Romantic Routes for Ramblers.

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Romance in the 21st Century is much more than
candle-lit dinners and bunches of roses. In fact the most promising answer to a
happy union may just be a walk in the wild.

According to a study conducted by the
Human-Environment Research Lab in the US, time spent in nature makes us
feel more connected to other people. It also reduces stress levels and enhances
general wellbeing. When you throw endorphin-releasing physical activity (such
as hiking) into the mix, it’s a recipe bound for passion.

European
walking holiday specialist, On Foot
Holidays
, offers plenty of self-guided walking routes perfect for couples.
Here are a few of their most romantic, although I would do any with friends too, as I can’t say no to walking …

– Castles of the Rhine,
Germany
Level: Easy-medium; distance: 18-20kms per day

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If you truly want to feel like the hero in your own fairytale,
opt for the 9-day walking route along the Rhine Gorge. The trail goes from
Bingen to Koblenz and takes you past 20 medieval castles, perched high above
the River Rhine. This is a journey back to a romantic era when painters, poets
and composers found their inspiration along the Rhine. The story of Lorelei is
one of the many stories you’ll learn about as you wander through historic
villages and vineyards. Food and wine form an integral part of this route with
overnight stays at a variety of family-owned hotels and historic inns.

– Southern Tuscany, Italy
Level: Medium, distance: 11-19kms per day

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It’s no surprise that Tuscany is a favoured destination for
wedding celebrations. Its rolling hills, Renaissance towns and rich red wines
are enough to strengthen the bond between any couple.  Starting in Siena and ending in Montepulciano,
this 8-day walk takes you through the heart of Tuscany’s vineyards. Highlights
include the cathedral in Siena, the classic hilltop village of Pienza and the
ancient baths of Vignoni. Savour farm-to-fork meals and stay at a variety of
tried-and-tested B&Bs and family-run hotels en route.

– Northern Provence,
France
Level: medium; distance: 12-19kms per day

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This 8-day walk takes you past medieval French villages and
soaring mountaintops. Along the way you’ll feast on delicious French food and
wines and overnight in grand chateaux. Your trek starts in the historic hilltop
village of Venasque (where you’ll be staying for two nights) and then winds
through a narrow gorge along a historic path towards the town of Mazan. On day
four you’ll amble past olive and cherry tree groves and a sea of vineyards with
an overnight stay in the town of Le Barroux. The rest of the route traces impressive
geological formations, hidden valleys and pretty villages until you finish in
Vaison where you can marvel at its 12th Century castle.

To add to the ease of a romantic and comfortable walking
holiday, On Foot Holidays prearranges all your accommodation, most meals and
transfers. You’ll also receive a walker’s pack that comes with detailed route
descriptions, maps and local contacts. A simple walk may be all you need to bring
back the romance.

On Foot Holidays offers 28 self-guided walking itineraries throughout
Europe. Every route can be
customised to suit personal requirements.  For more information and expert advice on their packages contact On Foot Holidays on +44 (0) 1722 322
652/ walks@onfootholidays.co.uk | www.onfootholidays.co.uk.

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The Incidental Tourist

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