Where to go on a walking combinations holiday

On walking combination holidays, the terrain dictates the activity. Wine regions provide undulating terrain for gentle walks: combine wine tasting and walking on Croatia’s coast, the Douro region in Portugal, or Tuscany in Italy. Mountains are brilliant for hikers, and also provide fresh, inspiring perspectives for wellness retreats. Head to Alicante’s mountains in Spain, or the Austrian Alps for yoga and walking trips. If you want to walk with nature, head to Kerala in India to cycle and walk, or Annapurna in Nepal for safari after a Himalayan hike.

1. Austria

It’s often necessary in Austria to rub your eyes and do a double take: the mountains really are that magnificent. A yoga and walking holiday gives you plenty of time to admire their slopes between sun salutes. The East Tyrol has abundant wildlife, yet gets a mere handful of visitors throughout the year. Glance up during warrior pose – you might see a swooping raptor.

2. Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s ‘eco-trails’, many of which were established in the 1990s, lead willing wanderers into its landscapes. Wildflowers tremble in the Rhodope Mountains, and underground, geothermal activity means that you can combine walking with traditional Bulgarian spa treatments in family-run hotels. There’s nothing nicer than soaking your tired legs in a mineral pool at the end of the day.

3. Croatia

You’ll be tempted from the trail by the wine cellars in Croatia’s Konavle valley. A tour in southern Dalmatia lures you out of the sunshine – but the resulting tastings are worth it. Smoked hams and cheese pair with bright red wines and the fierce local liqueur, and it’s rewarding to work up a suitable appetite as you walk.

4. France

Where better than France, for adding bit of culinary flair to the average ramblers’ picnic? The French Riviera is a good place to inject a bit of Provencal savoir-faire into your kitchen on a walking and cooking holiday. You could enjoy an afternoon cookery session, visit local cheesemakers, and learn a bit about the producers in the area.

5. Greece

You can’t move for history in Greece, so it makes sense to combine your walking with cultural tours of its scattered ruins. In the Cyclades, set sail to your next trail by combining a walking and sailing holiday. In Crete, you could even commit the sights to canvas on a walking and painting holiday.

6. India

There’s so much to see in vast Kerala that it makes sense to combine walking with a bit of cycling. Spice groves, cardamom hills and a butterfly forest all whizz into view – then you’ll park the bike and explore places like the Periyar Tiger Reserve and Mathikettan Shola National Park on foot, eyes peeled for their biggest residents: tigers and elephants.

7. Italy

Squat, wicker-clad bottles of Chianti Classico tempt in Tuscany, where you can combine walking and wine tasting in one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Cross from Tuscany to Umbria and see how the cuisine changes between the regions on a cookery holiday from a family-run farm. Pizza most definitely features.

8. Nepal

The Annapurna Circuit in north-central Nepal is a high-altitude trek in the biggest mountains in the world. Climbing to its sky-scraping passes is a reward in itself, but you can combine a hike here with an amazing safari, too. In Royal Chitwan National Park you can go on bird-watching tours, a jungle excursions to see rare orchids, then jeep safari to look for leopards.

9. Portugal

Wend your way to a wine tasting in Portugal on a walking tour that celebrates the Douro wine region, and makes vineyards your most important port (sorry) of call. At the other end of the scale, you could detox in a green guesthouse in Sintra Natural Park – settle into a yoga pose, relax with a massage, or kayak and surf.

10. Spain

Spain does a roaring trade in Spanish language courses. Have a group lesson in the morning, then spend the afternoon walking to a village where you can put your first few phrases to good use. Alternatively in Spain, you can combine kayaking and walking on the Camino de Santiago, or pep up walking in the Pyrenees with some cookery classes.

11. Turkey

Using just the wind and your own two feet, the Turkey’s Lycian coast can be yours. Get from place to place in a traditional Turkish gulet, a handsome sailing vessel, and at each port of call set off on foot, following Roman tracks or the long-distance Lycian Way footpath through sweetgum forests, in search of ancient burial tombs, sunken ruins and pebbled beaches.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Walking combinations or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Eloise Barker
Photo credits: [Page banner: Marc Witte] [Austria: GT1976] [Bulgaria: Vasko Hristov] [Croatia: A_Peach] [France: Thomas Leth-Olsen] [Greece: Matthew Waring] [India: Wasil Ahammed] [Italy: Thomas Fabian] [Nepal: Bo Jorgensen] [Portugal: mat's eye] [Spain: Les Haines] [Turkey: Warren Talbot]