Travel holiday ideas - physical activity, in the month of July...?
March 15, 2018 10:40 PM   Subscribe

Any suggestions for a hike/walk holiday that would be more than a week, but not 2 weeks (!) and something that would be interesting, outside the U.S, yet not over the top expensive? Any tour companies would be helpful, or lesser known but more interesting hikes. Looking at July which also seems to be a problem since that tends to be peak travel season.

After putting in a LOT of research for a potential holiday in July - we decided NOT to go to Africa to Mount Kilimanjaro because of the costs and complexity i.e. trying to discern which company had oxygen tanks, the right camping support etc.

Then we went on to consider Tour Mont Blanc - something that would be beautiful but not so over the top - but are finding some of the costs again for this hike racking up even after comparing various companies.

We hope to go outside the U.S. and also to be part of a tour group rather doing it on our own. We're looking for something physical, something interesting --- yet not so pricey to hike. Seems hard -- and so I'm wondering if anyone has any other ideas.

Any help would be appreciated!
posted by proficiency101 to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Equador! There are a lot of super cheap, fully supported, off the beaten, hiking holiday packages to be had. The weather is mostly crappy at high altitudes, so be prepared for the wet and rainey, but the people are great and scenery is out of this world great and your vacation dollars go a long way.
posted by peeedro at 10:59 PM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

What about walking the Camino? You can also bike the Camino; there are tours for both, although you don't need a formal group on the Camono at all as you will form one naturally with others going at your same pace.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:52 PM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have a look at walking holidays run by Explore and Exodus - I have enjoyed every one I have done.
posted by kadia_a at 12:08 AM on March 16, 2018

You don’t need a tour company to do the Tour du Mont Blanc - I did it entirely solo a few years ago (in July) and the only snag was I had to take a bus to a hotel in Martigny and back when I couldn’t get a room on the trail one night. I used Kev Reynolds’ book, a map I bought at the tourist office just before I started, and a smartphone. It’s pretty easy to figure out a budget because you don’t have a lot of expenses on the trail besides lodging (which generally includes dinner and breakfast), lunch, and the occasional beer or wine (cheap in France and Italy, expensive in Switzerland).

Although I was alone it was actually really great and social - lots of people were travelling at the same speed as me, so I stayed with the same people at dinner and breakfast, and often at some point during the day on the trail as well.

I was lucky enough to have gorgeous weather the whole time but there are plenty of bailout points (buses, gondolas) if you want to take a break from the trail.
posted by mskyle at 3:56 AM on March 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

What about doing the Machu Picchu hike in Peru? It is amazing and things in general are not so expensive. I highly recommend Loki Travel in Cusco who organizes some excellent 4-6 days trekking group trips (walking plus downhill biking) with all meals included. I did the Inka Jungle Trek which was really good fun. Peru is really amazing and without a doubt this trek has the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.
posted by longjump at 4:57 AM on March 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

How about Crossing the Alps from Germany to Italy? It's a popular though strenouus hike along the E5 and takes seven days. You can also extend the hike by starting from Konstanz (Germany) and ending in Verona (Italy). See also here. There are many companies that offer this tour. My mother-in-law used this company:
posted by amf at 6:16 AM on March 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

The answer to this question is Svaneti.
posted by mdonley at 7:25 AM on March 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Another vote for the Tour de Mont Blanc - it can be done without a tour company very easily. Or for even easier logistics, you can base yourself in Chamonix and do day hikes, with a couple of overnights in refuges, very easily, including a couple of the most spectacular sections of the TMB. This site has a good list.
posted by tardigrade at 2:33 PM on March 16, 2018

I loved doing the tour du mont blanc last September. No need to pay someone else to arrange it, the book mentioned is the bible of the route. There's a website I used to book lots of the accommodation ( and others I emailed and phoned. It was an amazing week's hiking, well sign posted too. July might be very busy so consider doing it clockwise as I did - there are some narrower sections and you could get stuck behind large groups. It was cheap - flight to Geneva, then bus to chamonix. Airbnb for start and end, then dormitories in refuges along the way which include food.
posted by JonB at 11:46 PM on March 16, 2018

I hiked the Laugavegur trail in Iceland and added an extra few days to go all the way to Skogar. This took exactly 7 days. Went with Icelandic Mountain Guides as a tour group. July is peak season, but you’ll have the best weather, and anyway it doesn’t feel crowded. Might want to book soon though. This is an amazing trail that lives up to the hype.
posted by crLLC at 5:59 AM on March 17, 2018

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