The only thing that is currently certain about taking summer holidays, is that the Covid-19 pandemic has made the near future ‘uncertain’. Having said that we are optimistic as Governments across Europe are due to re-open their borders on 15 June, 2020. From that date many countries within the Schengen Zone are easing restrictions allowing travel for example between France, and Switzerland.
 
September and October are our favourite months and we are hopeful that any guidelines will soon be clarified to allow adventure travel operators to go-ahead with trips in late autumn. Indeed, we have often thought we should offer more trips at this time of year as the mountains are at their most beautiful and peaceful, as the leaves turn red and gold, and nature prepares for its winter hibernation. 
 
One thing is certain, that businesses within the travel industry are reacting as best they can to ensure the industry is back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so. We will know more about this and the guidelines we must adhere to in early June. We would like to reassure our guests that at Tracks and Trails we will always ensure you travel in the safest possible environment. In order to provide you with peace of mind during this challenging period we will be producing a Health and Hygiene Policy for future travel.
 
Many of the hotels we would normally use for summer trips are now staying open later into October so we’ve been able to add dates to some of our favourite trips so you can still enjoy them.
 
Scroll down for our top picks for Autumn, including our new ‘West Highland Way’ in the Scottish Highlands, new 6 day 'Dolomites: Alta Via Trail Run' and great escapes to the warmth of the Spanish isle of Mallorca and remote Tuscan mountains of Italy.
 
And remember, full refunds are guaranteed if your trip doesn’t run due to Covid-19.
 
 

Fall Line magazine this month interviewed Julia Tregaskis-Allen and her husband Oliver Allen, an IFMGA mountain guide, to find out their Top 5 Summer Hikes.

I joined a friendly group in Saas Grund for the start of the Tour de Monte Rosa. After a cloudy morning on the first day, we were hugely lucky to have almost perfect weather for the next eight days.

A guide to choosing a suitable headtorch for running or hiking, to help light up those dark nights and see you safely through from dusk until dawn.

Whether you’re heading out for an evening run, got caught out as the sun set on a hike, or just finding your way to the campsite facilities, a decent headtorch will make all the difference. Advances in lighting capacity and battery technology now offer us a dazzling range to choose from, depending on our budget and needs. Simple models with minimal adjustment sit alongside more advanced models, offering programmable lighting modes, multiple beams, and even intelligent reactive lighting that economises battery power.

South Tyrol, known by the Italians as Alto Adige and German-speakers as the Südtirol, is a picturesque, tranquil region in northern Italy and home to the Dolomites mountain range. The Dolomites, also known as the ‘Pale Mountains’ for their limestone hue, are a UNESCO World Heritage site and the South Tyrol’s truly unique natural wonder. It’s no exaggeration to say that the forests and mountains here are widely regarded as being among the most attractive landscapes in the world. Indeed, the recognition given by the protected status of UNESCO since June 2009 is testimony to just how well preserved and unspoilt the natural environment remains.

What a great week in Tuscany exploring the Apuane and Appenine Alps. This really is a wonderful area of deep beech and chestnut forests and rocky ridges of limestone. I love the autumn season as the trees are heavy under the weight of fruit and nuts. The chestnut trees offer up sweet chestnuts for eating and also for the production of chestnut flour.

 

Well, it's another sunny morning in Tuscany at the villa at Lavacchio. Our guide this week, Kathy Grindrod, is just about to head off on the first day of walking with our guests who arrived yesterday at Pisa airport. The walking here is great with the limestone landscape offering ridges, and jagged peaks and towers, natural arches and bridges.

 

Just back from leading an expedition with 20 Hertfordshire based students to Morocco, the High Atlas Mountains. With stories of mountain summits, riding camels, chameleon sightings, souk surfing, the rewards of manual labour and copious amounts of couscous! Verulam School from St. Albans were a team of 19 boys, 1 girl & 2 teachers. We began our adventures by taking an early-bird flight to Morocco, North Africa which allowed us a day to relax by the hotel pool and acclimatise to the heat of Marrakesh, some 40 degrees or more!

 

Just back from a great trip round the Dents du Midi range in the Swiss Valais region. This is the most westerly massif in Switzerland and on the whole not too many people visit the area. This in itself is surprising because it is absolutely stunning, the seven jagged summits of the Dents du Midi provide a great centerpiece for this 'tour'.