Short Break Walking Holidays

Take in the stunning sights of Ireland, Gozo, Portugal, France, or Catalunya during one of our short break walking holidays in Europe. These crafted trips allow you to journey through some of Europe's most historically interesting and beautiful locations. Stroll through the wonderful greenery of Ireland's longest trail, The Kerry Way, and experience the assorted coastal and countryside landscapes of the mystical Emerald Isle.

Perhaps Malta's sister island of Gozo is more your thing with its ancient temples, shop-lined cobbled streets, and fragrant, flower-scented fields. Short walking holidays in Portugal's hidden Algarve reveal the rustic charm of fishing villages, tree-fringed paths, and spectacular cliff-lined vistas. History lovers will revel in our Catalan Classic Walk which sees us delving into the area's intriguing past as we stay in a revived 14th-century castle.

If you prefer short walking holidays in Europe with a Gallic theme, our breaks in Burgundy and the Loire Valley are the perfect spots. During our trip to the Loire, you'll visit some of the many Chateaux and discover exceptional scenery.

Food lovers will relish our Gastronomic Burgundy short walking holiday as we sample both traditional and innovative dishes at various eateries in this awe-inspiring location. Each four-night walking tour gives ample opportunity to experience the local culture and cuisine.

All short break walking holidays are self-guided with accommodation and some meals provided.

Where in Europe can I go on a short walking holiday?

With so many exciting short walking holidays to choose from, you may need a bit of inspiration. Here are some of the best short walking break destinations we offer:

United Kingdom

The diverse landscape of the UK makes it one of the most popular short walking break destinations in Europe. Our holiday packages include idyllic spots like Shropshire and Devon where you can explore exhilarating cliff-top trails and rolling countryside. You'll have the opportunity to admire ancient forts, UNESCO cultural sites, and traditional pubs. We also offer trips to Ireland, where you can wander lush valleys, windswept coastlines, and charming, tranquil country lanes.

France

France is a country that offers epic scenery and gastro delights in equal measure, and it has some of the best short walking holidays in Europe. Climb the vast peaks of the French Alps, amble through the vibrant Chablis vineyards of Burgundy, and soak up the history behind the bubbles of Champagne. You'll find plenty of premium extras with our holiday packages, including gastronomic boutique hotels with spas, wine-tasting, and shopping opportunities.

Malta

If you're looking for excellent day walking trails that let you experience the island, then our short break holidays to Malta are for you. Our packages to Gozo offer unrivalled views of rural fishing villages, local temples, gorgeous beaches, and peaceful vineyards. Walking getaways to Rabat are also available, where you can marvel at the flavourful history and culture of Malta's oldest settlements. You can also visit the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valletta and the beautifully walled city of Mdina.

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Highlights of Secrets of Malta Walking
Malta

Highlights of Secrets of Malta Walking

This 4 night holiday based just outside of the capital city of Valletta offers flexible walking to discover Malta's secrets.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04ML
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1280per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Short Break in the Altmuhltal Nature Park
Germany

Short Break in the Altmuhltal Nature Park

Uncover geological wonders and historical riches as you venture into Altmühltal Nature Park. Wander through the picturesque Danube valley, where mystical castles stand tall. Immerse yourself in medieval towns and traverse panoramic historical nature trails, experiencing Bavaria's green heart in all its magnificence.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04AB
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1250per person, tour only

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Navigation app provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking Devon's Coastal Highlights
United Kingdom: Devon

Walking Devon's Coastal Highlights

Walk the highlights of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in South Devon, home to stunning cliff top paths and coastal panorama.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04DE
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1340per person, tour only

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
Catalan Classic Walk - Short Break
Spain: Catalonia

Catalan Classic Walk - Short Break

Beautiful circular walk in Catalonia taking in lovely coastal stretches and unspoilt country landscapes. Fabulous bird and plant life; very good hotels and swimming opportunities every day. One night is spent in a luxury castle.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04CN
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1385per person, tour only

  • 6 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 1 evening meals
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking on Gozo - Calypso's Isle - Short Break
Malta / Gozo

Walking on Gozo - Calypso's Isle - Short Break

Based at the Ta Cenc Hotel in Sannat, the tiny island of Gozo offers secluded beaches, Arabic-style honey-coloured houses, lemon groves, palm trees, red GPO phone boxes and 'Dixon of Dock Green' police stations!

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04GO
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1385per person, tour only

  • 10 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and evening meals
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking the Antrim Way
United Kingdom / Ireland: Northern Ireland

Walking the Antrim Way

Walk along part of the Antrim Way and explore one of the most beautiful sections of Ireland's northern coast. Boasting the fabulous Glens of Antrim, the magnificent Giant's Causeway, fantastic castles & beautiful beaches - to say nothing of a wonderful distillery - it is a place that is a pleasure to discover.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04AN
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1490per person, tour only

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • Breakfasts daily
  • Navigation app provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney N.P. - Short Break
Ireland

Walking the Kerry Way and Killarney N.P. - Short Break

The Kerry Way is the Emerald Isle's longest trail - at 210km, it offers fantastic views of the unspoilt landscapes - a walk here will swathe you in 10,000 years of dramatic Celtic history. From rugged cliffs to some of Europe's finest golden beaches, small friendly villages and velvety green fields to picturesque mountain ranges.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04KE
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1505per person, tour only

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Navigation app provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
Walking The Vineyards of Champagne
France: Champagne

Walking The Vineyards of Champagne

explore and taste every day what is hidden behind the bubbles that help us toast good news. Pop the cork and let the bubbles speak for themselves.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04CH
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1700per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Route notes provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Mont Blanc Walks – Short Break
France: Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Walks – Short Break

This short break features the famous trails of Mont Blanc where we’ve selected some of the most beautiful sections around this iconic mountain. You’ll be based in the bustling adventure hub of Chamonix, surrounded by mountaineers with an exciting atmosphere.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04MT
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1700per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Chateaux Of The Loire Walk - Short Break
France: The Loire

Chateaux Of The Loire Walk - Short Break

This gentle hotel-to-hotel short break walking holiday is a fabulous introduction to the Loire Valley. Your route will lead you from a chateau to another including the most famous ones such as Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, Chenonceau and Amboise. Warm, friendly hotels and great regional cuisine.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04LO
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1820per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 1 evening meals
  • Navigation app provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace- Short Break
France: Alsace

Villages & Vineyards of Alsace- Short Break

During a short break, discover some of the most beautiful villages in France; Colmar, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, with their brightly-coloured, half-timbered buildings decked with window boxes spilling with geraniums and traditional ornamental features.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04AS
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1835per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 3 evening meals
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking in Burgundy’s Vineyards - Short Break
France: Burgundy

Walking in Burgundy’s Vineyards - Short Break

In Burgundy, enjoying a good meal is more than a tradition this is the culture! Savour Burgundy's 'Art de Vivre' through its great vineyards and the numerous gourmet products that you will taste along your route. Get your taste buds ready to be delighted.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04BN
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1850per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 3 evening meals
  • Route notes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking The Vineyards of Champagne - Deluxe
France: Champagne

Walking The Vineyards of Champagne - Deluxe

explore and taste every day what is hidden behind the bubbles that help us toast good news. Pop the cork and let the bubbles speak for themselves.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04CU
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$1985per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Route notes provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Salzkammergut Lakes Walk - Short Stay
Austria: Salzburg

Salzkammergut Lakes Walk - Short Stay

This tour combines pleasant walking with culture and places of interest. Discover the UNESCO region of Hallstatt, the riverside spa town of Bad Ischl and lakeside St Wolfgang.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04SK
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$2060per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • Breakfasts daily
  • Navigation app provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Mont Blanc Walks – Short Break Premium
France: Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Walks – Short Break Premium

This short break features the famous trails of Mont Blanc where we’ve selected some of the most beautiful sections around this iconic mountain. You’ll be based in the bustling adventure hub of Chamonix, surrounded by mountaineers with an exciting atmosphere.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04MP
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From US$2150per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

Frequently asked questions

What to expect from your short walking holiday?

For an immersive experience of some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes and rich cultures in Europe, our short break walking holidays are the perfect getaway. You'll explore the hidden gems and unspoilt beauty of hotspots like Gozo, Devon, and Catalonia for four nights.

All the short walking breaks we offer are self-guided so you can determine where you want to go at a pace that suits you. Just make sure you choose a walking grade that matches your capabilities and preferences as you'll be on your feet for most of the day!

What to pack for a short walking holiday?

Familiarising yourself with the difficulty grade of your selected short break walking holiday, and checking the weather before you leave, will help you decide what you need to pack. On top of comfortable clothes and walking shoes, we also recommend that you pack the following:

  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Water bottles
  • Lightweight and waterproof jacket for cooler temperatures
  • Small backpack for carrying essentials
  • High SPF sun protection
  • Foreign currency
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Compass
  • Plenty of snacks

What to wear on a short walking holiday?

Comfort is key on a short break walking holiday, as you'll be on your feet for most of the day, so you'll need to wear the right clothing. Comfortable walking boots and thick socks are a must for your daily hikes. The season you're travelling in will affect the clothing you need as you may need attire to suit hot or humid weather like shorts and breathable layers. If temperatures are going to be cooler, we recommend a waterproof jacket and a pair of lightweight trousers.

Which European country is best for short walking breaks?

Europe is a treasure trove of short break walking holidays so the best getaway for you depends on what you're hoping to see and how you're hoping to spend your time. For alpine trekkers, our Mont Blanc short walking break offers the most scenic routes through the exciting hub of Chamonix. Delve into the snowy French mountainside and travel the entirety of this 170km trail to take in the breathtaking views over the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps.

For warmer climes and coastal treks, our short walking holidays to Spain are packed full of vibrant colour and stimulating activities. Swim in the aquamarine seas of Catalunya, admire some of the most diverse bird and plant life in Europe, and stand in awe at the exciting cultural and historical curiosities.

Why go on a short walking holiday in Europe with Headwater?

Choose one of our short break walking holidays to experience the picturesque landscapes and cultural sights of Europe. With nearly 40 years of experience behind us, you can rely on our expert team to do everything we can to make your short walking holidays an adventure to remember. We'll even handle the booking process for you.

Happy customers - We always strive to deliver excellent customer service, which is why we have a 4.6 Feefo rating.

Incredible locations - We use a five-step approval process to curate only the most exciting destinations for our tours. This guarantees you get the best out of your short walking holiday in Europe. Our hotels are hand-picked, complete with friendly hosts who will look after you during your stay.

Hassle-free booking - From take-off to landing, we'll arrange your travel and accommodation. Just select your destination and we'll book your tickets for you.

Sustainable travelling - Reducing our impact on the environment is at the centre of our adventure holiday packages and is part of our People, Places & Planet plan. We're committed to running sustainable tours and striving to become Nature Net Positive.

Giving back to the community - We've put in place The Exodus Travels Foundation to benefit communities around the world. It supports disaster relief and worldwide social and conservation projects.

ABTA- and ATOL-protected - You can rest assured that our short break walking holidays in Europe are ABTA- and ATOL-protected. Read all about your rights when booking a tour with us.

Award-winning provider - Our adventure getaways have received awards from, among others, the British Travel Company, including Best Travel Company for Adventure Holidays.

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