Walking and cycling holidays: Our hidden gems
Everyone loves to discover a hidden gem holiday destination. But few people are lucky enough to be in the know about all the best hidden gems places to go walking and cycling. This blog reveals some of our top recommendations for lesser known but fabulous trips. A hidden gem is the sort of holiday you accidentally overhear someone raving about, or a lucky find that you happen to read about, or a place mentioned in phrases from friends and acquaintances such as “I couldn’t believe what we found when we went…” and “I have no idea why more people have not discovered…”. To give you a head-start on discovering a few hidden gems of your own, we suggest some of our favourite walking and cycling holidays. [caption id="attachment_21580" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Elbe Cycle Path in Hungary.[/caption]
Cycle the Czech RepublicThe Elbe Cycle Path from Prague to Dresden in Germany is rated as one of Germany’s Top Cycle Paths. Yet many cyclists outside the Czech Republic and Germany have not even heard of it. The Macs Adventure Elbe Cycle Path tour makes it easy to discover the delights of this route over five days of cycling and a total of around 160km (100 miles). From the UNESCO World Heritage City of Prague you’ll cycle below a backdrop of lush green mountains, through meadows and vineyards, and in the shadow of huge sandstone massifs. Dresden, at the end of the tour, is nicknamed the “Florence of the Elbe” thanks to its beauty. [caption id="attachment_21579" align="aligncenter" width="1500"] Walk amid the mountains of Rila and Pirin.[/caption]
Walking the mountains of BulgariaIt’s the Alps, or perhaps the Pyrenees, that walkers generally think of when planning a European holiday. But have you considered the mountain trails of Bulgaria? In the south-west of the country are the Pirin and Rila mountains where you can enjoy superb walking surrounded by a far less visited landscape. The Pirin mountains are Bulgaria’s second highest mountain range – and considered by many to be the most beautiful. The mountains boast more than 170 glacial lakes and a variety of rare plants. The Rila Mountains are the sixth highest in Europe, and also feature an abundance of lakes as well as hot springs. Macs Adventure High Peaks & Lakes of the Rila & Pirin packs a wealth of lovely walking into a week in a place recommend as a Balkan gem. [caption id="attachment_21576" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Fascinating Budapest.[/caption]
Hiking in HungaryHungary is another gem for walkers who enjoy both urban and rural attractions. Visit tranquil and beautiful Bükk National Park, near Miskolc, where you’ll find varied trails amid mountains, hills, vineyards and forests. There are also vast cave complexes to explore, villages, lakes and waterfalls. Meanwhile the city of Budapest boasts history, culture and plentiful photo opportunities. See Hungary walking tours. [caption id="attachment_21578" align="aligncenter" width="1500"] Stunning Picos de Europa.[/caption]
Off the beaten track in SpainSpain is a popular destination for walkers but our top tip is to get off the beaten track and walk in the Picos de Europa and also on the trails of La Palma: La Isla Bonita. The Picos de Europa is lesser known but actually one of the most impressive mountain ranges in Spain and a fantastic place to walk. Hike through jagged limestone mountains and revel in the array of flora and fauna. Meanwhile, walkers on La Isle Bonita will enjoy exploring the lush northern gorges and central volcanoes with superb panoramic views. The Ruta de los Volcanes offers an memorable hike along a chain of volcanoes towards the south of the island. Other Bonita gems include local ingredients such as almonds, bananas, citrus fruits and avocados. If you have a hidden gem you’d like to tell us about please do spill the beans. Also find out why one of our writers enjoys the quest for new and different types of holidays.
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