Five Extraordinary Hikes | FinancialTimes

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Coast and country in Cascais, Portugal

Boca do Inferno in Cascais

If you want to combine coastal walks with a Lisbon getaway, nearby Cascais offers slow two- and three-day itineraries along the Western Route, part of Portugal’s Great Atlantic Road. . They combine gentle glamping or small hostel accommodation with leisurely (and not super strenuous) days spent exploring the rocky coastal stretches and hinterland of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.

Routes offer a mix of glamping and hostel accommodation

Routes offer a mix of glamping and hostel accommodation

The Paula Rego Museum in Cascais

The Paula Rego Museum in Cascais © Luis Ferreira Alves © Turismo Cascais

The Route consists of five stages, some of which can be covered with electric bikes or on horseback if you prefer. You can accompany a park ranger to repair fences and feed the donkeys, stop at organic farms and apiaries, or explore some of the forest canopy with a naturalist (via zipline, if you feel like it). of an alpha adventure). Or wander on your own, ending with a real cultural hit at Eduardo Souto de Moura’s remarkable Paula Rego Museum. Overnight tours from €500 pp, including accommodation and meals in glamping, visitcascais.com


Fjords Walk in Western Norway

The spectacular landscapes of Norway's central west coast

The spectacular landscapes of Norway’s central west coast © Brandon Scott Herrell

The west-central coast of Norway, and the Sunnmøre region in particular, is full of glaciers and waterfalls, perennial forests and isolated wooden house villages that tend to pop into the mind when Middle-earth is invoked. Norway’s excellent private travel and adventure designers from 62° North know this terrain well, and create multi-day hikes and explorations on foot of all levels.

Old style with all the necessary comforts at the Union Øye Hotel

Old style with all the necessary comfort at The Hotel Union Øye © 62°Nord

Union Oye Hotel, Oye

The Hotel Union Øye, in Øye © VagaFoto/62°Nord

The hotel is set to reopen after a multimillion-dollar renovation

The hotel is set to reopen after a multi-million dollar renovation © VagaFoto/62°Nord

The exciting news for 2022 is that they will be revealing the transformation of the former tall and quite glorious Hotel Union Oye, in the village of the same name at the bottom of Norangsfjord – the gateway to Sunnmøre’s most spectacular mountain and trail adventures. In June, they will reopen it after a multi-million dollar renovation that retains all of the original charms but brings in needed comforts. It’s a two hour drive from Ålesund Airport (although you can arrive by speedboat, helicopter or even kayak if you wish). One to mark now for the summer diary. Hotel Union Øye accepts reservations from May 1st, 62.no


In the footsteps of the samurai in Honshu, Japan

Bamboo groves in Kyoto

Bamboo forests in Kyoto © Inside Japan Tours

Japan knows its fast travel, especially its fast trains; that’s why you can get from Tokyo to Kyoto in less than two and a half hours. If you wanted walk from city to city, however – and experience some of Honshu Island’s most dramatic and wild landscapes – the specialists in Inside Japan have you covered.

The Less Traveled Shinetsu Trail

The less frequented Shinetsu Trail © Inside Japan Tours

After six nights in the field, the course ends in Kyoto

After six nights in the field, the route ends in Kyoto © Inside Japan Tours

A new 11-day route follows in the footsteps of traders and samurai, taking both the famous Nakasendo Trail and the less traveled Shin-etsu Trail – opened in 2008 along part of a 17th-century trade route and traveling about 80 km along the mountainous border of Niigata and Nagano prefectures, passing the wonders of virgin beech forest along the way. And while the Japanese can be fast commuters, “slow” hospitality was practically invented here; InsideJapan relies on the best small onsens and ryokans for your stays. Walkers spend six nights on the ground, with well-organized beginnings and ends in Tokyo and Kyoto, respectively. From $3,200 per person for 11 nights, most meals and house connections included, insidejapantours.com


Walking safaris all italian

The village of Pentedattilo in Calabria, Italy

The village of Pentedattilo in Calabria, Italy

Rudston Steward is lucky enough to call an unknown part of Tuscany (yes, those exist). When he took root two decades ago on the slopes of Monte Amiata, between Val d’Orcia and Maremma, he set out to discover on foot its secret paths and its forests, its ruins and its paths . In 2016, he was inspired to launch Maremma Safari Cluba very small-scale, slow-traveling walking tour outfit (Italian fixer master Emily FitzRoy of Bellini Tourist attractions introduced me to Steward for the first time a few years ago).

Hiking on the Amendolea fiumara, or river bed

Hiking on the Amendolea fiumara, or riverbed

Steward has refined and expanded his offering, guiding both private and small number rides around the Italian peninsula, from the Dolomites to the Aeolian island of Salina (a place of personal bliss for me – and a banger of a site of tramping, with its corresponding volcanic peaks and views of the cliffs of Sicily). In May, the Maremma Safari Club takes its show deep into Calabria, the still wild foot of the Italian boot, to explore the high plateaus of Aspromonte. Walkers will discover timeless villages such as Bova and Amendolea, valleys of wild oleander and ancient Greek culture – via adorable agritourismIonian and delicious beaches kilometer zero picnics. 10-14 May, from €1,395 per person, maremmasafari.com


Pilgrim’s progress in the UK

Eggardon Hill, South Dorset, in November

Eggardon Hill, South Dorset, in November © The British Pilgrimage Trust

Lately, pilgrimage – those Celtic and early Christian walking routes – as rituals of yesteryear, often evolved along ancient pagan paths – are experiencing a resurgence in popularity: slow journeys through wilderness, sacred sites and the monuments reconnect walkers to ancient and deep traditions. One of the leaders here is Guy Hayward, co-founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust.

Dryburgh Abbey, on the banks of the River Tweed

Dryburgh Abbey, on the banks of the River Tweed © The British Pilgrimage Trust

Working with Dawn Champion, Hayward is currently restoring the Old Way, a 250-mile route from Southampton to Canterbury dating back to the 13th century, which brought devout English and Europeans to Thomas Becket’s shrine. Hayward – a Cambridge graduate with a side hustle as one half of a musical comedy duo, who is by many trust accounts a brilliant guide – leads private pilgrims and small groups throughout the year. They range from half a day to several days, staying in historic pubs and inns along the route. In March and April, his colleagues will organize a series of mini day pilgrimages, including a section of the Old Way from Icklesham to Rye, and a London pilgrimage from Tower Hill to Westminster Abbey. One-day pilgrimage event from around £54; private pilgrimage routes, prices on request, britishpilgrimage.org

@mariashollenbarger

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