With the rise of easy transportation, walking has been demoted to a form of exercise or hobby as opposed to being a way to get around town. However, this does present an opportunity to see more of the world whilst getting our fitness levels up, and with that in mind, let's take a look at the best walking routes in Europe.
Camino de Santiago is a highly regarded Spanish walking tour company. Their most popular tour is from Sarria, in the very north west of Spain. To Santiago de Compostela from Sarria is around 111km, taking around 7 days to complete. With a mild climate in the winter, this grade 2 route can be completed at any time of the year.
The tour begins in the old town centre of Sarria, where there are many chapels, churches, and monasteries to see. The first few walking days are through quiet villages and hamlets with a lot of shade and architecture.
Towards the middle of the trail, around Palas de Rei, is where things begin to get more rural with some hills - but great views. Towards the end of the walk, you can tour the town of Santiago, which has many cathedrals and even a world heritage site by Unesco.
Lands End to John o'Groats, UK
The walk from Lands End to John o'Groats isn't for the faint-hearted - this one takes three months to complete. This is essentially a walking route from the tip of Scotland down to the bottom of England, which is around 1111 miles.
This is a gruelling walk, but its difficulty, like climbing Everest, is what makes it so rewarding. Throughout the journey, you will mostly be walking through windy British country roads through quaint villages, stopping off at country pubs and small hotels (or even camping), and at times, through some very urban or concreted areas.
You should expect roughly 16 miles of walking per day on average, but with some rest days now and then. You would likely need three months off work for this one, but you would get to see every inch of England and Scotland along the way. This walk is ideal to do in summer, and arriving in early autumn, which will help cut down on the bog and rain.
GR20 in Corsica
France is a beautiful country, but it's often just Paris, architecture, and the Riviera that gets all the attention. Corsica has some mind-blowing landscapes and nature, which is why the GR20 hike is one of the most popular hiking trails in the world.
Crossing Corsica, from the north to south, takes around 200km (124 miles). There is plenty of culture along the way of course, with many historic sites, but the mountains can be as breathtaking as they are challenging.
Despite its popularity, this route is very, very tough. Generally, it's taken by experienced hikers, or at the very least requires some fitness training beforehand. It can be steep, often with a heavy backpack, but is an amazing experience that is worthwhile for those brave enough. This walk is best to do in late summer, around August time.