Active on Holiday Blog How do I plan for a walking holiday?

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How do I plan a walking holiday?

Our team has a wealth of experience in walking holidays and has been handling hiking holiday enquiries for many years. We always aim to answer your most pressing questions in an honest and open manner to find the right holiday for you.

This guide on how to plan a walking holiday, daily distances, self-guided vs. guided tours and what you can expect as part of a full-service, self-guided walking holiday booking.

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How do I plan for a walking holiday?

Planning a walking holiday solo can be quite a challenge. Detailed map scrutiny and trail research, especially in remote areas like the Italian Alps or Majorca, can be daunting. This task becomes more complex when local familiarity is lacking, requiring more than just online searches to craft a suitable tour.

Accommodation proximity to trails and contingency plans for inclement weather add layers of complexity. Unlike cycling tours, a wrong turn during a hike can mean significant additional hours. However, our walking holidays alleviate these concerns. Our expert team meticulously researches and plans all routes, eliminating the need for extensive personal planning.

With preset routes, simply download our app and follow the trail effortlessly. Accommodations, booked in advance, meet high standards—often 3- or 4-star—adding a touch of luxury to the experience. Moreover, our luggage van serves as a backup solution in case of any unforeseen issues, ensuring a hassle-free journey.

Opting for a walking holiday with us eliminates the need for camping gear; our hotel accommodations provide comfort and convenience, allowing you to leave the tent at home and indulge in a more luxurious travel experience.

Where is the best place for a walking holiday?

Deciding where to go on a walking holiday poses a challenging choice due to the abundance of high-quality trails, paths, and routes spread across Europe, each with its unique considerations. Are you inclined to traverse higher altitudes and revel in mountainous panoramas found in Austria, Bavaria, or the South Tyrol? These areas, however, entail more demanding terrains suited for seasoned hikers.

Alternatively, lower-altitude paths along rivers like the Rhine or Moselle in Germany present comparatively easier options, yet still involve navigating inclines that pose challenges. Northern Italy offers some simpler routes, such as the Verona to Lake Garda trail, allowing for strolls amidst stunning countryside and captivating cities.

Active on Holiday boasts over 50 self-guided walking holiday choices, spanning from Portugal's Algarve to Germany's Rugen Island. Booking with us grants access to numerous routes operating on a consistent model featuring luggage transfers, pre-arranged accommodations, comprehensive maps, and local support. This ensures a consistent quality standard across all walking tours, irrespective of the chosen destination.

Selecting the ideal destination for a walking holiday hinges on personal preferences and hiking capabilities. It's crucial to opt for a hiking tour that maximizes the experience within your physical constraints. Yet, a walking holiday serves as an ideal opportunity to challenge oneself, offering a unique perspective on various locales.

What are walking holidays?

The perception of a walking holiday often involves lugging gear, camping in challenging conditions, and navigating solely with paper maps in remote areas. However, our approach differs significantly. Like how we organize cycling holidays, we ensure a seamless experience by piecing together all elements for our customers.

Our walking holidays are designed to maximize comfort and enjoyment. Each tour incorporates hotel accommodation, providing a comfortable haven at the day's end. We take care of transporting bags discreetly via van, allowing you to carry minimal essentials—like food, crucial documents, and perhaps a lightweight jacket—while tackling challenging routes effortlessly.

To enhance preparedness, we offer downloadable maps and digital GPX files before the journey. This allows familiarization with local terrains and facilitates research on interesting spots to explore along the way. Moreover, a dedicated local phone number ensures immediate support if issues arise.

Walking holidays are gaining popularity among enthusiasts seeking to venture beyond their local trails. While weekend hikes in national parks are prevalent, leaping to explore European trails for a week has become an achievable aspiration for many.

How many miles per day is a walking holiday?

In a walking holiday, the total distances covered each day can significantly vary based on terrain and elevation. For instance, in Tenerife, a daily distance might be around 11 km, but due to challenging terrain and ascents, completing this stage might take up to 6 hours. Conversely, a flatter stage like Meran to Nals in South Tyrol covers 19 km in approximately 5 hours.

Typically, the more elevation gained during a stage, the longer it takes to walk. It's essential to assess your fitness levels as some stages could be remote with limited public transport for shortcuts. Most hiking tours cover daily distances ranging between 10 and 20 kilometres (6 to 12 miles). However, as these tours are self-guided, there's no pressure to rush to the endpoint—you have the freedom to proceed at your preferred pace.

Why are self-guided walking holidays better?

Indeed, our European walking holidays operate on a self-guided basis rather than guided, offering distinct advantages. The flexibility afforded by a self-guided tour allows you to set your own pace and itinerary, catering to your preferences.

Unlike guided tours where group activities might include visits to specific attractions, on a self-guided tour, you have the freedom to explore places that pique your interest. While guided tours offer local expertise and socializing opportunities, friendships often form naturally among fellow hikers on trails or at hotels. Group dynamics can be fantastic if everyone meshes well, but maintaining harmony throughout a challenging walking holiday can be demanding.

Our meticulously planned digital route maps and notes ensure high-quality guidance, making the inclusion of a guide unnecessary and adding unnecessary cost. By offering self-guided tours that run frequently rather than on specific dates, our hiking holidays are cost-effective and inclusive.

If you're venturing on a walking holiday for the first time without a guide, our self-guided formula provides the ideal opportunity to explore at your own pace and on your terms.


Why do people go on walking holidays?

Nature and scenery often take the spotlight as primary reasons for embarking on walking holidays. The opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of coastlines, countryside, mountains, and forests at a leisurely pace is truly enticing. While daily distances may not seem extensive, the varied terrain and topography make a week-long hike a real test of endurance and stamina.

The allure of escaping bustling crowds, screens, and the disconnect from urban life is another draw. Whether trekking high up in the Bavarian Alps, wandering the serene lakes of the Salzkammergut, or tracing the stunning Italian coastline, a walking holiday offers a chance to break free, clear the mind, and delve into a journey of self-discovery. It's a chance to switch gears and embrace a different pace of life, far from the hustle and bustle of city living.