Journeys – on foot | Posted: 05 March 2018

Walking in France

While all  of our walking holidays – to a greater or lesser degree – offer a satisfying ‘sense of journey’, there are some on which that rewarding, start-to-finish feeling is particularly pronounced. Perhaps it’s because there’s a particular ‘target’ in mind, or maybe it’s down to the itinerary itself, taking you through a succession of markedly different landscapes. Here are a few of our favourites...

Alps to the Mediterranean

While the contrast – from a sleepy mountain hamlet on Day 1 to the style and panache of charming, Italianate Menton almost a week later – is a remarkable one, it feels entirely natural. Travelling by foot, one landscape seems to merge gently into the next, so that the changes – while certainly noticeable – never seem to jar, leaving you with an immensely satisfying feeling at journey’s end.

This is a holiday of three thirds. First comes the simple yet pitch-perfect hospitality offered by the Dellepiane family at their charming auberge  – Le Mirval – in the hamlet of La Brigue, and the excellent walking and touring options in the surrounding mountains, close to the Italian border. Then, following a choice of routes via the gravity-defying village of Saorge, on which scents of wild herbs fill the air, you come to Sospel. This ‘middle’ section of the holiday is where you get to enjoy the beguiling foothills; and the Auberge Provençale, occupying an elevated position overlooking this medieval trading town and the hills beyond, is the perfect place from which to do it.

Finally, of course, comes that journey to the sea. This is, by its very nature, ‘more down than up’, and there are more vistas of hills, gorges and woodland to be admired until – as if by magic – the glittering sea opens up below, and the charms of Menton get closer with every step. Once there, all there is left to do is wander the atmospheric streets of the ‘Old Town’, admire the sumptuous art, architecture and gardens; soak up that legendary Provençal sunlight; and find a tasty morsel or two to eat along the seafront promenade. Oh, and gaze back up towards those mountains, thinking: “I  did that!”
 

The best of the rest
5 more great 'walking journeys'...

Walking in Italy

Along the Via Spluga to Lake Como

Following an ancient trading route which is still in use today, this inspiring route takes you from the splendour of the Swiss Alps to the heart of the Italian Lakes. Enjoy splendid mountain scenery before finishing in style by the sapphire waters of wish-bone-shaped Como, whose shores have sparked many a romantic reverie.

Walking in Croatia

Across the Istrian Peninsula

From west to east, this is a memorable crossing of northern Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula. From the Adriatic coast, a lush, green landscape of rolling hills slowly gives way to more mountainous terrain where the high, rugged peaks of the Učka Mountains drop steeply down into the glistening waters of the Bay of Kvarner.

Walking in Portugal

Valley of Gold

You begin with a night in Porto, friendly capital of the Port wine trade, before heading upriver to explore the timeless landscapes of the Douro Valley, where the wine originates. Trace the journey of these celebrated grapes while enjoying wonderful walking, delicious cuisine and some truly exceptional accommodation.

Walking in Spain

Along the Catalan Coast

This much-loved route, along the delightfully unspoiled northernmost Costa Brava, is not only very easy indeed – making for an ideal first walking holiday – but also packed full of coastal charm. Discover hidden coves, shady pinewoods, medieval Begur, and a regional cuisine which is justly renowned throughout Spain.

Walking in Italy

Bologna to Florence

A highlight of this journey between two great cities is being able to walk literally out of Bologna along a 666-arched colonnaded walkway to the hill-top Sanctuary of San Luca. Then, after treading paths via the ‘Route of the Gods’ and Tuscany’s Mugello Hills, you finish by walking right into the heart of Florence, perhaps the world’s greatest art city. (You could also walk from Florence to Siena – or combine the two for a longer journey!)


Related Holidays

Alps to the Mediterranean

Descend from the dramatic peaks and gorges of the mountains to the glittering coastline at Menton. The remarkable shift in landscapes (and ensuing sense of journey) is one of the undoubted highlights of this holiday, complemented by the excellent hosting at each of your three hotels.

More about our walking holidays in France >


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