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Italy: Six of the Best for 2019



The variety on offer for a walking holiday in Italy is simply amazing. From the mountains of the Dolomites and the Alps, down to the lakes, across to the islands, and along the Amalfi coast – whatever type of holiday you’re after, Italy delivers it in stunning form. Add to this the delicious food and wine, and the warm welcome offered by the locals, and you have the perfect recipe for an unforgettable holiday.

Here are a few of our favourite Italian trips for 2019. For the full programme of tours in this beautiful country, visit our Italy homepage.

Cilento Coast and Mountain

The Cilento National Park may not be quite as well known as its more famous and popular neighbour, Amalfi, but it offers a huge amount for a varied and rewarding walking tour.  There is a wild kind of beauty here - rocky ridges set between small picturesque inlets and richly scented pinewoods backing onto wide sandy beaches. This 5-day Cilento tour is both along the coast and inland across low mountains, through pristine natural areas and attractive countryside, with all its cultural treasures - rural chapels, ancient farm houses, old water mills and charming medieval villages. 

 

Find out more.

 

 

 

Classic Amalfi Coast

Available as a 6, 8 or 11 day tour, our Classic Amalfi Coast walks encapsulate everything that makes an Italian holiday so special. The entire coast has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and a walking holiday here makes it easy to see why. The stunning views, culture, food and wine combine to create an unforgettable experience. The towns, villages and towers that cling to the cliffs can be a riotous mix of vibrant colours and pastel shades, and provide the backdrop to a truly special walking tour. 

 

Find out more. 

 

 

 

Coming soon – we’re currently putting together a new 11-day trip that combines the best of our Cilento and Amalfi trips. This will be available to book early in 2019 so watch this space!

 

Walking in the Dolomites

The Dolomites are like no other mountains in Europe, and provide a completely different backdrop to the Alps’ jagged peaks. The Dolomites are dominated by continuous sheer cliffs, forming giant chiselled monuments. Below the mountains lie green meadows full of wild flowers, orchards and vineyards. The Dolomites are also an area of fascinating history, as they were heavily fought over during WW1. This 8-day trip encompasses an exhilarating mix of high mountain paths, lush meadows, pretty villages and mountain restaurants.

 

Find out more.  

 

 

 

A Saunter in Sardinia

Sardinia is a beautiful island, with a unique mix of Italian and Spanish cultures. Walking from the black mountains of Montiferru to the Sinis wetlands you’ll discover beaches, bays, headlands, ancient ruins and historical sites. This is also a great trip if you’re interested in wildlife, and in particular, birds – as you’ll encounter large colonies of Grey Herons, Pink Flamingoes and a wealth of other bird life. This is a gentle walk that takes in some spectacular scenery, lovely villages and plenty of places to enjoy delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

 

Find out more.

 

 

 

Tuscany on Foot

This walk threads together some of the most attractive towns and villages in Tuscany. It’s a perfect introduction to the region and for people who love museums and galleries, Gothic and Romanesque architecture, there is plenty to see and do. You have plenty of time for attraction visits on most days. However the emphasis of the tour is to enjoy the countryside, the rolling vineyards, the poppies in spring and the wild cyclamen in autumn. This is a relatively gentle tour that is suitable for those who are new to walking. More experienced walkers will also enjoy the classic Tuscan landscape of small but sometimes steep hills, olive groves and vineyards. 

 

Find out more.

 

 

 

Lake Como Rambling

The beauty of Lake Como has to be seen to be believed. The majestic mountains rolling down to the shores of the crystal clear blue water, the charming towns and villages dotted along the shoreline, ancient Roman villas and the majestic hotels built for wealthy European and American tourists during the Victorian era all add up to a landscape like no other.  This lovely trip starts at the historic town of Como before taking in all that the area has to offer over the next 8 days, including hilltop ascents, villages, churches and ferry crossings.

 

Find out more.

 

 

Pleasant European Winter Tours for the Active Traveller

If you are after an activity break with a dose of some salty sea air this Christmas, consider the great islands and coastline of Europe’s seas and oceans. From windswept cliff-top bicycle rides to more leisurely seaside strolls and walks off the mainstream tourist radar, you will be surprised of the options for a pleasant break during Christmas. For the active traveller wanting to visit Europe, winter tours are a great option to consider.

 

Europe winter tours - Sherpa Expeditions

 

walking trips - winter holidays europe - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Popular year-round holiday destinations because of their excellent conditions for outdoor activities such as walking and cycling, these places do tend to attract a fair number of travellers during the winter season. Here is an overview of our favourite active winter trips in Europe.

 

Active Europe: Winter Tours

  • Southern Trails of La Gomera | Relatively short walking days exploring the southern trails of La Gomera & leaving time to relax.
  • Madeira Island Walking | Year round self guided walk following the Levadas and trails through the dramatic and rugged mountain scenery on the island of Madeira.
  • Exploring La Gomera – 11 Days | Experience La Gomera's lush plantations, mountains and whitewashed villages.
  • Walking in the Canaries | Year round walking opportunities exploring the mountains and coasts of Spain's most exotic islands.
  • Hiking the Vermillion Coast | Discover the coast and mountains along the edge of the Pyrenees. Walk through beautiful seaside towns enjoying famous Banyuls wine and seafood.
  • Exploring La Gomera – 8 Days | Experience the lush plantations, mountains and whitewashed villages of exotic La Gomera.
  • Cycling in Sardinia | Cycle along the spectacular southwest coast of the island biking past white quartz beaches and towering sand dunes, Phoenician Ruins and Ancient Mines.
  • Dingle Peninsula Walk | Experience on foot the history and natural beauty of Ireland's Dingle Peninsula.
  • The Portuguese Road – Coimbra to Porto | Walk the quieter trails between historical Coimbra and Porto on stage two of the Camino Portuguès.
  • Rota Vicentina – the Fishermen’s Trail | Traverse the Atlantic coastline of Portugal to reveal a landscape of deserted beaches, fishing villages and dramatic cliffs on foot.

 

Or How About these..

 

Especially during the Christmas period, accommodation is in high demand. We therefore advise to secure your winter break as early as possible. To discuss any special requirements or to chat about the best options for you, please feel free to drop by at our office in London (we’re located right along the Thames Path), give us a call or send us a message.

Europe’s Most Charming Coastal Towns

If you're looking to settle yourself down for a few days to get that true experience of a small place that seems to have stood still in time, there's no need to look any further. Here are 10 charming coastal villages that offer exactly that.

 

best coastal villages of europe _Sherpa Expeditions

 

Often a small market square where the local delicatessen shop is your go-to point for the best cheeses, the olives served are as fresh as you've ever had and shaded terraces serve wines directly from the vineyard… all this in close proximity to our friendly guest houses and family-run hotels. These types of villages along the coastlines of Europe form a great base for a few days of exploring on foot or by bike as they are a pleasant distance to rugged cliffs, quiet beaches, inland woods and pastures, groves, and mountain foothills.

 

Breathe in Europe through 10 of its most charming coastal villages.

 

Agios Georgios tis Pegeias – Cyprus

seaside places Cyprus-Agios Georgios tis Pegeias_Sherpa Expeditions (c)senza senso

©senza senso

 

Agios Georgios tis Pegeias is situated about 400m from the coast and has a small fishing harbour and beach area. The surrounding area is mainly agricultural with bananas and citrus fruit, a few tavernas, two churches and the ruins of an early Christian basilica.

 

It is locally claimed that the sunset from Agios Georgios tis Pegeias is the most beautiful on the island of Cyprus. Perhaps the best place to be to view this spectacle is above the cliff next to the St. Georges Restaurant, above the fishing harbour or on the coast itself. 

 

 

Flam – Norway

coastal village of Flam, Norway - Sherpa Expeditions

 

When you walk down to Flam, you’ll experience a beautiful trail that follows the lush valley route through woods and pastures in Norway. There’s always the sounds of rushing waters and when you eventually drop down to the Aurlandsfjord, a branch off Sognefjord, you’ll enter Flam.

 

The small coastal village of Flam has several restaurants serving local & traditional Norwegian meals (think of berries and salmon) and one of Norway’s most popular craft beer breweries can be found here. Out of town, enjoy a panoramic view of the Aurlandsfjord, take one of the most scenic bicycle rides in Norway, and hop on the famous Flam Railway.

 

 

Collioure – Vermillion Coast, France

collioure, Vermillion Coast, France - SHerpa Expeditions

 

Flower-decked Collioure is a very pretty little town set against the foothills of the Alberes Range near France’s Vermillion Coast. It has an idyllic setting with sun, sea and sky attracting lots of travellers each year. The seaside town consists of two little fishing ports separated by the mediaeval castle on a spur.

 

Did you know? This former fishing port was the birthplace of the Fauve movement of painters in the early 20th century, led by Matisse, and today still is a colourful place attracting painters and photographers alike.  

 

 

St Peter Port – Guernsey

coastal village of St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands - Sherpa Expeditions

 

St. Peter Port, Guernsey Island’s capital, is a bustling, friendly place with a row of attractive harbours and marinas set under a steeply terraced townscape, with some remarkably well-preserved buildings from the 1700s and 1800s. Visit Castle Cornet, the 800-year old fortress, the restored Victorian Gardens, the house where Victor Hugo stayed, or just relax along the promenade with its array of pubs and restaurants.

 

At certain high points in the coastal town you can see the other Channel Islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney - and the coast of Normandy in France. 

 

 

Riomaggiore – Cinque Terre, Italy

Riomaggiore seaside town on Cinque Terre - Sherpa Expeditions walking in Italy

 

Riomaggiore, perhaps the most interesting town of the five Cinque Terre villages, is occupied by little fishing and day trip boats. The Italian seaside town has mediaeval tower blocks that are crammed together overlooking an inlet of intense aquamarine colour. The buildings are all painted in bright pastel shades, complementing the natural Mediterranean light. 

 

 

Bowness-on-Solway – Scotland

Scotland's border town Solway Firth - Sherpa Expeditions

 

The views from Bowness-on-Solway on the border between Scotland and England are special for several reasons. This is the western end of the Hadrian’s Wall tour - behind are rolling hills and country lanes while in front is the beautiful expanse of the Solway Firth.  

 

The coastal village of Bowness-on-Solway has less than 100 houses and is the site of the Roman fort of Maia.

 

 

Ajaccio – Corsica, France

Near Ajaccio, Corsica_Sherpa Expeditions walking in France

 

Ajaccio, the capital town of Corsica, lies on the island’s rugged west coast. Although a busy cosmopolitan Mediterranean coastal town, it is a pleasant place to spend a few days. Enjoy the impressive harbour and old winding streets where you’ll have plenty of choice of little restaurants and boutique shops. 

 

Did you know that it was on this seaside town that Napoleon Bonaparte was born? You can visit his home, which is now a museum.

 

 

St Ives – Cornwall, England

charming town of St Ives in Cornwall, England - Sherpa Walking Holidays

 

In England, magical St Ives is a town of art, ice creams and fish ‘n’ chips. Protected from Atlantic storms, St Ives was once the most important fishing port in Cornwall, but like elsewhere on the surrounding coast, by the beginning of the 20th century, the fish stocks became depleted and the fishing fleet largely disappeared.

 

However as early as 1811 Turner visited to paint the seascapes and by the late 1880s there were several artists installed, and the town became famous for its vibrant artists’ colony. This perhaps reached its peak during the late 1940s and the 1950s. Today their work can be seen in the St Ives Tate Gallery, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Bernard Leach Gallery. We offer several holidays that include a stay in St Ives.

 

 

Porto – Portugal

In the town of Porto, Douro Valley - Sherpa Expeditions

 

In Porto, famous for its port and wine, there are lots of traditional tascas (taverns) that serve marine cuisine. Explore for example vibrant Ribeira district down by the quays. The city is located right between the Green (Costa Verde) and Silver (Costa de Prata) coasts of Portugal and forms part of the Douro Valley

 

To get the best idea of this Portuguese coastal city with a small-town feel, we suggest a walking itinerary taking in the famous sites such as the Cathedral and churches of 'Igreja de sto Ildefonso' and the 'Igreja Clerigos' with its monumental tower. Maybe walk along the upper and lower spans of the famous Luis I Road Bridge and admire the riverside districts of the old towns on both river banks. For those with extra time in Porto, why not take a trip across the river to the other town, 'Vila Nova de Gaia'. 

 

 

Santa Caterina – Sardinia, Italy

Santa Caterina on Sardinia, Sherpa walking holidays (c)Club Hotel

©Club Hotel

 

When you descend from the Montiferru Mountains on a walking holiday in Sardinia, you’ll walk into Santa Caterina di Pittinuri, located on the coast. Santa Caterina is a quiet bay surrounded by oak forests, olive groves and quiet pastures. This is a small coastal village, with just one small shop and a couple of bars. There’s also a nice 4-star hotel located right on the coast on a cliff at the edge of the beach with an excellent restaurant overlooking the sea. What more do you need besides a good glass of local wine, fresh produce from the island and the charming village life passing by?

 

Where to Go for Easter in Europe

Easter this year (2018) falls in the first weekend of April and is a great time for catch the first beams of sunlight all over Europe. The obvious question then is, where to go for Easter in Europe this year? In Italy, Spain and Portugal, all catholic dominated countries, there are processions and other religious celebrations for the holiday – as there are on Greek Orthodox Cyprus. Often, these are very colourful and traditional events that are well worth travelling for and to take part in or observe.

 

To give you an idea, here are five places in Europe to celebrate the Easter holidays and that are easily combined with a walking trip.

 

Easter in La Palma >> Majorca, Spain

As elsewhere in Spain, Majorca celebrates the Semana Santa (Holy Week) for Easter. The island is in a festive mood from the Thursday before Easter onward, when the biggest processions take place. The most colourful one is the La Sang procession in La Palma. Other Mallorcan places to go for Easter are the churches with performances of children and other special Easter events. On the Sunday you may find many people on the streets for their local pilgrimage and abundant picnics. Make sure to try the Easter pastries of panades and rubiols when you’re in Majorca this Easter.

 

Where to go for Easter? Go Walking in La Palma, Majorca

 

Head to Majorca a few days before Easter to enjoy all of the large processions that take place around the island and spend a few days in La Palma before you head off for your days of walking. Away from the burgeoning coastal resorts, discover the majestic Sierra de Tramontana massif of limestone peaks tumbling to the turquoise waters. Venture forth on a series of hikes through shady forests, olive groves and ancient farmsteads, visit tiny sun-drenched beaches and spend the night in a traditional monastery, listening to the sound of nightingales from your bedroom window.

Interested in visiting Majorca for Easter? Browse for inspiration the Majorca: Sierras and Monasteries walking holiday.


 

Easter in Florence >> Tuscany, Italy

Make sure you’re in Florence on Easter Sunday and be up and ready by 9am for the spectacular Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart). A tradition that goes back to the 12th Century, today, this is still an important Easter practise for the city of Florence. A cart is drawn by oxen from the Porta al Prato to the Church Square, now connected with the altar in the cathedral via a wire, here it is lit by a dove-shaped rocket from the cathedral so that it causes a 20 minutes fireworks show ‘the explosion of the car’. The whole spectacle happens in traditional 15th Century style with flowers, music, and clerics.


Visit Florence, Tuscany, for Easter holidays and a walking trip - Sherpa Expeditions

©moniko-moniko


Combine this Easter tradition with a week-long cycling or walking holiday in Tuscany. Follow the backroads in the early spring months and spot the first flowers come to bloom among cypresses, vineyards, traditional Tuscan architecture – and of course the rich Italian cuisine, oh the cuisine...

Interested in visiting Florence for Easter? Browse for inspiration the Tuscany on Foot, Cycle San Gimignano to Siena, Walking South of Siena, Cycling South of Siena, and Tuscany Cycle Explorer walking and cycling holidays.


 

Easter in Kato Paphos >> Cyprus

Right outside the church of Agia Kyriaki in the coastal town of Kato Paphos (the start and/or finish point of our Cyprus walking trips), the Passion Play, or Way of the Cross, takes place. It is one of the many Easter celebrations taking place over the island of Cyprus. Most of the residents are member of the Greek Orthodox Church, which has its own Easter traditions. Normally falling at different dates than the Christian or Catholic Easter, this year in 2018, celebrations are just one week later commencing on 6 April. Eat traditional lamb dishes and the Cypriot bread of flaounes and join any of the festive processions and performances.


Take a walking holiday in Cyprus during Easter - Sherpa Expeditions

©avlxyz


Fly in to Paphos ahead of your eight or eleven day Cyprus walking holiday and stay a few days to celebrate Easter. Then set off to explore the Troodos Mountains on foot and admire the rugged mountains, orchards and vineyards, profusion of exquisite, wild flowers and migratory birds that you can see particularly in spring.

Interested in visiting Cyprus for Easter? Browse for inspiration Winter Walking in CyprusThe Troodos Mountains and Akamas – 11 days or The Troodos Mountains and Akamas – 8 days walking holidays.


 

Easter in Braga >> Douro Valley, Portugal

There are several places to go for Easter in northern Portugal. Close to the starting point of our walking holiday, Porto, there is the city of Braga. Both cities host many concerts, dance performances, religious celebrations and street theatre activities during the Holy Week, but head for Braga to witness the Ecce Homo procession and many more Easter celebrations. It is led by coffin-bearers wearing a traditional purple robe on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter Sunday. A traditional dessert to try for Easter if you’re in Porto or Braga is the Easter sponge cake of Pao de Lo.


Visit the town of Braga for Easter holidays & walk in Douro Valley

©donald-judge


The surprisingly unspoilt Douro Valley is just a 1-hour train ride away from Braga and home to the first demarcated wine region in the world. Associated primarily with Port, these days it produces just as much high-quality table wine and you can experience the importance of grapes when you stay at a beautifully restored manor that owns a small vineyard. Enjoy pretty walks in the wine county of Douro Valley in spring when nature is coming back to life and trails are usually quiet.

Interested in visiting Douro Valley for Easter? Browse for inspiration the Douro Rambler walking holiday.


 

Easter in Alghero >> Sardinia, Italy

Fly in to Sardinia’s Alghero airport and spend a few days to celebrate the Easter holidays. Alghero is one of Sardinia’s most famous places to go for Easter and are influenced by the (Spanish) Catalan culture. Celebrations evolve around the Santcristus, a wooden statue that washed ashore in 1606 and now symbolises Alghero’s religious identity. There are processions from Good Friday onward and on the Thursday before Easter you can witness the raising of the Santcristus at the Saint Mary’s Cathedral.


Where to go for Easter in Europe_Visit Sardinia for a walking holiday

©echiner1


These celebrations could form a fantastic start or end to your Saunter in Sardinia walking holiday. Your walks start in Santu Lussurgiu, 2 hrs away from Alghero, and take you around the Montiferru Mountain Range, Sinis Westlands, sea cliff of Su Tingiosu and many ancient sites as you follow romantic Mediterranean trails. The advantage of travelling in spring and around Easter is that you will find much bird life and generally quieter trails.

Interested in visiting Sardinia for Easter? Browse for inspiration the Saunter in Sardinia or Cycling in Sardinia walking and cycling holidays.

 

 

For more information on where to go for Easter in Europe or on any of the suggested destinations, please contact our team of travel experts


 

5 Marches in Italy

Planning a trip to Italy and looking for holiday ideas that you can undertake fairly soon? We have created an overview of the first trips travelling to Italy this year. You can be packing your bags and hitting the Italian trails in spring undertaking one of these pleasant walking holidays in the land of pizza and the Romans.

 

The itineraries travel across the country and from the first of March, be among the firsts this year to enjoy the Italian walking paths, sip from your cappuccino on a quiet terrace in the first beams of sun in spring, visit ancient Roman sites without the crowds, and follow the trails of the Cilento Coast, Lake Como, Amalfi, Sardinia and Cinque Terre.

 

Lake Como

Go for a walking holiday around Lake Como in Italy with Sherpa Expeditions

The great lakes of northern Italy have been a popular holiday destination since Roman times, evidenced by the array of lavish villas and sumptuous gardens which line their shores. When you visit Italy in March, April or May, you can enjoy full flexibility on this itinerary that uses the old Roman tracks. They cross the mountains on the west side of Lake Como, exploring forested valleys, mountaintops and traditional villages. Still in use today by the locals, they have been transformed into a series of way marked trails offering breath-taking views.

>> Learn more about the 8-days Lake Como Rambling holiday

 

Cilento Coast

Italy's Cilento Coast is a hidden gem - Sherpa Expeditions

A brand-new trip in Italy to the less known side of Amalfi was launched in March 2017. Most visitors to Italy’s world famous coastal strip do not continue beyond Vietri sul Mare, the Amalfi’s easternmost point. Go a few miles further south though, and you will find Cilento: the country’s largest National Park. Richly scented pinewoods, mediaeval farm houses and traditional water mills remain largely ‘undisturbed’ by the 21st century.

>> Learn more about the 5-days Cilento Coast and Mountain walking holiday

 

Amalfi Coast

Visit Amalfi Coast, Italy, in March - Sherpa Expeditions

Few trips in Italy take in such a diverse combination of iconic highlights and stunning seascapes, making it impossible to escape the hordes of crowds that head to ‘Nastro Azzurro’ (Blue Ribbon) in the summer months. But, travel between March and May and you will have the Amalfi Coast virtually entirely to yourself.

>> Learn more about the 11-days Classic Amalfi Coast walking holiday, or check out the 6-days or the Classic Amalfi Coast - 8 Days options

 

Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is good for visiting Italy in March

The Cinque Terre (Five Lands) is Italian Riviera at its best. The coastline of the Cinque Terre in north-western Italy is as stunning as Amalfi, yet somehow even more colourful! For centuries artists and poets have praised the tiny aquamarine inlets that serve as fishing harbours and the ancient terraces rising steeply out of the coastal crags in words and pictures. You can opt for the gentle coastal strolls or strenuous hikes into the surroundings hills. Visit churches and viewpoints, walk through cliff-side vineyards and pine forests, while reserving ample time to feast on the rich Italian cuisine.

>> Learn more about the 6-days Cinque Terre Villages walking holiday

 

Sardinia

Take an Italy holiday in March to Sardinia with Sherpa Expeditions

The weather in Sardinia in March and April is often already relatively warm and pleasant for undertaking outdoor activities. When you visit the Italian island in early spring, stay around the coast to enjoy gentle walks and explore secluded bays and ancient watchtowers. Taste the clear spring water, spot birds like Grey Herons and Pink Flamingos, and watch the sunset turn the cliffs to shades of yellow and pink.

>> Learn more about the 8-days self guided walking holiday A Saunter in Sardinia

 

For more information on your options for visiting Italy in March, April and May and for booking details, you can download the trip notes on each trip’s page or contact our team of travel experts by phone or email.

 

Timeless Med: Festivals For The Summer & Beyond

The appeal of a Mediterranean holiday is timeless. The three islands off the western coast of Italy – Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica – offer a diversity of iconic landscapes and memorable festivals.

 

Either with your family, your partner or a group of friends, the gastronomy and landscapes of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica will almost certainly appeal to your fellow travellers. Whether you want to get up close to Europe’s tallest active volcano in Sicily, swim in Sardinia’s emerald waters or explore Corsica, the most mountainous Mediterranean island, there are several trips to the islands departing in August, September and October. And to help you make a choice, below we’ve listed some of the best events and festivals to the islands for you!

 

SARDINIA

Sardinia Festivals - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Right in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia is famous for its natural beauty. The island is a cyclist’s paradise with a network of quiet roads hugging a rugged coastline. People visit Sardinia for its hospitable people, exceptional cuisine and a unique culture that includes its own dialect.

 

Why go to Sardinia in August?

1st Sunday in August: Vermentino Wine Festival | In the centuries old wine village of Monti.

7 August: The Archers Tournament | 24 archers dressed in medieval outfits join the tournament in Iglesias.

8-16 August: Time In Jazz | The island’s annual international jazz festival takes place in Berchidda.

14 August: Fireworks and Fried Fish | A firework display in Alghero that is followed by eating fried fish.

August: XXVI Summer Music | Daily live music concerts in the Chiostro di San Francesco that celebrate Sardinia’s classical music in Alghero.


Timeless Med- Sardinia Festivals - Sherpa Expeditions

©gigi murru 


Why go to Sardinia in September?

6-7 September: Corsa degli Scalzi | A commemoration of the 16th century rescue of a holy statue in the lagoon town of Cabras, it’s an 8km run with the statue from the beach back into town.

17-25 September: Round Sardinia Race | A sailing race that starts and finishes in the port of Cagliari and makes a circle around the island.

29 September: Festa Sant Miquel | The villagers of Alghero celebrate their patron saint with fireworks and parades. 

September until early December: Autunno in Barbagia | A celebration of local food, handicraft and cultural traditions of the towns and villages in the mountainous Barbagia region.

 

Why visit Sardinia in October?

30 October: Sagra della Castagne | Head to Aritzo to join the village’s annual chestnut fair.

 

In Sardinia, enjoy gentle walks and explore secluded bays by bicycle. Discover lighthouses and ancient watchtowers on long sandy beaches, taste the clear spring water of the Montiferru Mountains, swim through rock arches and watch the sunset turn the limestone cliffs yellow and pink…

Go walking in Sardinia with Sherpa Expeditions or find out about our cycling in Sardinia holiday.

 

SICILY

Segesta Temple in Sicily - Sherpa Expedtions walking holidays

©manuel  MC


Sicily has two impressive volcanoes: Stromboli and Etna. Their presence has shaped island life and travellers can bathe in therapeutic hot mud, relax on the black beaches and take in panoramic views across the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Why visit Sicily in August?

1 July – 4 September: Calatafimi Segesta Festival | Lots of theatre performances, and concerts of jazz and classical music in and around the Greek theatre of Segesta.

12-14 August: Norman Palio | A festival held on Palermo’s Piazza Armerina to commemorate the moment Sicily was liberated from the Sarecens by Roger de Hauteville in 1071.

13-15 August: Renaissance Music Festival | A music festival in the village of Erice set on the top of a mountain when top renaissance and medieval music is performed.

17 August: Festival of Saint Agatha | Catania city’s most important religious festival related to the city’s patron saint Agatha of Sicily.

24 August: Festa di St Bartolomeo | Lipari, one of the Aeolian islands just off the shore of Sicily, celebrates their patron saint Bartolomeo with stunning fireworks.


Why go to Sicily in September?

13-27 September: Festa della Vendemmia | A festival in Piedimonte Etneo that is devoted to the grape harvest. There are wine tastings, wine-making demonstrations, and of course lots of food.

16-25 September: CousCous Fest | This festival in San Vito Lo Capo attracts international chefs who join a competition in preparing couscous, of course accompanied by live music, dancing, and a very positive vibe.

29 September – 2 October: Sherbet Festival | Held in Palermo, this is a festival that dedicates four days to sorbets and ice creams.


Festa della Vendemmia - Sicily - walking holidays - Sherpa Expeditions

©Fatabugiarda


Why go to Sicily in October?

1-10 October: Sagra del Miele | The famous ‘honey of Hyblea’ was much loved by the Romans and Greeks in their days. The locals of Sortino (next to Pantalica National Park) honour the miele (honey) in October each year.

 

Take your chance to get close to the island’s impressive volcanoes on a walking holiday to Sicily.

 

CORSICA

Corsica walking holidays - Sherpa Expeditions


Dense maquis mountain ridges and granite peaks soar to 2,700m to create a rugged terrain. This is Corsica.

 

Why visit Corsica in August?

2-5 August: Porto Latino | In St Florent, join this Latin-American music festival in the village’s citadel.

5-7 August: Foire de l’Amandier | This annual festival marks the almond harvest with cooking demonstrations of Corsican dishes, tastings and painting exhibitions – it takes place in Aregno.

5-7 August: Musica Classica | A classical music festival in Santa Reparata di Balagna in an open-air setting.

15 August: Assumption de Marie | This is an important festival that is celebrated all over Corsica to mark the passage of Virgin Mary into heaven.

16-17 August: Fiera di U Nuciola | If the almond has its own festival, the hazelnut should have too! The festival takes place in the square of Cervione.

 

Why travel to Corsica in September?

3-11 September: Festival du Tango | Add some days to join the tango festival in Bonifacio’s old Citadel with guitarists, dancers, street performers and lots of food.

9-13 September: U Mele in Festa | If you like to take part in one of Corsica’s oldest celebrations, join this festival of honey in Murzu to honour Virgin Mary.

13-17 September: Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques de Calvi | International polyphonic singers take to the stage in Calvi’s citadel.

14 September: Festa di u Ficu | In the village of Peri, join this festival celebrating the harvest of figs. It’s in the north east of Ajaccio.

 

Why visit Corsica in October?

29 September – 2 October: Tour de Corse | A FIA world rally that starts in Bastia this year and finishes in Porto-Vecchio. There are many laps that go through the island’s narrow villages so you’re sure to enjoy superb views.


Tour de Corse - Corsica walking holidays - Sherpa Expeditions

©JeanbaptisteM

 

On Sherpa’s Corsica walking holiday, start in Corte’s old town in the heart of the mountains and cross the north-south watershed onwards to the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the iconic rock formations of Les Calanches.

 

For more information on these festivals or our cycling and walking holidays in Corsica, Sicily and Sardinia, have a look at the specific trip notes or contact our team of travel experts in London. 

Active Mediterranean

Active Mediterranean

 If you are after an activity break with a dose of some salty sea air, the great islands of the Mediterranean offer from windswept cliff-top bicycle rides to more leisurely seaside strolls. Here are three of our favourite trips.


MAJORCA: SIERRAS AND MONASTERIES

The Sierra de Tramontana is a rugged limestone mountain range, which runs parallel to the northwestern coast of the Majorca island, forming one of the most spectacular coastlines of the Mediterranean. Mountain tops are bare, lower slopes are thickly forested, while in the settled valleys there are ancient terraces of olive, orange and almond groves. Our tour is based on three centres, the Santuari of Lluc, the cathedral town of Soller and Valldemossa, famous for its Carthusian monastery. Find out more >>

 

CYCLING IN SARDINIA

Plunge into the wild yet romantic beauty of southwestern Sardinia and cycle beside empty beaches and sand dunes in total freedom and at your own pace. The terrain is rugged in parts, with high cliffs ascending from the coast, interspersed with long sandy beaches, grass covered dunes and breathtaking views. The ride commences through the fascinating Sinis wetlands, home to colonies of pink flamingos, and concludes along the beautiful Costa del Sud, with its gleaming white beaches and a visit to an ancient Phoenician settlement. Find out more >>

 

VOLCANOES OF SICILY - GUIDED

To the north of Sicily is the beautiful Aeolian Archipelago, made up of 7 diverse islands. Its active volcanic cone dominates the horizon but you will also find dramatic cliffs and winding coastline, black beaches and thermal hot springs, a deep blue sea and charming port towns. Four days have been set aside to explore these islands on foot, including a guided ascent of Stromboli, while back on the mainland of Sicily the focus shifts to the famous volcano of Mount Etna, where the 2002/03 eruption opened a line of gaping craters. Find out more >>

 

Most Popular Cycling Holidays in 2015

Popular Cycling Holidays for 2015

Inspired by the Tour de France? Here are the details of our five most popular cycling holidays for 2015:

 

Cyclist's Coast to Coast - 8 Days

Wainwright’s “Coast to Coast” walk has long been a classic, and it was perhaps inevitable that cyclists would also look at interesting ways of crossing beautiful, scenic northern England. The original ‘C2C’ stretches from the lighthouse at Whitehaven on the Irish Sea to the lighthouse at Sunderland on the shores of the North Sea. Our Coast to Coast cycling holiday is a 144 mile itinerary combining the Cumbria Cycle Way Route and the popular C2C cycle route, offers a superb week's cycling amidst great scenery.  Find out more >>

 

 

Cycling the Turku Archipelago - 7 Days

Our self-guided cycling holiday in Finland makes the most of the favourable conditions, gentle terrain and frequent ferry services to provide a unique trip across the Turku Archipelago. The Turku Archipelago is one of Finland’s most stunning natural phenomena - 20,000 islands stretching out into the sea from the city of Turku in the southwest part of the country. Cycling a circular route around the main islands is made easy, and exciting by a system of local and free ferry services, most of them constantly going back and forth, acting like bridges.  Find out more >>


Turku Archipelago

 

Cotswolds by Bike - 8 Days

This holiday is intended to appeal to those who want a gentle introduction to cycling in the English countryside, as the Cotswold’s are hilly rather than mountainous. A week of marvelous rides will take you through one of the most beautiful and historic parts of England. Honey coloured stone villages, open wolds, wooded valleys and Roman roads are the background to pretty villages, “wool” churches, famous gardens, a Roman villa and welcoming inns.
Find out more >>

 

Cotswolds by Bike

 

Cycling in Sardinia - 8 Days

Plunge into the wild yet romantic beauty of south-western Sardinia and cycle beside empty beaches and sandunes in total freedom and at your own pace. The terrain is rugged in parts, with high cliffs ascending from the coast, interspersed with long sandy beaches, grass covered dunes and breathtaking views. 
Find out more >>

 

Cycling in Sardinia

 

Vineyards of Bordeaux

Mention Bordeaux and you will spark thoughts all around the world of good wine. As you travel through the vineyards by bike on carefully chosen routes you will experience this and much more. This is an easy-going, hotel-based on-road cycle tour exploring the delights of the Gironde region. Find out more >>


Bordeaux Vineyards Walking Holiday