From slowing down to being social, we invite the holiday experts at Travel Republic to run down some of the benefits of discovering a country using just your feet…

We all want different things from a holiday. For some, a holiday simply means chilling out on a beach or by a pool, beneath a hot sun. For others, a holiday is an opportunity to explore new places, taking in unusual sights and sounds – travel broadens the mind, after all.

It really comes down to personal taste and preference. But if you do want to get something a little different out of a holiday – and don’t like the idea of hiring a car to get about – have you thought about a walking holiday? Here are five reasons why it’s an option well worth considering this summer.

It’s the best way to see a destination

A walking holiday offers the best way to actually see a destination – instead of just airport-resort-airport. Even hiring a car to get out and about means you’ll inevitably zip from A to B as quickly as possible, probably without taking much in. But walking means you’ll see it all – the sights, the smells, the sounds and the true beauty of somewhere. You’ll need to slow down, too, so you’ll have the time to just stop and take it all in. Think about it – when’s the last time you were able to do that?

You’ll discover any destination’s hidden secrets

There are attractions and areas of any holiday destination that you might never discover unless you explore them on foot. Tenerife is a prime example. It’s a fantastic location for a superb beach summer holiday, with thousands of visitors enjoying the sun, sea and sand every year. But there’s a whole other side to Tenerife – Teide National Park, described by Travel Republic as a ‘unique landscape of craters, volcanoes and rivers of petrified lava’, the Anaga Mountains, the Teno Mountains and numerous coastal walks make the island a haven for walkers and hikers.

Teide National Park in Tenerife
Teide National Park in Tenerife

You’ll get some great exercise

If you prefer to stay active, a walking holiday ticks the box. You don’t necessarily have to worry about ‘getting in shape’ for your holiday as such as you’ll be on the move for most of it, albeit in a reasonably relaxed way. And you’ll be able to choose the level of physical activity required depending on your fitness or interests, from a hilly hike to a picturesque series of beachside walks. Even so, a walking holiday does require some preparation and it’s inadvisable to head off on one without some training. This guide from realbuzz.com shares how to get fit for a walking holiday.

Walking is a social activity

Is walking a lonely activity? Unlikely. However you choose to conduct a walking holiday, unless you’re ploughing a solitary furrow in the remotest of places, the chances are you’ll meet plenty of new people and maybe even make new friends. If you sign up for an organised walking holiday with a set agenda and itinerary, you’ll be with a larger group and the sense of companionship and camaraderie will be uplifting. If the holiday is more of an independent ramble, you’ll probably meet other walkers along the route, mingle with travellers, and mix with locals in bars and cafes as you stop throughout your journey.

You'll never walk alone...
You’ll never walk alone…

A sense of freedom

Modern day travel can be stressful – walking is not. No timetables, no deadlines, no fares to pay; with a walking holiday you have the ability to plan your route and your time exactly as you want it. You can go as fast or as slowly as you like. You can stop as many times as you like along the way. If you find a town or village you fall in love with, you can stay for two or three days. You can walk all the way around a country if you want to!

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