Grab your boots for National Walking Month

It’s National Walking Month this May and to celebrate, we’ve spoken to our expert team to get the inside scoop on where they think are the best walking trails across Europe. As we obviously can’t get away at the moment, our friends at Cotswold Outdoors have given us a comprehensive guide on the best walks close to cities to enjoy here in the UK until we can start exploring the world again. They also have a great boot fitting guide to help you to prepare in the meantime!

Cotswold Outdoor have kindly extended their offer of 15% off to any Inghams supporters. Find out more information here.

 

ITALY

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast – Path of the Gods

The Amalfi Coast is world renowned as one of the most beautiful parts of Italy. One of the best ways to explore is via the Sentiero degli Dei or Path of the Gods, a trail carved into the cliffs of the famous coast.

The main section of the hike is about 4 miles long and connects the two stunning villages of Bomerano and Nocelle. These winding paths hug the coastline, leading up the cliffs for panoramic views over the sea and passing through lemon groves and traditional villages.

You’ll have to be reasonably fit to do the trail and it would be best to avoid July and August when the weather is hottest.

Walking in Lake Garda

Lake Garda

In Lake Garda, you’ll be surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks, stunning scenery and picturesque trails from which ever elegant lakeside town you decide to stay in.

For an easy stroll, there’s wide lakeside promenades that link resorts like Bardolino and Garda. The southern resorts have some nice routes, which tend to be more flat or gently lead up into the hills for those lake panoramas.

If you want a challenge, head to the mountainous North where you’ll find steep paths and unrivalled views. The Old Ponale Road Path is a firm favourite which takes you from Riva towards Limone. Take the old road which once linked del Garda with the Ledro valley where you can enjoy breath-taking panoramas over the Lake.

 

FRANCE

Walking in Chamonix

Chamonix – Walking the Grand Balcon Sud to Flégère

The Grand Balcon Sud path is on the sunnier side of the Chamonix valley and this walk is above the tree line so perfect for admiring some of the most spectacular views in Europe. You look across to the Mont Blanc Massif and the Aiguilles Rouges peaks and this walk can be done in both directions with lifts at either end, helping your calves on the way up and your knees on the way down.

Take the Brévent-Planpraz lift up to the mid-station at 2000 metres. Directly ahead is a restaurant but follow the path to the left and you will pick up signs for the Grand Balcon Sud and La Flégère.

The trail drops downwards to start with, twisting through boulders covered in thick bracken and wildflowers and whilst there’s a bit of up and down to contend with, this hike ambles fairly gently along a path that once passed through old grazing pastures.

Small streams run alongside the path and there are many places where you can stop to admire the views, take the perfect photo or stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. Listen out for the whistling marmots, they’re well camouflaged but you’re never far away from them up here.

 

AUSTRIA

Walking in Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen – Ahorn Sunrise Walk

You need to be a morning person, but even if you’re not, we think it’s worth it. Between 5am and 6am, take the Ahornbahn gondola up to the Ahorn Plateau, Mayrhofen and watch the sun rise over the Alps with a hot cup of tea. You’ll see the sun’s rays turn from a bluish purple to bright pink, then to warm gold. You’ve even got the option of having breakfast up there too – there’s no better way to start the day.

Another top tip is to go up the Ahorn mountain on the cable car for the lovely loop walk. There’s a daily birds of prey show and barbecue area, as well as some tougher hikes up to the Ahornspitze.

Walking in Kitzbühel

Kitzbühel

The paths in the Kitzbüheler Alps have everything from scenic easy walks to longer panoramic trails on the famous Hahnenkamm mountain and the Kitzbüheler Horn, which you can get to by gondola.

Try the Kitzbüheler Horn – it takes about 2 hours and is an easy walk. It goes from the Alpenhaus cable-car, and from there it’s a good stroll through the Alpine flower garden to the Gipfelhaus Alm. Get your camera out for some panoramic views of the Kitzbüheler Alps and the Hohen Tauern National Park.

For something more challenging, you’ll want the Pengelstein & Usterkarsee Lake walk. It’s 4 and a half hours, and is a stunning ridge walk from the top of the Hahnenkamm gondola. It passes two lakes, with views you’ll never be bored of. Either come back via Aschau or Kirchberg, by bus.

 

SWITZERLAND

Oberhofen Castle

Oberhofen - Schloss Oberhofen

Reached by boat or bus from Interlaken, The Oberhofen Castle is a must see. Built around 1200 AD, the aristocratic Pourtalès family from Neucatel and Prussia converted it into a summer residence in the early 1800s and since 1954 the castle has housed a museum showcasing the history of its former residents.

During their time in residence, the Pourtalès family tended and nurtured the surrounding gardens to landscape two distinct areas; an inner castle area with well thought colourful flower parterres and on the other, a stunning park, lawns and formations of confiders, exotic redwoods and deciduous trees.

Spend your time strolling through the gardens and take in the breath-taking sights over Lake Thun.

Mount Rigi & Lake Lucerne

Mount Rigi & Lake Lucerne

Enjoy a day trip from Lucerne, Weggis or Vitznau and take a ride on Europe’s oldest mountain railway up the Rigi mountain, named the Queen of Mountains, where you can enjoy spectacular views over Lake Lucerne. Easy to do as a round trip, there’s lots of easy walks and things to do in summer and winter.

There’s a whole network of footpaths that offer gentle to more demanding hikes out in the fresh mountain air that all offer panorama views across Lake Lucerne.

With plenty of restaurants and even a mountain top spa and an Alpine dairy where you can watch the cheesemaker at work, there’s plenty of pit stops for a rest.

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