Why do we go on Holiday? What is the actual point? Do we cross oceans in order to bake slowly– inert potatoes under the Benidorm sun? Pay triple-figure pounds for plane tickets just so that we can pay twelve euros for a disappointing hotdog? Book a week off work for the chance to look up at the night sky and see slightly shifted constellations still mostly blocked by light pollution? No. That isn’t why anyone should travel. Too often, we base our holidays solely around a destination. We say things like: Well, Italy is beautiful, lets go there and see what’s what! Then we end up wasting a precious week off getting lost in back alleys and getting sweaty in cramped tourist traps. It’s difficult to work out a full itinerary, and one might argue that knowing exactly what you’ll do and see over the week takes part of the fun out of it. There must be a balance out there somewhere.
The ideal holiday would be carefully planned but still full of surprises. It would feel organised and structured, but still bring a sense of wonder and exploration. If we’re really shooting for the moon, the perfect holiday would be one in which you haven’t gained half a stone by the end. Is such a trip possible? Could we really all go on holiday this year, take in some exquisite vistas, see the stars in all their unfettered glory, go on a real adventure, and finish off the week with a six pack and a newfound sense of self-worth?
YES! It’s not just possible, it’s easy! Go on a walking holiday and thank me when you’re back. Base your time away around an extended activity, an epic quest. Embark on a hiking trip and get ready to tell your friends that you’ve traversed the Pyrenees or walked through three countries in a week. Don’t just travel, go travelling. Not only will you experience a sense of purpose and focus unlike any other, but you will discover the rhythmic, meditative, deeply connected state that long-distance walking can unlock. Not to mention the absolutely glorious feeling of finishing an entire route. Snag yourself a pair of walking boots and hit the open trail! But which route should you take? There are several excellent long-distance routes in the UK, but if you’re itching to plunge into the heart of Europe, take a look at the 10 best long-distance walks in the continent.
Distance: 169km / 105.5 miles
Running along a ridgeway in the heart of the Thuringian Forest, this inviting route is the oldest and most well-loved in all of Germany. The Rennsteig trail starts in Hörschel and ends in Blankenstein, clocking in at around 170 kilometres, almost all of which is generously furnished with cozy cabins, hotels, and eateries of all kinds.
The wonderfully dynamic combination of being a high-altitude ridge trail and running through a rich, sprawling green forest can lead to some utterly fantastic sights, where the diverse shrubbery in the foreground is flanked by miles of rolling hills and distant mountain towns.
This trail is ideal for anyone looking to make their debut in the world of long-distance walking, as it gladly provides equal doses of rural wilderness and comfortable beds in quaint, friendly villages. If you pass other walkers – which is highly likely – don’t forget to use the traditional greeting native only to this very route: Gut Runst!
More info: eurohike.at