As most iFootpath walkers soon find out, walking is addictive. Thankfully it is an addiction that is good for you and also one that doesn’t need to break the bank. There are plenty of places to walk in the UK, but once you have the bug you might also want to try a walking holiday abroad. Help is at hand with these top tips from our friends, Lanzarote experts Optima Villas…
Hiking can form an integral part of an unforgettable holiday if incorporated correctly. If you’re a regular rambler seeking some sun-soaked routes to walk all across the world, make sure you’ve taken on board the tips in this post, courtesy of Lanzarote experts Optima Villas, before you embark on your trip.
Plan, plan, plan
Especially relevant if you’re travelling to a country outside the EU, wherein your data roaming charges will increase by a huge margin, planning a route ahead is always a good option, and is scalable depending on your sense of adventure. You could print off directions accurate to the nearest tree trunk or make a plan to walk between two landmarks and find your own way from there - it’s up to you.
Just make sure you have a decent grasp of the local language, because people living in rural areas might not have the strongest understanding of English. Speaking the local tongue is also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of the place you’re hiking through - a grand journey like the Camino de Santiago, for example, is only enhanced when you ingratiate yourself into the local ways of living and speaking.
Working out the best time to go hiking is also essential, as furious heat or inclement weather could derail even the most meticulously organised holiday. Avoid the height of summer if you’re looking to walk in Mediterranean climes - instead, opt for autumn or springtime, when there’ll be fewer fellow hikers and a more agreeable temperature.
Crossing the globe, if you’re keen to tackle Machu Picchu in Peru, it’s best to visit during the dry season - April until November - as a daily monsoon soaking isn’t ideal for a trip to one of the most beautiful historical locations in the world.
Locate premium accommodation
After a long hike through challenging terrain in hot weather, you’ll need somewhere well-equipped for relaxation to stay in. A private home or villa is arguably the perfect option if you’re going to base your hiking holiday in one location rather than traversing a whole region.
Swimming in a private pool after conquering the local mountains is a gorgeous feeling, so make sure you at least consider some luxury accommodation before you book a basic hiker’s hostel - because paying the premium price is definitely worth it in this case.
Be aware of dangers
We have it quite good in Britain. Dangerous animals are few and far between, and our weather outside of high mountain ranges never really reaches the extremes. However, extending your hiking knowledge to different countries includes being aware of dangers that make our small island feel quite benign in comparison.
If you’re visiting a hot country, make sure you know what to do if heat exhaustion strikes, and know your protocols for frostbite and hypothermia if you’re heading up into high mountains or planning a winter hike.
Wild animals need to be factored in, too. Bear attacks in North American wilderness regions are rare, but being aware of what to do is essential - if just for peace of mind purposes.
Factor in some relaxing days
A hiking holiday can be whatever you want it to be. Whether it’s a multi-day trek across a famous mountain range to really test yourself or a few brisk wanders around a tourist hotspot, regardless of how serious you are, we recommend factoring in a bit of relaxation.
Taking a few chilled-out days to appreciate your surroundings is essential if you’re in a new location. If you’ve hiked all the way to a picturesque place such as Lake Bled in Slovenia or a secluded coastal cove, why not enjoy it for a few days without clocking up the miles? You’ll be well-rested and excited to start your hike again after a few days of relaxation, so even the most fitness-fanatical amongst us should consider this as a top tip.
Of course, your holiday should be tailored to your needs first and foremost, and your hikes should be as long or as short as you like. Just make sure you’re appreciating and enjoying your holiday surroundings and you’re near guaranteed to have an unforgettable hiking break.
11 July 2018
iFootpath is a walking website and App, providing hundreds of detailed digital walking guides that guide you around some of the best walks the UK has to offer.
Optima Villas is a small independent company that specialises in the rental of top quality holiday villas in Lanzarote.
Photos courtesy of Unsplash