As a continent, Europe is renowned for its rare wildlife, deep fjords, high peaks and cities of culture. But if you’re looking for the walking holiday of a lifetime, where should you be heading and why?
Well look at some of the best walking holidays on offer with companies like Macs Adventure Limited:
Trekking Through Iceland
There are certain parts of Iceland that have been well trodden over the years, but if you want to experience the vast wilderness of fire and ice, you need to head to eastern Iceland.
A typical walk may take you to Strútsfoss, a spectacular waterfall that’s 100 metres high, before exploring the country as you descend down the snow-capped peak of Snaefell. This provides you with unprecedented views of the huge ice cap, Vatnajökull, and the grumbling volcano, Bároarbunga, which last erupted in 2014. Along the way you might spot pink-footed geese and reindeer.
Many of these walks also end with a look at the Jokulsa gorge, before you head along the ridge and coastal walks that give you an insight into the mythology of Iceland, including Alfaborg, which is rumoured to be the home of elves.
Hiking Across Bulgaria
Even though Bulgaria isn’t particularly on the map for its hill walking, it offers some of the finest in Europe. In the south west there are the Rila and Pirin ranges, which are home to rare wildlife (wolves and bears), pine forests and glacial lakes. You’ll also find Musala here, which is the Balkans’ highest summit at 2,925 metres.
A number of treks are available in this area, allowing you to take in the good summits, waterfalls and lakes, including Vihren (2,914 metres high, which is the tallest in Pirin) and Musala. Along the way you might spot capercaillie and chamois, with the Pirin poppy, a much rarer flower species, being glimpsed when it’s in season.
You won’t want to miss the chance to visit some of the ample monasteries Bulgaria has to offer, either, including the colourful and intricate frescoes of Rila, which was built in the 10th century.
Scaling the Mountains of Italy
Located to the north-east of Rome on the border between Marche and Umbria are the mountains. At the heart of Italy, both culturally and geographically, these mountains are home to a whole host of wonderful sights. Discover antique hill villages, rare wildlife (the Marsican brown bear and grey wolf, for example) and Norcia, a medieval town. This is a foodie’s heaven, as you’ll be given the chance to sample the mountain’s famous cheeses, cured meats, wild mushrooms and black truffle.
Walking through this area not only shows you the natural sights this stunning location has to offer but also gives you the chance to experience the cultural and human side, too. Exploring culinary traditions and historical landmarks, this is a real treat for the senses.
Other Locations for Walking Tours
The above are just some of the unique walking holidays on offer in Europe, but there are plenty more to get involved in. For example, in Spain, Catalonia is perfect if you want to experience a wide range of geographic landscapes within one week. From a volcano to beech forests and sparkling coasts, this walking holiday has got something for everyone.
Alternatively, if you want to do something a little more classic, the GR10 trail across the Pyrenees is a must. Spanning 538 miles, this is a world-class trail, and is a challenge for even the most hardened hiker. The ascent is a whopping 48,000 metres and takes an average of 52 days if you’re in good shape.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing, cultural experience or you want to give yourself a challenge, Europe’s a walker’s paradise.