Couple on a hike

WHY IT RATES: For travelers looking for a new adventure, Country Walkers has an array of new destinations and itineraries.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.


With growing demand from travelers to discover and experience the best of the world on their own terms, Country Walkers, the leading provider of walking adventures, today announced the addition of a new travel option: Flex-Guided tours. These guided trips with time built in for independent exploration complement the brand’s iconic Self-Guided and Fully-Guided tours, offering travelers more opportunities to be spontaneous while experiencing a country like locals – without the uncertainty of planning and organizing the trip on their own.

“For 40 years, it’s been our mission to help travelers actively experience the best of the world, so we are pleased to introduce our new Flex-Guided travel option as well as new itineraries in new destinations,” said Timo Shaw, President of Country Walkers. “We are confident our guests will enjoy these meticulously planned, unique itineraries that put travel’s many benefits, including expanded horizons, physical health, new friends and fresh ideas, within reach more often.”

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The new Flex-Guided adventures are perfect for travelers who like the camaraderie of a group, the comfort of having all important details planned, and opportunities to be spontaneous and get away on their own for a few afternoons or evenings. The maximum group size is 20, and local guides accompany the group for most of the trip to provide local context and point out historic sites and the best spots to eat, relax and explore. As with all Country Walkers tours, boutique accommodations and home-hosted meals with the group are included, and travelers also receive recommendations for independent dining at their leisure.

Flex-Guided tours are available on 16 Country Walkers itineraries in 2020, including many popular North American trips in Vermont, Maine, Wyoming and Quebec; iconic walks in Spain, Ireland, England, France, Italy, Peru, Croatia and Portugal; and the unique Danube River cruise, walking and hiking tour.

—In addition to the new flex-guided travel option, Country Walkers’ popular fully-guided and self-guided adventures ensure travelers have access to tours that perfectly match their travel style.

—Fully-Guided: Exclusive, curated adventures, perfect for those who like everything planned, with insights from knowledgeable guides. Groups range from 16 to 18 travelers, and local guides accompany the group during the entire trip. Boutique accommodations and virtually all meals are included, from fine restaurants to gourmet picnics and home visits.

—Self-Guided: Perfect for couples or groups up to 12 who prefer the freedom to explore at their own pace without the uncertainty of organizing it alone. Tours are carefully planned with detailed maps and route notes ensuring an insider’s perspective on the best local sites. Multi-course meals are included with other recommendations for independent dining, as well as boutique accommodations, taxi transfers and the assistance of a local representative 24/7 as needed.

NEW DESTINATIONS AND TOURS FOR 2020

Country Walkers also added new tours for 2020 in some of the most sought-after destinations around the world, including Slovenia, Croatia, Iceland, Scotland, Morocco, Switzerland and The Danube River, as well as expanded departures for the company’s more popular tours. Highlights include:

—Slovenia & Croatia – Lake Bled, Rovinj and Istria (Fully-Guided): Explore Lake Bled on a traditional pletna boat, hike through Triglav National Park, join a professional truffle hunter to search for rare Istrian white truffles in the Mirna River Valley, tour the medieval coastal town of Rovinj and the well-preserved Roman amphitheater at ancient Pula, and sample fresh Adriatic seafood, farm-to-table fare and exquisite Croatian and Slovenian wines. Flight + Tour Combo: 10 days from $5,648 per person, double occupancy.

—Iceland – Reykjavik, Borgafjord and Lake Mývatn (Fully-Guided): Wander among the towering lava formations of Dimmuborgir, trek past enchanting waterfalls, visit a family-run stable to meet Icelandic horses, explore Lake Mývatn’s migratory-bird sanctuary, savor local, farm-to-table cuisine, visit a warehouse-turned-museum in Borgarnes, and enjoy unique accommodations including one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World. Flight + Tour Combo: 9 days from $7,298 per person, double occupancy.

—Scotland – The Highlands (Fully-Guided): Savor the honey-smooth and smoky flavors of handmade Scotch at the Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, cruise beautiful Loch Katrine, the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott’s poem “Lady of the Lake” and the novel “Rob Roy,” enjoy lunch and a tour at Castle Menzies, hike through forests of ancient pines, marvel at Glamis Castle, the legendary setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and dine on creative local fare during picnic lunches and at fine-dining restaurants. Flight + Tour Combo: 10 days from $5,448 per person, double occupancy.

—Morocco – Marrakech, Foothills of the High Atlas and Essaouira (Fully-Guided): Trace salt-mine trails along an ancient caravan route in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, explore mountain villages and Marrakech’s labyrinth medina, enjoy a camel trek along the beach at sunset in Essaouira, former haunt of Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens and other artists, savor traditional Moroccan cuisine, couscous and seafood tagine, and linger over local wine at the prestigious Val d’Argan vineyard. Flight + Tour Combo: 10 days from $5,498 per person, double occupancy.

—Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany – The Danube River (Flex-Guided): Explore the cityscapes of three iconic European capitals and four fascinating countries while indulging in the comforts of deluxe floating accommodations onboard Emerald Waterways, savoring fine cuisine and panoramic views from the deck. Enjoy scenic walks overlooking the beautiful Danube, stroll through regional parks, medieval cities and lush vineyards, and linger over lunches at local restaurants. Flight + Tour Combo: 11 days from $5,295 per person, double occupancy.

—Switzerland – Zurich, Wengen and Zermatt (Self-Guided): Explore the arts and culture center of Zurich, walk the Lauterbrunnen Valley boasting numerous waterfalls, emerald-green pastures and wildflower meadows, follow a breathtaking loop trail along the Schynige Platte, observe the playful marmots in the Mattertal Valley, amble through quintessentially Swiss landscapes, ride historic cog-wheel trains, and indulge in Swiss-style amenities, soothing spas, breathtaking views, and meals of fondue, local dried meats, and rösti. Tour only: 8 days from $4,748 per person, double occupancy.

For more information, reach out to your local travel agent.


SOURCE: Country Walkers press release.