There’s nothing quite like the call of the wild, but you don’t need to be sky diving, or scaling El Capitan in order to embrace a sense of adventure. These days, there are any number of walking holidays available that can get your heart racing, and set your spirit soaring. If you’re a veteran adventurer, then a walking holiday might at first glance look like peanuts, but there really is no better way to get know somewhere than by putting one foot in front of the other. Walking is also a great way to ease back into sport and exercise if you have recently suffered an injury, or have any chronic pain issues such as back pain. Regular walks are actually a great way to deal with such issues, and a walking holiday – although initially daunting – could in the long run, do wonders for your injury. Tommie Copper has plenty of options when it comes to back support for women, and one should definitely be a part of your packing if you’re thinking of heading off on a walking holiday.
There’s a whole world of possibilities awaiting you should you decide to take a walking holiday. With walking being one of the most accessible activities available, the popularity of walking holidays has increased, and there are any number of places open to tours that you might once have thought of as being out of reach. Myanmar or Iceland couldn’t be more different, for example, but they’re both wonderful places to walk in, with dramatic scenery, welcoming people, and inspiring architecture. Alternatively, take in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam on foot. All three countries offer an enriching, inspiring, and enchanting experience, with memories set to last a lifetime; it’s not every day you get to wake up to views of Halong Bay, tour the world’s largest religious monument at Angkor Wat, or discover the ancient Khmer ruins.
Adventure can be found anywhere and everywhere, however, and there are plenty of walking holidays available closer to home. Europe is full of footpaths and if you’re keen on traveling independently then there are parts of Spain, France, Italy, or even Ireland that would be a great choice for a self-guided tour. Ireland is a famously welcoming country, and with its natural beauty and rugged coastline, it would be a great choice for anyone wanting to ease into walking holidays. The country’s history and culture alone are enough to make it an enticing destination, but when you factor in the hospitality, the beer, and the whisky then you’ve got an ideal equation.
France and Spain are also full of ancient footpaths, some of which have been been traversed for centuries. Pick up the Chemin de Saint-Jacques du-Puy in Puy-en-Velay in Central France (famous for its lentils), a pilgrimage route that has been walked by thousands of people before you. Follow it until you reach the even more famous Camino de Santiago footpath in Spain that takes you all the way to the vibrant town of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. You’ll be following in the footsteps of thousands that have traveled before you. As well as enjoying a veritable feast when it comes to food and wine – this is France and Spain we’re talking about, after all.
The US isn’t lacking in famous pathways either. You only need to ask Cheryl Strayed, who walked the Pacific Crest Trail, or Bill Bryson, whose attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail is as funny as it is inspiring. Both of these walks are a serious commitment, with walkers taking months to complete them, but if you’re not quite up to the trek yet, you can always explore the route piece by piece. Just remember to pack the right footwear and clothing and bring a tent along. What, and how much equipment you need to take with you will depend entirely on where you decide to go. Tours in Western Europe or guided trips in Asia often include overnight stays in hotels, food, drink, and even luggage handling. But if you’re attempting the PCT, you’ll be traveling with your life on your back, and will have to remain stocked up with your own food and water supplies.
A walking holiday is an adventure in and of itself, but when you consider just how many possibilities there are out there, it becomes positively invigorating. Unlike an adventure holiday, they are also suitable for all ages and ability, even for those with back problems, just as long as you remember to bring along the right equipment.