Walking has so many benefits, especially as we tend to spend more and more time sitting – be it at our desks, in traffic, or glued to screens. What better alternative to the office than to take an active holiday outdoors and enjoy the fresh clean air of the countryside, at your own pace, really seeing what’s all around you.
Many people are discovering how enjoyable it is to head off for a walking holiday in a new location or country. Here are our Top Ten reasons to take a walking holiday this year!
1. Everyone can join in: Whatever your level of fitness, experience or walking ability, there is a walking holiday for you. Our walking holidays vary the numbers of hours walking each day, and how many days walking on each tour. We can advise you regarding the grading of the walks to see which one will suit you.
2. Health & Fitness: Walking is a great way to keep fit and also improves our moods and mental health. The benefits of walking include increased cardiovascular fitness, stronger bones, improved balance, reduced body fat, increased muscle strength, lowered risk of disease and even reduced stress and anxiety. While many holidays involve hours spent sitting in a car, coach or train, walking holidays ensure that you exercise as you explore the world.
3. Family holiday: A walking holiday is a great way to enjoy time with family members. We see more and more families walking together, sometimes all three generations together which is a wonderful experience for all. Family walking holidays can be relaxed and when you are walking you will naturally talk, a great way to catch up with those we don’t see as often as we would like.
4. Relax and switch off: Literally! When walking people can turn off the mobile phones, social media and the internet. Enjoy the chance to truly get away from it all. Escape from the busy daily schedules and immerse yourself in the great outdoors, with only birdsong or babbling brooks in your ears. Reconnect with yourself, your partner, family and friends in more meaningful ways.
5. Off the beaten path: Walking holidays allow for authentic and unique experiences for you. Walking takes you to places that coach tours and trains can’t. Walking tours enabling you to go off the beaten path as you ramble and hike along forest trails, rugged landscapes, explore craggy cliffs and coastlines. The mountains are alive with colours and wildlife that can only be discovered on foot. In Ireland’s many towns and villages meet the local people, who will be genuinely friendly and look forward to meeting you.
6. Locations: There are many great walking trails to choose from. It really depends on what terrain you prefer to hike on, how much time you have and where you want to visit. Choose from coastal or river routes, forest trails, off-road and lakeside. There are several looped walks or long walking trails such as the Wicklow Way, Dingle Way or Kerry Way which can be done over 6-10 days. We have guided walking tours that allow you to explore Connemara, the Burren, Kerry Dingle and more.
7. It’s your holiday: While you may be following a map or walking trail, this is your holiday and you can stop and go when you please, eat lunch at that perfect spot, whether by a stream, under a bridge or by a cliff’s edge. You will walk at your own pace and can stop and take as many photos wherever takes your fancy. Flexibility and freedom are help to ensure you are relaxed and can enjoy each day at your own pace.
8. Affordability: Walking holidays are far less expensive than many other types of holidays as you are removing the extra costs associated with cities. The quality of accommodation and food can be just as high in our smaller towns and villages, without some of the higher costs.
9. Walk anytime: The best season for walking holidays in Ireland is generally April – October, but we can find the perfect routes for you all year round if winter walking is your preference.
10. Feeling of accomplishment: Walking provides a personal sense of achievement when you complete your journey – much more so than you get from a coach or rail trip or cruise. As you spend quality time in nature, it’s good for the mind, body and soul. Hopefully you return home with wonderful memories, new experiences and a spring in your step!