For A Long Weekend
Just an hour’s drive north of Venice, in the foothills of the Dolomites, you’ll find one of the world’s largest, yet undiscovered wine regions. Here, ancient terraced vineyards are dedicated to growing grapes for Italy’s most-prized sparkling wine: prosecco. Spend a week walking through the hills, while sampling the surrounding area’s delicious cuisine. Basing yourself at a local, elegant hotel means there’ll also be plenty of time to visit neighbouring mediaeval villages such as Cison, Follina and Asolo.
For A Wellness Reset
If a mind, body and soul overhaul is really what’s needed (with hiking making up just part of the plan), look no further than the foothills of the Pyrenees or the Swiss Alps. Whether travelling alone or with friends or family, booking into a dedicated wellness retreat will allow you to enjoy daily two- to three-hour hikes, alongside yoga and meditation classes later in the day. With additional spa facilities and comfortable en-suite accommodation, it’s the ideal way to reset for the year ahead.
For A Family Adventure
If it’s a family break you’re after, check out this Swiss adventure. This hiking tour takes in some of the best sights of Switzerland, with a final loop through Italy and France. Start off in the Swiss capital, Bern – which includes visits to Zentrum Paul Klee and the local Bear Park – before heading on to the home of the Matterhorn, Zermatt. Spend a night in a Berghotel or rustic mountainside chalet, before taking a private van to the Grand St Bernard Pass and onto the glacial peaks of Mont Blanc. Finish up in Chamonix, where hiking and kayaking are top of the agenda.
For A Foodie Break
If there’s one place in Provence that brings together the most picturesque villages, landscapes and walking trails, it’s the Luberon. Made famous by Peter Mayle’s books A Year in Provence and A Good Year, this is your chance to stay in some of the region’s most beautiful hotels and guesthouses, while enjoying the local region’s famous gastronomy. Nightly dinners are served in local restaurants, but the stand-out has to be dinner in Avignon at one of France’s oldest Michelin-starred restaurants, Christian Etienne.
For A Coastal Treat
Home to one of the most dramatic coastlines in Europe, this trip allows visitors to explore the ancient hillsides, gorges and lemon groves of the Amalfi Coast. Descend from the Agerola Plain to the quaint towns of Positano, Ravello and of course Amalfi itself. There’s also the chance to see the remains of Pompeii, which lie in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, although hikers should really prepare themselves for the ultimate coastal trek, known as the 'Walk of the Gods'. Don’t worry – there’s still plenty of time to sample Italy’s incredible food and wine along the way.
For A Solo Pilgrimage
Finally, walk the first stage of the El Camino, from San Sebastian to Bilbao – considered by many to be the ‘ultimate’ pilgrimage for walkers. Pass through charming seaside villages and historic towns before heading into the lush mountains of the Basque Country. Art lovers should also make time to stop in the historic town of Gernika – made famous by Picasso's work of art of the same name – and Bilbao, home to the Guggenheim Museum. Still hungry for more? There are five stages to take your pick from, offering plenty of choice for experienced hikers.
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