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Slovenia’s Logar Valley And Portugal’s Only National Park Among New Hiking Holidays For 2020 From Inntravel

January 7, 2020 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

Slow Holiday specialist Inntravel continues to seek out the lesser-taken path with five new self-guided hiking vacations for 2020. Introduced this spring are: Slovenia’s little-known Logar Valley, home to just 500 people and one hotel; the Peneda-Gerês, Portugal’s only National Park and arguably the country’s best hiking; and Ålesund, Norway’s adventure capital. Also introduced are a charming coastal hike in Puglia and a two-centre break among France’s Southern Alps.

Inntravel’s Walking 2020 programme offers over 100 tempting trails across Europe. They range from the snow-capped Alps to the island-peppered coastlines of Croatia, and from Spain’s sleepy sierras to the rolling dales and historic market towns of England. Breaks are for individuals rather than groups, and maps and meticulous self-guided route notes, graded 1-3, ensure flexible and hassle-free hiking. A personal approach from Inntravel’s expert booking team, offering customised travel arrangements (extra nights, flights, add-ons and upgrades) completes the picture.


Slovenia’s Enchanted Valley
This new single-centre week of hiking is in the Logar Valley, considered by Inntravel to be one of Europe’s most beautiful, one of a trio of glacial cul-de-sacs within the remote Solĉavska region. Much like Bled was some 25 years ago, this is now, hands-down, the gorgeous pin-up of Slovenia: craggy peaks, tumbling waterfalls and modest but proud people, all 500 of them populating the 103km². Inntravel is unique in working with the 4-star Hotel Plesnik, the one and only hotel in this protected landscape (the next hotel is some 45 minutes’ drive away). Occupied until the end of WWII by Nazis who torched the local farms, this charming hotel, run by a family who have been the custodians of this natural paradise for almost five centuries, is set among unadulterated nature in an area little touched by tourism. In 2020, Nina Plesnik, the owner, is to focus on outdoor wellness by introducing open air experiences. Guests can be escorted on forest bathing excursions and join a guided half-day hike at an unhurried pace with a local farmer who will identify the herbs on her family farm and talk about their health-bringing properties. Use the car provided to reach other hikes locally such as those around Velika Planina, a high altitude herdsmen’s village that resembles Middle Earth, or to tourist farms for lunch, made with the finest of home-grown produce. Guests can also make use of the outdoor natural swimming pool and sauna and relax in front of the panoramic window wall to soak up the views of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Price: from £885pp sharing, including 7 days’ car hire, 7 nights’ B&B, 3 dinners, route notes and maps and heritage trail with local guide. Available 1 May to 30 September 2020.

High Paths of Northern Portugal
The views are so big and panoramic on this new self-guided hiking holiday to Portugal that they are bound to stop hikers in their tracks. The route spans the country’s only National Park, Peneda-Gerês NP in the remote north which will be marking its 50th anniversary in May 2021. It is a wild, mountainous landscape, carved and created by ice but which today is all about water, with cascading rivers, wide lagoons and waterfall pools for wild swimming. While hikers may not see another soul, there are wild horses, cachena cattle, myriad flowers, butterflies and beautiful insects galore, even the Iberian wolf. Over 7 nights, stay in six very different places: from a charming village house to a 12th century monastery through to a smart spa hotel. This is surely Portugal’s best hiking with wow features in every ‘leg’ and, combined with Portugal offering some of the best value in Western Europe, this new journey by foot is certainly tipped to be a popular choice for keen hikers. Price: from £830pp sharing, including 7 nights’ B&B, 4 dinners, 5 picnics, luggage transfers, route notes and maps. Available 1 April to 14 July and 20 August to 31 October 2020.

Islands and Fjords of Ålesund
Spend a week discovering Ålesund, the adventure capital of the Norwegian fjords – known as the most beautiful city in Norway. Re-built in 1904 entirely in Art Nouveau style after a fire had destroyed the city, the fairytale architecture, its remarkable natural setting and many waterways never fail to impress. Use local buses and boats to access easy hikes on the surrounding islands. For example, visit the ‘bird island’ of Runde where half a million sea birds (including 100,000 puffins) nest from February through to August; kayak around the city’s waterways; or take an express boat down Hjørunderfjord through the magnificent Sunnmøre Alps. Price: from £975pp sharing, including 7 nights’ B&B, 3 dinners, local travel pass and route notes and maps. Available 16 May to 30 September 2020.

Pathways of Puglia
This is an easy coastal hike from hotel-to-hotel that follows the Salento Coast from south to north in the increasingly popular region of Puglia. Starting in Lecce, journey south by train to hike from the sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca, a place of pilgrimage, along the stunning Sentiero delle Cipolliane coastal path, so-called for the onions that grow in the wild, finishing in Otranto, Italy’s easternmost town. Highlights along the way include passing through Castro with its 16th century Aragonese Castle, sampling the thermal waters at Santa Cesarea Terme and reaching the lighthouse at Punta Palascia, Italy’s most easterly point. Stay in a varied selection of accommodation, including historical palazzi converted into comfortable guesthouses and masserie, traditional stone-built Puglian farmhouses offering a warm family welcome. Price: from £855pp sharing, including 7 nights’ B&B, 2 dinners, 4 picnics, route notes and maps and luggage transfers. Available 1 April to 30 June and 1 September to 28 October 2020.

The Southern Alps
Just 30km inland from the Cote d’Azur lies the mountain paradise of the Mercantour National Park. On this new self-guided holiday, hikers will trek among the mountain lakes and fields of wild flowers while keeping eyes peeled for the area’s abundance of wildlife, including ibex, chamois and marmot. As the week progresses the hikes get gradually more challenging and highlights include the Fontanalba Valley with its preserved carvings near Lac Vert and the remote Lac d’Agnel, where herds of ibex will be the hikers’ only company. Add on a guided day exploring the mysterious rock carvings in the Valley of Marvels. Price: from £845pp sharing, including 6 nights’ B&B, 5 dinners, 5 picnics, route notes and maps. Available 12 June to 30 September 2020.

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