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Best coastal walking tours

Best coastal walking tours

Do you have the ‘coastal condition’? For some, it may be chronic and for others, there may only be mild symptoms. These include an insatiable craving for sea air, and no trip to a swimming pool or around the local lake will pander to it. Or do you feel an ache all over when you haven’t had a coastal breeze cut through your very core for a few months? Do cliffs and coves, peninsulas and spits get your heart racing more than normal? Then you definitely have the coastal condition. We recommend just giving in to it, going full coastal and seek all the support you can get. Like checking out our best coastal walking tours below. Warning: symptoms may worsen upon reading. 

France

Corsica

Although Corsica’s famous GR20 long-distance walking trail is hiking heaven for many, and a challenging one at that, it may not have enough coastal hits for some people. So, if you are seeking something a little more gentle with more prolific à la plage posts, check out our South-western Corsica walking holiday, with a mix of maritime and mountains, and some dramatically beautiful coastline treks between Ajaccio to Bonifacio. As well as some colossal cliff top views, you dip down into beaches at Barracci, Paraguan and Cupabia, to name but a few. 

Golden Isles of the Riviera

Don’t wait for summer to start exploring the Riviera, with our walking holiday amongst its Golden Isles of Port Cros and Porquerolles available from as early as March and as late as November. This really is a pristine Provençal paradise, where you are based in the mainland town of Le Lavandou and from where you take quick boat trips out to Port Cros, France’s smallest national park with cork forests, lemon and olive groves, or Porquerolles, another national park boasting steep cliffs and secluded coves, accessible only by walkers and where silence is golden. 

United Kingdom

South West Coast Path, England 

This is a coastal spectacle on steroids, and also the UK’s longest walking trail at over 1,000km that clings to the coasts of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. It’s a piñata of peninsulas, a celebration of coves and joined up thinking at its most joyous. Take a South West Coast Path self-guided tour along one of three Cornwall segments of the Path: between Penzance and St. Ives; Marazion to Mevagissey; or Padstow to St. Ives. Take them on separately or combine all three for a bit of slow and sublime south western wanderlust. 

Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path stretches for 299km along wild cliffs, dipping down into magical coves and then opening up into vast surfy strands. Its location on the southern peninsula is a Welsh walking paradise, starting in Amroth in the south and finishing in St. Dogmaels in the north. You can take most of this on in one go over 12 days (or segments of six or eight days). Stay at local guest houses along the way and have your luggage transferred from one beauty spot to the next. Highlights include Trewent Sea Cliffs, Tenby Castle and beach, the surf strand at Newgale, St. David’s Cathedral and St. Non’s Bay. 

The Pembrokeshire Coast path, where every headland is a highlight, ever cove a keeper.

Italy 

Amalfi coast

The Amalfi coast is a peninsula packed with culture and nature, with generous sprinklings of chic. Behind all the glitz and glam lie hiking trails and a more down to earth Italy, ancient woods, family farms, vineyards and lemon groves. After losing your breath at the sheer beauty of the clifftop wonders of Amalfi, Ravello, Praiano, Positano, you can breathe deeply again on the aptly called Path of the Gods, or give yourself over totally to Monti Lattari mountain range, pure hiking heaven. 

Cinque Terre

Translated as the Five Lands of the Ligurian coast, the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are linked by the Azure Trail, all jewels in the crown of Cinque Terre National Park. Hiking the Cinque Terre is one of the best coastal walking tours in Italy, but knowing where and when to go is vital in order to avoid the crowds. On a self-guided tour of the Cinque Terre, you can travel out of peak season while seeking out smaller hamlets and hikes, swimming and snoozing spots. But just watch your heart rate if you suffer from severe coastal condition, because the Path of Love section, or Via dell’Amore, just a couple kilometres long, is set to reopen in 2024, following the landslide in 2012, reuniting the coastal villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola. 

Spain

Mainland Spain

With a coastline of nearly 5,000km, Spain is never short on salty saunters, and one of our most popular of these is walking the coast and mountains of Costa Brava holiday, a tapas of adventurous treats. Spend a week mixing and matching Catalonia’s coast, castles and cuisine, with just enough challenges to push those muscles, such as on a glorious circuit of Cap de Creus Natural Park, the easternmost peninsula on mainland Spain. Pack your bathers and binoculars for this one. 

You can also spend eight days walking along the coastal trails of Catalonia, a route that starts in Begur, heads through the Catalan coastal village of Tamariu and then south along some spectacular rugged seascapes of the Camí de Ronda Path. Top beaches on this trail include Sa Tuna, Cala d’Aiquafreda and Llafranc, famous for being a favourite of Salvador Dalí. In addition, this is one of our top walking holidays accessible by train

Llafranc beach, just one of many Catalonian coves on its coastal trail.

Camino del Norte

There are five stages to the Camino del Norte, otherwise known as The Northern Way, which clings to the Basque, Cantabrian, Asturian and Galician coasts, with a few dips inland at points, then finally heading inland to Santiago de Compostela. Breezy yes, in terms of the wind, but not easy. However, the first stage between San Sebastian and Bilbao is an excellent warm up walk for the ‘camino completo’, with plenty of places to worship the waves along the way. 

The Pyrenees Coastal Trail, France and Spain 

While summit seekers hone in on walking holidays in the Spanish Pyrenees, which boast six of the country’s ten highest peaks, coastal trekkers can also get their fix in this region on our Pyrenees Coastal Trail holiday, between Cadaqués in Spain to Collioure, over the border in France. Combine mountains with the Med on a seven day walking holiday through seascapes that inspired Matisse and Dalí, traditional fishing villages and ancient sites such as Sant Pere de Rodes monastery, with the most heavenly sea views. 

Spanish Islands

Spain’s Balearic and Canary archipelagos boast some of Spain’s best coastal tours. They are also magnets for mass tourism, but only at key spots. National park nirvanas such as Mount Teide in Tenerife, Garajonay on La Gomera, or Caldera de Taburiente on La Palma are just some of the Canary islands’ more natural nests. For walking holidays in the Balearics, Mallorca and Menorca are like manna from hiking heaven. . 

Portugal 

Camino Portugues

The Camino Portugues, or Portuguese Way’s pilgrims have carved out two separate caminos en route to Santiago over the years, an inland one called the Central Way versus the Coastal Way, both taking you into the green gorgeousness of Galicia. The coastal path, or Caminho da Costa, takes two weeks, staying in small hotels and locally-owned guest houses, with your luggage transferred for you. Starting in the historic city of Porto at the mouth of the River Douro, follow the rugged Atlantic coastline to explore the sandy beaches of Northern Portugal into Galicia in Spain. 

Camino Portugues: Coastal Way in Style  The Natural Adventure 45
There are lots of shells to be found on the Camino Portugues.

Fishermen’s Trail and Rota Vicentina

You know when something is so good, you just have to have two of them? Well, the Rota Vicentina is a bit like that. It’s a 400km colossal web of natural trails and it comes in two equally perfect packages: the Caminho Histórico or Historical Way and the Trilho dos Pescadores Fishermen’s Trail. Both link Santiago do Cacém in the Alentejo region on the west coast with the dramatic headland of Cabo de São Vicente on the corner of the southern Algarve coast. The Historical Way heads inland and the Fishermen’s Trail clings to cliffs, seduces you with sandy coves and beckons hikers on from one headland to the next. We have tucked many more details into this blog on the Fishermen’s Trail.

Turkey

Lycian Way 

The Lycian Way is legendary for lovers of all things littoral. If you wanted to choose between the east or west sections of Turkey’s magnificent 500km trail, the Lycian Way West is a megadose of Vitamin Sea. It starts at Kayaköy, and clings to a dramatic coastline bedecked with pine forests and brimming with turquoise beaches. With your luggage transferred for you, and accommodation in traditional coastal villages, the finale is at the ancient ruins of Patara where you can take a celebratory swim at the absurdly beautiful Patara beach, also a breeding ground for endangered loggerhead turtles, between May and October. 

coastal walking tours
Head west on Turkey’s Lycian Way for wonders such as Oludeniz beach.

Carian Trail 

Turkey’s lesser known Carian Trail, named after the region’s ancient people who lived here, is a coastal walker and wild swimmer’s dream come true. Spend a week striding along 1000m cliffs, being beckoned by the magnificent bays of the Bozburun Peninsula such as Kumlubük or Gökova. Or Loryma Bay, where ancient city ruins are just one of many pickings for culture vultures on this fun and fascinating walking holiday. 

Albania 

A coastal, Ceuranian cure-all, Albania

Saunter and swim on our Coastal Albania walking holiday in Llogara National Park, spending a week in the shadow of the Ceuranian Mountains, clinging to the coast and strolling through traditional villages along ancient shepherds’ trails. This trip stays clear of the peak summer season when temperatures soar, but in May, for example, the aroma of wild mountain herbs and citrus groves is perfectly piquant, and temperatures of around 23C are divine for taking on hikes to Llogara Pass (1,043m) or Dhjopuri Saddle (1,600m) just beneath Mount Qorre (2,018m). Staying in traditional local guesthouses, with your luggage transferred for you, why not self-prescribe a perfectly peaceful coastal cure-all?

Denmark

The North Sea Trail 

This is a growing transnational long-distance hiking trail across seven countries, but Denmark is one of the countries to have really embraced it as a waymarked trail. You can walk the Danish section in a week, starting in Løkken and finishing in Skagen, Denmark’s northernmost point, where the North Sea meets the Baltic. En route you stroll across sparkling sandy beaches, past traditional lighthouses, through coastal pine forests and picnic in impressive dune seascapes. 

Sweden

Sweden is an archipelagic arcadia, and you can choose between the Stockholm one or the Bohuslän Archipelago in the west of the country for non-stop island hopping, saunas and sea swimming. In the Stockholm archipelago, there are over 24,000 islands and islets stretching out into the Baltic Sea, all within a hiking heartbeat of Stockholm. Our carefully crafted walking holidays in the Stockholm archipelago open up a natural sea world for you, during summersummer, or you can opt for our quieter autumn or spring tours.. In the Bohuslän region, hop between the likes of the glamorous Marstrand and Koön Islands, or much quieter Bohus Malmön, famous for its pink granite rocks and turquoise swimming lagoons. 

We hope this has helped with your coastal condition. If you still have symptoms, there are many more coastal trails to explore on our walking holidays, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. We aren’t doctors, but we are confident we can write the perfect prescription, because coastal walking holidays are always a tonic.