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Inspiration and Advice for Walking in Europe Information, reviews and advice on Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk in England. Amalfi, Cilento, Tuscany, food and more Sherpa travellers share their reviews and experiences. Information, reviews and advice on Madeira walking holidays Information, reviews and advice on walks in the Cotswolds
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The Joys of Spring Walking

The Joys of Spring Walking

 

We know that a lot of people like to take their holidays in the summer – and it’s true that June, July and August can be a great time to walk if you’re comfortable with the potentially high temperatures.

 

But April and May are wonderful months for a walking holiday, especially in some of our European destinations where it can get very hot from June onwards. April is also when most of our UK routes start running, and much of the UK countryside looks at its best and most green in the spring.

 

Another advantage of spring walking is that the more popular destinations are quieter than they are in the height of summer, so if a little solitude is your thing then it’s definitely worth considering. Flights are often cheaper outside of the summer holidays – although bear in mind that Easter falls 19-22 April this year, and flights are sometimes pricier during the school holidays.

 

Here are a few of our favourite trips for spring walking – although pretty much our entire programme is running from April onwards so you have plenty of other choices if the trips below aren’t quite what you’re after.

 

CORNWALL

Cornwall is the UK’s most southerly county, and in spring the weather can be lovely, and the temperatures perfect for walking or cycling. Although, as with all coastal regions, there’s always an element of unpredictability with the weather – but that’s part of the fun! 

 

With some of the best beaches and most popular towns in the UK, it’s definitely worth a visit outside of the high summer season, before the crowds arrive. 

 

Cornwall is a region of dramatic beauty, spectacular coastal scenery, charming towns and villages – not to mention amazing fresh seafood and some of the UK’s finest beer! There’s a lovely atmosphere in Cornwall in spring – as if an entire county is waking up after a long, cold winter and excitedly anticipating the warm summer months ahead.

 

We offer several trips in Cornwall – each exploring a different section of the famous South West Coast Path. Find out more here.

 

Cornwall

 

Cornwall

 

THE TROODOS MOUNTAINS AND AKAMAS - CYPRUS

Cyprus can get extremely hot in high summer – which is great for some, but for those who prefer to walk in slightly lower temperatures, March to early May is a great time to visit this beautiful island in the eastern Mediterranean.

 

If you’re a nature lover there are other advantages of a visit in spring – with orchids starting to flower, and migratory birds passing through. When you go hiking in Cyprus, you’ll discover sleepy villages, farms and forests with fabled mountain views, and stunning coastlines. 

 

Legend has it that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, brought her lover Adonis to the beautiful Akamas peninsula. When walking in Cyprus, you get to experience the land of the Greek gods. 

 

We offer 8-day and 11-day versions of this trip. Find out more here.

 

Cyprus

 

Cyprus

 

TUSCANY ON FOOT

Spring in Tuscany is when the vegetation starts to come back to life and the beautiful colours of the flowers are at their most vibrant, making it a very rewarding time to visit this beautiful region of Italy. As with many of our southern European destinations, spring is a great time to visit if you want to avoid the summer temperatures.

 

It’s difficult to know where to begin when considering the highlights of a walking tour in Tuscany. Art, culture, rolling vineyards, ancient villages, and some of the finest food and wine you’ll find anywhere on the planet – Tuscany really does have it all. Which is why it can get rather busy in summer – another reason to consider a trip in spring.

 

This itinerary finishes in Siena, a classic Tuscan city full of ancient architecture, museums and a spectacular gothic cathedral.

 

Find out more here.

 

Tuscany

 

Tuscany

 

HIKING IN HIDDEN ANDALUCIA

Andalucia, in southern Spain, is another area of Europe that gets very hot in summer, and is a perfect destination in the spring. At this time of year the fields are awash with flowers and blossoms of all colours, framed by the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

 

Andalucia is a fascinating region – away from the well-known coastal beach resorts you’ll find the Moorish influence on the culture, architecture and food of this area rich in history. This trip focusses particularly on some of the more remote and unspoilt parts of the Alpujarras, a region of mountain villages clinging to the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada.

 

This is the perfect trip if you’re looking to experience southern Spain beyond the obvious flamenco, tapas and beaches. 

 

Find out more here.

 

Andalacia

 

Andalucia

 

DOURO RAMBLER

The Douro Valley is one of the finest wine regions in Europe, and spring is the perfect time to explore it. Not only are the temperatures perfect for walking, the whole area comes to life with the first bright green vine leaves emerging, and the hillsides covered in almond blossom.

 

Another highlight of this trip is the opportunity to spend a day exploring the lively city of Porto, with its maze of ancient streets, traditional town squares, and iconic blue and white azulas tiles.

 

If wine tasting is your thing, you’ll have the option to visit some of the many wine estates of the region – in fact the Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated and regulated wine region in the world.

 

Find out more here.

 

Douro Valley

 

The city of Porto

European Spring Walking Holidays

With Spring coming up soon again, many of the Sherpa Expeditions holidays are great to enjoy at this time of year. The list is long, offering you plenty of choice in coastal walks, hiking the Swiss Alps, traditional English walks and even cycling around the UK.

To find a trip that best suits your interests and requirements, why not use the Holiday Search Wizard on which you can narrow down per destination, price, duration and start or finish dates. Now is the time to start planning for your European spring walking holiday!

>> To the Holiday Search Wizard

 

Traditional English Walking

England walking holiday travel deals - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Exploring the Cotswolds (8 days)

A delightful short walk through quintessential English landscapes and villages in the charming Cotswolds -- A week long walk in the picturesque Cotswolds of southern England.

Or opt for the 5-day version

 

Coast to Coast: St Bees to Kirkby Stephen 

Follow the Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees to the historic villages and beautiful landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales.

Or find one of the other Coast to Coast trip options

 

The Dales Way 

Walk through the Pennines and Lake District in the Yorkshire Dales staying at inns and farmhouses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.

 

Cumbrian Way: Crossing the Lake District 

Walk from Ulverston to Keswick in the English Lake District, with views across Lake Coniston and Derwentwater. Visit Langdale and Borrowdale two of the prettiest Lakeland valleys.

 

Coast to Coast Classic Guided Walk - 15 Days

Cover 190 odd miles and traverse 3 national parks with our guide on the classic Coast to Coast walk, enjoy magnificent scenery with rolling hills and charming little villages with cosy pubs. 

 

Isle of Wight Coastal Walking

A beautiful walk circumnavigating the Isle of Wight.

 

Scotland

scotland travel deals - Sherpa walking holidays

 

West Highland Way (8 days) 

Walk through the stunning Scottish Highlands from Loch Lomond to Ben Nevis on this iconic route.

               Or choose the 10-day version of this walk in Scotland

 

Great Glen Way 

Walk through the heart of the Scottish Highlands at your own pace.

 

Lochs and Bens (cycling in Scotland) 

Cycle the picturesque Scottish Highlands.

 

European Coastal Walks

Europe coastal walking holidays travel deals - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Coast to Coast: St Bees to Kirkby Stephen 

Follow the Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees to the historic villages and beautiful landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales.

Or find one of the other Coast to Coast trip options by bicycle or on foot


Cinque Terre Villages 

A coastal walk on the Italian Riviera with a centre based stay in Monterosso. Choose from a selection of walks or just saunter around the beaches and clifftops.

 

Exploring Crete 

Discover Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands. Walk in Samaria and Imbros Gorge and hike in the White Mountains.

 

Isle of Wight Coastal Walking 

A beautiful walk circumnavigating the Isle of Wight.

 

Swiss Alps

centre based travel deals - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Meiringen: Panoramas of the Swiss Alps (5 days) 

Walk beneath the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau for unrivalled panoramas of the Swiss Alps during a selection of daily hikes on this centre based, self guided walking tour.

               Or check out an 8-day version and all other trips in the Swiss Alps

 

Cycling in the UK

cycling holidays travel deals - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Lochs and Bens (cycling in Scotland) 

Cycle the picturesque Scottish Highlands.

               Or find the complete offer of holidays in Scotland


Cotswolds by Bike 

Cycle through the heart of England in the Cotswolds. Discover quaint stone built villages, ride across rolling hills between village pubs and old coaching inns.

               Or check out all active holidays in the Cotswolds

 

NEW The Cyclist's Coast to Coast 

Cycle across England through the Lake District and over the Pennines to the North Sea along the popular C2C cycle path that was inspired by Wainwright's Coast to Coast path.

Or find the complete offer of Coast to Coast holidays 

 

For the complete offer of cycling and walking holidays in Europe, use the Holiday Search Wizard, or if you like to speak to one of our travel experts for tailored advice, contact us by email or phone

 

Visiting Spain in March & Onward: Who Should Go Where

This year you can be visiting Spain again from March onward, benefitting a long travel season in the southern European country. This opens up opportunities for all types of travellers. Whether you are up for a challenge, like to go remote, are interested in crossing borders or can’t choose between the mountains and the sea, Spain offers a type of holiday for any interest.  Will you be visiting Spain in March or later this year?

Check out the below ideas that show the variety of options available for active holidays in the outdoors of Spain.

 

If You Like to Get 2 For the Price Of 1

Walking on the Vermillion Coast - Visit Spain & France - Sherpa Expeditions


With an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, the dramatic coastline where the Pyrenees tumble to the Mediterranean can be enjoyed almost all year. For those of you who can’t decide between the French or Spanish section of the Pyrenees, why not cross the border between France and Spain on foot. Hike the Vermillion Coast and expect stunning mountainscapes, sea views, bright skies and delicious seafood. Also, there is plenty of time for relaxation built in the itinerary, so that you can enjoy the off-season calm of the pretty fishing ports along the Vermillion Coast in months like March, April and May.

Travel to Spain in Spring >> Go Hiking the Vermillion Coast >>

 

For Those Who Like to Go Remote

Hiking in hidden Andalucia, Spain - Sherpa Expeditions


The weather in Andalucía’s mountains can be harsh in the summer and winter months – but come in spring for beautiful fresh colours of green lighting up the valleys. Visit this part of Spain from March onward and find the hedgerows and paths lined with flower buds and migratory birds, while enjoying the pleasant temperatures. With the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada as a backdrop, go on an exhilarating walk in a remote part of Spain. Explore along terraced fields and irrigation channels that date back to the Moorish era, while staying in hidden white-washed villages.

Travel to Spain in Spring >> Go Hiking in Hidden Andalucia >>

 

If You Can’t Choose

Visiting Spain in March onward, Walking in Majorca - Sherpa Expeditions

 

The majestic Sierra de Tramontana is a massif of limestone peaks tumbling to the turquoise waters of the Balearic Sea on the northwest part of Majorca. For those that can’t choose between mountain hikes or coastal walks, this is the perfect setting. 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.

 

Travel to Spain in Spring >> Go walking along Majorca's Sierras and Monasteries along the coast >>

 

Go Island Hopping

Spain holidays: walking in the Canaries - Sherpa Expeditions

 

Hiking in Spain can be easily done year-round as long as you choose its exotic islands. Explore for example the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera while visiting Spain in March or any other time in spring. Hike your way around the second smallest Canary Island, La Gomera. Here you can experience high rocky mountains to cloud forest and banana plantations, but before that, explore Tenerife and Mount Teide, Spain’s highest mountain and the world’s third tallest volcano!

Travel to Spain in Spring >> Go Walking in the Canaries >>

 

If You’re After a Challenge

Alto Aragon, walking in the Spanish Pyrenees - visiting spain in march


The Spanish side of the Pyrenees has a drier climate than the French side and is less visited. It offers a magnificent array of rugged mountains, deep gorges, beech and pine forests, cultivated terraces, ancient stone bridges, unspoilt towns and villages with many historic buildings, linked through a network of waymarked trails and paths. The walking is about 5-8 hours a day with an average altitude gain of 900m (sometimes over 1000m) and you’ll need to be competent at map reading and compass work.

Travel to Spain from June onward >> Go walking in the Alto Aragon: The Spanish Pyrenees >>

 

For the complete overview of cycling and walking holidays in Spain, have a look these 15+ trips. If you like more information on any of the above-mentioned holidays, please download the trip notes from the blue button on the trip page or contact our team of travel experts. 

Madeira in Spring: The Flower Festival & More

Few places in Europe welcome spring in such a colourful way as Madeira…

Flowers of Madeira, Portugal

© cupideich

 

Taking place in spring every year (2017 from 4-21 May), the island’s dazzling annual Flower Festival features beautiful displays of tropical flowers. Over the years it has become known for its Sunday parade, when hundreds of dancers accompanied by huge floral floats march through the main streets of capital Funchal.

Madeira enjoys an impressive year-round flowering season thanks to its subtropical climate and rich volcanic soil – you can even find a dedicated Orchid Garden with more than 7,500 species! But this is not the only reason why we are such a big fan of Portugal's Madeira island. The mild year-round climate and a 1,350-mile network of levadas together with the impressive scenery form the base for an 8-day self guided walking trip that will immerse you in the island's lush nature. 

 

 

Flowers in Bloom

Coast of Madeira Island, Portugal

© Allie Caulfield

 

Spring is the perfect time to visit the Portuguese island when a myriad of colourful flowers and trees are in bloom – jasmine, begonias, freesias, magnolia and camellias form just a part of the spectacular flora.

 

 

Rugged Interior

Rugged interior of Madeira island, Portugal

© cupideich

 

Volcanic in origin, Madeira’s rugged interior rises abruptly to over 1,800 metres (approx. 6,000 feet) with forests of pine and laurel flanking its jagged peaks. 

 

 

16th Century Aqueducts

Levadas offer access to remote areas of Madeira Island, Portugal

© D Stanley

 

Follow levadas through a peaceful pastoral countryside or traverse terraced hillsides; dating back to the 16th century, these irrigation channels or aqueducts are specific to Madeira, originally built to carry water to the agricultural regions. 

 

 

Remote Trails

Pico Ruivo, Madeira Island, Portugal

© vigour

 

Climb up to Pico Ruivo, the island’s highest peak; many of the levadas can be followed on foot, which together with a network of local trails make even the most remote parts of the island, such as this peak, accessible.

 

 

Charming Funchal

Little capital Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

© Artur Malinowski

 

Spend time in the bustling little capital of Funchal – visit a Madeira wine lodge, explore colourful food and flower markets and enjoy superb fish restaurants.

 

On our self-guided walking tour of Madeira island, you will walk 4-7 hours per day. The trip departs year round. For more information you can download the trip notes or get in touch with our team of experts in London.