As the summer heat dissipates, crowds melt away and leaves start to fall, walking becomes even more enjoyable – the cooler temperatures provide the opportunity to take on bigger challenges, with greater rewards.

Here are some of On Foot Holidays’ top trips, to inspire you to put on your walking boots and enjoy Autumn at its best. Both can be walked into October.

Lake Maggiore & Lake Orta, Italy – from £860 pp*

A delightful walking week showing off the glory of two of the Italian Lakes, Maggiore and Orta, each with its own character and charm. Start with big brother, Maggiore, and its Borromean Islands – Isola Bella is particularly spectacular, with lush green tiered terraces of incredible shrubbery, vibrant colours, rare exotic plants and majestic white peacocks roaming. The views throughout the trip are sublime – climb up to the mountain top for an overnight in Mottarone (known as the mountain of the lakes), with stunning views of Monte Rosa – the Alps’ second highest mountain – before heading back down to the low-key charms of Orta.

This trip costs from £860 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ B&B accommodation, luggage transfers, full Walker’s Pack with route directions, maps and background information, plus local telephone support.

Dordogne, France – from £890 pp* (New trip introduced this year)

Promising some of the most beautifully varied countryside in France, this week-long walk involves more than just stunning scenery – there are cultural sights a-plenty, including cave art and châteaux with fortified mediaeval villages, plus time to visit the pilgrimage centre of Rocamadour. Built on the site of a shrine to Madonna, and famed for its healing powers, the site attracts many visitors annually. The weather in autumn is still usually in the early-mid 20s, yet you can enjoy feeling the seasons changing around you – the landscape turns from green to amber and leaves are crisp underfoot, while markets will feature autumnal produce such as locally-grown walnuts.

This trip costs from £890 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ accommodation, some meals (all breakfasts, three picnic lunches and three evening meals), all luggage transfers, full Walker’s Pack with route directions, maps, background information, plus local telephone support.

Walking specialist On Foot Holidays offers self-guided, lesser-trodden trips and unusual takes on classic destinations throughout Europe, alongside an authentic local experience complete with excellent food and wine. Detailed maps and instructions are provided for all routes. Local back-up assistance is available when required.

For further information, expert advice from someone who’s walked the route, and to book, contact On Foot Holidays (01722 322 652; *Flights/travel to destinations are excluded.