Travel: Take a stroll along Portugal’s Emerald Coast

Portugal

Portugal

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For walking enthusiasts and those who simply love spending time enjoying the open air, Welwyn-based specialists Ramblers Worldwide Holidays is offering several guided walking adventures to Portugal and Madeira.

The first of these holidays is a one week exploration of Portugal’s Emerald Coast embracing the stunning Costa Verde, famed for its mountains, lush green countryside, stunning beaches and vinho!

Portugal

Portugal

The base for this holiday is the four star Hotel Meira located near the charming Praia dos Criancas beach with superb facilities. Highlights include the coastal town of Praia de Ancora, the ferry into Galicia to visit the mountain of Santa Tecla, walks into the mountains of the Serra d’Agra with its ancient mountain villages.

Price from £785 per person includes return flights, transfers, half-board 4-star accommodation and the services of a dedicated tour leader. Departures from 14 May.

By way of contrast, the second of these holidays featured is The Floating Garden of Madeira – a two week guided walking adventure-renowned as a walkers paradise.

This three centre, 4-star holiday staying at the Aqua Natura, Porto Moniz (3 nights); the Enotel Baia, Ponta do Sol (5 nights) and Quinta Bela Sao Tiago, Funchal (6 nights).

Portugal

Portugal

Highlights include the stunning mountain walk between Pico Arieiro and Pico Ruivo; the north coast walk between Boca do Risco and Porto da Cruz and the ascent to Boco do Cerro and the awe-inspiring path down to Encumeada.

Price from £1,195 per person includes return flights, transfers, half-board 4-star accommodation and the services of a dedicated tour leader. Departures from 30 April.

Ramblers also have a Cruise & Walk programme operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and they are pleased to announce that Nancy Birtwhistle – champion of the 2014 round of the BBC’s ‘The Great British Bake Off’ series – will be joining the good ship ‘Braemar’ on ‘Roaming Around Britain and Ireland’ departing from Southampton on 8 August.

Whilst aboard Braemar, Nancy will take part in a question and answer session about her ‘Bake Off’ experiences, host a live baking demonstration and socialise with guests.

Commenting on her forthcoming voyage Nancy said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining this cruise not only to enjoy the best of the British Isles but to share some of my ‘Bake Off’ stories and special baking secrets.”

Braemar calls first into Falmouth for walks along a stretch of the South West coast path, one of the loveliest stretches of coast in the country. The next port of call is Cardiff where one can walk the forests and hills beside the River Taff. Braemar then continues to the historic Cumbrian town of Barrow in Furness, for a panoramic walk above Coniston Water.

Guests will then arrive in the city of Liverpool – a former European ‘Capital of Culture’ – with impressive architecture, docking next to the iconic Liver Building. From here one can combine nature with culture with a tour around the city and walks amongst Anthony Gormley’s statues on Crosby Sands

Braemar then makes a call to Lerwick, capital of the remote Shetland Islands. From here one can take a tour of the ancient sites on St Ninians Isle while the final call on this British odyssey is Rosyth, for an overnight stay.

Guests can take a short journey into the stunning city of Edinburgh for a tour with a local guide including a visit to the castle.In the afternoon one can walk up to Arthur’s Seat, the 251m volcanic plug which towers over the city. Price from £1,480 per person includes full board accommodation aboard Braemar, all shore excursions and the services of a fully qualified tour leader.

Ramblers Worldwide Holidays is also offering the following ‘clutch’ of holidays to some of Greece’s glorious islands.

Paleohora – a new one week holiday in this beautiful village tucked away on Crete’s south west coast. Highlights include, sandy beaches lapped by the Lybian Sea; white washed houses draped in oleander and bougainvillea; a laid back atmosphere which has attracted many an artist; challenging walks on Greece’s largest island including the spectacular Samaria Gorge; a boat ride around the Elafonisi Lagoon and wonderful flora.

Price from £1,015 per person includes return flights, transfers, half board accommodation and the services of a dedicated tour leader. Departs 24 May and 4 October 2016.

Island Hopping in the Dodecanese – a two week holiday exploring a number of Greece’s fabulous islands by boat. First ‘port of all’ is the medieval town of Rhodes – thence to the coastal village of Lindos with spectacular views over St Paul’s Harbour; Tilos one of the least frequented Greek islands; Nisyros a small mountainous island with dormant volcanic craters and Symi famed for the beautifully sited monastery of Panormitis.

Price from £1,210 per person includes return flights, transfers (and transfers between islands); half board accommodation and the services of a dedicated tour leader. Departures from 4 May 2016.

Pelion and The Sporades – a two week holiday on both islands with many opportunities to walk, island hop, swim and chill out. This adventure begins on the verdant peninsular of Pelion with its stunning mountain villages and ancient tracks thence to Skopelos (Mamma Mia island) the ‘base’ with breath taking views over the harbour towards Alonissos, Venetian Kastro and Skopelos itself.

Price from £1,095 per person includes return flights, transfers (plus ferry between islands), half board accommodation and the services of a dedicated tour leader. Departures from 13 May 2016.

For more details log onto www.ramblersholidays.co.uk or www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk