Looking for beautiful one day walks somewhere in the world
May 18, 2010 3:35 AM   Subscribe

Where else in the world is a place like Cinque Terre?

A friend and I just walked the Cinque Terre. Was completely amazing. We want to find more beautiful places in the world to walk that are not miles from comfortable civilisation. We are in our 30s/40s and quite fit. We don't really fancy a hiking tour with lots of preparation (but maybe we could be persuaded). Just a full day walking and back home again to soak it all up. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
posted by zaebiz to Travel & Transportation around Riomaggiore, Italy (8 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
I've never been to Cinque Terre, but Matheran is a beautiful hill station just an hour or two outside of both Mumbai and Pune in India. You take a toy train up, and there are no motorized vehicles. It is very touristy, but basically only tourists from within India, so it's an interesting scene to get a chance to experience. It felt kind of like the Maharashtran version of taking a weekend in New Hampshire. Totally stunning place with great brisk weather, pines everywhere, and good hiking.
posted by threeants at 4:04 AM on May 18, 2010

Slovenia. We went to Bled and Kobarid recently, and there were multiple beautiful day-long walks in each location, and I'd have liked to have a few more days in other locations around the Soca Valley. Plenty of scope for both relaxed and more intense hikes. And everywhere we stayed, the staff were knowledgeable about good hikes, which is often not the case. Comfortable bases. My favourite was Hisa Franko outside Kobarid, which had the best food I had in Slovenia. The Alp Penzion in Bled had lovely views, slightly tatty but comfortable rooms (funny smelling corridors, though), and a cheap but very nice spa attached. From here we also took a bus to Lake Bohinj and had some good solid walks there. So, yes, Slovenia, especially in the Julian Alps/ Soca Valley region.

We went in early spring, just as trails were reopening. Though it was cool and occasionally wet, we went days without meeting other people on the trails.
posted by tavegyl at 4:30 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Monhegan Island, ME. ~1.5 hour drive from Portland, ME and then a ~10 mile ferry ride. Technically a plantation, the island has been inhabited by lobstermen & artists since the 1600s (mostly the former). Most of the structures on the island center around the main harbor/port, and date back to the 1700s. The rest of the island features the highest sea-facing cliffs in the state. You can walk the paths around the island along those cliffs in about 7 hours.

My favorite Monhegan anecdote (from wikipedia):
It was Monhegan traders who taught English to Samoset, the sagamore who in 1621 startled the Pilgrims by boldly walking into their new village at Plymouth and saying: "Welcome, Englishmen."
Easily my favorite place in the United States.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:06 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]

The Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine is beautiful and not that difficult (and when you're done, you can eat a lobster roll while looking at the sailboats in the harbor at Barnacle Billy's).
posted by oinopaponton at 6:33 AM on May 18, 2010

Antigua, Guatemala. Cinque Terra is a World Heritage site, as is Antigua, also called La Antigua, for the antique city. I've been to both, and would go again in a heartbeat. Other World Heritage sites might be worth investigating.
posted by theora55 at 6:42 AM on May 18, 2010

OK, it's a little obvious, but Switzerland - there must be ugly parts of Switzerland but you have to go looking for them, and EVERYTHING is easily accessible by train, bus, and cable cars. Some walks are heavily travelled, but I only found a few places to be obnoxiously crowded. I loved the Lauterbrunnen valley (near Interlaken), and the next valley over from that (I forget what it's called but one of the towns is Brienz), and the area around Zermatt (which is super touristy and the trails are busy). One thing I loved about walking in Switzerland was that even pretty far up in the mountains there are restaurants where you can stop for lunch or a drink, and many of the trails have lots of bailout points where you can catch one of the aforementioned trains, buses, or cable cars back to town if you get tired or blistery.

I also had a good time walking on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, near Kas, but most of the walks were very poorly posted and the maps are terrible/nonexistent - still, good walks, close to civilization.
posted by mskyle at 6:43 AM on May 18, 2010

posted by AceRock at 7:10 AM on May 18, 2010

Swans Island, ME is loaded with beautiful walks as well. 45 minute ferry ride from Bass Harbor.
posted by Koko at 7:42 AM on May 18, 2010

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