Setting off across grassy foothills or through verdant summer valleys on foot is simply the most wonderful way fully to appreciate the natural beauty of our Lakes & Mountains resorts.
Snow-capped peaks glint up above, lakes sparkle below, and traditionally picturesque villages cling to the slopes in the distance, while tumbling mountain streams, bird-song and distant cowbells provide the sound-track to the day.
Small wonder then, that so many of you return to the lure of the Alps year after year with us, choosing precisely the style of walking holiday, whether taxing or relaxing, that you please.
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Possibly the simplest way of stretching the legs is to explore local trails independently, from gentle strolls to all day hikes. Options are outlined in all resort introductions, such as lift passes up to the higher trails in many Austrian resorts and the availability of pre-bookable maps.
A good quality walking map of the local area is crucial for independent hikers. We are delighted to be offering top quality local professional walking maps to over 40 of our most popular walking destinations.
Further good news is that these maps will be posted to you at home well in advance of your departure date, so you can have all the pleasure of planning ahead and looking forward to your chosen walking highlights.
Please note these are good quality local walking maps, not 'walking guides', and may not include descriptions of the walks in English.
Italy: Lake Trasimeno, Selva. Slovenia: Kranjska Gora, Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Bovec. Austria: Alpbach, Ellmau, Filzmoos, Fuschl, Igls, Ischgl /Galtür, Kaprun, Kitzbühel, Lech, Mayrhofen, Obergurgl, Pertisau / Lake Achensee, Saalbach & Hinterglemm, Seefeld, Söll, St. Anton, St. Gilgen, St. Johann, St. Wolfgang, Westendorf, The Wildschönau Valley: Niederau-Oberau-Auffach, Zell am See, Neustift, St Johann, Walking in the Wilder Kaiser. Switzerland: Davos, Grindelwald, Interlaken, Kandersteg, Klosters, Merligen, Mürren, Saas-Fee, Wengen, Wilderswil, Zermatt. France: Belle Plagne, Chamonix & Les Houches, Morzine
Exclusive to Inghams, this is a pre-bookable guided walking programme of 2-3 varied walks per week, guided by your Inghams Rep or a qualified English-speaking mountaineering guide , in many of our selected resorts across Europe and Canada.
Suitable for all levels, these walks vary in duration and difficulty, ranging from one to five hours, and will show you the best views, flora and fauna of the mountains - a great way to explore the area and get to know your Rep and fellow guests.
There is no pressure whatsoever to join in, but the walks are generally well subscribed, so you can simply pay a registration fee at the time of booking to safeguard your place, or, space permitting, arrange with your Rep on arrival in resort. See the resort pages for further details and descriptions of the walks in each area.
We aim to provide walks suitable for all levels during the week, and for extra guidance, routes are graded as follows:-
Easy: Gentle walks with some uphill sections.
Moderate: Pleasant rambles, mostly on well marked paths, over varied terrain, and usually with more uphill/downhill than easy walks. Minimum age 14 years.
Slightly Challenging: More demanding hikes over varied terrain, sometimes at altitude, and where trails may be less defined in parts, so reasonable health and fitness is required. Minimum age 14 years.
Many of our hotels offer their own weekly programmes of guided walks with professional guides, often exclusively for Inghams guests, and completely free of charge - look out in individual hotel descriptions.
Austria is a walker’s paradise, with hundreds of miles of well marked trails through some of the most pristine natural environments in Europe. From the high mountain trails of the Tyrolean Oberland in the West, to the more gentle terrain of central Tyrol, and the hills around Austria’s ‘Lake District’, there is something for everybody. Choose from guided walks run by Inghams, your hotel, or the tourist office, or simply take a map and explore yourself. Paths are well sign posted and with the easy use of cable-cars and gondolas to help you reach the tops of the mountains, you can relax and enjoy the views and the descents. So grab your walking boots and get back to nature! Drink in the pure mountain air, watch the wildlife and photograph the stunning scenery – you will feel invigorated and fulfilled at the end of every day.
Walking is the big draw for many of our guests coming to Austria who return time and time again to experience the purity of the nature and the easy access to the most unpoilt parts of this beautiful country.
To save you time planning on arrival, New for Summer 2013 we have greatly expanded the walking descriptions on all resort pages and we have listed our favourite and most popular walks - many of which come recommended by our resort Reps, who know the areas the best!
Alpine Flora & Fauna
Nature lovers are well catered for wherever they go in Austria. In the early part of the summer the meadows are awash with wild flowers, and higher up it is easy to find alpine roses, gentians and orchids on the side of trails. Remember, the higher you climb, the later the flowers will be in bloom! There is ample opportunity to spot wildlife, including marmots, chamoix, ptmigan and ibex.
There are good networks of chairlifts, gondolas and cable-cars in most villages which transport hikers to viewpoints and peaks in the summer months. In many resorts there are special walkers’ buses which stop at the start and end points of walks. Please note that some lifts only open mid June-mid September.
Resort Cards & Walkers’ Lift Passes
In most resorts a resort card or walkers’ lift pass can be purchased (in some resorts it is given Free - see below), which include unlimited use of lifts and walker’s buses, as well as Free or discounted entrance to local attractions. Prices and inclusions vary across resorts. See individual resort pages for details.
Resort Cards Free
All cable-cars, gondolas and walkers’ buses are Free to guests in the following resorts:
Nordic walking is an excellent way to keep fit and is much like a summer version of cross-country skiing. Nordic Walkers use poles similar to ski poles to work the upper body and for extra speed. Some hotels and tourist offices offer Free Nordic pole hire, guided walks and instruction.
Mountain Hut Overnight Stays
A special way to experience the serenity and beauty of the mountains is to stay overnight at a remote (warmly furnished) mountain hut, high above the village. A guided walk to the hut, followed by a traditional Tyrolean supper and a hearty breakfast the next morning, are offered
Free of charge to guests at the following hotels:
Walking in the Wilder Kaiser
New Inghams Walk Holiday
Explore one of Austria’s prettiest walking areas on this single-centre walking holiday from your base in Söll or Ellmau, with an expert mountain guide and a small group of like-minded Inghams guests! For further information, click here.
Following the success of her recent photo exhibition 'Interiors, Artist Workshops and Gardens', you can now join Teresa Kaufman on a series of walks in the Chamonix Valley to discover the inspiration for her work.
There is a choice of walks every week which last approximately 2-2½ hours looking for original views and perspectives of traditional mountain architecture and artifacts, and you will also meet several characters including artisans, gardeners, artists and chefs. Take time to observe, admire and photograph the quaint hamlets of the valley. These walks however are not just for photographers but for anyone wanting to discover a little bit of hidden Chamonix.
The walks are along small roads and country paths so good walking shoes and appropriate clothing is required. The walks costs £13 per person and can be booked through your Inghams Rep in resort.
The walks may change from week to week, but below is a sample of the types of walks offered:
• Sunny Gardens Facing Mont Blanc in Chamonix, meeting gardeners including a tour with a well known chef of his vegetable garden.
• Perspective, Passageways and Fine Cuisine in Chamonix, discovering little known areas, parks and courtyards and a chance to see a well known chef at work.
• Craftsmen, Gardens and Traditional Architecture in Vallorcine, discovering the ancient traditions of this village and even meeting wood working craftsman.
• Coupeau, Les Houches, Golden Rays in the Afternoon, an exceptional location where the sun lingers, ideal for sunset photography.
• Servoz, a beautiful village, visiting chef and artists.
Walking in France: Chamonix
Village tourist offices also often run free guided walking programmes, open to all visitors in resort. See resort descriptions for details.
We recommend the 'Dolomites Discovery' walking programme in Selva, Italy.
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