June 3, 2015 | On Foot Holidays
Book now to secure a rewarding mountain walking trip in unspoilt Europe this summer
Self-guided European walking specialist On Foot Holidays has selected its top three mountain walks for the summer months – and they are not anywhere near as gruelling as many
Says Simon Scutt, managing director: “Mountain walking is often thought of as tough, but it needn’t be. Yes, there will be some taxing ascents, but we have sought out self-guided routes that also offer the very best views, soak up the local culture and feature wonderful regional food and drink. Our itineraries offer adequate time for R&R, and they can be tailormade to suit individual requirements, too, so taking a leisurely day off from walking and spending an extra night somewhere en route can easily be arranged.”
Dig out your hiking boots and fill your lungs with fresh mountain air on one of the following lofty trails with On Foot Holidays:
Austria – Lake Constance and the foothills of the Alps
This walk aims to provide an authentic Austrian experience, but for mid-level walkers rather than the super-fit. Amble Austria’s remote valleys, tranquil meadows, architecturally-rich villages and peaceful forests in the traditional Bregenzerwald region. This scenic route quickly meanders into the ‘Mittelgebirge’, a rural area of rolling foothills and colourful meadows where age-old farming methods are still used. The final two days are spent at 2,000m, but cable cars replace arduous climbs. Cheesemaking and hearty, locally-produced cuisine are also high on the agenda, with accommodation in authentic family-run inns. From £785 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ B&B, six evening meals, route information and luggage transfers. Graded medium.
The Dolomites – from the South Tyrol to Cortina
The dreamy meadows, orchid-filled woodland tracks and beer gardens of the German-speaking South Tyrol, combined with the seemingly inaccessible peaks of the Italian Dolomites, make for some exciting hiking. This scenic route includes an 1,800m pass, plus a stay in a remote mountain refuge and crests the dramatic Passo Rondoi at over 2,200m, descending into the Dolomites at lakeside Misurina. From here, the culture is distinctly Italian. The trek concludes – with wonderful scenery en route – in elegant Cortina, best seen in its panoramic glory in the summer. From £670 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ B&B, two evening meals, route information and luggage transfers. Graded medium to hard.
French Alps: Le Pays du Mont Blanc
This is – admittedly – On Foot Holidays’ toughest Alpine walk, but it is amid one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in Europe. Taking in glaciers, gorges and the Bionnassay summer suspension bridge, the trail starts in flower-decked meadows and Belle Epoque towns, before climbing up to join the Tour de Mont Blanc on the Roman legions’ original route, and then a final (optional) day climbing up to 3,840m via cable-car, to trek along the incredibly scenic Grand Balcon Nord, before a cog-railway return. Additional alpine flora walks are available in the summer, led by On Foot’s local route advisor and botanist, Lizzy Ashley-Cooper, and costing from 80 euros (payable locally) for a half day. From £805 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ B&B, two evening meals and two picnics, route information and luggage transfers. Graded hard.
Each walk has been designed by a ‘Route Adviser’ – a person who lives locally and has painstakingly developed an itinerary through varied countryside, packing in as much culture as possible en route and seeking out the most welcoming small hotels, farmhouses and village rooms. There is often a very welcome strong emphasis on good food and wine after a day’s walking.
Local back-up assistance is available when required on all of On Foot Holidays’ walks. Flights are excluded.
For further information, for expert advice from someone who’s walked the route, and to book, call On Foot Holidays on 01722 322 652 (www.onfootholidays.co.uk).