Best Walking Vacation Tour Company

Winner and Finalists Voted by Walkers in Readers' Choice Awards

When you are off to see the world, to whom do you entrust your trip of a lifetime? Walkers nominated and voted for their favorite walking vacation tour company. When you join a group tour, you need to be prepared for the drawbacks of group walking tours, but you also reap the advantages of walking with a group tour.


Winner: Walking Adventures International

Walking Adventures International - Ephesus Greece
Walking Adventures International - Ephesus Greece. Wendy Bumgardner © 2011

Walking Adventures International is a family business that delivers on its slogan, "History, culture, scenery...more than just a walking tour!" They take small groups (up to one busload) on journeys throughout the world and across the United States—58 countries and counting. They have a fun method of choosing where they go; former and potential clients vote on choices and by making refundable early bird deposits.

Nominators say:

  • "This company does the research needed and provides friendly, well informed, and competent leaders for each of their many walking tour locations, and they add local guide support in foreign countries."
  • "Their guides are exceptional. Each tour has two WAI guides, who are like family, who work with local guides."
  • "It's a family company with three generations involved in the business."
  • "History and culture are emphasized as much as the walking and adventuring. You are provided a reading list ahead of time to study the areas you will be touring, and more reading is provided on the bus. As well, a certified local guide joins the tour and provides in-depth information throughout the tour. You'll find that almost any question you ask is met with a factual and thoughtful answer, not just "tour guide lore."

WAI has built their business on repeat customers. They train their customers to be good travelers and walking companions, considerate of the rest of the group in being on time and sharing the adventure.



Fitpacking - Connie Crossing River
Fitpacking - Connie Crossing River. © Fitpacking

Fitpacking provides week-long hiking vacations for people of all fitness and skill levels. For those who are a little overweight or getting older, they don't rush their clients. No dieting, either! Instead, their trips go to great natural areas, mostly in North America, with some trips further abroad.

Our nominators gave these reasons why Fitpacking is the best:

  • "Seeing places that can only be seen backpacking. Hiking with great people and losing weight."
  • "The guides are amazing and the locations are varied with beautiful scenic views."
  • "Very inexpensive and accessible. Beautiful destinations. Rather than spoiling you with luxury, you learn the skills needed to go off backpacking on your own!"
  • "1. Accessible to the older or moderately overweight crowd. 2. Cost per day is comparable or better deal than most holidays. 3. Owner/operator Steve Silberberg hikes with individuals and offers repeat customer incentives."

This is an innovative way to get people back in shape and teach them to keep in shape, while hiking in beautiful areas such as the White Mountains.


Walk for All Seasons

Noted walking author Maggie Spilner leads these walking vacations and retreats. Destinations include the U.S.A. and Europe.

Why are they great? Nominators say:

  • "The optimal size groups, with many repeat customers, so if you go on multiple tours, you will find friends; the variety of destinations and Maggie's well-researched plans; and Maggie's personal attention to details."
  • "Small groups, well organized, prices are reasonable. Most walks have two options, one easier and one more challenging. Maggie always seems to put together interesting walks and sights, yet there is always time to relax if that's what you want."

VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

VBT has been leading walking and biking tours since 1971. Their destinations include Europe, South America and Central America. Each day, walkers can choose from among routes of different lengths and difficulty. They encourage the use of walking poles. A support vehicle checks on walkers along their chosen routes.

One nominator noted, "Received accolades from Travel & Leisure Magazine and National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Trips include local trip leaders, walking poles, and round-trip international airfare."



Do you dream of trekking in the Himalayas? Socialtours can take you there on guided treks in Nepal, Tibet, India or Bhutan. They customize each trip.

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