Your Perfect Women’s Hiking Trip
All of Ryder-Walker’s treks are accessible and enjoyable regardless of gender, whether avid hikers or people just breaking into the sport! Still, some hikes may be considered more suitable for women or single women hikers. For example, we would not promote the idea of a self-guided female traveler in Montenegro. The culture and infrastructure, while fascinating, has not matured at the rate of other countries in the neighborhood. We rounded up our best women’s hiking trips to make your next ladies adventure a planning breeze.
Hiking in Europe is a safe experience. This includes hiking alone, on a self-guided trip, with a party of friends on a self-guided lark, or on an established guided group trip. The hiking in the areas we visit are incredibly well established. The people you meet are always kind and respectful. In this article we have broken down what we believe to be the absolute best hiking trips for women into three categories: easier and more luxurious trips, moderate hiking trips, and some much more challenging bucket list options. So, it’s time to gather up your crew of girlfriends and head into the mountains!
Capri and the Amalfi Coast (Self-Guided)
Ryder Walker’s self-guided Capri and Amalfi Coast is an exciting variation on our guided Isola di Capri trek which takes you not only to the jewel of the Tyrrhenian Sea but also along the stunning Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi Coast itself is home to the town of Naples, which sits in the shadow of the famous Mount Vesuvius! The Island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast are lively locations with lots of options for nighttime outings. The island also has unique cultural destinations. The Roman Era villas and museums will fascinate you with the region’s volcanic history. Most important however is the elevated comfort of this trip. We offer superior four-star hotels, truly bohemian villages, and the opportunity to dip your feet into the striking blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea at the end of nearly every day. For those who would prefer to hike with a guide, our guided Isola di Capri trek focuses on the hiking on the Isle of Capri itself and is sure to make Capri one of your favorite destinations.
Provence: Hill Towns of the Luberon (Self-Guided)
If you love wine, then simply put Provence France is for you. But you probably already knew that! On our Provence hiking itinerary, you will spend multiple blissful afternoons wandering through remote vineyards, getting a unique insight into the culture, process, and agriculture surrounding French wine. Of course, you’ll also have the opportunity to try some of these local wines in the evenings. If you choose to add an extra excursion to your trip, we can inquire for a wine tasting at the Chateau La Canorgue. However; wine isn’t the only reason to visit Provence. Rolling lavender fields, historic villages and charming chateaus await you in one of Ryder-Walker’s most cultured and comfortable trips. There is also an option to add a cooking class in Bonnieux to your itinerary. This is one of Ryder-Walker’s gentlest outings.
England: The Cotswolds (Guided)
The pastoral fields of the Cotswolds are the perfect place for you to get away from the stress of life and work. On our Cotswolds tour, lambs gambol in open pastures, thatched roof villages transport you back in time, and a selection of relaxing hikes and historic attractions will provide you with the perfect distraction from the “real” world. The true highlight of the trip is its stunning finish in the city of Bath. Bath is an architectural wonder of a city. It is filled with historic buildings, ancient Roman baths, and world class tea houses in which to spend a wonderful afternoon with your friends – old or new!
The Italian Dolomites Trek (Guided and Self-Guided)
The Italian Dolomites are the most consistently popular destination Ryder-Walker offers and a perfect trekking location for a woman who is a confident hiker but new to self-guided trips. The routes are incredibly well signed and the locals helpful. The terrain and trails are varied and numerous enough that it is often possible shorten a hike or make it a bit more difficult if you desire. One highlight is the charming alpine rifugio where a comfortable but rustic room awaits you at the end of the day! The Italian Dolomites are a special region, defined by the spires of dolomite rock for which the area is named. The Dolomites present a special mixture of challenge and comfort. The ski industry in the Italian Dolomites has caused a boom in tourist services, including endless world class hotels. Our clients often revisit the hotels outside of Ryder-Walker, excellent and varied lift systems, a delicious cuisine mixing Italian, Ladin and international influences, and without question some of the most stunning hiking on earth.
Engadine Trek (Guided and Self-Guided)
While the Italian Dolomites offer well maintained hiking, the Swiss Engadine Valley still manages to best that bar – perhaps surpassing all other mountain regions on earth! This trek is perfect for solo hikers and groups of friends. The people of the Engadine have constructed an extraordinarily diverse and cohesive set of hiking routes throughout the valley. This means every day has hiking options that range from difficult to easy. Lifts, trains, and trams offer ways to either extend or shorten your hiking day! Beyond the region’s flexibility for hiking, the Engadine also is home to truly pristine nature, such as the poetic lakes surrounding Sils Maria – a village Friedrich Nietzsche considered the most beautiful place on earth, the glacier covered Piz Bernina and Piz Palu, and the valley itself, which is filled with old growth larch and pine forest. Look to the Engadine to get away and relax. No other place will provide you and your friends or family such a dynamic yet peaceful location to hike!
Sicily’s Aeolian Islands (Guided)
If you are a history buff, then the Aeolian Islands are the spot. Steeped in rich mythology, the Aeolian islands are home to such attractions as the real-life location of the elysian fields where Persephone was supposedly pulled into Hades in Greek mythology. Between good wine, fresh seafood, and the strong Sicilian sun it doesn’t get much more relaxing than on this elegant archipelago. On this trek you will get to hop between numerous islands. Explore diverse locations such as the black beached Vulcano, the cosmopolitan Panarea, and the remote Stromboli. You may even get to witness nighttime activity from the young island’s active volcano! A perfect option for a women’s trip.
French Alps: The Tarentaise Mountains (Guided)
The Tarentaise Mountains are the foothills surrounding the icy dome of the Mont Blanc: muse of painters, poets, and mountaineers. The Romantic poet Percy Shelley once wrote of the Mont Blanc:
“Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,
Mont Blanc appears—still, snowy, and serene;
Its subject mountains their unearthly forms
Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between
Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps,
Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread
And wind among the accumulated steeps.”
On Ryder-Walker’s French Alps trek you won’t be piercing the broad vales of frozen floods and unfathomable deeps of the Mont Blanc. You will be graced with the same views of the epic mountain that inspired the historic poet. The Tarentaise Mountains are about as romantic as it gets, with charming villages dotting the low-lying mountains, deep forests filled with “Arve” trees, or rock pines – some of the world’s most ancient pine trees, and fantastic Savoyard cooking – so much cheese! The Tarentaise Mountains are the perfect place to gaze upon the roof of Europe while still enjoying the luxuries and culture of the lower valleys.
Bucket List Treks
The Matterhorn Trek (Guided)
The Matterhorn Trek is the first of our bucket list trek’s and for good reason: it’s maybe the most challenging hike Ryder-Walker has to offer. If hiking is your passion, then the Matterhorn Trek is for you. On this trek you will complete a partial circumnavigation or the famous Matterhorn Massif. This includes colossal Valasian giants such as the Breithorn, Lyskamm and Monte Rosa. Below, the iconic villages that grace its slopes such as Cervinia and Zermatt and the remote and charming Walser villages of Champoluc, Gressoney, Alagna, Macugnaga and Saas Fee. Moving in between the Italian and Swiss sides of the Matterhorn this trek tackles some of the most demanding passes in the Alps. But not without reward! The views here are unlike any other. Take an upclose look into the icy depths of glaciers, broad panoramas of the surrounding peaks, and rocky vistas unique to the highest stretches of the Alps. If the mountains are calling you the Matterhorn Trek should be your answer!
Norway: The Islands of Lofoten (Guided)
The Islands of Lofoten truly feel like the edge of the world, with granite peaks seeming to rise straight out of the Arctic Ocean. On this tour you will get to experience the highly picturesque Norwegian fjords and the quaint but isolated culture that has coexisted with them. Highlights of the trip include kayaking in the fjords, whale watching, and rigorous hikes to the summit of mountains such as the precipitous Kollfjellet. While the terrain and climate here is extreme, the endless light of Norwegian summer day is sure to enchant you. For the more adventurous, the style of life at the northern extreme of Europe will be an experience that provides epic stories and memories for years to come!
Iceland: The Westfjords (Guided)
The Westfjords are the northwestern extreme of Iceland. These remote fjords consist of a low lying and rocky moonscape. The ground is covered in spongy moss and chipped volcanic rock. Because of this unique terrain the hiking is often quite strenuous. There can be little distinct trail except for the mysterious stone trail markers and cairns that will pull you into the heart of Iceland’s fascinating landscapes. As you travel through Iceland you will be graced with multiple historic reminders of the country’s deep mythology.
Whether visiting the Viking longship shaped church in the capital Reykjavik or hiking beneath the glaciated summit of Snaefellsjokull – the volcano chosen for the setting of Jules Vern’sJourney to the Center of the Earth. Beyond the mythology, playful arctic foxes and puffins are common sights while hiking. The fish soup is some of the best food I have eaten in all of my travels over Europe. The magic of Iceland’s nature – which has captured the imagination of thousands in the last decade – is in no more majestic and remote condition than in the Westfjords.
Whatever your hiking inclinations, Ryder Walker offers comprehensive support in a variety of formats. We provide both the most comfortable and invigorating (or nurturing) experiences in Adventure Travel. Countless women continue to assemble unforgettable alpine adventures through us every summer. This is our 35th year! These hikes are just some examples of our favorite offerings across multiple skill levels and the varied regions of Europe. Gather a group of your best friends and come make lasting memories!