Kempinski Blog Article
If you are thinking of visiting one of the many beautiful destinations in southern Europe but you do not enjoy the hotter summer temperatures in places like Greece, Italy or Spain, autumn can be one of the best times to visit. This is a time when southern locations offer the pleasant activities of walking and hiking – something that can often be overlooked during the summer months.
To help you narrow your search for the perfect destination, here are some of the most enjoyable southern European walking routes.
Camino de Santiago
An ancient pilgrimage route to the Cathedral at Santiago and its shrine to the apostle St. James the Great, Camino de Santiago is a popular walking route through northern Spain.
This route is open to all and those who do follow this will experience the beautiful scenery that surrounds it. The full route is between 800-1,000km and has a number of highlights that are definitely worth visiting.
One of these is the Camino Primitivo, one of the oldest routes, that passes between Oviedo and Lugo through the mountains in the Asturias region. It features amazing countryside vistas, eucalyptus forests and has a backdrop of snow topped mountains in the distance. It is also one of the least crowded routes on the journey, which, paired with the beautiful medieval architecture in the area, creates the perfect atmosphere.
Slovenia’s stunning coastal region, Piran, has lots of hiking routes to explore, and most are suitable for all ages and abilities. Staying at the luxurious coastal retreat, Kempinski Palace Portorož, head out along the coast and enjoy the sea views and dramatic cliffs, ramble along countryside paths and visit sleepy villages, or explore historic towns filled with sights to see.
On the small island of Symi which is part of the Aegean Islands, alongside relaxing on the beach and dining on local delicacies, there are also some great walking opportunities.
As well as having a beautiful port, Symi features many monasteries, churches and other ancient ruins throughout its interior too, hidden amongst pine and cypress trees. Alongside this there are many peaks and hillsides that offer amazing views, and deserted, picturesque beaches that have clear blue waters – all accessible via a craggy network of paths and trails.
Located on the French Riviera, off the coast of Marseilles and Cannes, is the island of Porquerolles, one of the three Iles d’Hyères. It is an undisturbed paradise that delights with its unspoilt beaches, dense forests and pretty peaks, and is the perfect place to explore, given its small size – just four miles long and two miles wide.
Staying in the small harbour village (the only developed area on the protected island) you can head into the forests and enjoy flowers, small creeks and a variety of butterflies. Alternatively, stroll along the coast, finding amazing beaches such as the moon-shaped Plage de Notre Dame, and admire the shore that looks like it has been taken straight from the Caribbean.
Close to Porquerolles on the fabulous Cote d’Azure is Cassis. A friendly and characterful destination in its own right, the town is also close to the Calanques National Park – a rugged coastal park featuring bleached mountains, sheltered coves and lots of greenery. Hiking along the trails and paths that line the fjord-like calanques is a lot of fun, offering awesome views around every turn, just make sure you bring some water and wear sturdy shoes.
Located in the Mediterranean Sea, next to Malta, the island of Gozo is a relaxed destination perfect for exploring. Known for its spectacular coastline and rugged landscape, visitors can enjoy hikes along the cliffs overlooking the Maltese archipelago, and scenic walks through the green countryside, discovering historical forts, Baroque churches as well as the megalithic temples of Ggantija. During your stay on Gozo, choose the 5‐star retreat Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz.
For more information on the various walking opportunities available when staying with Kempinski, please feel free to contact us.