Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331 133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) the original small group, expertly led, walking holiday company have launched their new ‘Encounter – Walk, Sightsee, Safari, Yoga, Trek’ Summer 2018 brochure with a bumper selection of 149 inspirational itineraries around the world including a new selection of experiential breaks.

Building on the walking experiences that are at the heart of the Ramblers Walking Holidays tradition, the new Summer 2018 brochure goes one step further by complementing long time favourites with a selection of new active and experiential holidays.

Combining leisurely, moderate and challenging levels of walking with a range of engaging experiences, the new itineraries give travellers the opportunity to delve a little deeper either by learning a new skill or by adding some extra adventure to their holiday. They include seeking solace in the mountains on a mindfulness, yoga and meditation escape in Majorca, learning the art of cooking an authentic tagine In Morocco, walking with local bushmen in Namibia’s vast Kalahari Desert and meeting the ‘closest thing’ to a dinosaur in Indonesia. There’s even the chance to tackle the North Wales Coast Path incorporating a RIB boat and a spot of cycling.

Within the classic walking holidays portfolio, there are also a host of exciting new itineraries and destinations. These include fairy tale itineraries to castles and medieval towns in Romania, the chance to explore Lake Constance whilst walking through the four surrounding countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as escapes to the mountains in Morocco’s Rif Mountains. There are also new holidays featuring the idyllic Swiss alpine mountain resort of Arosa and a high altitude adventure in Andorra. These new additions sit alongside classics such as the Walking From Cómpeta; Exploring the Sorrento Peninsula and a number of holidays based at the company’s newly refurbished Hassness Country House on the shores of Buttermere.

To help clients choose the right holiday to suit their preferred walking pace, ability and/or fitness, there is a continuum of walking grades which range from ‘Leisurely’ to ‘Moderate’ and ‘Challenging’. Many holidays feature two leaders and two different grades of walking meaning that clients travelling together with differing walking abilities and preferences have the perfect solution.   For ease of pursuing a special interest, styles of holidays are also indicated using a simple icon system which includes the following categories: Pioneer (for the more adventurous traveller); Flora & Fauna; Bird Watching; Wildlife; Rail; Lifestyle, Culture and Natural History; Sightseeing; Hutting; Continuous Walks; and Hutting.

Kathy Cook, Joint Managing Director commented: “With over 70 years of travelling the globe, we have been creating amazing journeys. With the new Summer 2018 brochure, our aim is to build on the success of our walking holidays by incorporating immersive experiences that really get under the skin of a destination or offer the chance to learn a new skill. Whether wanting to saunter around cities, discover iconic landmarks or go to new heights in a challenging mountain trek, we not only offer the best routes, paths and trails for doing it but also offer plenty of other experiences to enjoy alongside them.  And with a continued emphasis on great value for money and ethical travel, we do believe that great holidays and exceptional experiences really don’t have to cost the earth.”

Highlights of the new brochure include:

Pilates & Walking in the Dales – new for 2018 (Moderate Grade, 5)

Offering a refreshing escape to improved general fitness and wellbeing, Pilates & Walking in the Dales four night break combines walks in rolling Yorkshire countryside with daily late afternoon Pilates classes and rewarding relaxation sessions in the evening. Taking in a mixed landscape with hikes along heather moorland, the river Wharfe and across dramatic limestone pavements, highlights such as the natural rock amphitheatre of Malham Cove and Gordale Scar, are well rewarded throughout with fresh country air, breath-taking vistas and an uplifting sense of good health. Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) ‘Pilates & Walking in the Dales’ 4 night half board holidays starts from £490/person including half board accommodation, all Pilates classes with a qualified instructor (together with mats and blocks), leader and local transport to/from walks.  Departures: 14 May 2018, 13 August 2018, 1 October 2018. 

North Wales Coast Path, with a Twist – new for 2018 (Moderate Grade, 5)

Up for an adventure hydroplaning along the Menai Straits in a high performance RIB boat, hiking from Bangor to the Conwy and cycling along the coastal path all the way to Chester? Following a continuous route from Deganwy to Chester, the ‘North Wales Coast Path, with a Twist’ six night trip combines the excitement of a high speed boat trip with picturesque walks along the North Wales Coast Path. Highlights include the fantastical 19th century Penrhyn Castle, Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve with its 120ft Aber Falls, an Iron Age hillfort and impressive views from Sychnant Pass. Walking culminates in the medieval walled World Heritage Site and town of Conwy with a 30 mile traffic-free sea-front cycle through classic north Wales seaside towns to neighbouring Cheshire.  Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) ‘North Wales Coast Path, with a Twist’ 6 night half board holidays starts from £635/person including half board accommodation, bicycle & helmet hire together with a support vehicle and professional instructor, Rib Boat ride and all safety equipment, leader and all transport.  Departures: 10 June 2018, 15 July 2018, 20 August 2018.

Romanian Highlights – new for 2018 (Moderate Grade, 4)

A trip to Romania offers the chance to take a remarkably well-preserved step back in time. Exploring the region known as Transylvania, impressive fortified towns, medieval castles and traditionally farmed countryside – with the occasional horse and cart trundling by – offer an insight into experiences long disappeared from much of Western Europe. Combining walks through seemingly untouched countryside with time spent discovering the former capitals of Hungarian Cluj and German speaking Sibui, highlights include the medieval Saxon citadel of Sighisoara – only one of two remaining inhabited fortified towns, the baroque city of Brasov, ‘Dracula’ country and his legendary castle at Bran and Bucharest’s Ceasuescu’s People’s Palace, the largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) ‘Romanian Highlights’ 10 night half board holidays starts from £1,825/person including return flights, half board accommodation plus 8 lunches, local Romanian guide, leader and all necessary permits, entrance fees and transport.  Departures: 10 July 2018, 7 August 2018, 11 September 2018. 

Apuans & Apennines – new 2018 (Moderate/Challenging Grades, 6 & 7* 2x)

Away from the Tuscan trail lies a secluded valley shielded by a horse-shoe of mountains. Surrounded by the Apuan Alps and Apennines, the area known by locals as Garfagnana offers a wealth of walks through medieval hamlets and hermitages with highpoints including spectacular views from the peaks of the Apuans to the Tyrrhenian Sea and its islands. Alternating hikes include the mountain tops of Monte Sumbra, Pania de Croce and along the curiously named ‘oo’ footpath between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna with gorge walks through the Orrido di Botri with its inviting waterfalls and rock pools. Other highlights include a single track train ride to Lucca, sailing along the Ligurian Coast and delicious Italian food and wine.

Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) Apuans & Apennines’ two week long half board holidays starts from £1,475/person including return flights, half board accommodation, Leader, local guides and local transport.  Departures: 10 & 24 July 2018, 19 August 2018. 

The Four Faces of Lake Constance – new for 2018 (Moderate Grade, 5)

Fringed by Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Lake Constance on the northern edge of the Alps offers wonderfully diverse walks with the opportunity to experience four different countries, their cultures and cuisines in one trip. As well as seeing views of Lake Constance on some of our walks, enjoy treks along Austria’s Subersach river gorge and into the foothills of Alps; lakeside trails from Tettnang in Germany with the opportunity to sample locally brewed beer; hikes through Switzerland’s Appenzellerland region to the small car free traditional village of Appenzill and time ambling through the flower filled mountain ridges of the tiny principality of Liechtenstein. The trip also includes a cruise to the floral paradise of Mainau Island, a botanically inspiring model garden seemingly set afloat on Lake Constance. Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, ramblersholidays.co.uk) ‘The Four Faces of Lake Constance’ 9 night half board holidays starts from £1,795/person including return flights, half board accommodation, leader and all local transport.  Departures: 7 June 2018, 12 July 2018, 16 August 2018, 13 September 2018.

The Rif Mountains – new for 2018 (Moderate Grade, 5)

Less travelled, the north of Morocco offers invitingly wild walks through hillsides forested in fragrant pine and cedars, flower strewn landscapes, green valleys and rugged gorges. Based in the blue city of Chefchaouen, with the National Parks of Talassemtane and Bouhachem right on the doorstep, days are spent wandering shaded paths between villages and farms, past fields of seasonal almond blossom and carob trees to a backdrop of Mediterranean coastline and ragged mountain peaks. With plenty of time to explore the city’s narrow lanes and colourful medina, soaking up its Moorish, Berber, Muslim and Jewish heritage over the week, a day is also spent on route to Tangier visiting the Caves of Hercules and Cap Spartel, Africa’s most northerly point on the Atlantic coast.

Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, ramblersholidays.co.uk) ‘The Rif Mountains’ 7 night half board holidays starts from £1,299/person including flights, half board accommodation, leader and all transport.  Departures: 21 April 2018, 15 September 2018, 13 October 2018.

Mindfulness in Majorca – new for 2018 (Moderate Grade, 5)

Escape to sunny Majorca and replenish your diminished energy as you take time out to live in the moment, reflect on life and develop some tried and tested coping strategies. Engaging in mindful practices as part of a programme of coastal and inland walks, explore sun-kissed trails through fertile hills cultivated with olive, carob, fig groves and sweet smelling citrus orchards with a new awareness.  With some walks in silence, other activities include gentle yoga and short mediation.  Accommodation for the week is in a family run and typically Majorcan style hotel by the sea in San Telmo, an attractive and quiet settlement overlooking the uninhabited island of Dragonera – another ideal spot for peaceful contemplation. Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, ramblersholidays.co.uk) Mindfulness in Majorca 7 night break starts £935/person and includes return flights, half board accommodation, local transport, mindfulness tour leader, meditation and yoga sessions.  Departures 1 September 2018.

Ramblers Walking Holidays: (01707 331 133) www.ramblersholidays.co.uk

To view the new Summer 2018 brochure here.