Trekking doesn’t have to be all about challenging routes and scaling mountains – there are plenty of gentle trails to follow all over the world for easy treks. If you’re relatively new to the idea of going on walking holidays, it’s best to start out with something reasonably gentle and gradually increase the exertion.
Walking tours that aren’t too physically taxing can be incredibly rewarding in other ways, giving you the opportunity to discover more about a country’s past, sample its cuisine or simply enjoy the views. So, we’ve put together a list of three of the top treks you can go on if you’re looking for something relaxing. These are just a selection of your options, though; to learn further details about the range of gentle trekking holidays on offer – as well as plenty of more strenuous options – read on.
1. Walking along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast
The Turquoise Coast in Turkey is home to some of the country’s busiest tourist resorts, but despite its popularity among holidaymakers, there are still plenty of stretches of seaside where you won’t see another soul, and it’s these you’ll be exploring on a walking tour in Turkey.
What’s really great about hiking here is the diversity of the landscapes you can explore, from beautiful beaches and rugged cliffs to forests and the foothills of the Taurus Mountains. From your base in Kas, which is one of the most picturesque villages in this part of Turkey, you’ll have the chance to follow quiet seaside trails, discover ancient ruins and enjoy the laidback atmosphere in Kas and the surrounding area.
A highlight of any walking tour here will be the day spent in Xanthos – the ruins of an ancient city that have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Xanthos was the capital of Lycia, a once-powerful empire that controlled this part of Europe. There are many stunning buildings remaining in the city, including its funerary monuments, an acropolis and various other temples.
If you want to really take it easy on your walking holiday in Turkey, you can book a two-week tour that involves a week of walking followed by a cruise that will take you to some of the Turquoise Coast’s most attractive – and often deserted – spots.
2. Combine hiking and gastronomy in Spain
Another great option if you’re looking for a gentle trekking break is to visit Spain and combine your activity with experiencing some of the country’s best food and drink. If you travel through northern Spain on an organised tour, you’ll get to experience some of the top wines and unique dishes prepared in places like the Basque Country, La Rioja and Catalunya.
Your trip will begin in Bilbao and end in Barcelona, allowing you to experience two of Spain’s fantastic cities. In between these two destinations are delightful trails through vineyards and small villages, where you’ll be introduced to a selection of local delicacies. For instance, in Bilbao you can try Basque pintxos, the regional equivalent of tapas. These are snacks that are typically served with bread and they tend to be cold delicacies, although in some bars you can order fresh pintxos that come warm.
You’ll also stroll through some of the vineyards in the La Rioja region where you’ll have the opportunity to taste a few of the vintages produced in the area. In addition to the amazing food and drink you’ll be introduced to on this tour, you’ll also visit some fascinating historical sites as you walk, such as the
3. Exploring Bulgaria’s Rodopi Mountains
Our final suggestion for an easy walking holiday is the Rodopi Mountains in Bulgaria. This is the perfect choice if you’re keen to spend as much time in the great outdoors as possible surrounded by wonderful scenery.
The region you’ll explore is largely untouched, with small, traditional villages dotted among the rolling foothills of the peaks. There are some stunning geological formations in the Rodopi Mountains, such as the Yagodinska Cave, which is some 10 km long and around five storeys high. Inside are amazing stalactites and stalagmites, with some of the rock formations resembling animals (like crocodiles and elephants).
Another reason why hiking in the Rodopi Mountains is so fascinating is the region’s links with Greek mythology, specifically relating to Orpheus. One of the caves in the area is known as Devil’s Throat and is believed to be where the ancient Greek mythological character descended into Hades in an attempt to bring his wife back from the netherworld. Orpheus is so intrinsically linked to the mountains that there’s even a flower named after him, which only grows in Bulgaria.