As many of us slowly resume traveling, nothing epitomizes “slow travel” more than a walking trip. The best itineraries are a combination of dramatic scenery, wonderful regional cuisine and a pace that offers exercise and adventure in equal measure. It’s the perfect way to reflect on the events of the past two years and to contemplate what lies ahead. Here are five new walking trips that debut in 2022 from some of the best tour operators in the business.
Hiking the Isle of Madeira
For those who’ve managed to cover much of Europe on foot, Madeira remains one of the few enchanting, out of the way places left to explore. Set in the Atlantic Ocean and warmed by the Gulf Stream, this Portuguese island is known for its lush forests, volcanic peaks and namesake fortified wines. On this Wilderness Travel trip, you walk the “levada” trails along ancient irrigation canals through green valleys and UNESCO-protected laurisilva forests rich in mosses and lichens. Hiking the Isle of Madeira is rated level 3+, moderate to strenuous (out of 6 levels), with two to eight hours a day of hiking. Accommodations includes two nights at the legendary Reid’s Palace Hotel, a Belmond property. Priced from $4,495 per person, based on double occupancy, and land-only (as are all trips mentioned here). There is a departure in April 2022.
Oman Walking & Hiking Tour
The Middle East is really underserved when it comes to adventure travel so this new Backroads trip is especially welcome. This is a walking and hiking trip that includes Muscat and the Gulf of Oman and includes an exploration of Bedouin territory. The Oman Walking & Hiking Tour is a seven-day trip that is rated level 1-3 (out of 5), so while it’s not super strenuous, it is heavy on culture. Accommodations range from a Bedouin-style desert camp to two luxurious resorts, the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort and the oceanfront Chedi Muscat. Running October, November and December 2022, priced from $7,199 per person.
Alps Around the Matterhorn Trek
This trek from MT Sobek is a circular exploration around Switzerland’s most famous mountain. Rated level 4 (out of a possible 5), this itinerary offers challenging day hikes of up to nine hours a day at elevations between 6,000-11,000 feet. On the Alps Around the Matterhorn Trek, you can expect rugged alpine trails, spectacular panoramic scenery, and two glacier crossings. Aimed at seasoned hikers looking for a challenge, the scenic payoff is snow-capped peaks, alpine lakes, and pastoral hamlets. Accommodations include the Hotel Butterfly and the Hotel Bella Vista in Zermatt, the Sertorelli Sporthotel in Cervinia and Hotel Cristal in Grimentz. This eight day trip, with departures in July and August 2022, is priced from $5,795 per person.
Portuguese Coastal Camino Walking
This six day trip in Portugal and Spain with Butterfield & Robinson is a true taste of the celebrated pilgrimage route. The Portuguese Coastal Camino Walking trip is rated level 3 (out of 5), which means walking three to 12 miles per day over rolling terrain. Highlights include walking through Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in Portugal, a coastal walk to Oia in Spain, and a private yacht trip, as well as visiting Cape Finisterre and a dramatic ending in Santiago de Compostela. Accommodations include the Hotel Paço de Vitorino, a restored 16th century family manor, as well as the famed Parador de Santiago de Compestela. Departures in May, June, September and October, 2022. Priced from $4,995 per person.
Italy: Matera, Otranto & the Puglia Coast
Country Walkers is unveiling this walks in Basilicata and Puglia, Italy next year. It’s trip among whitewashed villages, limestone peaks and ravines, not to mention cave-dwellings and trullo architecture. The Italy: Matera, Otranto & the Puglia Coast tour is rated easy to moderate, and while it’s very much about sampling the local wines and regional cuisine, it also includes walking the final stretch of the via Francigena—the “road from France”—to the southernmost point of Puglia at Santa Maria di Leuca. Among the accommodations are the Patria Palace Hotel Lecce and the Ostuni Palace Hotel. From $4,398 per person, with departures in May, September and October, 2022.