Walking and Cycling Trips Off The Beaten Track

Cilento beaches | John Millen
Cilento beaches | John Millen

Get Off The Beaten Track

Discover these Walking and Cycling Trips Through Rarely Visited Regions in Europe.


Are you looking to tread the untrodden path? Explore little seen regions of Europe? Help emerging tourism areas grow?

Or more simply, just want to escape the masses and have a more authentic experience on your travels?

See our list of undiscovered trails that will exceed your expectations.
 

Italy: Cilento Coast and Mountain Walk

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In Roman times the area of Amalfi was known as Campania Felix or ‘happy land’ - this was understandable with its beautiful countryside, Roman cities, small islands and stretches of spectacular coast. The Amalfi and Sorrento coast is today very well known, but Campania’s real secret is located South of Salerno and immediately south of the wonderful Greek temples of Paestum. Here the coastline of Italy bulges out into an expanse of mountainous landmass known as Cilento, now a National Park with World Heritage listing. 

Agropoli |  <i>John Millen</i>

The coast of Cilento National Park is a fairly rocky territory, with the shoreline lapped by a crystal sea. There is a wild kind of beauty here; rocky ridges set between small picturesque inlets and richly scented pinewoods backing onto wide sandy beaches. Aleppo pines loom over multi-coloured undergrowth of myrtle and prickly pear; whilst huge, centuries old, olive trees grow right down to the shore and there are several quaint fishing villages. Inland the Cilento is largely undisturbed by the 21st century and you will enjoy visiting mediaeval mountain villages, where the traditional Italian way of life is still evident. This Cilento trekking tour is both along the coast and inland across low mountains, through pristine natural areas and attractive countryside, with all its cultural treasures like rural chapels, ancient farm houses, old water mills and charming medieval villages. During the tour you visit old medieval ‘borghi’ (fortified hilltop villages), such as Rocca Cilento, and some of the nicest fishing villages, like San Marco di Castellabate and Acciaroli. Take this Cilento holiday ideally as an extension from one of our Amalfi Coast walks but you can also do it as a short break.

> View more trip details here.
 

Balkans: Via Dinarica: Bosnia to Montenegro

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Explore one of the original and most breathtaking stretches of the Via Dinarica, a long distance mountainous walking trail spanning seven Balkan countries, on a route that crosses borders through Sutjeska National Park in Bosnia to Durmitor National Park in Montenegro (also a UNESCO World Heritage site). 

Enjoying the splendid view over Trnovacko Lake on the Via Dinarica walk

This section of the trail follows the Dinaric Alps and collects mesmerising natural sights along the way: the heart-shaped Trnovacko glacial lake; the turquoise waters of Rakitnica Canyon; and the rocky panoramas of Bosnia's highest peak, Maglic. These are highlights in an already glorious landscape woven with primeval forests and cosy mountain villages, such as in Lukomir, whose inhabitants continue to live a traditional way of life. Finish your journey in charming Sarajevo and witness the fusion of west and east European culture. This Balkan trip will satisfy those who want an idyllic walking experience that's still largely untamed and undiscovered

> View more trip details here.
 

Greece: Andros Trail Self Guided Walk

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In 2012, a group of volunteers with a passion for the Cycladic island of Andros set about restoring and maintaining an ancient network of paths as a sustainable tourism project. Long before motorised transport, these old footpaths were the only way of travelling from village to village. 

Walking past ruins from the Hellenistic on the Andros Trail

As you walk along the well signposted route, the stonework and monuments are a testament to their historic legacy. Unspoilt beaches, classic coastal views and a multitude of natural features enrich the experience as you ascend mountain trails with sweeping vistas. At the end of the day, feast on typical Greek dishes at local tavernas and experience the warm hospitality of the island in handpicked accommodation. A truly rewarding walk on an unspoilt Greek Island.

> View more trip details here.
 

Baltics: Lithuania, Belarus and Poland Cycle

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The borderlands of Lithuania, Poland and Belarus are rich in natural features with national parks, sandy plains, vast forests, crystal clear lakes and deep river valleys characterising the terrain. Cycling through this landscape is a pleasure, with time to discover the Cepkeliu-Dzukijos National Park in Lithuania, the visa free Grodno region with the Augustow Canal in Belarus, Masurian Lakeland with Wigry and Biebrza National Parks in Poland. 

The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania |  <i>Gesine Cheung</i>

The supported cycle begins from the Lithuanian capital city Vilnius and continues through a small pocket of Belarus and Poland before concluding in the Polish capital city Warsaw, famous for its old town designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are many interesting towns and villages to explore enroute including Druskininkai spa resort with its Soviet style wooden houses. With each country a new culture, language and cuisine is discovered, providing a fascinating dimension to this unique cycle journey.

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Bulgaria and Romania on Foot

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The mountain ranges of Romania and Bulgaria are not only scenically beautiful and a pleasure to walk through; they are rich in a culture which has remained relatively untouched through the centuries. At times you feel you have time travelled, as you cross meadows dotted with pretty wooden houses, straight out of a fairytale book, while shepherds amble by with their flocks and horse and carts wind their way along quiet roads. 

On the scary lake trek in Bulgaria

Be transported into this charming world on a guided walking tour taking in some of the best hikes in the Balkans and Transylvanian alps. Stop at shepherds houses to taste local cheese and learn about traditional crafts, cooking and wine making. Between walks, stay in the medieval fortified town of Brasov, discover centuries old buildings including the Ivanovo rock hewn church and soak up the atmosphere in the world heritage listed village of Viscri, which regained its beauty after a massive renovation supported by the Prince Charles foundation. With a comfortable bed at the end of the day and superb local food, this is a genuine active holiday experience offering a unique insight into Romanian and Bulgarian landscapes and traditions.

> View more trip details here.

 

Where's the most off the beaten track destination you've visited? Share your active travel experiences with us in the comments.
 

Italy, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece

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