What is a Walking Vacation?
When I think about walking vacations, I think of them in two ways.
The Big City Walking Vacation
The first is the type of vacation where you jet off to someplace, like a famous city, and then you spend the rest of the time walking everywhere you can. Think “Sightseeing.” Except with a walking vacation, you intentionally choose to walk instead of Uber, Lyft, taxi it to nearby places. You’ll probably walk a good 8-10 miles just ambling around among the sights.
With these “destination-style” walking vacations, the journey is the joy, not necessarily the destination. You’re apt to walk to dinner, walk through the interesting neighborhood, or do a walking tour. The only time you’ll take a taxi is perhaps due to walking conditions, weather, or distance. Even still, you might take the local bus instead of the taxi because you want to get to know the local area, and the bus is the second best thing.
The second type of walking vacation is what I think of as a trekking vacation. In these vacations, you’ve picked a famous trail you want to enjoy or maybe you’ve decided you want to hike from one location to the next. Your trip might also be a series of days where you have a particular hike on each day.
Famous trails that make up a trekking vacation include The Great Glen Way, The Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel trail, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal trail or even Australia’s Great Ocean Walk. With these types of walking holidays, you probably are not carrying a large backpack. You have a daypack with water and snacks, but the rest of your vacation essentials are schlepped by someone else to your next location.
No Backpack Required
In my mind, walking vacations do not include a tent, sleeping bag, or giant backpacks. If they do, then you’re on a hike. For me, the Camino de Santiago, The Appalachian Trail, The Pacific Coast Trail or even the Slovenian Mountain Trail falls in to the hiking category.
Thus, my walking vacations are one of the two above. My Oaxaca trip and Scotland trip are both the later; my Ireland trip is the former. But in all cases, we’ve got comfortable places to sleep, great food to eat, and light packs on our backs. Now that’s my idea of a walking vacation.
What about you? What’s your idea of a walking holiday? Where do you want to go next?