The Ramblers Associationâ€™s brochure details many routes and possibilities for the enthusiastic walker. In France, there are ancient paths in the Cevennes, Auvergne and Alpes Maritime as well as the Pyrenees, where a two-centre trip with a week in both Oloron and Luz St. Sauveur is available. The twenty-year-old Mont Blanc tour crosses the borders of France, Switzerland and Italy, much of it over 2,500 feet with night stops in mountain-hut dormitories. There is no age limit but you do need to be fit. In Austria, the Association offers hutting holidays in the Tuxer and Zillertal mountains, but these guided tours are strictly for the tougher walker, since ice axes and crampons are required.
Independent climbing, walking, caving and summer skiing tours can also be arranged. From May to July, the Pyrenees are full of floral colour. Keen walkers and wildflower enthusiasts can base themselves at Andorra and explore the area from roads leading to nine thousand feet. Through Iberia Airlines, four-wheel drive hire can be arranged, with maps and itineraries to take the visitor off the main roads on to mountain tracks. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the leading resort in Germanyâ€™s Bavarian alps, where walking opportunities are benefited by the use of twelve cable cars and the Zugspitze railway. This year, from May 21 until September 28, the Ober-ammagau passion play, with its cast of one thousand, will be performed in this small Bavarian village. The play, which lasts all day, is only performed every ten years. Tickets can be included in tailor-made holidays, staying in castle hotels in either Austria or Germany, arranged by Unicorn Holidays.