Home > The Fun Factor > Take a Hike - European Walking Holidays

Take a Hike - European Walking Holidays

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
European Walking Holidays Walking Hiking

Spectacular scenery, delicious food, and the chance to dust off your high-school French, German or Italian – for those who can still find sufficient room in their ever shrinking budget to pack in an annual holiday, picking out a good set of walking boots and setting off to explore mainland Europe’s areas of natural beauty is the perfect way to clock up a few miles on the exercise clock while temporarily forgetting the credit crunch headlines back home.

For some reason, walking still elicits a few snorts of derision in the locker room - perhaps because this more gentle of pursuits will not leave you pumped up with adrenalin and peeling off a sweat-soaked leotard or exercise vest. But exercise doesn’t have to be all about hi-energy and whoops and whoops of self-motivation. Take a five-mile route through the Swiss Alps or the valleys of the Andalucian region of southern Spain. Or maybe the coastal trail that links the 'Cinque Terre' villages that hug the Ligurian coastline in north-western Italy.

The lower body will be getting through plenty of work negotiating those uphill stretches; the cardiovascular system must be ready for the challenge, too; while those core muscles of the lower back and abdominals have to be ready to provide a solid basis for the good posture that is essential for healthy hiking. The gentle film of perspiration on the brow may lack the dramatic outpourings of the dance studio back home, but it is indication enough that clocking up the miles, sorry kilometres, is putting your body through its paces.

Snapshot of a Country’s Soul

Walking with children brings its own rewards because they are simply more inquisitive than adults. Flora or fauna that the grown-ups would simply breeze past, probably because they are mentally picturing the cool beer or glass of wine at the bar in the next village, will have the kids rushing over to investigate.

In an age when travel, whether by aircraft, or motorway, means missing out on so much local colour in the rush to get from A to B, walking holidays offer children the chance to really enjoy a snapshot of a country’s soul. The carefully planned route maps that many operators include in their packages will also give them the chance to interact with the locals in a relaxed atmosphere. After all, a few brief exchanges with the receptionist in a five-star hotel is hardly the ideal way to introduce children to different languages and cultures, particularly as the hotel staff are likely to be trained to address everyone in English.

Rest Days

Ensure when you explore the options that you do not pick a walking holiday that is too hard core. Covering long distances on a daily basis may be fine for adults-only parties, but children are not only physically unable to keep up with the pace, but they are also likely to get bored. So look for an itinerary that is based at a good-sized hotel with a pool, so that on rest days, you can keep up your toning routine, while the younger ones splash about and let off a little steam. Proximity to a large town or a schedule that includes stopovers in larger urban centres is another way of mixing up the serious business of walking with a little pleasure for the children.

Ideally, you want everyone to return home happy with their experience, and even happier about the prospect of undertaking a similar trip next year. In terms of the exercise schedule, the scenic miles that you have covered on holiday will mean you won’t have to shake the cobwebs out of your limbs when you head back to the gym.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Frenchy
    Re: Toning Tables - Pros & Cons
    Do you know of any toning tables in the Peterborough Spalding area please
    17 July 2017
  • Mel
    Re: Toning Tables - Pros & Cons
    Any toning tables in the Wigan area
    17 June 2017
  • Toner
    Re: Toning Tables - Pros & Cons
    I have used the Toning Tables for the last 5 years. I always felt stronger and more toned. The business came up for sale and 2…
    17 April 2017
  • Red
    Re: Toning Tables - Pros & Cons
    After seizing up after another back relapse nrly 5 years ago. I went to a very very well detailed and advised pain management…
    1 April 2017
  • TonedBody
    Re: Toning Tables - Pros & Cons
    Bic - Your Question:Yrs ago I tried toning tables loved them went from a size 24 to a 18 in under 6 months. The place went out…
    24 February 2017
  • Bic
    Re: Toning Tables - Pros & Cons
    Yrs ago I tried toning tables loved them went from a size 24 to a 18 in under 6 months . The place went out of business. I was…
    21 February 2017
  • Callie
    Re: Toning Tables - Pros & Cons
    I used toning tables 3 x per week for 11 weeks and dropped 1.5 dress sizes. Although I didn't lose weight I was fitter and…
    13 February 2017
  • Lili
    Re: Toning Tables - Pros & Cons
    I suffer with bad knees n found gym to much strain on them but been back about a week as not been for months due to working…
    9 February 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the TonedBody website. Please read our Disclaimer.