Seven Of The Best Walking Holidays To Get You Grounded

Seven Of The Best Walking Holidays To Get You Grounded

you’re in the market for a self-guided coastal ramble, a
cramp-inducing trek or a spiritual
group pilgrimage, we’ve navigated through the best routes from


Camino de Santiago,


Originating in the ninth century when Pelayo (a religious
hermit) followed a shining star to find the tomb of the apostle
Saint James, the Camino de Santiago became extremely popular in the
11th and 12th centuries. Today the path attracts hundreds of
modern-day pilgrims in search of spirituality and mindfulness.
Marked by yellow arrows and scallop shells, the passage takes you
through rustic countryside, medieval castles, Roman bridges,
monasteries, fishing villages and sandy coves. While there are
myriad paths or “caminos” to Santiago, you’ll find the most trodden
is Camino Frances. Over the course of five weeks, the trail will
lead you from France through to the Pyrenees at Roncesvalles and
then westwards for 775km of territory spanning Navarra, La Rioja,
Castilla y Leon and Galicia. Although Camino Frances is the most
popular, it’s definitely not the only one. If you’re pressed for
time and looking for a quicker jaunt, Macs Adventure
offers a five-night journey covering the Camino Finisterre, whose
88km may not trace the entire pilgrimage but which does include
incredible beaches along the way. Do as the pilgrims did and bring
back a Galician scallop shell as proof of your journey.

Ausangate Trek


While best known for Machu Picchu, Peru’s
Vinicunca mountain is vying for the top spot. Aptly nicknamed
“Rainbow Mountain”, the candy-striped peaks boast shades of pastel
lavender, russet red, golden yellow and pale turquoise. This
technicolour dreamland is notoriously difficult to reach and the
six- to seven-day trek is not one for beginners, as altitude
changes quickly. If you’re up for it, the trail doesn’t disappoint.
The Ausangate Trail is a 69km route running through some of the
most spectacular terrains in the Andes, taking you by glacial
lakes, camel-herder villages and hot springs. Unlike the Inca
Trail, Ausangate doesn’t require a permit and is relatively quiet
throughout. While it’s possible to embark on the trail yourself,
offers a four-day guided tour with all food
included, as well as a porter on horse to carry the majority of
your gear and a knowledgeable local guide.



The Kungsleden, or The King’s Way, is a 450km footpath in
north Sweden. Winding through four National Parks and crossing the
Arctic Circle, the walk affords exposure to some of the most
spectacularly diverse wilderness in Europe. Starting at Hemavan in
the south, Kungsleden stretches through woodland and Arctic tundra
before finishing on the shores of Tornetrask Lake at Abisko. On
your trek, you’ll encounter huge birch forests abundant in blooming
flowers and verdant meadows stretching up to skies of endless blue.
Dramatic glacier-clad mountain passes including Sweden’s highest,
Kebnekaise (also ascendable if you’re feeling up for it), are not
to be sniffed at (it’s probably the altitude) either. Along the
way, you may also meet Sweden’s indigenous Sámi people –
traditional reindeer herders who have a fascinating culture of
their own, distinct from modern
. The walk is doable for beginners and the path is well
marked for guide-free expeditions.
Macs Adventure
offer an eight-day, self-guided walk which takes
care of mountain cabins
sites for you.

Las Alpujarras


Camino de Santiago may be southern Spain’s most revered walk,
but the region’s GR7 route offers a more tranquil experience
without making concessions on scenery. While the entire path traces
1900km from Spain’s southern tip to the Pyrenees before continuing
as the E4 footpath all the way onwards to
, many of the sections are doable in as little as a week.
Our favourite passage runs from Valor through to the canyons of Las
Alpujarras, a region of tiny white villages clinging to the
southern flanks of Spain’s highest mountains. By day, roam above
wispy clouds, looking out onto Spanish farmland, pastures and olive
groves, before descending for languid nights in Las Alpujarras
villages. The last refuge of the Moors in Spain, Las Alpujarras
boasts a unique culture that holds onto its Islamic heritage in its
stunning architecture and artisan crafts. For tour-guide options,
look to Mac’s
and Rambler’s
Walking Holidays

The Great Ocean Walk


is home to some first-class treks, perhaps the most revered being
The Great Ocean Walk. Aptly named, the trail follows the iconic
coastline of the Great Ocean Road, beginning at the seaside village
of Apollo Bay and hugging the rugged coast for 100km until finally
reaching its end destination, the Twelve Apostles (a collection of
limestone stacks just off the shore). No matter your fitness
levels, the journey is manageable, walking 10km a day over a course
of eight consecutive days, with limited huffing and puffing to
detract from your incredible surroundings. Highlights include
kangaroo-inhabited eucalyptus forests, camping under the stars at
Blanket Bay, whale spotting, the Cape Otway Lighthouse and, of
course, spectacular vistas atop the cliff line. Before your trip,
we suggest downloading an audio guide for stories of Aboriginal
history and heritage to add some depth to your walk.

Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage


A far cry from the bright billboards and VR cafés of Tokyo,
the ancient Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage offers a wildly different
Japanese landscape. Located in the south of rural Kyoto,
the trail is a series of interlinked ancient pilgrimage routes that
lead to Kumano, a sacred Buddhist site. Since being named a World
Heritage Site in 2004, the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage has been walked
by thousands of people searching for spirituality. You’ll sleep in
a mix of hotels, inns and temples and sampling traditional Japanese
cuisine. Expect walks through fragrant cedar and cypress forests,
stone-house villages, hot springs, tea bush terraces and mikan
orange trees, all enshrouded in a poignant silence broken only by
birdsong overhead. There are a variety of routes are available
meaning there’s one for you no matter your fitness level or number
of available days. Inside
Japan Tours
offer a range of guided routes you can choose

Amalfi Coast


The cliff-side houses and kingfisher-blue waters of the
Amalfi Coast
are a mainstay on any Pinterest travel inspo board
and walking the coast is an unexpectedly delightful way to
experience the area’s charm. Above the flurry of tourists and
Vespas, the Path of the Gods is a 13km winding route over sheer
cliffs with see it to believe it views. If you’re looking for a
multi-day trip,
On Foot Holidays
offer five- to seven-day routes that take you
on mountainside paths and wind along the coast by way of Praiano,
through the cobbled alleys of
and onto the bustle of Sorrento. Walking is broken up
with meals of fresh sea bass on the waterfront, glasses of Italian
wine in cliffside tavernas and refreshing dips in isolated coves
away from the crowds.