Monday, March 23, 2015

Coasts with the Most

Discover the magical shorelines of the Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas... Nicola Green shares her experiences of European walking holidays.

"What’s wrong with relaxation, anyway? The question occurred to me while I was sipping a glass of crisp grk white, lazily counting the islets dotting the bay beneath my terrace. The sun was still warm as it slipped down over my left shoulder, setting the waves sparkling on the Adriatic before me. The vineyards hugged my base, the village of Lumbarda, like an emerald scarf, so close I could almost reach out and pick the grapes from which my wine was made.


Part of me felt almost guilty. In the office, I’m surrounded by folk for whom the summit is everything. But I love to celebrate what’s wonderful about Europe – and especially the chilled-out vibe that permeates every aspect of the Mediterranean. For me, a holiday is less about head-down hiking and bagging peaks, and more about drinking in the scenery along a coastal trail, cooled by a soft, perfumed sea breeze.


Don’t get me wrong: the walking is as important as the wine – I just don’t see why I can’t have both. Which is why my visit to Korcula, a delightful island just a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik – and reputedly the birthplace of Marco Polo – ticked all the right boxes. Over the course of a week, I was able to roam the island’s trails, passing olive groves and vineyards, exploring the old town and its striking St Mark’s Cathedral, and stopping off at quiet coves for a picnic and impromptu dip. The legs enjoyed a proper stretch with several hours’ walking each day, but always at a leisurely pace. And there was plenty of time to nose around the terracotta-roofed medieval centre of Dubrovnik itself, as well as taking off to explore nearby islands and villages.

The same ethos applies to our other coast-based holidays in Turkey, Corfu and Italy. Rambling and relaxation get equal billing. Slow travel? This is the very epitome – local food, local wine and a very local sensibility."

By Nicola Green, Marketing Manager

Experience it for yourself

Pick from some of our self-guided European trails for boots, beaches and bliss...

Experience the best of Adriatic island life. Based first on the beautiful island of Korcula, you’ll discover traditional villages and the fascinating walled old town of the island’s capital, as well as encountering lovely coves, beaches, forested hills and vineyards. Back on the mainland, roam the walls and marbled streets of Dubrovnik, and amble the delightful trails running from the peaceful village of Cavtat across the bay.

Cut and paste your choice of sections from the route named among the world’s ten best walks by Sunday Times Travel, setting out each day from your base: a boutique hotel in the Bay of Adrasan. Marvel at the eternal flames at Chimaera – believed to be a monster’s burning breath – on the slopes of Mount Olympos before cooling off in the hotel pool!

Taking in the best of east and west, this magnificent trail zig-zags between the coasts on its route through the finest areas of the Ionian island. Walk cobbled paths through willow, cedar and juniper forests, alongside rivers and through lush pastures.  

The views from Mount Vesuvius over the Bay of Naples are nothing short of explosive – and the hiking on the volcano, as well as on nearby Capri and along the ‘Path of the Gods’ above the Amalfi Coast, are just as terrific. There’s also the chance to explore the long-buried cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Top 10 Walks of the World

Explore the world on foot. Choose from a wide selection of trips from Guided Small Group holidays to Self-Guided adventures and Private-Guided tours. Whether you’re a solo traveller wanting to meet new people, a couple or friends travelling together - we’ve got a trip for you.

Request our brochure or visit us online for more information.



NEW FOR 2015

Burmese Days
the time-warped land of Myanmar
Trek through remote Burmese villages, explore the beautiful Bagan temples by bicycle, watch the sunset over the Irrawaddy River and summit Mt Popa for great views.
Find out more online.
The Lost City & Beyond
trek jungles, rainforest & beaches
Marvel at indigenous ruins in the Lost City or “Ciudad Perdida”, enjoy wild Carribean beaches flanked by jungle and mountains and wander the streets of colonial cities.
Find out more online.
Rainbow Route & Drakensberg
South Africa’s highlights on foot
Trek in the spectacular Drakensberg Park, spot the Big Five in one of the world’s greatest game reserves and soak up coastlines backed by pristine forests.
Find out more online.
The Complete GR20
walk from North to South Corsica
The GR20 is considered to be one of the most challenging walks of Europe. The trail takes you through the most wild and beautiful landscapes Corsica has to offer.
Find out more online.
& SOME OF OUR TOP TRIPS

Ultimate Patagonia Adventure
wild Patagonia at its very best
A walking holiday to see the best of Patagonia including, Torres del Paine National Park, Fitzroy and the legendary Cerro Torre and Tierra del Fuego.
Find out more online.
Spice Trails of Kerala
an adventure in India’s tropical south
Trek in the fragrant Cardamom Hills, cruise the tropical lagoons of the backwaters, see the colourful temples of Madurai and smell traditional spices, coffee and tea.
Find out more online.
Tour du Mont Blanc
the classic alpine trail
Walk the best of the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit across alpine passes and through charming valleys and meadows. Explore charming Champex and see Mont Blanc.
Find out more online.
Raiders of the Lost Kasbah
a unique trek through Moroccan history
Explore the Southern flanks of the Atlas following an ancient trade route. See kasbahs, ksars and Ait Ben Haddou and explore the exotic souks of Marrakech.
Find out more online.
Best of the Lycian Way
ultimate Lycian Way experience
Walk along the Turquoise Coast, stay in a delightful hotel base in the Bay of Adrasan, visit the Eternal flames of the Chimera and summit Mount Olympos (optional).
Find out more online.
Everest In Style
stay in the very best Nepalese lodges
Walk in the Himalayas and stay in comfortable lodges in the Everest region. Explore wonderful old Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.
Find out more online.






INSPIRED? LET US TAKE YOU THERE
Call us on 01962 737565 to start planning your next journey with us or visit our website
walksworldwide.co.uk

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The New Star Treks

If you think you've ticked off the must-trek destinations, think again – Tim Shepley reveals five alternative highs that offer new thrills for experienced walkers.
"The peaks of Torres del Paine are unlike any other summits I’ve seen. What’s more, they’re not even like each other. The twisted Cuernos (‘Horns’) del Paine appear to have been ripped, gouged and torn from the granite by giant talons; the vertiginous walls of the Valle Franc├ęs were seemingly scooped out of the very rock; while the three Torres (‘Towers’) themselves rise like broken teeth from the jaw of the massif. Each is gobsmacking; each quite different.
Like so many avid walkers, I’ve long had a bucket list of treks to complete – Everest Base Camp, for example, and Kilimanjaro. But gawping up at those otherworldly towers in Chilean Patagonia, I understood clearly that there’s more to a hiking life than the headline acts. Sure, there’s nothing quite like catching your first dawn glimpse of Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate – but Latin America’s other great treks offer moments of wonder every bit as epic, if less well known. Maybe you’ve accomplished your first set of ambitions; perhaps you just can’t seem to make the timing work for that dream trek. Either way, Walks Worldwide has a panoply of alternative trips in Asia, Africa and Latin America to get your heart racing and your feet itching."
Tim Shepley 
Walks Worldwide Manager 

Done Everest Base Camp?

Now try this... 


 Nepal
 Forbidden Land of Mustang
 It’s barely two decades since the fabled ‘Kingdom of Lo’ cautiously opened its borders to foreigners; even today, the trails through this region north of the Annapurnas are accessible only to guided trekking groups. This is a world apart, a land almost more Tibetan than Tibet, high, arid and mystical. Our 19-day tour affords stunning views of 8,000+m peaks as we pass picturesque white-painted villages, Tibetan monasteries, stupas and prayer walls to reach the fabled walled city of Lo Manthang. 



If neck-craning peaks are your cup of tea, try the region of West Bengal near the old British hills station of Darjeeling – the classic Singalila Ridge Trek skirts the Nepalese border in the shadow of the world’s third-highest mountain, 8,586m Kangchenjunga. In clear weather, an array of 8,000+m peaks (including Everest) can be admired from the path.





Trekked The Inca Trail?

Now try this... 


Those jagged peaks of Torres del Paine are just one of a series of natural wonders on this epic exploration to the end of the earth. Gawp at the spectacular crags of Mount Fitz Roy, watch vast icebergs calve from Perito Merino Glacier, taste the legendary W trek in Torres del Paine National Park, and explore the world’s southernmost city, Ushaia, on the ‘Land of Fire’ -– Tierra del Fuego.




Conquered Kilimanjaro?

Now try this...


Kili stands alone in Africa – literally and figuratively – but for varied trekking, the High Atlas are hard to beat. Our 8-day itinerary isn’t a straight up-and-back slog, but rather a rewarding approach via the less-trodden trails to the peak’s north, adding cultural context to those 360-degree panoramas from the roof of North Africa, 4,167m Jebel Toubkal.





Wild, remote, dotted with fearsome-looking gelada baboons and long-horned walia ibex, the Simien Mountains offer trekking unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Visit the castles of the ‘Camelot of Africa’, Gondar, before traversing to 4430m. Bwhait Peak, the third highest mountain in Ethiopia. 




For Information on all of the above trips and many other wonderful expeditions - click here, or alternatively you can give us a call on 01962 737565 












Thursday, February 5, 2015

Trekking in Nepal

Walks Worldwide Manager, Tim, speaks about his experiences trekking in Nepal. 

"I have been very lucky to walk in some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, but for me the true walking mecca will always be the Nepal Himalayas and specifically Everest Base Camp. I have trekked there on 2 separate occasions and it never fails to take my breath away (in more ways than one).

After an arrival in Kathmandu, and introductions with the group are complete, discussions quickly turn to the excitement of what is to come. Before the walking even begins the trip starts with the hair-raising and often gravity defying flight to Lukla, once we all arrive in tact the trip begins!

You start to climb firstly you reach the town of  Namche Bazaar,  from here you walk with the greatest panorama you can imagine, past picture perfect tea houses and small villages and  picture perfect monastery at Tengboche , after 8 beautiful days you eventually reach the mind blowing goal of Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar. Not many people realise  you can’t actually see Mt Everest summit from Everest Base Camp However your view  from the summit of Kala Patar takes in not only the iconic view of Everest and 4 other 8000m peaks.

The walk back down to Lukla seems more of a gentle stroll after the toils of the last 2 weeks, and with a final hair-raising flight Kathmandu and civilization awaits."


Walks Worldwide offer 2 classic itineraries in the region, the classic tea house trek to Gokyo Lakes and Everest and Everest Base Camp itinerary. 

The alternative Inca Trail

Our walking specialist, Dan, took on The Lares Inca Trail recently. Here's his story:



 "I was fortunate to join our Lares Inca Trail trek in December. With permits for the classic route selling out quicker and earlier than ever before, I've found that this alternative trail is becoming more and more popular.

The Lares Trail is not only a challenging trek at altitude but also a cultural journey through the Sacred Valley.

The trek explores the less visited and uncrowded Lares region in the north of Cusco (we only saw two other trekkers on the entire trail). The region has some great high mountain passes (max 4,400m) and offers an insight into the local culture. We saw large herds of alpacas and llamas along the route. We also came across weavers in traditional colourful dress. We started to notice that we were a bit of a tourist attraction with the locals who kept appearing from nowhere to get a glimpse of our group!

We finished the trip at the incredible archaeological site of Machu Picchu. This incredible journey really does leave you feeling like you've experienced an authentic slice of Peru."

If you'd like to visit Peru and take on the Lares Inca Trail, call us on 01962 737565 or find our more information on our website

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Walking in Patagonia

You saw the Top Gear boys race through the exciting mountains of Patagonia, but Walks Worldwide Specialist, and trekking expert, Matthew Bennett prefers to take the slower route. Recently returned from our group tour the Ultimate Patagonia Adventure, Matt is keen to share his experiences. 


"Embarking on the Ultimate Patagonia Adventure was the fulfilment of a dream; to trek in one of the most beautiful areas of the world on an epic journey to the end of the earth!"

"The scenery was spellbinding. Beautiful panoramas surrounded us, made up of stunning lakes, untouched snowy peaks and towering spires, which gave the place a truly magical feel."



What makes this the Ultimate Patagonia Adventure...

Dedicated tour leaders supported by specialist local guides in each National Park 


"Could not have wished for better guides! They were all so knowledgeable, helpful and friendly from start to finish, always remaining professional and fun... such a bonus!" 


All the big hitters of Patagonia included                                                  
"This trip goes far beyond the bucket list, featuring highlights such as: Cerro Fitzroy, Perito Moreno Glacier, granite towers of Torres Del Paine, Lake Pehoe and the Beagle Channel."  



                                             
Amazing cuisine  

"Now here is something to write home about! Argentina and Chile have some of the finest food in the world. Just some of the highlights were the excellent red wine from Mendoza, the beef steaks in El Chalten, fresh Salmon in Puerto Natales and a wonderful lamb BBQ at the Estancia in Rio Grande!" 

Diverse landscapes with glaciers galore!

"As well as Perito Moreno Glacier, we also had the opportunity to visit and even trek on Viedma Glacier in Argentina and spend a day walking to the Grey Lake and Glacier on the famous W route of Torres Del Paine."

"On the Argentinian side of Patagonia, the humidity is blocked by the Andes, so the landscape is semi arid. Whereas on the Chilean side the humidity comes off the pacific Ocean, giving a much greener landscape. Further down in Ushuia, the landscape resembles some of the beauty spots of the northern hemisphere" 


"This was far more than a walking holiday. The trip was a fantastic experience which few other destinations could live up to!"

Ultimate Patagonia Adventure: 17 day trip, from £2,249 (Land Only) or 19 day trip, £3,999 (Flight Inclusive). A detailed itinerary, specific dates and prices can be found here.

Find out more about this amazing adventure online or call Matt on 01962 737 565.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Burmese Days

We've launched our first trip to Burma/Myanmar: Burmese Days. Walks Worldwide Manager, Tim Shepley would like to share his experiences of travelling around this astoundingly beautiful country. 


"Like most people who visit Myanmar, my first impressions were based on the old British capital of Yangon (formally Rangoon). While the official capital has been moved to Naypyidaw, Yangon remains the largest and most important city, it seems a world away from other major SE Asia capitals such as Singapore or Bangkok, almost stuck in a time warp. It is often said that you are not in Paris if you can’t see the Eiffel Tower, the same could certainly be said for Yangon and the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda.

My next stop was the last royal capital of Mandalay, while central Mandalay features the rebuilt Mandalay palace the real highlight of this area are the beautiful ancient capitals such as Ava and Mingun on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, it feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

Bagan takes your breath away like few other places on earth, similar in many ways to the Ankor temples of Cambodia, Bagan features over 2,200 temples spread out over a vast plain, it also offers one of the greatest places to watch a sunrise and sunset that I have ever seen.

My personal highlight of the trip was the trek from Kalaw, a British hill station, to Inle Lake, this 3-day hike through local villages, sleeping in local monasteries really allowed you to get up close to some of the friendliest people I have met on all my travels. The walk concluded on the banks of the magnificent Inle lake.

Myanmar is truly is a special destination; it is quickly opening up and tourism is growing a phenomenal pace. I loved my Burmese Days, and with this magnificent itinerary I am sure you will too."


Burmese Days: 16 day trip, from £2,250 land only. A detailed itinerary, specific dates and prices can be found here.


Find out more about this intriguing itinerary online or call Tim on 01962 737 565.