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Walking and Trekking Tours in Europe

  • Walking and Trekking Tours in Europe
 

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Mountain lovers have plenty to enjoy in Europe. The snow-capped splendour of the Alps stretches for over 1200 km across eight countries including France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. The range is home to Europe’s highest mountain, the iconic Mont Blanc (4810m), and has many other peaks over 4000m. Other major ranges where there are great trekking opportunities are the Pyrenees, lying on the border between France and Spain, and Eastern Europe’s Carpathian Mountains. Even longer than the Alps, the Carpathians form a 1500 km arc from the Czech Republic to Romania and encompass many lesser-known hiking destinations such as the Tatras and Transylvanian Alps.

In complete contrast, Europe’s extensive coastline offers hikers the welcome distractions of the sea and glorious beaches, often a great spot for a picnic or post-trek relaxation. Islands are a popular walking destination, often offering an incredible variety of landscapes in a small area and pleasant climate. Islands trekkers head for include those far flung European outposts in the Atlantic, the Canaries, Azores and Madeira, and Mediterranean islands such as Mallorca, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Cyprus, Crete and Corfu.

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Europe is home to some of the world’s best known treks. People come from all over the world to enjoy completing the challenge of the Tour du Mont Blanc alpine circuit and Corsica’s GR20 is reputedly Europe’s toughest trek. Other treks have a historical perspective such as Northern Spain’s Camino de Santiago which follows a legendary medieval pilgrimage route or the ancient Greek sites visited along Turkey’s Lycian Way.

While many of Europe’s treks offer the chance to walk point to point, an increasingly popular option is to stay in a single place and strike out on day walks. Centre-based walking holidays often offer the chance to mix in a little sightseeing or other activities on your days off. So you can visit Pompeii when walking on the Amalfi coast or spend a day enjoying adrenalin-fuelled whitewater rafting and paragliding in the Alps. Centre- based walking holidays in Europe generally stay in small family-run hotels and guesthouses which offer the opportunity to sample the lifestyle and cuisine of the country and great value for money.

Trekking is a great way to discover more off-beat destinations and can get you far off the tourist trail. Countries such as Albania, Montenegro and Georgia all have fantastic scenery and a warm welcome for adventurous trekkers.

Wherever you choose to go, Europe’s diverse landscapes offer an incredible variety of routes for trekkers of all interests and abilities to choose from; you could spend a lifetime exploring on foot here and never run out of options.

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