Tag Archives: hiking

Walking Softly Adventures and Mountain Hiking Holidays


As a tie-in with last week’s post on excursions abroad, let us introduce one of our fantastic vendors for walking and hiking journeys, Walking Softly Adventures and Mountain Hiking Holidays. These two companies are run by some great friends of ours, John and Amy Osaki, and over the last 16 years, many clients and even some relatives of ours have thoroughly enjoyed the trips!


If a cultural walking tour is more your thing, take a look at Walking Softly. They offer occasional tours that immerse you in local history, art and architecture. As an art historian and former museum professional, Amy leads the Art Tours through a variety of culturally rich destinations, including Boston, Paris, Japan, Russia, and most recently in April, Italy. Her tours encourage you to explore art “in situ” for a deeper understanding of the local history. There are only two or three Walking Softly trips offered each year, and these trips sell out quickly, so be sure to let WIT know if you are interested in information about the next Art Tour by Amy. Upcoming destinations include New York, Japan with cherry blossoms, the Silk Road in China, Moscow and St Petersburg, and the museums of Spain!


If hiking a mountain trail is more your pace, check out Mountain Hiking Holidays—which runs frequent trips to the mountains of Patagonia, the Dolomites, the Pyrenees, the Julian Alps, the volcanoes of Japan’s Hokkaido island—and many more. Three meals daily are often included in these treks, over peaks, through monasteries and temples, and around lakes. Sleep comfortably in your private room with private bath, and carry only a day pack with your water and jacket on the trail. Past park rangers and current mountaineers, John and Amy have hiked and climbed mountains on four continents. Their skilled international team holds certificates and licenses in mountain guiding, have received rigorous training, and take great pleasure in leading you on the trail. Consider a mountain hiking trip in South America, Europe, Asia, or North America. Ask WIT to keep you posted about Mountain Hiking Holidays’ a new 5-day spring hiking escape to the spectacular red rock country of Utah in April 2013, and the new winter hiking trip for the mountains of the Galapagos islands of Ecuador early in 2014!


Groups are typically small and intimate, or can be customized to accommodate private departures. Running less than 20 trips a year allows John and Amy to really put care and love into each and every one of their adventures!

All photos are courtesy of Mountain Hiking Holidays. 


Filed under Features, Guest Writers, Travel by Backpack, VOTM

Excursions Abroad

This week we are doing a double feature on excursions abroad, tying in one of our favorite art and nature tours with our friends over at Walking Softly. Tune in next week to see part two!

The modern traveler is often not satisfied with a mere sightseeing and museum tour. They want to interact with the people and to explore every inch of the landscape. They want an authentic experience that even the locals might enjoy. Whether you’re on a tour, traveling à la carte, or on a cruise, Willamette International Travel can arrange day trips, shore excursions, hikes or even cycle tours to enhance your trip experience. These can be a few hours to a week in length, and cover a range of activities!

cycling through Lake Bled region, photo by Dale Harvey

Small add-ons are fully customizable based on your itinerary, your preferred activity level, as well as length, price and dates—and can be tailored to suit your needs.

Interested, but not sure on specifics? Here are some of the great options available to you:

–         Mountain hiking in the mountains of Bavaria and Tyrol. Take in stunning vistas and stay in rustic Alpine cabins.

–         Cycle Lake Constance Area, a trip that will take you through four countries—Austria, Switzerland, Lichentenstein and Austria.

–         Cycle the Peninsula of Istria in Croatia and visit cultural monuments and natural reserves

–         Explore with a guided tour the ancient world of Athens and the isles of Santorini and Naxos

–         Hike and enjoy the rare wildlife in Majella National Park

–         Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago—by car

–         Cycle the Loire Valley from Angers all the way to the Atlantic

–         Explore and hike the fishing villages and coastal footpaths along Cinque Terre

–         Take a combination bike and barge tour through Amsterdam and Bruges

–         Visit a whiskey distillery and ride a steamer boat on Loch Katrine in Scotland

–         Go on a cave tubing tour in Belize

–         Go ziplining in the Cloud Forests of Costa Rica

–         Attend a Puerto Rican cooking class and learn to make mojitos and mofongo

ziplining in Austria; photo by WK

And there are many more! Headed somewhere but unsure of how to get the best out of your destination? Contact your agent at Willamette International Travel by calling 1.503.224.0180. Or email us at info@wittravel.com for more information.

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Filed under Europe, Features, Our Travel Agents, Travel Tips