Friday Five: Multi-Country Trips
You might think taking a walking or cycling adventure restricts you to exploring one country due to the slower pace of travel. But this is not the case! We've compiled our top five trips that take you through two or more countries, to show that you can explore different cultures, cuisines and cities on the one trip! Our list includes walking and cycling trips, so there's a multi-country adventure for everyone.
1. Danube Cycle Path
The Danube is the second longest river in Europe, originating in Germany and passing through nine other countries before ending up in the Black Sea. It might be a bit tricky to find the time to cycle the length of the entire river, so instead we offer different options taking you along the best bits. The variety of scenery, landscapes and incredible cities along the route make every day's cycle an adventure. A popular section of the ride is Passau in Germany to Vienna in Austria. This stretch takes you through beautiful vineyards and enchanting river valleys, past ancient churches and charming towns, as well as giving you the opportunity to explore the magnificent cities at the start and end of your journey.
If you fancy a longer adventure, you can continue on through Austria, Slovakia and finish your journey in Budapest, Hungary. This stretch takes you through flower-filled fields and beautiful nature reserves, into the bustling Slovakian capital of Bratislava before you continue following the blue waters of the Danube into your final stop, the cosmopolitan city of Budapest, where you can spend time exploring its historic sites and captivating atmosphere on either side of the river.
2. Tour de Mont Blanc
We couldn't write an article about multi-country trips without including this famous long-distance trek. This circumnavigation of Europe's highest mountain takes adventurers through France, Switzerland and Italy. First walked by the Swiss aristocrat Horace Benedict de Saussure in 1767, this route attracts walkers from all over the world, and it's easy to see why.
With magnificent Alpine scenery at every turn, crystal clear lakes, dramatic peaks and sweeping valleys, this is truly a magnificent way to spend your holiday. Spend each night at cosy hotels or huts, tucking into traditional Alpine fare amongst other keen walkers, noticing the subtle changes in culture as you pass through each country.
3. Venice to Porec
The Adriatic is lesser known than the nearby Mediterranean, but is equally as beautiful. Located between Italy and the Balkan peninsula, the Adriatic has bright blue waters and stunning coastlines. What better way to see this beautiful part of the world than cycling from Venice, one of the most romantic cities in the world, and follow the coast northwards towards the Julian Alps, across the border to Croatia and finish up in Porec in the Istrian region.
With Roman ruins and beautiful castles to explore, complemented by the wonderful cuisine of Italy and Croatia, this multi-country adventure shows you the best of this part of the world.
4. Camino Portugues
The Camino de Santiago comprises numerous routes into the spiritual city of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Of these many routes, the Camino Portugues is one of the most beautiful. Setting off from Lisbon, the bustling capital of Portugal and heading north through Coimbra and Porto, before crossing the border into Spain, moving up towards Pontevedra and finally coming into Santiago. This is not a journey for the faint-hearted. The entire route takes around a month to complete, but it is well worth the time and effort.
This adventure takes you through rolling hills and olive groves, along Roman roads through valleys and woodlands. Reward your daily exertions with the fantastic cuisine in each region: fresh fish in Lisbon, a delicious Pastel de Nata in Coimbra, a rich glass of port in Porto...the list goes on. Many walkers on this route report feeling a deep sense of spirituality on this journey, as well as the warmth of the Camino community.
5. Lake Constance Cycle Path
Bordered by Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Lake Constance, or Bodensee in German, seems as though it was created to cycle around. Make your way along flat and quiet paths, through sleepy villages and historic towns, against a spectacular Alpine backdrop. This path makes for a fantastic week's holiday, with highlights including 'Der Rheinfall', the largest waterfall in Central Europe and the charming medieval towns of Constance and Lindau.
And, of course, you can sample some well-deserved German beer, Swiss chocolate and Austrian schnitzel. Enjoy the relaxed way of life around this beautiful lake, the northern shore of which is known as Germany's Riviera.