Walking and Climbing in the Mediterranean
One beautiful site after another will lead you on long, dreamy walks in the European countries around the Mediterranean Sea. It’s all there, the ancient ruins, sparkling beaches, and rugged, arid mountains; sun for days and wonderful cafes where you can recuperate from your expeditions.
On your feet! Explore remote coves and the ruins of ancient cities, walking in Greece. Greek islands and the mainland are a hiker's dream come true, with numbered routes and well-organized trail systems. Discover “the unspoiled Greece” while walking paths through wild flowers, lush valleys, ancient sites, watermills, and old pathways. Get to know the locals, drink wine with them, and taste the food in restaurants and tavernas. You can also find local guides who lead botanical tours along the ancient paths of the islands, while sharing with you their knowledge on folklore, history, agriculture, and archaeology. Master with them the ancient art of bee-keeping and find out how old remedies made from herbs and flowers heal new wounds.
Perhaps the best way to see a country is on foot. If you love the great outdoors or want to improve your fitness, hiking is ideal. Leave your car and experience the culture and nature of the island in the best possible way. Cyprus has numerous posted paths or nature trails, some more challenging than others, but all are a feast for the senses, especially in the springtime when you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature at first hand. The Troodos Mountains, whose highest peak reaches almost 2000 meters and is covered in snow in the winter, is a cooler alternative in the summer to the heat of the coast. Here some fine walking is to be had along trails that go through scented forests of pine, past waterfalls and take in magnificent panoramic views across the island.
Turkey presents mountains lovers with an incredible variety of interesting climbing opportunities that are sure to satisfy the most demanding hikers, climbers, and winter sports fans. In every part of the country, from the Kaçkar Range at the Black Sea to the Antalya-Beydağlar on the Mediterranean and Mt. Erciyes in Central Anatolia or mysterious Mt. Ararat on the eastern border, hardcore climbers will find plenty of challenges. Hikers and ramblers won’t be disappointed, either. The trail system in Turkey suggests that joining an organized group will take a lot of the planning pressure off you, so you can better enjoy the inimitably warm welcome, irresistible fare, and stunning historical and natural sites that are rife in “the cradle of civilization”.
Malta offers almost any sport under the sun. For the spirit of adventure, there’s rock climbing, caving and paragliding – but the climate, terrain and scenery are made for relaxed walking. Enjoy a leisurely ramble, discovering a restless sea, unusual landscapes and timeless Mediterranean life. Baroque cities, medieval towns, rugged cliffs and prehistoric temples are memorable backdrops to your walks in Malta.
Italy is a known walking wonderland: who hasn’t worn out a pair of sandals in Florence, Rome, and Venice? (And perhaps enjoyed shopping for Italian replacements?) But the wild side of Italy is equally captivating; there are miles where you can walk and climb in rugged, remote territory. In Sicily’s and Sardinia’s highlands you won’t run into a big tour group, that’s for sure. Italy’s nine national parks offer well-marked trails in a variety of terrain. Gran Paradiso National Park is perfect for hiking; adventurous trekkers love the Aosta Valley, which also has woods and flats where novice walkers have a great time. Cinque Terre National Park features scenic hiking trails crossing two valleys and into the Montemarcello-Magra Reserve, with postcard views of mountains sweeping down into the Ligurian Sea.
A paradise for hikers, Spain offers diverse landscapes and serenity wrapped up in a pleasant climate almost all year round. Whether you seek a long distance cultural path, such as the Way of Saint James or nature-filled trails, you’ll find them on mainland or on the Balearic and Canary Islands. Walk across Medieval bridges, Roman roads, magic valleys, or along stone pathways on the banks of rivers, seeing castles or walking through vineyards; every region of Spain offers trails to take you on the most intimate exploration of its natural beauty and cultural diversity, at the same time requiring whatever level of exertion or outdoor expertise you want. The Pyrenees are particularly spectacular for climbing and hiking; imagine finding hidden waterfalls or an unexpected view of the ocean in the far distance.