Ditching the engines and exploring the world in a more traditional way like on a bike or on foot is the up and coming travel trend. By Tanvi Jain
Also known as motion-based travel, this trend not just helps one explore the hidden gems in a much more connected way, but is good for the environment as well. Not using engine-based modes of transport obviously helps curb pollution. Moreover, opting for biking or walking trails is not only flexible but is also a healthy way of travelling
1. Camino de Santiago, Spain
One can cycle through the world’s oldest pilgrimage routes in seven days. It starts from Oporto through seaside Atlantic villages and sandy beaches up until the Spanish border. Then en route the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Camino de Santiago, you cycle your way through ancient Roman roads, medieval towns, dense woods and centuries-old pilgrim’s footpaths. Considering the fact that this trail includes biking on wood lanes, beaches, rough single tracks — it is recommended that one uses a mountain bike. Walking the Camino is also an option; however, it could take around 10 days to even a month. Camino Francés, which stretches 780-km from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago, is the most popular route.
2. Mawson Trail, South Australia
This trail is apt for mountain bikers wanting to explore the rural areas of South Australia. It starts from north of Adelaide and to the Outback town of Blinman in the Flinders Ranges. It’s around 90-km-long trail in which you travel across country roads, state forest and national park fire trails, farm access tracks and unmade or unused road reserves. It takes you to the Adelaide Hills, traversing forests, farmland and the historic towns of Lobethal and Birdwood. It also crosses the Barossa wine region to the mid-north towns of Kapunda and Burra. It’s a challenging trail involving steep uphill sections and heavy rain on unmade roads. However, the spectacular views of flora and fauna, and the whole experience makes this worth the effort.
3. The Shimanami Kaido, Japan
This 60-km-long road and bridge network connects Japan’s main island Honshu with its fourth largest island Shikoku. Along the way it covers six islands of Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima and Oshima. Cycling through this road, one can enjoy the picturesque Seto Inland Sea and the small towns of the island. Other attractions include the Hirayama Museum, the Kosanji temple, and more. Cycling is the best way to travel here, as the route is well marked and maintained, and diverges from the expressway to the island.
4. Cinque Terre, Italy
A walk through this coastal region, surrounded by the Mediterranean on one side and mountains on the other, will take you to the five linking villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each village is associated with a sanctuary overlooking the sea. As you walk by, you cross the Riviera di Levante, and witness pastel coloured buildings and brightly painted boats in small harbours. Along the way you can also enjoy Ligurian cuisine, including Italian pesto made from locally grown basil. Sciacchetra is a must try white wine harvested from the vineyards of Cinque Terre.
5. Crete, Greece
The best way to explore this Greek island is either via a boat or on foot. Coves, gorges, Venetian castles, snow white beaches, deep blue sea, the island has a lot to offer to its hikers. You can also stop for lunch under the canopy of olive trees and enjoy a full view of the Mediterranean. Known to be home to Europe’s oldest civilisation Minoan, researchers continue to be awestruck till date with the new findings. Crete’s natural beauty combined with immense history makes a walk through this island a must on every traveller’s bucket list.