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10 benefits of walking holidays

Travel Weekly

There are flop and drop holidays, self drive discovery trips and fully escorted bus tours, however one of the most rewarding holidays is a walking holiday.

On Foot Holidays, which offers 28 self-guided inn-to-inn walks across Europe, has come up with 10 benefits of taking a walking holiday.

Walking is a great way to keep fit

Benefits of walking include increased cardiovascular fitness, stronger bones, improved balance, reduced body fat, increased muscle strength, lowered risk of disease and even reduced stress and anxiety. While many holidays involve hours spent sitting in a car, coach or train, walking holidays ensure that you exercise as you explore the world.

It’s a calming, meditative form of travel

‘Solvitur ambulando’ is a Latin term literally meaning ‘it is solved by walking”. Walking provides free-thinking time for travellers to ponder the meaning and beauty of life and solve problems.

Walking holidays provide intimate encounters with destinations

While walking, travellers can notice the fine details of trees, houses, fields, towns and castles, instead of just glancing at sweeping scenery out of a coach window. Walking puts the traveller in the centre of the picture.

They provide encounters with real people

As you journey through the countryside, you meet locals, farmers, shopkeepers, fellow travellers and hospitable guest house owners.

Walking is very affordable

Because you’re using your own two feet instead of hiring a car or catching a coach or train, walking holidays are far less expensive than many other forms of travel.

Eco-friendly

Walking is friendly to the environment – no carbon emissions. And as walking trails are much thinner than motorways or roads, walking leaves a much smaller ecological footprint.

There’s that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the walk

Walking provides a personal sense of achievement when you arrive at your destination – much more pronounced than any sense of achievement you get from a coach or rail trip or cruise.

They’re soul-filling and spirit-inspiring

As travellers slowly and leisurely take in nature’s beauty, they are filled with a spiritual sense of awe. Some of the world’s foremost creative minds gained inspiration from walking through the countryside, including William Wordsworth, Beethoven, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf and more recently, Steve Jobs.

Walking takes you to places that coaches, planes, ships and trains can’t

Walking tours give travellers heightened access to the world, enabling them to go off the beaten track as they wander through fields, rugged countryside, quaint villages, forests and vineyards.

You set your own pace

Walking tours cater for independent travellers. So if you’re keen to take things slow, you can set a leisurely pace and even extend your stay at the guesthouses along the way. Or, if you’re a fit and fast walker, you can make sure that you are not slowed down by slower travellers as you bound across the countryside.

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