Mass tourism is causing havoc in many European cities. Fueled by low cost airline seats, cruise ships, and online room rentals like Airbnb, iconic tourist destinations are over crowded. In the summer months popular destinations such as Amsterdam and Barcelona have 20 or more visitors for each inhabitant. How can you get away from the crowds?
Get off the beaten path. Add a few days of walking to your itinerary. How do you organize a getaway from the crowds? On Foot Holidays, a well-respected English walking company, now offers 16 routes with four-night options, which still give you three days of self-guided hiking in the rural corners of Europe.
A couple of four-night European Holidays:
Escape from London. Spend three days walking the green fields of Dorset in the footsteps of Thomas Hardy and the stunning Jurassic Coast to the seaside fishing village of Lyme Regis. This could be added on to a tour of southern England including Salisbury, Bath and London. The beautiful cathedral city of Salisbury is only an hour and a half from London by train.
The Greek island of Andros is only a two-hour ferry ride from Athens, making it ideal for a shorter holiday. Maybe add a visit to Santorini or Mykonos too.
Leave Dubrovnik‘s hectic old town and go island hopping in the Adriatic. Explore car-free Lopud – one of the Elafiti islands, stretched out like a string of pearls along the Adriatic coast. With enough walking for a day or two on the island’s mazy paths, and churches and forts to explore, you can also swim at one of the few sandy bays in the Adriatic. Kolocep.
Escape Rome, Capri or Pompeii and spend four days of walking along the glorious Amalfi Coast.
These holidays might have different start or finish points to the full route, or include a transfer at some point – because they’re all carefully crafted to make sure you don’t miss the best bits! There are many more five-night and six-night versions too, and do ask us if you can’t see exactly what you want.
In Southern France, visit the vineyards and chateaux of the Dordogne near Bordeaux for 4 days.
The River Dordogne passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in France. From the start at Beaulieu, where the wide river flows gently through the water meadows outside the old town, the hiking route climbs into the hills above, with fine views and bucolic countryside on each of the walking days.
Stay in traditional inns and small hotels, many of them riverside, including a former château. And being France, the food is exceptional, with a lot of local specialities. The wines from the area are gaining a reputation too, and are worth exploring! The walking is graded medium, but with built-in shortening options for those who would like to walk the route at a more leisurely pace.