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Europe On Foot: Eight of The Best New Summer Walking Holidays

May 2, 2019 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

From discovering picturesque hilltop towns in Italy and finding new timeless islands in Greece to following the age-old paths of Corsica or enjoying Mont Blanc in a more comfortable way, active Europe holiday specialists UTracks have a number of new walking trips launching this year across Europe – including the following six…

ITALY | Best of the Via Francigena NEW FOR 2019

Following the ancient pilgrimage route between Canterbury and Rome this guided walk highlights the best sections of the Francigena Way. The itinerary is ideal for the traveller with limited time wishing to benefit from an experienced guide, while encapsulating so many aspects of Italian history, culture and landscapes. Commencing in the alpine town of Aosta, with its traces of Roman civilisation, the hike traverses Switzerland’s St Bernard pass before heading through Piedmont and the picturesque Tuscan towns of San Gimignano, Lucca and Siena before arriving in Rome. One of the highlights of this guided walk is tasting the regional specialties such as organic cheese, fresh olive oil and the famous Brunello di Montalcino wines.

  • Best of the Via Francigena Walk with UTracks (13 days fully guided) launches on 15 September, from $5590 per person

FRANCE | Crossing Corsica Guided Walk NEW FOR 2019

Starting in Corte’s old town, this hiking trip showcases why Corsica is the most geographically diverse of the Mediterranean islands. In the company of an experienced hiking guide, the route follows age-old paths that lead from the heart of the mountains to the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea on the island’s western coast. Featuring a variety of landscapes along the way, from snow topped peaks to pretty seaside villages, highlights of the trip include: hiking parts of the famous GR20 trail; exploring the deep Spelunca Gorge; visiting the beautiful lively village of Evisa; and relaxing in the Gulf of Porto, with its unique jumble of rose granite pinnacles.

  • Crossing Corsica Guided Walk with UTracks (8 days) launches 19 May, with further guided departures in July and September, from $2490 per person

SWITZERLAND | Mont Blanc in Comfort NEW FOR 2019

The Tour du Mont Blanc ranks amongst the best hikes on the planet and on this new trip you have the best of both worlds, with varied cuisine typical of the region, a private room and daily walks with stunning mountain views. From Chamonix, a highlight in itself, you will head in an anti-clockwise direction from France to Italy and the swish ski town of Courmayeur. Crossing the highest Col on the main Tour du Mont Blanc route takes you through to Switzerland, where chocolate box houses will greet you in every village. Returning to France, the last stage – along balcony trails – will reward you with its panoramic views of the snow-capped peak of Mont Blanc.

  • Mont Blanc in Comfort with UTracks (12 days) launches 26 June, with further daily departures until 9 September, from $2680 per person

THE DANUBE | The Danube Hike & Boat NEW FOR 2019

The Danube is Europe’s second longest river, coursing through ten nations en route to the Black Sea. This new hike-and-boat trip follows its journey through three European countries and some of the most romantic landscapes on the continent. From the cobblestone streets of picturesque Passau, the so-called ‘Town of Three Rivers’, wind your way past atmospheric monasteries and majestic castles as you cruise through Upper Austria and Slovakia to reach the intriguing city of Bratislava and the enchanting capital of Vienna. On foot and with a knowledgeable guide, ascend to hilltop castles for sweeping views, walk past rolling vineyards in the Wachau Valley and feel inspired at the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferl Basilica.

  • The Danube Hike & Boat with UTracks (8 days) launches 18 May, with further departures 20 July and 14 September, from $2050 per person

ITALY | Hilltop Towns of Italy NEW FOR 2019

A new walking itinerary that connects some of the most picturesque hilltop towns in the heart of Italy through two different regions: Umbria and Tuscany. Starting at the beautifully preserved town of Orvieto, the trip continues to the 2,500-year-old Civita di Bagnoregio (accessible only via a scenic footbridge). Passing by quaint farmhouses and using ancient Roman roads, the specially crafted route visits towns that have remained largely unscathed by mass tourism – including Orvieto, Pitigliano, and Savana – before concluding at the medieval town of Sorano, standing high atop a tufa landscape in southern Tuscany.

  • Hilltop Towns of Italy with UTracks (8 days) launches 04 May, with further daily departures until late November; exclusion dates apply; from $1590 per person

CROATIA | Dubrovnik and Islands Walk NEW FOR 2019

With its dramatic coastal position and impressive stone walls encircling the terracotta roofs of the UNESCO-protected old town, it is no wonder that Dubrovnik has become known as ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’. In between exploring this captivating city, the essence of this new walking holiday concentrates on discovering its surrounding islands on foot – from the outlying region of Konavle, where the summer houses of Dubrovnik’s elite were built amongst fragrant vineyards, centuries-old olive groves and imposing mountains to the isles of Šipan, where forested trails connect traditional villages and hidden coves, and Mljet, known for its saltwater lakes and verdant National Park, as well as 12th century former Benedictine monastery, set on a small islet.

  • Dubrovnik and Islands Walk with UTracks (8 days) launches 04 May, with further daily departures until late October, from $1520 per person; also suitable for active families with children from 12 years old

GREECE | Santorini and Naxos on Foot NEW FOR 2019

Known for their bright, whitewashed cube-shaped houses, Santorini and Naxos are two of the most beautiful Greek islands, offering numerous walking opportunities. Having endured one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history, Santorini is famous for its postcard perfect sunsets that light up the caldera and the archaeological site of Akrotiri, the so-called ‘Greek Pompeii’; while Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades, is home to fertile valleys, immaculate sandy beaches and a lively harbour, as well as Portara, a landmark that dates back more than 2,500 years: this colossal marble doorway (the remains of what is left of a temple dedicated to Apollo) is an icon of the island and the perfect place to watch the sun set.

  • Santorini and Naxos on Foot with UTracks (8 days) launches 04 May 2019, with further daily departures until late October, from $1150 per person; also suitable for active families with children from 12 years old

UK | The Pennine Way NEW FOR 2019

A challenging mountain journey across the rugged backbone of England, The Pennine Way was the first official Long Distance Footpath to ever be created in the country. Crossing some of the finest upland landscapes in England, it is steeped in the region’s history: it was the product of the post-WWI mass trespass movement of the 1930s, which saw working class walkers from industrial towns around the Pennines defying local landowners and walking across their land. Although many British walks are often described as ‘classic’, the 268-mile trail from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders will always be considered as ‘the big one’, as it is a walk that tests out the endurance and navigational abilities of hikers up to the challenge.

  • The Pennine Way with Sherpa Expeditions – bookable through UTracks – (20 days) launches 04 May, with further daily departures until mid-September, from $3350 per person

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