Going walking at any time of year has its benefits (as long as it is safe to get out there - get out there!), but here we focus on the best places for walking holidays in August. We're concentrating on Northern Hemisphere for this article, so we're talking golden evenings, clement days, and the walking trails which benefit most from one of the most idyllic times of year (especially for you sun worshippers!). Of course, August can be hot hot hot, and no-one likes feeling like they can't take another step without melting! So, we're thinking out of the box a bit again, and offering some alternatives to the usual "summer holiday" locations for all you active travellers. Here are our top walking holiday destinations for August:
1. Swiss Alpine Adventure (The Easy Way)
Trust us, you can't get a more perfect summer holiday destination than the Swiss Alps. Hiking in the alps is not just for those looking to push themselves, it can be an exercise in total relaxation too! The perfect picture postcard scenery of Switzerland is an ideal backdrop, and that pure air can't be beaten as a tonic. Glorious sun dappled meadows, sparkling alpine peaks, and wonderful food and wine. Try the Bear Trail in the Bernese Oberland, graded easy-moderate, and quite simply a delight.
2. Quintessential England - The Cotswolds
Approaching later in the summer, the warmer light gives the abundantly fruitful countryside a certain glow. The Cotswold Way traverses quintessential England, perfect all summer, and particularly charming in August, (meaning spaces fill up quickly). A walking holiday on the Cotswold Way is a journey through storybook England. Macs Adventure's itineraries include everything from a short escape to the full Cotswold Way (with baggage transfer of course to make it extra relaxing!).
3. Wine and Walking
Hands up who likes to treat themselves to a touch of indulgence at the end of a hiking day? A fine wine, a hearty meal....sound perfect? Combining a walking holiday with a wine producing region is an excellent way to not only develop an understanding of winemaking, but of course also enjoy some wonderful landscapes and fine walking trails. France and Italy are probably the destinations you'd think of first - but in August the heat can be prohibitive to the hiker. The zesty acidity Germany's wines is derived from the colder climate, and German wines are deservedly undergoing a huge revival at the moment. Try the Moselle Valley Wine Trail, or the Baden Red Wine Trail for inspiration.
4. Summer Hiking in a Skiing Mecca
Banff, Lake Louise, and Whistler may be locations more traditionally associated with Winter Sports, but exploring these places in Summer is an opportunity not to be missed. A drive and hike tour is the perfect way to hit the open road, and enjoy some spectacular hiking. Ideal for a walking holiday in August. Make sure you take in the Sunshine Meadows Trail (which Lonely Planet voted the #1 hiking trail in Canada). Everywhere you turn is a view which draws a gasp, the hospitality is excellent, and the variety of terrain outstanding. Go hike in Canada, you'll not be disappointed!
5. Make a Pilgrimage to Northern Spain
Spain is of course a classic mid-summer holiday destination, with many popular resorts. For a walking holiday though, you may find those balmy temperatures of the southern coasts a little uncomfortable. Visiting the lesser known north is an excellent alternative with traditionally more moderate temperatures (although be warned temperatures can still peak in the 30s centigrade), and walkers flock to Galicia to walk the Camino de Santiago. Never considered a pilgrimage holiday? Walking a pilgrims' trail is a lifetime experience, undertaken by all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. You don't have to have religious motivations to take on a pilgrimage; anyone interested in meeting new people, and experiencing life and culture will benefit from the journey, taken by around 200,000 each year. Find out about walking the Camino Frances ("Camino de Santiago" or "Way of St James"), or of course you could try an alternative Camino, like a Gourmet short "taster" of the Camino (and the food of the region), or the Camino Finisterre, walking from Santiago to the "end of the earth" (or so the Romans thought!). Visit www.macsadventure.com to use our holiday finder for a walking holiday at any time of year. Happy hiking!