Walking Holidays – See the World on your Own Two Feet
The Himalayas, the Rocky Mountains, Mount Kilimanjaro, Macchu Picchu, Mount Kinabalu, Milford Sound. The list of superb walking destinations is almost limitless. Whether you walk alone, with a partner, a walking or hiking club or with a specialist trekking company, the advantages of making walking the main focus of a holiday are enormous.
For a start, it is the most natural way you could ever experience the world’s most interesting places. Half the world still walks from necessity. What better way to meet a Bhutanese or Nepalese monk or rice farmer than on your own two feet? Talk as you walk to Turkish herders in the Kaçkar Mountains, Tanzanian honey gatherers in the Usambaras or riders on the back of a mule high in the Andes.
Walking slows you down to a natural pace. Walking means you see, smell, hear and feel so much more than any other mode of travel. When touring in a vehicle, even on a bicycle, you speed past so quickly that the detail is missed. How would you have ever spotted the shy stare of a gibbon in Thailand, or stumbled over a ruin that nobody had ever written about before in Turkey? Would you have had time to turn a thousand consecutive prayer wheels in Nepal? How could you have absorbed the grandeur of a thundering waterfall in New Zealand or the sense of community and history in a small village on a Greek island?
Holidays are times when you give your body and soul a break from whatever it was that you were doing at home. A walking holiday means you come back fitter, healthier and happier with experiences that could never have been gained during a two week slouch on the beach, eating and drinking to abandon.
Choosing a Destination
Many different factors will determine where and how you walk. How much time do you have? How much money can you spend? How fit or experienced are you? You may want to use a comfortable hotel or guest house as a base in a beautiful area and do day walks carrying only what you would do at home. You may choose to go to one of the many multi day walking or trekking destinations, either staying in small inns or camping over night. Choosing to go on a walking holiday, especially if you choose to do it by yourself independently, needs a lot of prior organisation – much more than going on a package holiday.
Many of the world’s most famous “Great Walks” can be very popular, and in many less developed countries like Thailand, Nepal and Peru might actually mean overcrowding at peak times. On famous walks like the Milford Track in New Zealand or the West Coast Trail in Canada you may need to book up months or even years in advance, such is their popularity.
In fact, if you don’t like crowds, there are very many places to enjoy walking on holiday. Just about every country on the planet has places to enjoy and you might not need to go to the far ends of the Earth to have a satisfying and affordable walking holiday.
The Advantages of an Organised Walk
There are many advantages of choosing a specialised walking company to organise a walking holiday for you. In some places, the only way to walk is to use a guide. The High Atlas in Morocco is one example. Specialised walking companies make walking in remote parts of the Himalayas, South America, Thailand or Africa, for instance, possible where independent walking is just not viable. Organised walks are very useful if time is limited, and you want to cut down on the amount of special equipment you need to take with you or just get to a place without awkward trips on public transport. Going with a knowledgeable guide can make all the difference to what you learn about a country’s culture and environment and can be a fabulous way to communicate with ordinary people, many of whom might walk as a sole means of getting around.
A Walking Holiday for Wellness
Human beings have evolved to walk and through walking. It is the most natural way our bodies can get from place to place. Many people in less affluent countries walk every day as part of their regular way of life. Walking is healthy and enjoyable. It’s cheap and anybody can do it. What better way to have a holiday than go walking?