WALKING HOLIDAYS DONE DIFFERENTLY WITH INGHAMS
Wave goodbye to set itineraries, carrying all your kit and packing every night. Say hello to Stay-and-Walk holidays with the freedom to do whatever you feel like.
Pick your base and stroll, hike or stride around the most beautiful parts of Europe at your own pace. Or just kick-back and enjoy everything else you love to do on holiday.
Inghams will take care of it all - from getting there and a place to stay, to sharing the inside track on their favourite walks. Plus, you'll find expert-led walks included in many of our resorts.
Boots on or off, this is your holiday. Walk it your way
25 May '24 - 7 nights
Bed & Breakfast
from £585 per person
In a quiet location but near the centre of Alpbach is the lovely Pension Edelweiss. There are several hiking trails in and around the village to enjoy, or you can hop on the bus to the Wiedersbergerhorn lift and head up into the mountains to explore.
The guest house is hosted by the welcoming Hilde Moser, and is full of homely touches - it was awarded four Edelweiss by the Tyrolean Private Room Association. Rooms and apartments are well furnished, with everything you need for a comfortable stay. There are five spacious double rooms with ensuite bathrooms and private balconies, and three beautiful apartments (Haus Edelweiss Apartments) designed in typical Alpbach style.
There's a pretty garden and a small terrace with loungers and shades where you can bask in the sun, relax with a book, or just soak in the beautiful alpine views.
A simple but delicious buffet breakfast is served every day. For evening meals there are restaurants nearby, and the staff are always happy to offer their top recommendations.
Free use of lifts and local buses - with Alpbachtal Summer Card
Surrounded by meadows and forests and set against the Gratlspitz peaks, Alpbach is a village from the pages of a fairy tale. Wooden houses with flower-filled balconies decorate peaceful streets, while many of the surrounding farms have been run by the same families for centuries. This makes it one of the best places for digging into mountain food – just the fuel you need for hiking. Gondolas glide up to mountain tracks, footpaths meander along meadows and valleys, and three gorges line up some seriously dramatic vistas.
There are around 900 kilometres of marked paths around Alpbach – and the Wiedersbergerhorn gondola is a great introduction to them. It whisks walkers up to the highest slopes above Alpbach, where some of the most beautiful hikes in the Kitzbühel Alps unroll. For more of a challenge, clamber to one of the three peaks of Gratlspitze mountain for views into the valley far below. There are also plenty of wanders between the villages, farmsteads and serene chapels along the valley floor. Not sure where to begin? Join a guided walking tour from the tourist office.
Alpbach Valley style
Many of the houses, shops and cafés in Alpbach haven’t changed since the first log was laid. They all showcase a distinct woodcarving technique that shapes everything from gables and altars to the furniture in hotels and restaurants. However, one building has broken the mould. The Congress Centre - which hosts the annual scientific and political European Forum Alpbach - blends into the mountainside like a glass Hobbit house.
Architecture isn’t the only thing special about Alpbach. Alpbachtal Hüttenjause food platters lay out Tyrolean specialities such as mountain sausages and hay-milk cheese (tastier than it sounds). Most ingredients are plucked from the farms of the Alpbach Valley, some of which have been in the same family for over 300 years. Go to the Alpine Farmers’ Museum, about a 20-minute bus ride away, to see how people lived in centuries past.
Mountain coasters and enchanted forests
Alpbach is a paradise for young children - the Wiedersbergerhorn lift is the gateway to Lauserland – a mountain playground with an alpine rollercoaster, panoramic towers and rope courses. Further along the Alpbach Valley, another lift goes from Reith im Alpbachtal to the tree swings and wobbly bridges of Juppi’s Enchanted Forest. Reith is also the spot for swimming in the village’s picturesque lake.
Gorge hikes and exploring on bikes
There are three gorge walks within easy reach of Alpbach. A 1.5-hour ramble along Tiefenbach Gorge winds past a turquoise river and otherworldly rock formations, the speedy waters of the Kaiser Gorge are a favourite with white-water rafters and experienced kayakers, and the Kundl Gorge lays out an easy path along one of the most dramatic canyons in Austria.
Cyclists are in their element in Alpbach too, with routes including forest tracks, high-altitude paths between mountain huts and quiet mountain roads.
Apart-Hotel Xalet Besoli
1 Jun '24 - 7 nights
from £699 per person
The Apart-Hotel Xalet Besoli is a cosy mountain retreat offering good value for money with comfortable rooms and friendly service. Its tucked away slightly but is still within walking distance of the centre of Arinsal which offers cafes and restaurants as well as good public transport links to take you to nearby towns and villages. During the summer months, you can make use of the hotels outdoor terrace and admire the mountain views or for those cooler summer evenings head inside to the bar-café where you can enjoy a drink by the grand fire place.
The mountain village of Arinsal drapes itself along a valley in the north-west of Andorra, not far from the Spanish border. The forested slopes of the Pyrenees close in on either side – a preview of the walking and cycling territory that’s the highlight of a summer holiday in this neck of the woods. Back at base, the restaurants and cafés are as international as their clientele. For a change of scene, hop on a bus to La Massana and its family-friendly adventure park or head to the capital city of Andorra La Vella.
Walking in Comapedrosa Nature Park: the top of Andorra
Comapedrosa Nature Park lies just north of Arinsal, where you can hike marked paths to high mountain waterfalls, lakes and forests – all watched over by Coma Pedrosa itself which, at almost 3,000m tall, is Andorra’s highest peak. For a walk with a hearty mountain food finale, climb through forests and along a ravine to a stone-clad mountain refuge called – you guessed it – Comapedrosa.
Summer holidays exploring La Massana and the Ordino Valley
Arinsal is the last village up one of the two valleys above La Massana. Just 15 minutes bus ride away from Arinsal you'll find La Massana, a bustling village where the gondola goes up to the treetop ropes courses and playgrounds of a mountain top park. Bike tracks are also up here and range from smooth sidewinding paths to bumpy backcountry trails.
If you prefer boots to bikes, follow the river valley from La Massana to the start of the Camí Ral d’Ordino footpath. It’s an easy 6km trail connecting valley villages, wooden bridges and churches. It also traces part of the Iron Route that follows the history of the forges and mines in this patch of the Pyrenees.
Biking on the agenda?
Whilst Arinsal is a walkers paradise in the summer, some may be interested to hear that there are hundreds of bike-friendly routes and roads around Arinsal but particularly in the nearby town of La Massana, with rentals ranging from road bikes and MTBs to e-bikes that help make long-distance rides achievable for more casual cyclists.
For those interested in sporting events, you may have heard of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup that takes place every summer in the Vallnord bike park above La Massana. It’s impossible not to get swept along with the joy of the spectators, who travel from all over to watch cyclists speed down some seriously hair-raising trails.
Family holidays in Arinsal
Arinsal is a great destination for families with a range of activities on offer as well as a selection of hotels with family-friendly facilities available. Kids will love the Mountain Park in the nearby town of La Massana, you catch the gondola up the mountain and at the top there are numerous games and activities. There are also plenty of walking trails in the area that cater to different abilities so if you're after family friendly walks or a bit more of a challenge then there's plenty to keep you on the trails.
The hotels in Arinsal also have great facilities for kids, the hotel Princesa Parc even has an on site bowling alley (additional charge), great fun for all the family.
Europe’s highest capital: Andorra La Vella
The capital city of Andorra la Vella is a 30-minute bus ride away from Arinsal and a great day-trip to enjoy its lively summer atmosphere. Wander the stone-walled old quarter to see Casa de la Vall, the seat of one of the longest-running parliaments in Europe, and past the handsome St Esteve Church. The riverside park is a lovely walk too. Restaurants, stylish spas, including the Caldea spa which is the largest thermal spa in Southern Europe and the famous tax-free Shopping Mile also offer a break from the trails. Once a month, Mercat de la Vall hosts local craftspeople selling everything from homemade sweets and aromatherapy oils to screen-printed t-shirts and jewellery.
Lake Annecy, France
Hotel Pavillon des Fleurs
11 Sep '24 - 7 nights
from £894 per person
The Hotel Pavillon des Fleurs is perfect for families and those looking for plenty of activities in a beautiful location. Perched on the side of the lake in Menthon, a quiet area around the bay from Talloires (and a pedestrian zone during the summer), the property sells itself on its location. There is a lovely panoramic dining room and a shaded terrace area facing the lake to enjoy your meals and relax in the fine weather.
Menthon Saint Bernard is a village on the sunny side of the lake, known as the Rive Plein Soleil and is just a few miles around the lake from the fabulous town of Annecy. The village is picturesque with a small port, a beach, a promenade along the lake, a castle (Chateau de Menthon) and the Roc de Chère Nature reserve.
From the crystal clear waters of Lake Annecy - known as Europe’s cleanest - to the picturesque villages circling the lake and its surrounding mountains, visiting Annecy in summer is like having multiple holidays in one. Hit the water by paddleboard, pedalo, boat or wakeboard, head up into the hills for views and explore the winding cobblestone streets of Annecy before heading into one of its breweries, bistros or fine dining restaurants. At the far end of the lake is the peaceful Talloires, a village with an ancient history; ideal for escaping the action and discovering the area’s quiet side.
Lake Annecy’s summer beach scene
As well as the city, lake and mountains, you’ll also get a taste of beach life on the shores of Lake Annecy, with over a dozen to choose from for a lazy day: Plage de La Brune and St Jorioz have sandy shores, while the Menthon-Saint Bernard is more of an outdoor swimming pool complex but in a natural setting and with fresh lake water, floating walkways, lifeguards and showers. Albigny beach, with its grassy sunbathing banks, is one of Annecy’s most popular, just a 20-minute walk from town. The Talloires bay is sheltered from wind, with paddling pools for kids, as well as beach volleyball and bowls. The list goes on…
From easy strolls to walking in the hills
Wander along the meandering canals in Annecy’s old town and you’ll understand why it’s called the ‘Venice of the Alps’, packed with colourful houses and medieval architecture. Discover more about the flora and fauna of the lake along family trails Sentier des Roselières or Réserve Naturelle du Bout-du-Lac. And, if you’re feeling sporty, head high on the Parmelan pathway, or take the trail to the Glières plateau, for the full mountain-panorama effect.
Visit the city of Annecy for a day of culture
For a city, Annecy is tiny in size and easy to explore on foot; making it the ideal place for some sightseeing. From Annecy Castle, which dates back to the 13th century, to the Pont des Amours (lovers’ bridge) covered in padlocks, to 12th-century prison Palais de l’Ile, or exhibition space Bonlieu, Annecy is packed with history. When you’ve had enough history, dive into the food and drink scene. The seven Michelin stars in the region just go to show what a focus food is here, with the local bistros and cafés serving up equally as excellent un-starred plates and great value Savoie wine. Join the locals in strolling along the lake’s edge to digest…
For another history hit head to Talloires, a village based around a 9th century abbey with a more recent history of artists and writers (we’re talking the likes of Cezanne and Mark Twain) who came to Lake Annecy in search of beauty and inspiration.
Cycle the long but gentle lakeside bike path for the views, or head up high for a challenge
Pedal around the lake on the mostly-flat 26-mile cycle path, or take out the hardest work and do it on e-bike. Serious riders can discover the numerous Tour de France stages that have passed by Annecy over the years, with Col de Leschaux a fantastic introductory climb. Mountain bikers will find their people at Le Semnoz bike park, with everything from fun trails to the long 1,300 metre downhill ride into Annecy.
Waterfalls, gorges and rivers - perfect for excursions
Beyond the lake are rivers and nature reserves to explore. The Angon waterfall gives beautiful views over Lake Annecy and can be accessed by a trail from Talloires on the eastern shores. West of Annecy, and just under the medieval castle of Montrottier, is the Fier Gorge - a narrow and deep canyon that you can access on foot thanks to a sturdy footbridge through the deep-cut rocks.
Earn your lunch by walking to a mountain hut above Lake Annecy
Head up into the mountains and make tracks for a mountain hut, for cooler weather, big views and an Alpine treat once you arrive. The Aulp de Marlens hut is at the end of a meandering trail through forest and alpine pastures, with homemade cheese waiting for you. The hike from Aviernoz to cliff-top Parmelan Hut might be a hard slog up (around two hours) but is well worth the effort for the views. And setting out from the shores of Lake Annecy towards Praz d’Zeures, you’ll have views of Mont Blanc.
Riva, Lake Garda, Italy
8 May '24 - 7 nights
from £949 per person
Hotel Europa is in the centre of Riva with unrivalled views of the harbour. This classic hotel is a comfortable base to come back to after a day of sightseeing and exploring the local area.
Lake views for everyone
Enjoy them from the restaurant's floor-to-ceiling windows - the chefs here pride themselves on their use of local ingredients. We love the fish platters and antipasti that come fresh from the market. The hotel's rooftop is the place to be; chill out in the small heated pool and relax on sun terrace with great views over the lake and mountains.
Great base for exploring
Riva itself is a spectacular town to explore. It's got a lot to offer - like water sports, mountain hiking and some great biking trails. Exploring other resorts on the lake is also easy with the ferry port just a few steps away from the hotel.
Riva, in the far north of Lake Garda, rolls out a waterfront that’s almost as grand as the mountains behind. Roman, Venetian, Napoleonic and Austro-Hungarian rulers have all occupied this prized position between the Italian Alps, lakes and plains, leaving behind a richly decorated lakeside promenade and old town. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, olive, cypress, palm and lemon trees thrive in Riva, making for some of the most scenic hiking and cycling paths in Italy. Plus, the jagged peaks of the Dolomites are on the doorstep… if you can bear to peel yourself away from Riva, that is.
Family activities by (and on) Lake Garda
Life revolves around the water in Riva del Garda. Day-trippers come and go by boat and restaurants and cafés set out their tables along the sun-trapped promenade. This stretch of shore is also a favourite spot for windsurfing, canoeing and sailing aficionados. Stroll or cycle along the promenade to neighbouring Torbole, passing sand and pebble beaches along the way. You’ll find that it’s nearly impossible to resist abandoning your bike or boots for a dip in the lake.
Swap Lake Garda for Ledro for the day
The emerald waters of Lake Ledro are just a half-hour bus ride away from Riva. This high alpine lake is another irresistible swimming spot, as well as a great place for delving into the region’s pre-Roman history at the open-air Pile-dwelling museum. Alternatively, head to Lake Ledro via one of the best hiking and cycling paths in Lake Garda – the panoramic Strada del Ponale (Ponale Road).
Walking around Riva old town
Riva has one of the most picturesque waterfronts in Lake Garda, with grand waterfront buildings dressed in alpine shades of blue, buttercup and rose. Don’t miss the car-free, flower-filled old town, Venetian city gates, cobbled main square and baroque fresco-adorned churches. Even the museum, Alto Garda, has extravagant trappings; this medieval fortress was once owned by the powerful Scaliger family. A glance at the restaurant menus reveals specials of schnitzels and strudels, as well as delicious mountain cheeses, cured meats such as mortadella and fruity red wines.
Exploring Lake Garda
Boats regularly set off from Riva’s harbour, bound for the villages of Lake Garda. Each one has its own forte. You could visit Malcesine and catch the cable car up Monte Baldo, explore Limone’s (you guessed it) lemon growing history, and even sail as far south as castle-topped Sirmione. Hold on to your hat whilst speeding across the lake aboard catamarans and hydrofoils, or choose one of the leisurely ferries that meander through the lake and mountain scenery at a more holiday-like pace.
Montecatini, Tuscany, Italy
Grand Hotel Plaza
13 Jul '24 - 7 nights
from £1089 per person
The Grand Hotel Plaza is one of Montecatini's oldest hotels and it has one of the best locations in the centre of the town, overlooking Piazza del Popolo.
Traditional architecture & style
A real effort's been made to keep as many of the building's original features as possible, which makes the hotel feel very grand. The traditional style continues throughout in its comfy guest rooms and Tuscan restaurant where you can fill up on regional specialities and some of the best wines in Tuscany.
Great base for exploring
There's a small pool in the gardens that's nice if you want to spend a few hours relaxing and catching the sun. Or you can head to the nearby thermal pools that Montecatini is known for - just jump on the free hotel shuttle to the Grotta Giusti Thermal Park. If you want to explore more of Tuscany, the station's just a short walk away with regular trains to Florence, Lucca and Pisa. You can even visit the stunning Tuscany Coast in less than two hours.
The thermal waters of Montecatini have been a hit with visitors since Roman times, but they really took off in the 20th century, when famous composers and film stars cottoned on to its therapeutic qualities. But, there’s life beyond the baths. A funicular nips up to the heights of medieval Montecatini Alto and footpaths wind through forests and ancient pilgrimage routes. Montecatini is also a great spot for exploring the rest of Northern Tuscany, with public transport networks connecting to Florence, Pisa and the sandy Tuscan coast.
Follow in the footsteps of Verdi, Marie Curie, Audrey Hepburn and Versace by taking a dip in the thermal waters of Montecatini. Terme Excelsior is notable for its massages and mud treatments – as well as its extravagant Renaissance-style exterior. And don’t miss having a glug of the drinking waters in the Terme Tettuccio whilst admiring the Romanesque columns, fountains and pools. Alternatively, swap a swig of spa water for a cappuccino or Chianti on the piazza – one of the best places in Montecatini for a leisurely lunch.
Up to Montecatini Alto
A funicular links Montecatini to its medieval older sister, Montecatini Alto. Once a fortress-like town guarded by gated towers and well-armed sentries, it’s now a popular spot for admiring the views across Northern Tuscany – and for having pizza on the pretty piazza. On the return journey, you can swap the funicular for one of the many footpaths that twist and turn along Montecatini Alto’s forested hillside.
Walking the Camino of Tuscany
The path of Saint Jacopo follows the Via Cassia from Florence to Livorno via Montecatini, tracing the routes of pilgrims on their way to the celebrated Camino de Santiago. For something a little less epic, take a 10-minute bus ride to Colle di Buggiano, where walking paths come with classic Tuscan flavours – hilltop towns and trattorias included.
Florence, Pisa, Lucca and the Tuscan Riviera
Fancy exploring further afield? Head to Montecatini railway station, where trains can take you to the Tuscany's Renaissance wonders of Florence, Lucca and Pisa in an hour or less. The Tuscan coast – AKA Tuscan Riviera, if you’re feeling fancy – is also in easy reach by train. Pack a beach bag and aim for the sands of Viareggio, where rows of sun-bleached Art Nouveau buildings hint at its heyday as a 1920s beach resort. The sandy beach is still very popular, with sun loungers spanning into the horizon – and a coastal train line that provides a great escape from the crowds.
Lake Iseo, Italy
3 Jul '24 - 7 nights
Bed & Breakfast
from £1219 per person
Hotel Ambra's a really authentic, family-run hotel on one of Italy’s lesser known lakes, which means you’ll be away from the usual tourist trails and everything feels more relaxed. There’s plenty to see and do in the area and the hotel’s location makes it easy to get out and explore. The town’s main piazza is close by so you can head here for some food or a drink. The lakefront location is great for watching the boats coming in and out of the harbour, and it's right by the port where you can grab a boat to Monte Isola, the largest lake island in Europe with a charming pedestrianised town. We love having lunch here in one of the little lakefront trattorias.
The best part of the hotel is its staff – they’re incredibly friendly and welcoming. If you’re a keen walker, speak to them and get some ideas of what routes to do around the lake. We love the ones that take you past the famous Franciacorta wineries. It’s the perfect excuse to stop for a rest and drink some bubbles.
With Lake Garda to the east and Lake Como to the west, Lake Iseo is a case of out of sight, out of mind for many visitors to the Italian Lakes. Italians, meanwhile, have been spending their summer holidays here for decades, drawn in by the laid-back fishing towns strung around the waterfront – and the walking, cycling and ferry routes that link them. Iseo town, on the south bank, comes alive in the summer. From here, ferries cross between fishing villages and sanctuary-topped islands. Up in the hills, wine-makers are busy creating Lake Iseo’s beloved Franciacorta fizz, as they have done for generations.
Introducing Iseo: food, wine, history and nature
The lake’s namesake town, Iseo, makes a great base for a walking and foodie holiday. Arcaded cafés and shops surround the main square, Piazza Garibaldi, where an historic market filled with everything from creamy farmhouse cheeses to silver jewellery, pops up every Friday. From the piazza, medieval streets curve past trattorias, with their red-checked tablecloths and seafood menus, to the palm-lined promenade – the starting point for a leisurely lakeside 'passeggiata'.
Walking trails: pull up a (really, really) Big Bench
Walks in Lake Iseo range from sedate strolls along the promenade to mountain climbs – but they all encourage wanderers to pause and take in the views. The Big Benches art project has placed BFG-sized seats at strategic viewpoints to rest weary legs upon… if you can clamber onto them.
For a different type of scramble, ascend the rocky path to San Defendente, a church with an uninterrupted view of Corna Trentapassi peak. Easy routes through the Piramidi di Zone Nature Reserve showcase more in the way of geological wonders, with well-marked paths snaking past stalagmite-like rock formations. Or, you can head to the southern edge of Iseo, where wooden walkways criss-cross the swaying reed-beds of the Torbiere del Sebino Nature Reserve.
Summer in Franciacorta: Italy’s champagne region
Over 100 family-run vineyards stripe the hills of Lake Iseo, all on a mission to produce the finest glass of Franciacorta sparkling wine. This wine is as close to champagne as an Italian sparkling gets – but (we’ll go there) it’s even tastier. A bit like Lake Iseo, Franciacorta is popular in Italy but isn’t sipped as much abroad. Tours of labyrinth cellars and lake-view vineyards reveal each winery’s secrets, whether that’s their passion for organic vines or the story behind Italy’s first sparkling rosé. We musn’t forget that, of course, all tours end in a wine tasting!
Sightseeing fun: ferry routes to Sarnico, Monte Isola & more
Passenger ferries putter between towns like Iseo, Sarnico, Castro and Pisogne, taking just over two hours to cross the whole lake from north to south. If you have time for only one trip, go for the crossing to car-free Monte Isola island. Fishing traditions are still going strong here. Silvery fish dry on lines along the shore and net-making is a living tradition – including making nets for football goals used in the FIFA World Cup. For the best views in the summer, follow the stone mule tracks up to Madonna della Ceriola – a frescoed church perched on the highest point of the island.
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