Ken's Top Ten Tips for Walking Europe

A walker in Cappadocia | Erin Williams
A walker in Cappadocia | Erin Williams

Ken's Top Ten Tips for Walking Europe

Valuable hiking advice from a veteran wanderer

Saying that UTracks Traveller Ken likes to walk is a bit of an understatement: he's hiked many of the world's most iconic trails, including the West Highland Way in Scotland, the Coast to Coast in England, and the Great Himalayan Trail in Nepal.
So it's fair to say that when Ken gave us a list of his top ten tips for walking Europe, we listened. Read on for his best walking advice and if you've got some of your own knowledge to share, then please write in the comment section below.
A walker in the Love Valley |  <i>Erin Williams</i>
1.    Enjoy the walks! Think about combining a couple if you have the time to see and experience each place in depth. For example, I walked England's Coast to Coast track in June 2019, and followed it up straight away with Scotland's West Highland Way. It was fascinating to note the differences in these regions.
2.    Don’t underestimate how hard some of these walks can be! Some are village to village, but over a very big hill or through bogs. It may come as a surprise to some, but the Coast to Coast trail is graded just as challenging as hiking the Tour du Mont around the Alps. Don't let England's rolling countryside deceive you.
3.    Build in rest days along the way – it’s all about enjoying the walk and not killing yourself or making it too hard for yourself. UTracks have many tour options that allow for shorter walking days so you have ample time to smell the roses along the way.
Verdant landscapes as we hike through the European Alps |  <i>Erin Williams</i>
4.    Wet weather gear is important. It's not fun when it rains and you're unprepared and get soaked from head to toe. My rule of thumb is that the greener the surrounding countryside, the more likely it is to bucket when it rains.
5.    Breakfast, particularly in England and Scotland, is very good. So fill up – some days can be very long. Mmm, a full English breakfast!
Hiker entering the Central Balkan National Park
6.    Take your time on the walk – unless there is a particular place that is closing in the village you are staying in – there is no need to rush but also pace yourself. Don’t get in too late either as getting your bearings in light is much easier than in darkness.
7.    You will meet many people on most of the walks – take the time to get to know them. You never know, their experiences or other walks might inspire you to other places.
Walk through whitewashed villages in the Alpujarras |  <i>Erin Williams</i>
8.    Do your homework before you leave – not only on the places you are going but on yourself. Be sure you are capable of the walk. Do a few training walks beforehand to ensure the walking tour in Europe is enjoyable and not tiring.
9.    Minimise what you are carrying each day. Fortunately with UTracks, there are daily luggage transfers, so really all you need to be walking with is water, snacks and a jacket or book.
Hikers entering the delightful hilltop town of Rupit
10.    ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY – It might inspire you to one day walk the Great Himalaya Trail!!!!!

Read Ken's other walking stories:
Share your best walking advice in the comment section below.
Walking, Walking Europe, Hiking, Europe

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