Jacqui loves walking but likes to tread the path less travelled by tourists so in this week’s Travel SOS, Lee Mylne offers alternative walking tracks in Europe.
Everyone raves about the Camino de Santiago walk, but surely there are other, more picturesque walks in Europe that I can do? I love walking in nature, am fairly fit and have up to four weeks’ time. What other walking tours in Europe can you recommend?
A. With the summer walking season in Europe already underway, lacing up your boots and setting off sounds like a fabulous way to spend the best part of a month, Jacqui. Or perhaps you’re planning ahead for next year?
The Camino is certainly popular, and although I haven’t done it myself, I have friends who loved the experience. I wouldn’t discount it completely, as there are several different ways to do it – but I understand you might want to do something different.
An Australian walking company that you might consider is Wandering the World. Owners Jane Reed and Glenyce Johnson set it up about three years ago, and are going strong with their guided small group walking tours in Europe (and occasionally elsewhere). They will also tailor-make a self-guided walk for you too, if that’s what you prefer, using their many contacts in Europe. The longest self-guided tailored itinerary they have designed for a client so far is an 82-day walk from Le Puy in France to what the Romans believed was ‘the end of the world’ at Cape Finisterre in Spain.
You have a lot of time at your disposal, but most guided walks are shorter than a month, so maybe a bespoke itinerary is the way to go (and remember to leave some relaxing or other sightseeing time either end of your walk). You might even be able to plan two shorter walks in your month, rather than limiting yourself to one long one.
This September, Jane is escorting a group on the French Camino from Leon to Santiago de Compostela, while Glenyce is escorting two separate groups on the Portuguese Way from Porto to Santiago.
It also offers an 18-day Walking the Valleys of Turkey escorted trek in September (and next April), including a few days in Istanbul, a hike through the region of Cappadocia and the nearby valleys.
For next year, its tours include a three escorted walks in Sweden – the longest at 11 days (which can be adapted to a self-guided walk) – as well as an eight-day self-guided walk on Italy’s Amalfi Coast and two walks in Scotland, spending 11 days walking the West Highland Way (escorted) and the nine-day Great Glen Way.
For more detail on these walks – and some other ideas – take a look at www.wanderingtheworld.com.au
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Lee Mylne has managed to combine her two passions – travelling and writing – into a long and successful career as a travel journalist. Her work is published in newspapers, magazines, websites and travel apps in Australia and around the world.