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You can't beat exploring a country on foot - and you'll burn off a few mince pies while you're at it. Here are top 5 walking holidays to try in 2015.

Costa Vicentina, Portugal

Inntravel’s self-guided walking break takes in The Rota Vicentina, a long-distance footpath in Alentejo (south-west Portugal). En route, expect charming small villages and towns showcasing the essence of this deeply rural region and its unique connection with the sea. Guests walk from one welcoming hotel another – six in all - while their luggage is transported on ahead by road. Described as a region like the Algarve but far ‘slower’, the beaches are largely deserted, attracting egrets and turtles, and sleepy whitewashed fishing villages which offer a glimpse of a way of life that has remained unchanged for decades. inntravel.co.uk

Knoydart Peninsula, Scotland

The remote and beautiful Knoydart Peninsula is often described as ‘Britain’s last wilderness’, accessible only by boat or via a long mountain trail. Wilderness Scotland's unique winter walking itinerary combines learning essential winter skills, exploring the mountains and experiencing one of Scotland’s most isolated communities during its quietest period. Adventurers ascend the great mountains of Ladhar Bheinn and Sgurr Coire Choinnichean to enjoy the fine views from the summit –and reward themselves with a drink at the Old Forge, the remotest pub on the UK mainland, or with a glass of whisky by the fire back at base, a traditional Highland lodge. wildernessscotland.com

Binsar to Jageshwar, India

Experience the fascination of rural India on Village Ways’ From Binsar to Jageshwar holiday and enjoy the natural hospitality of its people. With a private guide, the days are spent walking the magnificent footpaths through terraced fields and wooded hillsides from Binsar to Jageshwar. At a gentle walking-pace, enjoy views of the high peaks and encounter a wealth of wildlife. Experience a hive of activity in the villages and embrace the opportunity to join in and learn about the work of the communities. villageways.com

Classic Luangwa, Zambia

Enjoy a classic, small group trip with Wildlife Worldwide walking along the Mupamadzi river in Zambia, the home of the walking safari. Walkers can expect to spot a variety of wildlife including elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, zebra and the world’s highest naturally occurring population of leopard. Staying at three campsites along the way, walk-in tents with beds and linen, bush showers toilets are set up by experienced staff who cater for guests every need. Walking distances are short, the pace relaxed, the stops frequent, and the wildlife simply unforgettable. wildlifeworldwide.com

Basque Rioja, Spain

New from Pura Aventura for 2015 is a Basque Rioja Inn to Inn self-guided walking route. Walk quiet paths leading you through ever changing and colourful landscapes, from the rolling fields and Mediterranean forests of Navarre to the mountains and vineyards of La Rioja. Soak up centuries of history as you pass the churches of the Camino de Santiago and the hill top villages of La Rioja's Basque heartland. The beautiful surroundings are complemented by premium, small hotels and unique gastronomic experiences giving you a taste of a genuinely unspoiled part of Spain. pura-aventura.com


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Get fit on holiday: top 5 walking tours
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