Walking holidays for over-50s

By Jennifer Shaw

Walking holidays can be a great way to explore a new destination and maybe meet new people. These ideas for over-50s and older include gentle strolls in the Italian countryside and crater-ridden volcanic trails. There are group trips and individual self-guided walks depending on how sociable you feel.

Hotel to hotel walking in Europe

With your luggage and accommodation all taken care of, enjoy a self-guided walking tour in some of Europe’s most scenic destinations. For example, a three-day trip to the Minho in Portugal will take you across rivers, vineyards and gardens all within one of Portugal’s oldest regions. Visit between late May and late October and you can enjoy the annual Ponte de Lima Garden Festival.

Take a seven-night self-guided gastronomic walking tour of Catalonia where you’ll explore medieval towns and tuck into local seafood such as llagostins al forn. The trip includes stays at four different hotels, all with breakfast and dinner included.

Guided walk in the Lake District

If a challenge is what you’re seeking then consider a guided walking tour in the Lake District. With transport and accommodation included, travel with a guide on a six-day trip to explore some of the area’s famous peaks including Scafell Pike. With a range of demanding routes available, prepare for a rewarding adventure.

Hike the coast of Cornwall

Why travel abroad to get to the beach when the Cornish Coast has plenty to offer? Spend a week in the South West and enjoy excursions around St Ives with its palm trees and quirky boutiques. Stay in a hotel by Carbis Bay near the city centre. Enjoy cliffside scenery and walk to Lizard Point, the southernmost point of Britain’s mainland, on this seven-night guided tour with no single supplements.

Turkish delights

The Lycian Way is one of Turkey’s most popular walking routes. Tackle part of it on this self-guided walking holiday. The ghostly Greek village of Kayakoy is a must-see, along with Butterfly Valley, where you can come across up to 100 different species of butterfly.

Volcanic trails in the Azores

The volcanic landscapes and lakes of the Azores are perfect for walking. Travel to the largest island, São Miguel, staying at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel which has gardens and a thermal pool without having to worry about entrance fees. On this self-guided trip you can take challenging uphill walks with panoramic views of the Atlantic and visit Furnas Lake to see the locals cooking underground stews. Keep an eye out for whales and dolphins as you walk along the coast.

Solo holiday in the New Forest

Travelling alone? Join a two-night break in the New Forest with guided walks in the national park. Keep an eye out for ponies, deer and a variety of birds, particularly in Shatterford which is popular with twitchers. After your excursions, return to your hotel and take a leisurely stroll through the gardens or detox in the sauna.

Singles week in Umbria

If you love food, this singles week in Umbria will hit the spot. Stay in a four-star hotel in Trevi, the capital of olive oil production in Italy. Join three easy to medium walks, pausing to sample local wine or take a cookery class. Another day is devoted to truffle hunting in the woods.

Last updated: 24 February 2020