But if you’re tired of the same tourist tracks, it might be time to find somewhere a little more off-radar. With that in mind, here are three of our less-ventured-to favourites:
Best hiking in Greece: The Mani
Villaggio Vathia, Mani
Some of the best hikes in Greece are nestled amid rugged foothills, olive groves and rarely explored scenery. One of the wildest and most beautiful spots is the Mani – a remote corner of the Peloponnese that remains largely untouched, even with Greece’s mass tourism.
No hiking in the country is quite as the dramatic as the much-underrated peninsula: walking trails stem out from tiny villages, speckled with Byzantine churches, stone towers and hilly humps.
Where to stay in Mani:
Few hikers venture beyond Mani’s stunning Diros caves – but head deeper south (about a 25-minute drive from the caves) and you’ll be rewarded with a base of sleepy coves and medieval villages. While few tourists visit, even fewer stay the night: white pebbles, crystal-clear waters and time-hopping charm await you at Kyrimai Hotel. This enchanting stay encompasses the region’s history into both its buildings and cuisine: both of which have garnered several accolades, including a Michelin Star and the Best Historic Hotel of Europe by the Water Award. ‘
Best hiking in France: Brittany
Pink Granite Coast, Brittany
With no less than 1001 walking trails, Brittany is a hiking wonderland. Whether you’re hankering a whole-day hike snaking the Monts d’Arrée mountains or a gentle seaside saunter, the region boasts walks for all ages, abilities and time-constraints.
Fill your lungs with fresh French air through the loveliest parts of Brittany. The famous ‘Sentier des Douaniers’ running from Mont Saint-Michel Bay to the Pink Granite Coast packs in more than 1,800 km of boat-speckled landscapes. Or, you could embark on a pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela; criss-crossing through rugged coastal paths, tiny chapels and the abbey-guarded Broceliande forest along the way.
Where to stay in Brittany:
For something a little different, time the tides perfectly and cross the Mont Saint Michel to the small island of Tomberlaine. You can do this on a short hike, a full day’s hiking, or on horseback – just make sure you dodge the quicksand. Transport yourself to the Middle Ages with a stay at Auberge Saint Pierre, a 15th-century wood-framed inn close to the hiking experience. Book a table in the hotel’s restaurant and sample the famous Mont Saint Michel lamb.
Best hiking in Italy: Tuscany
Trek through Tuscany’s famous regions: Garfagnana, Lunigiana, Casentino and the Florentine hills are among the most famous in the region. Curve through the Italian countryside on a pilgrim trail: the Via Francigena winds from north to south of Tuscany, comprised of 15 trail sections that average just more than 18 km per day.
On each leg of the grand hike, you’ll discover historic gems such as the famous town of Massa (known for its quality marble), while traversing through towns, fortresses and castles along the way. You’ll even catch a glimpse of the enchanting Tuscan coast.
For a less demanding walking experience, take to the Wine Road of the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. This 10-mile route follows the white roads of Tuscany, stopping at some of the region’s prettiest towns, churches and even gelato spots along the way.
Where to stay in Tuscany:
Perched in the picturesque Chianti hills, Villa Le Barone provides an ideal base for a Tuscan hiking holiday. The centuries-old villa is still lived in by the same family, who’ve retained its splendid Tuscan charm with rose gardens, authentic cuisine and that much-soughted Italian hospitality.