Self guided inn to inn walking tours in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy’s Dolomites: If you prefer to avoid groups and guides, or want create your own group, then a self-guided inn-to-inn walk is for you. Walk at your own pace, and take your time at special places if you wish.
If the word 'trekking' conjures up images of carrying a pack equalling 50% of your body weight, sleeping in a mildewed tent and eating canned chilli con carne, then you have spent one too many summers on soggy camping trips. How about travelling from village to village along ancient footpaths, beneath snowy peaks, with only a daypack to weigh you down, while your luggage is transported between overnight stops? How about sleeping in a pine-panelled room under a fluffy, white eiderdown and dining on traditional Alpine fare, such as Käsespätzle or Venison Goulash, or haute continental cuisine? Sounds better? Then maybe inn-to-inn walking would be more to your liking.
You won't be the first. And that's a good thing. Romans, Celts, Vikings, medieval traders and ancient tribes have kindly left an excellent network of trails between different villages in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy. More recently, they've been researched, walked and presented in perfect inn-to-inn walk-sized chunks.
There are two basic types of inn-to-inn walking holiday: the guided groups, and the self-guided itineraries. Both allow you to immerse yourself in nature and see the countryside in a much slower, more intimate way than sightseeing from a car or a train. However, most people choose ‘self-guided’ or independent walking so they can discover things for themselves and go at their own pace. But unlike trekking or backpacking, you don't have to carry your clothes, sleeping gear and food with you all day. And when evening comes, you can count on hot showers, freshly made beds and all the other comforts of civilisation.
There are a large number of specialist walking tour operators and even tourist offices in the walking regions of Europe that run inn-to-inn walking tours. On an organised tour, you walk from place to place along a linear or circular route, staying in comfortable pre-booked accommodation along the way. Dinners and breakfasts are taken care of. You only need to carry a light daypack each day, as the rest of your luggage will be moved for you by vehicle whilst you are out walking. Inn-to-inn walking holidays are mostly self-guided. You form your own group of two or more people and walk without a guide using written walking notes and maps provided by the tour operator.
If you enjoy the flexibility of planning your own itinerary, routes, and accommodation, then grab a guide book and experience the spectacular scenery of our destinations at your own pace, whilst saving money in the process. All the hotels, B&Bs, country inns and self-catering properties on this website are happy to accommodate hikers, and some of them will, on request, transport your luggage from their place to your next overnight stop, and provide a ride to the trail’s starting or finishing point, so you don’t need a car. Many of our property owners are keen walkers themselves and take an active and helpful interest in your progress.
Our travel planner section helps you prepare your self-guided inn-to-inn walking holiday. Start planning your trip by reading guidebooks. Bring your favourite walking guidebooks with you; good guidebooks and, of course, maps will make your trip more enjoyable. There's a large choice of authentic character accommodation in splendid scenery on our website, providing an ideal opportunity for independently exploring our beautiful and varied destinations. There is plenty of information on walking areas in central Europe too - from baroque and beer in Upper Bavaria to the colourful Alpine meadows of Austria and the Italian Dolomites, and from challenging mountain hikes in Switzerland to gentle strolls along the wild coastline of Northern Germany. There's something to suit all tastes, ages and abilities. Whatever you're looking for we have got something for you!