On Foot Holidays Debuts Guides For Nervous Navigators New Guide Service Includes Northern Portugal Walk
One of Europe’s leading self-guided walk tour operators, On Foot Holidays, is now offering local guides for the first day or two of several of its hikes in a bid to cater for navigationally-challenged hikers.
On Foot Holidays is among the first to offer this new service, which is initially available on seven walks in Portugal, England, France, Spain and Italy. The service is ideal for those who want to explore Europe off the beaten track but are worried about their rusty map-reading skills. During the first day or two of the hike, the guide will walk with hikers, explain how to read a map, assist in understanding route notes and then point travellers in the right direction to continue their holiday independently.
One of the inn-to-inn walks in which hikers can take advantage of this service is a journey through the wild hill country of northern Portugal. This will take walkers into the lush green valleys of the Peneda-Geres national park with its spectacular granite hills and historic villages, where locals continue a lifestyle that is centuries old. Highlights of the journey will include walking along ancient paved footpaths which date back to the time of the Roman Empire, visiting the medieval Lindoso Castle, journeying through tranquil woodland and staying in the impressively preserved hotel Pousada Santa Maria do Bouro, built in the 13th century as a Cistercian monastery.
Travellers can also visit historic Porto, with its numerous historic sites, and enjoy various local delicacies, including port wine, which the region is renowned for.
The hike is of medium-hard difficulty, with three to seven walking hours each day, and the best months to walk are April to August. The package includes seven nights’ accommodation, all breakfasts, six picnics, one evening meal and luggage transfers – meaning hikers simply carry a day pack. In 2016, the tour will cost £592 (A$1260 depending on exchange rates), twin-share – a three per cent reduction on 2015 prices if booked by October 15, 2015. Australians need to quote ‘PPR16’ when booking to access the discount. The services of a local guide for the first day of walking costs £115 (A$245 depending on exchange rates), irrespective of group size. A single room supplement is available and extra nights in Porto or at Santa Maria do Bouro can be booked through On Foot Holidays.
Based in the UK and specialising in the ‘art of slow travel’, On Foot Holidays offers international walkers 24 self-guided tours across unspoilt areas of Europe for independent travellers who prefer intimate encounters with destinations. Walkers can select their own departure dates and all routes are designed by locals and tested by staff from On Foot Holidays.