In guided groups or independently and at levels to suit everyone, walking holidays are the perfect way to explore a new country or get to know a familiar place in a different way.
Popular destinations for walking holidays in Europe include France and Italy, where stunning coastal, lake and mountain scenery combine with culture, history and, of course, great food and wine.
To get the maximum enjoyment out of your holiday it’s important to be comfortable and wear the appropriate clothing and footwear.
The Right Footwear, Whatever the Weather…
On any walking holiday it’s your feet that are going to do most of the hard work. Even the gentlest expedition is going to involve several hours of walking every day so it’s vital that you have the right footwear. An early blister, squeezed toes or damp feet could easily spoil the holiday.
Check the information that you receive when you book your holiday about the conditions, terrain and likely weather to help you decide what to wear on your feet.
Getting the right correctly fitting walking boots is absolutely essential. It’s a good idea to wear them in before you travel so you can be sure that they fit and are comfortable. Wear them with thick but breathable walking socks that will help to pad and protect your feet. Remember to bring several pairs.
Even if your holiday is somewhere dry, make sure your boots are waterproof as the weather may bring an unexpected shower or you might have to cross wet terrain or small rivers or streams as part of your walk. It’s also worth looking for boots with a good gripping sole and effective ankle support to help prevent accidents.
What to Take on a Summer Walking Holiday…
What you wear will largely be guided by the time of year, the weather and your destination. A walking holiday to the Mediterranean in the summer will require different clothes to a trip to the Dolomites in the spring or autumn.
In warm or hot and dry conditions you will be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt or shirt. Choose light, breathable fabrics. Do still make sure that you take trousers and long-sleeved tops so you can add light extra layers if it does get cooler. Even warm days may start and end with a chilly feel.
An easily packed, light waterproof jacket and waterproof over-trousers are always a good idea in case there is some unseasonal rain. A wide-brimmed sun hat is essential, along with sunglasses and, of course, sunscreen.
Clothing Essentials for Cooler Weather…
For walking in colder climes you will need to take plenty of base layers topped off with a fleece for warmth. A warm and waterproof jacket is a must as are a hat and gloves. Thermals may also be a good idea if temperatures are very low.
It’s best to wear specially designed walking trousers in modern, synthetic materials which are lightweight, quick-drying and loose-fitting. They also offer protection against brambles and nettles.
Other Walking Holiday Essentials…
You will always need a rucksack to carry your belongings for the day. It will need to be big enough to hold your extra layers and a waterproof as well as food and drinks, but still be easy and comfortable to carry.
A walking holiday can be a wonderful experience but it is important that you take the right kinds of footwear and clothes with you.