Travel: Taking the load off your back

Walking holidays
Walking holidays
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Adding to their successful UK-based programme, self-guided walking holiday experts, Load Off Your Back (01707 386726 – www.loadoffyourback.co.uk), have launched a new European portfolio featuring a selection of six hand-picked trails in Greece, Spain and Italy.

Commenting, Helen Nelson, Product Manager, LOYB, says: "We are delighted to launch our new European programme and have selected six routes that offer some superb walking in each country.

Walking holiday contains stunning views

Walking holiday contains stunning views

"Each offers a unique insight into their destination, from the spectacular Corfu Trail to the iconic St Francis Way in Italy. We have carefully researched each itinerary to showcase the natural beauty of the regions, as well as giving clients the chance to immerse themselves in the local culture.

"What better way to really get under the skin of a destination than by following its traditional walking trails with many historic sites en route, staying in small inns and hotels and sampling the delicious local food.

"With all their luggage and accommodation taken care of, clients can relax, enjoy the fabulous views and get the satisfaction that comes from the end of great day’s walking."

As the sister company to Ramblers Walking Holidays, Load Off Your Back is for those who prefer to walk independently rather than as part of a group. The holidays quite literally take the load off clients’ backs, by transporting luggage from one overnight stop to the next.

Walking holiday

Walking holiday

The holidays are ideal for those looking for a more independent type of walking holiday, yet safe in the knowledge that the route has been carefully planned, accommodation booked and their luggage will be waiting on arrival at their next destination.

Highlights include the following holidays, which are ideal for experiencing each country’s unique fauna as the pastures, mountain hillsides and local gardens come alive with blossom and brightly coloured flowers:

GREECE – Walk the Ionian Jewels of Corfu & Paxos

Encompassing 72 kilometres and designed to offer a real taste of Greece away from the resorts, Walk the Ionian Jewels of Corfu and Paxos combines sections of the spectacular 220 kilometre Corfu Trail with time-worn mule paths or ‘kalderimi’, offering a tranquil introduction to some of the most picturesque and untouched sections of the island.

The walking on Corfu is interspersed with two nights on the peaceful island of Paxos, including a day enjoying a circular route around the island, dotted with olive groves and pretty coves. The eight-day journey starts from £759 per person and includes B&B accommodation and includes luggage transfers, transport where noted in the itinerary, ferry crossings, maps, route notes and 24 hour contact for emergencies.

ITALY – Walking St Francis Way: A Pilgrimage Route from Assisi to Spoleto

A continuous walk covering 64 kilometres from Assisi to Spoleto, Walking St Francis Way follows in the footsteps of the humble 12th century friar St Francis, who spent his youth wandering the hills waiting for a sign from God on how best to live his life.

Rich in the fruits of nature and history, the route takes in some of the most spectacular Umbrian countryside – a region aptly coined “the green heart of Italy”. Orchards, vineyards, olive groves and wheat fields provide an enchanting backdrop to the many hermitages, chapels and beautifully preserved medieval towns scattered across the landscape.

The seven-day journey starts from £559 per person and includes B&B accommodation and includes luggage transfers, transport where noted in the itinerary, maps, route notes and 24 hour contact for emergencies.

SPAIN – Walking the Sierra de Grazelema

Linking traditional whitewashed villages (Pueblos Blancos) through an inspiring Andalucian landscape of limestone peaks, ancient oak forests and the verdant mountain valleys of the Grazalema Natural Park, Walking the Sierra de Grazelema combines linear and circular trails to reveal a fertile region steeped in fascinating Moorish history and Spanish tradition.

This eight-day journey starts from £419 per person and includes B&B accommodation and includes luggage transfers, transport where noted in the itinerary, maps, route notes and 24 hour contact for emergencies

For further information, contact 01707 386726 or visit www.loadoffyourback.co.uk