Rather than calling them easy walking holidays, we should really refer to them as ‘taking it easy’, because not everyone wants to be summiting at sunrise or counting cols as they go. We respect that people have varying degrees of mobility and, if we can support adventurers who aspire to just getting out there, breathing fresh air and taking in wonderful new landscapes for a few hours a day, then we’re happy. Our walkers are also happy that they can walk at their own pace, as the majority of our holidays are self-guided and, in addition, your luggage is transferred for you from one place to the next.
How do we define an easy walking holiday?
In terms of our difficulty grades, easy means no more than 12km (sometimes with an optional extra outing) of walking a day and with few gradients, but a reasonable level of fitness is required and, if you are in doubt, always consult your doctor. It is important to be realistic about your fitness levels and prepare a little in advance too, even for one of our easy holidays, especially if you haven’t had the opportunity or ability to be mobile of late.
Our most popular easy walking holidays
Here are some of our most popular walking holidays that will put a spring rather than a sprain in your step, some in parts of the world that you may never have even thought about exploring.
If you want to add some lakes to your leisurely walks, Silkeborg Lake District (Søhøjlandet), in Jutland boasts over 200km2 of lakelands and forest. Over fifty lakes in fact, as well as a scattering of sublime small towns such as Silkeborg itself, Skanderborg and Ry. Your gentle walks include a journey along the Trækstien, or towpath that follows the Gudenåen, Denmark’s longest river, through lakefront forests and to the popular bird reserve at Lake Sminge.
Lithuania is one of the flattest countries in the world, with the most elevated point at 300m. What it lacks in elevation, it makes up for in exquisite walking trails, one of the most accessible being in Curonian Spit National Park. This 98km-long sandy peninsula is a very special place and feels almost Pacific in its prettiness. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, not surprisingly with its fragile (and flat) ecosystem of pine groves, wetlands, vegetation-covered dunes and the drifting Parnidis Dune. Topped and tailed by the culturally rich port town of Klaipėda and the quaint fishing town of Nida, you have no shortage of places to just sit and sip one of Lithuanian’s array of craft beers.
One doesn’t really associate the Sierra Nevada with gentle strolls but, just because your holiday is in the mountains, doesn’t mean you have to climb all of them. This walking holiday in the Sierra Nevada starts and ends in one of Spain’s finest cities, Granada, famous for its Moorish heritage, and most particularly for the Alhambra complex, all with a mountainous backdrop. Walks around the city are both easy and exquisite, and the same can be said for the mountains, with short hikes along ancient trails in the Poqueira Valley, or through the oak forests of the Trevélez Valley, in the shadow of Mulhacén (3,479m), the highest mountain on the Iberian Peninsula.
As well as exploring the contemporary and very cool capital of Stockholm, Island lovers who haven’t discovered its sprawling and stupendous archipelago have a treat in store. The Stockholm archipelago is made up of over 24,000 islands and islets stretching out into the Baltic Sea. Even though the archipelago is mammoth, daily walking is minimal and at a slow, tranquil pace particularly on our autumn and spring walking holiday. Enjoy boat trips out to the likes of Sävö or Utö islands and explore their nature reserves, or to Fjärdlång where there are some remote woodland walks, including a walk up to Tysta Klint, the island’s highest point at just 36m above sea level, boasting some awesome archipelagic views.
Easy peasy pilgrims
Pilgrimage holidays should soothe the soul and take you on a journey that uplifts you, but not necessarily with lots of ups. It’s possible to walk segments of famous pilgrimage tours such as the Camino de Santiago, England’s Pilgrims’ Way or Ireland’s St Patrick’s Way that are easy but still proffer plenty of perky moments. For example, head to Spain and spend 12 days doing the last stage of the Camino Frances between Sarria and Santiago, covering an impressive 100km in total, the minimum distance required to earn your Compostela certificate. Stay in local guest houses en route, have your bags transferred for you, and walk 10-12km per day along mostly flat trails, with no steep ascents. Although we do recommend packing a walking pole, or even two, to support your knees on any gentle hills.
Many people don’t associate Austria with easy ambles, but just think of The Sound of Music, and transport yourself to a country where not only the hills are alive, but the lower lakelands are too. On our easy walking holiday in the lakelands of Salzkammergut, a particular favourite with families, Austria’s fine natural heritage is very accessible, at just under 50km from Salzburg. Explore a landscape bedecked with colourful, traditional houses, where mountains envelop your trails around Lake Hallstatt, the largest lake, and just enjoy the peace and healing heritage of this country where, for many years, people came to recuperate and ‘take the waters’.
The Julian Alps take centre stage in Slovenia and so you would be forgiven for thinking that you need to be an experienced trekker to make the most of it. However, we have a guided small group holiday with routes that have been carefully crafted to take you into the beating heart of Slovenia’s mountain heritage but without pushing your heart rate too much. Although the magnificence of walks around Lakes Bled and Bohinj, through the spruce forests of Triglav National Park or up at the Julian Alps’ Vrsic Pass (1,611 m) might just make your heart skip a beat.
If these walking holidays have got you dusting off your boots and delving into maps, then don’t hesitate to contact us for more details. We also have a collection of walking holiday that we categorise as easy to moderate, where you can do a few more kilometres every day, but also take some gentle days, so it might be worth perusing those too if you are just breaking in gently to walking again.