Inn to Inn Hiking Trips Around the World

Originally published: 2017. Updated: Spring 2020.

Inn to inn (or hut to hut) walking and hiking tours can be a winning arrangement for travelers that love slow travel and active vacations. It’s a chance to see countless new sights without the stressful rush of a typical fast-paced tour.

What is an Inn to Inn hiking trip?

inn to inn hiking trails around the world

The idea of an inn to inn tour is that you walk (or sometimes bike or boat) from one place to another, staying at a new inn each night. Often, breakfast, luggage transportation, and a suggested route map is included for a package rate. The rest of your meals and any stops along the way are up to you. Independent travelers will find plenty of options to do self-guided tours, while guided trips are also available for small groups.

The walking/hiking aspect of these tours gives you an intimate perspective and a deeper experience of one particular micro-region. On foot, you notice more details and breathe in a fuller picture of the land, its people, and their daily life.

Another unique benefit of the package tours is you get to experience so many new places going from A to B to C. Around every bend is a new scene as you walk. Each evening, you are welcomed by new accommodations with your luggage there waiting for you. With the hassle of route planning and baggage handling taken care of for you, it’s much easier to handle moving from place to place. (We would never suggest staying only one night in each destination otherwise, as it can get very taxing!)

What are the best Inn to Inn trips around the world?

One of our readers wrote to us about an inn-to-inn trek she enjoyed on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park. She asked if we had any recommendations for other similar trips, which inspired this blog post. So far, our only personal experience has been on a self-guided biking tour from Bruges, Belgium to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. But we have heard of a few others from our fellow travelers. We love the inn-to-inn walking concept so much, we decided to do some more research and curate a list of worthy trips to try.

Photo credits: Some of the following images are sourced from Flickr and Pixabay with Creative Commons licenses.
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United States Walking Tours

Many of the best hiking trips in the U.S. can be found in our wonderful National and State Parks. Below are a few examples.

Appalachian Trail Shenandoah National Park

Forest Stoneyman Trail Path Shenandoah National Park

This inn-to-inn trek on the Appalachian trail in Shenandoah National Park sparked the inspiration for this post. Covering 35 miles in 4 days, hikers carry their own day packs and stay in historic Park lodges with restaurant services.  The trail goes through scenic, mountainous backcountry with rewarding views, flowers, and wildlife.

Trip length: 4 days
Daily mileage: 8.1 – 9.5 miles
Luggage transport: Not available
Season: May – October
For more info: AppalachianTrail.org (document)
Guide book: How to Hike the Appalachian Trail: A Comprehensive Guide to Plan and Prepare for a Successful Thru-Hike

Vermont: four historic inns

trees-20610_1280

This walking tour is a 4 day, 40 mile experience of small town Vermont. Walking route map, dinners, breakfasts, snacks, baggage transportation, and accommodations at four charming inns are included in the self-guided tour. Enjoy meditative walks through nature while not being completely removed from civilization. Stop at any cafe, country store, or scenic viewpoint your heart desires along the journey.

Trip length: 4 days
Daily mileage: 9.1 – 11.2 miles
Luggage transport: Included
Season: May – October
For more info: Yankee: New England’s Magazine
Guide books: Vermont Hiking Guides

Rocky Mountain National Park lodge tour

Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park | Intentional Travelers

Cover 42 miles of meadows, streams, and summits on beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park trails! Spend your nights at an intimate lodge or B&B, complete with a hot shower, dinner, and hot breakfast. Luggage transportation is covered, so you have more energy to enjoy the adventure. This trip can be done with a guide or on your own.

Trip length: 4 days
Daily mileage: 7 – 10 miles
Luggage transport: Yes
Season: End of May – September
For more info:
 RockyMountainNationalPark.com
Guide book: Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park: A Guide to the Park’s Greatest Hiking Adventures

Golden Gate California Coast

Cali Mt._Tam_coastline

Explore the Bay Area’s Marin County with a five- or six-night round-trip trek from Sausalito, California. Hike through the Marin Headlands, Mt. Tamalpais, Muir Woods and Muir Beach, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The tour package includes all breakfasts and lunches, welcome dinner, daily luggage transfer, local guides and admission fees.

Trip length: 5 or 6 nights
Daily mileage: 7 – 10 miles
Luggage transport: Included
For more info: L.A. Times Travel
Guide book: Hiking Marin: 141 Great Hikes in Marin County

Inn to Inn Europe Walking Tours

The possibilities for inn to inn hiking trips in Europe are too many to count. Just choose and country and search Google to find a variety of tour companies offering guided and self-guided options. We’re highlighting two of the most popular hiking trips in Europe here, as well as a list of other ideas to get you started.

Camino de Santiago

Camino_de_Santiago

The Way of St James (or Camino de Santiago) is one of the most famous walking trips in the world. Each year, thousands of visitors do some portion of the pilgrimage route, which ends at the iconic cathedral where St. James is buried. Ruta_del_Camino_de_Santiago_Frances.svgRuta_del_Camino_de_Santiago_de_la_Lana.svgThe pathways are primarily rural and flat, with plentiful hostel accommodations along the most popular parts of the route. The full journey takes around three weeks in total, though there are numerous other options, starting in France or Spain. Many embark on this journey solo or in independent groups, though it is possible to go through a tour operator.

Trip length: Varies
Daily mileage: Up to you
Luggage transport: No
For more info: Camino de Santiago
Guide book: Moon Camino de Santiago: Sacred Sites, Historic Villages, Local Food & Wine Travel Guide

Hut to Hut Austrian Alps

Mondsee Austria Landscape Mountains Mountain Hut

Independent travelers can enjoy spectacular views in the Austrian Alps with hut to hut hikes throughout the country. You can book the huts (which are actually more like inns) in advance, including meals. The huts often have a bar, restaurant, showers, and a mixture of dormitories and private bedrooms.

Trip length: Varies
Daily mileage: Varies
Luggage transport: Only if you book a package
For more info: Walking Austria’s Alps: Hut to Hut and 100 Hut Walks in the Alps: Routes for Day or Multi-Day Walks (books)

Rota Vicentina Portugal

Rota Vicentina - Azenhas do Mar

Independent travelers can hike from town to town along Portugal’s Western Coast, from Santiago do Caçem to Lagos. The typical route takes two weeks, but the itinerary is completely adjustable. Each leg of the Rota Vicentina journey ends in a different town, where you can choose from several hotels and restaurants, or stay in campsites along the way.

Trip length: 4 – 18 days
Daily mileage: 
Varies
Luggage transport: 
Only if you book a package
For more info:
A Guide to Hiking the Rota Vicentina
Guidebook: Portugal’s Rota Vicentina: The Historical Way and Fishermen’s Trail

Other guided and self-guided Europe tours

Countryside Walk Country England Lake District

From Ireland to Italy, you can find a range of guided and self-guided hiking tours in Europe by searching online. If you find one that sounds interesting, we recommend checking review sites like TripAdvisor to get a feel for the trip and the company’s customer service before booking.

Here are a few more trip ideas for walking tours in Europe:

REI Guided Europe Tours

7 day Split to Dubrovnik Croatia trek

Guided English Lake Land Tour 

14 day Coast to Coast England walk

Self-Guided Trips in France

 

Asia Walking Tours

Nakasendo Trail

Nakasendo

Nakasendo was one of Japan’s five ancient pedestrian routes connecting modern-day Tokyo to Kyoto. Totaling 332 miles in all, only a few stretches remain in its original form. The most well-known section lies in the Kiso Valley, between Tsumago-juku in Nagano Prefecture and Magome-juku in Gifu Prefecture. At just five miles, this section can easily be done as a day hike from Nagoya, or stay one night in each of the two towns – Tsumago and Magome – and have your luggage forwarded. For a 5-day self-guided hiking experience, you’ll need to add train rides to your itinerary to get from one hike to the next. This option can be done as a package with accommodations, luggage transfers, train tickets, breakfasts, dinners, and detailed maps included.

Trip length: 2 nights, or 5+ days
Daily mileage: 2 – 11 miles
Luggage transport: Available
For more info: Japan Cheapo and Oku Japan

Kumano Kodō Pilgrimage

Kumano_Kodo

Follow ancient pilgrimage routes through the mountainous Japanese peninsula of Kii Hantó.Map_Kumano_Kodo There are four main routes, which can be done independently or with a guide. For the full cultural experience, stay in traditional village lodging, enjoying spectacular views, hot springs, and ancient temples along your multi-day trek.

Trip length: Varies
Daily mileage: Varies
Luggage transport: Available
For more info: Tanabe City Kumano Kodo Tourism Bureau
Guide book: Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage (Cicerone Guides)

Annapurna Sanctuary trek

annapurna base camp

The Annapurna Wilderness in Nepal boasts an extensive series of trails with captivating views. The Sanctuary Trail, leading up to Annapurna Base Camp is an iconic option for guided tours as well as independent travelers. Lodging is basic and just a few dollars a night, and hot meals are available along the way. Doing the climb does require permits, though hiring a guide/porter is optional.

Trip length: Varies. Sample route linked below is 9 days.
Daily mileage: Varies.
Luggage transport: Sherpas for hire
Season:
 Late September – November tends to be best
For more info: Matador Network
Guide book: Annapurna: 14 treks including the Annapurna Circuit and Sanctuary (Cicerone Guides)

Northern Thailand Hill Tribe and Wildlife Treks

Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary and Hilltribe Homestay | Intentional Travelers

The possibilities for guided treks in Thailand are endless, with countless tour companies offering multi-day trips departing from most major towns. Hike through the hills and past waterfalls, learning about the nature, wildlife, and culture of remote regions inhabited by hill tribe people groups. The variety of tour options include adventure activities, community-based experiences, or wildlife encounters – just be sure to check our guide to ethical elephant tourism if you go that route. Any options here are predominantly guided, package tours – accommodations vary but tend to be on the rustic side.

Trip length: Varies.
Daily mileage: Varies.
Luggage transport: Available.
For more info: Wanderlust Travel Magazine

South America Walking Tours

Macchu Pichu Inca Trail

Inca Trail
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a very popular popular tourist trek that once used to connect various parts of the Incan Empire. This spectacular, high-altitude hike can be completed in 4 days. Due to its popularity, there is an annual limit on how many people can walk the trail and you must have a guide, so definitely make sure to book in advance. Traditionally, camping is the overnight accommodation of choice for this trek, with guides preparing meals over a fire. However, these days, there is also the option to pamper yourself in luxury lodges along the way.

Trip length: 4+ days (an easier 2-day hike is also possible)
Daily mileage: 3 – 9 miles
Luggage transport: Yes
Season:
 April – October
For more info: Inca Trail Peru
Guide book: Moon Machu Picchu: With Lima, Cusco & the Inca Trail Travel Guide

Ecuadorian Andes

Hiking | Llullu Llama Hostel in Beautiful Isinliví, Ecuador | Intentional Travelers

The beautiful Andes mountains in Ecuador offer a number of one-way trekking possibilities, with most starting less than a day’s drive from Quito. Guided treks are available through Avenue of the Volcanoes, around the adventure-hub of Baños, on Trek of the Condor, and more. Sometimes these routes, like the Quilatoa Loop, can be done independently, staying at hostels and following local hiking maps – just beware of quickly changing weather conditions. Enjoy the land of fresh air, green vistas, wild horses and active volcanoes!

Trip length: Varies
Daily mileage: Varies
Luggage transport: Depends
For more info: Walkopedia Ecuador
Guide book: Ecuador Climbing, Hiking and Trekking, by VIVA Travel Guides

New Zealand Walking Tours

Queen Charlotte Track

Queen Charlotte Track

This recommendation was submitted by one of our readers, who says: “It’s in the Marlborough Sounds and you can choose your accommodation option from camping to luxe b&b. Your baggage is boated between the different stop off points each day while you walk or bike.”

After our New Zealand road trip, this hiking adventure sounds like a great way to see more of this spectacular country. This track (the Kiwi term for trail) can be walked or biked. According to the official website, “it passes through lush coastal forest, historic bays, and along skyline ridges with unsurpassed views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.” Accommodations must be pre-booked unless you plan to tent camp. Or you can purchase an inn to inn waking tour package where logistics are all set up for you.

Trip length: 3 – 5 days if walking.
Daily mileage: 4 – 9 miles
Luggage transport: Available.
For more info: Queen Charlotte Track Official Website
Guide book: Lonely Planet Hiking & Walking in New Zealand

Have you tried any of these trips? Are there any great tours missing from our list? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Best hiking and one-way walking trips and tours around the world | Intentional Travelers

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