Exodus walking trips provide fantastic opportunities that excite every kind of traveller. If you’re a history buff seeking out hidden treasures, you have a lust for discovering diverse cultures or you enjoy a challenging hike through remote mountain landscapes, we have a vast selection of walking trips closer to home that will stir your soul.
And you don’t have to travel to remote corners of the globe to get your fix; by travelling just a short distance from the UK, you’ll find yourself wrapped inside dramatic destinations where nature, history and culture feel like a world away from everyday life. Perhaps you’re captivated by the endemic flora and fauna that dwells beneath dense forest canopies or maybe you prefer to soak up the intriguing histories of ancient cities, but whatever sparks your imagination, you’re just a hop, skip and a short flight from somewhere incredible.
Discover hilltop towns and hidden grottoes in Sicily
Home to vertiginous cliffs that plummet into emerald waters, historical towns that tell stories of old and a pristine coastline that rivals the world’s finest, Sicily will undoubtedly dazzle you with its beauty. Experience the rich cultural heritage and vibrant Italian flavours as you wander through traditional fishing villages and whitewashed towns that pepper the landscape. Erice, a fortified town dating back to 1100BC, is particularly enchanting and teeters on a hilltop overlooking the sea. Originally a settlement of the Elyrir people, this well-preserved town is overflowing with history.
For unparalleled views across the Tyrrhenian Sea, hike to the summit of Monte Monaco, and discover the protected coastal region of Zingaro Natural Reserve, a natural haven for birdwatchers and wildlife lovers. Follow the coastal path that meanders above wildly beautiful beaches and keep your eyes peeled for unique flora and majestic birds of prey. In contrast to the reserve, Trapani’s Via Garibaldi, lined with beautiful palaces and churches, takes you on a fascinating journey through the lives of the locals.
Board a hydrofoil to the island of Levanzo, an Aegadian secret carved into the rock overlooking the water. Home to around 30 houses that hug the hillside, this serene island has remained unblemished by the hands of time. Strewn throughout the island are prehistoric caves, the most notable being the Grotta del Genovese which is adorned with wonderful Neolithic paintings.
Experience Alpine culture in the Albanian Alps
Walking in the Albanian Alps, often referred to as the “Accursed Mountains,” introduces you to the region’s unspoilt natural beauty, Ottoman architecture and vibrant folk culture. Nestled within the dramatic mountains, the villages of Theth and Valbone give you an authentic and immersive experience of rural life. Hike through verdant landscapes dappled by cascading waterfalls, wander among traditional stone houses and visit the historic lock-in tower, referred to as Kulla by the locals. For adventure seekers, the challenging trek along the Valbone Pass presents breathtaking panoramic valley views from the highest point on the walk.
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Berat, known for its Ottoman-era architecture and diverse culture, and take a boat across the Koman alpine lake that lies in the shadows of the Alps. Continue to the legendary castle of Krujë, a historically significant landmark, to learn about the Albanian resistance against the Ottoman Empire. A trip to Kruja’s old bazaar lets you experience the culture as you mingle with the locals and shop for traditional, handmade Albanian handicrafts such as felt hats and ornate wooden carvings.
Hike across Portugal’s celebrated wine region, the Douro Valley
Portugal’s UNESCO-listed Douro Valley is as much about culture as it is about the world-famous wines. Nestled among lush, undulating hills, the valley is a paradise for walkers and oenophiles. Explore picturesque villages, ancient wine cellars and terraced vineyards, which not only create a stunning visual spectacle but also serve a practical purpose, while immersing yourself in the centuries-old wine-making traditions.
Journey along the Douro River, breathing in the panoramic views and timeless charm, explore the ancient wine cellars of Porto and savour the fruity aromas and flavours of world-class vintages and the famous vinho verde of Terras de Basto. In addition to the premier wines, you’ll also enjoy premier accommodation, providing you with the most beautiful views as well as giving you an authentic experience of the region’s history and culture.
Discover the valley’s Baroque architecture, grand manor houses and elegant estates, known as quintas. The Quinta de Tedo is a prime example, with its magnificent gardens and old wine cellars, offering you an insight into the prestigious world of winemaking.
Special Citizen Science Departures are also available on this trip, which gives you the unique opportunity to collect freshwater samples and contribute to the building of the eBioAtlas.
Explore the historical cities and islands of the Dalmatian Coast
Immerse yourself in the history and architectural wonders of the Dalmatian Coast and explore the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” with its fortified walls and well-preserved medieval buildings. As you stroll along the streets of Dubrovnik Old Town, discover iconic landmarks like the Rector’s Palace and the iconic Stradun.
You’ll also explore the vibrant city of Split, known for its impressive Diocletian’s Palace. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a melting pot of ancient Roman architecture and maze-like streets filled with bars, restaurants and shops. Just a short distance from Split lies Trogir, a medieval gem home to magnificent Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Wander through the narrow alleyways lined with palaces and churches and soak up the historic charm.
The enchanting island of Korčula lures wine aficionados to its vineyards to sample the local wines while history buffs can walk in the footsteps of Marco Polo in the medieval walled town, thought to be the birthplace of the famous explorer. You’ll also find pristine beaches at Korčula, and the catamaran ride to Mljet Island is popular with nature lovers wanting to walk through its verdant forests and along shimmering lakes.
Enjoy forest walks in Bulgaria’s Rodopi Mountains
For those seeking solitude and a connection with nature, a trek in Bulgaria’s Rodopi Mountains is the perfect escape filled with crisscrossed trails that lead through enchanting landscapes made up of waterfalls, gorges and panoramic peaks. The area is filled with legends and wildlife and gives you the opportunity to spot endemic flora, butterflies, brown bears, wolves and various species of birds.
Hike among the Trigrad karst plateau, a geological marvel renowned for its rugged cliffs, limestone formations and, of course, the elusive wallcreeper. You’ll also trek up to the prominent peaks of Mount Golyam Perelik and Snežnik which present you with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The mountains are home to traditional villages, like Gela and Yagodina, which give you an insight into the cultural heritage of the locals who tend to the land. Gela is believed to be the birthplace of Orpheus and a trek to the ancient Thracian sanctuary teaches you more about the intriguing legends. Along the walk, listen out for the sharp cries of the black woodpecker and keep your eyes peeled for wolf and deer tracks.
If these trips have encouraged you to explore destinations a short distance from home, take a look at our full collection of trips here.