As a result of years of meticulous research and walking in different parts of Europe, we have identified these hidden gems which offer some idyllic off-the-beaten-track walking experiences, right at your doorstep.
Situated on the southern slopes of the central Caucasus Mountains and surrounded by 3,000–5,000 meter peaks, Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus and provides some of the best walking opportunities in Europe. Svaneti is also known for its cultural and architectural treasures and friendly people.
Sierra de Guadarrama are an unexpected hiker’s paradise; it is a real surprise to most walkers to find such a beautiful alpine scenery so close to a big city like Madrid. This walking holiday in Spain will take you to high peaks offering amazing views, to historical and cultural sites like the Monastery of Escorial and the Royal Palace of La Granja, finishing in beautiful Segovia.
Ribeira Sacra is one of the hidden gems of Spain. The gorges of Sil and Miño provide dramatic scenery, with high cliffs comparable to the Norwegian fjords, but enjoying the privileged Spanish climate. Add to this the welcoming Galician people and their picturesque villages, the chestnut forests and the terraced vineyards, and you have a walking holiday that you will not forget.
The Via Dinarica is a mega trail that extends from Albania to Slovenia and traverses the largest karst field on earth. During this walking holiday, you will circle the great Buško Lake, ascend into Blidinje Nature Park and reach the town of Jablanica over Čvrsnica Mountain. The trip ends in the city of Mostar, famous for its Old Bridge – a jewel of oriental architecture.
Walk through the impressive Vikos Gorge, the deepest canyon in the world. Reach the alpine zone up to the beautiful Dragon Lake and enjoy the spectacular views, then descend the famous cobbled path of Scala Vradetou, built in the 18th century. Retreat every evening in elegant hand-picked stone mansions in the traditional villages along the route.
Explore the beauty of the Carinthian Alps on this walking holiday in Austria. Our Carinthian Alps and Lakes itinerary is based around the Alpe Adria Trail route and offers mellower walks in the valleys and around the lakes of the Carinthian Alps with stunning views of the mountains and enabling you to take in the traditional local villages and spa towns along the way.
The Transcaucasian Trail is becoming a world-class, long-distance hiking trail, following the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains and connecting several national parks in the region. The walks are first-class and the views are always spectacular in Tusheti, where the landscape is dominated by snow-capped mountains and wide valleys dotted with ancient villages and medieval defensive towers.
The Judaean Mountains is a mountain range in Israel, where Jerusalem and several other biblical cities are located. The trip follows the Judean Hills route to Jerusalem while discovering natural scenery and ancient sites and offers first-hand encounters with the diverse and friendly local communities.
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains are one of the most beautiful regions in Germany, located just a few miles from Dresden. They were named by two Swiss painters who were impressed by the similarity of the area to the landscapes of their own country. You will see bizarre rock formations, walk through ancient woods and picturesque valleys alongside the winding Elbe River.
The Giant Mountains offer great hiking opportunities in the heart of Old Europe, beautiful alpine meadows, bare ridges, picturesque waterfalls and fairy-tale villages. And maybe you will have a chance to meet the mischievous but friendly guardian goblin Krkonos (Rubezahl) himself! Your holiday will end in Prague with plenty of time to take in this beautiful city.