Nothing quite matches the feeling of wellbeing and adventure you get exploring on foot, and the health benefits of walking are manifold – both physically and emotionally. May has been named National Walking Month, with the aim of encouraging everyone – whatever their age or fitness levels – to get involved in walking. Why not reap all the rewards by taking your next step a little further afield on one of Ramblers Walking Holidays.
The original walking experts, Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331 133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) have been making the grade for over 70 years with a fantastic selection of UK and worldwide small group guided walking holidays to suit all levels of fitness and ability. Graded from Leisurely (1, 2, 3) and Moderate (4, 5, 6) through to Challenging (7, 8, 9) to help clients choose the right holiday to suit their preferred walking pace, ability and/or fitness, many holidays also feature two leaders and two different grades of walking meaning that clients with differing walking abilities can more easily enjoy a walking holiday together.
With plenty of holidays to choose from, here are a few options to help to get you on your way.
A Knight’s Island (Leisurely 3)
Treading in the footsteps of ancient civilisations, this one-week holiday explores the culture rich Dodecanese island of Rhodes. Taking in spectacular trails along a jagged coastline, interspersed with sandy beaches and quiet coves, walks also venture inland through pinewoods and valleys dotted with olive groves, small villages and ancient archaeological sites. Staying in the UNESCO World Heritage medieval old city of Rhodes Town with it maze of alleyways, magnificent archways, monuments, shady squares and museums, superb walking is topped off with visits to the Lindos acropolis, azure Harbour of St Paul, Knights of St John’s Palace of the Grand Master and plenty of tasty Greek food.
Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331 133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) offers a seven night A Knight’s Island holiday from £899pp including return flights, accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis and all local transport costs. Departures 4 October 2017, 11 October 2017, 11 April 2018, 23 May 2018. A special 12-day Christmas departure is also available from £1,475/person on 23 December.
Flowers Of Cape Province (Moderate 4)
A fascinating country at any time of year, South Africa in August sees the start of Spring, when a plethora of flowers brings mountain and coastal walking trails to life with a sea of colour. Immersed in a landscape which boasts an extraordinary 8,600 species, this moderate paced walking holiday takes in everything from breath-taking walks through diverse fynbos ‘fine bush’ on Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain to the lesser explored Overberg Coast and inland to Swartberg Nature Reserve where spotting antelope, baboons, leopard and rock hyrax ‘dassies’ is possible. With 3 -5 hours of walking each day and plenty of time to soak up the unique flora and fauna, highlights include some of the region’s best national parks and reserves, the famous botanical Kirstenbosch Gardens, Prince Albert’s ‘Cape Dutch’ architecture, the Cape of Good Hope and spectacular journeys across mountain passes.
Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331 133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) offers a 16 night Flowers Of Cape Province holiday from £2475pp including return flights, half board accommodation, services of a dedicated tour leader and all local transport costs. Departure 22 August 2017.
Walking the Trail of the Bernina Express (Moderate 5)
Following Switzerland’s most scenic train journey through alpine meadows dotted with ‘flower box’ villages against a backdrop of snowy peaks, Walking the Trail of the Bernina Express offers the perfect balance of exploring on foot and by train. Walking amongst towering glaciers and dramatic mountain scenery and covering five small villages over nine days, the journey takes in the stunning UNESCO World Heritage area between Thusis and Tirano - a landscape of waterfalls, gorges, lakes, towering rock walls, alpine farmland, bridges and viaducts – as well as the village of Latsch where the first Heidi was filmed. Culminating in a ride on the Bernina Express, the walk is retraced with magnificent views from the train. With July and August departures offering wonderful high alpine flora within the mountain meadows, September is equally enchanting with the cooler days and early autumnal panoramas.
Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331 133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) offers an 8 night Walking the Trail of the Bernina Express holiday from £1,599pp, including and includes return flights and airport transfers, half board accommodation, a Swiss rail pass and travel on the Bernina Express. Departures 7 August 2017, 4 September 2017.
Hiking in Andorra (6 Moderate or 6 & 8 Moderate and Challenging)
One of the Ramblers Walking Holidays original walks when they launched some 70 years ago, Hiking in Andorra is a perennial favourite, offering magnificent Pyrenean peaks towering to some 3000m, lush green valleys strewn with wild flowers and remote mountain lakes. Combining quiet rambles through the Sorteny meadows and Val de Inches, with more strenuous hikes to the World Heritage listed Val Madriu, the pristine trails are lined by some of Europe’s rarest and most colourful mountain flora. Selected departures feature two leaders, meaning that walkers can choose from a level 6 or 8 trail, ideal for those with different fitness levels to holiday together.
Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331 133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) offers a seven night Hiking in Andorra holiday from £750pp including return flights, full board accommodation and all local transport. Departures 11 & 18 June 2017, 30 July 2017, 6 August 2017, 13 August 2017.
Ramblers Walking Holidays is one of the holiday brands from RWH Travel (formerly known as Ramblers Worldwide Holidays), the experts in guided walking adventures. With over 70 years’ heritage, other brands within the group include the newly launched Chapters Experience Holidays – memorable experiential holidays around the world; Adagio – leisurely walking and cultural holidays at a gentle pace; Load Off Your Back – a self-guided UK walking programme and Cruise & Walk Holidays – cruise ship based walking holidays in association with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
For its walking holidays the company is the proud holder of Which? Recommended Provider status – i.e. companies which are highly rated by Which? Members and reach the exacting standards of Which? Researchers.
Each of the Ramblers Walking Holidays has been graded to help clients choose their preferred pace, with categories ranging from Grade 1-3/Leisurely (usually two hours walking); to Grade 4-6/Moderate (a combination of full and half day walks); and Grade 7-9/Challenging (full day walks where stamina is key).
On some dates, there is the chance to experience more than one walking grade with two leaders. Perfect for couples who prefer to walk at a different pace or have different walking abilities.
To help clients choose the type of walking holiday that will appeal to their interest, Ramblers Walking Holidays also uses symbols that depict the main interest on the walks. Categories include: Pioneer; Continuous Walks; Flora & Walking Holidays; Bird Watching & Walking; Lifestyle, Culture & Natural History; Hutting; Rail & Walk; Sightseeing.
The company’s mission is to generate funds for walking charities by the provision of outstanding outdoor activity holidays worldwide.
With its not-for-profit philosophy, the company contributes monies to the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust which supports walking related and environmental projects in the UK. The company also funds Heart & Sole - an initiative managed by company staff, with the aim of reaching into the heart of the communities visited both in the UK and overseas.
RWH Travel also runs The Walking Partnership - an initiative which champions walking at the 'grass roots' level by providing funding and support to walking groups and clubs throughout the UK.
Ramblers Walking Holidays is the Walking Holiday Partner of the Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity which drove the recent Big Pathwatch project, and has been pioneering and championing walking and ‘rights of way’ for over 70 years across England, Scotland and Wales.
Customers travelling on all holidays operated by RWH Travel are fully protected via the company’s membership of ABTA (No V5094) and as holders of an ATOL licence
(No 990). RWH Travel is also a member of AITO and ETOA.