Monday, 28 May 2012 1:15 PM
Europe is the perfect continent for enjoying group walking holidays with friends and family, due to the varied culture, landscape and hiking routes. While each country has its own unique selling points, below are the top three for walking breaks.
Provence and Cote d'Azur, France
If you only have a week to spare, France is the perfect destination for a group walking holiday, as it is easily accessible and almost every part of it is suitable for pulling on your boots and exploring the landscape. Provence and Cote d'Azur are arguably two of the most stunning spots in France, making walking here a pleasure. Think traditional villages, orange trees, Aleppo pines and lush valleys. Indeed, you will go from one extreme to the other on this trip. One day you will be exploring quaint and traditional places, the next sunbathing on a glamorous stretch of sand and drinking Champagne on a private yacht!
Aside from walking, you can take a dip in the stunning waters and nearby coves and tuck in to the sumptuous French cuisine that you will be served at your hotel. Of course, the produce will be local and as fresh as possible, meaning a walking getaway in Provence and Cote d'Azur is also something of a culinary adventure.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast in Italy boasts some of the most beautiful views you and your walking group will ever see. It lies in the south of the country, meaning you will stroll past citrus fruit terraces, the turquoise sea, dramatic cliffs and pretty bays and inlets. In fact, most walks you go on will be timed so that you start your trek from a high vantage point and leisurely descend to the coast in the afternoon, affording you the chance to cool off with a dip in the ocean.
You'll be pleased to hear that your guided walk itinerary will include the town of Amalfi itself considering this has provided the inspiration for the name of the entire coast. The Sant'Andrea cathedral is worth stopping at and will provide a cool shelter from the warm sun. The seaside resort of Minori will also be on your agenda and is home to a Roman villa archaeological complex. A visit to the classical city of Pompeii is a must and it is fascinating to see this attraction frozen in time, as a result of being partially buried by a Mount Vesuvius eruption in AD 79.
The Spanish island of Tenerife is usually seen as a destination for a relaxing beach holiday with groups of friends or your family. However, it is something of a hidden gem for walking breaks, so if you like to get off the beaten track it is well worth considering a getaway here. Obviously, the ocean views are superb, but there is more to the Canary Island's landscape than sea and beaches. You will walk past soaring volcanic cliffs and get a glimpse of Mount Teide. Topped with snow, the peak provides a breathtaking contrast to the rest of Tenerife's scenery.
If you are into your flora, fauna and geology, you will be in heaven on the island. Your guided group walk will include ascending El Volcan Negro, a black carbon hill framed by bright red poppies, which certainly makes a beautiful contrast and one that should be captured on camera.