Autumn may have tightened its grip here in Britain but, on the continent, other European countries are determinedly hanging onto their warm climes. Before the foggy, fireside months take firm hold everywhere, then, how about a late-autumn hiking trip?
European walking-holiday specialist On Foot Holidays – which offers self-guided trips in unusual corners, or unusual takes on classic destinations – recommends these routes for a late-October or early-November seven-night saunter:
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Substantially improved for 2012, On Foot’s Amalfi Coast route ticks both the fitness and fabulous boxes. Fitness because you’ll stride along the Path of the Gods, and undertake the steep section out of Positano – something no other UK walking-holiday specialist offers. And fabulous because of the stunning views, because of the beaches you’ll get to stop at, because of the small-but-charming hotels and agriturismi you stay in, because of the grilled sea bass on Praiano’s harbourfront and because, simply, it’s the Amalfi Coast. Go in October, and the hoi polloi will have hob-nobbed off somewhere else, and the walking’ll be easier in the slightly cooler climes.
– This seven-night, self-guided walk costs from £670 pp (two sharing) including B&B, luggage transfers between hotels and route information. Extra nights are available in all hotels, and you can stay on in Sorrento to visit Capri or Naples. Graded medium. Flights extra. On Foot Holidays (01722 322652, www.onfootholidays.co.uk).
Sierra de Grazalema, Andalucía, Spain
This seven-night route traverses the rugged hills of the Sierra de Grazalema National Park, west of Ronda. You stay in the region’s fabled ‘White Villages’, perched on slopes for ancient reasons of defence, and pass along lush river valleys, pine forests and dramatic limestone scenery, (hopefully) spotting Griffon Vultures – Europe’s largest colony live here – and eagles en route. Finish with two nights in Ronda itself, a Moorish cliff-top bastion which witnessed some of the Reconquista’s final battles. Today it’s a fascinating, lively town crammed with elegant buildings and good restaurants.
– This seven-night, self-guided walk costs from £640 pp (two sharing) including B&B, five picnics, one dinner, luggage transfers between hotels and route information. Extra nights are available in all hotels. Graded medium. Flights extra. On Foot Holidays (01722 322652, www.onfootholidays.co.uk).
Lycian Way, Turkey
How about a Lycian Way itinerary dreamed up by the route’s founder? This walk was designed by Kate Clow – an inhabitant of the region for over 20 years, author of The Lycian Way guidebook and thus the person who initated this now oh-so-famous route. Kate’s trip for On Foot, journeying along the Turquoise Coast, begins from a mountain hotel near Antalya, taking hikers down to the coast at Phaselis, a wonderfully-preserved Graeco-Roman site, past secluded beaches to the Chimaera (the eternal flame of legend) and on to the ruins at Olympus. The last section, along an untamed coastline to the lighthouse of Kilidonya, is thrilling.
– This seven-night, self-guided walk costs from £675 pp (two sharing) including B&B, five picnics, four dinners, luggage transfers between hotels and route information. Extensions to Istanbul available. Graded medium-hard. Flights extra. On Foot Holidays (01722 322652, www.onfootholidays.co.uk).
All of On Foot Holidays’ routes are hand-picked, with special accommodation picked for their cuisine: good nosh (and wine) is very much of a focus of every single itinerary.
On Foot Holidays also features other routes in trips to Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia and the UK. A member of AITO (the Association of Independent Tour Operators), On Foot Holidays guarantees its customers’ financial protection as well as complying with AITO’s quality and sustainable tourism guidelines.
Call On Foot Holidays on 01722 322652 (www.onfootholidays.co.uk).
ENDS – 15 October 2012