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The Best Low-Impact Tours That Are Easy on the Legs

The Best Low-Impact Tours That Are Easy on the Legs

If the prospect of a well-graded trail on level ground is your ideal, you’re not alone. Many passionate hikers are looking for walks that will send their spirits soaring without leaving their feet (or ankles, or knees) sore. Something free of uneven terrain, loose gravel, or steep ascents. Does that sound like your pace? Then you’ll want to consider lacing up for one of our easier Walking Adventures. Less strenuous and designed for walkers who prefer flatter terrain and shorter distances, they add more depth and meaning to the idea of “slow travel.”

The shorter the distance you have to cover, the more you can linger and observe all the details that make your destination so singular. Part of the joy of walking, after all, is the chance to absorb your surroundings fully—to pause a while and immerse yourself in the splendor of a wildflower-flecked valley, a fragrant forest, or a charming Old Town.

That’s why our trip planners have arranged these Walking Adventures. Each one is rated “Easy” for its terrain and for its daily mileage options. No rocky trails. No dizzying heights. Just smooth strollin’.

Botswana & Zambia Safari: Victoria Falls to the Okavango Delta. One of our most adventurous tours is also one of our least rigorous. During early morning and late afternoon safari walks of just 1-3 hours, you’ll accompany expert guides in search of elusive wildlife. This is the stuff of exploration, so we take it slow and stop to examine animal tracks, insects, and vegetation—and your guides know how to stay out of harm’s way. There’s minimal elevation gain out in the bush, and our footpaths are only occasionally uneven—so you can spend less time watching your step and more time taking in the magnificent, untouched wilderness. Because exploring by foot is not feasible every day, we may also set out in safari vehicles or canoes or spend time getting to know the local culture. All in all, it’s the ideal Walking Adventure for those who don’t need to spend a lot of time, well, walking.

Sweden & Finland: Stockholm to Helsinki. Scandinavia boasts a varied landscape of cosmopolitan cities, a stunning coast, and gravel and country roads that lead to expansive farmland and dense forest. This is one of the most scenic regions of Northern Europe, and daily short walks of just 3-6 miles showcase its beauty and culture at a relaxed pace that lets you take it all in. Our city walks are pedestrian-friendly, kissed by Baltic Sea breezes, and perhaps fueled by sweet Swedish semla pastry from a streetside café! Our country strolls provide an easy-going, tranquil setting. And when we planned our short trek on a forested trail here, we kept rocks and exposed roots to a minimum.

Lithuania & Latvia: Vilnius to Riga. Who knew such a variety of walking terrains could add up to such an easy adventure? Grassy paths, level dirt roads, boardwalks, sand dunes, and cobbled streets lead through old-world villages, deep-green forests, and wide-open farmland during this exploration of two fascinating Baltic nations. You can cover anywhere from 3-6 miles a day—it’s up to you. And as for the area’s legendary castles and soaring sand dunes, our walks require only a slight ascent to visit the former and easy beachside trails to gaze up at the latter.

Spain: San Sebastian, Bilbao & Basque Country. Like the pintxo of Basque Country—the tapas-style bites you’ll no doubt sample – this Walking Adventure is all about choice. You can take your pick from longer and shorter walks and put in anywhere from 2-5 miles each day. Want to take in more of the gorgeous Basque vistas by foot? We’ve mapped out longer routes for you. Prefer to explore the details of local culture up close? Feel free to take a shorter walk. Flat, easy terrain with some moderate ascents make up much of this trip, while slightly uneven footpaths and cobbled streets reveal the fine contours of this magical pocket of Spain.

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