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The 10 Best Places for Learning to Nordic Walk 2024 – Fitness Walking with Poles

Nordic walking, an exercise that combines cardiovascular and muscular benefits, is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and improve your fitness. It involves walking with specially designed poles, similar to those used in skiing. The right location can significantly enhance the experience of learning Nordic walking, offering scenic beauty and suitable terrain. Here are ten of the best places around the world for learning and practicing Nordic walking, each with unique features to make your journey enjoyable.

Lake District, England

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In the Lake District, you’ll find a varied landscape ideal for Nordic walking, with routes ranging from easy lakeside walks to more challenging hill climbs. The area’s natural beauty is a big draw, offering panoramic views of rolling hills and serene lakes like Windermere and Ullswater. The network of well-marked trails makes it easy to navigate, and the region’s accessibility means you can find walks suitable for all fitness and experience levels.

Insider’s Tip

Explore the area around Lake Windermere for stunning views. 

When To Travel

Spring or early autumn for pleasant weather. 

How To Get There

Accessible by train from major cities like London or Manchester, then local transport to specific sites.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Image Credit: Shutterstock / anek.soowannaphoom

In Koh Samui, you’ll find an ideal mix of flat beachside paths and challenging hilly terrain for Nordic walking. The island’s warm climate year-round makes it perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Along the beaches, enjoy leisurely walks with stunning views of the Gulf of Thailand, complemented by a soothing sea breeze. For a more vigorous workout, the hills of Koh Samui offer varied terrain that tests your skills while providing panoramic views of the lush landscape. This combination of relaxing coastal paths and invigorating hillside trails makes Koh Samui a great destination for both fitness and relaxation.

Insider’s Tip

Walk during early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. Train with Andrei Neienburg from https://linktr.ee/nordicpro.thailand; you’ll find him at Koh Samui Stadium early in the morning. 

When To Travel

November to April for the best weather. 

How To Get There

Fly directly to Koh Samui Airport or take a ferry from mainland Thailand.

Banff, Canada

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Maridav

Banff’s stunning landscape in the heart of the Canadian Rockies offers Nordic walkers a mix of tranquil lake shores and mountain trails. The area around Lake Louise and Moraine Lake is particularly scenic, with crystal-clear waters and towering peaks. The national park’s vastness provides numerous trails that vary in difficulty, ensuring that both beginners and advanced walkers find suitable routes.

Insider’s Tip

Visit Lake Louise for flat trails and incredible scenery. 

When To Travel

Summer for accessible trails and good weather. 

How To Get There

Fly to Calgary and drive about 1.5 hours to Banff.

Queenstown, New Zealand

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Queenstown is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, and its varied landscape includes lakeside paths, forest trails, and mountain walks ideal for Nordic walking. The region’s natural beauty, with its clear lakes and rugged mountains, provides a spectacular backdrop for your walks. The Queenstown Trail offers a well-marked route, guiding you through some of the area’s most picturesque spots.

Insider’s Tip

Try the Queenstown Trail for a mix of terrain and views. 

When To Travel

Autumn for vibrant colors, though it’s beautiful year-round. 

How To Get There

Fly directly to Queenstown International Airport.

The Dolomites, Italy

Image Credit: Shutterstock / DavidTB

The Italian Dolomites offer a dramatic and mountainous landscape for Nordic walking. The region is renowned for its stunning alpine scenery and diverse trails. The Alta Badia area, in particular, provides a range of paths suitable for beginners, with the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. The Dolomites’ unique terrain makes it a memorable destination for Nordic walking.

Insider’s Tip

Explore the Alta Badia region for beginner-friendly trails with amazing views. 

When To Travel

Summer for the best trail conditions. 

How To Get There

Fly to Venice or Innsbruck and drive to the Dolomites.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

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The Lofoten Islands offer a challenging yet rewarding Nordic walking experience with its rugged terrain and breathtaking coastal views. The islands’ natural beauty, characterized by dramatic peaks and pristine beaches, provides a stunning setting for your walks. Coastal paths lead you past traditional fishing villages and offer views of the Norwegian Sea, making for an unforgettable Nordic walking journey.

Insider’s Tip

Walk along the coast for breathtaking sea views and charming fishing villages. 

When To Travel

Summer for mild weather and the midnight sun. 

How To Get There

Fly to Bodø, then ferry or a short flight to the islands.

Colorado Rockies, USA

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Margaret.Wiktor

The Colorado Rockies in the USA offer a diverse range of landscapes for Nordic walking, from gentle meadows to challenging mountain paths. The region’s natural beauty is diverse, featuring dense forests, alpine meadows, and rugged mountain peaks. Rocky Mountain National Park, with its well-maintained trails, is a great place to start, offering routes for all skill levels.

Insider’s Tip

Rocky Mountain National Park has trails suitable for various skill levels. 

When To Travel

Summer for accessible trails and pleasant weather. 

How To Get There

Fly to Denver and drive about 2 hours to the Rockies.

Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Image Credit: Shutterstock / l i g h t p o e t

The Swiss Alps are an iconic destination for Nordic walking, offering pristine trails and breathtaking alpine scenery. The area around Interlaken, in particular, provides accessible trails for beginners, with stunning views of famous peaks like Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. The well-marked paths and clean mountain air make the Swiss Alps a top choice for Nordic walking enthusiasts.

Insider’s Tip

Try trails around Interlaken for beginner-friendly routes with stunning mountain views. 

When To Travel

Late spring to early autumn for optimal conditions. 

How To Get There

Fly into Zurich or Geneva and take a train to the Alps.

Tasmania, Australia

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Taras Vyshnya

Tasmania’s diverse landscape, from national parks to coastal trails, makes it a fantastic Nordic walking destination. The island’s natural beauty, with its unique flora and fauna, adds to the experience. Freycinet National Park offers beautiful coastal trails ideal for Nordic walking, with the bonus of spectacular views of the Tasman Sea.

Insider’s Tip

Freycinet National Park offers beautiful coastal trails. 

When To Travel

Autumn or spring for mild weather. 

How To Get There

Fly to Hobart and drive or take a bus to your destination.

The Cotswolds, England

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The Cotswolds provide a quintessentially English countryside setting for Nordic walking. The area’s gentle hills and historic villages create a tranquil and picturesque environment. Walking the Cotswold Way gives you an authentic taste of the English countryside, with its rolling hills, quaint villages, and scenic views, making it a delightful destination for Nordic walkers.

Insider’s Tip

Walk the Cotswold Way for a taste of the English countryside. 

When To Travel

Late spring to early autumn for the best weather. 

How To Get There

Easily accessible by train from London, then local transportation to walking areas.

The Bottom Line

Nordic walking is an enjoyable and effective way to improve your fitness while exploring some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. Each destination offers unique terrains and stunning views, making them perfect for beginners and experienced Nordic walkers. Remember, the best place for you will depend on your personal preferences, fitness level, and the type of scenery you enjoy. So grab your poles, choose your destination, and step into the world of Nordic walking for an adventure that’s as good for your body as it is for your soul.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Babakin.

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