Where your soul sets the pace: Hiking and biking through scenic routes

Where your soul sets the pace: Hiking and biking through scenic routes

An encounter with nature is best enjoyed on foot or by bike, don’t you think? We take in the wonders around us at a slow but steady pace, take deep breaths, fill up on energy, and let our skin be caressed by the sun and the gentle breeze. If this description filled you with a hint of wanderlust, we have put together some leisurely guided tours for hiking or biking. Let your mind wander along!

Discover new areas in your walking boots

The Croatian peninsula Istria is well on its way to becoming a second Tuscany, as it is popular for its nature, culture and cuisine. Hiking tours in this region, for example, take you at a moderate difficulty level through the outbacks on the Adriatic Coast. The airport and starting point are in Pula. A first hike leads you in four hours of leisurely hiking from Pula to Cape Kamenjak. The area has been described as one of the most beautiful hidden coasts of the Mediterranean due to its wild and rugged beauty. Another hike leads through the charming landscape of the Mirna river valley to the idyllic village Kotli with its renovated mill.

After passing a waterfall, the trek ends at Hum, allegedly the smallest town of the world. A walk to the picturesque artists’ city of Grožnjan starts from the village of Oprtalj, the truffle centre of Istria. Favouring a moderate climate and red clay soil, truffles with their intense aroma grow in only a few places in Europe.

Madeira, known as the flower island due to its year-round moderate climate, is another perfect hiking destination. The intoxicating nature is central to every tour. Funchal, the capital of the island, is the ideal base for your outings. It provides an airport and a broad range of hotels. A gentle first hike might, for example, lead you along the levadas through the plateau of Paul da Serra. These levadas are artificially created ancient water courses. The three-hour tour through the lush vegetation of terrace fields and vineyards ends at the steepest coast to be found in Europe. The view from a height of 580 metres over the Atlantic Ocean is breathtakingly spectacular. Other tours lead to the Eastern Cape at São Lourenço with its intense colours, massive rocks and sparse vegetation, or into the wild and unspoilt valley of Ribeira da Janela near Porto Moniz.

Cover distances on your bike

Do you prefer to go cycling? You can book modern e-bikes at your destination with your travel agent. This will give you a splendid opportunity of adapting your performance to the characteristics of the route. Take, for example, the Baltic coast in Poland where you can do several accessible tours with a length of 45 to 50 kilometres through the diverse coastal landscape. The starting point for all tours is Kołobrzeg. On trails along the coast, you can easily reach the beautiful seaside resort Ustronie Morkie, the nature reserve of Salzmorast with thousands of birds, or the delightful fishing villages where fresh and smoked fish is sold in the small ports. Enjoy the bathing lakes and lighthouses along the route. Several of the possible inland routes are wonderful hidden gems where you can discover Pomeranian villages with typical churches and farms, and also castle Ryman, which has been converted into a hotel.

The wild and picturesque Loire Valley in France is also worth visiting by bike. A round trip is recommended to see as many of the famous imposing, beautiful castles. Many of these castles are UNESCO world heritage sites. This interplay of nature and culture will therefore be a constant and pleasant theme of your holiday in the region. The castle of Chambord, for example, is considered a precursor of Versailles.

It features the famous double-spiral staircase that goes back to Leonardo da Vinci. One of the most beautiful Loire castles is in the little village of Chenonceau. The main building is surrounded by water and was built in the Renaissance style.

A couple of hiking or biking agencies have arranged unique and suitable tours. You will find a NephroCare centre nearby in all the regions covered here – and many more around the world. During a week-long journey there will be enough time for your dialysis appointments. The organisers take care of the entire logistics and transfers, they prepare picnics, service your bikes and guide the hiking or biking tours. You can devote your time to enjoying the wonders of nature and the beautiful surroundings. Savour every moment, with all your senses!