Walking Across Europe is superb so get on your walking boots to see the region at its very best and really get away from it all.
One of the most important pieces of outdoor wear you’ll ever purchase for your walks is a good-quality pair of hiking boots. Here are the main tips of how to get the right walking boots.
First of all, you do not want to skimp when picking out footwear, as the wrong pair of shoes or walking boots can cause blisters, discomfort, sprains or even more serious injuries. As a general rule the price of a pair of walking boots will directly reflect the quality of the footwear, so you better save your money for a pair of good quality boots in order to have a great walking holiday.
Secondly, even though it sounds unbelievable, it’s important when you’re heading to buy your walking boots. Shop for walking boots in the afternoon! Why? During the day your feet expand as you walk on them and their volume increases due to increased blood flow. So, it’s not a first thing in the morning to do, when your feet are smallest.
Due to the fact that you must measure boots before buying them, don’t buy them online. You’ll spend more money for delivery costs, if you’ll need to exchange your purchase. Besides, you can exchange your boots or get full refund in a shop, but the main rule for that – wear them indoors. Try to wear your boots around your house at every opportunity in order to soften up the fabrics and mold the boots to the shape of your feet. Only after such ritual you can climb the mountains without any worries or discomfort.
Talking about comfort, buying your first pair of walking boots it is worth choosing comfort over durability. If you select a durable pair of boots when you have just taken up walking then you might give up very soon due to the discomfort!
Therefore, we advise you to get fabric boots rather than leather if you are a beginner in walking. Leather boots are more suitable for mountain climbing, whereas fabric footwear is perfect for plain terrain. Even tough, it’s not as tough or durable as leather, modern fabric footwear offers better comfort and breathability.
Another very important thing to know is that the fewer pieces of material used in boot construction, the less chances you will have of a boot being uncomfortable or more importantly leaking. If you have a one piece construction there are fewer seams for water to get in for example in comparison to say a three piece construction.
Pay attention to the shape of your walking footwear. As there are trekking shoes which look and feel very comfortable but there is no ankle support provided by boots. You’ll be satisfied by trekking shoes without the ankle support if you travel on a flat surface. But you’ll regret if you choose such boots for walking on uneven terrain as you risk of getting an ankle injury.
The most famous and the longest route that goes in the north of Spain is Camino de Santiago. You might also heard about it as St James Way, as it‘s the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Northwestern Spain, where it‘s believed that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried.
Walkers from all around the world gather not only just for religious purpose but also to try their stamina. The most popular is the 800km-long Northern Trail, starting from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and crossing Spain from east to west. However, if you don’t have time to walk it all through, don’t be upset, as the Camino de Santiago route is in fact a network of routes. So, you may choose a shorter and quieter route that is developing rapidly, and by now has perfectly viable alternatives to the traditional route.
What to expect from the St. James Way? Firstly, you’ll pass the Pyrenees Mountains along the Spanish-French border. Further, you can choose a coastal way with beautiful beaches, small towns and great scenery or step on a more historical way and pass towns with great architecture, such as Logrono, Burgos, Leon, and admire the beauty of Spanish valleys.
starting point: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
route length: 800 km
highlights: Augustinian monastery at Roncesvalles, Gothic cathedral at Leon, the vineyards of Rioja, valleys of Galicia, Monte de Gozo (Mountain of Joy), medieval Santiago city, Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.
finish point: the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Northwestern Spain.
For a gentle walk choose Austria’s Lake District in Salzkammergut. Snow-capped peaks, pine-clad hills, lush green meadows and unspoilt forest trails are all waiting for you on this walking holiday, with no compromises, this is one of the most beautiful walking holidays you will ever set off on; Luxury 4-star hotels throughout; swimming opportunities every day.
Crystal-clear, turquoise lakes, babbling streams, tranquil shores, secluded bays create a perfect backdrop to your trip, also making up the swimming opportunities, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to be relaxing in a secluded bay in Austria on their walking holiday.
Picturesque waterfront villages, postcard-pretty castles and cobbled streets crammed with attractive frescoed houses allow the walker to delve deeper into the Austrian culture and be taken in by the tradition and beauty with which it is surrounded.
Varied rest day choices: watersports, mountain rail rides, lake cruisers and Mozart’s fairytale city of Salzburg. A rest day on this walking holiday is much the same as any other; rest, for the day. Do what and go wherever you feel like, but on this holiday in this part of Austria, you won’t want to stay put.
Spectacular scenic views, wooded forest trails, picture-perfect ‘chocolate box’ villages and swimming opportunities galore! The walks are relaxed, following mainly well marked routes, with options to extend most days. This walking holiday is for everybody, whilst all the walks provide brilliant scenery and views throughout; they are all achievable by any type of walker, thus making it enjoyable for any walker.
You stay in unrivalled 4-star luxury, family-run hotels throughout. With never more than 30 rooms, the hotels are all calm and relaxing places to stay, with ‘feel good’ wellness centres and high levels of quality and attention to detail. All of our hotels allow the walker to come home from a wonderful days exploring and relax in peaceful surroundings.
Day 1 – Arrive in Bad Ischl
Day 2 – Bad Ischl to Strobl 14km/4 hr or 19km/6hr
Day 3 – In Strobl
Day 4 – Strobl to St Gilgen 14km/4hr
Day 5 – In St Gilgen
Day 6 – St Gilgen to Fuschl 12km/3hr
Day 7 – In Fuschl
Day 8 – Fuschl to Mondsee 11km/3hr
Day 9 – Leave Mondsee
8 night, hotel-to-hotel, self-guided walking. Departing Every two days from 15 May ’13 to 22 Sep ’13
For more information about the price and the date, visit www.headwater.com