Walking. Sometimes it’s the only way to see the world. Come within a hair’s breadth of an orang-utan on a rainforest trail, or challenge yourself with a trek through clouds to a volcanic crater.
Meander through Bhutan’s lush meadows, climb down craggy cliffs to a seculded beach cove in Sardinia, or even tackle some of the world’s highest peaks on one of our trekking tours. Our range of guided and self-guided walking holidays lets you take it all in, at your own pace.
Walking and trekking is in our DNA. With humble beginnings over 45 years ago when we led some of the first group trekking trips through the Nepalese Himalaya, we now offer the best range of walking holidays worldwide. Our trekking leaders are some of the most experienced trekkers on the planet today, and long-running relationships with our local partners in each country ensure we are always giving back to the communities we visit. We use local leaders where possible, stay in locally owned accommodation and pay some of the highest wages to our porters on the big named peaks including our Kilimanjaro treks.
When grading our walking trips several factors are considered to help you find the comfort level that best suits you. These include length & duration of trek per day, trail conditions underfoot, average altitude change, weather conditions plus levels of porterage, support and local services available.
Activity Level 1: Leisurely Walking
Experience is not necessary; anyone fit and healthy enough to complete a weekend walk can manage a Leisurely, Level 1 walking departure. Walks are often optional. Trails are seldom flat, so expect a reasonable amount of ascent and descent. You would normally walk for two to five hours during the day and daily ascents will likely be around 300m to 500m, perhaps with the odd day ascending around 600m.
Activity Level 3: Moderate Walking
These Moderate, Level 3 walking departures are either fairly easy medium-duration walks or harder, shorter walks. No experience is necessary, but good health and reasonable fitness are important. Some walking at higher altitude and occasional longer/harder days may be involved, but general underfoot conditions will be fair. A walking day is normally five to seven hours and daily ascents will likely be around 500m to 800m, perhaps with the odd day ascending around 900m to 1000m.
Activity Level 5: Challenging Walking
Fitness is important at this grade, which compares to extended walking in mountainous terrain such as the Lakes or Snowdonia. High altitudes, climate and remoteness can also play a part. Previous trekking experience is desirable, but not vital if you are confident of your physical condition. Walking days are usually between six and eight hours, although they may be longer for passes or peaks. Daily ascents will likely be around 900m to 1000m, perhaps with the odd day ascending around 1100m to 1200m.
Activity Level 7: Tough Walking
At this level we recommend previous trekking experience, preferably at altitude. You need complete confidence in your ability to trek for many days over difficult terrain. Extremes of altitude and weather may be encountered, as may the use of ice axes and crampons. Stamina is essential as walking days last six to nine hours, or more on occasional days, and daily ascents will likely be around 900m to 1000m, perhaps with the odd day ascending around 1100m to 1200m.
Activity Level 9: Tough+ Walking
A Level 9 tour combines all the elements of our Tough, Level 7 itineraries, but includes climbing a glaciated mountain peak. Specialist pieces of equipment like ice axes and crampons will be needed, and you should have experience of using them. Please check the trip notes carefully to ensure that your experience and equipment meets the demands of a Tough+ trip. When climbing, the peak days can be very long and you may be on your feet for 11 hours or more.
Split and optional grades
In order to provide a more accurate grading system, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or split grade – for example, Level 2 (Leisurely/Moderate). Occasionally there are optional ascents available en route; in this case, the optional grade will be highlighted below the dial on each trip page.
Group of 16, with 12/4 f/m split, aged late 40s to late 60s. Trip is accurately rated on the Exodus scale – so some fairly stretching treks mixed with highly enjoyable steep sections. Everybody got round with no significant difficulty. Weather in mid-March was really nice – pretty warm at times by day but mostly ideal, and chilly but nothing more dramatic than that at night even at higher camps. Lovely inclusive group chemistry with non-stop chatter. Food is terrific – really quite something for a field kitchen. Just when the idea of another tagine is becoming a little less inspirational then along comes Berber omelette with chips to die for. In general camp life is a bit cushier than the notes might suggest – toilet obviously pretty basic but you learn to adapt. Tents are snug but no trouble sleeping after days like that. And the final day has an optional hamam visit in Taroudant – do not even consider turning it down – it’s the real thing, and not the flaky tourist version elsewhere. A glorious experience.
I already submitted a review form and won’t add to the comments made there. But I realsied that I wasn’t prompted to say anything about the two hotels we stayed in (or maybe I missed that). These were: Edom Hotel (Wadi Musa / Petra). This was really excellent. Clean, efficient, well-placed and a pleasure to visit. I have no idea why it is only described as “comfortable” rather than being given a deserved 4* rating. The only minor downisde was no bottled water in rooms. Days Inn Hotel Amman. Well, at least the staff are nice and we got bottled water in the rooms! But in other respects it is poor and certainly not deserving of a 4* rating. Everything is tatty, the corridors and rooms – despite being notionally non-smoking – reek of cigarette smoke (this applied to two visits and two different rooms a week apart) and, on our second visit, the bath had not been cleaned – there was a wet pile of hair in the middle of it. I am sure that Amman can do better than this for the same money.