I'd like to do a medium-distance walk somewhere in mountains in Europe, in May. I was thinking 3-5 days, must be close to an airport with cheap flights from London. Must have camping and/or refuge-style accomodation along the way. Also, I'd like it to be reasonably challenging and spectacularly beautiful. Any ideas?
I worked with someone who walked bits of the chemins Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. Don't know if that's near an airport or terribly exciting, but she went back every year.
Interesting suggestion tina - they're a world heritage site too! I could certainly do some of the Pyrenees bits.
Any other ideas?
Fly to Friedrichshafen with Ryanair and follow one of the stone-age trails that crosses the Alps. From Lake Constance to Bozen, covering 350 kms in length. You don't have to do the whole trail if you only want 3-5 days. It will definitely be challenging.
1st day: Bregenz - Bereuter - Gitzen - Schneider - Abendreute - Alberschwende (300 m difference in height)
2nd: Alberschwende - Brüggelekopf - Lorenapass - Schwarzenberg - Rain - Au - Bühel - Bezegg - Bezau
3rd: Bezau - Marktobel - Langen - Hinteregg Alpe - Krezboden - Schönenbach
4th:Schönenbach - Hahnenköpfle - Gottesacker Alpe - Kürental - Hirschegg
5th: Hirschegg - Mittelberg - Gemstelbachtal - Feuersteinmähder - Gemstelpass - Widdersteinhütte
6th: Widdersteinhütte - Hochkrumbach - Salobersattel - Obere und Untere Auenfeld Alpe - Auenfeldsattel - Gaisbachtobel - Lech
In Bezau and Lech you got access to the Austrian Postbus system. There might be more villages enroute with access, but these are the ones I know for sure. And if you start in Lech you'll be walking downhill almost all the way.
The postbus will also get you from Friedrichshafen Airport to Bregenz.
EDIT: Sorry, just saw that you intend to go in May. I'm not sure that this is a good idea with the above route. The Alps are best done in July/August. The group that took this route for German TV ran into heavy snow 3 days after they left Lech when they went in August 2006.
And if you want the full route to Bozen drop me a line.
BTW, you might like a trip up the Pfänder near Bregenz.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 13, 2008, at 10:25 AM by t_maia ]
Thanks - that looks fantastic, in fact I think I might save it and do it in its entirety somewhere between July and September. I might need to hassle you for a bit more info when I get round to planning it a bit better. I've actually decided to do my 3-5 days at the end of April so I think the heavy snow risk would be pretty high, and I don't really want that.
If you wanted to do the above tour in April, chances are you would have to do it on ski and snowshoes. At over 1000 m and above it is not unusual for the last snow to thaw in May.
If you do the whole trail you'll even find snow in August up on 3000 m. There is a reason the huts don't open until July. It takes about 24 days to walk the whole length of the trail from Bregenz to Bozen. A night at a hut is approx. 20 EUR and a meal costs around 10 EUR. So you need to budget 35 EUR per day. If you become a member of the "Alpenverein" you can get the accomodation half-price.