With cooler temperatures, warm seas and fewer crowds – to say nothing of quieter airports – October makes a perfect month for a walking getaway with leading self-guided walking specialists Macs Adventure. 

From the gentle Tuscan October sun to the rich colours of Montenegro’s Lovcen National Park, magical misty morning views in Saxony to the off-the-beaten Algarve make the most of the autumn on a self-guided walking adventure.  With Macs Adventure transporting luggage from point to point, guests have the freedom to enjoy the walking and soak up the views with just a light day pack.

Tuscany in Autumn: White Truffles, iconic hilltop towns and walking through cypress trees

Macs Adventure offers a variety of Tuscan holidays, including a beautiful 8 day/7 night trip from Lucca to Sienacovering 61 miles through the heart of Tuscany from the walled city of Lucca to Siena.  The trip seamlessly combines culture with history and delicious Tuscan gastronomy with accommodation in lovely three-star hotels and bed and breakfasts en route in the Tuscan villages and hilltop towns of Lucca, San Miniato, San Gimignano and Siena.  The scenery is varied with quiet stretches through woodland and walks between rows of cypress trees – the iconic Tuscan image reaching the ‘City of Towers’ – San Gimignano – on foot is breathtaking, and there are also walks around Lucca’s city walls. 

All that walking certainly warrants a treat or two…. and foodies will be spoilt for choice with the chance to enjoy meals in local restaurants, dining al fresco in the medieval piazzas. Porcini mushrooms, first press olive oil and Vin Novello will all appear. Truffles grow in the surrounding hills, and one of the best places to try white truffles (September to December season) is the sleepy village of San Miniato, where a night is included.  Try the delicious ‘taglioni al Tartufo Bianco washed down with a glass of Chianti.

Macs Adventure (www.macsadventure.com, 0141 530 5452) offers an 8 day/7 night self-guided walking holiday to Tuscany: Lucca to Siena, from £860 per person.  The price includes 7 nights bed and breakfast accommodation, baggage transfers each day, some transfers, an information pack with the walking route, full detailed maps and a GPS navigation app.  Flights are not included, but the nearest airport is Pisa, from where connections can be made by taxi, bus/train.

The Harz Witches Trail Short Break: High peaks, forests and fairy tales

The Harz Witches Trail is one of Germany’s Top Trails crossing a magical region famed for fairy tales, witches and legends.  In autumn, the Harz National Park – some 240 square km of wilderness – becomes a sea of colour, with the beech forests combined with evergreen spruces at higher altitudes and forest floors covered with thick blankets of moss.  Explore the woods, rocky canyons, towering cliffs, and medieval half-timbered villages and follow in the footsteps of Goethe to summit the Brocken, North Germany’s highest peak. The hike finishes in Quedlinburg, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe and the jewel in the crown of the Harz’s traditional villages and towns.  It’s ideal for hikers interested in German history, folklore and classic long-distance trails.

Macs Adventure (www.macsadventure.com, 0141 530 5452) offers this self-guided 5 day/4 night Harz Witches Trail Short Break from £595 per person.  Price includes 4 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels and guesthouses on a bed and breakfast basis, baggage transfers, Brocken railway tickets, information pack with walking route, full detailed maps and GPS navigation app and 24/7 assistance if needed.  Flights to Hanover or Berlin and transfers to Torfhaus and Quedlinburg are not included.

Dalmatian Coast: Coastal Walking and Island Hopping in Croatia

Running some 500 km of shoreline in the West of Croatia, the Dalmatian coastline is still mild in October, with temperatures reaching 20 degrees, warm seas and fewer crowds than in the busier summer months.  Macs Adventure offers a 7-night walking holiday combining Split with the islands of Brac and Hvar, walking along the beautiful coastline, olive groves, vineyards, Roman and Greek trails, and through ancient villages. Blend beaches with culture and history, with opportunities to visit ancient sites and excavations en route, starting with the UNESCO World Heritage site of the 1700-year-old Diocletian Palace in Split; the archaeological sites, sarcophagi and reliefs in Skrip and the Dragons Cave – a temple and dwelling of Glagolitic priests.  Accommodation is in characterful guesthouses and pensions, and there are plenty of options to sample the delicious local cuisine, with excellent seafood, fine wines and great café culture.

Macs Adventure (www.macsadventure.com, 0141 530 5452offers this 8 day/7 night self-guided walking holiday – Treasures of the Dalmatian Coast – from £1,485 per person.  Price includes 7 nights b&b accommodation in guesthouses and small hotels, baggage transfers, most boat transfers, a complete information pack with the walking route, full detailed maps and GPS navigation app and 24/7 support if needed.  Flights and travel to Split and from Hvar to Split are not included.

Rota Vicentina:  Explore The Wild Algarve in Autumn

October in the Algarve, with temperatures of around 20 degrees, brings perfect conditions for walking.  Explore a more undiscovered side of the region on the Rota Vicentina – a long-distance trail linking the Portuguese Algarve and Alentejo regions culminating at Cabo Sao Vicente, Europe’s most southwest point.

Macs Adventure offers a range of itineraries for the Rota Vicentina, including a 7 night trip exploring the southern section of the route. The Wild Algarve showcases a very authentic and unspoiled side of this part of Portugal, where few tourists visit. Start in the whitewashed fishing village of Odeceixe and follow well-marked trails along clifftop coastal paths through green valleys and forests.  Explore small authentic Portuguese towns, enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic coastline, and spot varied birdlife nesting on the cliffs, such as the Alpine Swift and Peregrine Falcon.  Stay in a mix of boutique bed and breakfasts and casa-style guesthouses offering warm Portuguese hospitality before ending in Cabo Sao Vicente with its famous lighthouse, a beacon to fisherman and pilgrims. They walked to visit the burial place of St Vincent. 

Macs Adventure (www.macsadventure.com, 0141 530 5452offers this 8 day/7 night self-guided walking holiday along the Rota Vicentina: The Wild Algarve from £640 per person.  Price includes 1 night in a 4 star hotel and 6 nights in boutique casa-style guesthouses and small hotels on a bed and breakfast basis, baggage transfers each day, complete information pack with walking route, full detailed maps and GPS navigation app and 24/7 support if needed.  Flights and travel to Odeceixe and from Sagres are not included.