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    Walking Holidays for the over 50’s

    What you should do on holiday depending on your age is a touchy subject, particularly with the over 50’s. This age group are fitter than ever and want more out of their holidays than sitting in a bar in Benidorm watching tribute acts. They want to be out and about exploring and discovering new delights. Travel does us all a world of good and combining it with exercise is even better, so here Columbus Direct share a few examples of walking holidays that may really appeal to the over 50’s.

    Mount Toubkal

    Set in the Atlas Mountains, the walk up Mount Toubkal is often the first one people take when they are starting their training for such intrepid adventures as trekking to the Everest Base Camp, or up Mt Kilimanjaro. The Atlas Mountains are a great favourite with walkers and ramblers as there is so much to see and do here. Take a casual walk in the lower areas will take you past old Berber homes set into the mountains, whilst walking in high Atlas country will see you accompanied by Berber children and several donkeys. The best time to visit the Atlas Mountains are the summer or autumn as they are at their most stunning and make walking that extra bit special.

    Mount Toubkal
    Mount ToubkalActiveSteve / Foter / CC BY-ND

    Picos de Europa and Gorges

    The biggest national park in Europe, Picos de Europa in Spain is an area of outstanding and dramatic natural beauty. It is also the home of many protected species of flora, fauna and wildlife, and a walking holiday in this area is an absolute delight. What is especially wonderful about this area of Spain is that it is one of the few places that are truly unspoilt and devoid of mass tourism. There is a stunning range of deep valleys and limestone peaks and ridges. The higher ground is a veritable ‘moonscape’ consisting of a rocky terrain practically bereft of vegetation. The lower valleys, however, are spectacular in the spring thanks to the thousands of wildflowers in full bloom.

    Picos de Europa
    Picos de Europalugarzen / Foter / CC BY-SA

    The Inca Trail

    This spectacular and famous walk is a lot less strenuous on the knees than you may think and those who want a sedate walking holiday through some of the world’s most amazing relics should consider this as a serious contender. Back in the 15th century, Incans created some outstanding paved roads throughout the high Andes as a means of connecting the numerous imperial cities which were built there. The most famous of them all is Machu Picchu, and while many of the ancient walkways are lost forever amongst the jungle and the fauna, the Inca Trail which leads here is very well worn. The entire trail, including climbing the thousands of steps that lead you to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, can be completed in 4 days.

    The Inca Trail
    The Inca Trailszeke / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

    Levadas of Madeira

    The beautiful and dramatic island of Madeira offers a wealth of wonderful walks for those whose idea of holiday heaven is strapping on a pair of stout shoes or boots and exploring their surroundings on foot. You can easily fill a week’s holiday with walks as even though Madeira is a pretty small island is it famous for the diversity of its terrain. The north boasts a stunning coastline of towering cliffs while the interior is a veritable feast of hidden valets and other gems. There are also the high moors to explore, giving you the chance to discover new wonders every single day of your holidays. The best way of exploring the island at a leisurely pace is by using the comprehensive network of irrigation channels known as levadas. This gives you the chance to pass through the spectacular scenery as well as see and smell the unique, semi tropical flora that grows wild here.

    Levadas of Madeira
    Levadas of Madeirawhl.travel / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

    These are generally considered to be some of the best walks in the world, and are particularly popular with those over 50. Walking is one of those kinds of holidays where, if your partner doesn’t share your enthusiasm, you can go alone as you know everyone else there is of the same mind as you. There are much more adventurous walks and treks available for those who are extremely fit but the vast majority prefer to walk at a gentler pace, taking in everything around them, and the aforementioned walks tick all the boxes as far as that is concerned.

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