Any walking and activity grade is a subjective concept, that requires an individual assessment of the personal level of fitness and adaptation.

Legendary Adventure’s criteria to define difficulty grades:

Terrain – A low level walk in easy good paths will be graded easier than a walk with pathless sections and/or difficult terrain.

Cumulative height gain – Walks with larger demanding ascents will be graded higher than level walks.

Total distance – The longer the walk the harder the grade.

Equipment required – Easier grade walks can normally be completed with minimal equipment. In harder walks it’s highly suggested to assess the safe level of equipment that needs to be carried taking into account weather and route difficulty.

Navigation and compass skills – The use of a map, preferably at 1:25000 scale is recommended as good navigation skills can help with route finding if the instructions are unclear. In addition in more difficult terrain and in poor weather, navigation skills and the use of a map are vital. In some walks the use of GPS is highly recommended

It’s important to have in mind that a grade is based on the assumption that the route can be completed in reasonable weather conditions. If not, remember that nature elements as fog and heavy rain can cause sudden disorientation, rivers and small streams can become all of a sudden too deep or hard and strong winds can make some ridges and mountainous areas very dangerous. Thunder storms put walkers at risk especially on high land. In these eventful situations map reading, compass skills and common sense may prove to be vital.


Levels 1 to 3

The easier walking levels. Usually involve relatively short daily and low-level walks, with straightforward conditions underfoot. There may be sections with ascent and descent, but these are usually brief and not sustained. These walks are suitable for those that enjoy walking and are in good health with a reasonable level of fitness.

1 – Easy Access: Walks for everyone, including people with conventional wheelchairs and pushchairs, using easy access paths. Some of our centres have paved ecovias designed specifically for the case.

2 – Easy: Walks for those with no mobility difficulty, a specific health problem or are seriously unfit. These walks usually are diverse, may mix active sightseeing with city walks and/or countryside walks along quiet lanes, surfaced paths and dirt tracks. Usually the walks are under 5km/3mi and existing ascents/ descents are usually brief, not sustained and taken at a leisurely pace.

3 – Easy/Moderate: Easy countryside/city walking, with some elements of sightseeing. The walks are likely to be under 10km/6mi and the ascents/descents will be gradual and brief.


Levels 4 and 5

Increasing daily walking times on sometimes rugged forest tracks, mountain trails and footpaths, with considerably more ascent and descent involved, although usually at moderate altitudes. Elements of brief, easy scrambling may be involved. No scrambling until top grades, level 7 or 8 Suitable for most regular hill walkers who have a reasonable level of fitness. Some days may be more challenging than others.

4 – Moderate
: Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.

5 – Moderate/Hard
: Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent.


Levels 6 and 7

More challenging, with some extended walking days, and often longer in trip duration. These walking holidays involve more challenging and mountainous terrain, as well as sustained periods of both ascent and descent. Some will be at higher altitudes and are best suited to experienced walkers with a good level of physical fitness. Occasional scrambling are possible on level 7.

The walk goes into regions where exposure to weather and difficult terrain means that walkers should be equipped with proper footwear, spare clothing and food and drink. Map and compass skills are necessary and gps thoroughly recommended, though they may not have to be used. The route may require some mild scrambling – the use of hands as well as feet – but the dangers are limited. Walking the route in winter should be carefully assessed.

6 – Hard
: Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent. Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.

7 – Demanding
: There is plenty of ascent and descent over rough and steep ground, so a steady foot and a good head for heights is advisable.

Expect about 800 – 1000m of cumulative ascent and descent each day.
The walk reaches higher altitudes where weather conditions can change rapidly. The group should always have an experienced leader. There may be sections where the path is exposed or difficult and a fall could be serious. Participants must be fit, familiar with this type of terrain, and equipped for every eventuality. Walking the route in winter would require specialist skills.

Distances will probably not exceed 12 miles, but cumulative ascents and descents will normally be between 1000 and 1500m each day.


Level 8

Hard mountain walking every day, with long ascents, descents and scrambling. Stamina and a good head for heights are essential.

Distances will probably not exceed 12 miles, but cumulative ascents and descents will normally be between 1000 and 1500m each day.

8 – Technical
: Technical mountaineering with ice-axes, crampons, slings, ropes and karabiners where necessary. Led by qualified mountain guides.

Distances will sometimes be very short, but the terrain will be very demanding.