There are millions if not trillions of cool walking destinations in the world. Sadly, most people will never get to the see them.
But with the freedom of movement having been taken for granted for way too long, living under lockdown and its various restrictions will hopefully make people appreciate the benefits of walking in nature more.
It’s never too early to start planning your next walking holiday. We’ve already published some ideas for the best nature walks in Britain so thought we would venture further afield this time out.
Here are five cool walking destinations to visit in 2021. You’ll be able to get on a plane again soon!
The Isles of Scilly
Okay, so we’re sticking with Britain for one more walk, but trust us when we say the Scilly Isles are like nowhere in the UK. The air is pure as it gets for starters.
The Isles of Scilly are a walking paradise and do not feel like you’re still in a part of Britain. Well, the than the wind and rain, but the summer months can be glorious. The scattered group of 140 islands – of which only five are inhabited – are untouched, peaceful and unspoilt.
Needless to say, the eye-catching landscapes offers a range of spectacular coastal paths and nature trails for you to enjoy all year-round. It’s easy to walk a different island a day, or smaller ones in just a few hours.
There’s no better way to appreciate island life than to take a guided walking tour with a resident, naturalists and ornithologists.
If you prefer to go alone, head north from Pentle Bay on Tresco up towards Rushy Porth and Block House Point. This is regarded as the best coastal walk on Scilly – particularly when the sun is shining and the tide is low.
The white sand and the colours of the sea, from turquoise to royal blue, deliver the ‘wow’ factor in spades as does the lookout towards Teän, Round Island, Men-a-vaur, St. Helen’s, Norwethal and St. Martin’s. You’d struggle to beat this spot anywhere in the world.
The Costa Brava, Spain
Costa Brava links tiny coves, medieval hilltop towns and fishing villages, with plenty of opportunities for cooling swims and lazy lunches along the way.
There are great options of walking holidays in the Costa Brava with the local tour operator graded by its level of difficulty from 1 to 3. From generally easy walking with a few ascents/ descents and shorter days up to very challenging, long day hikes with significant ascent and descent on challenging terrain with compass skills required.
Walking holidays in Catalonia consists of three essential ingredients: unspoiled scenery; hand-picked accommodation of character where you’ll receive a friendly welcome and superb cuisine.
The Ligurian Riviera, Italy
Another mesmerising walking destination in the Mediterranean is along the Ligurian Riviera in Italy.
Endlessly changing scenery makes for some of Europe’s finest coastal walks, through the alluring villages of this beautiful UNESCO-listed coastline. The ancient paths, often following long flights of stone steps built over the centuries to tame the steep terrain, terraced vineyards and olive groves, make this a delightful but challenging walking destination.
Walking through it is the most rewarding way to explore the famed Cinque Terre (‘Five Lands’). Our chosen routes offer not just satisfying but also offer a tranquil experience. There are options to shorten the walks using trains and boats if you wish.
You will be following the ancient path high above the sea through woods, strolling the so-called Cinque Terre (Five Lands), which for centuries were accessible only to those coming on foot or by boat. You can walk self-guided from hotel to hotel while your luggage is transported ahead, with plenty of opportunities to savour the region’s delicious seafood and pasta.
Rhine Walking, Germany
The Rhine region is the most forested area in Germany and offers an incredibly unique walking experience. It’s a long-distance hike with some wonderful viewpoints. It’s interesting to know that the German hiking institute has awarded it with the “German Premium Hiking Trail Seal”.
There are various hiking tours on the Rheinsteig for discovering the most beautiful stages of the long-distance hiking trail in Central Germany.
On the self-guided Rheinsteig hiking tour: Rüdesheim – Koblenz you start your hiking experience directly in Rüdesheim and enjoy eight days of perfect hiking pleasure. Many legends rank around the Rhine, uncountable castles and fortresses, quaint winegrower villages and fascinating scenic viewpoints. Nestled in idyllic vineyards of Rhinegau and impressive Middle-Rhine valley, which has been enlisted as UNESCO heritage. This impressive tour ends as stylish as it started, at Duatsches Ecs in Koblenz.
You would be hiking around 20km per day in approximately 6 hours. The itinerary includes a cable car ride, copious amounts of wine (maybe), castle ruins, visits to hunting lodges, and many castles along the way. It’s a demanding and challenging route but promises to be a great experience.
As far as walking destinations in Europe are concerned, there are few better sights to drool over than the steep and rugged coastal lines, green hills and small bays of Madeira.
It’s not only great for walking but also swimming, experiencing cloud forests and visiting sun-drenched banana plantations for a tipple of tasty liquor.
You can enjoy the breath-taking coastal views of the impressive north coast over the Boca do Risco saddle, and the spectacular terraces to Porto de Cruz. Walk under the shady laurel trees and swim in the lava stone swimming pool in Funchal and Porto Moniz.
The round trip in Madeira starts in the small fishing village of Porto de Cruz on the black sandy beach. Don’t miss out on tasting a “poncho”- a local drink made of honey, orange juice and sugar cane brandy, in the last remaining sugar mill.
The daily routes run on varied hiking trails, which can be sometimes narrow. Lots of patches run along the coastline and along Levandas (irrigational canals), where a head for heights is essential. You will walk on an average of five hours a day on this botanical paradise. GPS-data is available and could come in useful.
Which walking destinations would you recommend? Whenever you go walking in 2021, don’t forget to download the Sweatcoin app and earn reward points you can trade-in for discounted merchandise!