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Wandern begeistert Jung & Alt, Bild: Dudarev Mikhail / shutterstock

Hiking holidays – The fascination of hiking inspires more and more

It starts with a tingling sensation in the feet. With the desire to just grab your backpack and boots and start running, out into the wide world. Enjoy the silence of nature, its originality and the freedom that lies in it. A hiking holiday is the modern alternative to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

From green forest paths to majestic mountain paths, past glittering lakes or small wooden huts – the decisive advantage of hiking lies in its diversity. Just take a deep breath between two steps when there are only animals around you for miles, or find happiness in a large group that creates memories together. Discovering foreign cultures under an exotic backdrop is just as conceivable as revealing the secrets of one’s own homeland. With its forests and mountains, Germany offers a good starting point for the first trip.

Regular hiking is a pure blessing for the body. The fresh air and plenty of exercise invigorate tired limbs and draw the sluggishness out of the bones. If you take the first steps slowly, you will not only feel a completely new activity, but also see your surroundings in a completely different light. A wild flower or a colorful mushroom then works like a small miracle.

Hiking holidays – The pilgrims of the modern age

In recent years, a long-established form of long-distance hiking has experienced a real renaissance: pilgrimage is once again enjoying great popularity among the masses. Inspired by bestsellers and movies, millions of people set off every year in Europe alone and run for hours every day towards a common goal. However, the religious idea is increasingly receding into the background. Unlike in the past, pilgrimage today is often an adventure trip, a kind of extreme hiking holiday among like-minded people.

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The famous Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela, Image: gregorioa / shutterstock

The most famous example is certainly the Way of St. James, whose main route leads 800 kilometers from the Pyrenees in southern France to the Atlantic coast in western Spain . One reason for the popularity of this week-long hike, especially among younger travelers, is the ancient network that is responsible for the organization. The paths are well maintained, important information is disseminated quickly and the accommodations along the route are constantly expanded, making pilgrimage even more accessible.

Such a pilgrimage takes time. You can be on the road for weeks or even months at a time and thus detach yourself further and further from everyday life, similar to a hike on one of the world’s most famous hiking trails. On the Pacific Crest Trail, for example, the long-distance hiking trail in the west of the USA, your own camping equipment is part of the basic equipment, unlike pilgrimage. This autonomy illustrates the last major advantage that a hiking holiday has over comparable package tours : it is much cheaper. And since you wake up in a new place every day, it’s also a lot more varied.