NEW YORK, N.Y. - With demand for walking trips increasing, Intrepid Travel, the world’s leading sustainable tour operator, has created a new range of walking tours focusing on some of the most sought-after routes in Europe. The new “Great Walks of Europe” collection includes six iconic treks delivered in a sustainable and accessible way, each led by highly qualified and vaccinated local leaders.
During the past year and a half, Intrepid has increased its portfolio of active trips, recognizing that they are some of the lowest carbon-output trip styles, while also being in high-demand as travelers seek outdoor adventures following months of indoor quarantining.
From May to July 2021 alone, visits to Intrepid’s walking & trekking landing page have doubled, while bookings on the company’s walking tours by North American travelers were up 43% this summer compared to earlier in the year.
The Great Walks of Europe collection offers adventures for many fitness levels. The range includes a mix of center-based itineraries, which provide the possibility for a traveler to skip some walks if they wish, and point-to-point hikes, which require participants to complete particular routes to get to the next destination.
Appealing to environmentally and socially conscious travelers, each trip includes stays at small, family-run hotels and authentic style accommodations with minimal transport used, making them a more sustainable option while supporting local communities that have been affected by the pandemic.
The Great Walks of Europe collection, with trips departing from April 2022 onwards, includes:
Walk the Camino de Santiago (Spain) – 7 days
This is the perfect trek for travelers looking for a cultural odyssey, physical challenge, religious pilgrimage or to meet interesting travel companions. Participants will undertake a journey along the final 100km of Spain’s Camino de Santiago, walking through traditional countryside, quaint hamlets, roman ruins and more, while fueling up on unique Galician specialties like traditional polbo a feira octopus in Melide and learning how to make the traditional and mythical Queimada drink.
Hike the Rota Vicentina (Portugal) – 8 days
Portugal’s Rota Vicentina, also known as the Fisherman’s Trail, is one of the most scenic sections of this ancient coastal path, passing through the sunny Alentejo and Algarve regions. Travelers will enjoy a fresh seafood lunch in the village of Zambujeira do Mar with ingredients from the local fish market, spend a day at leisure in Aljezur, a mecca for surfing and standup paddle boarding, and hike to Cabo de de Sao Vicente, mainland Europe’s southwestern most point.
Hiking in the Dolomites (Italy) – 8 days
On this trip travelers are based in the Italian town of Dobbiaco, spending each day exploring the Dolomite’s iconic backdrop of towering cliffs, lush pastures and emerald green lakes. Participants will hike the Three Peaks of Lavaredo loop, a full day walk which is widely regarded as the most scenic hike in the Dolomites, see the Earth Pyramids of Platten, naturally formed earth towers which are the tallest and most perfectly shaped earth pyramids in Europe, and enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch featuring some of the region’s famous produce on the edge of Toblacher See, a spectacular scenic lake.
Hike the Lycia Way (Turkey) – 8 days
Hike along Turkey’s famous Turquoise Coast and the rocky tracks of the Lycian Way – a trail used in ancient Greek and Roman times. Enjoy the welcome of friendly locals, explore ancient Lycian tombs in Fethiye, marvel at the azure waters of Oludeniz’s Blue Lagoon, laze on Turkey’s longest sand beach at Patara, enjoy a boat ride from Simena to Kekova with snorkeling, and finish in the picture-perfect coastal town of Kas.
Mont Blanc Highlights (France) – 8 days
On this hiking adventure through the Alps, walk through inspiring scenes each day with an International Mountain Leader guiding the way before returning to your base in Chamonix. Travelers can walk through the region’s best landscapes without the tiring climbs while they soak in unbeatable views during a series of cable car rides.
Hike the Tour du Mont Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland) – 8 days
The Tour du Mont Blanc is undoubtably one of Europe’s most iconic and beautiful long-distance treks. Travelers will enjoy a week of hiking to the backdrop of snow-capped peaks, lakes, glaciers and mountain pastures as they follow a circuit route from Chamonix in France, passing through Switzerland and Italy. Participants will enjoy several included hikes and cable car rides around the slopes along the way.
As of September 2021, all travelers and tour leaders with Intrepid Travel must be vaccinated, and every Intrepid trip operates under Safe Travel protocols developed and endorsed by the World Travel & Tourism Council. Travelers can also book with confidence with Intrepid’s Flexible bookings policy.
“Fresh air, iconic routes, remote locations and a guarantee of vaccinated trip leaders and fellow travel companions make these new walking tours a safe and desirable option for North American travelers looking to explore Europe,” said Matt Berna, Managing Director of North America for Intrepid Travel.