From gentle meanders for occasional walkers (such as island hopping in the Adriatic) to challenging routes for the hardened hiker (such as following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great on Turkey’s Lycian Way), these self-guided, tried and tested, predominantly coastal itineraries with On Foot Holidays are all perfect for a spring sojourn
Dubrovnik – The walled city and the Elafiti Islands
This seven-night island-hopping itinerary in the southern Adriatic is perfect for walkers seeking a slower pace. After a couple of nights exploring the winding backstreets of the walled city of Dubrovnik, take the ferry to the beguiling Elafiti islands, which stretch out like a string of pearls along the dramatic Adriatic coast. Discover the maze-like paths of car-free Lopud, dotted with impressive churches and forts, and swim at one of the few sandy bays in the Adriatic. Skirt the cliffs of Kolocep, the smallest island, another car-less gem, in search of the lighthouse, then stride out on Sipan, the largest isle (where Dubrovnik’s elite retreat), which is lined with pomegranate, fig and citrus groves. There’s ample time and opportunity to enjoy several well-deserved dips in the inviting sea along the way, plus the freshest of fish for lunch. The walled city and the Elafiti Islands trip costs from £790 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ accommodation (two in Dubrovnik, three on Lopud and two on Sipan), five breakfasts, port/town/airport transfers, ferry tickets and route information. Departures available until November. Graded easy (4-8km/2-4 hours walking per day).
A springtime saunter along the Amalfi Coast
Celebrate the start of spring with a revitalising walk along Italy’s iconic Amalfi Coast. Stride along the Path of the Gods at dizzying heights above the sea and climb the steep section out of Positano. Magnificent views, beautiful beach stop-offs and charming agriturismi await. Amalfi Coast costs from £980 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ B&B, some taxi transfers, luggage transfers and route information. Departures available from March to November. Graded easy-medium (7-17km/2¼-8 hours walking per day), but there are options to shorten daily walks. Shorter versions of the route are also available (a six-night trip costs from £880 pp and a five-night trip costs from £830 pp).
The Cycladic Islands of Naxos and Amorgos
Perfect for late Spring, when the ferry connections recommence, the islands remain blissfully quiet but are fresh and verdant after the winter. Naxos is a larger, livelier island with more recognised sights, while Amorgos is quieter and offers stunning views and experiences. The base on Naxos is the Venetian old town with its winding alleys. From here, visit the half-finished ancient statues (Kouros) lying in a farmer’s field, the pretty villages of the interior, and the beach at Lionas, where the local taverna serves hearty and delicious food. Naxos also has the highest mountain in the Cyclades at 1,000m, which you can scale before heading back to delicious filo pastries in the village bars. On Amorgos, walks will take you to the stunning Monastery of Chozoviotiza, clinging to its cliff, as well as to remote villages in the north of the island. The Cycladic Islands of Naxos and Amorgos costs from £455 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ accommodation (four on Naxos, three on Amorgos), three breakfasts and route information. Departures available from April to November. Graded easy-medium (8-15 km/2½-5 hours walking per day).
Island walking in the Cyclades – Andros
Two good reasons to pack your boots: firstly, the Mediterranean diet is thought to be one of the healthiest in the world, and, secondly the unspoilt Cycladic island of Andros is perfect for exploring on foot. This self-guided trip offers a choice of diverse walks across Andros, from hikes through lush green hills and valleys, to ambles via pretty villages. Discover the remote Monastery of Panachradou, the 22 ruined watermills of Dipomata and the impressive archaeological site, Zagora. Enjoy coffee in the pretty fishermen’s village of Kochilos, swim at sandy Nimporio beach and rest in authentic accommodation in the old Venetian capital of Chora. Greece: The island of Andros costs from £580 pp (two sharing), including five nights’ B&B, four lunches, return taxi transfers between Gavrio and Chora, and route information. Departures available from March to November. Graded medium (11-21km/4-6½ hours walking per day), but there are options to shorten daily walks using local taximan Stelios.
Corfu and the Vikos Gorge
Step out on carefully-selected coastal trails in scenic Corfu (the island where hit ITV drama The Durrells was filmed), before an exhilarating exploration of mainland Zagoria with its unspoilt stone villages, home to the dramatic Vikos Gorge, on this wonderful walking holiday. One of the world’s deepest gorges (900m), the Vikos in the Pindus Mountains offers an awe-inspiring yet little-known gorge walk, ending at the dramatic Voidhomatis springs, before a rewarding ascent to pretty Papingo village. Corfu and the Vikos Gorge costs from £740 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ B&B (two on Corfu, five in Vikos), three picnics, two evening meals, some taxi transfers, luggage transfers and route information. Departures available from May to November. Graded medium-hard (10-15km/3½-6½ hours walking per day). Shorter versions of the route are also available (a five-night trip costs from £625 pp).
Walk the Lighthouse Way in Galicia
Discover Spain’s wild Galician Coast, the Costa da Morte – or the Coast of Death – on an exhilarating trek along the Lighthouse Way (Camino dos Faros). Although perilous to ships, the coastline makes a breath-taking walk, taking in numerous historic lighthouses, shipwrecks and thriving little fishing villages as well as rugged cliffs, coves and capes. Feast on fresh seafood, including the local speciality of goose barnacles, accompanied by excellent Albariño wine, before finishing at (and staying in) the Cape Finisterre Lighthouse. On Foot Holidays is the only self-guided walking specialist offering this route in its entirety without transport – you’ll only step off the trail very briefly to reach your accommodation. Galicia – Lighthouse Way costs from £830 pp (two sharing), including 10 nights’ accommodation, seven breakfasts, one dinner, two picnic lunches, taxi transfers to start point, luggage transfers and route information. Departures available from April to June and from September to October. Graded medium-hard (14-25km/4-7¾ hours walking per day), but there are options to shorten daily walks. Shorter versions of the route are also available (a seven-night trip costs from £660 pp and a five-night trip costs from £555 pp).
The Lycian Way – from the mountains to the sea
Ideal for seasoned walkers, this route along the ancient paths of the Lycian Way follows in the footsteps of Alexander the Great. Hike from the pine-clad mountains at Ovacik to the shimmering sea, taking in two remarkable archaeological Roman sites, Olympus and Phaselis, before a thrilling and rugged finale at Kilidonya Lighthouse. Lycia – Mountain and Sea costs from £695 pp (two sharing), including six nights’ B&B, four picnic lunches, five evening meals, some taxi transfers, luggage transfers and route information. Departures available from May to November. Graded medium-hard (15-16km/5-6½ hours walking per day).
Detailed maps and instructions are provided for all routes. Local back-up assistance is available when required. Flights/travel to destinations are excluded. For further information, expert advice from someone who’s walked the route, and to book, contact On Foot Holidays (01722 322 652; www.onfootholidays.co.uk).