Walking tour difficulty levels Find out more about our active holiday grading system

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Walking holiday difficulty levels

Hiking in the wonderful natural landscapes of Europe allows you to enjoy a well-deserved break or pause from everyday life. Our tours take you to beautiful spots away from the busy spots. You'll be able to hike on a self-guided basis and at your own pace.

Our team of active holiday specialists have years of experience in organising walking tours throughout Europe and their knowledge and experience has created an unrivalled selection of walking tours and routes across the continent.

To ensure that customers get the most out of their walking holiday with us, we have graded each holiday based on four categories - Moderate WalkingWalkingMountain Hiking and Trekking. Please read the route profiles and descriptions before booking your tour with us.

Moderate walking tours

Our moderate walking tours are ideal for those looking to experience hiking in a particularly relaxed and peaceful way. They are perfect for newcomers to hiking holidays and are designed for those looking to relax and unwind. The daily stages follow well-maintained hiking paths with named routes or main routes to follow. You do not need to be really fit to enjoy these walks, but being able to walk three to four hours per day is essential. 

You will walk on mainly flat terrain and on signposted routes or trails. You probably won't be too far away from a cafe or town either. All of our hiking tours include luggage transport so you can walk from place to place and arrive at the hotel actively refreshed!

Moderate walking tours are ideal for:

  • Hiking beginners and newcomers
  • Hikers whose main focus is on relaxation and recreation
  • Hikers after rehabilitation and those returning to hiking
  • Active families
  • Those who want to experience all the benefits of the hiking region after a nice day's hike

Note: Please note that even easy hikes may occasionally include a steeper ascent. However, perseverance is usually rewarded with a fantastic view.

Walking tours

All walking tours in this category follow good hiking paths and are perfectly manageable without any technical requirements. The daily stages are scheduled for up to five hours per day and there might be some differences in altitude to contend with too. You'll be in good physical condition, able to navigate and enjoy going hiking regularly.

You'll follow well-maintained hiking paths and named trails for most of the hiking holiday. There will always be time to enjoy the scenery and stop off along the way in local cafes or restaurants.

Walking tours are ideal for:

  • Hiking beginners and newcomers with a good physical condition
  • Active families
  • Hikers with a good basic level of fitness who like to walk for about five hours a day

Note: Please note that even at this level of difficulty of the "walking" category, there may be a steeper ascent in some places.

Mountain hiking tours

Mountain hiking tours go along hiking paths and routes where a head for heights is required. The differences in altitude and distances are longer on these hiking tours. With daily hiking times of around six hours per day, you'll need to be a confident hiker and used to walking at the weekend for leisure or day-to-day independent tours.

Some of the stages may involve small summit climbs and more technical sections too. The views will be worth the extra effort and you may tick off some high-profile and famous climbs too.

Mountain hiking tours are ideal for:

  • Experienced and advanced hikers
  • Hikers with good stamina and endurance
  • Hikers who enjoy exercise, are sure-footed and have a head for heights
  • Active holidaymakers who enjoy exercise and like to hike for up to six and a half hours a day

Note: Even at this level of difficulty, there are occasional flatter sections.

Trekking tours

Trekking is defined as a hiking tour over several days that takes you over some tough mountainous terrain where you are on your own with limited access to public transportation or backup support. These tours should not be underestimated and the tours go over Alpine routes at altitudes between 1500 and 2500 metres.

The daily stages are on mountain trails and exposed paths. We recommend having a good sense of balance, surefootedness, a head for heights and good endurance. You should have walked in the mountains before undertaking these routes.

If you are staying in huts, you will need to have a hiking backpack with key essentials in it and recommend having good-quality equipment with you.

Trekking tours are ideal for:

  • Advanced hikers
  • Hikers with endurance and particularly good physical condition
  • Hikers with mountain experience
  • Hikers with surefootedness and a head for heights
  • Hikers with good equipment

Note: There are also some flat sections on our trekking tours, but these are for experienced walkers and hikers only.