning to Manikaran, this itinerary could be combined with a trek up the tributary Toah valley bordered by Pir Panjal range and its peaks of Papsura and Daharamsura. While Pulga can be visited all year, the best time for the latter routes is May to October.

Moderate trekking for 4 days over Sutlej-Beas watershed is also a good hike option. Drive from Shimla via Narkanda on the Hindustan-Tibet Road to Rampur. From the Bashleo pass, there are views of the Mahadev range and the trail down to the Beas valley at Banjar for the road to Manali. West of the Basleo lies the motarable Jalori Pass. Other diversions from here include a hike to Churdhar from Narkanda.

One-day trails are the best form of treks for viewing the entire region of Darjeeling for tourists who have little time at their disposal. The recommended routes are the ones from Darjeeling to Kurseong through the Old Military Road, Darjeeling to Singla, Darjeeling to Bijabbari and Darjeeling to Tiger Hill, which is most popular among tourists as well as trekkers as one can stay overnight to wake up to a wonderful sunrise the next morning.

The Doon Valley hike tour takes you on a gentle trek through the wonderful flower meadows and forests of the Har Ki Doon Valley. Along the way one can visit small villages and meet some Gujars Shepard's who come to these pastures with their buffalo during the summer season. The tour starts in Mussoorie, and one can also take up an exciting rafting trip down the Ganges River and visit some of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites in India. This tour brings out an unusual combination of adventure and culture that will give you a wonderful introduction to this delightful part of India.
 

Hours from UK : 8

Language: Hindi

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 10
  • Disabled Needs : 4
  • Shopping Holiday : 9
  • Culture and Arts : 10
  • Nightlife : 9

Italy

Italy Hiking Holiday

Italy is great hiking territory. The rugged mountain regions in the north are a popular destination for hiking holidays in Italy, although these tend to appeal more to the experienced hiker. The lesser-known Abruzzo region in Italy’s midlands contains three national parks, which are some of the most highly rated destinations for hiking holidays in Italy, without being too crowded with visitors. This region has the added advantage of being close enough to the capital that you could book-end your Abruzzo hiking holiday with a city break in Rome. Hiking holidays in Tuscany offer some stunning routes while passing through more manageable terrain, as do the quiet villages and unspoiled countryside of Umbria. Another popular option in this region is hiking from Pisa to Lucca, a walled medieval town in which cars are banned. If you’re feeling intrepid, a hiking tour of Sicily allows you to take in some spectacular mountain scenery on foot, including the island’s active volcano, Mount Etna.

Hours from UK : 2

Language: Italian

Extra ratings:

  • Beach : 8
  • Disabled Needs : 4
  • Culture and Arts : 9