7 Best Hikes in Europe for Unbelievable Scenery

By David Escribano

South West Coast Path Inglaterra

Although autumn has that bucolic and melancholic halo that is so well reflected in the act of the leaves falling from the trees, it's also a season when the torrid summer heat is finally gone and nature displays an incredible blanket of colors, smells, and sensations. In many parts of Europe , autumn is the best time to explore natural places and trails full of hidden treasures.

Below, we (literally) walk through some of the most beautiful areas of the old continent come cooler temperatures.

Cornualles en la South West Coast Path Inglaterra

South West Coast Path, England

In the far southwest of England , a strange microclimate means that there are far more sunny days in October and November than you would expect in the UK during this time of year. Couple that with the fact that during autumn tourism in the area drops to almost non-existent levels, and this leaves the stunning South West Coast Path wide open.

The route is the longest signposted path in England at just over 621 miles. Starting in Minehead (Somerset), it runs along the coast of Exmoor, and the coastlines of North Devon and Cornwall. It crosses the mouth of the River Tamar, enters Devon, and crosses part of Dorset before ending at the port of Poole.

The route was created in the days when coastal patrols watched these shores for smugglers. However, the area has been populated since the Iron Age, and several archaeological gems can be seen close to the trail. Be warned: The entire route can take more than a month to complete, so it's more common to choose smaller sections of the trail.

In Cornwall—the most popular part—expect wild beaches, dramatic cliffs, charming fishing villages such as St. Ives or Penzance, old tin mines such as Levant, old smugglers' caves, theaters carved into the rock, spectacular scenic views, and much more. Whew.

Winter morning view of Zakopane  holiday resort at the foot of the Tatra mountains Poland

Tatra Mountains, Poland

The Tatra Mountains are part of the Carpathian Mountains and serve as a natural border between Poland and Slovakia—autumn is the best season of the year for hiking this region. The main reasons for this are that the number of hikers decreases at this time of year—making it easier to find a place in the huts—and the forests take on a special color, especially in the western part of the mountain range.

Most of the routes aren't loops but rather straight walk-throughs that require sleeping in huts where you are served homemade meals, drinks, and some snacks. (Even better: All of them have electricity and running water.) You can access most of the trails from the town of Zakopane, with routes ranging two days to week-long strolls. You'll see steep ridges, dense forests of fir and beech trees, and unforgettable starry nights along the way.

Playa de Benagil en el Algarve

Algarve, Portugal

This coastline is full of sea cliffs of polychrome limestone, caves, coves, and wild beaches, coming together in a natural paradise best walked in sections.

13 Best Hotels in Portland, Maine

Alexandra Hall

Women Who Travel Podcast: A Cookbook Author&-and Super Traveler&-on Eating Well, Wherever You Are

CNT Editors

These Are the Best US Airlines for Economy, Business, and First Class

Jessica Puckett

The Best Beach Blankets: Lightweight, Sand-Proof, and Bug-Repellant Options

Adrienne Jordan

One of the most popular routes in the Algarve is the Seven Hanging Valleys, which connects the beaches of Marinha and Vale Centeanes. In total, it is a linear route of 3.5 miles showing off the area's sublime beauty.

You can go down to some of the beaches along the route, and don't miss stops at villages, caves such as Benagil, and restaurants where you can get a real taste of Portuguese cuisine, inspired by the sea—and local vegetable gardens. A little further west, near the city of Lagos, Ponta da Piedade and its magnificent rock walls and sea caves can also be discovered via trails, as well as the cliffs near São Rafael beach.

El faro de Gelidonya

Lycian Route, Turkey

Although the fantastic Lycian Route runs through the Asian part of Turkey, we have decided to include this wonderful long-distance trail among the recommendations. The Lycian Route was signposted just over two decades ago by a British woman in love with the coastal area of the Anatolia provinces of Mugla and Antalya. This is how she created a route of more than 311 miles that offers a glimpse into the ancient history of this part of the eastern Mediterranean. In October, the temperature is still pleasant and the influx of people on the route is practically nil.

The Lycians were a people of sailors, traders, and warriors who inhabited the area a couple of millennia ago. On the trail, you'll find ancient Lycian tombs carved into rocky walls, ruins of villages abandoned in the early 20th century, fishing villages, cliffs, Mediterranean forests, mountains, and beaches of spectacular beauty, such as those of Ölüdeniz or Fethiye.

Vista area de la verde costa del Anillo de Kerry

The Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Nature lovers consider the Ring of Kerry their ideal home in Ireland —specifically the Kerry Way. The route is one of the longest marked walking routes in Ireland. It's approximately 134 miles long divided into about nine stages ranging 11 to 19 miles each. The loop route begins and ends in the small town of Killarney.

Castles, ancient mansions, endless expanses of green meadows and valleys, cliffs, beaches, mountains (the route passes through nine of the 10 highest peaks in Ireland), and the view of rocky islands in the distance are some of its main attractions.

Parque Nacional de Durmitor Montenegro

Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Wherever we begin to describe Durmitor, it always comes down to nature. With 48 peaks over 6,562 feet above sea level, the Durmitor range–which is the central part of Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site —stirs the imagination.

Unlike the coastal part of Montenegro, Durmitor is a place forgotten by tourists and it is very easy to spend fantastic autumn days in almost totally isolated parts of this grandiose massif. To get a minimum impression of what the park is like, spend at least one or two days hiking its peaks and touring its glacial lakes. It is difficult to choose between the hiking trails that can be done in Durmitor because there are several really spectacular ones.

If you need some help whittling it down, ascent Prutas Peak (7,851 feet above sea level), a circular route that will take around eight hours, and the Skrka route, also known as Paradise Valley. The latter is a loop of 6.4 miles that spans lakes, mountains, and forests of the central part of the Durmitor mountains.

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Fall is also a great time to hike any section of one of the most famous pilgrimage routes in the world: the Camino de Santiago .

More than a route, it's a vital experience that reveals the nature, culture, traditions, and gastronomy of some of Spain's most storied regions. The autumn forests look stunning in Navarra Asturias, Cantabria, or Galicia, while the number of walkers is cut way down allowing the degree of intimacy each hiker seeks.

A version of this article originally appeared in Condé Nast Traveller .

See more articles

  • The best remote restaurants... and nearby lodgings to sleep in
  • A road trip along the coast of Wales
  • ViaBerna: the new hiking route to fall in love with the Swiss Alps
  • The most beautiful walking routes in the world

Recommended

Nolinski Venezia

Nolinski Venezia

100 Princes Street: First In

100 Princes Street: First In

Europe Travel Guide

Europe Travel Guide

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement (including the class action waiver and arbitration provisions ), our Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement and to receive marketing and account-related emails from Traveller. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

mountain iq logo

  • Best Hikes In The World
  • Appalachian Trail
  • European Hikes
  • Nepal Hikes
  • Patagonia Hikes
  • See All Hikes
  • Mount Kenya
  • Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Mount Toubkal
  • See All Mountains
  • South Africa
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Packing Lists

Best Hikes In Europe – The Definitive Guide

Page Template

Europe , Hikes

best-hikes-in-europe

Looking for the Best Hikes in Europe ? Look no further!

Regardless of your motivations, we hope you find a European hike below that will inspire you to come back to Europe over and over again.  Each time in search of ever more challenging endeavours.

Long-distance hiking is believed to have originated in Europe - Germany, to be precise - over a century ago. Despite the continent being relatively overpopulated, there are many diverse and pristine areas.

Views of idyllic landscapes, snow-covered mountain spires, grassy fields and hospitable villages, make hikes in Europe ever more rewarding!

Some are relics of the old Roman ways or Christian pilgrimages, while others mark historical battlefields or link strategically important locations for many centuries of European military, economic, political and cultural history.

Top Hikes in Europe

1. tour du mont blanc.

tour-du-mont-blanc-main

  • Distance : 110 miles (170 km)
  • Countries Visited : France , Italy and Switzerland
  • Number of days : 11 
  • Difficulty : Moderate to Difficult (depending on the level of fitness)
  • Accommodation : Resorts, Hostels, Mountain Huts

Flowing over the peaks and valleys of the Western Alps through the stunning landscapes of France , Italy and Switzerland, The Tour du Mont Blanc definitely deserves the crown as one the best hikes in Europe and in the world.

And not only because it provides the finest views of the tallest mountain in the region!

Although physically challenging, it allows you to experience the most picturesque parts of the continent in less than 2 weeks. The hike will take you all the way from Chamonix in southeastern France, and through several famous villages like Courmayeur in Northern Italy.

However, the hike’s 11-day duration allows for route customisation – usually an anti-clockwise trek around the whole Mount Blanc Massif, it provides plenty of route variations to satisfy even the pickiest hikers.

And as if this wasn’t enough, the Tour du Mont Blanc offers a treat with its accommodation options, varying from boutique hostels and luxury ski resorts to rustic mountain huts.

Ready to book a trip?  Check prices and availability for the Tour du Mont Blanc or other hikes in Switzerland .

tmb hike

Join a Tour du Mont Blanc Hike

Book with our recommended local guide

2. Walker's Haute Route

walkers-haute-route-zermatt-matterhorn

  • Distance : 112 miles (180 km)
  • Countries Visited : France and Switzerland
  • Number of days : 14
  • Difficulty : Difficult
  • Accommodation : Mountain Huts, Hostels, Hotels

With its contrast landscapes and passing a few 4,000-meter glaciers along the way, the Walkers Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt , also known as Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn or La Haute Route , astounds everybody embarking on this two-week journey.

Peppering France and Switzerland , the snow peaks, lush green valleys and European villages lifted straight from the fairy tails, offer constant eye rest on this very demanding and challenging hike.

A real mountaineering crew from England initially walked and skied the route in mid-19 th century, creating the path for the modern-day challenge, best undertaken in summer.

Study our route variations well, to select the right one for your level of hiking experience and physical fitness.

3. Tour de Monte Rosa

monte rosa

  • Distance : 101 miles (163 km)
  • Countries Visited : Italy and Switzerland
  • Number of days : 9
  • Accommodation : Mountain Huts

And the last Alps’ trail on our top 20 list is Tour de Monte Rosa . As the other two hikes, it takes you through unforgettable scenery of the most popular European mountain range.

Taking you up and down the Renaissance paths, it provides the best views of the magnifico 4-thousanders.

Concurred in early 1500s by none the other but Leonardo da Vinci himself, the Monte Rosa (meaning ‘Glacier’) provides an unforgettable backdrop to the hike.

It truly is a hike across a magical Snow Kingdom, which is safer to admire in summer, preferably not earlier than in July.

matterhorn highlights

Join a Matterhorn Highlights Trek

4. west highland way.

west highland way

  • Distance : 100 miles (151 km)
  • Countries Visited : Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Number of days : 7
  • Difficulty : Easy to Moderate (depending on the weather)
  • Accommodation : Campsites, Hostels, B&Bs

Set in the powerful and scenic Scottish Highlands, the   West Highland Way Hike seems to be getting even trendier than before. It is fast becoming one of the best thru-hikes in the world .

Connecting Milngavie outside Glasgow and Fort William - home to the highest mountain in Britain, the infamous Ben Nevis  - the trail offers some of the harshest and refreshing views.

You will be treated to the Scotland’s best natural beauties – mysterious lochs (like Loch Lomond), sumptuous heights and glens, serene moors and magnificent woodlands.

Highlights worth researching in advance include: Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, and Glen Nevis.

Since you are hiking towards a fort, don’t forget to read up on the 18 th century military history of the region, as most of the roads around the area will be a real testament to some great historical events.

At the end of the path you will be in for a delightful ride on the Jacobite Steam Train , nicknamed the Hogwarts Express after featuring in the Harry Potter movies.

It’s no secret that this part of the country gets rather wet and hostile around fall and winter time, so it is advisable to embark on the journey between May and October. Avoid mid-summer also due to awfully annoying and blood-thirsty midges !

Not ready for this hike? Why not try the 3 Peaks Challenge instead or even this awesome canoeing trip in Scotland .

5. Kungsleden Trail

Kungslegen-Trail-MountainIQ-Best-Hikes-In-Europe

  • Distance : 270 miles – divided into 4 trails of 110 km each
  • Countries Visited : Sweden
  • Number of days : 7-14
  • Accommodation : Campsites, Rustic Huts

If you are after the untouched truly Nordic natural beauty with barren tundra plains and local mountains, harsh Artic summers , miniature dwarf pine trees, birch forests and endless valleys, rivers, lakes and ponds accompanied by massive glaciers, than the Kungsleden Trail is definitely for you.

If you aren’t as keen on the northern winds and Lapland sceneries during virtually non-existent summers, you might still find the experience rewarding and manageable.

Although the only true wilderness of the Western Europe, the trail offers some camping comforts in many rustic huts along all of the four 110km hikes.

One of which takes you from Abisko to Nikkaluokta, providing a view of the highest peak in Sweden, the stark Mount Kebnekaise .

We recommend choosing your hike according to climate zones you’d like to explore, or based on your preferences of nature reserves, of which there will be four on the entire journey, with Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve , peppered with several Scandinavian Mountains , being one the most popular and definitely the largest.

The best time to visit is either during the popular summer season – from June to early September, or mid-September, when most European hikers are gone and mosquitoes have died out.

6. Camino De Santiago Trail

Camino-de-Santiago-MountainIQ-Best-Hikes-In-Europe

  • Distance : 500 miles (can be dived into 8 sections of about 80-100km each)
  • Countries Visited : Spain, France
  • Number of days : 7-10 days per section (full route – 30 days)
  • Difficulty : Moderately Difficult, requires physical fitness 
  • Accommodation : Camping, Rustic Huts, Hostels, Guest Houses

The Camino De Santiago trails take you through the majestic Pyrenees , short but unforgettable mountain range dividing Northern Spain and France with a tiny country of Andorra in-between. 

Originally the most famous route for Catholic pilgrims, it is today a well-mapped trail for any culture-driven hiker.

The most picturesque route of Camino de Santiago Trail ,   meaning   the Way of Saint James,   is called   T he French Way . It   takes your across the valleys with powerful rivers, roaring alongside majestic summits. 

Thanks to its heritage, the trail is packed with major cultural sites of the region, including a very impressive Cathedral at Santiago built in infamous Gothic Baroque style.

If you were to take the route from St Jean Pied de Port and walk through a legendary town of Pampolona in July, you’d be greeted by the fearless Running of the Bulls Festival , which worthy of a pilgrimage on its own! 

From here you can take a trip to the coast, but this could add another 3 days to the trek.

Hike the Pyrenees

Go Hut to Hut Hiking in the Pyrenees in Spain

GR20-Corsica-France-MountainIQ-Best-Hikes-in-Europe

  • Countries Visited : Corsica, France
  • Difficulty : Difficult 
  • Accommodation : Refuges, Campsites, Basic Hostels, Rustic Huts

If you are ready to test your mountain hiking skills, fly out to Corsica for the epic GR20 Hike .

From Calenzana (near Calvi to Conca) the route is a chain of seemingly never-ending climbs up and down very steep and spiky footpaths.

You might find it a relief to learn that the start of the trek – Northern part of the island – will pack your hardest days, and it gets a bit less gruelling as the days progress.

Although, be prepared for a toughest section where you will have to rely on bolted chains to climb over.

But it all becomes worth it! Winding from North to South of Corsica, this covered in pine trees hike penetrates the very spine of the island – its single mountain range.

It provides the best views of the rocky walls protecting the warm valleys, lush meadows and sparking lakes.

As the heat can add even more pain to the journey, try hiking either in June, September or even October, to save yourself from a pounding sun.

GR10-MountainIQ-Best-Hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 538 miles (divided into smaller sections)
  • Countries Visited : France
  • Number of days : 8-15 (per section)
  • Difficulty : Difficult, requires physical fitness 
  • Accommodation : Hostels, Campsites, Rustic Huts

The entire classic GR10 Hike through the French Pyrenean Mountains would take two months to walk, but it is conveniently broken down into many varied routes, which you can do in one or two weeks.

The difficulty of the hike is determined by its tiresome and continuous accent, so if you are not prepared to be climbing for days on end, then select a shorter version with more rest days for your comfort.

While hiking in the Central Pyrenees, you will discover some landscape landmarks like the Gaube Lake, Cirque de Gavarnie (UNESCO Heritage Site) and the Vignemale (highest peak in the area).

With breathtaking valleys and fascinating peaks, the views on the trek are simply unbeatable. But unlike many other hikes in Europe, this section of GR10 also offers some bird watching and wildlife spotting opportunities.

But as you are taking pictures of brown vultures and griffons beware of being spotted by the golden eagle from above!

If you would like to see these majestic kings of the sky, make sure to walk through the Néouvielle National Reserve .

Additionally, one of the central routes will take you through spa towns – Cauterets and Bagnères-de-Luchon – to give you time to rejuvenate your aching muscles.

9. El Caminito Del Rey

El-Caminito-Del-Rey-MountainIQ-Best-hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 3 km
  • Countries Visited : Spain
  • Number of days : 0.5
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Accommodation : N/A

The El Caminito del Rey hike will offer a glimpse into the region of Spain  called  Andalucía . It is a land of mounting summits, enormous basilicas, whitewashed villages, blooming orchids and ancient mountain towns that outlived the rises and falls of the three major European and Eastern empires.

Considered the most dangerous hike in the world , it requires mental stoicism and some bravery. Due to landfalls the path was closed and only reopened recently, so safety is definitely a number one priority.

However, don't forget to look around and take in the views of the canyon, the gorge and the quite sublime river running only 100 metres below the path, curving the sides of the gorge.

It is likely you will never see this kind of beauty again!

gran paradiso hike

Join a European hiking holiday

Book with our recommended local guides

10. Rota Vicentina

Rota-Vicentina-the-Fishermen’s-Trail-MountainIQ-Best-hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 46 miles (75km; full length is 250 miles)
  • Countries Visited : Portugal
  • Number of days : 4-5
  • Difficulty : Easy to Moderate

Although the entire Rota Vicentina Trail is hefty 250-miles long, it is divided into chewable sections, with the Fishermen’s Trail on top of the list.

Considered one of the best coastal trails in Europe, it takes you through some of the wildest southwest areas of Portugal.

It starts in Santiago do Cacem and ends at the most southwestern point of continental Europe, the Cabo San Vicente.

The trail consists of two parts, the Fisherman Trail and the Historic Trail , which runs a bit further inland and takes hikers along remote farm lands and small villages.

11. Laugavegur or Laugavegurinn

Laugavegur-Hiking-Trail-MountainIQ-Best-hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 34 miles (54 km)
  • Countries Visited : Iceland
  • Number of days : 3-5
  • Difficulty : Easy (but depends on the weather)
  • Accommodation : Camping, Rustic Huts

Mostly known for a variety of unforgettable and even frightening landscapes spiced up with volcanoes, multi-coloured mountains, ice caves, lava fields, canyons and black arctic deserts the Laugavegur Hiking Trail is made for those who prefer to see all the planet Earth has on offer.

And the views could be completely out of this world!

Walking from North to South, through the South-West of Iceland, you will also be treated to some hot springs in Landmannalaugar, before enjoying the fascinating beauty of the Þórsmörk Nature Reserve (Thórsmörk) and it its glacial valley. 

The Hot Spring Route (translation) takes you through the scenery fit for fairy tails and fantasy movies.

Don’t be afraid of hoping for some magic, and perhaps you’d be rewarded with the fascinated light show that is the Northern Lights.

Being one of the most popular trail's in Iceland , it is better undertaken at the beginning or end of the summer months.

12. Westweg in Black Forest

Westweg-in-Black-Forest-MountainIQ-Best-hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 177 miles (285 km)
  • Countries Visited : Germany
  • Number of days : 5-15 (depending on the route)
  • Accommodation : Camping, Hostels, Guest Houses

The Westweg , or the West Way , is the most famous trail in Germany. Running all the way from Pforzheim to Basel, it is practically the birthplace of the entire concept of hiking itself.

Established in 1900, it is still frequented by Germans and the international hikers alike.

It runs from North to South of the country, but if you are familiar with the Nordic European forests you might find the North section a bit tiresome on the eye, so it could be better to start the hike in Schonach, a small idyllic village.

Continue in the Southern parts of the trail, you will pass primordial forests, emerald seas of meadows, lakes, and be happily reminded of the majestic spikes of the Alps and the peaks of the Black Forest Mountains on the way.

The area is packed with trails running through the dark forests that inspired brothers Grimm, across muttering creeks and through rolling pastures surrounding.

Small guest houses that serve local cuisine are dotted all around, so you will score some traditionally German food. 

13. Alta Via 1

Alta-Via-1-Dolomites-Hike-MountainIQ-Best-hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 93 miles (150 km)
  • Countries Visited : Italy
  • Number of days : 8
  • Difficulty : Moderate (depending on the level of fitness)
  • Accommodation : Rustic Huts, Hostels

If you have long been trying to convince somebody to get into hiking with you, the Alta Via 1   is a great trek to start.

And not only because by being in Italy it allows room for a more relaxing cultural or even a beach holiday afterwards!

The ragged summits with their grand splendour of the Dolomite Mountains can inspire the least outdoorsy hikers. To make it awe-inspiring, you could choose any of the trails that connect various local villages and pearls of nature.

Interlacing through North East of Italy, it will take you past limestone cliffs, various 3-thousanders, generous meadows dotted with sheep, unspoiled lakes and even the historical World War I battlegrounds located at high altitude.

Although these mountains are usually outshone by the Alps in terms of tourist popularity, we believe them to be the most dramatic and compelling on the continent, or at least in the West of Europe.

With their pictorial rock formations and quite distinctive geology, it’s no wonder the UNESCO listed them as its World Heritage Site .

Although the trail might pose some physical challenges, you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the homemade food and tidiness of the beds in the huts along the way. More experienced hikers would know that that is a very-very rare treat on a remote trail. 

The best time to hike is from late June to September, as the summer should save you from dealing with the snow.

But whatever you do, avoid hiking in August, as during this time, it seems, you are likely to meet all hikers in Italy taking on the challenge.

Another hike in Italy to check out: Gran Paradiso Circuit Trek

14. Dingle Way

Dingle-Way-MountainIQ-Best-Hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 111 miles (179km)
  • Countries Visited : Ireland
  • Number of days : 9-14
  • Difficulty : Moderate (depending on the weather) 
  • Accommodation : Hostels, B&Bs, Campsites

A hike on the Edge of Europe could well be the Dingle Way ’s nickname, had Iceland not been halfway between you and the North American continent. 

The trail is definitely one of the best hikes in Europe because of its remarkable sceneries and enriching exposure to the Irish culture along the way.

Around almost every turning point on the hike, you will be mesmerised by gorgeous slopes, lavish countryside and sandy shorelines, and of course the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

A circuit route around the picturesque Dingle Peninsula – from Kerry back to Kerry – the hike comprises 30 Irish long-distance walking trails in the South West of the country.

Famous around the world idyllic Irish pubs with their fresh beer, seafood and traditional local County Kerry cuisine will not let you to get too bored or tired on your hike.

15. North Cape

North Cape Norway

Photo by mimirandas

  • Distance : Varied 
  • Countries Visited : Norway
  • Number of days : 1-5
  • Difficulty : Moderate
  • Accommodation : Hostels, Cabins, Hotel,  Staffed Lodges

Although a very popular hike in Norway , with thousands of people visiting the area every year, we couldn’t ignore the North Cape's (or Nordkapp 's ) Arctic beauty and, unlike many other destinations, its popularity actually translates into its worth. 

Mid-hike you will see the two mighty bodies of water – the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Sea – fearlessly collide in front of you.

Although most hikers would only attempt the trail in the slightly less wet summer months, if you brave it out in winter you'd be able to ski over instead.

But at the end you can experience the North, as it should be experienced - with a number of wonderful winter activities, including dog sledding, and visiting the colourful fishing villages like Skarsvåg, which is the world’s northernmost fishing village, and Gjesvær with its amazing views of the Gjesværstappan Archipelago .

And if you are up for it, you could extend the hike to the Cape Knivskjellodden on Magerøya , which is a more challenging trek and is the actual most northern point of Europe.

Its name is a quite obscure and unpronounceable, and perhaps is to blame for the fact that tourists overlooked the place for years, regardless of the wide understanding that this is, in fact, the true north of Europe. So to make it stick - try to remember it by its rough but powerful translation as the Knife Shield .

Here you will enjoy the cliff face of the North Cape Plateau – the most iconic of them all. It’s a good idea to camp in Knivskjellodden overnight to amplify your experience of this iconic place, before walking back the next morning.

Pulpit Rock hike

Hike Pulpit Rock while camping and Kayaking the Norwegian Fjords

16. slovenian mountain trail.

Slovenian-Mountain-Trail-MountainIQ-Best-hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 310 miles (divided into sections)
  • Countries Visited : Slovenian
  • Number of days : From 3 to 30
  • Difficulty : Moderate but requires physical fitness 

Although not very famous among hikes outside Europe, Slovenia is a paradise of hiking.

The renowned Slovenian Mountain Trail also known as Transverzala will take you to and from some of the best natural pearls.

With mountains like Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Julian Alps , some of the sharpest climbs characterise the trail, so you’d need to do some preparation before the trip.

Along the Kamnik-Savinja trail, you’ll see simple examples of traditional alpine architecture in a shape of chapels made of wood and huts nestled in the scrumptiously green meadows cuddled by some dense pine forests.

The Logarska Dolina is a glacier formed valley, notable for its numerous waterfalls cascading down the mountains.

All the way, you will be hiking past 2-thousanders, while enjoying the welcoming chirping of the meadows and forests.

The most notorious mountain passes in the north of Slovenia include the Jezersko Sedlo between Carinthia in Austria and the Jezersko in Slovenia, and the Pavlič Pass.

Another Slovenia hike for your radar : Hike Mt Triglav (2,863m) - the Highest Point in Slovenia

17. Caucasian Mountains

Mestia-to-Ushguli-Caucasian-Mountains-MountainIQ-Best-hikes-in-Europe

  • Countries Visited : Georgia 
  • Number of days : 4-14
  • Difficulty : Moderate, requires physical fitness 
  • Accommodation : Guest Houses (serving food), Camping, Huts

On the intersection between Europe and Asia, high in the Caucasus Mountains , you will most likely be left alone for most part of your trekking adventure.

The Mestia to Ushguli is a perfect trail if you would like to experience a country not popular with the Western tourists.

Surrounded by the verdant valleys, impressive glaciers covering pointy peaks and aquamarine lakes, you will most certainly immerse in nature at its purest.

The beauty of the hike is that it takes you from one ancient stone village to another (called Savan), some of which are famous for their UNESCO World Heritage guard towers.

Unlike anywhere else in Europe, people still travel by horse and keep the traditional mountain lifestyle here.

Svaneti is a very easily trekked area, so you can extend your trail from 4 to 7 or even 14 days if you continue to wonder around the region.

Attempt to plan a hike from the beginning of June till late September, but avoid the busiest months of July and August, as it is more difficult to find a place in the guest houses.

18. Transylvanian Mountain Trail

Carpathian-Mountains-Transylvanian-Alps-Tail-MountainIQ-Best-Hikes-in-Europe

  • Distance : 50-80 miles (80-130 km)
  • Countries Visited : Romania
  • Number of days : 7-10
  • Accommodation : Rustic Huts, Campsites, Basic Hostels, some Chalets

Famous for their abrupt limestone walls, the Carpathian Mountains , also known as the Transylvanian Alps , offer some of the truly of-the-beaten-path hiking experiences.

Although they are popular with European hikers, Americans are rarely seen around for miles.

Many take on the challenge of hiking the Transylvanian Alps Trail to see the notorious Bran Castle suspended on a rocky cliff.

Built in the 14th century, it has been widely associated with infamous Dracula, although it is unclear why, since an inspiration for the book, Wallachian prince Vlad Tepeş, isn’t directly affiliated with the place, as long as we know.

You will most likely take the trail that leads along the main range of the Făgăraş Mountains and climb over the three of Romania's highest peaks.

On the way you can visit one of the medieval towns called Sighisoara and see a few monasteries and fortified Saxon churches and local castles.

With the largest number of glacier lakes and streams, the Retezat National Park is another treasure not to be missed.

The best time to hike is from May to October, but note that accommodation on the trail is very basic, so it is safer to bring a good sleeping bag with you.

19. Eagle Walk

  • Distance : 256 miles (412 km divided into routes)
  • Countries Visited : Austria
  • Number of days : 1-10

The name of the Eagle Walk says it all – the hike gives you not less and not more than a view of the most popular and familiar regal Alpine scenery.

Just as the eagle, the trail travels through Tirol – from east to west, the whole length of Austria. Viewing the map you will realize that the walk symbolizes a proud eagle spreading its wings all over Tirol.

Divided into multiple sections between Kaiser Mountain Range and Arlberg, it comprises 9 stages between Venediger and Grossglockner Mountains in East Tirol.

Any of the routes on the Eagle Walk offer superb opportunity to explore the nature. From simple walks through stunning scenery to vigorous hikes over various summits, we are sure you’ll find a hike that is just right for you.

20. Cinque Terre Mountain Trail

Cinque-Terre-Mountain-Trail-MountainIQ-Best-hikes-in-Europe-italy

  • Distance : 25 miles (40 km)
  • Number of days : 2-5
  • Difficulty : Moderately difficult (depending on your hiking experience)
  • Accommodation : Hotels, Guest Houses, B&Bs

There is probably no person online who hasn’t seen the iconic images of the rugged Italian Riviera coastline -  Cinque Terre (or 5 Earths ) - hanging off the cliffs above the turquoise waters glistening in the sun.

But such postcard images of the five towns the area in coastal Italy connects aren’t everything.

To avoid the crowds, ignore the most popular Trail 2 (the Sentiero Azzurro, or Blue Trail), which you can do later by train or by bus, and ask your guide to take you on the more challenging Trails 1, 4, 6, 9 and 10.

The guide is a good idea as these hikes have little room for purchasing water, so you need a local with you to make sure you don’t inadvertently compromise your safety and ruin your entire experience.

Trail 1 is called the High Path of the Cinque Terre Moutain Trail , taking your from the charming Portovenere and to the luxurious area of Levanto alongside the beautiful coastline.

There are two major benefits to this trail: it’s less frequented by the tourists and takes you through all five towns of the Cinque Terre.

See more mountain and hiking guides including:

  • Hiking In Gran Paradiso National Park
  • Mount Olympus
  • Best Thru-Hikes In The Wold
  • Most Dangerous Hikes In The World

Best-hikes-in-Europe-by-MountainIQ

About the author 

Mila Whitman

Mila has been to 5 continents, visited over 40 countries and hiked across some of the most famous mountain ranges including the Andes and the Atlas Mountains. As an AMS sufferer she learned a few techniques to reduce the symptoms and the effects on her hiking adventures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

Is it possible that I want to do the hiking in solo, is there any problem to find huts or whatever sleeping places for the night along the route. If I decide to choose, say Alta Via 1 in Italy in this mid September. Thanks,

Hi Joseph, finding hut accomodation is usually not a problem, but I recommend booking in advance as huts get booked out frequently.

Hi Joseph: Most huts will still be open in mid Sept., but by 25th some of the more remote ones will be closing or already closed. You should be fine at least as far as Rifugio Lagazuoi, but after that you should definitely call ahead. There should still be enough of them open to finish the trek, but you may have to do a longer (or shorter) day than you would have planned on doing. Also, even if your guidebook gives a closing date, don’t rely too much on it as they may close a few days early. Huts that are easily accessible from the lowlands will be busy at weekends even in late Sept, so be sure to book ahead then. Lastly, be aware that there will be a greater chance of snowfall that late in the season.

You talk about Best Hikes in Europe, I have read this post very carefully. I want to visit the Tour du Mont Blanc. Can I use the motorcycle for riding? Thanks for sharing this post.

Hi David, yes, you can motorbike throughout the Alps in the Summer.

After checking the internet over the last days I still can’t find where I am looking for. I am planning a hike trip mid Oktober to iceland. Although I know this is shoulder season I am wondering the the Nupstaðaskogar to Skaftafell (not listed here), South Iceland is accessible for a solo hiker? Also, i am wondering if the trails are well marked and you don’t have to take special equipment with you. And do you have any idea how cold it can be during the nights in the mountains? Hopefully you can help me making this final decision 😉

Thanks a lot in advance.

Hi Guido, Unfortunately I haven’t trekked in Iceland – it’s still on the bucket list. Can any readers help Guido?

Hey, thanks for putting together all these great Infos. However the part about the Rota Vicentina is a bit misleading. We did the trail this spring and we never passed a “Porto Novo”. it does not start in Odeceixe, Odeceixe is pretty much halfway. It starts in Santiago do Cacem and ends at the most southwestern point of continental Europe, the Cabo San Vicente. The trail consists of two parts, the fisherman trail (the one by the coast) and the historic trail, which runs a bit further inside and leads you along remote farm lands and small villages. Everything taken in total might be around 200 miles but in most cases you have to chose whether you want to do the fisherman or the historic trail, thus you will probably end up with something like 100 miles. It is a stunning trail and very well taken care of. I would strongly recommend it to anyone, which is why you might want to update your information. Enjoy your hike!

Thanks Anni, we have updated our list.

hi, The Fishermans way starts in Porto Covo and follows the coast to Odeceixe in about 4 days, you can then join the Historical way down to Cabo san Vincente

Hello – I have 4-5 days off around this coming Easter. And I am desparately want to go hiking in Europe but am a bit hesitant/afraid to go solo. I am open to going anywhere in Europe. Is anyone looking for a hiking partner? Also, any recommendations on where to go?

Hello, really nice informative guide! I’m thinking about to take Camino De Santiago Trail in Autumn. How busy it could be in October? Is the climate still mild in the middle of Autumn? How about rain? I prefer more walking alone, so I’m looking for a right time of the year to make it. Thanks!

Hi Rob, check out our detailed guide: https://www.mountainiq.com/guides/hikes-in-europe/camino-de-santiago-routes/ where we answer all these questions.

I want to hike the Transylvanian Mountain Trail this June, but the information on this trial is difficult to find. Do you have any information about this trail / a general route or some place I can find most information? Is there a ‘normal route’ like for example the GR20 on Corsica?

Hi Rob, we don’t have anything specific on the Transylvanian Mountain Trail, but this article does give some insight on the various treks in Romania: https://www.mountainiq.com/hiking-in-romania/

Cool hikes but just wondering why you have a picture of Oeschinensee in Switzerland as no.19 for your point on Austria’s Eagle Walk? Not a very reliable source…

Thanks for the heads up Max. We’ll get that image updated.

How many years did it take you to do all of these hikes. How many can you do in one year? thanks

Hi Russell, I haven’t personally completed all of these treks, but I suspect it would take many years and quite a lot of money, unless of course you were doing this full time. Assuming you could take 2 months off every year I think you could complete most of these treks in a few years. Hikes like the Camino de Santiago and GR20 ect, take many weeks to complete.

We work with local guides to offer great value adventures at unbeatable prices

20 Best Hikes in Europe for Breathtaking Views

dolomites-hiking-walking-holiday-europe-63

 The 20 best hikes in Europe for stunning views.  We’ve included hiking trails for people of all fitness levels from moderate gorgeous coastal routes to more strenuous multi-day hikes in the Alps for all seasons.

Table of Contents

You’ll find thousands of the best hiking trails in Europe ranging from easy-going gorgeous coastal routes to rolling hills to challenging climbs in the Alps. That’s both good news and bad news but always with amazing views!

The good news is that there’s something for hikers of all fitness levels. The bad news is that with so much choice it can be mind-boggling.

Even if you know you want to hike in the Alps, for instance, they’re 1200 km (750 miles) long. And you have to choose which country you want to visit.

The Alps are found in seven different countries: France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Not to mention the thousands of amazing hikes filled with the natural beauty outside of the Alps!

That’s why I’ve created this guide to the best hikes in Europe along with the best times for hiking these trails.

I’ve lived in Germany for over 11 years and have hiked all over Europe. While I certainly haven’t been everywhere – it’s impossible there is just too much territory to cover.

I have hiked a LOT in Europe – almost every weekend for the past 11 years. And having grown up hiking in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, I’m very picky about my hikes.

The Best Multi-Day Hike in Europe

Self-guided tour du mont blanc, france, italy and switzerland.

self guided and guided tours of the Tour du Mont Blanc, one of the most popular hikes in Europe

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is consistently ranked as one of the best treks in the world and is one of the most popular hikes in Europe.

You circumnavigate glacier-covered Mont Blanc, the second-highest mountain in Europe. It’s strenuous but no mountaineering experience is required since you won’t actually be submitting Mont Blanc which is mountaineering.

What I love most about this 6 to 10-day hut-to-hut hike is that you see Mont Blanc from 360 degrees and all its spellbinding views. And this beautiful hike takes you through France, Italy and Switzerland. As a Canadian, it’s very cool to hike in three different countries.

The TMB was the first long-distance hike I’d done and was the inspiration for me to start a hiking tour company. You can see our guided and self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc tours here . Or read this practical guide for everything you need to know about planning your TMB Trek .

If you only want to do a day hike or a series of day hikes Chamonix, France or Courmayeur, Italy are good places to base yourself.

Best Time of Year: third week in June to mid-September. Before and after that there’s too much snow and many of the mountain huts are closed.

You can do easier hikes or day hikes in the Chamonix valley and the surrounding region at lower elevations all year round – as long as you don’t mind hiking in the snow.

Related Reading: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Staying in a Mountain Hut in the Alps .

Related Reading: Tour du Mont Blanc: How to Effortlessly Plan Your Epic Trek

Best Hikes in the Greek Islands

Crete white mountains.

Hike from Agia Roumeli to Marmara on our self-guided hiking tour in Crete

Hiking the White Mountains in Crete should be on every hiker’s bucket list. This spectacular mountain range reaches heights of over 2000m (6562ft) and then the beautiful scenery of the mountain meets the sea is just an incredible view to behold. Its landscape is one of the most unique hikes in Europe.

Combined with a stay in the beautiful city of Chania, one of the longest continuously inhabited cities in the world, this incredible hiking trail is not to be missed.

You won’t only get your fill of beautiful mountain scenery, but you’ll also have plenty of time to discover Crete’s pristine beaches. After a day of hiking, there’s nothing better than a rejuvenating dip in the crystalline sea.

This tour is the perfect way to explore Crete. You’ll hike through Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe, a national park and a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

The hiking trail takes you through trickling streams and beautiful rock formations. One of the highlights of Samaria Gorge outdoor adventure is the narrowest part of the gorge, known as the “Iron Gates”.

If you choose to do the 8-day trek, you’ll be rewarded with a difficult hike up to Mt. Gigilos. You’ll find yourself at the 2080m high summit surrounded by fabulous views of the Aegean Sea.

Best Time of the Year: May to October. Crete gets really hot in summer so avoid the heat by going between mid-May and early June or mid-September to October.

Cyclades Islands 

Explore Naxos on our hiking tour in the Cyclades Islands in Greece

The beautiful Cyclades Islands are marvelous to explore. Besides being full of natural wonders, beautiful Greek medieval villages, and some of the best weather in Europe, they’re also a hiker’s paradise.

I recommend the Cyclades Islands Self-Guided Hiking Tour to explore the fantastic islands of Tinos and Naxos.

Hike from one medieval town to another as you take in the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Passing many historical monuments such as the Temple of Apollo and the gigantic Kouros statue.

On the days that you aren’t hiking ancient paths, take a dip in the clear turquoise waters of the Aegean and feast on authentic Greek cuisine.

This amazing tour ends with a trek up to the summit of Mt. Zas, the highest peak in the Cyclades. At the top of this famous hike, you’ll see beautiful views of Naxos and the surrounding islands.

Best Time of the Year: April to November. Keep in mind that summers get quite hot and crowded, so go in spring or fall to avoid the crowds and the heat.

Recommended Reading: The Top 9 Places to Hike in Greece .

Best Hikes in Italy

On Alta Via 1, the most popular hiking trail in Italy

The Dolomites are a dramatic mountain range in northeastern Italy. They’re well known in Europe but I confess that I hadn’t heard of them until I moved to Germany.

They offer a TON of hiking opportunities. I’ve hiked in four different locations in the Dolomites and liked all of them. But there is something special about the Alta Via 1 trail, the most famous trail in Italy.

What I love about this mountain trail is that you can choose between three routes: the 11-day complete Alta Via Route , the 8-day Southern Alta Via Trek and the 8-day Northern Alta Via Trek.

Each of the routes offers you beautiful landscapes that are constantly changing. While hiking you can enjoy panoramic views from the famous Lagazuoi massif and the 11-day trek gives you a special opportunity to walk along the impressive 5-km long west face of Civetta.

Before and after that there’s too much snow and many of the mountain huts are closed. You can do easier hikes or day hikes at lower elevations all year round as long as you don’t mind hiking in the snow.

Related Reading: The 9 Best Hikes in Greece

Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera

self-guided walking tour in Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful coastal routes in Europe

Cinque Terre is a UNESCO site famed for its five medieval fishing villages. It’s easy to see the appeal that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Most of whom miss out on the gems just outside of the Cinque Terre. That’s why I recommend staying a few days longer with our Cinque Terre+ Hiking and Walking Tour .

I love knowing that almost every hike will lead to a medieval village where delicious fresh-caught seafood and gelato are waiting for me. It’s easy to moderate hiking so anyone that has a reasonable fitness level can do it.

If you only have a day it’s possible to do the well-marked Cinque Terre Coastal Walk, one of the most popular hiking trails in Europe.

Note: parts of it are closed so you won’t be able to do all of it until the trails are prepared from storm damage.  But again, some of my favourite parts of the region are the lesser-known ones. You can read about hiking in Cinque Terre here.

Best Time of Year: March to November but I’d avoid July and August which is peak season. Cinque Terre is really crowded then and gets really hot.

Related Reading: How to Get to Cinque Terre

Path of Gods, Bologna to Florence

Hiker at Mont Adonis overlooking the Bologna Hills on the Path of Gods Hiking Trail in Italy

On this trail, you’re literally following in the footsteps of Romans as you make your way from Bologna to Florence on this ancient 135 km route, one of the oldest hiking trails in Europe.

What I love about this hike is that it’s still undiscovered. Most Italians haven’t even heard of it. It’s also a very cool way to experience a side of Italy that most visitors miss.

And it promotes rural tourism, which provides locals with jobs.   The guest house owners that you’ll meet along the way are some of the loveliest people you’ll meet.

You can hike the entire route in six days, or do a shortened version in just three days.

Note: The Path of Gods, Bologna to Florence shares the same name with another popular day hike on the Amalfi Coast. These are two very different hikes.

Best Time of Year: April, May, June, September, and October. I did it at the end of September and thought it was a great time to do it.

While it’s possible to do it year-round July and August are very hot. In winter it can be rainy and sometimes even snowy.

Recommended Reading: Best Walking Holidays in Italy

Best Hikes in Portugal

Peneda – gerês national park.

Hiking in Cavado River in Peneda-Geres, Portugal

Portugal is the perfect trail since it’s a mix of culture, cuisine, and hiking. The Peneda – Gerês National Park is the only national park in Portugal. Needless to say, an attraction that every hiker should aim to discover.

This 8-day trek comes with two distance options on selected days so you can tailor the tour to fit your needs. This self-guided tour combines medieval villages, delicious foods, wine and natural wonders to create the perfect luxury hiking experience.

Peneda-Gerês National Park Self-Guided Hike offers you great opportunities to see wild mountain horses known as “Garannos” which roam freely in some parts. You may even come across free-roaming “Cachena cows” and Castro Laboreiro sheepdogs.

The area is diverse and will have you moving through forests, fields of wildflowers, and mountainous regions. It offers an unforgettable adventure filled with picturesque views of an untouched wilderness.

Each day you’ll indulge in local cuisine, traditional Gerês honey, and famed local wines from the Vinho Verde vineyards.

Best Time of Year: May to October but it gets very hot mid-June – August.

Related Reading: 22 Facts That Will Make You Want to Visit the Meteora Monasteries in Greece

Algarve Province

Carvoeiro is the second base for your Algarve tour

For those that love village to village hiking, as I do, the Algarve Self-Guided Hike is a great option. It’s an easy to moderate 8-day trip. You’ll have plenty of time to hike and still enjoy the local attractions and beautiful beaches.

From your very first day in Tavira, a city that was once the gateway to Northern Africa, you’ll be enchanted by this beautiful region filled with remarkable sceneries.

Throughout the trip, you’ll find yourself passing sandy beaches, picturesque countrysides and even an estuary before ending your day with a dip in the sea and feasting scrumptious Mediterranean meals.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park is an unforgettable highlight of this trip. The park is a stop for migrating birds, including the bright and beautiful flamingo. You’ll have time to appreciate each area’s rare beauty before moving on to the next amazing stop.

One of the many great things about hiking in the Algarve is the daily fresh fish that is available. The cuisine is unrivaled and is well-worth your daily treks.

Best Time of the Year: April to November. This hike is great for most parts of the year but do avoid June – August if you want to avoid the heat and the crowds.

Related Reading: How Changing Your Thoughts Will Make You Happier + A Technique to Try While Hiking .

Best Coastal Hike in Croatia

Split to dubrovnik.

Hiker self-guided hiking tour in Croatia, a spectacular coastal hike in Europe

Hiking the Dalmation coast is an experience that you should not miss. The hiking destinations of Split and Dubrovnik are two of the most popular places to visit in Croatia.

So why not combine them into one unforgettable self-guided hiking experience?

Our Split to Dubrovnik hiking tour gives you opportunities to visit towns and sights that are not on normal itineraries. Plus you’ll get 2-3 options for day hikes each day that differ in difficulty. This way you can tailor every part of the tour to suit your fitness level.

Best Time of the Year: April to October. Croatia has notoriously great weather but also gets very busy during the summer peak season. If you prefer hiking during a quieter season, you should consider April to early June or between August and October.

Related Reading: Muottas Muragl: Some of the Most Beautiful Day Hikes in Europe

Best Hikes in Spain

Coastal hike from catalonia to france.

stunning coastal hike from Spain to France

I love the culture on this self-guided hiking tour from Spain to France . Salvador Dali’s house is right on the way and on another day you hike to Sant Pere de Rodes Cloister, one of the most important monasteries in Spain.

Here you can get the time to explore the sights, experience a part of Catalonia and France in a unique way and eat delicious seafood.

This is also a good choice if you want to escape the crowds. Most days I only saw a few other hikers.

Best Time of Year to Hike: March to October but I’d avoid July and August as it gets really hot. I did it at the end of October and it was very quiet. Late spring and early fall are great times to do it.

Camino de Santiago, the Last 100 km

Camino de Santiago is the most popular pilgrimage route in Europe

The Camino de Santiago is the most popular hiking trail in all of Europe. The pilgrimage rout attracts hundreds of thousands of walkers each year.

It’s a good choice if you want to meet people. Due to its popularity, you can always find someone to walk with if you choose to do so.

Unlike the others, this one wasn’t my favorite hike. I think the scenery is OK, but nothing special – at least the last 100 km. Having said that, everyone else I met walking really enjoyed it. That’s why I’ve decided to include it.

I also like that you can hike the full route. It takes a month or if you don’t have that long, you can just hike the last 100 km as I did.

The easiest way to organize it is with a self-guided tour with CaminoWays.com. Use the code ‘MONKEYSCAMINO’ and you’ll get €20 off. They’ll book all your accommodations, arrange luggage transfer and provide you with a map and an itinerary. You just need to show up.

Best Time of Year: May and June and September and October. I did it in October and loved doing it then. The days were still warm but not too hot and there were still enough walkers to keep it interesting. July and August are the most popular months but can also be very hot.

It’s possible to walk the last 100 km of the Camino during winter as well. However, be aware that the days are shorter. There’s also a higher chance that you’ll have more rain.

There are also fewer pilgrims during the winter months. That’s good if this is a personal journey for you. However, it’s negative, if you’re looking to socialize with other pilgrims.

Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife offers some fo the most diverse hiking trails in Europe

Teide National Park is a volcanic lunar landscape that will make you question whether you’re hiking on earth. There are also some excellent coastal walks where you can walk to beaches only accessible by foot.

And I loved hiking in Anaga, located in the north. This is the greenest part of Tenerife. I felt like I was hiking in Southeast Asia with its dramatic green lush mountains that plunged into the ocean.

Tenerife has some of the best hiking in Europe and offers breathing views

The best way to experience hiking in Tenerife is to do a hiking tour that explores the diversity of this island. Without a car, it’s difficult since some of the best hikes have different start and endpoints. That’s why I recommend going on a self-guided tour.

CanariaWays has six tours to choose from. I’m personally a fan of the 12-night Grand Walking Tour of Tenerife since you’ll get to experience all the diversity that Tenerife offers as mentioned above.

Travel Tip: Use the code “MONKEYS” when you book and you’ll get €20 off your trip with CanariaWays.

You can find lots of easy day hikes in Teide National Park for a lunar landscape experience or in Anaga. I think it offers some of the most gorgeous hiking in all of Europe.

Best Time of Year: September to May. As Tenerife is located off the west coast of Africa it’s warmer than continental Europe. There can be snow in January and February but this usually doesn’t last long. June, July, and August are usually considered too hot for hiking.

Hiking Teide

Teide is the highest mountain in Spain at 3718 m and the third highest volcano in the world!

You have two hiking route options. 1) Advanced hikers can do it as a very long day hike and take the cable car down or 2) break it into two days spending one night at a hut.

You can find more info on climbing Teide here: https://www.volcanoteide.com/en/complete-guide-on-how-to-get-up-mount-teide-peak.

Best Time of Year: April to May and September and October. While it can be possible to hike Teide all year long, snow can make it difficult in winter and the summer months are too hot.

La Gomera is the second smallest of the Canary Islands. It belongs to Spain but is located 100 km off the northwestern African coast. You can easily reach it with a ferry from Tenerife. There’s also an airport.

The volcanic island has so much diversity with many endemic plants. You’ll find everything from lush green forests, the largest and best-preserved Laurel Forest in the world, to succulents.

The island is comprised of valleys and steep hills that rise dramatically from the sea.  You’ll hike along coastal paths, in lush green forests, through red rock, the largest banana plantation in La Gomera and drought-resistant succulents in drier parts.

You’ll never be bored when hiking in La Gomera.

Laurel hiking on one of the mountain trails on the island of La Gomera, Spain

I arranged mine through  CanariaWays.com.  They take care of booking all your accommodations, arranging the transfers and luggage transfer and provide you with an itinerary.

They also offer GPS instructions which you should receive before you start hiking. These are invaluable as some trails aren’t well marked. I’m a BIG fan of self-guided tours and do many of my hiking tours in this way.

Travel Tip : Interested in doing it? Use the code “MONKEYS” when you book and receive €20 off.

Best Time Of Year : La Gomera has a subtropical climate with welcome winds from the Atlantic and a mild climate most of the year. That means the hiking season is almost the entire year – September to the end of May.

It’s possible to hike in June, July, and August although it will be hot.

Related Reading: Best Hikes in Spain .

The Best Hike in Scotland

West highland way, scotland.

The entire trail of the West Highland Way is 154 km long and offers varied scenery.

Scotland’s first official long-distance hiking trail, this route is beautiful and a great way to experience Scotland. It’s not as strenuous as the tours in the Alps mentioned but you’ll still feel challenged.

It starts off relatively flat and gradually progresses into steeper terrain so you have a chance to get your hiking legs.

What I love most about hiking the West Highland Way are the ever-changing scenery and the warm Scottish hospitality. It’s also really easy to meet people while hiking since it’s a popular hike.

If you want to do a day hike from the West Highland Way there are numerous starting points. But I’d recommend staying in Fort William, known as the adventure capital of Scotland.

It also makes a good base if you’re an experienced hiker wanting to reach Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland.

Be forewarned, it’s a steep climb and your view of and from Ben Nevis is likely to be fleeting at best. It’s often shrouded in cloud as it was when I did it.

But if you want bragging rights of climbing the highest mountain in the UK, you gotta do it. I’d also recommend doing another hike that might not earn you bragging rights but will likely provide you with better views of the stunning Scottish Highlands.

Best Time of Year: April to October. In spring and fall, there’s a higher chance of rain and near the end of October, the days are getting shorter. However, in summer you’ll have midges to deal with. I hiked it the third week of September and loved it, so I think fall is a great time to do it.

The Best Hike in Ireland

Wicklow way, ireland.

The Wicklow Way is a great long distance hike in Ireland.

This route takes you through what’s known as the Garden of Ireland. The entire hike takes seven days but I’d recommend skipping the first few days which take you through farmland.

Instead, start in Wicklow Mountains National Park and get gorgeous views. Plus, you’ll get a unique experience of finishing your hike in Dublin where you can celebrate with a pint.

I love the trails in the Wicklow Mountains, the views of the Valley of the Two Lakes and walking through the Monastic City, which is one of the most important monastic sites in all of Ireland.

Best Time of Year: March to October. I did it in March and although I had a couple of rainy days, really enjoyed it. In winter it’s too rainy.

Best Hikes in Switzerland

The mountain trails in Switzerland are some of the best hiking trails in Europe

This is cheating but I don’t have one favorite hike in Switzerland. If you could only visit the Alps in one country, I’d say visit Switzerland. The WOW factor in Switzerland is very high.

That is as long as you’re not on a budget. It’s really expensive, unfortunately, which keeps me from returning as often as I’d like.

While I don’t think you can go wrong hiking anywhere in Switzerland, here are a few of my favorite regions: The Engadin Mountains for their lunar-like landscapes, and the Jungfrau Region for stunning Alps scenery.

And for a unique combination of hiking and adventure, take the Gelmer Funicular , the second-highest steepest in Europe in the Hasital Region up to Gelmer Lake. It’s an easy mostly flat walk around the lake, which makes for a great day trip. Experienced hikers can continue on to one of the longer and harder hikes from the lake.

Best Time of Year: the third week in June to mid-September for higher elevations and year-round for day hikes at lower elevations.

The Haute Route

Hiking Near Matterhorn on the Haute Route, a multi-day route that experienced hikers will love

The Haute Route is a wonderful moderate to difficult multi-day hike that takes you past two of the most iconic peaks in the Alps, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. The hike starts in Chamonix, France and finishes in Zermatt, Switzerland. 

This hike will have you climbing up dramatic mountain passes and passing through alpine meadows filled with wildflowers. The Haute Route offers you stunning views and amazing landscapes. This hut-to-hut hike is an amazing opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the explorers of old. 

This iconic hike can be done over 7,11 or 14 days, depending on whether you want to do the entire circuit or skip sections with transfers. This is one of the most exciting multi-day hikes out there that experienced hikers will love. Find out more about our Haute Route Self-Guided Hiking Tour.

Best Time of Year: July until mid-September. In the colder months, the area is more suitable for skiing and snowshoeing. 

Related Reading: 16 Best Things to Do in Chamonix

Best Hikes in Germany

Partnachklamm.

Partnachklamm is one of the best hikes in Europe and an easy day trip from Munich.

If you could only do one day hike in Germany that was reasonably easy and offered views that far outweigh the effort, it would be this one.

I’d recommend hiking from Garmisch-Partenkirchen through the gorgeous Partnachklamm (gorge) up to the Berggasthof Eckbauer , a mountain guest house where you can eat lunch and enjoy gorgeous views into the Austrian Alps.

You can also stay overnight there. If you take that option you may want to take the cable car.

It’s a good choice if you’re looking for an easy hike arranged for you.

Best Time of Year to Hike: You can do this hike year-round but check that the Partnachklamm is open. It periodically closes if the icicles get too big and become dangerous, or sometimes for maintenance. Check their website before going. Having said that, it’s absolutely stunning in winter, especially when it’s really cold. The icicles get huge. It will be slippery then so be forewarned.

Schachenhaus: The King’s Mountain Hut

This unique hike in Europe leads to the Schachenhaus, King Ludwig Ii's mountain retreat which you can visit.

If you’re looking for something a bit more strenuous then I’d recommend starting again in the Partnachklamm and then going to the Schachenhaus. This was King Ludwig II’s mountain hut.

While not nearly as opulent as his castles, like Neuschwanstein,  Herrenchiemsee, or Linderhof the second floor will surprise you. It was an important place for the king who spent most of his birthdays here celebrating with his servants.

Entrance is by tour only and tours are available at 11.00, 13.00, 14.00 and at 15.00. There’s also a botanical garden and a mountain hut where you can have lunch nearby.

Best Time of Year: The King’s Mountain Hut, Schachenhaus is open from the beginning of June to the beginning of October so I’d recommend hiking it then since the hut is a highlight of this day trip.

Höllentalklamm

In Grainau, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I also love the Höllentalklamm (Hell’s Valley Gorge) . It’s another gorgeous gorge hike. You can either hike it up to the Höllentalangerhütte, a mountain hut and return the same way. Or for a more difficult option, experienced hikers can take the Alpspitzbahn cable car or hike up, then make your way over the Osterfelderkopf, then to the hut and descent down the Höllentalklamm.

Admission is €5.

Best Time of Year: It’s open from mid-May or the end of May (depending on the year) until the end of October. Check the website for specific dates. There’s a gate that makes it inaccessible when it’s closed.

Best Hikes in Austria

Krimml Water Fall is an easy well marked trail in Austria.

It’s the largest waterfall in Europe and is accessible by an easy hike which makes for a great day trip.

Best Time of Year : The hiking trail is open from mid-April to the end of October.

You'll find plenty of well-marked hiking trails in Grossarl, Austria.

I’m also a fan of hiking in Hohe Tauern National Park , Wilder Kaiser , Zillertal , and Grossarl . There are a TON of hikes you can do in these regions.

Best Time of Year : Summer if you want to go to higher elevations. However, it’s possible to hike (or snowshoe in winter) in these regions any time of year.

The Best Place to Hike in Fall in Austria

By far THE best place to hike in all of Austria, in my opinion, is the Großer Ahornboden (Big Maple Plain) in the Karwendel Alps. There are 2000 maple trees, some of them 600 years old.

The colors are spectacular. There are a variety of hikes you can in the area. The road is only open from May to October. But in winter you can cross country ski the road.

Related Reading: The 7 Best Places to Visit in the Austrian Alps .

These are some of the best hikes in Europe in my opinion, but as you can see from the variety, there is no shortage of hiking trails in Europe.

Let me know your favorites as my list is always growing.

best hikes in Europe pin

This post has been updated and republished.

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!

The best things in life are free.

Sign up for our email to enjoy your city without spending a thing (as well as some options when you’re feeling flush).

Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions.

Love the mag?

Our newsletter hand-delivers the best bits to your inbox. Sign up to unlock our digital magazines and also receive the latest news, events, offers and partner promotions.

  • North America
  • South America
  • South Pacific
  • Los Angeles

Get us in your inbox

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Kungsleden

9 of the most breathtaking hikes in Europe

Trek your way through the continent’s most spectacular scenery, from the UK and France to Slovenia and Scandinavia

Sophie Dickinson

Europe is the baby of the continents size-wise, although only a fool would dismiss the hikes in this part of the world. Yes, they aren’t as massive as some classic treks worldwide , but these are special in their own way. The best hikes in Europe are jaw-dropping. There are many breathtaking long walks around this wonderful continent, and author Alex Roddle has taken it upon himself to pick out the best for intrepid amblers everywhere. ‘Wanderlust Europe’ showcases Europe at its hiking best, and anyone with an interest in a long walk should get planning immediately.

An email you’ll actually love

Most breathtaking hikes in Europe

The Pennine Way

The Pennine Way

Start Edale, England

Finish Kirk Yetholm, Scotland

Distance 407km

Duration 16 to 19 days

‘You’ll find the Pennine Way on almost every list ever written of the world’s best long-distance trails. It has earned that designation because of a near-perfect blend of classic British scenery, genuinely iconic landmarks, hiking that’s challenging yet accessible, and a long and illustrious history. The Pennine Way is to the UK what the Appalachian Trail is to the USA: a big walk that has been enjoyed by generations and changed countless lives.

This range of hills forms Britain’s backbone. While they’re lowly in height compared to many other mountain ranges in Europe – the highest point, Cross Fell, is only 893 metres (2,930ft) above sea level – the Pennines have a quietly dramatic character, along with a rural charm that makes for fine hiking countryside. There is no grand wilderness here, no soaring rock pinnacles or glaciers. What is to be found are hundreds of kilometres of quiet, empty moorland, big skies, and a true sense of hiking through a country’s heart.’

The Hornstrandir Trail

The Hornstrandir Trail

Start  Hesteyri, Iceland

Finish  Veiðileysufjörður, Iceland

Distance  54km

Duration  Four days

‘Iceland has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best places in the world for otherworldly mountain landscapes, wilderness and wildlife. It’s also a superb hiking destination. While the Laugavegur Trail is the classic trek on every hiker’s wish list, the opportunities for multi-day walks in Iceland are almost limitless, and the Hornstrandir Peninsula offers more esoteric charms. Although there are no formal long-distance trails in this nature reserve, hikers have been coming here in small numbers for decades, and there are now several loosely established trails on the peninsula.

Hornstrandir is Iceland’s northernmost peninsula, jutting out into the Westfjords – a landscape of low mountains, fjords and vast open spaces. There is no road access, which means that the only way of getting to Hornstrandir is by ferry from Ísafjörður, which is a 40-minute flight from Reykjavik. Some return ferries – such as the one back from Veiðileysufjörður, the endpoint of your journey – require booking in advance.

The walking here offers a real feeling of adventure and isolation, although there is just enough infrastructure in the form of trails and established campgrounds to make it a feasible proposition for intermediate hikers. And while the weather even in summer can be challenging, there are no large mountains or glaciers to negotiate.’

The Slovene Mountain Trail

The Slovene Mountain Trail

Start  Maribor, Slovenia

Finish  Ankaran, Slovenia

Distance  Up to 617km

Duration  Up to 37 days

‘The Slovene Mountain Trail, also known as the Transverzala, is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the European Alps, and it fully deserves its classic status. Although Slovenia is a small country, it contains a vast range of landscapes: forests, rural farmland, limestone karst, and the peaks of the Julian Alps. It’s also one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, with 90 percent of its land area above the 300-metre contour.

Within Slovenia’s compact landscape, there is some truly magnificent hiking, and it’s as accessible as any you’ll find, with a good network of huts and comprehensive waymarking. The trail connects 55 mountain huts, 23 peaks and five towns. The diversity of this trail is reflected in its varying levels of difficulty. Some sections are straightforward, while others, typically in the high mountains, are much more difficult. Some climbs even involve  via Ferrata  (exposed rock faces protected by ironwork, requiring safety gear and a head for heights to cross).’

The Transcaucasian Trail

The Transcaucasian Trail

Start  Chuberi, Georgia

Finish  Ushguli, Georgia

Distance  135km

Duration  Six to eight days

‘Have you ever wondered how a long-distance trail comes into being? Sometimes they evolve organically, becoming popular after a travel writer or film points the way, but more often, they’re developed over a long period – deliberately, methodically, and with a lot of hard work. Such is the case with the Transcaucasian Trail (TCT). This ambitious project, begun in 2015, aims to create a world-class long-distance trail network more than 3,000km in length, following the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains throughout Armenia and Georgia. Though it will be many years before completion, one of the finest sections, through the Upper Svaneti Valley in Georgia, is already open to hikers.

The Greater Caucasus is a vast and very wild range of mountains spanning several different countries. These peaks are significantly higher than the Alps – Elbrus, at 5,642 metres (18,511ft), is the highest mountain in Europe – and they are very different in geology, natural history and culture. This is one of the most diverse regions in the world. Hikers used to the Alps will find a radically different experience here.’

The Mettelhorn

The Mettelhorn

Start / Finish  Zermatt, Switzerland

Distance  18km

Duration  Nine to ten hours

‘Hiking in the high Alps generally sticks to the lower foothills, passes and valleys. The Swiss landscape throws up countless insurmountable barriers to hikers, from glaciers to towering 4,000m peaks, and there’s generally a clear divide between walking and alpinism. However, in a few places, it is possible for mortals to get up close to the high-altitude jewels in Switzerland’s crown, and Mettelhorn is one such place.

Depending on your point of view, Mettelhorn is either the easiest mountain in Zermatt’s Mattertal valley or the hardest. Climbers with ambitions on peaks such as the Matterhorn or Lyskamm will see Mettelhorn as a useful training climb to test their fitness and start the process of acclimatising their bodies to high altitudes. Hikers will view it as a challenging peak in its own right, perhaps the climax of a walking holiday in the area. However you approach this mountain, it’s a well-deserved classic and a must-do objective.’

The Mercantour Traverse

The Mercantour Traverse

Start  Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée, France

Finish  Menton, France

Distance  188km

Duration  Eight to nine days

‘When viewed from space, the Alps form a great arc spreading from Vienna to Monaco, and in the extreme southwestern corner reside the Maritime Alps – a compact range straddling the border between France and Italy. These mountains are lower and sunnier than their Swiss counterparts, and in most cases, a little friendlier to hikers. Although there are a few glaciers, they’re small, hidden against the north faces of major peaks, and don’t tend to get in your way. If you’re looking for a challenge, you’ll still be able to find one.

The best corner of the Maritime Alps is arguably the Mercantour National Park. With its beautiful landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and traditional way of life, it offers a glimpse at what the more popular areas of the Alps might be like without the crowds. There’s just enough tourist infrastructure to make it a convenient destination for hiking, but it’s quiet enough to feel truly wild in places. And the scenery is, of course, second to none.’

Kungsleden

Start  Abisko, Sweden

Finish  Hemavan, Sweden

Distance  440km

Duration  21 to 28 days

'There’s something understandably intimidating about the idea of hiking north of the Arctic Circle. It’s easy to visualise hardcore expeditions involving sleds, endless snow and more risk than most hikers are willing to take on. However, there’s a lot more to the Arctic than the polar ice, and happily one of Europe’s best long-distance trails is an Arctic route suitable for the intermediate backpacker. It happens to visit some of the finest wild mountain country in Europe, and if you’re into big routes in wilderness areas, the Kungsleden (King’s Trail) should be on your wish list.

During the Arctic summer, the mountains of Swedish Lapland shed most of their snow and experience a whirlwind spring. Flowers sprout, the forests turn green, and for a while, the sun turns above the horizon 24 hours a day. This is prime hiking time above the Arctic Circle. The terrain and weather aren’t too different from what you might experience in Scotland, and, in fact, many backpackers who started out on Scottish routes such as the West Highland Way and Cape Wrath Trail have eventually taken the next step to Arctic Scandinavia. Imagine the Scottish Highlands, but bigger, more remote and with higher mountains.’

The Harz Border Trail

The Harz Border Trail

Start  Hornburg, Germany

Finish  Tettenborn, Germany

Distance  97km

Duration  Five to six days

‘For decades, the iron curtain carved Europe in half. Now nature is bouncing back. The European Green Belt initiative, which began in 2003, has created a habitat corridor stretching over 12,500km from the Black Sea to the Barents Sea. The strip of land that once separated East from West went uncultivated and undisturbed for decades, giving wildlife free rein in the area. Now it forms a nature corridor linking areas of biodiversity along the entire length of the former iron curtain.

Unsurprisingly, the Green Belt has attracted cyclists and, especially, hikers. One of the best sections of Germany’s Green Belt is known as the Harz Border Trail. This 97km route bisects the Harz Mountains – a region of forested uplands including the summit of the Brocken, one of Northern Germany’s most beloved mountains. The area is popular among hikers, with a network of basic wooden shelters and plenty of villages for resting and resupplying. Thanks to the relatively easy terrain, this is a straightforward long-distance walk suitable for relative beginners. The Harz Mountains also have a system of hiking awards known as the Harzer Wandernadel. At 20 checkpoints, you can collect stamps for your passbook; collect them all, and you can claim a Harz Border Trail pin.’

The GR20

Start  Calenzana, Corsica, France

Finish  Conca, Corsica, France

Distance  180km

Duration  12 to 16 days

‘The GR20, traversing the Mediterranean island of Corsica from north to south, is one of the world’s best multi-day hikes. It has a ferocious reputation, too, and while you’ll often find the GR20 on lists of ‘Europe’s toughest trails’, fit and prepared hikers who have spent time scrambling up and down big mountains will find it well within their capabilities. The terrain’s rough, but this is no rock climb. The trail is well-marked, and there are regular options for accommodations and resupplying.

This hike is about one thing: mountains. The goal is to spend as much time up high in the rugged, awe-inspiring scenery as possible. With its sunny Mediterranean climate and acres of rocky ridges and cirques to explore, the GR20 is a paradise for the mountain-loving trekker. Like many of the GR (Grande Randonnée) paths, the GR20 has lots of optional variants and side trails; while the classic trek takes about a fortnight, those wishing to take their time could add several days to create a more varied itinerary. There are also lower-level options that take some of the sting out of the route. However, to get the full GR20 experience, you’ll want to stay high.’

‘Wanderlust Europe: The Great European Hike’ is published by Gestalten.

[image] [title]

Discover Time Out original video

  • Press office
  • Investor relations
  • Work for Time Out
  • Editorial guidelines
  • Privacy notice
  • Do not sell my information
  • Cookie policy
  • Accessibility statement
  • Terms of use
  • Modern slavery statement
  • Manage cookies
  • Advertising
  • Time Out Market
  • Work with us

Adventures of A+K

32 Epic Hikes in Europe You Need to See to Believe

Last updated on March 15th, 2024

Europe is filled to the brim with incredible hiking destinations. People always talk about the major sites. They tell you to visit the Roman Colosseum, the Parthenon, or Big Ben. But why don’t you instead plan your European vacation around the epic hikes in Europe? Below we’ve listed some of the absolute best hiking trails you should visit across the continent. We have personally hiked some of these and they are out of this world. Especially if you are used to hiking in the US, then you are in for a treat! The scenery in Europe is so different with a wide variety of backdrops. From coastal views to the Swiss alps, hot springs and countryside. There’s something for everyone! Add these to your bucket list and start planning your trips to the best hikes in Europe!

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Dolomites

Hiking Shoes

Water bladder, map of the best hikes in europe, tre cime (italy), lago di sorapis (italy), path of the gods (italy), cinque terre blue trail (italy), pico ruivo (portugal), seven hanging valleys (portugal), torcal de antequera (spain), el caminito del rey (spain), camino del norte (spain), vikos gorge (greece), seebensee and drachensee (austria), tour du mont blanc (france, italy and switzerland), ebenalp mountain (switzerland), seealpsee (switzerland), calanque d’en vau (france), la tournette (france), schliersee to tegernsee via prinzenweg (germany), the old man of storr (scotland), the quiraing circuit (scotland), croughaun loop (ireland), the dingle way (ireland), gap of dunloe (ireland), scafell pike (england), seven rila lakes (bulgaria), vintgar gorge (slovenia), lake krn (slovenia), morskie oko (poland), upper and lower lakes at plitvice lakes national park (croatia), asbyrgi canyon (iceland), reykjadalur hot springs (iceland), reinebringen (norway), preikestolen or pulpit rock (norway), looking for more european adventures, ready to start exploring the best hikes in europe, things you need for the best hikes in europe.

There are a few items that we think are absolutely necessary before you head out to explore the best hikes in Europe. Here are our top tips!

We use AllTrails+ on every single hike and it is the most helpful hiking tool out there! Some of the features we love are offline maps (so we can navigate even without cell service), wrong-turn alerts, and its 3D maps feature, so we can get a feel for trails before we hike. Want to get 30% off an AllTrails+ membership? Click this link or use our code aplusk30 (you must redeem this code on the website, not the app)!

Hiking shoes can make or break a hiking trip. That’s why it is so important to have high quality, comfortable hiking shoes when exploring the best hikes in Europe. We recommend both these women’s hiking shoes and men’s hiking shoes ! These are the shoes we wear and love them. Just make sure to break them in before you hit the trails!

When you’re hiking rigorous trails, the last thing you’ll want to do is hold a water bottle. We swear by our Camelbak water bladder ! It goes right into your backpack with a straw that clips right on your shoulder. Drinking is hands-free, making it easier  to stay super hydrated!  When we hiked in Italy we didn’t pack enough water and ran out, which was not fun! This camelbak would’ve helped us big time. This is a must when exploring the best hikes in Europe.

The Best Hikes in Southern Europe

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Dolomites

Recommended by Us! We have hiked hundreds of trails around the world and Tre Cime di Lavaredo is not only one of the best hikes in Europe, but easily one of the most beautiful trails we have ever experienced. From the second you leave the parking lot, you will have jaw dropping views of the area’s both impressive and jagged dolomite peaks , including the hike’s three namesake spires, Tre Cime.  And while the views alone make Tre Cime one of the best hikes in Europe, the cherry on top are the multiple mountain huts, called rifugios, along the way. Here you can grab both coffee and pastries, and other food items. Nothing beats having a cappuccino and sweet treat while overlooking the mountains!  The best time of the year to hike Tre Cime is in the summer, when the trails are clear of snow. However, one important thing to know is that there are no forests along the trail. This means you’ll have expansive views the entire time (the best!), but it also means you’ll be exposed to the elements throughout the hike. Make sure to pack both sun protection and layers, including a rain jacket (the weather can change quickly!). And don’t forget cash to pay for both food and drinks along the way! You will also want to start this hike as early as possible to ensure you can get parking. The parking lot, which costs €30 per car, usually fills up by 9 AM! If you do not want to deal with the hassle of parking (and save some money) you can take a bus instead! There are a handful of bus options depending on where you’re coming from.

Length: 10.1 kilometers (6.3 miles) Elevation Gain: 467 meters (1,532 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Moderate Time: 3-4 hours, depending on if you stop at a rifugio Fee or permit required: €30 fee to park AllTrails Link: Tre Cime di Lavaredo

4 Days in the Dolomites | Dolomites Travel Guide | Dolomites Itinerary | Things to do in the Dolomites| Where to stay in the Dolomites | Best hikes Dolomites | What to do in the Dolomites | Dolomites Italy | Where to eat in the Dolomites | Best Dolomites Towns | Instagram Dolomites | Lago di Sorapis | Lago di Braies | Tre Cime di Lavaredo | Seceda | Ortisei Dolomites | Cortina Dolomites

Recommended by Us! The Dolomites not only get one, but two features on this best hikes in Europe list. And for good reason…they are magical! Besides the sweeping views at Tre Cime, another must do hike in this region is Lago di Sorapis. This Gatorade blue lake, surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Dolomites, makes for one gorgeous day hike. It looks like something out of a postcard! There are multiple routes to take up to the lake, but we suggest hiking Trail 215, which is one of the easier routes. Along the way, you’ll have views of the Dolomites, but the real treat is when you make it to the end and get to see the bright blue waters of Lago di Sorapis. If you’re not already short of breath from the hike, the view at the end will surely take your breath away! Similar to Tre Cime, you can also enjoy a drink and snack at Rifugio Vandelli, which is just steps from the lakeshore. It’s the perfect spot to refuel before your hike back down! Because of its higher elevation, this hike is best to complete in the summertime, when the trail is snow free, the rifugio is open, and the lake’s water levels are higher. However, due to its beauty, it gets very popular in the summertime, so you’ll want to start your hike early! To get to the trailhead for Lago di Sorapis you have a couple options. You can take bus 30 or 31 from Cortina d’Ampezzo, the closest town to the hike, and get off at Passo Tre Corci. Or you can drive! There is some parking along the road, as well as a parking lot . 

Length: 12.2 kilometers (7.6 miles) Elevation Gain: 584 meters (1,916 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Moderate Time: 4 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Lago di Sorapis

2 Days in Positano, Italy | Positano Travel Guide | Positano Itinerary | Things to do in the Positano | Where to stay in Positano | Best food Positano | What to do in Positano | Positano, Italy | Where to eat in Positano | 2 Day Itinerary Positano | Hiking the Path of the Gods | How to get to the Path of the Gods | Amalfi Coast Guide

Recommended by Us! Italy’s Amalfi Coast is renowned for both its dramatic oceanside cliffs and charming small towns. And while you can experience this area by strolling the streets and laying out at the beach,  in our opinion, the best way to see its beauty is by hiking the Path of the Gods trail. This trail takes you high up above the action as you skirt along the cliffs, overlook the ocean, and get glimpses of the coastline’s iconic towns. This hike both starts and ends in two different locations, Bomerano and Positano, which makes getting to and from the hike a bit complex. But thankfully, there is a great bus system along the Amalfi Coast! For the easiest experience, we highly suggest buying your bus tickets in advance. Your lodging will be able to tell you the closest place to buy them. During our hike we started in Positano and took the Sita Bus to Amalfi . Once in Amalfi, you will want to get on the Agerola bus . You will ride this bus for about 40 minutes, before getting off in Bomerano (Sentiero degli Dei). From here, the trailhead is just a few minutes away! Along the hike you’ll have sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast, with many different spots to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. This trail is pretty exposed, so make sure to bring sun protection and lots of water! Towards the end of the hike, you will pass through the small town of Nocelle. We highly recommend stopping at the Lemon Point (cash only) for a fresh lemonade! After Nocelle, you will have around 1,700 steps to get back down to Positano. These steps will end right on the main road. From here, you can either take a bus back to wherever you’re staying or walk the rest of the way to Positano. Because of the logistics to get to and from this hike, we suggest giving yourself a full day to experience it. And while you can do this hike year round, we’d suggest hiking in the late spring or early fall, when the summer crowds have dispersed. 

Length: 9.3 kilometers (5.8 miles) Elevation Gain: 360 meters (1,181 feet) Type of Trail: Point-to-Point Difficulty: Moderate Time: 3-5 Hours, not including the bus ride to the start. Fee or permit required: Bus Ticket (About €10 ) AllTrails Link: Path of the Gods

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Jenoa of The Travel Folk The trail from Vernazza to Corniglia is an incredible hike that takes you between two of the five coastal towns in Cinque Terre. It’s one of the best hikes in Europe because of the spectacular panoramic Mediterranean views the entire route, and it’s accessible for all hiking levels. The easiest way to access the hike is by taking the train from La Spezia to Vernazza. It makes a great side trip from Florence . Do not drive a car here, as this is a recommended one-way route, plus it’s very difficult to find parking in Cinque Terre. The best time of year to hike the Cinque Terre is in both late spring (May) and early fall (late September to October). This time of the year often has the nicest weather and fewer crowds than during the summer months. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended, although a sturdy pair of hiking sandals will also do. The trail is made of dirt and some loose rock but does not require any technical hiking gear. Make sure to also bring a water bottle , which can be filled up in the public fountain in Vernazza before heading on the hike. A permit is required to use the trails in Cinque Terre National Park, and there is a checkpoint at the start of the hike. The permit can be purchased at any of the train stations in Cinque Terre or online in advance . Along the way, make sure to stop to take in the amazing views and don’t forget to pick up a lemon and orange granita at Bar Il G abbiano . A particularly refreshing drink on a hot day!

Length: 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) Elevation Gain: 204 meters (669 feet) Type of Trail: Point-to-Point Difficulty: Moderate Time: 1.5 hours Fee or permit required: Yes, a permit is required to hike these trails, you can purchase online here. AllTrails Link: Blue Trail: Vernazza – Corniglia

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Marga of Discover Portugal Madeira is a hiker’s paradise, and the island provides routes, or the so-called levadas, for any hiker. One of the more challenging hikes brings you to the peak of the Portuguese island, the Pico Ruivo. The mountain is 1.862 meters (6,109 feet) tall, and there are two main hiking routes to the top: both the PR 1 Vereda do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo and the PR 1.2 Vereda do Pico Ruivo. From Funchal, it takes about an hour by car to reach both starting points. The easiest route is the PR 1.2. You can drive up towards the car park Achada do Teixeira. From here, the one-way journey to the top is 2.8 kilometers (1.74 miles). There are some shelters along the way and even a cafe! Although the path is upward, it’s doable for most fitness levels. If you prefer a more challenging route, then the PR 1 Vereda do Arieiro is lovely. There is a car park at coordinates 32°44’05.6 “N – 16°55’43.2” W; from there, it’s a 7.5 kilometer (4.7 miles) hike to the top. You’ll pass several tunnels, so bringing a flashlight is a good idea. Once you reach the summit, you have two options: walk to the car park Achada do Teixeira or follow the same path back. The way back is strenuous, but thankfully, transfers are available between the two car parks if you decide to hike a one-way route. The routes are very well marked, but to be extra sure, the WalkMe Madeira App will help you with all hikes on the island. Good hiking shoes are a must, and as the weather in Madeira sometimes changes rapidly, good clothes are advisable. And even though there are restaurants in both car parks, bringing plenty of water and something to eat is a good idea. You can also join a group excursion and hike the route for sunrise! It’s pure magic! And remember to discover the many other hikes on the island while you are here. Portugal is home to many of the best hikes in Europe!

PR 1 Length: 10.8 kilometers (6.7 miles) Elevation Gain: 1,114 meters (3,654 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Hard Time: 5-6 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Pico Ruivo 1

PR 1.2 Length: 5.9 kilometers (3.7 miles) Elevation Gain: 472 meters (1,551 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Hard Time: 3 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Pico Ruivo 1.2

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Linn Haglund of Brainy Backpackers Hiking Seven Hanging Valleys Trail in southern Portugal gives you a unique chance to explore the rugged coastline all year round, and is one of the most beautiful hikes in Europe. Stretching from Algar Seco in Carvoeiro to Marinha Beach, the hike is fairly easy, but you need good hiking shoes or trainers, as the terrain is uneven in some places. The trail passes spectacular beaches like Benagil Beach, where you can take a boat tour to see the famous caves of the same name. But also sinkholes, natural arches, a lighthouse, and natural rock formations jutting out of the water, some of them found at the end or starting point, depending on the direction you choose to walk, Marinha Beach. There is no public transportation to Marinha Beach, but an ample parking lot. However, buses go to Carvoeiro from Lagoa and you can walk directly from there, adding about half an hour to the hike. You can easily walk it back and forth so you don’t have to worry about transportation back to the starting point. Ensure you bring enough water and cover your head as there isn’t much shade along the trail.

Length: 12.8 kilometers (8 miles) Elevation Gain: 330 meters (1,085 feet) Type of Trail: Point-to-Point Difficulty: Moderate Time: 3 Hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Seven Hanging Valleys

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Cassie of Mexico Cassie (Goes International) Who could turn down the opportunity to hike in one of the most beautiful karst landscapes in all of Europe? Walking over an ancient limestone seabed that now stands 1200m above sea level must be experienced. The Torcal de Antequera is a 16 km drive along winding mountain roads from the town of Antequera with some of the best hikes in Europe to explore along the way. If you’re visiting in a car, then there is parking at the visitors’ center or down below if the car park is full (a bus is available from the lower car park). There is no public transport available. The park and the visitors’ center are open all year round but it’s advisable to pay attention to the weather. It can be both extremely windy and cloudy over this isolated park. In the summer it can be extremely hot with very little shade so do not forget to bring enough water for your hike. The best times to hike the Torcal de Antequera are both March – May and September – October. If you’re hiking outside of summer, then it is recommended to wear hiking shoes and bring a raincoat . If you don’t want to eat in the visitors’ center, then head into Antequera to find a restaurant. There are plenty of very good options, like Restaurante A Mi Manera ! Although the hikes in this area are not full day hikes (unless you take it slowly and stop for the views, which you will), the scenery makes this one of the best places to hike in Europe. There are three marked trails visitors may follow without reservation: green, yellow and red. 

Green Trail: Length: 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) Elevation Gain: 37 meters (121 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Easy Time: Less than an hour Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Green Trail

Yellow Trail: Length: 2.7 kilometers (1.7 miles) Elevation Gain: 61 meters (200 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Moderate Time: 1 Hour Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Yellow Trail

Red Trail: Length: 5.1 kilometers (3.2 miles) Elevation Gain: 164 meters (538 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Moderate Time: 2 Hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Red Trail

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Linn Haglund of Andalucia Hiking One of the absolute best hikes you can do in Europe is El Caminito del Rey hike in southern Spain. Once considered the world’s most dangerous hike, it has now been restored and regulated, making it a safe, and incredibly stunning hike for the entire family. However, if you are suffering from vertigo, you might reconsider it. The path is pinned 100 meters above the bottom of the dramatic Gaitanes Gorge in the province of Malaga. It is easy to reach by train to El Chorro. A shuttle bus will take you to the beginning of the trail. If you drive, then you can park at El Kiosko, where you start the trail and take the shuttle bus back from El Chorro where the trail ends. You must book a time slot in advance as there are limited entries and it is recommended to book early as tickets sell out fast. When you reach the checkpoint, you show your ticket and will receive a mandatory helmet and a security brief. There are also guided tours if you want to learn more about the history and geography of this amazing hike in Europe.

Length: 6.7 kilometers (4.2 miles) Elevation Gain: 279 meters (918 feet) Type of Trail: Point to Point Difficulty: Easy Time: 2.5 hours Fee or permit required: Must book a time slot in advance AllTrails Link: El Caminito del Rey

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Milijana of World Travel Connector Camino del Norte is the most beautiful route of the famous Camino de Santiago hiking trail in Spain and one of the best hikes in Europe that you can experience. The Northern Way, or Camino del Norte in Spanish, is among the most beautiful European hiking trails. It goes along the coast of northern Spain. The trail starts in Irun on the Spanish-French border in the Basque Country and ends in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. San Sebastian International Airport is the nearest airport to Irun. Biarritz Airport is not far from Irun either. Depending on the flight, some hikers fly to San Sebastian and some to Biarritz. Both towns are well-connected by buses with Irun. The Camino del Norte is a 529 mi (852 km) long trail that takes about one month to finish. The route goes through four Spanish regions: the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia. The hike is moderate. But, it seeks high endurance as it lasts one month. Thus, one of the biggest mistakes is to overpack. A small 24 lb hiking backpack with only hiking essentials is enough. The route goes through both towns and villages where hikers can get their supplies. The Camino del Norte trail route goes along the green coast of rainy northern Spain. So, the best time to hike Camino del Norte is in July and August. If you want to visit during the less rainy months, then visit in the summer.

Length: 852.5 kilometers (529.7 miles) Elevation Gain: 121,114 meters (69,274 feet) Type of Trail: Point-to-Point Difficulty: Hard Time: 30 Days Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Camino del Norte

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Marjut of The Smooth Escape Vikos Gorge is a fantastic off-the-beaten-path destination in northwestern Greece. It has a depth of 1000 meters and is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Greece. The hiking trail along the bottom of the gorge is considered both one of the best hikes in Greece and in all of Europe. The hike offers breathtaking views of the limestone cliffs towering above the trail. The hike starts in the village of Monodendri and ends in Vikos. The best way to get there is to rent a car and drive because public transportation is limited in the region. Parking is available along the streets of Monodendri. Since this is a point-to-point hike, you have to take a taxi back to Monodendri at the end of the hike. The best time to do the Vikos Gorge hike is between May and October when there’s no snow on the trail. Good hiking shoes are required for this hike as the terrain is both very rocky and steep.

Length: 13.4 kilometers (8.3 miles) Elevation Gain: 692 meters (2,273 feet) Type of Trail: Point to Point Difficulty: Hard Time: 5.5 Hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Vikos Gorge

best european hiking trips

The Best Hikes in Western Europe

Recommended by Adri of Traveltipzone The Austrian Tyrol is full of wonderful hiking trails, but one of the most outstanding among them is the hike to two lakes near Ehrwald, Seebensee and Drachensee.The epic views make this one of the best hikes in Europe. To get to Ehrwald, as it is a quite remote village, the easiest way is by car. If you prefer public transportation, then you can take a bus from Innsbruck with a transfer. Seebensee and Drachensee are two natural alpine lakes surrounded by beautiful crystal-clear green water and breathtaking mountains. It’s no wonder that during the summer months, this is one of the most popular hiking routes in Tyrol. The hike to the lakes is challenging but absolutely worth it. The round trip from Ehrwald is over 18 kilometers. Fortunately, with the mountain lift from Ehrwald’s parking lot, you can take a cable car for a significant part of the way, making the hike from the mountain station much easier. You can choose to walk or cycle to Seebensee, as there is a good-quality gravel road leading to it. Drachensee, on the other hand, is a real challenge, as a steep, rocky path leads up to it on the mountainside, where basic hiking equipment is recommended. If you want to take a break along the way, there are several places to stop, such as one of the restaurants like Tirolerhaus, Seebenalm, and Coburger Hut. Nearby, there are plenty of other trails. For more challenging hikes, the peaks of the Alps also await. All in all, don’t miss the hike to Seebensee and Drachensee if you’re in Tyrol or the nearby Bavarian Alps – it’s an unforgettable experience guaranteed.

Length: 24 kilometers (15 miles) Elevation Gain: 1,179 meters (3,871 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Hard Time: 6 Hours Fee or permit required: 14 Euros to ride the cable car AllTrails Link: Seebensee and Drachensee

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Steff of JustTravelous Tour du Mont Blanc is easily one of the best multi-day hikes in Europe. You hike through three countries (France, Italy, and Switzerland) on an 11-day hike through the Alps. Every day is a new wonder across this 164 km (102 mi) trail with 10,427 m (34,212.4 ft) in altitude. The trail has great refuges along the way for both a hot meal and a bed at the end of each long day of hiking. Book the refuges in advance via the official TMB website . You can also camp if you prefer to rough it (and save money)! If you are trying to start via public transit, then it is recommended to start from Chamonix, France. Otherwise, parking along the trail is easy and possible to start from any stage along the trail. Hiking poles are a must with the elevation gain on this trail. At some points in the trail, you will walk through adorable mountain towns, so it is easy to stock up on groceries throughout the hike. Fresh alpine water is readily available throughout the trail as well!

Length:   164 kilometers (102 mi) Elevation Gain:   10,427m (34,212.4 ft) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard Time: 11 Days Fee or permit required: No permit or fee but book the Refuges in advance AllTrails Link: Tour du Mont Blanc

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Angie of We’re Not in Kansas Anymore! Ebenalp Mountain hike near Wasserauen in northern Switzerland is one of the best bang for your buck hikes in Europe. At the top is where you’ll find Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, a cliff hugging rustic Inn and restaurant. Before you head down the mountain stop in for some tasty Rösti, a potato dish similar to hash browns smothered in creamy melted Appenzeller cheese and a hot drink to start your day. If you find yourself on Ebenalp on a Sunday then you’re in for a very special treat. Locals flock to the mountaintop to attend church services in the Wildkirchli Cave Church. The choir belts out angelic hymns in a most unique and beautiful form of singing called natural yodeling, a cross between both singing and yodeling and it is divine! The views down the mountain are stunning, as is Seealpsee, the emerald green alpine lake near the end of this amazing hike! You can reach the summit of Ebenalp by taking a cable car from the base, which you can either drive to or take the train to the Wasseraun station. Near the train station is where you will find both the cable car station and ample parking. Since snow makes the steep downhill hike treacherous, the hike is best done late spring/early summer through early fall. Recommended equipment: you will need both rain gear and hiking poles , which are beneficial for the steep descents. The trail does include dangerous drop-offs, so caution is paramount.

Length: 9.3 kilometers (5.8 miles) Elevation Loss: 349 meters (1,145 feet) Type of Trail: Point-to-Point Difficulty: Moderate Time: 4 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Ebenalp Ascher

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Callie of Counting Our Footsteps The hike to Seealpsee Lake is a beautiful hike that can be enjoyed all year round. However, the months of May – September will be the best to do this hike. We visited in May and it was perfect! It was both not crowded at all and it was just the right temperature. What makes this hike so great is that it is suitable for all abilities and once you reach Seealpsee Lake at the top of the hike, you will be met by the most stunning views. There is even a restaurant at the lake. This is one of the reasons that Seealpsee is one of the best hikes in Europe! The hike is entirely on a paved or gravel path so it is possible for families to take small children in strollers. You can easily access the start of this hike by car, train or bus. There are both regular buses and trains from the nearby town of Appenzelland even trains from Zurich. There is also a large parking lot at the start of the hike in Wasserauen.

Length: 7.56 kilometers (4.7 miles) Elevation Gain: 363 meters (1,194 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Moderate Time: 2.5 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Wasserauen – Lake Trail

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Sarah of CosmopoliClan In the South of France, between both metropolitan Marseille and coastal Cassis, lies the Calanques National Park. This landscape of limestone cliffs boasts nine steep-walled coastal inlets or calanques, the Calanque d’En Vau being the most scenic. Both the aquamarine waters and green pine trees contrast beautifully with the pale gray cliffs. The views along this trail make this one of the best hikes in Europe! This beautiful inlet is located closest to Cassis, which is where the trailhead is situated. You can park at the parking lot next to the entrance. It has limited capacity, especially in summer, so it’s important to arrive early. Calanque d’En Vau is the third inlet in row, so you’ll first pass Calanque de Port Miou and Calanque de Port Pin. The red/white striped trail is well signposted. Spring and early fall are the best times of the year to take the Calanque d’En Vau hike . During the summer months, the trail is very crowded and there’s a risk of closure due to wildfires. The terrain is very rugged and the rocks are very slippery. The trail also includes a steep rocky descent (and ascent when returning). Wear sturdy shoes , plus bring plenty of water and sun protection . Once you arrive at the Calanque d’En Vau, you can enjoy a well-earned refreshing dip. Just be aware of the jellyfish that might hide in the water, they have a nasty sting. At the rocky beach, you might encounter kayakers and SUP-ers too.

Length: 6.6 kilometers (4.1 miles) Elevation Gain: 331 meters (1,086 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Moderate Time: 4 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Calanque d’En Vau

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Kev of Kevmrc Nestled between the mountains and Lake Annecy in the French Alps, Annecy is a charming town that will delight all hikers. Among Annecy’s best hikes is the Tournette trail. This iconic 11-kilometer ascent treats you to breathtaking views of both the lake and the towering peaks. The trail is almost entirely unobstructed, offering a series of viewpoints along the way, and if you’re lucky, then you might even encounter some wildlife! Do you need any other reasons for why this is the best hike in Europe? The route starts at Chalet de l’Aulp, accessible only by car, about 1 hour from the center of Annecy. Parking is limited, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a spot. Otherwise, you’ll need to backtrack to the Refuge du Pré Vérel parking lot, a 30-minute walk from the starting point. This hike is best enjoyed between June and September. Due to important elevation gain, there’s a lot of snow and ice the rest of the year, making the hike dangerous and even impossible without alpine equipment. In any case, be sure to wear good walking shoes , pack a meal and snacks , and sun protection , as there’s almost no shade. It should be said that this is quite a hard trail, not suitable for everyone, but incredibly gratifying! Once back down, I recommend having a cool drink among the cows at Chalet de l’Aulp .

Length: 11.3 kilometers (7 miles) Elevation Gain: 1,270 meters (4,166 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Hard Time: 6-7 Hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: La Tournette

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Anna of Big World Short Stories Munich in Bavaria is the gateway to the Alps in Germany. One of the most panoramic and easily accessible trails for hiking near Munich is Schliersee to Tegernsee Hike via Prinzenweg. This is a panoramic day hike between the two most beautiful lakes in Bavaria – Tegernsee and Schliersee. You will have spectacular views once you hike up to the highest point at Gindelalm Schneid. To get to the trailhead via public transportation, take a train from Munich Main Train Station to Schliersee Station. You will finish the hike in Tegernsee. To go back to Munich, take a train from Tegernsee train station. There are regular trains once an hour connecting Tegernsee and Schliersee to Munich. If you are traveling in a group of 2 or more, then the cheapest option is to get Bayernticket. This is a day ticket valid for all types of public transportation within Bavaria. This route is very popular among locals, especially on weekends when the weather is nice, since it is one of the best hikes in Europe. If you want to avoid the crowds go during the week and start the hike very early in the morning. The trail is well-marked and open year-round. There are many beer gardens and restaurants on the way, serving typical Bavarian beer and traditional food.

Length: 11.9 kilometers (7.4 miles) Elevation Gain: 556 meters (1,824 feet) Type of Trail: Point-to-Point Difficulty: Moderate Time: 4 Hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Schliersee to Tegernsee

best european hiking trips

The Best Hikes in the British Isles

Recommended by Us! With charming small towns, dramatic cliffs, mountains and rolling hills, plus adorable roaming sheep, Scotland’s Isle of Skye is straight out of a fairytale. And one of the most epic hikes in the Scottish Highlands region is the Old Man of Storr! The Old Man of Storr is a group of sharp looking basalt rock columns that jut out of the ground, which are the remains of a volcanic plug from millions and millions of years ago. It truly looks and feels like another planet! You can see the Old Man of Storr from far away, but the best way to experience it is on The Old Man of Storr Circular route. As you climb up you’ll have sweeping views of green hills and the coast. And at the end, you’ll make it to an insane viewpoint of the Old Man of Storr. It is guaranteed to take your breath away! Can’t make it to the end? You can still see some amazing views by just going part of the way!

Length: 5.4 kilometers (3.4 miles) Elevation Gain: 357 meters (1,171 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard Time: 1.5-2 hours Fee or permit required: £6 per car fee for up to 6 hours or £7 fee for up to 12 hours. The machine takes either coins or card! AllTrails Link: The Old Man of Storr Circular

4 Days in the Scottish Highlands itinerary | Scottish Highlands itinerary | Things to do in the Scottish Highlands | Things to do on the Isle of Skye | Things to do in Loch Ness | Things to do in Glencoe | Best hikes on the Isle of Skye | Best Hikes in Glencoe | Isle of Skye | Loch Ness | Glencoe | Scotland Guide | Scotland Itinerary | United Kingdom | Scotland Travel Guide | Things to do in Scotland #Scotland

Recommended by Us! The magical Isle of Skye is home to another one of the best hikes in Europe: the Quiraing Circuit. While there may not be one iconic viewpoint like The Old Man of Storr, the entire hike will provide breathtaking scenery. Along the way you’ll encounter uniquely shaped rocks and cliffaces, waterfalls, coastal views, and lush green landscapes. It combines a lot of what makes the Isle of Skye a special place! Since the hike is a loop, you can go either direction. But we recommend hiking counterclockwise, as it’s easier to hike up the steeper part than to go down it. We also found some areas to be confusing, so make sure to download the offline AllTrails map in advance! The best way to access this hike is by car, which we highly recommend having while exploring the Isle of Skye–it’s a road trippers paradise! Plan to drive here from Edinburgh . Before or after your hike, make sure to stop at this charming coffee stand , which is in a unique building and has phenomenal views!

Length: 6.9 kilometers (4.3 miles) Elevation Gain: 382 meters (1,253 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard Time: 2 hours Fee or permit required: There is a fee to park at the trailhead, which is either £3 for 3 hours or £5 for 6 hours. The machine takes coins or card! AllTrails Link: The Quiraing Circuit

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Laura of Live Adventure Travel Ireland is known for its outstanding coastal scenery, with famous landscapes such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry and the Giants Causeway. However, one part of the country tourists often miss is the stunning Achill Island in County Mayo. Not only is Achill one of the most beautiful spots in the country. It is also home to Ireland’s highest sea cliffs , Croaghaun, and the best hikes in Europe. Hiking along the edge of these cliffs is sure to take your breath away, be prepared to meet an array of wildlife along the way from the soaring eagles to playful dolphins. If you visit in the early summer months then you may even get lucky and spot some basking sharks swimming below. Getting to Croaghaun Cliffs is a little bit difficult, so it is best to rent a car. And, don’t worry, the island is attached to the mainland via a bridge. I’d advise parking at Keem Bay (my favourite beach in Ireland) and starting your hike via the iconic watch tower. AllTrails has a great summary of this route. Alternatively, you can park at Loch Acorrymore as in the summer Keem Bay is quite popular among locals looking to go for a swim. I’d advise taking on Croaghaun in the Spring/Summer months as it is not a marked trail and the train can get extremely wet/boggy in the winter. After the hike, I recommend grabbing a bite to eat on the island. I really enjoy the food in the Beehive . Or, if you are looking for something quick and easy, then Blásta does some tasty fast food. It is important to note that Achill is very much a seasonable island. This means a lot of places will be closed in the Autumn/Winter months. However, the hike is accessible all year round.

Length: 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) Elevation Gain: 548 meters (1,797 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard Time: 3-4 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Croughaun Loop

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Kelie of Vacations Planned The Dingle Way trail is a challenging trek that will take you around the entire Dingle Peninsula in Ireland . It’s an absolutely gorgeous hike in Europe that winds through mountains, small villages and towns, and along dramatic cliffs. It will push the most active of travelers and the views are 100% worth it! The trail starts and ends in the town of Tralee; the whole trail takes about 8 or 9 days to complete. Along the way, there will be wonderful lodging to rest and enjoy the local culture and food. And depending on how much time you have, you don’t have to walk the whole trail. If you just want to attempt certain sections, then there are many parts you can start at in Dingle. To get to Tralee, you can drive or take a train or bus from Dublin or Shannon (depending on which airport you fly into). The weather in Ireland can be tricky because it rains regularly throughout the year. But the best and likely driest season to attempt this trek would be May through August. You’ll need good w alking shoes , a rain jacket with a hood , rain resistant backpack , and walking sticks are optional (though many find them helpful).

Length: 182.6 kilometers (113.5 miles) Elevation Gain: 3,895 meters (12,782 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard Time: 8-9 Days Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: The Dingle Way

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Janelle of Make the Trip Matter The Ring of Kerry is one of the most popular natural attractions in Ireland and is made up of many excellent hikes. Arguably one of the very best is the Gap of Dunloe which has stunning views, lakes, waterfalls, stone bridges, and unique ruins. It’s an epic hike in Europe that you should add to your bucket list. To reach this hike, you can drive or consider hiring a local tour from Killarney . Parking is available near Kate Kearney’s Cottage, the starting point of the trek. The best time to explore this region is during the late spring to early fall (though the summer can get quite busy), avoiding potentially harsh winter conditions. While the trail doesn’t demand specialized gear, comfortable hiking boots and weather-appropriate clothing are advisable, especially because it can get muddy. The trail is very accessible for all types of travelers whether you wish to walk, bike, boat, or even take a horse and carriage through the Gap. You can stop for refreshments in the cafe at the trailhead, or continue your exploration with the other nearby Ring of Kerry sites such as the Torc Waterfall, Muckross House, and Ross Castle.

Length: 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) Elevation Gain: 376 meters (1,236 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Moderate Time: 2.5 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Gap of Dunloe

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Paulina of the UK Every Day Scafell Pike, located in the Lake District is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable hiking destinations in Europe. This majestic mountain offers an unparalleled experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Rising to an impressive height of 978 meters, it stands as the highest peak in England, attracting adventurers from all over the world. The best time of year to embark on the Scafell Pike hike largely depends on both personal preferences and weather conditions. The summer months, particularly from June to September, are generally considered the most popular time to undertake this adventure. During this period, the weather is relatively mild, and the days are longer, providing ample daylight for the hike. For those relying on public transportation, there are several options available. One can take a train to the nearby town of Penrith or Windermere, and from there catch a bus. However, the most convenient option is to drive by car to Wasdale – Lake Head Car Park from where you can start your hike.

Length: 9.3 kilometers (5.7 miles) Elevation Gain: 913 meters (3,208 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Hard Time: 4 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Scafell Pike

best european hiking trips

The Best Hikes in Eastern Europe

Recommended  by Emma of Journey of a Nomadic Family The Seven Rila Lakes hike in Bulgaria stands out as one of Europe’s premier hiking experiences, captivating adventurers with its breathtaking scenery but relatively easy-to-manage trails. Nestled in the Rila Mountains, this trail takes hikers on a mesmerizing journey through seven glacial lakes, each with its own unique name, charm and beauty. What makes the Seven Rila Lakes hike exceptional is the panoramic views that unfold along the way. The pristine lakes are surrounded by both rugged peaks and lush alpine meadows, creating a picturesque landscape. The crystal-clear waters of the lakes reflect the azure sky, making the trek a visual feast. To embark on this adventure, travelers typically arrive in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. From there, a two-hour drive takes them to the trailhead or there are plenty of organized tours. The hike itself is approximately 15 kilometers long and can be done either as a loop or out and back. For seasoned hikers it’s an easy hike, but if you want to make it more challenging, do not catch the ski lift chairs (roughly 18 Leva or 9 Euros return) on the way up and instead start your hike underneath the chairs. The best time to hike the Seven Rila Lakes hike is during the summer months, from mid-May to September when the weather is milder and the trail is free of snow. If you hike in the early autumn months, then you’ll be rewarded with inverted clouds, icicles hanging from bushes and maybe a drizzle of snow. Wrap up warm with plenty of layers! This area is prone to avalanches in the winter, so if you’re not familiar with winter hiking, definitely take a guide.

Length: 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) Elevation Gain: 532 meters (1,748 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Moderate Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes Fee or permit required: None, but you can book a guide for this hike AllTrails Link: Seven Rila Lakes

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Melissa of Parenthood and Passports Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia stands out as one of Europe’s most breathtaking hikes, offering an enjoyable experience without a lot of effort. In fact, this trail is easy enough for families with young children. The hike starts with a 1.6 kilometer trail that guides you through a remarkable ravine carved by the Radovna River. The path through the ravine takes place mostly on a suspended wooden boardwalk along the gorge’s wall, as well as across a series of bridges over the Radovna River. Both children and adults will delight in traversing the bridges over the river, taking in the sights of rushing water and cascading waterfalls. After hiking through the gorge, you have the option to either take a cab back to the trail parking lot or embark on the return trail loop called St. Catherine Loop. Although the return trail adds an additional 2-2.5 miles, it leads you through a grove of tall trees, by the quaint Church of St. Catherine and through picturesque pastures where sheep and cows graze all around you. Located just a few kilometers outside Lake Bled, Slovenia, you can take a shuttle bus to the gorge, drive, rent bikes, or even walk from the town. If you plan to drive, then there is a small parking fee in one of the two available lots at the trailhead. Despite its popularity, the trail remains comfortably uncrowded, thanks to timed admission tickets required by the operators for gorge hikes. It’s important to note if planning to hike Vintgar Gorge, the trail closes in mid-October and remains closed until early May.

Length: 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) Elevation Gain: 205 meters (675 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Easy Time: 2 Hours Fee or permit required: 10 € + 2 € for parking AllTrails Link: Vintgar Gorge

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Stephanie of The Unknown Enthusiast

You may not think of Slovenia when you think of the best hikes in Europe, but you will be surprised to hear that the country is home to some gorgeous scenery and fun hikes! Lake Krn is one of the beautiful alpine lakes in Slovenia, and offers a beautiful trail to a stunning destination. You’ll hike up the mountain on a forested trail, and then the last hour of the hike is through an alpine pass and valley, where you’re surrounded by evergreens and mountain peaks. The lake itself is a beautiful green-blue color, and when the wind is low, the reflection of the mountains on the water is lovely. You can also continue to hike to the top of Mount Krn after the lake, if you want a longer hike. There is no public transportation, so you’ll need to drive yourself to the trailhead, where there is parking near the Lepena Valley hut. This hike is best done in summer or early fall, when the snow is melted. About 20 minutes before you arrive at the lake, you’ll pass a small farm that makes their own cheese to sell to hikers – definitely stop and try some! When you’re done with the hike, I’d definitely recommend stopping at the hut by the trailhead for a bowl of jota soup. 

Length: 12.5 kilometers (8 miles) Elevation Gain: 944 meters (3,100 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Hard Time: 4.5 Hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Lake Krn

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Tom of Trekking The Dream The Polish Tatra Mountains are some of the most stunning in Europe and offer plenty of opportunities for hikers of every ability. While hiking in Poland may not be on many travelers’ radars, some of the best hikes in Europe are right here in these mountains. The Morskie Oko Lake is the largest in the spectacularly beautiful Tatra National Park and the hike to it is particularly suitable for families. Walkers can follow the winding access road or take the more direct route through the mature pine forest that covers most of the park. Wildlife abounds and, depending on the time of year, you may see wild boar, marmots, Tatra chamois and even wolves and bears! Public transport is available from the nearby town of Zakopane and will take you directly to the car park at the trailhead. If you are driving, then a small charge can be paid in advance or on-site. The views are amazing at any time of year, but be aware that in winter, the temperatures drop well below zero, as is evidenced by the frozen lake! No specialist kit is required for this hike, but remember to wear decent footwear, suitable clothing, and take plenty of water . The hike is worth it for the beautiful views. You can reward yourself with something to eat in the restaurant at the lake.  

Length: 17.2 kilometers (10.7 miles) Elevation Gain: 565 meters (1,856 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Hard Time: 4-5 hours Fee or permit required: 5 PLN for the hike / 25 – 45 PLN for the car park AllTrails Link: Morskie Oko Hike

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Anne of Packing Light Travel Plitvice Lakes is one of the best hikes in Europe! The connecting lakes, streams, and waterfalls of the stunningly beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park are its greatest assets, earning it UNESCO-listed status for its natural and ecological significance. Public bus services operate from Zagreb, Split, and Zadar, and many operators offer day tours. Environmentally friendly electric boats and road trains within the park, and plenty of easy walking trails and boardwalks make Plitvice a popular destination for day trippers. However, the national park is best appreciated on a two-day visit by private vehicle. A two-day pass permits hiking the more popular boardwalks and trails before and after day trippers arrive and depart, and exploration of the higher, more challenging trails with their spectacular views during the busy periods. It also means entering when the park opens and staying until it closes, with opportunities to appreciate and photograph the scenery in various shades of light. Having a vehicle makes it easier to enjoy the local hospitality and home-cooked meals offered by the many private accommodation providers located outside the park. There are four hotels within the park, so this is another option. For additional insights, see tips for visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia .

Length: 15.1 kilometers (9.4 miles) Elevation Gain: 401 meters (1,315 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Moderate Time: 4 Hours Fee or permit required: Yes, varies by season. AllTrails Link: Upper and Lower Lakes

best european hiking trips

The Best Hikes in Northern Europe

Recommended by Shweta of Zest In A Tote Asbyrgi Canyon lies in a remote part of North Iceland and home to some of the best hikes in all of Europe. The closest city to Asbyrgi is Husavik. Asbyrgi is a breathtaking glacier canyon that is about 3.5 km in length and about 1.1 km in width. Geologists expect Asbyrgi Canyon to have been formed about 10 million years ago due to the flooding of the Jokulsa river. But the more fun explanations in Icelandic folklore. It is believed that Odin’s horse laid one of its feet on the earth creating a horseshoe imprint! The best way to appreciate this dramatic canyon is to hike the rim of Asbyrgi Canyon . Public transportation to this part of North Iceland doesn’t exist. So you either have to drive or take a Diamond Circle tour that covers this canyon. The visitors center in Asbyrgi has ample parking. The canyon floor also has a free campground. Spring and summer months, April to September would be the best time to visit this canyon. Being in a remote location, you don’t have to deal with crowds while hiking the rim. The staff at the visitors center would tell you all possible hiking options: from easy 1 km routes to the moderate 8-12 km routes. There is no gear required for this hike.

Length: 13.2 kilometers (8.2 miles) Elevation Gain: 283 meters (931 feet) Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Moderate Time: 3 Hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Asbyrgi Canyon Loop .

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Jess of Uprooted Traveler On this incredible Reykjadalur Hot Springs trail, you’ll hike up into the impossibly green mountains of Iceland to a thermal river, perfect for relaxing in and soaking in the epic surrounding scenery. Along the way, you’ll pass massive waterfalls, bubbling hot pots, and adorably weathered Icelandic sheep. Walking this trail must be added to your bucket list of the best hikes in Europe! The trailhead is conveniently located just 40 minutes south of Reykjavik, along the Ring Road, making it the perfect pit stop on the way to Vik and other popular destinations in southern Iceland. There’s plenty of parking by the trailhead and actually a coffee shop right next to it called the Reykjadalur Cafe . It’s the perfect spot to grab a hot drink to warm up before your hike. While the trail is generally accessible year round, the best time to hike to the hot spring is in the summertime, when the temperature is pleasant, the trail is snow- and ice-free, and you have the best chance of getting clear skies. Come November, the trail usually is covered with snow, so you should come prepared with microspikes and trekking poles to help you get up the steep and icy hills.

Length: 6 kilometers (5 miles) Elevation Gain: 346 meters (1,138 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Moderate Time: 2.5 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Reykjadalur Hot Springs

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Hannah of That Adventurer The Reinebringen Hike in the Lofoten Islands in Norway is one of the most popular and beautiful hikes in Europe. From the top, you’ll get incredible views of the Lofoten archipelago with its fjords, cute fishing villages, and mountains that seem to spring up from nowhere. The hike is not to be taken lightly as it involves hiking up 1,500 steep stone steps until you reach the top. This hike should not be attempted in winter, or wet and rainy conditions as the steps can get super slippery, and dangerous. There are a few places along the way where you can move off the main staircase to the side and catch your breath while looking out to the sea behind you. There is no direct public transportation to the start of the hike and you should park in the pay parking in Reine, or the very limited free parking just off the main road before you descend into the village. A signposted path running parallel to the road will take you to the trailhead. The best time to do the Reinebringen hike is during summer when the weather is better, and the days are long. However, this is also the busiest period, so early morning starts are recommended to avoid crowds. Or, since there’s midnight sun in Lofoten in summer you could do a late night/early morning hike too. No special gear is required, but wear good hiking boots or trail running shoes and bring water and food as there are no facilities along the way. In winter, always pack microspikes as a precaution in case the steps are slippery. After the hike, enjoy Fika in Bringen cafe in Reine, or head to Anita’s Sjømat for one of their famous fish sandwiches and lunch!

Length: 3.4 kilometers from the free parking in Reine (2.1 miles) Elevation Gain: 470 meters (1,542 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back Difficulty: Hard Time: 2-3 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Reinebringen (Note: This trail takes you to the ‘true peak’ of Reinebringen which is not the viewpoint that the majority of people go to. The true peak is not recommended as it involves scrambling and light rock climbing on very narrow, eroded sections of the trail. Stop when you get to the top of the stairs.)

best european hiking trips

Recommended by Alice of Adventures of Alice Preikestolen is by far one of the best hikes in Europe and one of the most popular hikes in the beautiful country of Norway. Located near the beautiful city of Stavanger , the views along the whole hike are spectacular and once you reach the top, it’s simply breathtaking. Plus, it’s relatively easy to climb. There are two places you can park to get to the hike. If you take road 523 until you reach Preikestolvegen, then you can follow the route to one of the parking lots (listed as upper parking and lower parking on Google Maps). Lower parking is where the campsite is located and also where you’ll find the official start of the trail. To park for the day costs 250 NOK or around £18. This is useful if you have a car but if you don’t have a car, it would be best to get a guided tour there. You can also get a bus from Stavanger which takes around an hour. The best time to go would be during the main season, which is June to August, however, this is also when it is the busiest. Going even a week before or after this peak time may improve the experience. We went in late May and, while it was still fairly busy, it wasn’t peak summer busy. You don’t need any special gear to hike this trail. Just some comfortable hiking boots , a bag with snacks and water , and some waterproofs in case it rains!

Length: 8 kilometers (5 miles) Elevation Gain: 398 meters (1,305 feet) Type of Trail: Out and Back (with options to make it a loop) Difficulty: Moderate Time: 3 hours Fee or permit required: None AllTrails Link: Preikestolen

best european hiking trips

  • 3 Days in London Itinerary
  • 2 Days in Positano
  • 4 Days in the Dolomites
  • 4 Days in the Scottish Highlands
  • See all of our Italy guides

Pin this Europe hiking guide to help plan your adventure!

Hikes in Europe | Best Hiking Trails in Europe | Places in Europe to hike | Italy Hiking Trails | Scotland Hiking | Best Hiking int eh World | Explore Europe | Outdoorsy Activities in Europe | Europe Vacation | Backpacking Europe

This article was written by Tori, one of our Adventures of A+K team members. Learn a bit about her below! Hi, I’m Tori! I live in Nashville, TN with my husband Austin and baby girl Scarlett. We travel as much as possible throughout the year, around a 9-5 schedule and with baby in tow! My travel blog, Tori Pines Travels , aims to help people plan action-packed and culture-rich vacations around their busy jobs, fitting in as much exploring as possible. When I’m not working for Adam and Kathryn or entertaining my little one, I’m writing, cooking, crafting or exploring Music City!

get the behind the scenes scoop!

© 2023 Adventures of A+K. All Rights Reserved. Website built with love by  Dreamworthy Design . – Stock Photos provided by our partner  Depositphotos

Privacy Policy

PlanetWare.com

15 Best Hikes in Europe

Written by Diana Bocco Updated Oct 14, 2022

With everything from rugged coastlines to alien-like topography to breathtaking scenery on offer, choosing the best places to hike in Europe can be a challenge.

For nature lovers, Europe is the perfect hiking destination. In addition to stunning landscapes, many of the destinations can be hiked in different seasons for a completely different experience.

Head to the Matterhorn in late fall for snow-covered mountains, or take on the mighty mountain in early summer to find flowering meadows and swarms of butterflies. Or discover hut-to-hut hikes for an overnight experience in the wilderness.

Whether you're looking for inspiration, help planning, or a chance to daydream, here's our list of the best hikes in Europe.

1. Tour du Mont Blanc, Europe

2. corsica's gr20 trail, france, 3. cinque terre, italy, 4. saalbach to schmittenhöhe hike, austria, 5. switzerland's engelberg valley, 6. samaria gorge, greece, 7. green lake hike, slovakia, 8. matterhorn base camp, switzerland, 9. plitvice lakes national park, croatia, 10. pravčice gate hike, czech republic, 11. hornstrandir nature reserve hike, iceland, 12. el camino del rey, spain, 13. the transcaucasian trail, georgia, 14. zillertal, austria, 15. pulpit rock, norway, map of hikes in europe.

Hiker gazing over Lac de Cheserys on the famous Tour du Mont Blanc

When it comes to European hikes, it's hard to beat Tour du Mont Blanc, a 170-kilometer system of walking trails set on and around the highest peak in Europe. It's considered by many to be one of the best hiking areas in the world . While the majority of the most famous trails start on the French side, the Tour du Mont Blanc trails can also be accessed from Switzerland or Italy.

Avid hikers can stay overnight in mountain refuges and complete the entire trail system in about 12 days.

The Tour du Mont Blanc trails cross picturesque Alpine villages, flowering meadows, and deep valleys. For those who need a break, there's also plenty of opportunities to refuel at the mountain refuges along the way.

If hiking the entire trail is not possible, consider approaching the experience from the French side . Here, the Chemin des Rognes hike is one of the most popular. Start the adventure with a cable ride up to Bellevue. From here, it's a three- to four-hour steep hike up to the summit, with stunning views over the Chamonix Valley along the way.

Another popular hike in the Chamonix Valley area is the Glacier d'Argentiere route . This 10-kilometer loop trail starts at the Lognan station of the Lognan/Grands Montets cable car. From here, you'll ascend steeply until you reach a metal footbridge. After that, it's mostly beautiful views over frozen rivers, paths cutting through forests, and a pleasant descent surrounded by a spectacular panorama over the mountains around.

Hiking Corsica's GR20 trail

The French island of Corsica is famous for many things: medieval constructions, old ports, and one of the most beautiful coastlines in the Mediterranean. It's also home to one of Europe's toughest long-distance hikes.

The GR20 trail runs for 180 kilometers – almost the entire length of the island – and has a massive total elevation of 12,000 meters . Routes are jagged and rocky, with steep descents only apt for very fit hikers.

Only expert hikers usually attempt the entire trail, which takes up to 15 days to complete. For those who want at least part of the experience, the trail is divided into a North (the hardest) part and a South section (slightly flatter).

The GR20 trail is one of the most famous hut-to-hut trails in Europe . Hikers can overnight at any of the huts along the trail or pitch a tent next to one.

The central point of the trail is the village of Vizzavona, which can be reached by train. From here, hikers can also reach smaller villages to explore easier, shorter walking trails, such as the mare a mare (from sea to sea) trail, which cuts through the island from East to West.

Trail on the Cinque Terre route

No other hike in Italy comes close to the Cinque Terre route. The paths in this trail connect the five fishing villages that make up Cinque Terre .

Set against dramatic coastal scenery and steeply terraced cliffs, the entire hike takes five to six hours. It's also possible to stop at any of the villages along the way, then resume hiking the next day if you'd rather slow down your hike and linger at the most scenic stops.

You can hike this trail in two directions: from Monterosso or from Riomaggiore. If you start from Riomaggiore, you'll access all the easy, paved paths first before the trails get increasingly more rugged and challenging.

The last section of the trail, between the villages of Vernazza and Monterosso, is the most strenuous, taking you over narrow passageways and rough stone steps until you reach the best viewpoint of the hike. Views over the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea accompany you along the way no matter which way you start.

View over idyllic Zeller Lake and Zell am See

The entire route from the Alpine resort town of Saalbach to Schmittenhöhe mountain runs for 17 kilometers and takes at least six hours to complete. Considered one of the most stunning high-altitude hikes in the Eastern Alps, it requires some steep walking and long-distance endurance – but the rewards are more than worth it.

The best way to tackle this hike is to take the Schattberg X-Press gondola lift to the top station. From here, it's a well-marked trail past Alpine meadows full of flowers, lush mountainsides, and mighty peaks all around. There are no huts along the way, so pack enough food and water for the day.

Once you reach Schmittenhöhe, take a well-deserved break in the picturesque town of Zell am See, famous for its Gipfelwelt 3000 panoramic platform over the lake below. Once you're ready to end your day, you can look for the lift down the mountain.

View over Engelberg village

With hundreds of kilometers available to explore, the Engelberg Valley offers endless hiking opportunities – from multiple-day hut-to-hut hikes to relaxed walking trails with equally stunning views.

A popular hike here is the seven-kilometer Brunni Trail, which starts with a ride on the Brunni cable car up to the Ristis station. The views are already stunning from here, opening over the flowering Alpine pastures below and the soaring peaks around it.

The trail is well marked and can be followed easily until you reach the Brunnihütte refuge, which sits right next to Lake Härzli. This is the perfect stop for a quick bite at the small restaurant and to dip your toes in the cool water.

You can also try the Brunni Tickle path , a textured trail to be walked barefoot . You can then continue onto other marked trails that start from here, or turn back towards the cable car.

Wooden path through the Samaria Gorge

One of Crete's top attractions , this 16-kilometer trail gets you from an elevation of 1,230 meters down to the shores of the Libyan Sea. The trail zigzags along cliffside vistas and Byzantine ruins as you descend through slippery terrain.

After the steep, difficult first three kilometers, the trail levels out as you reach the bottom of the valley. Once you cross the dry riverbed, the path smooths out almost completely. Continue walking until you find a stream, a great place for a break and to drink some cool water. The rest of the trail crosses through ruined villages and makeshift wooden bridges until you reach the path's most famous spot, known as "the Gate."

Here, a very narrow passageway between towering rocks marks the unofficial end of the trail. After emerging on the other side, there's two kilometers left before you reach the edge of the national park. Once outside the park, you can keep following the path through the ruins of Agia Roumeli and eventually to the shoreline and the cooling sea.

Hikers in the High Tatras mountains

Set in the heart of the country, the High Tatras mountains are part of Slovakia's oldest national park. The area attracts hikers from all over Europe, who come here for its mix of alpine lakes and rugged mountaintops.

You could spend weeks in the High Tatras without running out of hiking trails to discover. But if you're looking for a moderate adventure, the Green Lake hike is a long but doable day hike with stunning views.

Set off for the adventure early in the morning from the town of Tatranska Lomnica. You need to make a choice here: Either take the cable car up the mountain or hike up to Skalnate pleso for about three hours to reach the start of the trail. While the walk up is steep and tiring, you'll get to walk through meadows full of wildflowers, so it's worth the extra work if you have the time.

Once at the top, it's a 16-kilometer , five-hour walk on rocky but mostly easy terrain. Some steep, slippery sections are more challenging, but this is an otherwise idyllic hike through the Slovakian countryside, among lush valleys and mind-blowing views.

Once you reach Green Lake (Zelene Pleso), stop for some can't-miss photos and some lunch at the hut by the water.

Hikers in front of the Matterhorn

It might not be Everest, but the Matterhorn Base Camp hike still offers plenty of majestic views along the way. One of the highest mountains in the Alps , the Matterhorn offers the ultimate challenge for experienced multi-day hikers.

Reaching the summit requires at least one overnight stay at the Hörnli Hut at Base Camp, but you can also explore less challenging sections of the mighty mountain on a day hike.

A popular hike here is the Hornlihutte trail , which starts with a cable ride up from Zermatt Bergbahn. If you start very early and are up for it, you can also walk the trail up instead of taking the cable car, but be ready for about three hours of very steep, rocky uphill walking.

After reaching the lake, Schwarzsee, on foot or with the cable car, find the markers for the trail that winds along the Matterhorn side.

The views of blue mountains are stunning from here, and the first 60 minutes on the path are mostly easy walking on flat ground. After a while, the terrain gets steeper, and you will need to maneuver over slippery rocks and narrow lanes for about an hour and a half until you reach Base Camp. This is the closest you can get to the summit of the Matterhorn without climbing gear.

You can then walk down the mountain until you reach the Glacier trail and eventually the cable car station to get back to Zermatt.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of Croatia's most popular tourist attractions . Home to stunning wildlife; cobalt blue lakes; and lush, vibrant forests, the park can get crowded in summer. For the best hiking, arrive in either fall or winter, which adds the beautiful reds and yellows of the season or the ethereal beauty of frozen lakes.

The park has well-marked, set trails that range from an easy 3.5-kilometer stroll to a difficult 18.3 kilometer , eight-hour-long walk zigzagging around waterfalls and over bridges.

The short Trail A is actually one of the best ones in the park, as it takes about two hours to complete and takes you through the four lower lakes, past a number of waterfalls, and to the famous Kozjaka Bridge. The trail can be extended with a short boat ride across Kozjak Lake to connect to more trails on the other side.

Pravčice Gate

The Bohemian Switzerland National Park in northern Czech Republic is famous for its karst formations that are millions of years old.

The park borders Germany's Saxon Switzerland National Park. Hikers can start their adventure on the Czech side, then cross over into Germany to continue on the trails there.

Of the many trails and hikes available here, none is more famous than the Pravčice Gate Hike, an easy-to-moderate 10-kilometer hike that starts in the town of Hřensko. The hike lasts about four hours and takes you on a gentle uphill route past sandstone formations, rushing creeks and gorges, deep forests, and rocky castle ruins.

At the top and end of the trail, you'll find viewpoints with panoramic views over the park and the Pravčice Gate, the largest natural stone arch in Europe and the second-largest in the world. This area was a favorite of fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen and has been featured in films like The Chronicles of Narnia .

Hiking in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Home to lunar-like landscapes found nowhere else on Earth, Iceland offers a unique experience avid hikers just can't miss. The landscape is stunning anywhere you go in the country, but the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the West Fjords offers some of the most famous hikes.

This is a windswept, remote area where sea birds, Arctic foxes, and puffins reign. Trails don't have names here, so picking one is done mostly by choosing an area to hike.

A good loop to try is a two-day, 23-kilometer walk that covers Hornvík Bay and the scenic Hornbjarg cliffs. Walk up 500 meters to the edge of the cliffs for stunning green and blue views over the ocean below, then hike down along the basalt hills and through secluded valleys to the icy fjords.

There are no huts along the way, so hikers must be ready to camp under the stars. If that's a little too intimidating, there are plenty of tour organizers and guides taking small groups on the trail.

Precarious trail on El Camino del Rey

Once described as "one of the most dangerous hikes in the world," Malaga's El Camino del Rey is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Most people know this hike because of its three-kilometer walkway section, which takes hikers along the steep walls of a narrow gorge, 100 meters up in the air. This section of the trail was reopened in 2015 after extensive renovations to make it safer and add some unique features, such as a glass floor in certain sections.

The entire trail is 7.7 kilometers long and takes you through forested pathways and steep uphill routes that end when you reach the walkway.

Spain's best hike is a spectacular trail no matter if you're there for the adrenaline or the views. Down below, the green waters of a river rush past rocks and around the cliff face.

Trinity Church, Gergeti, Georgia

The Transcaucasian Trail or TCT is a long-distance trail in the Caucasus that's still under development. The hope is that, once the mapping of the trail is finished, it will start in Georgia and end in Armenia and cover over 3,000 kilometers .

While avid trekkers have been working on connecting and expanding the trail for years, sections of it have been mapped for years and can already be hiked, though work still needs to be done to repair corridors and routes.

If you want to experience the breathtaking Caucasus Mountains (which are taller than the Alps), you can hike a portion of the TCT starting from Chuberi, Georgia. The section between Chuberi and Ushguli (135 kilometers) is well mapped, but it's also a massive hike that would take over a week – but that doesn't mean you cannot set off from Chuberi for a shorter route and loop back into town by the end of the day.

If you're fit and leave from Chuberi at dawn, you can reach the Utviri Pass (17 kilometers away) in about seven to eight hours, then hike back down to Nakra (an additional 12 kilometers) for the night. The return will be mostly downhill or flat terrain, but the hike to the Pass has an elevation gain of 2,000 meters, so you'll be really pushing yourself to cover 29 kilometers in one day.

If that seems overwhelming, you can cut the hike shorter. The first 10 kilometers to the Utviri Pass cut through a lot of forested lands, but then the view opens up, and you get a fantastic view over the surrounding mountains. You could choose to turn around once you catch the views and return to the city.

Hiker on a suspension bridge in the Zillertal Valley

The Zillertal valley in Austria's Tyrol has over 1,400 kilometers of marked trails that go from easy day trips to strenuous steep walks on rugged terrain. From flowering meadows to towering glaciers to multi-day treks on the Main Alpine Ridge, you could hike here for weeks and never run out of trails to discover.

For a scenic and moderate day hike, the Four Huts Hike in Hochfügen is a great option. It starts and ends at the ski lifts in the small village of Hochfügen and takes you through four mountain huts and a variety of terrain that includes gravel roads, streams, forests, and the lush valley. Simply follow trail number 23 all the way up to the fourth hut, where you can rest and grab a bite before heading down to your starting point.

Hiker on Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen)

Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock sits 600 meters above the Norwegian fjords. It offers stunning panoramic views over the blue waters below and the snow-covered peaks in the distance – which explains why this is one of Norway's most visited natural spots.

Getting to Pulpit Rock requires a four-hour round-trip hike. The almost eight-kilometer trail starts at a car park in the municipality of Strand, and while it's not a difficult walk, it does require some scrambling over boulders, plenty of steep ups and downs, and some slippery areas if you're visiting in spring, when there's still ice on the ground.

There's also a section where the trail narrows down and skirts the edge of a cliff. If you have a fear of heights, skip the trail marked as Preikestolen and instead take the one called "Hill Trail." You'll still end up at Pulpit Rock but skip the cliff section of the hike (and replace it with some steeper elevation gain along the way).

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

image

Best Hikes in the World : In the ultimate bucket list for hikers, Europe takes a few of the top 10 spots. Take a closer look at the stunning Alpine passes and Mediterranean shorelines that make up these European wonders in our article on the best hikes in the world .

image

Best Hikes in Switzerland and France : If hiking the base of the mighty Matterhorn left you hungry for more, you're in luck - Switzerland has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe. Get inspired to keep your boots on with some of the best hikes in Switzerland . Or take a look at the striking diversity of trails in neighboring France, as shown in our article on the top-rated hiking trails in France .

instagram logo

More on Switzerland

Switzerland Travel Guide

Deals of the Week   Solo is the new black   Up to 50% OFF

Hiking & Trekking Tours in Europe

Find the best Hiking & Trekking tour in Europe. There are 789 trips to choose from, that range in length from 1 days up to 18 days. The month with the most departures is September, making it the most popular time for a guided hiking adventure in Europe.

250+ hikes in Europe with 4,708 reviews

Trekking Mont Blanc Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking
  • Mountain Hikes

Trekking Mont Blanc

Amazing trekking through the alps. It was a challenge so be prepared! Our tour leader Diane was AMAZING. Everything was well organized and ran smoothly. Highly recommend if you like trekking.

Norway Fjord Trekking Tour

  • Sightseeing

Norway Fjord Trekking

Active and rewarding trip.

Hiking the Balkans: Via Dinarica Tour

Hiking the Balkans: Via Dinarica

Hike the Tour du Mont Blanc Tour

Hike the Tour du Mont Blanc

Peaks of the Balkans - Hiking Beyond Borders in Albania, Kosvovo & Montenegro (12 Days) Tour

Peaks of the Balkans - Hiking Beyond Borders in Albania, Kosvovo & Montenegro (12 Days)

Wow!!! What a trip! Where to start? Everything was wonderful!!! The hosts and their food were all amazing, the places where we stayed were all better than I expected with hot showers, much nicer rooms than what I've seen elsewhere AND incredible views, Anton and Blendi did an awesome job (everything is ready when we need it: bus waiting for us at the time requested, rooms ready when we arrive, meals on time... everything runs really smoothly but we know behind the scene there's a lot of work to make this happen) and they're both very friendly, helpful and always making sure we have everything we want. We had a great group of people, lots of laugh, lots of raki, lots of sweat (but oh so worth it: I got over 800 photos to prove it!) ???? And to top it off, flowers everywhere and couldn't have asked for better weather! As Anton would say "I was VERY IMPRESSED!" ???? Would totally recommend this tour to any avid hikers! ❤️❤️❤️

Mont Blanc Highlights Tour

Mont Blanc Highlights

Excellent guide and chalet host!

Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek Tour

Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek

peter smith was the key he was a great guide but also just a great person he was extremely helpful at all times. And his have us carry the picnic lunches and then preparing them on the trail was a great idea all guides should do this we all carried some part of the lunch then we prepared it as a group each day we all enjoyed this immensely I could go on all day about this guys he was just a peach of a guy would recommend and use him again. Please thank him again for me

Tour du Mont Blanc Tour

Tour du Mont Blanc

Amalfi Coast Walking - Agriturismo Tour

  • Coastal Walks

Amalfi Coast Walking - Agriturismo

My mom and I went on our first out-of-the-U.S. trip together and we had a wonderful time! Getting there was a bit rocky due to flights being cancelled, but our group and tour guide made us feel welcome immediately. I loved the walks and the views, and our tour guide Gennaro knows this whole area like the back of his hand. We couldn't have asked for a more helpful and kind guide for this trip.
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Peaks of the Balkans tour in 10 days – Choose Balkans Route Tour

Peaks of the Balkans tour in 10 days – Choose Balkans Route

What an incredible experience we had! The trip was perfectly organized, and the food fantastic. A truly gifted guide, he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything, was always attentive to the group and had us laughing always. Don’t miss this trip!”

Tour du Mont Blanc TMB Circuit Tour

Tour du Mont Blanc TMB Circuit

The tour guide Luka was excellent. He is full of knowledge of the area, efficient in handling all the logistics, communication with the entire group, and leading the hikes. He took excellent care of the entire group of diverse hikers. The only negative I have is that some of the lodging stays were of low quality, maybe 1 star standard. But some of the other lodgings were excellent. And some of the provided dinner meals were excellent

Hiking in the Dolomites Tour

Hiking in the Dolomites

We had the most amazing week hiking the Dolomites. The fresh mountain air with spectacular scenery has to be experienced to be believed..Our guide Andy... we cannot say enough about. The best tour guide ever. 100% Professional, super friendly, organised, extremely approachable, easy going personality and fun as well..!!! Would highly recommend this tour. We can't wait to do another hike with Andy...maybe Amalfi Coast.

Peaks of the Balkans – Small Group Tour in Albania, Kosovo & Montenegro Tour

Peaks of the Balkans – Small Group Tour in Albania, Kosovo & Montenegro

We want to thank you and Adventure & Fun Albania for the wonderful opportunity we had to travel with Ben on our Hiking and sightseeing tour in Northern Albania. The trip was really amazing and we felt so relaxed and well looked after. We were delighted with each accommodation and the meals were delicious. Thank you for your assistance with all of our needs and the excellent communication with the company.
  • €29 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.
  • Book With Flexibility This operator allows you to rebook your dates or tours with them for free, waiving change fees.

Self-Guided Hiking: Alpe Adria Trail - 8 Days Tour

Self-Guided Hiking: Alpe Adria Trail - 8 Days

I travelled with my family to Slovenia with this company. We wanted a holiday in nature, with the possibility to do several outdoor activities. Everything was well arranged, the airport transfers and the guide. The accommodation was a lovely guesthouse just in front of the river, we Had a large clean Room with wooden furniture. One mention for the customers service, and for how the guide took care about our specific needs during the outdoor activities which Are really enjoyable and not too challenging. Highly recommend for an Active Holidays In Slovenia!

Village Life in Transylvanian Carpathians Mountains, an eco-certified program Tour

Village Life in Transylvanian Carpathians Mountains, an eco-certified program

This was a fabulous tour! Interesting itinerary, spectacular countryside, lovely walks, tasty local food and drink, and a great guide in Bogdan.

Reviews of Europe Hiking & Trekking Tours

TourRadar did a fine job of making the purchase of my Tour du Mont Blanc easy and accurate.
An amazing tour with a great organisation that really goes the extra mile for its travellers. The stunning locations are paired with some incredible food, guides are excellent, and the tour is very well supported. Highly recommend!

Hiking & Trekking Tours

  • Mountain Hikes (148)
  • Self Guided Walking Holidays (63)
  • Coastal Walks (59)
  • Attraction-Based Hikes (38)
  • Centre Based Walking Holidays (16)
  • Point-to-Point Hikes (11)
  • Winter Walks (7)

Travel Styles

  • 10 Best Hiking & Trekking Companies
  • Hiking in Europe in February
  • Hiking in Europe in January
  • Hiking in Europe in May
  • Your Guide to Planning a Private Hike 2024/2025
  • Best Hiking Tours in The World 2024/2025
  • Best 3 Weeks Europe Itineraries 2024/2025 (with Reviews)
  • 10 Best Luxury River Cruises & Lines 2022
  • Hiking in Europe in March
  • Hiking in Europe in April
  • Hiking in Europe in June
  • Hiking in Europe in July
  • Hiking in Europe in August
  • Hiking in Europe in September
  • Hiking in Europe in October
  • Hiking in Europe in December

All adventures

The Best Hikes in Europe: Our Top 13 Picks for 2024

Table of contents.

Hiking is many different things to people —a way to escape the rush of city life and get in touch with oneself, aerobic exercise for the calorie counters, a wellspring of content for the selfie seekers…

But for us at 57hours, it is first and foremost a celebration of nature.

Our mission is to inspire you to get outside and explore the outdoors on unique, exciting, and sustainable adventures alongside expert local guides who act as stewards of the world’s most beautiful trails.

With that in mind, we’ve pooled together a list of the best hikes in Europe to help whet your wanderlust.

Hiker standing on a cliff watching the Godafoss waterfall in Iceland

Your Guide to the Best Hikes in Europe

After showing you where you can find the best hiking in the world , we’ve decided to narrow our scope and focus on a single continent instead.

With 10 major and 100 minor mountain ranges, countless islands, beaches, forests, rivers and valleys spreading across more than 40 countries, Europe is a treasure trove of geographical and cultural diversity.

From the windswept cliffs of Norway to the rustic villages of the Italian Riviera, from soaring Alpine peaks to the deepest ice caves of Iceland, the opportunities for adventure are endless. Deciding on our favorites wasn’t an easy task, but it’s one that needed to be done. Without further ado, here’s what we’ve prepared for you.

Best hiking trails in Europe (single and multi-day):

  • Laugavegur Trail, Iceland — Top choice for volcanic landscapes
  • Kungsleden Trail, Sweden — Top choice for trekking with the family
  • Blue Trail, Italy — Top choice for seaside hiking
  • Alpe-Adria Trail, Austria-Slovenia-Italy — Top choice for pleasure hikers
  • Alta Via 1, Italy — Top choice for limestone lovers
  • Camino de Santiago, Spain — Top choice for a historic hike
  • Quiraing Walk, Scotland — Top choice for fantasy landscapes
  • Villingardalsfjall Peak Hike, Faroe Islands — Top choice for a remote hike
  • Samaria Gorge Hike, Greece — Top choice for gorgeous cliffs
  • GR 20, France — Top choice for the toughest of the tough
  • Tour du Mont Blanc, France-Italy-Switzerland — Top choice for an Alpine classic
  • The Walker’s Haute Route, France-Switzerland — Top choice for a Tour Du Mont Blanc alternative
  • Trolltunga, Norway — Top choice for an unforgettable photo-op

1. Laugavegur Trail, Iceland

Hiker observing the Thorsmork nature reserve in Iceland from a rocky vantage point

The 55-kilometer (34 miles) Laugavegur Trail is a multi-day hiking route in Iceland that takes hikers through a series of otherworldly landscapes which feature volcanic mountains, lava fields, glaciers, geysers, black sand desert, lakes, geothermal pools and so much more.

The hike starts in the Landmannalaugar area, known for its colorful rhyolite mountains, and ends in the Thórsmörk Valley. Along the way, you’ll experience some of Iceland’s most iconic sights, including the Hrafntinnusker geothermal area, the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, and the Eyjafjallajökull glacier.

The trail is well-marked with cairns and signs, and there are mountain huts and campsites along the way where hikers can rest and spend the night. Just be aware that the weather in Iceland can be extremely unpredictable, sometimes going through all four seasons in a single day, so always be prepared for sudden changes.

The Laugavegur trek thrusts you into the mythical heart of Iceland, surrounded by contrasting scenery, colors, and landform. But luckily, you don’t need the strength and endurance of the Gods to enjoy it.

– Saga Líf in Hiking the Laugavegur Trail: A Guide to the Heart of Iceland

All-Women Hiking Trip on Icelan...

1. Laugavegur Trail, Iceland - Good to Know

4-6 days, depending on how much sightseeing you plan on doing.

Mostly undemanding, with the occasional steep hill or unbridged river crossing.

1,700 m (5578 ft)

Casual hikers looking for extraordinary views.

The Landmannalaugar area in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the Icelandic Highlands.

From late June through mid-September.

Laugavegur Trail Guided Hike Classic Laugavegur Hike All-women Laugavegur Hiking Tour Hut-to-Hut Hiking on the Laugavegur Trail Tent-based Laugavegur Hike

2. Kungsleden, Sweden

best european hiking trips

Kungsleden, meaning King’s Trail, is the longest and most popular hiking trail in Sweden. It stretches for 440 kilometers (273 miles) from the village of Abisko to the village of Hemavan in the Arctic wilderness. Along the way, the route passes through four national parks, vast expanses of wilderness (including Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden), and culminates in the northernmost province of Lapland.

The trail features remote and rugged terrain, with snowy mountains, dense birch forests, moorland, glaciers, lakes, and offers exhilarating views of Sweden’s wildest landscapes. Low altitudes and flat terrain coupled with well-maintained trails make Kungsleden suitable for all hikers, even kids. Every 10-20 kilometers you’ll find a mountain hut offering simple accommodation and respite for the night.

There’s plenty of flexibility here; the trail can be hiked both ways, all at once or in sections. If you’re looking for the classic approach, the northernmost section of the trek is the most popular, as it takes hikers through Abisko National Park—famous for its mountain scenery and the Aurora Sky Station, a prime location for viewing the Northern Lights.

Kungsleden, one of the world’s most beautiful hiking trails, passes through one of the least populated regions in Europe.

– 57hours

Solo Hiking the Kungsleden trai...

2. Kungsleden, Sweden - Good to Know

Easy to moderate

The full hike takes about a month to complete.

Mostly flat and undemanding, with a fairly gentle elevation profile.

Around 200 m (656 ft) per day on average.

Families and casual hikers.

Either of the two terminus villages—Abisko in the north or Hemavan in the south.

Mid-July to the end of August.

3. Blue Trail, Italy

Village of Manarola in Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is a series of five colorful fishing villages perched on the cliffs above the Ligurian Sea in Italy. Most of the hikes here are relatively easy and can be done in a day, the Blue Trail (Sentiero Azzurro) being no exception. This 12-kilometer (7.5 miles) point-to-point path connects all five communities into possibly the brightest jewel of Mediterranean hiking.

The Blue Trail takes 2-4 hours to complete, but we encourage you to take your time and give ample attention to each village, paying visits to local shops and restaurants to sample the delicious seafood and wine the region is known for. There are also plenty of rest stops and scenic viewpoints along the way.

Because of the Mediterranean climate, the trail is open year-round, but some sections may be closed due to landslides or other natural hazards, so it’s important to check the conditions before starting your hike.

Cars have been banned within the villages for more than a decade, which means that the best way to travel along Cinque Terre’s hiking trails is on foot, just as famous poets have done over the centuries.

– Stefano Lera in Why The Hiking Trails of Cinque Terre Are Poetry in Motion

From Cinque Terre to Sunny Tusc...

3. Blue Trail, Italy - Good to Know

Mostly flat, with the occasional steep hill or set of stairs.

524 m (1720 ft)

Hikers looking for a soothing Mediterranean vibe.

The village of Monterosso.

Spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.

Hike the Mediterranean Paradise of Cinque Terre

4. Alpe-Adria Trail, Austria-Slovenia-Italy

Hikers on the Alpe-Adria Trail

The Alpe-Adria-Trail is one of the latest additions to Europe’s constellation of long-distance treks. Passing through Austria, Slovenia and Italy, the route consists of 43 stages, each around 20 kilometers long (6-8 hours of walking time). Its name comes from the fact the trail starts on Grossglockner (the tallest mountain in Austria) and ends in the seaside town of Muggia in Northeast Italy.

Contrary to what its name might suggest, the trek features few Alpine stages, with most of them winding through open countryside, along pristine lakes and rivers, through verdant forests and picturesque towns. Similar to how geographical features transcend borders on a map, here languages, traditions, and cuisine spill over national lines and create unique blends of influences.

Along the way, you’ll visit the sites of famous WW1 battles, historic castles and medieval churches, go wine tasting in local vineyards, and sunbathe on the Adriatic coast. Completing the entire 750-kilometer (466 miles) trek would take a month and a half, so most hikers opt for completing a section or two at a time.

One of Europe’s newest long-distance hiking routes, the project was designed for pleasure and convenience from the get-go.

— Martina Kosmina in The Ultimate Pleasure Hiker’s Delight: Meet the Alpe Adria Trail

Alpe Adria Trail - Our Highligh...

4. Alpe-Adria Trail, Austria-Slovenia-Italy - Good to Know

1.5 months for a thru-hike, 6-8 hours for each of the 43 individual sections.

Quite easy, without any significant technical portions.

Around 26,000 m (85,300 ft)

Casual hikers and families (especially for a day hike).

The trail starts at the foot of Mount Grossglockner in the Austrian region of Carinthia.

Anywhere between April and October. Peak season runs from July to August.

Hiking the Alpe Adria Trail: Triglav and Soca Valley The Three Nation Loop

5. Alta Via 1, Italy

Massive limestone peaks of the Dolomite Mountains in Italy

We can’t talk about the best hiking in Europe without mentioning Alta Via 1. This long-distance hiking trail is located in the Dolomites, also known as the “Pale Mountains”, which occupy an area of around 16,000 km2 (6,177 sq mi) in Northeast Italy. The trail is considered to be one of the most beautiful and challenging hikes in Europe, offering hikers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and pristine alpine lakes.

Despite its difficulty, Alta Via I is still one the most approachable of all the high routes in the area. Starting from Lago di Braies in South Tyrol and ending in the province of Belluno, it covers a distance of approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) and takes between 7 to 14 days to complete. Sections of the trail are punctuated by quaint rifugios or huts where local delicacies are served.

The trek will take you through some of the most dramatic landscapes in the Dolomites, including high-altitude meadows, deep valleys, and massive limestone formations. To complete it, you’ll need a good level of fitness and experience in mountain hiking, as there are some steep ascents and descents, as well as exposed sections that require careful attention.

When it comes to trekking in the Dolomites, the Alta Via 1 is number one (pun intended) for a multi-day hut-to-hut adventure.

— Augustina Lagos Marmol in The Best Hiking in the Dolomites: A Legacy of Limestone

Hiking 120km Across the Dolomit...

5. Alta Via 1, Italy - Good to Know

Steep and rocky, with some ladders and cables thrown in for good measure.

7,700 m (25,260 ft)

Backpackers looking for a real challenge.

The Alpine lake of Lago di Braies, one of the most photographed spots in Italy.

May or June, right before summer break hits its peak, or in the fall, when temperatures are lower.

Hiking Tours of Alta via 1 and 2

6. Camino de Santiago, Spain

Scallop marking on the Camino de Santiago hike

Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage route that leads to the city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, where the remains of the apostle St. James are believed to be buried. The route has been walked by pilgrims for over a thousand years, first by Christian pilgrims, then by the eager hikers of the modern world.

There are several ways to reach the terminus from various parts of Europe. The most popular route is Camino Francés, which starts in the French town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and covers a distance of approximately 800 kilometers (500 miles) over the course of several weeks.

The hike is both a cultural and historical experience, with diverse landscapes, medieval architecture, and charming communities strewn along the trail. Many hikers embark on the journey for spiritual reasons, while others do it for the physical challenge and sense of adventure.

The route is marked by yellow arrows and the famous scallop shells. You’ll never find yourself in the middle of nowhere as there are many albergues (hostels for pilgrims) where you can grab a bite and spend the night.

Are you ready to become a modern-day pilgrim? Embark on your Camino adventure and earn your compostela—certificate for accomplishment given to hikers who have walked at least 100 km (62 miles). 

This is the Camino | (Camino de...

6. Camino de Santiago, Spain - Good to Know

The Camino Francés route usually takes 30-35 days to complete.

Combination of woodland paths, hills, mountains, and paved roads.

Around 20,000 m (65,616 ft)

Experienced long-distance hikers with an interest in history, religion, or architecture.

There are various possible starting points in Spain, Portugal or France. Camino Francés begins in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a French village at the foot of the Pyrenees.

April through June; September-October.

Self-Guided Camino de Santiago Hiking Tours Guided Camino Frances Walking Tour Guided Camino Portuguese Walking Tour

7. Quiraing Walk, Scotland

Aerial view of the Quiraing landslip on the Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye feels like a portal to another dimension where giants roam the land and dinosaurs lay their bones in misty lochs. This majestic Scottish island is home to the looping 6.8-kilometer (4.2 miles) Quiraing Walk, one of the most dramatic day hikes in the world.

The trail begins at a nearby car park and follows a path up the hillside towards the Quiraing plateau. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Trotternish Ridge and the Inner Hebrides, an archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. Some of the most famous features of the Quiraing are the Needle—a tall, narrow pinnacle of rock that juts out from the plateau—and the Prison—a jagged tower of grass and rock dominating the skyline.

Also notable is the Table, a flat-topped rock formation that offers a great spot to rest and take in the view. Once you reach the top of the hill, you’ll find yourself on the Quiraing plateau, which is a unique landscape of rocky outcrops, deep gullies, and steep cliffs. The trail follows the edge of the plateau, offering sweeping views of the surrounding terrain.

Quiraing is a massive landslide with cliffs that slump down and create a really bizarre landscape of looming towers and pinnacles that guard hidden valleys.

– Gareth Williams in Why the Magical Isle of Skye Should Be Your Next Hiking Adventure

THE BEST VIEWS on the Isle of S...

7. Quiraing Walk, Scotland - Good to Know

Undemanding, pleasant first half; the second half can get quite muddy.

392 m (1,286 ft)

Hikers looking for the most dramatic photo-ops

The trail begins at the car park on the east side of the road.

The best time to visit the Isle of Skye is spring, summer, and early fall.

Hiking Tours of Storr and Quiraing on the Isle of Skye

8. Villingardalsfjall Peak Hike, Faroe Islands

Person hiking towards the Villingardalsfjall mountain in the Faroe Islands

The Villingardalsfjall Peak Hike is a popular hiking trail on the Faroe Islands known for its scenic beauty and challenging terrain. The hike starts at Viðareiði, the northernmost settlement in the Faroe Islands, where you’ll follow a path that winds up the side of the mountain. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the vast landscape—deep fjords, smooth green-carpeted hillsides, and Viðareiði below.

The trail is quite steep in places, and you’ll need to scramble over rocks and boulders as you climb. Luckily, it’s also well-marked and maintained, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your way. As you near the top of the mountain, the markings will become less clear. Don’t follow the cairns to the left, but rather continue pushing up towards the summit.

At the top of Villingardalsfjall Peak, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree view few hiking trails can match. The Faroe Islands are like an enchanted fairytale land hidden from the rest of the world, and its unique setting makes it one of the best places to hike in Europe.

All the culture, history and traditions are connected to the island’s nature. No matter where you are in the archipelago, you can feel the force of the sea and smell the sea salt and grasses. It’s unlike anywhere else I’ve been.

– Albert Ojembarrena in Hiking in the Faroe Islands is Your Next Must-Do Adventure

Hiking at Vidoy, Faroe Islands ...

8. Villingardalsfjall Peak Hike, Faroe Islands - Good to Know

Around 4 hours

Steep rocky terrain all the way to the top.

890 m (2,920 ft)

Hikers (and photographers) looking for dramatic landscapes.

The Villingardalsfjall hike starts in Vidareidi village, the northernmost town in the Faroe Islands.

May to August, when the weather is at its most stable.

Hike and Sail the Mythical Faroe Islands

9. Samaria Gorge, Greece

best european hiking trips

Located on the Greek island of Crete, Samaria is the longest gorge in Europe, stretching for a whopping 16 kilometers (10 miles). As one of the biggest hiking attractions in a country filled with natural and historical wonders, it frequently sees hundreds, sometimes even thousands of visitors per day.

Hiking through the Samaria Gorge can be challenging, as it involves walking on rocky terrain and navigating steep descents and ascents. The trail gets quite narrow in some sections where the gorge cuts deep into Lefka Ori, the White Mountains of Crete.

This 5-7-hour hike begins at an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) at the Omalos Plateau and descends towards the coast, where it ends at the village of Agia Roumeli. The whole way down, the trail is framed by rugged cliffs, pine forests, and the crystal-clear waters of the Samaria River. If you can handle the steepness, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best day hikes in Europe.

The Samaria Gorge is a veritable haven for biodiversity. Over 300 species and subspecies of plants and 900 animal species call it home.

9. Samaria Gorge, Greece - Good to Know

Downhill walk on rough terrain full of rocks, dirt, and several river crossings.

2,636 m (8,649 ft)

Competent hikers who enjoy biodiversity and can handle elevation change.

The Omalos Plateau, a tableland surrounded by the Lefka Ori mountain range.

You can only hike in the Samaria Gorge during late spring and summer.

Female hiker on a rocky section of the GR20 Trail in Corsica

GR20, the twentieth “Grande Randonnée” or “great hike”, is a long-distance trail that crosses the French island of Corsica north to south. It’s considered by many to be the most challenging hike in Europe, with rugged terrain, steep ascents and descents, and narrow ridges which define the island’s jagged spine. Walking it is already challenging enough, but some hardcore athletes go as far as running it in hopes of breaking the speed record.

The trail covers approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) and can take up to two weeks to complete. Divided into 16 stages, it takes hikers through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Corsica, including snow-capped peaks, rocky ridgelines, dense forests, and crystal-clear lakes.

To complete the thru-hike, you’ll need a very high level of fitness and experience with hiking on mountainous terrain, as there are some technical sections that require a good deal of scrambling. The trail is well marked with red-and-white stripes and there are refuges and campgrounds along the way where you can rest and spend the night.

Once you enter this alpine labyrinth, you’ll likely forget you’re on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean.

— Anthony Laplagne in GR20 : Ultimate Guide for the Toughest Trail in Europe

Hiking the entire GR20 in 14 Days

10. GR 20 - Good to Know

Very strenuous

Around 2 weeks

Extremely rugged, full of steep ascents and descents.

10,500 m (34,500 ft)

This is a trek only for the fittest, most experienced and tenacious hikers.

Although it’s possible to do the trek in both directions, most hikers start in the village of Calenzana in the north.

from the end of June until the beginning of October.

Hiking the Full GR20 Trail in Corsica Hiking the North GR20 Trail in Corsica Hiking the South GR20 Trail in Corsica

11. Tour du Mont Blanc, France-Italy-Switzerland

Hiker on the Tour du Mont Blanc

The 170-kilometer (105 miles) Tour du Mont Blanc, one of the most celebrated (and trafficked) long-distance trails in the world, circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif, passing through France, Italy, and Switzerland. Filled with iconic Alpine vistas and enough rustic charm to fill a dozen photo albums, it’s a staple of any self-respecting hiker’s bucket list.

Although there are many different starting points you can choose from, the trek traditionally begins and ends in Chamonix. Every day of the Tour is a new feast for the senses—from the cold granite spires of the Aiguilles to the sun-kissed slopes of Les Contamines; from the whistling of high winds above Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in France, to the jingle of cow bells in Val Ferret.

Throughout these 6-12 days, you’ll pass through picturesque villages and mountain huts, where you can rest and recharge with local delicacies belonging to three different cultures. The trail involves some steep ascents and descents, so you should have a reasonable level of fitness and endurance to complete it.

Each pass of the Tour du Mont Blanc is different. While the itinerary of the days might be similar—starting in a valley, heading over a pass and back down to a different valley—the views on the Tour du Mont Blanc never cease to amaze me.

— Natalie Mirzoeff in Tour du Mont Blanc Hike: Route, Preparation & Tips for 2023!

Guide to Trekking the Tour du M...

11. Tour du Mont Blanc, France-Italy-Switzerland - Good to Know

Very diverse—paved roads, flat dirt trails, steep rocky paths, narrow mountain passes, stream crossings…

around 10,600 m (35,000 ft)

Fit long-distance hikers looking to bag a classic trek.

There are many different options, but most people start in the Chamonix Valley, right under Mont Blanc.

The summer months, from late June to early September.

Classic Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Trek Luxury Guided Mont Blanc Hiking Tour Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Trek

12. The Walker’s Haute Route, France-Switzerland

Path on the Walker’s Haute Route leading towards the Matterhorn

Stretching from the base of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France, to the striking fin of Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland, the Walker’s Haute Route combines rolling pastures and high mountain passes to form one of the best multi-day treks in the world. With only a fixed starting and ending point, it can take anywhere between 7 to 14 days to complete the trek.

The hike takes you through both serene and dramatic Alpine landscapes, stringing together massive glaciers, verdant meadows, and picturesque villages. Along the way, you’ll encounter challenging terrain, including steep ascents and descents, snowfields, and exposed ridges. The reward for this challenge is access to unparalleled views of some of the tallest mountains in the world.

Along with other determined hikers, cows, ibex, and chamois will keep you company throughout your trek. To successfully complete the Walker’s Haute Route, you’ll need plenty of energy, which is where the hotels and huts come in. Do yourself a favor and try the local delicacies—this is also a culinary journey!

Brace yourself for long daily hikes; patchworks of dramatic landscapes leading you from glaciated mountains reflecting in crystalline lakes to verdant valleys and meadows beneath 9,500-foot mountain passes.

The Walker´s Haute Route | Hiki...

12. The Walker’s Haute Route, France-Switzerland - Good to Know

Wide forest tracks, zig-zagging hillside paths and steep, rocky mountain paths.

Around 12,600 m (41,340 ft)

Tough trekkers looking for an alternative to the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Chamonix, France

Mid-July to mid-September, when the weather is mild and the snow has melted.

Haute Route Trek: Hiking From Chamonix to Zermatt

13. Trolltunga, Norway

Hiker sitting at the edge of the Trolltunga rock in Norway

When it comes to trekking in Europe, the Trolltunga trail in Western Norway stands with the best of them. This scenic 28-kilometer (17.4 miles) out-and-back trail will take you through the Nordic wilderness and up to a majestic cliff jutting out 700 meters (2,300 feet) above Ringedalsvatnet Lake.

The trail can be challenging, especially during bad weather, as it involves some steep climbs and river crossings. However, most of the difficulty stems from the length of the trail. If you’re planning on doing it one day, make sure to start early. But if you’d like to immerse yourself in the untouched nature, consider camping under the northern sky.

The name Trolltunga translates to Troll’s tongue. Why, you ask? According to legend, there once was a troll who, thinking himself immortal, stuck out his tongue to mock the sun and was in turn petrified. As you journey through Norway’s vast landscapes shaped by ancient glaciers, you will be humbled just the same. Deep fjords, valleys, and waterfalls—this unique hike has them in spades.

The Trolltunga hike in Norway is one of those hikes where the end destination is phenomenal, but the journey itself is just as extraordinary and rewarding.

– Stian Ruud in Trolltunga Hike: Itinerary, Useful Info & Tips

TROLLTUNGA (Official Site) | No...

13. Trolltunga, Norway - Good to Know

The first section of the trail is a steep ascent on stone and gravel. After that it gets mellower, with smaller climbs here and there.

800 meters (2,625 feet)

Hikers with good endurance who aren’t terrified of heights.

The hike usually starts at the village of Skjeggedal in Vestland county. Alternatively, you can start at Mågelitopp.

Mid-June to mid-September, when the warm weather makes for ideal hiking conditions. Outside of this time window, you must go with a guide.

Hiking to Trolltunga Cliff in Norway

Good-to-know Info for Hiking in Europe

When traveling to a different continent for outdoor adventures, there’s a lot of different factors to consider: available budget, destinations, what your goal is, season and weather, accommodation… But as we all know, preparation is the key to success—so you want to do it well. To help you plan your trip to Europe, here’s some information you might find useful before booking your flight.

What’s the best season for hiking in Europe?

The answer to this question, of course, depends on where you’re going. There are beautiful hiking destinations around Europe available at any time of the year. Come springtime, the hidden trails of Tuscany are in full bloom. In summer, we love hiking the Via Dinarica , which runs from Slovenia to Albania. The mild temperatures of Portugal’s fall season are perfect for hiking the Rota Vicentina . And don’t get us started on winter hiking in Iceland under the northern lights!

As you can see, there’s no shortage of options. As a rule of thumb, however, try to aim for summer if you’re going to hike in Northern Europe or in the Alps. In Mediterranean countries, where summers get prohibitively hot, spring and fall are your best bet. Winter months are great for scenic lakeside hikes, snowshoeing tours in the mountains, and trips to sunny islands such as Malta, Madeira, or the Canaries for rejuvenating walks without crowds or scorching heat.

What’s the best country for hiking in Europe?

It’s impossible to pick the best country for hiking in Europe. However, strong cases could be made for Italy , France , and Iceland , which all appear on our list and include many other world-class trails that deserve honorable mentions. Too many to count!

What are some cheap hiking destinations in Europe?

If you’re hiking in Europe on a budget but still want to experience a first-class adventure, some destinations you should definitely check out are Georgia’s Caucasus mountains, the Tatra Mountains between Slovakia and Poland, or the Julian Alps in Slovenia—recently we fell in love with hiking the Juliana Trail . Whichever one you choose, you can’t go wrong!

The Best Hikes in Europe At Your Fingertips

There we go, the hardest part of the job is done. The list of the best hikes in Europe is finally in your hands—now it’s your turn to go out and enjoy what many consider to be hikes of a lifetime. Start with our suggestions and curate your own best-of list. We can’t wait to hear what you come up with.

Psssst, by the way… If you happen to see someone wearing a red hoodie with “57hours” emblazoned on their back out there in the great outdoors, don’t be shy, give us a holler! You never know, we might just let you in on what’s the next big thing in the hiking world.

best european hiking trips

For Marko, literature came first and the outdoors followed. Lermontov took him galloping across the Caucasus, Wordsworth brought him along for a tour of the Lake District, and Conrad sent him sailing down the Congo—but for better or worse, it was 57hours that got him to climb his first route outside. When he’s not penning articles, you can find him in the bouldering gym, taking photos on the streets of Zagreb, or at home brushing up on his Japanese skills.

Read reviews of similar trips

The best hiking in the dolomites: a legacy of limestone, the best hiking destinations worldwide, hiking the john muir trail from tuolumne meadows to yosemite valley.

best european hiking trips

Choose a currency

  • USD - $ US Dollar
  • EUR - € Euro
  • AUD - AU$ Australian Dollar
  • CAD - CA$ Canadian Dollar
  • GBP - £ British Pound Sterling
  • CHF - CHF Swiss Franc
  • JPY - ¥ Japanese Yen
  • SGD - S$ Singapore Dollar
  • HKD - HK$ Hong Kong Dollar
  • DKK - Dkr Danish Krone
  • NOK - Nkr Norwegian Krone
  • SEK - Skr Swedish Krona
  • About Becky the Traveller
  • Work with me
  • Press + Podcasts
  • Contact Becky the Traveller
  • My Challenges
  • Hiking + travel resources
  • Start a blog
  • Beginners guide to wild camping  Read here

Becky the Traveller

  • Book me (mountain leader)
  • Lake District
  • North York Moors
  • Peak District
  • National trail activity holidays
  • Day hikes in Scotland
  • Brecon Beacons walks
  • Pembrokeshire Coast
  • Snowdonia walks
  • Beacons Way
  • Cumbria Way
  • Pennine Way
  • Snowdonia Slate Trail
  • Hikes in Europe
  • Wild Camping
  • Wales road trip
  • Caye Caulker, Belize
  • My Gear + kit
  • hike + travel

32 BEST Places to Hike in Europe (Hiker’s Favourite European Treks)

Best hikes in Europe - Tour du Mont Blanc hike Europe

Hiking lovers , this one is for you!

Are you looking for some inspiration for where you are going to go hiking next?

Here are the best places to hike in Europe as recommended by hikers. They have picked their favourite walks, trails and treks from around Europe to tempt you to book that next adventure!

Included are hikes in popular places like the French Alps with its stunning mountains or Norway’s famous hiking trails if you are looking for a big hiking challenge.

But also hiking destinations to suit everyone like the beautiful Peak District in England or Snowdonia in Wales which has hiking trails for all levels plus some unexpected places like the Algarve in Portugal.

Best Hikes in Europe

Tryfan hike in Snowdonia - Best hiking trails in Europe

Trekking in Europe is stunning, there is so much breath-taking scenery you really are spoilt for choice, whichever hiking destination you pick you won’t be disappointed.

Below is a summary of all the best places to hike in Europe.

Simply click your favourite destination or if this is your first visit to Europe and you are looking for hiking inspiration for a hiking trail in Europe.

Take your time and scroll through this epic list of pure outdoor indulgence!

Don’t forget to tell me about any hiking trails in Europe that you love in the comments below.

Best places to hike in Europe

Hiking in Andorra   – Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley

Hiking in Austria – Saalbach Village and Ziller Valley

Hiking in Croatia – Plitvice National Park

Hiking in the Czech Republic – Jeseniky Mountains & Bohemian

Hiking in Denmark   – Funen – Archipelago Trail

Hiking in England   – Cheddar Gorge & the Peak District

Hiking in France – Calanques National Park & The Alps

Hiking in Germany – Harz Mountains & the Black Forest

Hiking in Iceland – Landmannalaugar

Hiking in Italy – Cinque Terre, Dolomites & South Tyrol

Hiking in Liechtenstein – The Alps

Hiking in Montenegro – Kotor & Lovcen mountains

Hiking in Norway – Western Norway

Hiking in Portugal – Algarve coast

Hiking in Romania – Bucegi mountains

Hiking in Scotland – Isle of Skye, The Outer Hebrides & Loch Lomond & the Trossachs

Hiking in Slovenia – Julian Alps

Hiking in Spain – The Pyrenees, Picos de Europa & Aiguestortes

Hiking in Switzerland – Ebenalp Mountain

Hiking in Wales – Snowdonia & the Brecon Beacons

Hiking in Andorra

Madriu-perafita-claror valley.

By Halef and Michael at  The Round The World Guys

Andorra - best places to hike in Europe

Andorra is a tiny country sandwiched between Spain and France at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountain. It offers a picturesque landscape with so many options for nature and hiking explorations .

If you are an avid hiker, you’re in for a treat. While there are many options for exploring the region, don’t miss the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley for its distinctive beauty.

The Vall del Madriu-Perafita-Claror hike cuts through a valley that was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004 .

Here, you can walk through the Cultural Landscape of Andorra – starting from the trailhead in the Escaldes-Engordany, not far from the capital Andorra la Vella.

There are many different paths and itinerary suggestions on their official website , ranging from a few hours on a trail to multi-day journeys.

Along the hiking route, you will enjoy a picturesque walk through the old pastures, traditional shepherd cabins, and huts that have dotted the valley for hundreds of years.

Hiking in Austria

Hiking in the zillertal in austria.

By Linda from Travel Tyrol

Olpererhut Ziller Valley in Austria - Best places to hike in Europe

Austria’s Zillertal or Ziller Valley is one of Europe’s most diverse and therefore very popular, hiking destinations .

Hikers are spoiled for choice with 1,400 km of trails covering various altitude and difficulty levels. Whether you prefer sticking to the valley floor or attempting a three-thousander, there is something for everyone.

A great thing about Zillertal hiking trails is that you don’t have to carry a heavy backpack filled with drinks and snacks to keep you going. There are more than 150 mountain hut restaurants or snack bars where hikers can refuel along the way.

A favourite day hike in the Zillertal is from the Schlegeis Dam to the Olperer Hut or Olpererhütte, which have been welcoming hikers since 1881. It’s not an easy hike, going from about 1,782 m to 2,389 m above sea level but it can be done in under 2 hours .

The great views of the Schlegeis Dam and the surrounding mountain peaks, including the Hochfeiler at 3,510 m high, are worth the effort.

Enjoying these with a beer and a hearty Austrian meal will make you reluctant to leave.

In that case, you can always book a bed! The Olperer Hut is on the Berlin High Alpine Trail for those who prefer multiple day hikes . From there, the Olperer summit (3,476 m) can be reached in about 4 hours.

Saalbach Village

By Jodie at Alajode

Places to hike in Europe Saalbach Hinterglemm Austria

The tiny resort village of Saalbach is known its ski slopes – but don’t think there’s nothing to do there come the sunnier months. In fact, Saalbach in summer is a hiker’s dream as the steep ski hills turn into lush green hiking trails .

I discovered these trails for myself this summer and can’t wait to head back. The hiking trails were (obviously) scenic but what surprised me more than the number of trails available was the diversity of the hikers enjoying them .

Saalbach has such a great range of trails, all within a short drive or a walk from the main resort, that there’s something for every age, ability and style of hiker.

The short educational trail will teach newer hikers about the nature around you while introducing you to the world of hiking.

For photographers, view-chasers and early-birds, a sunrise morning hike to one of the peaks is a must and was a highlight of my time there.

And for hardcore hikers, the 24-kilometre Seven Summits trail is a physical challenge that covers over 1.4 km of altitude and makes up part of the ultimate hiking challenge: the Saalbach Hiking Challenge .

Hiking in Croatia

Plitvice national park.

By Soumya at Travel, Books and Food

Plitvice Lakes in Croatia - best places to hike in Europe

Plitvice National Park is one of the most visited places in Croatia and is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. And it is not hard to figure out why.

With more than 16 lakes and 90 waterfalls , it is definitely one of the best places to hike in Europe. It is further divided into the upper lakes and the lower lakes.

With more than 8 hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult and from 2-3 hours to a full day hike, you can choose the one that is the most convenient to you. Spend a day here and be mesmerised by the colours and sounds of the trails.

It costs approximately 20-25 Euros for a full day ticket based on the different seasons. You can either do as a day trip from either Zagreb or Zadar. Alternatively, you can stay overnight and explore the different lakes over two days with a 2-day pass which costs approximately 35 Euros.

Top hiking tips

  • Stick to the upper lakes if you are going during peak times to avoid the crowds and you’ll have the beauty of nature mostly to yourself.
  • Even though the hikes are not that difficult, wear good walking shoes and carry lots of water.

Hiking in the Czech Republic

Jeseniky mountains, czech republic.

By Teresa at Brogan Abroad

Bila Opava Trail, Jeseniky Mountains in Czech Republic - best hiking destinations in Europe

Chances are that you have never heard of the Jeseniky Mountains in the Czech Republic . And neither had I until I went there to hike. And to be honest I didn’t know what to expect, as I knew nothing about the area and I was really pleasantly surprised by it!

The Jeseniky Mountains are located in the Moravian-Silesian region , in the northeast of the Czech Republic, where it borders Poland.

They are considered one of the best places for hiking, biking and other mountain sports in the country , so I had to go and find out for myself.

The Bila Opava trail follows the Opava River along the valley all the way to the top of Mount Praded. The trail is said to be the most beautiful in the Jesenikys .

The hiking trail starts in the spa town of Karlova Studanka and runs through a deep valley where you come across natural weirs, waterfalls, cascades and pools. The hike goes over wooden footbridges and ladders, there are even chains to help you climb the upper part of the trail over a rocky gorge.

Coming out of the valley, you arrive at a mountain chalet called Barborka that is famous locally. Unfortunately, it was closed when I got there so had to wait a bit longer for refreshments.

A couple of miles further on you reach Praded, the highest mountain in the Jesenikys and the location of a TV transmitter that is also a hotel.

A great place to stay overnight!

Bohemian Switzerland National Park

By Veronika at Travel Geekery

Pravcicka Gate Bohemian Switzerland - best places to hike in Europe

One of the best places to hike in Europe is the Bohemian Switzerland National Park . It’s located in the northern tip of the Czech Republic, near the town Děčín. The area is rich in karst formations, lush greenery, rivers and streams , as well as cute little villages with old traditional houses.

The main draw here is the Pravčická Gate, a unique sandstone formation, which even appeared in the Chronicles of Narnia . No wonder – this is the largest natural rock arch in Europe!

We hiked to it from the village of Mezní Louka, an easy 6 km hike through the forest following the ‘Gabriela trail’. The gate is the most popular tourist attraction in the region , yet we met nearly nobody on the trail.

Another hike you can do is to the amazing lookout point called Mary’s Rock. It sits on top of a sandstone hill and used to serve as a fire watchtower for the town of Jetřichovice situated below.

Near there you can find a former bandits’ castle from the 14th century carved out from a rock and well worth visiting.

It’s called Šaunštejn and you have to climb on a ladder in a crack in the rock to get to the very top if you dare 🙂

Hiking in Denmark

Funen (hiking the archipelago trail).

By Line at Nordic Travellers

Best places to hike in Europe - Funen, Denmark

Funen is said to be Denmark’s garden because of the islands fertile black soil, many orchards and rolling green hills. It is in these beautiful surroundings you find the 220 km long South Funen Archipelago Trail .

The hiking trail takes you close to the coastline, through a unique cultural landscape and romantic small villages .

Even though the trail is long, it is not hard (Denmark is flat as a pancake).

You can hike a small part of the trail, if you prefer, as the trail is divided into seven sections, each with its own special features. If you are into island-life, you can do the part of the trail that is located on Aeroe.

Or if you want to get a bit of sweat on your forehead, you can choose the part that takes you through Svanninge Bakker (the hills in Svanninge).

The Archipelago Trail is a network of paths primarily intended for hikers and ramblers. The entire route is signposted with poles bearing blue pictograms of a hiker .

For an average hiker, you should be able to finish The Archipelago Trail in nine days. You can wild camp along the route, but there are also some excellent lean-to-shelters along the way that can be rented for the price of a cup of coffee.

Learn more about hiking the Archipelago Trail here: Funen on foot

Hiking in England

Peak district national park.

By Becky at Becky the Traveller

Peak district - Edale to Kinder Scout

England is well known for having many beautiful hikes, with 10 National Parks dotted around the country you’re spoilt for choice .

But for me, one of the best places to hike in England is the stunning Peak District National Park in Derbyshire.

Close to the centre of the UK, the Peak District National Park has a mix of hikes to suit everyone (and is easily accessible from the big cities Sheffield, York , Nottingham, Manchester and Leeds).

In the  summer months, it is transformed into a stunning sea of bright purple heather that you can see for miles.

Hiking in the ‘Dark Peaks’ area, you can walk up to the top of one of the Peak District’s three mountains – Kinder Scout , Higher Shelf Stones or Bleaklow Head to enjoy views for miles (on a good day, of course).

There’s also the popular Mam Tor hike from Castleton , ranked in the UK’s top 10 hikes!

Further south in the ‘White Peaks’ area, there are woodland walks and more gentle hills so all the family can enjoy the outdoors. One of my favourite hikes is Dovedale where you can step across the famous stepping stones over the River Dove.

But there are really so many gorgeous hikes the Peak District had to be up there with the best places to go hiking in Europe.

Hiking in Cheddar Gorge, UK

By Pip at Pip and the City

Best places to hike in Europe - Cheddar Gorge, England

Hiking through captivating landscapes is one of the top things to do in Cheddar Gorge in England. Cheddar Gorge has the accolade of being Britain’s highest, inland limestone cliffs, rising up to 450ft over the English countryside.

The most popular walk in Cheddar is the scenic cliff top walk, a circular and moderately challenging hike at the top of the Gorge. This circular three-mile route can be accessed via a series of steps known as ‘Jacobs Ladder’.

To hike the gorge via these steps you must purchase a ‘Cheddar Gorge and Caves Explorer ticket’ as Cheddar Gorge is actually private land, although a public bridal way does cross it. The ticket does include access to Cheddar’s other attractions and is valid for a year if you don’t have time to see everything.

It’s a vigorous walk up Jacob’s ladder as you make your way up 274 steps to reach 900 ft above sea-level. Once you have reached the top you will be treated to beautiful views of the gorge and the picturesque Mendip hills!

If you don’t want to pay to hike the Gorge you can always follow the winding road along the bottom of the gorge. Here you’ll spot wildflowers, rock formations and free-range goats and sheep, clinging to the rock face.

Top hiking tip  

  • If you are coming just for a day hike you can use the pay and display parking at the bottom of the gorge
  • Or some of the local pubs offer reasonably priced parking and the cost can be redeemed against a drink for after your walk.

Hiking in France

Calanques national park.

By Natasha at World Inside my Pocket

Calanquess hiking in France - best hiking destinations in Europe

The Calanques National Park is my favourite place to hike in Europe but it’s also one of my favourite destinations in the WORLD. Calanques are fjord-like coves that develop in the rocks along the Mediterranean coast.

The Calanques National Park is a long stretch of coastline with an abundance of beautiful Calanques . It’s France’s 10th National Park, stretching from the bustling city of Marseille to the picturesque town of Cassis.

There are around 18 Calanques, all accessible by hiking trails and varying in sizes.

Some Calanques cut in a striking manner deep into the coastline, whereas others are more like small creeks. I camped in Cassis for a week and spent my time thoroughly exploring the Calanques.

I bought a physical map of the national park and planned four different hikes in various areas of the park. Some hikes are best to tackle from Cassis, walking from the humble town right into the Jurassic landscape of the park, yet some are more accessible to reach via Marseille.

In these cases, I would get a train or bus to Marseille and begin the hike from there.

There are many different day hikes to choose from in this French National Park. However, if you’re short on time, my two favourite  Calanques to hike to are Calanque d’en Vau (best from Cassis) and Calanque de Sormiou (best from Marseille).

Not only are the views in Les Calanques breathtaking and the hikes challenging but you can also walk to some of France’s most stunning beaches and bathe in the turquoise Mediterranean Sea, making it one of the best days out in all of Europe.

Mont Blanc Massif (French, Italian & Swiss Alps)

By Christa at Expedition Wildlife

Tour du Mont Blanc - Italy - best hikes in Europe (1)

The Mont Blanc Massif is an extensive mountain range within the Alps of France, Italy and Switzerland. Within this range is the tallest mountain in Europe, the Mont Blanc, rising to an elevation of 4,807 m .

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) trek is the most iconic hiking trail in the region and stands as one of the greatest and most sought-after long-distance treks in the world.

This stunning trek takes around 10-12 days to cover a circuit of 170 km, with a height gain and loss of around 10,000 m, making the entirety of the hike challenging and the completion that much more rewarding.

As you loop around the massive mountains making up this mountain range, you’ll cover rocky peaks and stunning flower-hewn valleys along the way.

Keep an eye out for marmots, ibex, and other iconic mountain wildlife .

There are huts and B&Bs in which to stay along the TMB route and the jovial company of your fellow TMB hikers at breakfast and dinnertime make for a fun experience.

Hiking Tips

  • Check out Cicerone’s “Trekking the Tour of Mont Blanc” or another detailed guide or map to make planning this trek of a lifetime that much easier!

Hiking in Germany

The harz mountains.

By Vicki at Vicki Viaja

Harz Mountains - best places to hike in Germany

The Harz Mountains are in the middle North of Germany . Although the mountains in the South of Germany are way more popular, the Harz Mountains offer amazing hiking-opportunities as well .

The area is full of stunning nature, a large number of lakes, dams and rivers, and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites , such as the mines and old-town of Goslar, the Luther Town Eisleben, and the Upper Harz Water Regale.

All of those attractions are not only perfect for a walk but can teach you a lot about the mining history of Germany which used to be an important source of income for this area. You can find hiking trails for all kind of walks, starting from beginner hikes up to professional treks.

The Harz Mountains are a great hiking destination during all seasons.

In summer, it usually doesn’t get as hot here as in the surrounding lowlands. While during winter the snow makes the area look like being cut out of a Christmas-fairytale book. That’s why this area is also famous for skiing and winter sports.

In winter, my favourite hiking area is Torfhaus . It is easily accessible by Public Transport and offers several hiking trails through beautiful nature. In summer, the so-called Liebesbankweg (Love Bench Way) is a great option, not only for couples.

The Liebesbankweg got recently voted under the ‘Top 15 Hikes of Germany 2018’.

The Black Forest

By Cate at International Desserts Blog

Black Forest in Germany - best places to hike in Europe

One of the best places to hike in Germany is the Black Forest. Not only does this area get the most sun out of the entire country, but there also are so many hiking options and trails are usually well marked and maintained.

When I lived in Freiburg, my two favourite places to hike were only a short tram or bus ride away. The first is Schauinsland, a mountain roughly 10 km from Freiburg and easily accessible by tram and 20-minute cable car ride.

From the top of Schauinsland, you’ll find stunning views of Freiburg, as well as several trails, such as the 2.5-hour 10 km intermediate “Schauinsland Gipfel – Schauinsland Turm Loop.” You can also simply hike back down the mountain.

My other favourite hiking spot is the nearby peaceful Titisee lake area , which you can reach via train, bus or car. If you’re looking for a leisurely hike, try the 2-hour 7 km “Blick auf den Titisee” loop around the lake.

Top hiking tips 

  • Be sure to bring water and snacks when you go hiking because stores, cafes, and restaurants may close earlier than you expect.
  • For more detailed hiking information, ask at the local tourism office. Tell them what you’re looking for – great views, lakes, castle ruins, farms, etc. and they’ll point you in the right direction!

Hiking in Iceland

Hiking landmannalaugar.

By Kevin at Wandering Wagers

Hiking in Landmannalauger Iceland - Best hiking destinations in Europe

Landmannalaugar is one of the best hiking destinations in Iceland . This outdoor playground located within the barren interior of the island might not be the easiest to reach, but once you get there it makes for one heck of an adventure.

The region is filled with vibrantly coloured valleys, geothermal pools, glacier-fed rivers, volcanos, lava fields and towering mountains . Every trip within Landmannalaugar seems to offer a new and exciting experience.

Landmannalaugar can be hiked in a few different ways , so coming back and trying something new is a great option for those who are spending a fair bit of time in the country.

The hikes through Landmannalaugar, Iceland include a 5-day through hike that takes you along breathtaking hills lined with geothermal pools that are perfect for resting tired feet.

For those looking for something shorter, you can also explore the rolling hills and valleys of this wilderness park. Just make sure you visit here before winter and the hills and valleys become covered in snow.

You might need a lovely heated jacket to keep you warm!

To reach Landmannalaugar you must leave the ring road and make your way along F208 to F224. Follow it through to the rivers and to the end.

You won’t miss it as the lots here are always filled with locals, especially on weekends.

You might like to read next – Hiking a glacier in Iceland

Hiking in Italy

Cinque terre hikes.

By Dhara at It’s Not About the Miles

Best places to hike in Europe - Cinque Terre

Looking for the best hike in Europe? Then hiking Cinque Terre  is one of the most rewarding activities to do on your trip.

The Cinque Terre (literally, five lands), are five sensationally beautiful villages on the Ligurian Coast of Italy .

If you want the best experience when hiking in this region, pick the shoulder months of April-May or mid-September to mid-October. You may encounter rain in these months , more so than in the summer, but fewer crowds.

The most beautiful and by far the most popular, hiking trail in the Cinque Terre is the Sentiero Azzurro, the Blue Trail. It’s made up of four individual hiking paths and takes about six to seven hours to complete end to end .  

You will want to stop often to gawk at the jaw-dropping views and take photos.

The Via dell’Amore, linking Riomaggiore to Manarola, is 1.2 miles long and the easiest stretch. It is flat and mostly paved and hugs the shoreline. The 1.2-mile section from Manarola to Corniglia is also relatively easy and has beautiful water views.

The 2-mile section that links Corniglia to Vernazza goes up to the highest point of the Cinque Terre before coming back down to the coast. Lots of climbing and steps, but your reward for the walk is beautiful views of terraced hillsides and the blue Ligurian Sea .

Vernazza to Monterosso is considered the toughest section. It’s about 1.8 miles. On this section, you can see all five villages: a panorama worth the exertion!

Top tips for hiking in Cinque Terre  

  • There is a fee to hike the Cinque Terre.
  • Make sure you are appropriately attired for hiking and follow park advisories and regulations. Happy hiking!

The Dolomites

By Mike of 197 Travel Stamps

Dolomites hiking to the peak of Latemar Mountain - best places to hike in Europe

The Dolomites in Northern Italy are one of the most impressive mountain ranges in Europe and the world .

The beautiful mountaintops offer incredible panoramic views, relaxing mountain pastures invite for a relaxing stroll and small traditional huts are waiting with tasty Italian and Tyrolean food.

One of the most famous hikes in the Dolomites is the short day hike to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the eastern part of the Dolomites. The hike takes around 2 hours each way and is doable with an average level of fitness.

Due to its popularity, the area gets crowded during the summer months.

Another beautiful hiking area in the Dolomites is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Catinaccio and Latemar Mountains . A great trek for hikers with more experience is the trail to the top of Mount Latemar at nearly 3,000 m.

The hike starts at Passo di Costalunga and it takes around 3 hours up to the top and 2 hours back. On a clear day, you can see mountain peaks that are over 100 km away – an incredible view.

Thanks to the numerous ski resorts in winter, many cable cars are open during the summer months as well and offer an easy way to access the most beautiful treks in the Dolomites .

Brixen region, South Tyrol

By Anya at  Road is Calling

Best places to hike in Europe - South Tyrol

Brixen is a splendid holiday town in South Tyrol which serves as a gateway to the Dolomites and offers a lot of history and culture. Nature lovers, hikers, and adventure seekers will find in the area around Brixen endless hiking paths, high altitude trails and summit hikes .

There are different difficulty levels of hikes and trails, and every outdoor enthusiast can choose whatever suits them better.

One absolutely spectacular hike is the Dolomites Panoramic Trail , an 11 km long circular trail that not many visitors go to. The trail is located near the northern part of Puez-Geisler Nature Park and can be accessed by bus or car in about 40 minutes.

There is free parking at SP29 between Rifugio Edelweiss mountain cabin and Rodelalm eatery. From there you can take one of a few other trails to access the Dolomites Panoramic path.

Almost right at the starting point, a breathtaking view opens up. The views and the hike are gorgeous no matter where you start and how far you make it.

Hiking in Liechtenstein

The alps in liechtenstein.

By Paulina at Paulina on the Road

Best places to hike in Europe - Liechtenstein

One of my favourite places to hike in Europe is definitely Liechtenstein. It’s not only a destination off the beaten track but also a paradise for hiking lovers . Despite its very limited size.

Nestled between Austria and Switzerland along the Rhine River , the Alps cover a considerable part of this small country. Whereas the capital Vaduz is located in the valley, you need to drive to Malbun to access the most spectacular hiking trails.

From Malbun you can do such emblematic hiking trails as the Princess Gina Trail which is famous all over Europe for the variety of its fauna . Another spectacular hike is the Fürstensteig.

However, you shouldn’t be afraid of heights as sometimes you’re climbing on rocks that descend hundreds of metres. However, after each hike, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views over the neighbouring countries.

One of my favourite hikes was the Princess Gina trail which leads you to the Pfalzerhutte. This quaint mountain hut does not only offer delicious hearty mountain food but you can even spend the night  and wake up to a breathtaking mountain panorama.

Thus despite its size, Liechtenstein offers a large variety of hiking trails in Europe for all kind of levels .

Hiking in Montenegro

Kotor and lovcen mountains.

By Kami at My Wanderlust

Montenegro - best places to hike in Europe

While most of the people visit Kotor, Montenegro for the beautiful old town and the view from the St. John Fortress the area is perfect for hiking around too. Just look at the surrounding mountains and you will see why!

The most popular place in the area is Jezerski Vrh , the second highest peak in Lovcen mountains with the altitude of 1,657 m above the sea level.

You can get there from Kotor by car or you can hike – one-way trip should take you around 5 hours. You start from the city using so-called Ladder of Kotor – the old way through the mountains connecting Kotor with Cetinje .

Afterwards, you follow the road through the Lovcen National Park (there’re some shortcuts too).

The final part is 461 steps up to the peak where the Mausoleum of Petar Petrović Njegoš (the most famous ruler of Montenegro) is located. The entrance is 3 EUR but it’s definitely worth the views you get from the top.

On a clear day, you can see 70% of Montenegro from there and the landscape really takes your breath away!

You can walk back the same route, stopping along the way at the local restaurant to try the local delicacy – Njeguški pršut – named by many the best ham in the world!

Hiking in Norway

Western norway.

By Elaine and Dave at Show Them the Globe

Western Norway - best hiking destinations in Europe

The unique landscape of Western Norway, famous for its breathtaking fjords, glaciers and stunning coastline , also boasts some of the best hikes Europe has to offer . With its lush landscape and towering mountains, it’s the ideal place for a day or overnight hike.

One of the most beautiful fjords is Lysebotn Fjord in Western Norway is home to the incredible hiking trio of Kjerag, Preikestolen and Flørli 4444. All of these offer a mix of stunning scenery and incredible views.

The iconic Pulpit Rock at Preikestolen juts out like a preacher on a pulpit over the Lysefjord below and recently starred in Mission Impossible: Fallout where Tom Cruise hung from the edge of the rock!

Kjerag is a challenging hike but the reward, a free hanging rock wedged in a mountain crevice, makes the long hike worth it! If you are feeling brave, daredevils can even step out onto the rock!

Flørli 4444 is also known as the stairway to heaven and is a challenging 4,444 step hike up the longest wooden stairway in the world.

Trolltunga is an epic hike and another of our Western Norway favourites . The 20 km hike leads to a jagged trolls tongue rock which juts out above Lake Ringedalsvatnet and rewards with both incredible views and mind-blowing photos!

Hiking in Portugal

Hikes in the algarve.

By James at Portugalist

Best hikes in Europe - Algarve Cliffs, Portugal

When most people think of the Algarve, beaches are usually what comes to mind first. The Algarve is primarily known as a cheap beach destination, but that’s not all this part of Portugal has to offer. It’s surprisingly also a fantastic walking destination .

What makes the Algarve such a good walking destination is its diversity.

There are plenty of great coastal walks along the Central Algarve and more rugged ones along the coast of the Western Algarve. Inland, there are fantastic walks through the mountainous area of Monchique while the Ria Formosa near Faro is known for its incredible wildlife .

The best time to visit is out of season. The summer months are hot, with temperatures often reaching 40 °C and above. Spring, autumn, and most of the winter months are much more suitable, with milder temperatures that are still pleasantly warm but not overbearingly so.

A good, simple walk to get you started is the Seven Hanging Valleys near Carvoeiro. This 11.4 km walk offers some fantastic views of the Algarve coastline and brings you to some of the region’s best beaches.

Praia da Marinha , in particular, at the end of the first half of the walk, has received numerous awards and accolades from international travel publications.

Levada do Rei Walk in Madeira

More gorgeous hikes in the beautiful Maderia.

  • Check out this stunning walk – Levada do Rei, Madeira

Hiking in Romania

The bucegi range in the romanian carpathians.

By Andra at Our World to Wander

Bucegi Hike in Romania - best destinations to hike in Europe

Romanian has started to become a more and more popular destination for hiking in Europe. Its pristine landscapes, a combination of mountains, seaside and Danube’s Delta and affordable prices have put it on many people’s bucket list.

The Carpathians are an excellent place for hiking,  providing many day treks as well as multiple day hikes. One of the ranges that are most popular is the Bucegi mountains , given its proximity to the capital, Bucharest.

You can easily leave Bucharest early in the morning (by car, bus or train) do a hike and then be back in the city by nightfall.

Most day treks in the Bucegi mountains start from Busteni, a resort located at around 150 km from the capital. You can hike up to the summit of Omu peak at 2,505 m, a walk that has multiple routes but which can be done in one day .

For breathtaking views overnight you can spend a night at a beautiful chalet called Malaiesti and on your return, you can hike on a trail that is frequently visited by mountain goats.

No matter which hike you pick, be mindful of wild animals, as Romania is one of the countries that has an impressive number of brown bears .

Hiking in Scotland

Isle of skye, scotland.

By Nicky at Go Live Young

Best place to hike in Europe - Isle of Skye

Skye, off the western coast of Scotland , is a mecca for hillwalkers and climbers , with its majestic Alpine peaks.

There are hikes at all levels, from easy strolls to challenging multi-day hikes, allowing everyone to access the breathtaking scenery and dramatic landscapes that the island boasts.

As a family, we love spending time outdoors and Skye is the perfect outdoor playground. Some of our favourite family-friendly hikes on Skye include:

  • The Old Man of Storr – an Isle of Skye icon . A moderate hike of 4.5 miles, up to the Old Man with amazing views over the island.
  • Quiraing hike, another Skye icon , 4.5 miles along the cliffs of the Quiraing.
  • A walk to Loch Coruisk – ‘’one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been”. You can take a boat ride across the sea and hike the 7 km around the loch.
  • And lastly, Clarion Coral Beaches – an easy 4 km hike to white sandy beaches that could be in the Caribbean!

Each of these hikes enables you to get in amongst spectacular and unique scenery . The beautiful walks on the Isle of Skye in Scotland certainly make it one of the best places to hike in Europe, for everyone to enjoy.

The Outer Hebrides, Scotland

By Kathi at Watch Me See

Hebridean Way, Scotland - best places to hike in Europe

The Outer Hebrides, also called the Western Isles, are a brilliant outdoor destination but have recently become even more popular as a hiking area in Europe.

These islands off the west coast of Scotland are incredibly varied in landscape and offer everything from vast and empty moorlands to scenic coastlines and rugged mountain scenery.

The hills might not be as tall as on the mainland, but there are loads of hikes and trails through this beautiful archipelago.

The recently opened Hebridean Way , for example, offers 156 miles of trail across 10 islands from the Isle of Vatersay in the south to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the north. It can be hiked in one go, which takes around 12 days, or in sections.

If you only have a few days and want to see as many different landscapes as possible, I’d highly recommend the section across Harris. It follows much of the pre-existing Harris Walkway, a well-drained path that crosses the mountains of Harris from west to east.

If you’re lucky you might even spot local golden eagles on their hunt for prey.

The Isle of South Uist offers a completely different experience, especially the Machair Way along the west coast of the island. Machair is the local name for the grassy plain along the coastline, which can only be found in Scotland and Ireland.

During the summer the landscape is covered in colourful wildflowers. It’s incredible!

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

By Kirstin at The Tinberry Travels

Loch Katrine Ben A'an in Loch Lomond Trossachs - best hikes in Europe-2

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is not only a great place to visit on your travels around Scotland but is a wonderful place to enjoy a spot of hiking.

Well connected and with plenty of accommodation as well as camping options, there are almost endless trails covering all types of terrain in the National Park which make it one of the best places to hike in Europe.

Popular half and full day routes include Ben A’an, Ben Lomond and Loch Venachar but there really is something for everyone. With short hikes suitable for family groups such as Conic Hill to multi-day adventures such as the famous West Highland Way and Rob Roy Way.

Hiking the West Highland Way you’ll enjoy loch-side views, moorland and mountainside over the space of 8 days. On the Rob Roy Way you will follow in the footsteps of outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor over 77 miles of rugged, Scottish landscape.

If you’re a Munro bagger then the area also has a total of 21 Munros, making it a perfect spot to kick start the challenge or tick off a few in quick succession.

Overall, no matter where you go, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park will provide beautiful scenery with crystal waters, panoramic views and lush, green forestry and is certainly a must for any hiking enthusiast!

More hikes in Scotland

  • Ben Nevis Hike
  • Best day hikes in Scotland

Hiking in Slovenia

Julian alps.

By Karen at Wanderlustingk

Best places to hike - Slovenia

Many tourists visit Slovenia to see Lake Bled , without hiking in the stunning Julian Alps: This is a shame as Slovenia has some of the most beautiful mountains in the world.

Many people don’t realise that the Alps extend into Slovenia and although many European tourists know about this, the Julian Alps are just as beautiful as the Alps elsewhere with hotel rates only a fraction of what you’d find in Austria and Italy.

If Triglavski Narodni Park is not on your radar, you need to look it up!

While visiting Slovenia, I hiked close to Mangart. Mangart is the third highest mountain in Slovenia and the road to it is the highest road in Slovenia, so so expect epic views.

If you’ve love hiking , come prepared as the ascent to the peak is moderate with most people being able to climb the mountain without significant issues or equipment.

It only takes about one hour to drive from Tolmin (where the popular Tolmin Gorge is) to Mangart, so it’s a great place to indulge in some adventures.

Lovers of adrenaline (with experience) can try out the challenging via ferrata up the face of the mountain prior to ascending to the top of the mountain.

Hiking in Spain

The pyrenees.

By Claudia Tavani at My Adventures Across The World

Spanish Pyrenees - best places to hike in Europe

The Pyrenees have some of the most beautiful long and short distance hiking trails in Europe, on either France or Spain. This mountain chain going from Cap Higuer in the Bay of Biscay to Cap de Creus in the Mediterranean Sea has a lot to offer to nature and adventure lovers .

Aneto, with its 3,404 m, is the highest peak . Among the most famous hikes in the Pyrenees, there’s the very challenging GR-10, GR-11 and HR trails, which are all challenging multi-day hikes.

In the region of Costa Brava, one of the nicest trails is the one that goes from Portbou to Cadaquès: it is part of the GR-92 trail, and what’s nice about it is that it goes through a bunch of lovely medieval villages.

The entire trail is around 42 km long, so it takes anything between 2 and 3 days.

Another trail is that of Vall de Nuria, which crosses the region of Garrotxa. The area is popular for skiing in the winter, but when spring and summer come, it is a great place for hiking in Europe.

Picos de Europa National Park

By Talek at Travels with Talek

Best places to hike Europe - Picos de Europa National Park, Spain

Picos de Europa National Park lies between the provinces of Asturias and Leon in northern Spain. Within the park, there are many spectacular hiking trails . Some say the Cares River trail is the most challenging.

The area is crisscrossed by deep gorges and the Cares River runs along the bottom of the gorges. In the higher areas, the land is dotted with lakes, dense forests and peaks that can reach up to 7,000 feet high . The landscape is wild, vast and stunning.

You can start the hiking trail in either of the two provinces. The recommended round trip hike covers 24 kilometres . We started in Asturias from Poncebos to the town of Cain in Leon. The local guest house we stayed at overnight outfitted us with walking sticks, a block of local cheese and a slab of bread and we were off.

The first kilometres are a bit steep but then the trail is easy terrain running parallel to the Cares River for about 6 to 7 hours back and forth. The trail can be very narrow in some parts.

Occasionally the path takes you through small tunnels carved out of the rock and across bridges that hang precariously over the abyss.

There is much wildlife on the trail; mountain goats, eagles, and vultures which are pervasive.

Try negotiating a narrow mountain pass several thousand feet above a plunging gorge with 10 vultures circling over your head . Talk about nerve racking.

Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, The Pyrenees

By Gabor at Surfing the Planet

Best places to hike in Europe - Aiguestortes National Park, Spain (2)

The Pyrenees Mountain chain occupies most of the border area between Spain and France.

This region is famous for its pristine alpine landscape s. This 430 km-long mountain range is divided into several sections and from our point of view the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is the most picturesque area.

The peculiarity of this part is the high number of alpine lakes of different colours all around the national park and a very diverse landscape. From dense pine forests to barren, 3,000 m tall peaks.

In Aiguestortes National Park, there are some of the best hikes in the Pyrenees  with a mix of trails for different levels of walkers. For beginner hikers, there are easier hikes, for example, the Planell d’Aigüestortes that takes you to a charming lake called Estany de Llebreta or from Espot to Estany de Sant Maurici, the largest lake in the National Park.

If you prefer a more challenging hike, you can take on the Carros de Foc, a fascinating circular multi-day hike (you can also do one section on a day trip), that goes through the most beautiful mountain passes of the park.

It also allows you to sleep in mountain refuges that are usually found in simply unbeatable locations.

Hiking in Switzerland

Ebenalp mountain.

By Arzo at Arzo Travels

Best hikes in Europe - Ebenalp Mountain Switzerland

Hiking Ebenalp is such an “easy” hike. The Ebenalp Mountain is not as high as other mountains in Switzerland (elevation 1,610 meters). Even though it is a shorter, (but quite a steep hike), the views are still breathtaking and it is probably one of the most beautiful places in the country.

The mountain is located in the western part of Switzerland, in the canton of Appenzellerland . It became famous when Ashton Kutcher recommended it to its followers on Facebook and now, it has become a popular destination for day trips.

Get via car or train to Wasserauen Station and then hike up. I recommend hiking up to the very top, to Mountain Guesthouse Ebenalp then hike down and pass the prehistoric Wildkirchli Caves before you will see a hotel in one of the most beautiful settings – the Aescher.

From there, I recommend hiking down and use the path to see the Seealpsee Lake – a lake that comes in a stunningly beautiful colour. This trip might take a full day in total but it includes a lot of time for resting and admiring the scenery, too.

For another great hike in Switzerland read about Campfires and Concierges Haute Route .

Hiking in Wales

Snowdonia national park.

Tryfan hike Snowdonia - best places to hike in Europe

The list of best hikes in Europe wouldn’t be complete without mentioning gorgeous Snowdonia in Wales . With mountains, hills and coastlines that go on for miles, Wales has something for everyone.

Snowdonia National Park is a particular favourite with hiking lovers , with its striking mountains and numerous lakes.

Hiking in Snowdonia is perfect for both adventurers and beginners, there are challenging climbs, scrambles across Crib Goch ridge or gentle walks alongside the lakes. If you fancy a real hiking challenge why not try the Welsh 3000s Challenge , hiking all 15 summits in Snowdonia in 24 hours!

How can I not mention Snowdonia, without Mt Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales! With routes from all sides of the mountain, it makes this a very popular walk in Wales.

It’s unlikely you’ll be lonely at the summit but that’s handy if you need someone to take your photo and don’t have a tripod !

Be sure to add Snowdonia to your Europe bucket list.

Read next:  The best walks in Snowdonia National Park

Brecon Beacons National Park

By David at Delve into Europe

Fforest Fawr in Brecon Beacons - best places to hike in Europe

The Brecon Beacons National Park in the south and mid-Wales is a fantastic area for hiking in Europe because there is so much varied terrain to explore there.

The Beacons has five distinctly different areas.

  • The Black Mountains in the east are a series of long ridges and deep valleys.
  • The Central Beacons – including the highest peak in southern Britain, Pen y Fan – are the highest, most dramatic mountains.
  • Fforest Fawr , to the west, is empty moorland with beautiful gentle countryside to the north.
  • Waterfall Country is a series of reversing gorges to the south of Fforest Fawr, between the villages of Ystradfellte and Pontneddfechan. And the
  • Black Mountains, in the far west , is a dramatic escarpment with a stunning lake – Llyn y Fan Fach – and one of the best castles in Wales, Carreg Cennen, nearby.

There are a multitude of hikes to choose from in the Brecon Beacons , but for me, you can’t beat Pen y Fan.

There are several routes up the mountain, including the popular path (known locally as ‘the M4’ after the nearby motorway) from Pont ar Daf to the summit, which takes around 40 minutes if you’re very fit.

However, the longer, more satisfying, more energy-sapping route begins at the Upper Neuadd reservoir, climbing up Cribyn before the final haul to Pen y Fan’s summit.

You can either return the same way or complete a ‘horseshoe’ via the neighbouring summit of Corn Du and Bwlch Duwynt.

Was your favourite place to hike in Europe on the list or can you recommend any more great hiking destinations in Europe?

Let me know in the comments below.

Save to your hiking Pinterest boards for later

Hiking in Europe - best treks in Europe

*Becky the Traveller participates in the Amazon Services Associates Programme, as well as other affiliate programmes. If you make a purchase through these, I earn from the qualifying links. This is at no extra cost to you. Read more here .

Becky the Traveller

5 thoughts on “ 32 best places to hike in europe (hiker’s favourite european treks) ”.

I absolutely love this article! It has so many cool ideas and hikes I didn’t know about before. I am happy to contribute and happy to learn something new for my next adventure. My husband and I are going to Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, and Portugal later this year, so planning to refer to your post more than once. I truly love it, Becky, thank you!

Thanks Anya, so glad you love it. There really are some epic places to hike in Europe. Happy hiking 🙂

So much inspiration in one post – I’ll need a lifetime of hiking holidays to do all that! Wales has really come onto my radar recently – I’ve hiked Mt Snowdon before, but we couldn’t see a thing at the top… I’ll have to try again!

Haha well I guess there’s no time limit to complete them all (or you don’t even have to do them all of course!!) Yes I’ve never seen a view from the top of Snowdon, although on my last trip I did see the top without clouds!

Pingback: ? South Norway Road Trip: 25 Best Places to Visit (2021)

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The best hiking in Europe: 10 of the Old Continent’s most unmissable day hikes and thru-hikes

Unsure where to find the best hiking in Europe? Our selection of the best hiking trails on the “Old Continent” has you covered!

Hiker in the Italian Dolomites

Drawing up a list of a mere 10 of the best hiking trails in Europe was no easy task. After much quibbling, a few tiffs, and a bit of bartering, however, our team of writers and editors have agreed upon a selection of 5 thrilling day hikes and 5 multi-day epics that merit their place on the bucket list of every adventure-loving wanderer of the wilds.

The entries on our list are varied in form, ranging from shorter coastal hikes on some of the Mediterranean’s most exquisite stretches of coastline to week-long Odysseys through some of the continent’s gnarliest and most awe-inspiring alpine terrain. In short, there’s something for everyone! 

The best hiking in Europe: the top 5 multi-day hikes   

 1. alta via 1 .

Hikers on Alta Via 1

Location: Italy Distance: 75 miles (120km) Duration: 5-8 days Difficulty: Moderate/strenuous

The Dolomites are, for the adventurously minded, the most resplendent jewel in Italy’s jewel-laden crown. A total of 10 Alta Via (“high way”) routes crisscross the range, but for our money the best of the bunch is the epic and peerlessly pretty original, Alta Via 1.

For the aesthetically inclined, this hike is nothing short of a smorgasbord, serving up reams of jaw-dropping scenery around every turn in the trail. Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of some of Italy’s most iconic, storied, and photogenic mountains, hike through dozens of incredibly quaint alpine meadows bedecked with colorful wildflowers, pass a handful of remnant historical sites from WWI’s Guerra Bianca (“White War”), and have the option of hopping onto a few easy via ferrata routes if you’re keen to up the stakes (and stoke levels!) even further.

At 75miles (120km) long and with almost 22,000 feet of total ascent, for this one you’ll need a pair of the best hiking boots , a backpack that’s a comfortable wear day after day, and calves of steel! 

2. Tour du Mont Blanc

Woman hiking with Mont Blanc in the distance

Location: France, Italy, and Switzerland Distance: 170 kilometers (110 miles) Duration: 7-11 days Difficulty: Strenuous

Advnture Newsletter

All the latest inspiration, tips and guides to help you plan your next Advnture!

This classic hike is one of the most popular multi-day routes in all of Europe, and for decades has featured at the top of the tick lists of mountain-loving people everywhere. The “Tour” passes through some of the most idyllic mountainous terrain on the planet while circumnavigating the 4,808-meter Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe. Along the route, you’ll hike through three countries (Italy, Switzerland, and France), put in nearly 10,000 meters of ascent, and enjoy views of majestic glaciers, exquisite alpine meadows, and some of Europe’s most iconic peaks, among them Grandes Jorasses, Aig d’Argentiere, Aid du Midi, and the Dru.

3. Laugavegurinn and Fimmvörðuhál

Hikers in Iceland

Location: Iceland Distance:   48 miles (77km) Duration: 3-4 days Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

The Laugavegurinn trail is Iceland’s classic hut-to-hut trek, taking in everything for which the land of fire and ice is rightly famed – multi-colored mountains, glaciers, precipitous gorges, lava fields, mile upon mile of pristine wilderness, and a humungous volcano with an all but unpronounceable name – Eyjafjallajökull, which famously shut down all air travel in Europe for a short spell in 2010 after an eruption. 

4. Selvaggio Blu 

Selvaggio Blu

Location: Sardinia, Italy Distance: 25 miles (40km) Duration: 4 days Difficulty: Challenging 

This little-known trail is one for hikers who enjoy a challenge, have a good head for heights, and are keen to explore the “path less traveled,” even if that involves complete disconnection from civilization (the only way off the route is back the way you came or by boat!), pant-filling descents, and the odd airy abseil over towering limestone cliffs. 

The route traverses one of the wildest and most remote stretches of Sardinia’s eastern coastline between nightly stopovers on a sequence of utterly idyllic, unspoiled, and otherwise inaccessible beaches. For first-timers, we highly recommend enlisting the services of a local guide – the trail isn’t waymarked and route-finding is notoriously difficult in the latter stages of the route. If you choose to go it alone, come prepared to be fully self-sufficient for the duration, carrying a camping stove , gas/fuel (see: how much fuel to bring backpacking ), tent, sleeping bag, a rope for the abseils (these are sometimes left in situ, but bring your own to be on the safe side!), and all other hiking essentials . 

Mountains on the GR20

Location: Corsica, France Distance: 112 miles (180 km) Duration: 10-15 days Difficulty: Challenging

Corsica’s GR20 (Grande Randonnée 20) is renowned for being both one of Europe’s most beautiful treks and one of the toughest. The 112-mile trek traverses the mountainous center of the island from north to south, and along the way passes through some of the most rugged, wild, and challenging landscapes on the continent. On this route, hikers are regaled with uninterrupted views of towering granite peaks, turquoise lakes, and stunning seascapes. With almost 20,000 feet of ascent and more than a few steep, exposed scrambling sections ( What is scrambling?), this one poses a true test of mettle for even the most experienced and trail-hardened hikers.  

The best hiking trails in Europe: the top 5 day hikes

 1. sentiero azzuro, cinque terre  .

Cinque Terre

Location: Liguria, Italy

Distance: 10 miles (16km) 

Duration: 5-6 hours 

Difficulty: Easy

Flanking the coastline of the Italian Riviera between the idyllic coastal villages of Monterosso and Riomaggiore, the Sentiero Azzuro is the ideal hike for adventurers who like to combine their hiking with a little bit of culture, dreamy cuisine, a glass or two of wine, and the odd cool-down dip in some of the most majestic swimming spots the world over.

The trail passes through all five of the gobsmackingly pretty coastal towns from which the region takes its name – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore – and serves up a visual feast of delights around every turn in the trail, from dramatic limestone cliffs leering over the azure sea to leafy terraced vineyards and birds-eye views of those almost impossibly quaint and colorful coastal villages. While the Sentiero Azurro itself is easy going all the way, you can crank things up a notch (and escape the crowds) by venturing up any of the myriad connecting trails that feed off the main drag into the hills above.

2.  Trolltunga 

The troll's tongue

Location: Norway Distance: 17.5 miles (28 km) Duration: 10-12 hours Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

If you haven’t heard of the Trolltunga hike, the chances are you’ve seen at least one part of it while browsing social media – namely, the outlandish slab of rock (the “Trolls Tongue” from which the hike takes its name) that protrudes into the ether some 500 meters above the valley below. Every year, thousands of hikers from all over the world head to Trolltunga to get a snap of themselves standing on the tip of the troll’s tongue, but the hike itself is well worth doing in its own right. Over 17.5 miles of trail, hikers put in 800 meters of ascent while wending their way up an occasionally steep path with views of the cerulean Ringedal Lake, the Folgefonna Glacier, and a slew of stunning snow-capped peaks.

3. Tre Cime di Lavaredo 

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo at dusk

Location: Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Distance: 14 miles (23km) from Bagni di San Giuseppe/7 miles (10km) from Rifugio Auronzo Duration: 6-8 hours (from Bagni di San Giuseppe)/3 hours from Rifugio Auronzo Difficulty: Moderate

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo (“Three Peaks of Lavaredo”) are possibly the most photographed and iconic mountains on the planet – and, given just one look at the things, it’s very easy to see why! This trio of minaret-like spires are awe-inspiring from all angles, and on the three-hour loop from the Auronzo mountain hut (Rifugio Auronzo), you’ll get to see every inch of them, and probably even spot a few rock climbers precariously poised somewhere on any of the dozens of rock routes that ascend their various faces. 

Luckily, the various trails that take you to the Tre Cime let you enjoy far more than the three peaks alone and afford outstanding views of all the major tops of the Sesto Dolomite Group, from the mighty spire of Cima 11 to the fang-like Monte Paterno, which has an awesome, easy via ferrata route that leads up through old WWI tunnels to a summit overlooking the Tre Cime themselves. 

While the hike can be done as a three-hour loop from Rifugio Auronzo on the south side of the peaks (reachable by car/bus), we’d highly recommend you start your hike from Bagni di San Giuseppe to enjoy the sumptuous mountain scenery on the approach through Val Fiscalina.

4. Aonach Eagach Ridge 

Hikers on the Aonach Eagach Ridge

Location: Glencoe, Scotland Distance: 6 miles (9.5 km) Duration: 4-6 hours Difficulty: Challenging

If exposure, moderate scrambling, and sumptuously wild mountain scenery are your thing, then Scotland’s Aonach Eagach Ridge is one not to be missed. 

This hike starts off easily enough, climbing steadily from the roadside at the foot of the brooding peak of Bidean nam Bian towards the start of the hostilities, which arrive shortly after the summiting Am Bodach, the first of the three peaks strung along the ridge. From there, things take a swift turn for the “interesting” as the “trail” (scare quotes required) veers first down a steep, exposed rocky escarpment and then enters the infamous “Pinnacles” section of the route, on which you’ll be forced into full-blown scrambling up, over, and around a succession of rocky spires some 400 feet above the nearest landing place. The handholds on this section of the route are plentiful and make negotiating the Pinnacles relatively straightforward in dry conditions, but a good head for heights (and perhaps a change of underwear) is essential nonetheless. 

5. El Camino del Rey  

El Camino del Rey

Location: Malaga, Spain Distance:  4.6 miles (7.5km) Duration: 3-4 hours Difficulty: Challenging

Another one for the intrepid and steely of nerve, Malaga’s “Way of the King” is a hike frequently featured on lists of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world and categorically not for the faint of heart. 

The camino measures around 7.5 km from end to end, but owes its fame – and notoriety – to a 3-kilometer “walkway segment” in the middle that requires hikers to use fixed cables, chains, and (very) airy walkways to clamber over and around the precipitous walls of the gorge, some 100 meters above the valley floor.  

Kieran Cunningham

Former Advnture editor Kieran is a climber, mountaineer, and author who divides his time between the Italian Alps, the US, and his native Scotland.

He has climbed a handful of 6000ers in the Himalayas, 4000ers in the Alps, 14ers in the US, and loves nothing more than a good long-distance wander in the wilderness. He climbs when he should be writing, writes when he should be sleeping, has fun always.

Kieran is the author of ' Climbing the Walls ' , an exploration of the mental health benefits of climbing, mountaineering, and the great outdoors.

7 reasons you need a camping cooler: from campsite cuisine to keeping bears at bay

Coros Vertix 2S vs Coros Vertix 2: choose the right adventure watch for you

Need new running shoes? Altra just dropped three new styles

Most Popular

  • 2 Specialized/Fjällräven frame bag review: slim profile, large volume, no wobble
  • 3 Garmin's biggest and best Fenix watch is cheaper than ever at Amazon today
  • 4 Could the slosh-reducing Hydroshirt revolutionize hydration for runners?
  • 5 Norwegian breaks world record for high-speed backwards skiing

best european hiking trips

Best Hikes in Africa

Best Hikes in South America

Best Hikes in Southeast Asia

World's Best Long-Distance Hikes

Hiking Boots, Shoes, and Sandals: How to Choose

Buying and Breaking in Hiking Boots

Hiking Boots

Lightweight Hiking Shoes

Men's Hiking Boots

Men's Hiking Sandals

Waterproof Hiking Boots

Women's Hiking Boots

Women's Hiking Sandals

List of Essential Gear

Hiking Pants

Hiking Shirts

Hiking Socks

Baby Carriers

Hiking Watches

Trekking Poles

A Complete Packing List

Tips for Hiking With Kids

Tips for Hiking With Dogs

Mapping and Navigating Your Route

10 Essential Safety Tips

Tech for Backcountry Communication

Best Hikes in US National Parks

Amazing Mountain Hikes in the US

Best Hiking Trails in Canada

Best Hikes in Europe

The 16 Best Hiking Destinations in Europe

Comprised of about 50 countries, Europe offers not just a diverse offering of food, culture, and history, it also boasts an endless number of choices when it comes to hiking destinations. With some of the world's most famous trails as well as off-the-beaten treks, the continent has plenty of outdoorsy adventures to satisfy your yearning for nature's best. From easy day hikes to multi-day treks, here are some of the best hiking destinations in Europe to add to your list.

Kazbegi National Park (Republic of Georgia)

The Republic of Georgia is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets when it comes to hiking. A three-hour drive north of the country’s capital, Tbilisi, is Kazbegi National Park. Situated in the northern part of the Caucasus mountains, Mount Kazbegi is the third highest peak in Georgia at an elevation of 16,581 feet. Base yourself in the town of Stepantsminda, from where you can hike to the Gergeti Trinity church for panoramic views; if time permits, continue onward to see the Gergeti Glacier. End your day in the mountains by enjoying some local delicacies , including Khachapuri, the famous cheese-filled pastry, or meaty Georgian dumplings (Khinkali).

Ushguli (Republic of Georgia)

Hikers will find themselves taken back in time in Ushguli; located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Upper Svaneti , this community of four villages dates back to prehistoric times and is known for its medieval tower houses. You can hike up the Shkhara glacier, located in the Greater Caucasus mountain range, or immerse yourself in local life by embarking on a four-day trek from the town of Mestia to Ushguli. Along the way, you'll get to stay and experience home-cooked meals in locals' homes. You can reach Mestia from Tbilisi via train, minivan, or local flight.

Lagodekhi National Park (Republic of Georgia)

For an off-the-beaten path experience minus the crowds, Lagodekhi National Park in Georgia truly captures the calmness of nature. Check out Black Grouse Waterfall or Machi Fortress, or take the two- to three-day trek to Black Rock Lake, which shares the border between Georgia and Russia. You have the option of carrying your own sleeping equipment and camping by the lake, or spending a night in a rustic cabin for a small fee. Make sure to bring your passport with you for the border checkpoints. To get to Lagodekhi, it's an easy two- to three- hour ride on a marshrutka (minivan) from Tbilisi.

The Dolomites (Italy)

Tripsavvy / Michela Sieman

Covering 6,155 square miles of wilderness in the Alps, this UNESCO World Heritage Site deserves its reputation as a world-class hiking destination for its mountain sceneries, rocky peaks, and emerald lakes.

There are plenty of options for day hikes here, including the trail to the famous landmark, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and to the highest point, Marmolada (10,968 feet). For the more adventurous, the Dolomites’ Alta Via network of long distance trails features a variety of routes, including via ferratas (iron treks) that require some climbing equipment to maneuver iron cables, steps, and ladders. And if you're limited on time, most major landmarks can be accessed through the use of gondolas.

Whichever route you choose, travelers will find themselves enjoying the comfort and experience of the hut-to-hut style of trekking. The city of Bolzano is the gateway to the Dolomites, and can be reached easily by car or train from a number of major cities in Italy.

Stromboli Volcano (Italy)

Located north of Sicily, Stromboli is one of the seven volcanic Aeolian islands. For more than 2,000 years, it's been one of the world's most active volcanoes, and tourists visit the island to book a night tour and witness the fiery display of lava and hear the thunderous noise up close.

Before embarking on the two-hour guided hike, you'll be provided with a helmet and shoes specially designed for walking on the ashy trail. Those who make it to the viewing area are rewarded with a spectacle of intense red magma bursting out of the volcano’s mouth; as you look over the island and the sea beyond it, the experience becomes simply unforgettable. To reach the island, you must take a ferry boat from Sicily or Naples.

Teide National Park (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain)

Mount Teide, another UNESCO World Heritage Site , is a volcano located on the island of Tenerife ; at an elevation of 12,188 feet, it's the highest point in Spain. Visitors to Teide National Park can spend the day hiking its extensive network of trails to discover a colorful display of geological formations. If you have time, you can do a multi-day trek and stay one night at the Altavista del Teide refugio ; from here, you can embark on a sunrise hike to the top of Mount Teide, or ride a cable car and walk the last 525 feet to the summit. Note that a hiking permit and reservation with the refugio are both required. Transportation within the park is limited, so it's recommended that you rent a car. If you're unable to book a stay at the refugio, Vilaflor, a small village 30 minutes from the park entrance, has the best options for accommodations.

Mallorca Island (Spain)

Mallorca’s Mediterranean location can fool you into thinking that it’s solely a beach destination, when in fact it's also hiking heaven. The island's legendary long distance trail, GR-221 (also known as Ruta de Pedra en Sec, which translates to "Dry Stone Route"), is 87 miles long and runs throughout the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Serra de Tramuntana . Along the way, you'll be treated to beautiful coastlines, limestone structures, stone paved paths, mule trails, olive groves, forests, and spectacular panoramic cliff-side views. The multi-day trek brings avid hikers to quaint cobblestone towns, including the beautiful mountain town of Sóller; accommodations are a mix of hotels, guesthouses, refugios, and campsites.

Madeira Island (Portugal)

TripSavvy / Lauren Breedlove

Madeira is known for its levadas—an irrigation channel unique to the region—and the island's so-called levada walks take hikers through its lush, green landscapes and to numerous waterfalls, cliffside ocean views, and volcanic rock pools. Those who wish to climb a peak can do so by hiking up Pico Rivo, the highest point in Madeira (6,108 feet), or Pico do Arieiro, its third highest peak. The city of Funchal is the ideal base for exploring Madeira, thanks to a variety of accommodation and restaurant options. Although there is a public transport system, renting a car is the easiest way to get to Madeira's hiking trails. The island's springlike weather attracts hikers all year round—but to avoid the cruise crowd, it’s best to come to Madeira in spring or autumn.

Prokletije (Albania)

Prokletije, also known as the Albanian Alps or the Accursed Mountains, is quickly gaining prominence as a prime hiking destination in southern Europe. It comprises the southernmost part of the Dinaric Alps, and is characterized by sharp, jagged peaks. One of the most popular day hikes in the area is the trail between Valbonë and Thethi. In either village, you will find a limited number of guesthouses and tourist facilities; as both remain untouched by commercialized tourism, be sure to bring your own food supply. If you wish to do multi-day trekking, consider taking the Peaks of the Balkans trail, which is an absolute must. Thethi is accessible by car, while Valbonë requires a ferry ride from the city of Shkodër.

Durmitor National Park (Montenegro)

At first glance, the highlight of Montenegro is Kotor, where the quaint preserved medieval town is complemented by the gorgeous Bay of Kotor. However, hikers are in for a treat, because Montenegro’s Durmitor National Park has pristine and rugged wilderness that has yet to experience mainstream tourism. There are many trails to choose from, including a seven-hour roundtrip hike to Bobotov Kuk, the highest point of the Durmitor mountains (part of the Dinaric Alps). Multi-day trekking is also possible via the long distance route, Via Dinarica , which traverses the Dinaric Alps from Albania to Slovenia, and passes through Montenegro. Wild camping is permitted in the park, but for those who wish to sleep indoors, the mountain town of Žabljak has hostels and guesthouses. Žabljak is a three-hour drive from Kotor.

Paklenica National Park (Croatia)

Many tourists come to Croatia via cruise ships and stay in port-side cities such as Split , Dubrovnik, and Zadar. Unbeknownst to many, though, Croatia has plenty of trails for hiking. Located about 29 miles from Zadar, Paklenica National Park is best known for its two canyons, Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica, both located within the Velebit mountains (part of the Dinaric Alps). Other picturesque features include lush meadows, crystal clear lakes, and rock formations, which entice many climbers and scramblers. Within the park, there are rustic lodges for travelers while they explore the area; if staying here, be sure to bring a sleeping bag. You can reach the park by car or public bus from Zadar.

Triglav National Park (Slovenia)

Triglav National Park in Slovenia is the home of the Julian Alps and the country’s highest point, Mount Triglav. Here, you'll get some of the best views of the Alps: glacier-fed lakes, rocky terrains, gorges, and picturesque valleys where you can spot wildlife such as ibex. Base yourself in Lake Bohinj, where you can easily access the trails via an extensive bus transit system during the summer season. From Lake Bohinj, you can explore the Seven Lakes Valley, Slap Savica waterfall, and Mostnica Gorge, or begin your trek to the summit of Mount Triglav. You can get to Lake Bohinj from Ljubljana by bus in two hours. The national park entry is free and camping is only allowed on designated sites.

Laugavegur Trail (Iceland)

Iceland has been deemed “the land of fire and ice” for its unique volcanic but wintry landscapes and geothermal features, making it one of the top hiking destinations in the world. From June to August every year, many hikers are lured into doing the classic four-day trek on Laugavegur trail, which starts in Landmannalaugar and ends in Thórsmörk (although ambitious trekkers can extend this trek easily by trekking all the way to Skógar). Those who brave the challenge are rewarded with some of the best landscapes that the planet has to offer: colorful rhyolite mountains, black sand deserts, glaciers, canyons, and strikingly gorgeous green valleys. All this with the added bonus of bathing in geothermal hot springs.

Note that this is a popular hut-to-hut trek that requires hikers to make their hut reservations months in advance. You can also bring your own tent, but do keep in mind that the weather in the area is unpredictable and snow can fall even in summer months. Also, you must be in decent shape as trekkers are required to carry their own food and gear. The only viable time to go is during the summer season, when bus service is available between Reykjavik and Landmannalaugar or Thórsmörk.

Tour du Mont Blanc (France, Switzerland, and Italy)

Tour du Mont Blanc, also know as TMB, is a 105-mile trek that circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif, taking you through the Alps in France, Switzerland, and Italy. From beginning to end, you'll be treated to classic Alps landscapes: snowcapped mountains, green pastures, emerald green lakes, glaciers, and alpine meadows. Many start their TMB trek in the mountain town of Chamonix in France; the duration of hikes can vary from one day to over two weeks. The trek can be done independently, or you can join a guided TMB tour. When it comes to accommodation, you'll have your pick of campsites, mountain huts, and luxurious hotels.

Corsica Island (France)

While mainland France has the Alps, the French island of Corsica has one of the toughest long distance treks in Europe: GR-20. The 110-mile trail runs from the northern town of Calenza to the southern town of Conca, and takes two weeks to complete. GR-20 is not for the faint-hearted as it requires some serious rock scrambling on rugged terrain, particularly maneuvers around granite rocks in various degrees of difficulty. But those who are looking for something easier will be equally satisfied with other hikes around the island, including the trail to Monte Sello, which offers a stunning view over northern Corsica's mountains. Whichever hike you choose, you will enjoy the combined beauty of the Mediterranean sea and mountains. Corsica is reachable by plane or ferry from mainland France.

The High Tatras Mountains (Poland and Slovakia)

Part of the Carpathian Mountains, the High Tatras Mountain range straddles the border of Poland and Slovakia—in fact, trails here often cross from one country to the next. Although not as high as the Alps, the High Tatras is a less crowded hiking destination that rivals with its own stunning natural beauty and landscapes. There are an endless number of day hikes and multi-day treks to choose; the path up to Mount Rysy, the highest peak in Poland and the seventh highest peak in Slovakia, is one of the more popular ones. While the views are more dramatic and most of the hiking trails are found on the Slovakian side, the easiest way to access the High Tatras is from Zakopane , less than two hours from Krakow.

The 10 Best Hikes on Maui

10 Best Mountain Treks in Africa

The Top 15 Hiking Destinations in India

15 Places to Go Hiking in Argentina

The 9 Best New Hiking Trails of 2022

The Best Long-Distance Hiking Trails in the World

The 5 Best Day Hikes in the Swiss Alps

Italy's Dolomites Region: The Complete Guide

10 Great Places for Trekking in Southeast Asia

Best Hikes in Germany

The 9 Best Places to Hike in Sumatra

The Complete Guide to Tusheti, Georgia: Europe's Last Wild Frontier

Don't Miss These 20 Hiking Trails in South America

Kahurangi National Park: The Complete Guide

Nelson Lakes National Park: The Complete Guide

The Top 11 National Parks in Italy

Wander-Lush

21 Best Day Hikes in Europe for Scenery, Adventure & Culture

Some of the best European hikes are short but sweet. This round-up of 21 spectacular day hikes in Europe features some of the best scenery, culture and adventure experiences the continent has to offer. Best of all, you’ll be home in time for dinner.

Whether you’re looking to spend an easy afternoon ambling along a coastal path or you’re up for summiting a volcanic creator, Europe has hikes for every fitness level and interest.

The 21 trails on this list range from some of the best easy hikes in Europe, all the way through to some of the most physically challenging. Many of Europe’s most spectacular national parks and nature spots are represented, from the Swiss Alps to the Accursed Mountains, Norway’s fjords to Bulgaria’s glacial lakes and Spain’s river canyons.

Some paths lead to spectacular churches; others deliver you to hidden coves or vineyards. One of these day hikes even crosses an international border! One thing each of these short trails has in common is magnificent views to savour.

Here are 21 of the very best day hikes in Europe, as recommended by frequent travellers.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

21 best day hikes in Europe for scenery, culture & adventure

1. valbona to theth | the accursed mountains, albania.

  • Closest town/city: Valbona/Theth
  • Distance: 9.5km (from the trailhead)
  • Time Required: 5-8 hours
  • Difficulty level: Moderate

A round stone church in Theth, Albania.

Albania ‘s Accursed Mountains (AKA the Albanian Alps) offers visitors incredible scenery and cultural encounters without the crowds you usually get on the opposite end of the range. Set in the gorgeously rugged Valbona Valley National Park, the Valbona to Theth trek is quickly gaining popularity as one of the most beautiful hikes in Europe.

This is an A-to-B trek between two alpine villages. It can easily be completed in a full day. At the end of the walk, you overnight in the opposite village, meaning you have to carry everything you need with you (it pays to pack light !). Note that it’s only possible to do the trek in summer.

The route is fairly straight forward: Up dry river beds, across meadows, and through dense pine forests. The crescendo comes at the half-way point, when you cross through a dramatic mountain pass.

You can do the walk in either direction, but I recommend starting in Valbona and ending in Theth. There is more to do in Theth – including a range of other short day hikes – and the village itself has warm homestays and a lovely stone church. Make sure you set aside enough time in your Albania itinerary to linger in the area for a few days – it’s incredibly beautiful.

2. Seven Bay Trail | Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

  • Closest town/city: Budva/Sveti Stefan
  • Distance: 9km
  • Time Required: 3-5 hours
  • Difficulty level: Easy

A fishing town perched on a rocky cliff in Montenegro.

From the craggy peaks of Durmitor National Park to the Bay of Kotor, puckered with an endless number of natural bays, Montenegro offers some of the most beautiful landscapes and best day hiking in Europe. Most tourists head for the mountains, but there are trails around the Adriatic Coast that are every bit as rewarding.

In the summer months, May through September, Kotor comes to life with tourists and cruise ships. A great way to beat the crowds is by spending a few hours on the Seven Bay Trail, an easy half-day walk that leads you to some of the area’s more secluded beaches and coves.

You can start the walk in either Budva or Sveti Stefan. If you’re driving around Montenegro , it’s easiest to park your car at the end point, take a bus or taxi back to the start of the trail, then walk to your car.

As you trace your way around the bay, you’ll see a nice mix of popular and lesser-visited local beaches. Przno, with its dramatic cliffs, is a particular highlight. The route leads through numerous small towns, and there are plenty of places to pause along the way for a swim or lunch at one of the seafood restaurants on the water. Try to time your hike so you round the final bay at sunset .

3. Landmannalaugar Trail | Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Iceland

  • Closest town/city: Hella
  • Distance: 4km
  • Time required: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Recommended by: Albi from Ginger Around The Globe

Iceland's velvety mountains.

Landmannalaudar is one of the overlooked places in Iceland ‘s highlands. With its little peaks and natural hot springs, it’s a hikers paradise .

There are several hiking circuits that you can choose from based on how long you want to hike and what difficulty level you prefer. The shortest circuit is very easy and can be completed in as little as 2 hours. On the opposite end of the spectrum, to hike the longest route, you will need 9 hours. This is a more difficult track, mostly because of the terrain and the steepness of the peak.

During the hike, you will have an opportunity to see glacier lakes, snowy but colourful mountains (even in the summer), and peaks of volcanoes. Enjoy the views – then relax in one of the natural hot springs located close to the local bus stop.

The easiest way to access the trailhead is by either taking a 4×4 vehicle or using a local mountain bus. The bus runs several times a day but only in summer. The best time to walk the Landmannalaudar Trail is in summer when the roads are clear of snow and mud.

4. Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza | Cinque Terre, Italy

  • Closest town/city: Monterosso al Mare
  • Distance: 3.7km
  • Time Required: 2 hours
  • Recommended by: Kate from Our Escape Clause

Colourful buildings of Cinque Terre viewed from the hiking trail.

Without a doubt, the stunning hike from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza is one of the best day hikes in Europe, and an excellent way to spend a day in Cinque Terre !

Between the gorgeous Ligurian coastline, sparkling azure water, picturesque vineyards , and, of course, colourful villages, a day spent hiking from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza is not one that you will forget anytime soon.

The trail is fairly easy and comfortable for most travellers without physical limitations. It takes about 2 hours (less for fast hikers or those in excellent shape) to travel between the villages. As one of the most popular day hikes in Italy, the trail can get crowded, especially during the height of summer. Consider starting early in the morning to take advantage of an emptier trail and a cool sea breeze.

The region surrounding Cinque Terre does struggle with landslides and dangerous conditions during rainy weather, so keep in mind that there is a small chance the trail will be closed. If so, a friendly local will generally be able to point you towards an alternative, equally beautiful, trail to explore.

While you can hike the route in either direction, hiking from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza is generally preferred, simply because the view of Vernazza’s harbour as you approach the village is so rewarding.

You don’t necessarily need to stay in Monterosso al Mare to access the trail, though – staying in any of the villages in Cinque Terre, or even the nearby towns of Levanto or La Spezia, is fine if you want to do take advantage of this stunning European day hike.

5. Cares River Trail | Picos de Europa National Park, Spain

  • Closest town/city: Poncebos, Asturias
  • Distance: 11km
  • Time required: 5–8 hours
  • Difficulty level: Easy/moderate
  • Recommended by: Talek from Travels with Talek

Three people walk on a dusty trail under a mountain gorge in Spain.

Hiking in Spain is a wonderful experience. There’s one day hike in particular that will get your heart pumping and amaze you with its natural beauty.

The spectacular Cares River Trail stretches 11km across the three northern Spain provinces of Asturias, Cantabria, and Castile and Leon. This trail is part of the Picos de Europa National Park, the first in Spain, established in 1918 and declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2002. This mountainous park has soaring peaks that reach thousands of feet high. It’s crisscrossed by four rivers and, being so close to the Bay of Biscay, has a humid and rainy climate.

The Cares River Trail is a hiker’s dream and worth every step. The trail is very narrow in some parts high above the Cares river, which flows along the valley floor. Every once in a while, the trail winds through small tunnels carved out of the rock and across bridges hanging precariously over the gaping gorges.

The imposing mountains soar up on both sides of the trail, creating perfect photo opportunities. There is wildlife everywhere: Hawks, eagles, sturdy little mountain goats, and vultures circling and circling in the endless quiet sky.

6. Terrasses de Lavaux (Swiss Wine Trail) | Chexbres, Switzerland

  • Closest town/city: Lausanne
  • Time required: 3.5 hours
  • Recommended by: Nisha from And There She Goes Again

A woman walks on a trail between vineyards, approaching the sea.

Lavaux vineyards are a well-guarded Swiss secret. This steeply pitched wine area in the Vaud canton provides some of the best views in Switzerland.

The panoramic Swiss Wine Trail starts from St. Saphorin and follows the shore of Lake Geneva to Lutry. It runs parallel to the regional train tracks, so you can decide to cut it short and jump on a train whenever you want.

Along the way, there are several benches and picnic places where you can enjoy your lunch or a snack with remarkable views. You can also take breaks at the beautiful beaches in the lakeside villages.

The Terrasses de Lavaux hiking trail not only takes you through the area’s UNESCO Heritage Listed vineyards, but also via some of the most picturesque Swiss villages. Here, you’ll find local vine-growers’ caveaux (cellars) that offer their own wine for tasting, often paired with a degustation platter.

It is advisable to book your visits to the wine cellars in advance. The best time to walk the trail is in summer and autumn (June through October).

7. Five Lakes Trail | Zermatt, Switzerland

  • Closest town/city: Zermatt
  • Distance: 10km
  • Time required: 2.5–4 hours
  • Recommended by: Rhonda from Travel Yes Please

The Matterhorn above the city of Zermatt at night.

The Five Lakes Trail in Zermatt is an enjoyable way to experience breathtaking views of the Matterhorn mountain, an icon of Switzerland.

The trail links together five small lakes as it meanders along a mountain ridge then down into a valley, offering several different points from which to admire the Matterhorn. Some of the most photogenic views are of the mountain and its reflection in three of the five lakes along the route.

To do this hike, you have to take a funicular then a gondola to the mountain station. Then, it’s mostly a downhill hike back to the funicular station. Allow enough time to make several stops along the way, as the scenery deserves to be savoured.

The lakes and alpine meadows are wonderful places to relax and enjoy a snack. Or if you prefer, there are some mountain restaurants along the trail you can stop at for lunch.

If you opt for a shorter trail, there are plenty of other activities in Zermatt to enjoy – from scenic railways to cable car rides.

This easy hike in Europe is best done in summer when temperatures are warm, but late spring and early fall are pleasant as well. No matter the season, this trail will showcase some of the most stunning scenery in Zermatt!

8. Mam Tor | Peak District National Park, England

  • Closest town/city: Castleton
  • Distance: 10.5km
  • Recommended by: Roshni from The Wanderlust Within

Sunset over the mountains in Peak District, with a farmer's fence in the foreground.

Mam Tor in Hope Valley is one of the most famous day hikes in England.

Also known as Shivering Mountain, Mam Tor is a 517m (1,696 ft) hill near Castleton in the Peak District National Park. Mam Tor means ‘Mother Hill’, a name it earned because frequent landslides on its eastern face have resulted in a multitude of other ‘mini-hills’.

The viewpoint at the top of Mam Tor offers dramatic views of the Peak District, stretching all the way over the Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors. On a clear day you can even see Manchester!

The hike to Mam Tor starts from the main car park in Castleton, and passes two famous show caverns, Treak Cliff and Blue John Cavern, both popular tourist attractions and worth visiting on your way up or back. The hikes follows a stone-surface footpath all the way up to Mam Tor and over the Great Ridge. It only 2 hours from the village centre, making it a popular choice for families (and dogs!) as well as seasoned trekkers.

Mam Tor can be hiked year-round, but you should be prepared for snow in the winter. For the best weather without the crowds, visit during autumn once the landscape has changed colours.

9. Arthur’s Seat | Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Closest town/city: Edinburgh
  • Distance: 5km
  • Time required: 1–2 hours
  • Recommended by: Gemma & Ronan from Everything Edinburgh

View of Edinburgh city from the hike to Arthur's Seat.

Hiking Arthur’s Seat is consistently deemed one of the best things to do in Edinburgh . Why? Several reasons, actually!

Firstly, it’s super central. The hike starts at the foot of the hill which is located in Holyrood Park. Holyrood Park itself is a busy tourist location with several attractions located close by, including Holyrood Palace, Dynamic Earth and the Scottish Parliament.

Wait? I thought Scotland was part of the UK? That’s true, however, we have a devolved parliament which means representatives pass laws on specified topics. Tourism is one of them. Holyrood Park is a flat piece of land with a loch at the bottom of the Royal Mile, so if you’re looking for a very easy walk, you could do that instead.

The second reason the Arthur’s Seat hike is loved is because of its history. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano! Finally, free views. After the short hike up, you are rewarded with views as far as The Kingdom of Fife, so give me a little wave from the top!

The hike takes around 1 to 2 hours depending on your level of fitness, so you’ll have plenty of time leftover to grab a post-hike pint in the Old Town, which is where we recommend staying in Edinburgh .

10. Trail A | Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

  • Closest town/city: Plitvicka Jezera
  • Distance: 3.5km
  • Time required: 2–3 hours
  • Recommended by: Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear

A single boardwalk path winds through a landscape of rivers and waterfalls in Plitvice National Park, Croatia.

The hiking trails inside Croatia ‘s Plitvice Lakes National Park offer some of the best day hiking in Europe – especially Trail A, our favourite route.

Trail A is one of the most popular hikes within Plitvice Lakes because it takes you through the iconic part, the Lower Lakes – one of the most beautiful places in Croatia . This easy hike on a paved boardwalk takes approximately 2 to 3 hours and is 2.2 miles or 3.5 kilometres long.

The Lower Lakes are what you typically picture when you think of Plitvice. They are four beautifully coloured lakes: Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluderovac, and Novakovica Brod. Aside from the Lower Lakes, Trail A also takes you to a multitude of waterfalls such as Veliki Slap, Sastavci Waterfall, Milanovacki Slap, and Slapovi Milke Trnine.

Plitvice Lakes National Park can be easily visited from Zagreb or Split. The most popular time to go is typically in the summer; however, the park and the trail are both less crowded during the spring and fall. If you visit Croatia in the winter , be aware that it can and often does snow, so you’ll need to be prepared for the cold weather.

11. Valley of the Seven Lakes | Triglav National Park, Slovenia

  • Closest town/city: Bohinj
  • Distance: 26km
  • Time Required: ~10 hours
  • Difficulty level: Moderate/difficult
  • Recommended by: Taylor from Travel Outlandish

Mountains and wildflowers.

The Alps are Europe’s largest mountain range, stretching some 800km from Monaco down the Balkan Peninsula . The most popular hiking trails (such as the Tour du Mont Blanc) are located in the Graian Alps, but there’s another part of the range that has a distinct culture and landscape also worth exploring.

The Julian Alps, the lesser-known part of the range shared between Slovenia and Italy, promises some of the best day hikes in Europe. You’ll find most of the trails in the Julian Alps are within Triglav National Park in Slovenia . There’s the long-distance Slovenia Mountain Trail that extends nearly 600km through a network of mountain huts in the park.

If you’re just visiting for the day, the Valley of the Seven Lakes is definitely the best day hike in the region. Over the course of roughly 26km, it takes you through some of Slovenia’s most beautiful landscapes – across pastures, past mountain huts, and most remarkably, alongside the glacier lakes from which the hike takes its name.

12. Pravcicka Gate Hike | Bohemian Switzerland National Park, Czechia

  • Closest town/city: Hřensko
  • Time required: 4 hours
  • Recommended by: Veronika from Travel Geekery

A natural stone arch surrounded by autumn foliage.

This day hike leads you through the beautiful landscape of Bohemian Switzerland National Park , located in the north of the Czech Republic. The area is famous for its karst formations created millions of years ago. Visually stunning creeks and gorges, deep forests dotted with rocks… Bohemian Switzerland truly is one of a kind.

The main draw of Bohemian Switzerland is the Pravcicka Gate. This extraordinary stone arch is the largest natural formation of its kind in Europe, and the second-largest in the world. It’s been featured in many films , including The Chronicles of Narnia .

The Pravcicka Gate half-day hike takes four hours and is 10km long. However, you should definitely take it easy and spend as much time as possible admiring the wonders of nature along the way.

Start in the town of Hrensko, which has quite a few accommodation facilities and good bus connections to the larger town of Decin, in turn connected to Prague by railway. Simply follow the red marked trail all the way to Pravcicka brana, passing through a crossroads called Tri prameny (three streams). This part of the route is 4km long and mostly uphill, but not steep at all.

After enjoying the stone arch to your heart’s content, start on the Gabrielina stezka (Gabriela’s path), a 4.5km long trail marked in red, which leads through easy, mostly forested, terrain to a cute village called Mezni Louka. There are a few charming places to stay here as well. To get back to Hrensko, you can simply catch a bus.

The hike can be enjoyed throughout the year, especially between April and September/October.

13. Green Lake Hike | High Tatras, Slovakia

  • Closest town/city: Tatranska Lomnica
  • Distance: 16km
  • Time required: 5 hours
  • Recommended by: Manouk from Groetjes uit Verweggistan

People gather on a rocky outcrop after completing a short hike in Europe in the mountains in Slovakia.

The High Tatras is a beautiful European mountain range. While the Polish side with Zakopane is well known, not many people visit the part in the north of Slovakia . It’s still relatively quiet, even in summer, but especially in shoulder season.

A beautiful day hike is the one going to Green Lake . Start from the town of Tatranska Lomnica, which offers plenty of accommodation. From here, you can take a cable car up to the start of the trail. Or, if you are very active, it’s possible to start by hiking up to Skalnate pleso. This takes an extra 3 hours.

From there, the Green Lake Hike is not that hard. It runs for 16km and takes around 5 hours round trip. After exiting the cable car, you hike a little over 200m up then over 1,000m down, which means you do not need to take the cable car back.

While walking, you will get wonderful views over the valley and the mountains. There is one challenging part of the hike where you have to go down a steep part of the mountain while holding onto chains. A fun adventure!

If you don’t fancy taking the cable car, another easy day hike starts from Strbske Pleso, where you can find the first lake. An 18km trail that takes about 6 hours round-trip, this alternative loop route takes you to the lakes of Popradske Pleso and Vel’ke Hincovo Pleso with stunning views along the way.

Short on time? There are some stunning day hikes around Bratislava in western and central Slovakia that are ideal day trips from the capital city .

14. Vintgar Gorge Loop Trail | Triglav National Park, Slovenia

  • Closest town/city: Bled
  • Distance: 5.5km
  • Recommended by: Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles

A beautiful stone bridge over a dam surrounded by autumn foliage.

Just under 55km from Bled in Slovenia you’ll find the spectacular Vintgar Gorge, carved out by the Radovna River. If you are planning to visit Lake Bled or Ljubljana , add a day trip to Vintgar Gorge to your itinerary! If you enjoy nature and hiking, you will love walking this beautiful gorge.

Just under a mile from end to end, Vintgar Gorge is ideal for a day hike. Boardwalks or dirt paths run along the entire length of the gorge. Some of the boardwalks are actually built over the rushing river, so you can stand right above the water to feel and hear its power.

At the end of the trail, you’ll come to an old railway bridge and a beautiful waterfall. At that point, you can turn around and walk back through the gorge, or take the longer outside trail to return to the parking lot.

Any time of year between spring and fall is ideal for this day hike. We went in the late spring and saw lots of wildflowers! In the fall, the changing colours of the leaves create a beautiful landscape.

This is a popular hike, so plan on starting out early in the day to avoid the crowds. Since the paths are narrow, they can get congested during the high season.

15. Leutaschklamm Gorge Hike | Rein Valley, Germany & Austria

  • Closest town/city: Mittenwald, Germany
  • Distance: 16.3km
  • Time required: 2-8 hours
  • Recommended by: Elizabeth from The Fearless Foreigner

A blue river runs through a gorge in Europe.

The Leutaschklamm Gorge Hike, also known as the Leutasch Ghost Gorge, is a family friendly hike that encompasses 3 different routes. Depending on which route you take, you can easily do the hike in a couple of hours or spend half the day taking all the trails, stopping for something to eat and enjoying the views.

You can access one entrance of the gorge from Mittenwald in Germany or towns in the Tyrol region of Austria, such as Seefeld, at the opposite end of the gorge.

The two main routes share a portion of the same trail and take you on metal walkways high up alongside the gorge. Crossing the impressive Panorama Bridge over the water is one of the highlights of the hike. The unique walkways and spectacular scenery make this very special. Another interesting aspect of this short hike is that you will be walking back and forth between Germany and Austria several times on each of the routes!

The third and final route is a shorter one that takes you up close to the waterfall that you can faintly hear when walking on the higher trails. While this route is the only one that charges an admission fee, it’s worth it to feel the mist of the roaring falls and hear them up close.

The gorge is typically open from the beginning of May until the end of October. For additional tips and directions on how to reach the start of the hike read, this full Leutaschklamm Gorge Hike guide .

16. Ruta Donostia-Faro de la Plata | San Sebastian, Spain

  • Closest town/city: San Sebastian/Pasaia
  • Distance: 7km one-way
  • Time required: 2-3 hours
  • Recommended by: Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads

Approaching the city of San Sebastian through the mountains on one of the best day hikes in Europe.

The northern coast of Spain is a stunning area for hiking and offers many day hikes and several multi-day treks. The Spanish city of San Sebastian and its surrounds is one of the most popular tourist places in the region, and the walk along the coast from the city to the small town of Pasaia is a spectacular hiking route. Expect breathtaking scenery, rugged cliffs, dramatic drop-offs, and lush green forests.

The Pasaia to San Sebastian hike is a part of the Camino del Norte, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela . The total distance of the hike is 7km one-way. To get back, hikers can walk the same way or take a bus. It can be done in either direction, starting or finishing in San Sebastian.

May to September is the best of year for hiking the route. In the warmer summer months of July and August, it’s better to do the hike in the morning.

The route follows a narrow footpath along the cliffs. There is nothing but beautiful scenery between the city and the village, so it’s highly recommended to take water and some snacks with you. Pasaia is a lovely small town with many cafes and restaurants, and a nice place to spend a couple of hours after finishing the hike.

17. Port Eynon to Rhossili | Wales Coast Path, Wales

  • Closest town/city: Port Eynon/Rhossili
  • Recommended by: David from Delve Into Europe

A beautiful beach with waves on a sandy shore.

Wales was the first country in the world to establish a path that encircles its entire coastline. The 870-mile Wales Coast Path includes many outstanding day hikes.

One that has always stood out for me is the Port Eynon to Rhossili coast walk on the Gower Peninsula, west of Wales’ second city, Swansea. The area is best-known for its many amazing Gower beaches , including three stand-outs which regularly appear on ‘best beaches in Europe’ or even ‘best beaches in the world’ lists.

This walk starts on the beach at Port Eynon, a small village with a great family-friendly beach that comes to life in the summer months. The trail is around 6 miles (10km) long in all, with some short sections of moderately difficult terrain. After reaching the summit of Port Eynon Point, most of the walk ahead becomes visible, with the Worm’s Head tidal island off to the left.

Port Eynon to Rhossili is a real up-and-down hike, with many an ascent and descent throughout. The first half of the walk consists of predominantly rocky coastline, and the section around the Knave Iron Age hillfort and Horse Cliff is particularly dramatic.

After almost 4 miles (it feels like considerably more), the first beach you come to is Mewslade Bay, a gorgeous sandy beach backed by the high cliffs of Thurba Head and huge spires of rock pointing skyward. Soon afterwards, Fall Bay is a smaller beach with a sandy area and lots of low-level rocks to explore.

Eventually, the path passes the track down to the start of the Worm’s Head walk, which is only possible to complete if you get the tide times exactly right. The reward for the hike is a mile-long gentle amble along the top of the cliffs with Rhossili beach, one of the finest in the world, in view the whole time.

18. Montaña Blanca Trail | Canary Islands, Spain

  • Closest town/city: Las Americas or La Laguna
  • Distance: 17km
  • Time required: 6–7 hours
  • Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging
  • Recommended by: Miguel from Travelsauro

View of the clouds from the top of a rocky peak in Spain.

Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain at 3,817m above sea level, is one of the most scenic and popular trails you can attempt in Tenerife .

This conical-shaped volcano makes for a perfect one-day hike for visitors to the Canary Islands who are looking to add some adventure to their holidays. The hike takes you through moon-like landscapes, up to the active crater of the volcano, from where you’ll enjoy a magnificent view of the island.

There are several paths to reach the top of the mount. If you are a beginner hiker , I recommend you choose the Montaña Blanca Trail, which is the most popular option. Experienced hikers will enjoy the longer and more difficult path through Pico Viejo.

The Montaña Blanca Trail is 17km round-trip, can be completed in about 6 to 7 hours. It’s of moderate to challenging difficulty. Keep in mind that while it’s not technically difficult, the entire path is uphill, involving an elevation gain of 1,344m.

The volcano is located in the southwest part of Tenerife, but it’s easily reachable from any major city on the island. If you want to stay in a resort-like city, you should book your accommodation in Playa Las Americas. Otherwise, if you are looking for something more relaxed with a local flavour, check out the colonial city of La Laguna.

Thanks to the subtropical weather of Tenerife, you can hike to Mount Teide year round. If you have a choice, spring and autumn are the best hiking seasons in the island, when temperatures are mild and pleasant. Keep in mind that the peak can be covered with snow in winter.

There is rarely any rainfall in Teide National Park, and while temperatures can be hot at the base of the volcano, they drop dramatically as you get higher. Don’t forget to bring enough water, some snacks and warm clothes with you.

19. Morskie Oko Hike | Tatra Mountains, Poland

  • Closest town/city: Zakopane
  • Distance: 8km
  • Time required: 2.5 hours
  • Recommended by: Diana from Travels in Poland

Snow-capped mountains and a frozen lake in Poland.

The Tatra Mountains extend throughout Poland and into neighbouring Slovakia. One of the most beautiful sites to visit in the Polish part of the range is Morskie Oko, a lake situated high up between the mountains.

Not far from the ski city of Zakopane, the hike draws nearly half-a-million visitors every year. The views of the surrounding mountains – as well as the chance to take a break at the hut/restaurant right at the top – makes this easily one of the best day hikes in Europe.

The hike itself is known as the Morskie Oko Hike and starts out 8km from the lake. It takes about 2.5 hours to hike up the mountain, less if you’re athletically inclined. The moderate hike is a constant uphill climb and is paved in most sections, with pathways through the forest and steps as well. You have the option of using the longer asphalt route the whole way or taking shortcuts through the forest.

The hike is best done in summer or fall, when it isn’t as cold or slippery. Leaving early in the morning before the crowds is a great way to get a head start.

The route is very scenic, with beautiful pine forests and even several small waterfalls about 1 hour into the walk. After reaching the lake, you have the option to hike around the lake’s edge, which takes about an hour (however, it’s a bit more strenuous).

20. Seven Rila Lakes Loop | Rila National Park, Bulgaria

  • Closest town/city: Sofia
  • Recommended by: Allison from Sofia Adventures

A series of bright blue lakes in the mountain in Bulgaria.

The Seven Rila Lakes are about a 2-hour drive from Sofia, making this a fantastic day trip from Bulgaria’s capital city.

Take the chairlift to skip straight to the most scenic part of the hike. If you’re a serious hiker and don’t mind adding some extra miles to your walk, it’s possible to hike to the Rila Lakes trail starting points from the chairlift.

Once you reach the chairlift, there is one main loop you can do, which takes about 4 hours in total and will show you five of the seven lakes. There is also the option to continue the hike higher to the main panoramic viewpoint, which will add about an hour each way but allow you to see all seven.

There’s a popular monastery and UNESCO site nearby called Rila Monastery. Be careful, as it is not easy to accomplish both in one day unless you’re on a guided tour. I learned that the hard way!

The Rila Mountains are gorgeous though, so if you want to experience both, you can easily spend a few days here or stay nearby in Sofia or Plovdiv and make it two day trips. If you’re driving in Bulgaria , budget at least 2 days for the area. Rila is accessible during winter but spring/autumn are the best seasons for hiking.

21. Preikestolen | Rogaland County, Norway

  • Closest town/city: Stavanger (HI Stavanger St. Svithun)
  • Distance: 6km
  • Recommended by: Caitlin from The Country Jumper

Two people stand on the edge of a flat rock overlooking a river gorge in Norway.

Preikistolen , a day hike less than an hour’s drive from Stavanger in Norway, is an absolute treat.

You can drive to the base of the hike, or if you’re coming from Stavanger on public transport, you can take a bus, to a ferry, to a bus. From the base, you’re looking at about 2 hours of moderate hiking. It’s steep going, but is very doable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

You’ll be perfectly happy to take breaks all along the way to ogle at and snap photos of the landscape beneath you. There is a bit of scrambling, waiting for those coming down to clear off the pathways, and hopping across stones. Your feet might get wet, and it’s unlikely you’ll want to head up any time but summer, as even then the air above the fjords can be a bit nippy.

Though you could easily be up and back down in just 4 hours, you should plan to spend a good chunk of time at the top. It’s an absolutely stunning spot. The milky, cerulean water fills the Lyseford, which is protected by towering walls of grey and green, reaching out beyond the horizon in both directions.

21 of the very best short hikes in Europe (easy to challenging) that you can do in a day. Experience the best day hikes in Europe.

Best day hikes in Europe: Share it on Pinterest

Stone buildings in Gjirokaster Old Bazaar, Albania.

Albania Travel Guide

Discover insider tips, itinerary inspiration, and all the best things to see, do and experience in Albania!

Albania Essentials

My favourite resources and tools for planning a trip to Albania.

Find affordable flights to Albania

Book city tours & day trips

Hire a car in Albania

Get a visa for Albania

Find the perfect accommodation

Order the latest Lonely Planet

More from Albania

  • 21 awesome things to do in Albania
  • The perfect Albania itinerary
  • 22 essential travel tips for Albania
  • One day itinerary for Tirana
  • Guide to the Valbona Theth hike
  • Things to do in Gjirokaster
  • Things to do in Berat
  • Things to do in Korca
  • Best beaches in Albania
  • How to visit the Albania Blue Eyes
  • 21 best things to do in Albania
  • 22 useful travel tips for Albania
  • Where to stay in Tirana

One Comment

Amazing article thanks for sharing information about these beautiful places.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Subscribe to future posts

best european hiking trips

Hi, I'm Charlotte

CHARLIES WANDERINGS

THE BLOG FOR THE ADVENTUROUS TRAVELER WHO LOVES A TOUCH OF LUXURY NOW AND THEN

best european hiking trips

BLOG , Europe , Hiking · January 16, 2022

The 17 Best Hikes In Europe

This post is also available in: Nederlands

Are you looking for the best hiking trails in Europe but not sure where to start? No need to keep on searching cause I am here to help! I was facing the same problem as you a couple years back and I had no clue where to start looking or if I would even be able to complete some of these hikes.

Europe is home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the entire world so it comes as no surprise that this goes hand in hand with some of the most beautiful hiking trails you’ll ever see.

In this list I wrote down my personal favorites that are in my opinion the most spectacular hikes in Europe. All of these hiking trails can be done in just 1 day and all you will need are some sturdy hiking shoes, enough water and a camera to capture the most stunning landscapes!

Hiking Trails In Europe

The Most Beautiful Hikes in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the best places to hike in Europe. From turquoise mountain lakes to winding roads offering spectacular vista’s and fairytale towns to epic mountain ranges. Switzerland pretty much has it all and is the perfect country to go on a road trip!

1. Saxer Lücke Hiking Trail – One of the best day hikes in the Alps

best european hiking trips

Distance  – 6km

Elevation  – 300 meters

Difficulty  – Easy. It’s a well maintained hiking trail with some stairs along the way. This hike is not accessible with strollers. The pathway is pretty rocky so pay attention where you place your feet.

Starting Point  – Berggasthaus Staubern

Ending Point  – Berggasthaus Staubern

What to bring  – water, snacks, a jacket and your camera

The Appenzell region is a lesser known part of Switzerland with the main tourist crowd. But it didn’t take long for me to fall completely in love with this area! The Saxer Lücke hike is part of the Alpstein mountain range and was one of my favorites in Switzerland and I can’t wait to go back one day!

This particular hike used to be a rather challenging 16km but a few years ago they installed a new gondola in Frümsen . For €35 you can now take the cable car up and down which makes the hike a short but sweet 3km.

📖 READ MORE – Saxer Lücke Hike From Hoher Kasten (Including Tips For A Shorter Hike)

Where to stay  – I stayed in Appenzell which is only 30 minutes driving away.

best european hiking trips

2. Schäfler Hiking Trail

best european hiking trips

Difficulty  – Easy to Moderate. It’s a pretty straight forward hiking trail but includes a steady incline at the end with a couple of switchbacks.

Starting Point  – Ebenalp

Ending Point  – Ebenalp

There are several options to reach the Schäfler hiking trail but all of them start in Ebenalp . Cause besides the impressive Schäfler viewpoint there are several other beautiful stops that you shouldn’t miss along the way! You can start hiking up from the parking lot and first encounter the beautiful Seealpsee . Afterwards you can hike up to the famous mountain restaurant Aescher-Wildkirchli and continue your hike up to Schäfler.

Another option is to take the cable car up in Ebenalp to the top (€30 to go up and down by cable car). From here it’s a 1,5 hour hike to reach Schäfler and to reach the other viewpoints you simply have to hike down the mountain. Below you’ll find the details to reach the Schäfler viewpoint from the top of the cable car.

📖 READ MORE – Spectacular Schäfler Ridge Hike From Ebenalp

best european hiking trips

The Most Beautiful Hikes in Austria

I only visited Austria for a couple of days so far but so far I can tell you it’s an amazing country to visit if you love hiking! Some of the best hiking trails in Europe are located here and you’ll have an amazing time exploring them!

3. Olpererhütte – a famous hiking trail in Europe

The name of this hut probably doesn’t ring a bell with you but what if I said that this is how you reach one of the most photographed suspension bridges in Austria. The Olpererhütte is located in the Zillertal Alps and this hike remains one of my favourites! You start at the Schlegeis Stausee parking lot where you can park your car. I advise you to arrive early in the morning cause the drive up here goes through a one way tunnel with traffic lights which can cause long delays otherwise. This alpine road is usually open from late May until late October. As of May 2020, there’s a  14 EUR toll per car  , which you’ll pay near the toll station at Gasthof Breitlahner.

There are three ways to hike up to the Olpererhütte. I advise you to take the blue route (Trail 502), which takes around 1,5 hour.

Elevation  – 600 meters

Difficulty  – Moderate. This hike can not be accesses with any stroller. It’s a pretty steep incline with a lot of switchback and a rocky pathway.

Starting Point  – Schlegeis Stausee

Ending Point  – Schlegeis Stausee

Where to stay  – I stayed in Mayrhofen which is only 30 minutes driving away.

Hiking Trails In Europe

4. Drachensee Hiking Trail

The Drachensee is a beautiful lake nestled between the mountains in Tyrol and offers a view over the Zugspitze. The hike to Drachensee is one of the best hikes in Europe and starts at the Ehrwalder Almbahn and from here you can either take the cable car up or you can start hiking up from here. I recommend the second option cause you will encounter some of the most stunning vista’s including a waterfall perched between the mountains!

On your way up from Ehrwalder Almbahn you’ll first reach Ehrwalder Alm . The next stop is the beautiful Seebensee which is a really popular attraction. The main reason for this is that the hike from the top of the cable car to the Seebensee is really easy and on a paved road so you’ll encounter families and cyclist along the way. My advise is to leave as early as possible and try to be at the top of the cable car before the first one goes up.

Hiking Trails In Europe

From Seebensee to Drachensee it gets a little trickier. You’ll need sturdy hiking shoes and enough water. It’s only a short distance but a steep incline of 260 meters (follow the arrows to Coburger Hut ) but in the end you’ll be awarded by the most amazing view!

Hiking Trails In Europe

Distance  – 26km

Elevation  – 900 meters

Difficulty  – Moderate. The start and end of this hike can be rather challenging with steep inclinations but the middle section is very easy.

Starting Point  – Ehrwalder Almbahn

Ending Point  – Ehrwalder Almbahn

Where to stay  – I stayed in Grainau to be close to Eibsee but the beautiful town of Ehrwald is also a very good option!

Hiking Trails In Europe

The Most Beautiful Hikes in Italy

Over the past year if someone mentioned Italy to me my thoughts immediately go back to the Dolomites. This mountain range completely stole my heart from the moment I arrived and is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe! There are a ton of amazing hikes that you can do here but here I will list my absolute favorites!

5. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hiking Trail – One of the most popular hikes in Europe

Let’s start with one of the most famous hikes in the entire Dolomites! The Tre Cime National Park is UNESCO World Heritage and located in the area of South Tyrol . It’s safe to say that you simply can’t visit the Dolomites without doing this beautiful hike!

There are many hiking trails in the Tre Cime National Park but the one which offers the best views over the world famous Drei Zinnen is the  Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop trail .

Top 8 Best And Easy Day Hikes In The Dolomites

Distance  – 10km (6 miles)

Elevation  – 340 meters

Difficulty  – Easy

Starting Point  – Rifugio Auronzo

Ending Point  – Rifugio Auronzo

What to bring  – water, snacks, a jacket, your camera and cash.

Where to stay  – Stay in  Dobbiaco  or  Sexten  for the best experience.

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike will take you approximately 4 hours to complete. This includes a rest at the famous Drei Zinnen hut and enough time to take an endless amount of photos! Since this hike is pretty easy I recommend you to start early in the morning, preferably around sunrise. Not only will you be rewarded with the most stunning views over the mountain but you also won’t be bothered by hundreds and hundreds of other hikers.

To reach Rifugio Auronzo you simply drive up the mountain pass and upon entering the National Park you will have to pay  €30 . They accept cash only so make sure you have this on hand. The rifugio’s that you’ll encounter along the hike also only accept  cash .

🏨  WHERE TO STAY  –  Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina d’Ampezzo  for an unforgettable and luxurious stay or enjoy the authentic charm of  Hotel Eggele

📖 READ MORE –  Hiking The Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit

best european hiking trips

6. Cadini di Misurina Hiking Trail – A short but beautiful hike in Europe

This hike in Europe is one of my favorites, especially cause you get rewarded with the most amazing view point at the end! And do you want to know the best part? This is a super short hike! It will only take you around 30 minutes to reach one of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites !

Distance  – 4km (2.5 miles)

Elevation  – 100 meters

Difficulty  – Easy to Moderate – This hike is not for you if you have a fear of heights.

To get to this hiking trail you’ll start the exact same way as with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hiking trail. You’ll drive up your car to Rifugio Auronzo but instead of walking left and going to the Tre Cime you now go right and walk away from them.

If you look to the right when you’re standing on the parking lot you will see the rigged peaks from the Cadini di Misurina behind a hill. On that hill you will see a hiking trail, this is where you’ll go!

Try to plan this hike together with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike, this way you only have to pay the €30 fee once!

📖 READ MORE –   CADINI DI MISSURINA HIKING GUIDE

The Ultimate 5 Days In The Dolomites Itinerary

7. Seiser Alm/ Alpe di Siusi Hiking Trail – Some of the best trails in Europe

When it comes to visiting Alpe di Siusi , also known as Seiser Alm, things can become a little confusing. Cause upon arrival you will see a street sign which says no driving up between 9am and 5pm. So the first time I visited this place and I saw this sign, I checked my watch and noticed that it was 5.20pm. I figured I was good to go cause I hadn’t done proper research on visiting this place.

So how can you properly visit Alpi di Siusi?  Well, if you want to go by car and go before the gondola’s are running you can drive up before 9am but you can’t drive any further than the parking lot in  Compatsch . This is a small town a little on the outskirts of Seiser Alm and there is a small parking lot where you can leave your car.

To reach the famous viewpoint you will now have to hike for about 45 minutes but the trail is almost completely flat and super easy. The easiest way to reach the viewpoint is to put in  Malga Sanon  into Google Maps. Follow the paved road and before you turn right to go down to the restaurant simply walk a hundred meters further and you’re there! But let me tell you, it would be a shame if you only visited Alpe di Siusi for this viewpoint. Cause this beautiful meadow is filled with fun and easy hiking trails!

Where to stay  – I stayed at  Alpina Dolomites , for more hotels in Alpe di Siusi click  here .

Top 8 Best And Easy Day Hikes In The Dolomites

8. Gran Cir Via Ferrata

The Gran Cir Via Ferrata has to be one of my favorite hikes in the Dolomites due to the spectacular views you get to witness when you reach the top.

For those of you who have never done a via ferrata don’t be discouraged. It’s only a very short part of the hike where you need the help of a chain to climb up the mountain and you don’t need any gear to complete this hike. It is however a very steep hike so if you have trekking poles, definitely bring them with you for this one . I didn’t and I regretted it the entire way up.

Even though that it’s a rather short hike you really shouldn’t underestimate it. The climb up is pretty brutal and in all honesty I didn’t even make it all the way up. Like I said before I didn’t bring my trekking poles and my backpack was way too heavy from all of the camera gear that I was dragging with me. But along the way up I found this amazing spot from where I could admire the sunrise as well.

Gran Cir Via Ferrata - The Best Hike On The Passo Gardena In The Dolomites

Hiking Distance  – 4.5km (2.8 miles)

Elevation  – 474m

Route Type  – Out & Back

Duration  – 3 hours

Level –  Moderate to Hard

Parking Lot  – Passo Gardena, which is accessible from Val Gardena or Val Badia along the paved serpentine SS243 road. The parking lot adjacent to  Rifugio Frara  on the Sella side is gated and requires payment as early as 7 am. After your hike, you can pay using cash, or cards, at the parking machine. However when I was there at the end of October the railing was open the entire time and payment wasn’t required.

Best time to visit  – This is one of those hikes where you really want to be at the top for sunrise. It was simply magical to watch the sun light up the valley below. It was truly an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to bring your  headlamp  with you if you embark on this adventure in the dark.

Season  – June until the end of October depending on the snowfall.

🏨  WHERE TO STAY  –  Boutique Hotel Nives  for an unforgettable stay right next to Passo Gardena or enjoy this luxurious adults only hotel  Alpin Garden Luxury Maison

📖 READ MORE –  HIKING THE GRAN CIR VIA FERRATA

best european hiking trips

The Most Beautiful Hikes in Madeira

Did you know that there are over 450 different hikes in Madeira ? This means that there is over 3000km of hiking fun scattered throughout the entire island. It’s safe to say that it won’t be possible to do all of them on your trip. I think that would be just a little too much, even for the most experienced hiker out there.

This little Portuguese island is home to some of the most impressive hiking trails in Europe ! If you are planning a visit to Madeira make sure to read my road trip guide and my full hiking guide!

9. Vereda do Pico do Arieiro – PR1

Let’s start with one of the most beautiful and impressive hikes in all of Europe! But let me be clear, it’s also the hardest. Remember that I said that I am in no way a professional hiker? Well, that became very clear on this particular hike :p.

This hike  connects the two highest peaks on the island : Pico do Arieiro (1818m) and Pico Ruivo (1862m)

Hiking Trails In Europe

Distance  – 15km

Average time  – 8 hours

Starting point  – Pico do Arieiro. The restaurant and shop opens at 9am and closes at 6pm.

End point  – Pico do Arieiro

Difficulty   Level  – Moderate to Hard. It is a well marked pathway but what makes it so hard are the many steep inclines. Especially since this isn’t a loop and you have the hike the entire way back up.

Advised starting time  – 30 minutes before sunrise

What to bring with you  – Sunscreen, water, camera, protein bar and a piece of fruit. I did the hike without trekking poles but can imagine they would really come in handy here.

What to wear  – Make sure to wear enough layers. In the morning it can be very cold and windy but once the sun rises you’ll be happy to continue the hike in a t-shirt. This hike requires good hiking shoes.

Distance from Funchal  – 45 minutes driving

Hiking Trails In Europe

After you’ve parked your car go up the stairs and follow the arrow that says  PR1 Pico Ruivo . As soon as you start your hike you’ll realise why I have kicked you out of bed this early. Not only will you be one of the only people here but you will get to witness the sunrise in all it’s glory. Imagine a pastel coloured sky, cloud inversions, the moon on one side and the sun rising through the clouds on the other side.

Your first stop on this hike will be  Miradouro do Ninho da Manta , also known as the birds nest. Make sure to take out your camera and snap some photos. I used my Tamron 70-300mm to take these close ups.

Hiking Trails In Europe

After this simply continue along the PR1 trail. On the way you’ll come across stairs, tunnels and insane panorama views. The reason why this trail is pretty tough is that you go almost entirely up and down the mountain. To add to that, the PR1 is not a loop trail. There are two ways to get back to your car at Pico do Arieiro:

  • Hike the PR1 back from Pico Ruivo to Pico do Arieiro
  • Hike the PR1.2 Vereda do Pico Ruivo. This is a 2.8km hike that will take you to Achada do Teixeira in Santana. If you wish to do this you have to ask the guy at the refugio at Pico Ruivo to call a taxi for you. Do know that the drive from Santana back to your car at Pico do Arieiro can take up to 1 hour and will cost you minimum €60.

Hiking Trails In Europe

10. Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço – PR8

This hiking trail is located on the Eastern part of the island and offers incredible panoramic views! During the hike you’ll walk along the entire peninsula.

best european hiking trips

Distance  – 7km

Average time  – 2 hours

Starting point  – Ponta de São Lourenço

End point  – Ponta de São Lourenço

Difficulty Level  – Easy to moderate

Advised starting time  – Sunrise or 2,5 hours before sunset

What to bring with you  – Sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, water, snack

What to wear  – For this hike you can wear sneakers or hiking shoes. Make sure to dress in layers. There is no cover during this hike so you might want to bring a cap with you to protect you from the sun. Just make sure to choose something that sits tight on your head cause it can get very windy on this peninsula.

Distance from Funchal  – 40 minutes driving

The Most Beautiful Hikes in Germany

Germany isn’t just home to fairytale castles and cute towns, here you’ll also find some incredible mountain ranges! The area around Berchtesgaden is one of my absolute favorites and is home to some of the most incredible hiking trails in Europe.

11. Watzmann Hocheck Hiking Trail – A unique hiking route in Europe

This has to be one of the most spectacular hiking trails in entire Germany but also one of the toughest. With no cable car in sight you start walking up the Watzmann from the Hammerstielstraße 50 Parking.

The first kilometers of the hiking trail start in the woods on a gravel road at a moderate inclination. Afterwards the inclination only becomes steeper and steeper. After a while you’ll come across the first rest stop: Mitterkaseralm am Watzmann. Sit down here to have some breakfast and catch your breath before hiking up further.

From now the inclination will remain steep and there are a lot of switchbacks. The gravel road is now replaced by a rocky mountain pathway which can be pretty slippery if it rained the day before. Your next stop will be the Watzmannhouse. This is also the furthest that I went myself but my boyfriend did make it all the way up to Hocheck. There isn’t really a pathway, it involves a lot of climbing and looking out for the markings of the trail.

Hiking Trails In Europe

Elevation  – 1900 meters

Difficulty  – Hard

Starting Point  – Hammerstielstraße 50 Parking

Ending Point  – Hammerstielstraße 50 Parking

Where to stay  – Stay in Berchtesgaden or Ramsau for the best experience.

Hiking Trails In Europe

12. Rabenwand Hiking Trail

When traveling to Berchtesgaden a visit to the famous Königssee has to be on your list! But did you know that you can also hike alongside the stunning lake? Simply walk to the boathouse and turn left to walk behind them. From here you first follow the hiking trail that says Malerwinkel to reach the first viewpoint. This one is already nice but not nearly as beautiful as Rabenwand!

Distance  – 5 km

Elevation  – 170 meters

Starting Point  – Bayerische Seenschifffahrt Königssee

Ending Point  – Königssee Parkplatz

What to bring  – Water and your camera

Hiking Trails In Europe

The Most Beautiful Hikes in Norway

One of my main goals for this trip to  Norway  was to do as many hikes as possible. And while doing my research I found a ton of articles but they all pretty much mentioned the same hiking trails over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good classic but I also wanted to discover some hidden gems.

And that’s exactly what we did! We completed some of the most famous hikes in Southern Norway but also  discovered some lesser known hiking trails  that will completely blow your mind!

13. TROLLTUNGA HIKE

Norway Hiking Guide - 14 Best Day Hikes In Western Norway

Distance  – 20.2km (12.5 miles) if you start from P3. Otherwise the total hiking distance is 28km.

Elevation  – 400m

Route Type  – Out & back

Duration  – 8 to 11 hours (depending on where you start the hike)

Level  – Moderate to hard, depending on where you start the hike

Parking lot  –  P3 Mågelitopp

When to go  – The earlier you start this hike the better!

Season  – June 1 to September 30 (without a guide). At all other times of the year you must hike with a guide.

I don’t think there’s any spot in Norway that’s more iconic than the Trolltunga! But it’s also one of the most photographed places in the country . And because of that you can expect an actual waiting line here to take this special photograph.

During high season waiting times can become as long as 2 hours. Fortunately there are also a couple of ways to avoid the big crowds and still have an amazing time on this trail.

A couple of tips for avoiding the big crowds :

  • Hike during off season: September is the way to go!
  • Start your hike before sunrise from P3 at Mågelitopp. This will take out the most strenuous part of the hike and is only accessible through a toll road. There are 30 parking spots available so make sure. to book your spot from before.
  • Stay overnight, there’s a ton of places where you can go wild camping near Trolltunga

Norway Hiking Guide - 14 Best Day Hikes In Western Norway

📖 READ MORE – Trolltunga Hike – Everything You Need To Know About Hiking Norway’s Most Famous Trail

14. MOUNT SAKSA HIKE

best european hiking trips

Distance  – 6km (3.7 miles)

Elevation  – 931m

Duration  – 4 hours

Level  – Moderate to hard

Parking lot  –  Saksa parking lot . There’s no parking fee.

When to go  – I advise you to leave early in the morning. It’s one of the busiest trails in the Sunmøre Alps and you really want to enjoy the view on the top alone, at least for a little while.

Season  – June until October

If there’s one place that you can’t miss if you absolutely love hiking it’s the Sunmøre Alps in Western Norway. And you want to know the best part? This area in Norway is still relatively unknown!

Most people all flock to the nearby Geiranger fjord. And trust me, I’ve seen both places and the Sunmøre Alps are a lot more worth your time! They’re a lot less touristic and I could have easily spend 5 days here if the weather would have allowed it!

I think if I had to choose my favorite place in Norway out of all of the ones I’ve seen on this road trip it would be this one!

Mount Saks is one of the most popular hikes in the Sunmøre Alps and after a very hard and tiring climb you’ll be rewarded by 360° views over the fjords.

📖 READ MORE – Mount Saksa Hike In The Sunmøre Alps – A Spectacular Hiking Trail in Norway

best european hiking trips

The Most Beautiful Hikes in Iceland

The official hiking season in Iceland usually starts halfway through June and lasts until September. But it’s a little different for each hiking trail since some of them are located close to the Ring Road and are always accessible and others are in the Icelandic Highlands and only reachable during the summer months.

The two best months to go hiking in Iceland are  July and August . During this time you’ll be able to complete every single hike on this list. Some trails may be a little more crowded compared to a visit in the shoulder season. But  if you time it right you’ll still be one of the only ones on the hiking trails . And yes, I will include all of this information for every single hike!

15. FAGRADALSFJALL HIKING TRAIL

Ever since its eruption in March 2021 it has been attracting adventurous and curious locals and tourists. And   now it’s actually one of the top attractions and top things to do in Iceland! The Fagradalsfjall volcano has remained active ever since its eruption in March 2021 and until this day it is still spewing lava.

The start of the Fagradalsfjall hike is close to Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula . This is the same peninsula where the international airport is located so it’s most convenient to combine your visit to the volcano with your arrival or departure to Iceland.

There are actually 3 different trails that lead to the volcano but only one of them has a good view over the active crater. While at the start of the eruption in March 2021 you had to follow hiking trail B, now  you have to follow hiking trail C which will lead you to two different viewpoints .

best european hiking trips

Distance  – 9km (5.6 miles)

Elevation  – 300m

Duration  – 2 to 3 hours

Level  – Medium. There are a couple of steep inclines on loose gravel so make sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes. If you have trekking poles you’ll definitely want to use them here.

When to visit  – Preparation is definitely key when it comes to visiting this volcano! The best part? You can simply follow along the entire process on Youtube.  You can click here for the live feed of the active Fagradalsfjall volcano.  Here you can check if the crater is actually visible in real time or if it’s spewing lava or not.

Season  – The Fagradalsfjall Hiking Trail is open all year round but might sometimes be closed if the hiking circumstances become dangerous.

📖  MAKE SURE TO READ MY DETAILED TRAVEL GUIDE TO FULLY PREPARE FOR THIS HIKE –  Fagradalsfjall Hiking Trail – How To Visit The Active Volcano in Grindavik Iceland

Fagradalsfjall Hiking Trail - How To Visit The Active Volcano in Grindavik Iceland

16. MOUNT BLAHNUKUR LOOP TRAIL – One of the best day hikes in Europe

The Mount Blahnukur hiking trail is located in Landmannalaugar , one of the most stunning places in the Icelandic Highlands . Landmannalaugar itself is made up of windswept rhyolite mountains, a rock type that creates a full spectrum of dazzling color. Shades of red, pink, green, blue and golden yellow make for an ethereal location.

The colorful region can be found  nestled beside the raven-black Laugahraun lava field , a sweeping expanse of dried magma which originally formed in an eruption in 1477.

Landmannalaugar is located in the heart of Icelandic Highlands which means  you can only get there with a proper 4×4 vehicle.  The Highlands are interconnected by the so called F-roads and it’s strictly forbidden to drive on these with a regular car.

The Mount Blahnukur hiking trail is one of my favorite hikes in entire Iceland so make sure to add it to your itinerary.

best european hiking trips

Distance  – 6.1km (3.8 miles)

Elevation  – 350m

Route Type  – Loop

Duration  – 2,5 to 4 hours

Level  – Medium. The first part of the hike is a very steep incline but after that the worst is over and all that’s left to do is enjoy the incredible views.

When to visit  – If you start this hike in the early morning you’ll be the only one on the trail. Most people only start hiking around 10am in the area of Landmannalaugar.

Season  – The hiking trails in Landmannalaugar are only accessible during the summer months. Before June and after September the roads to the Highlands get closed off due to heavy snowfall.

📖 MAKE SURE TO READ MY DETAILED GUIDE ON LANDMANNALAUGAR –  The Best Hike In Landmannalaugar – The Mount Blahnukur Hiking Trail

The Best Hike In Landmannalaugar - The Mount Blahnukur Hiking Trail

17. REMUNDARGIL LOOP IN THAKGIL – One of the best hiking routes in Europe

Thakgil is a hidden gem in Southern Iceland close to the famous tourist attractions of Vik and Reynisfara. It’s a short 30 minute detour from the Ring Road but if you have the time I highly recommend spending at least 1 day here.

Typical for Thakgil are the  steep, mossy walls  and the many canyons. And compared to the immensely popular Fjadragljufur canyon you can actually roam around freely here. The Remundargil loop is one of the best hikes in Iceland so make sure to add it to your itinerary!

Iceland Hiking Guide - 15 Best Hikes In Iceland

Distance  – 12.5km (7.7 miles)

Elevation  – 250m

Duration  – 3 to 5 hours

Level  – Medium to Hard. The start of the hike is a very steep incline with a lot of switchbacks followed by a very steep decline. If you have trekking poles with you I highly recommend using them here.

When to visit  – Start your hike in the morning to have the best experience.

Season  – Thakgil is one of those regions in Iceland that you have to explore during the summer months.  The Thakgil campsite opens annually from June 1st and closes down on the 15th of September . Outside this period of time you can still check if the hiking trails are accessible but chances are high they’l be covered in snow.

📖 MAKE SURE TO READ MY DETAILED GUIDE ON HIKING THE REMUNDARGIL TRAIL IN THAKGIL –  The Best Thakgil Hiking Trail – Discover The Remundargil Canyon And Thakgil Campsite

best european hiking trips

Charlotte Lint is the founder, main photographer and writer of Charlies Wanderings . She has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice. She is an expert on writing insightful hiking guides and creating unique and efficient travel itineraries . Every month she helps over 134.000 people discover the most beautiful places in the world through her detailed travel guides.

You’ll Also Love

best european hiking trips

Gemma | footSTEPS - Dance, Travel, Culture says

August 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm

Wow. The views from each of these hikes look like something out of a fairy tale! So stunning!

I’m planning a round-the-world trip (or at least I was, before lockdown!) and was looking for some interesting hikes to include. Some of these will definitely be going on my list! Thank you!

Charlotte says

August 15, 2020 at 9:05 am

Ah so happy to hear that!!! 🙂

October 6, 2022 at 10:27 am

Wow, the views look magnificant!

Yakub Ghale says

February 5, 2023 at 10:27 am

Hi, i am from Nepal knows as the country of Mt.Everest so before reading this blog i used to think that the beautiful mountains are only in my country but after read above i feel my self i enter in another world, i enjoyed the pictures very much i feel myself proud that i got a lot of knowledge about Europe hiking mountains and enjoyed the pictures. Thank very much for sharing such a informative and good blog.

July 16, 2023 at 5:54 am

Beautifully crafted article

mountgloryadventures says

November 2, 2023 at 7:36 am

Helpful Article.

Whitehill says

April 21, 2024 at 4:25 pm

The Perfect Itinerary to travel. Nice article.

April 21, 2024 at 4:43 pm

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

DESTINATIONS

TRAVEL ITINERARIES

TRAVEL WITH KIDS

Charlies wanderings is a travel blog filled with unique adventures and wonderful storytelling through colorful photos and insightful travel guides.

COPYRIGHT © 2017 - 2024 CHARLIES WANDERINGS

All rights reserved. Photography and written content may not be reproduced without my permission.

Copyright © 2024 CHARLIES WANDERINGS Theme by 17th Avenue

Copyright © 2024 · Charlotte on Genesis Framework · WordPress · Log in

  • Volcanoes National Park
  • South Africa
  • Sary-Chelek
  • Pamir Highway
  • Turkmenistan
  • Kashgar Old City
  • Dali Old Town
  • Gobi Desert
  • Lake Khövsgöl
  • Orkhon Valley
  • Ulaan Baatar
  • Flores Island
  • Philippines
  • Hunza Valley
  • Phander Valley
  • Kalash Valley
  • Wilpattu National Park
  • Kakadu National Park
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Sepik River
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • St Vincent & Grenadines
  • Katmai National Park
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Everglades National Park
  • Big Island of Hawaii
  • New York City
  • Washington State
  • Provence & French Riviera
  • Hormuz Island
  • Jericoacoara
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Heli, Air & Balloon
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • Horseback-Riding
  • Tropical Forests
  • National Parks
  • Off-Road Adventures
  • Kiteboarding
  • Scuba-Diving
  • Rafting & Kayaking
  • Cruising & Sailing
  • Winter & Snow
  • Packing List
  • Travel Safety
  • Newsletter Signup
  • Privacy & Cookies
  • Stock Photos
  • Photo Books
  • Photo Calendars

Destinations » Europe

Ze Wandering Frogs

Hike, kite, dive – adventure travel with a french twist, 36 best hikes in europe for long distance hiking trails.

best european hiking trips

The Alps are, of course, the first mountain range one can think about when looking for the best hikes in Europe, but fantastic long-distance hiking trails are available throughout the continent as well. Hiking in Europe takes you from coastal lines and small villages and remote wilderness to historical sites and old castles. And of course, some of the most stunning landscapes are the mountains in Europe!

We asked fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite European long-distance paths and included several other top treks that will give you itchy feet! So if you want to know which best hiking trails Europe has to offer, check our compilation below and start preparing for your next trekking adventure.

If you feel we are missing any major long distance hiking trails Europe is famous for, definitely leave us a comment!

Best Hikes in Europe

Here are some of the best long distance trails Europe has to offer:

Austrian Alps

  • England Hiking
  • France Trekking
  • Germany Hiking
  • Greece Hiking
  • Iceland Trekking
  • Ireland Walks
  • Italy Hiking

Norway Trekking

  • Portugal Trails

Romania Mountains

  • Scotland Walks

Slovakia Mountains

  • Slovenia Trekking

Spain Hiking

  • Sweden Reserve
  • Switzerland Trekking

Hiking in Austria is a trekker’s paradise, with some of the best long distance hiking trails in Europe. Listing the best hikes in Austria would deserve its own full blog post! For now, we are listing the top Austria hiking trails as a shortlist as some of the best trails in Europe.

Stubai High Trail

The Stubai High Trail in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria covers 62 miles (100 kilometers) of breathtaking high-altitude scenery. With eight mountain huts providing food and accommodation along the way, you can hike the entire trail locally called the Stubai   Höhenweg   Trail in 8 days or cover only the section that appeals to you. Our initiation into the Stubai High Trail took us along the Wild Water Trail (Wildewasserweg) to the Sulzenau Hut near the Stubai Glacier. With two impressive waterfalls along the way, this is easily the most beautiful ascend to the Stubai High Trail.

The Grawa Waterfall, which is the widest in the Eastern Alps, marks the start of this part of the trail. Three hours later, the views from the top of the Sulzenau Waterfall make the effort to get there more than worthwhile.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Austria Stubai High Trail Photo Credit Travel Tyrol

Austria – Stubai High Trail / Photo Credit: Travel Tyrol

Each hut along the Stubai High Trail is the start or end of one stage of the trail. From the Sulzenau Hut, you can either walk to the Dresdner Hut or the Nürnberger Hut. A limited number of private rooms are available, with most beds in dormitories or hay barns. Good, hearty Austrian food is available at all the huts. The Stubai High Trail with accompanying huts is generally open from June to October. While reservations aren’t compulsory, it’s advisable. The last thing you want is to hike for 3 to 7 hours to find out there’s no room for you.

The Austrian and German Alpine Clubs try their best to make the hut accommodation affordable. You can generally find somewhere to lay your head down for less than 35US$ (€30). Some huts even offer a service to transport your backpack from the valley. The difference in altitude covered on the Stubai High Trail is around 26,300 feet (8,000 meters). Some parts are rated as difficult terrain, while others, like the hike to the Sulzenau Hut via the Grawa Waterfall, have an intermediate difficulty level.

By Linda from Travel Tyrol | Facebook | Instagram

Eagles Trail

The 256 miles (413 km) trail takes through Tirol and can be broken in short treks if you so choose.

Austrian Alps Hiking Resources

Click on each link to access more detailed hiking resources:

  • Walking Austria’s Alps: Hut to Hut
  • Trekking in the Zillertal Alps: Trekking and peaks in the Austrian Tyrol
  • Austrian Alps Hiking Map
  • Trip Planning: Travel Guide Austria co
  • Pack an English-German Phrasebook

Hiking in England

The mountains in England might not be the first to come to mind when you think of trekking. Indeed, the highest peak in England stands at 3,208 feet (978 meters), a far cry from Mont Blanc. But what England’s tallest mountains lack in height, they make up for beautiful landscape! Indeed, the country offers plenty of awesome treks from the Lake District’s mountainous range to the coast-to-coast walks that will take you through the neat scenery of the English coast. And hiking in England always comes with an interesting history!

Hadrian’s Wall Path 

Hadrian’s Wall Path is a coast-to-coast footpath and national trail that slices across northern England. It follows the route of Hadrian’s Wall, which once formed the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. The ancient monument is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its remnants snake through the counties of Cumbria and Northumberland for 84 miles (135 kilometers).

For keen trekkers, it’s possible to complete Hadrian’s Path  in three days  of intense walking. The undulating terrain and scenic countryside mean that most people take longer. This trail is of moderate difficulty that never rises above an altitude of 1,130 feet (345 meters). Allow five to seven days if you want to pause at the numerous Roman forts, mile castles, and museums along the signposted route.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // England Hadrian's Path Photo Credit Go Eat Do

England – Hadrian’s Path / Photo Credit: Go Eat Do

It’s possible to overnight in guesthouses, hostels, and on campsites. Budget at least 65US$ (£50) a day for basic food and accommodation.

The unpredictable British weather means this is a trail that can be followed at any time of year. From November into March the landscape looks bleak. In the peak holiday season, during July and August, the footpath tends to be busy.

By Stuart of Go Eat Do  | Facebook | Instagram  

Coast to Coast Trail 

The Coast to Coast trail is by far one of my favorite UK challenges, 198 miles (318 km) from the west to the east coast of the UK, hence the name! The trail crosses through three gorgeous National Parks, the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and finally North York Moors.  

I completed the full trail in 13 days; you can do it faster or slower depending on how many miles you walk each day (or split into sections).

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // England Coast to Coast Trek Photo Credit Becky The Traveller

England – Coast to Coast Trek / Photo Credit: Becky The Traveller

Because this is such a long trek it does take some careful planning. Hotels and B&Bs on the route can fill up during peak times and weekends but July-August is busy in the UK. Camping is an option, but you need to factor in whether you want to carry all your gear for the full distance. Sherpa services are available that move your bags to the next location.

I trekked the Coast to Coast trail in September, which was quieter than July and August but still busy at weekends. Plus not too hot for hiking! There is no permit required to do the hike; it’s well signposted with many different ‘C2C’ signs. As regards to costs, it depends on what luxury you want, campsites start from 9US$ (£7/8), hostels around 26US$ (£20) and B&B/hotels are closer to 65US$ (£50), times that by the number of nights to give a rough estimate for your trip.

The hardest part of the Coast to Coast trail for me was at the beginning through the Lake District National Park. The toughest section was navigating Helvellyn mountain and Striding Edge (literally a jagged knife-edge walk with scary drops on each side). But equally beautiful and satisfying to complete!

The Coast to Coast trail is challenging, but it gives you a fantastic view of the UK’s best hiking paths. Plus you can say you’ve walked across the UK, which is pretty cool!

By Becky from Becky The Traveller | Facebook | Instagram

England Hiking Resources

Click on the links for more detailed information.

  • Coast to Coast Hiking Map and Guide
  • Hadrian’s Wall Hiking Path and Guide
  • The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland
  • Trip Planning: UK Travel Guide

Trekking France

Given the access to the Alps mountains, including the Mont Blanc mountain, France is home to some of the best places to hike in Europe (and it’s not us being biased about our native country!). The French mountain ranges are rather stunning. In addition to a Mont Blank hike in the Alps, the most famous mountains in Europe after all, Corsica and the Pyrenees hiking should be high on any trekker’s list. Find out below why we think France has some of the best long distance hiking trails Europe is home to.

Haute Route

The 12-day Haute Route is one of the most challenging long-distance hiking trails in France. The 116 miles (187 km) start from Chamonix in France and end in Zermatt, Switzerland. Probably one of the best treks in Europe.

Tour Du Mont Blanc (TMB) – France, Italy, Switzerland

The most famous of the long distance hiking trails in Europe! This stunning trek in the Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland takes around 10-12 days to cover a circuit of 106 miles (170 km), with a height gain and loss of approximately 32,808 feet (10,000 m). The trail itself is well-marked and well-traveled. You will loop around the highest peak in Europe, the Mont Blanc (elev. 15,771 feet / 4,807 m), covering rocky peaks and flower-hewn valleys along the way.

The trek can be completed clockwise or counter-clockwise, with the latter starting from Les Houches being the most popular due to the perspective from the mountain passes. The best time to tackle the TMB is from the end of June to the end of October; the exact dates will vary depending on the snowfall from the previous season and in the current season. Summertime yields the highest traffic, especially around late August during The Ultra Trail Marathon, so be prepared to book your accommodation well in advance or travel outside of the Marathon timeframe.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // France Tour du Mont Blanc Photo Christa Linn LeGrande-Rolls

France – Tour du Mont Blanc / Photo Credit: Expedition Wildlife

There are huts and B&Bs along the TMB; camping is technically forbidden. Be sure to make reservations and plan out your trip ahead of time. Accommodations along the route will offer half-board, include a bed, dinner, and breakfast, and some will pack a lunch for you at an extra cost. Most accommodations close down outside of the main hiking season.

You are not required to have a guide for the trail. However, having Cicerone’s “Trekking the Tour of Mont Blanc” or another detailed guide or map will be very helpful in your planning and on the trail. Plan for around 1,200US$ (1,000€) for the trek, including half-board accommodation and lunches. For 580US$ (500€) more, you can stay at more upscale accommodations and acquire luggage transfers between towns.

By Christa from  Expedition Wildlife

Corsica GR20

The 112 miles (180 km) trek is considered by many to be the most beautiful as well as one of the most difficult Europe long distance trails. The trail takes you from the north to the south of the Mediterranean island through rugged mountains. Most trekkers take 15 days and while it’s possible to stay in mountain huts – refuges , bringing your tent in summer is recommended given the trail’s popularity which makes it one of the most famous hiking trails in France .

Pyr én ées GR10

The 538 miles (865 km) trek is broken into smaller sections that each take about 12 days on average. The difficult trek passes through stunning scenery, and you can rest in mountain huts or camp along the trail. Probably one of the top European long distance trails as the route will take you from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Sea.

Trekking Resources for France

  • Trekking Chamonix to Zermatt: The Classic Walker’s Haute Route
  • Trekking The GR5 Trail: Through the French Alps from Lake Geneva to Nice 
  • The Tour of Mont Blanc: Complete two-way trekking guide
  • The GR20 Corsica: Complete Guide to the High-Level Route
  • The GR11 Trail: Through the Spanish Pyrenees
  • Trip Planning: France Travel Guide
  • English-French Phrasebook

Hiking in Germany

When thinking about long trails in Europe, Germany might not come first to mind. But hiking in Germany will take you for awesome strolls through villages, rolling hills, and forests, sometimes along rivers, others to high castles. In any case, these are enjoyable, and you can always find a place to rest and treat yourselves to good food and a cold drink.

Black Forest Westweg 

The 177 miles (285 km) route goes through villages, meadows, and of course a walk in the Black Forest. Stay in campsites or guesthouses.

Bavarian Alps

The area includes some of the best hikes in Germany. From the 2-day climb to Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak at 9,718 feet (2,962 m), to the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s infamous retreat in the mountain, the Alpine landscape offers plenty of long-distance paths and opportunities for great trekking in Germany.

Germany Hiking Resources

  • Walking in the Bavarian Alps: 70 Mountain Walks and Treks in Southern Germany
  • Hiking in the Black Forest
  • Trip Planning: Germany Travel Guide
  • Carry an English-German Phrasebook

Hiking in Greece

Trips to Greece usually include cruising the Cyclades, relaxing in Santorini, and enjoying tasty Greek food. However, Greece is also a good place for one of these long-distance hiking trails Europe has.

Vikos Gorge

Some of the best trekking I’ve ever done in Europe was in the Vikos Gorge in Northern Greece.

Situated in the North Pindus Mountains, the Vikos Gorge is one of the biggest in the world and a stunning landscape to explore by foot. There are long hiking trails  everywhere, so you aren’t short of potential walks to do. It’s a great place to hike alone or with a travel buddy.

The area is called the Zagori and encompasses 44 villages- together known as the Zagorohoria. The gorge itself is only 8 miles (12 km) long, but hiking overnight here allows you to explore the villages and surrounding area along the way.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Greece Vikos Gorge Photo Credit Coddiwomp

Greece – Vikos Gorge / Photo Credit: Coddiwomp

The main gorge stretch is from the village of Vikos to that of Monodendri, or vice versa. Beginning from Vikos, descend into the gorge. From here it’s a straightforward hike through the canyon suitable for most levels. The only exertion is the ascent to Monodendri, which is a lung-busting climb. The beautiful village at the top makes it worth the effort though!

In general, this is a straightforward hike, and you can easily do it in one day- taking roughly 4.5hours walking non-stop. But don’t rush it! Staying overnight in Monodendri allows you to experience more of the hiking in the area in the ensuing days. In such a beautiful place, this is highly recommended!

For broader exploration, it can be handy to have a map. The main routes are all well signposted though. Head to Vikos in Spring or Summer for the best walking weather.

By Danny from Coddiwomp  

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece. Explore during a 3-day trek and see why the mountain was so important in Ancient Greek Mythology. The perfect way to mix history with one of the most iconic long hiking trails Europe has.

Crete White Mountains

Hiking in Crete takes you on a trek in the White Mountains, passing by the coastline and fishing villages.

Hiking Resources for Greece

  • Trekking in the Peloponnese and Pindos Way
  • Corfu Trekking Trails and Guide
  • Waterproof hiking map of Mt. Olympus
  • Hiking in Crete Map and Trails
  • Trip Planning: Greece Travel Guide
  • Bring a Greek-English Phrasebook

Hiking in Iceland

Laugavegur trail.

The 34 miles (54 km) trail from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmorkvariety is another epic trek,  passing by hot springs and glaciers. Laugavegur takes about four days, but you can also add two days if you combine the Fimmvörðuháls trail. The season runs from mid-June until mid-September, and several huts are available along the trail.

Iceland Hiking Resources

  • Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail
  • The best hiking trails between Landmannalaugar and Skógar
  • Iceland Hiking Map: Landmannalaugar, Laugavegur, Þórsmörk & Fimmvörðuháls
  • Trip Planning: Iceland Travel Guide
  • Take an Iceland Phrasebook

Hiking in Ireland

The 100 miles (162 km) trek goes through the stunning landscape of the County Kerry, including coastal plains, lakes, and mountains. One of the most famous walks in Ireland for sure.

Ireland Hiking Resources

  • Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
  • Walking Guide to Dingle Way
  • Trip Planning: Ireland Travel Guide 

Hiking in Italy

Via degli abati.

I’ve just returned from hiking the  Via degli Abati , a long-distance trek in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, in the north of Italy. The Via degli Abati is 74 miles (120 km) long and can be hiked in about five days – however, please be aware that it’s gorgeous but very tough, with 18,000 feet (5,500) meters positive altitude difference over the course of the five days.

Via degli Abati means Abbots Way, as the trail follows the footsteps of medieval monks who walked to Rome to visit the Pope, from their monasteries in the mountains. The trail starts in Bobbio, once home to a large monastery, and ends in Pontremoli, where it connects with the famous Via Francigena that can be followed all the way to Rome. For this reason, the Via degli Abati is often known as the Francigena’s ‘mountain variant’ – the terrain it crosses is mainly mountainous, but since these are the Apennines and not the Italian Alps, it only reaches a maximum altitude of about 4,300 feet (1,300 meters).

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Italy Via degli Abati Photo Credit The Crowded Planet

Italy – Via degli Abati / Photo Credit: The Crowded Planet

The trail is well signposted and can easily be hiked without a guide, but we don’t recommend it to solo hikers as it’s offbeat and there is no phone signal most of the way. If you fall and get hurt, it may be days before somebody finds you.

You don’t need to carry camping equipment as each stage ends in a village, with available accommodation in hotels and B&B, also offering meals. We spent about 35-60US$ (30-50€) per person per day, depending on hotels – however, this figure can be lower if you opt to camp and pitch your tent in secluded locations along the trail. We loved the Via degli Abati and can’t recommend it highly enough – we were truly alone with nature, from the beginning to the end.

Margherita from The Crowded Planet | Facebook | Instagram  

Alta Via Uno

Also known as the Dolomite High Route 1 or Alta Via 1, the 10-day 93 miles (150 km) trek takes you through the Eastern Dolomites. Dolomites hiking should be a highlight of any walks in Italy.

Norway hiking trails extend far and through incredible scenery. Coastal hikes, Arctic wilderness, remote places – take your pick!

Hardangervidda Trek

A tough 12-day trek taking you on a traverse, you can stay in huts or camp in remote areas.

Trolltunga Hike

One of the best hikes in Norway, the challenging trail covers 16 miles (27 km) long and about 3,000 feet (900 meters) ascent. Most trekkers take 10 hours to reach the top, and many people camp around, which makes a good overnight trek to one of the most spectacular scenic cliffs in Norway.

Arctic Knivskjellodden 

The 11 miles (18 km) trail ends in North Cape, the northernmost point of mainland Europe. While the distance is relatively short, the Arctic scenery is what makes this trail special. Camp in Knivskjellodden to enjoy a night in the Arctic!

Hiking in Portugal

Portuguese camino.

The Camino de Santiago is a famous pilgrimage route in Spain, but not many know that there are several Camino routes that start in different parts of Spain, France, and Portugal. One of the ways that is becoming more and more popular is the Portuguese Camino . You can start it in Lisbon to walk the full Portuguese  Camino, a distance of 398 miles (640 km). The majority of pilgrims, however, start in Porto, walking 150 miles (240 km) to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The trail is marked with yellow arrows and shells – the traditional marking that is used for the Caminos de Santiago. The route goes through major cities, past rural areas of Portugal and Spain, sometimes along the coast, and through a beautiful Galician forest.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Portugal Camino Portuguese Photo Credit Stingy Nomads

Portugal – Camino Portuguese / Photo Credit: Stingy Nomads

The Caminos have proper infrastructure for pilgrims, unique hostels – called albergues , and many restaurants and cafes on the way. There is no need to carry a tent or camping mattress, only a sleeping bag – every night your sleep in an albergue where you get a bed. The best seasons to walk this Camino is May – June or September – October when it’s warm but not too hot, with not much rain, and fewer people. July and August are the peak season for Camino Portugues – it gets very hot and dry, plus there are many pilgrims on the route.

The Camino is an excellent way to budget travel through Portugal and Spain; accommodation for pilgrims costs between 7-11US$ (6-10€) per person, most albergues have a kitchen, pilgrims can make their food, and transportation costs nothing (you walk every day). It is quite tough to walk one of these long-distance trails Europe offers in one go, but the Camino is a fantastic experience; you meet people of different ages from all over the world, make new friends and learn new things.

By Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

Rota Vicentina

Rota Vicentina is a not-so-mainstream hiking trail that stretches along Portugal’s South West coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean, between beautiful cliffs, stunning beaches, and wildflower fields.

It is almost 250 miles (400 km) long, and there are two main routes and 8 round trails showcasing diverse scenery. At 143 miles (230 km) and 12 stages through historical towns and forests, it can be done by bike or, slower and better, on foot.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Italy Fisherman in Rota Vicentina Photo Credit A World to Travel

Portugal – Fisherman in Rota Vicentina / Photo Credit: A World to Travel

On the other hand, the ‘Fishermen’s Trail’ goes along the coast for 74 miles (120 km) between Porto Covo, a tiny settlement in the  stunning Alentejo region  worth visiting on its own, and Odeceixe, and it uses paths that give access to fishing spots and sandy beaches. This second one is more demanding than the other, having four stages and five different itineraries. The best season to walk both is Spring or Autumn, with milder temperatures than those of Summer, when it is usually way too hot to walk.

It is possible to do this trail on a budget, staying in campings and guest houses or spending as much as you want as the area has some mind-blowing properties for rent, hotels, and villas. No guide or special permit is needed to complete it although having one helps to get the most out of it. Last but not least, a word of caution: it is forbidden to camp freely – or park an RV – outside the designated spaces and official campings. Especially in the coastal path, a protected area, fines can be high and happen overnight.

By Inma from  A World to Travel  |  Instagram  |  Facebook

Mălăiești Hut Trek

Perhaps unknown to a lot of travelers, Romania is filled with some fantastic mountain ranges that cover impressive views and also treks. From short one-day hikes to multiple days treks, they are suitable for everybody and all seasons. However, one of the most famous ones is the trek leading to the Mălăiești Hut.

Nestled in the Bucegi Mountains, in perhaps one of the most picturesque locations, the hut is a fabulous two-day trek starting from the Gura Diham Hut in Bușteni, the famous mountain resort. However, there are multiple possible routes for reaching the hut; it depends on how much time you have. The one presented here is the most common one, and it will take you around 5 hours to reach the hut from the starting point.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Romania Malaiesti Hut Trek Photo Credit Our World to Wander

Romania – Malaiesti Hut Trek / Photo Credit: Our World to Wander

Starting from Gura Diham Hut, at an altitude of 3,240 feet (987 m), you have to follow the red stripe sign which, after Poiana Izvoarelor and Șaua Pichetu Roșu, transforms into a red triangle. You thus follow the red triangle all the way to Mălăiești Hut at an altitude of approximately 5,640 feet (1,720 m). To spend the night there, be careful to book in advance as the beds are almost sold out every weekend. And it is pretty challenging and not recommended to return the same day

For the next day, after a pleasant and well-deserved sleep, you can follow the route called Brâna Caprelor where you have high chances of meeting some mountain goats, and head to Omu Peak, following the blue stripe sign (around 2 hours). From there, you can start your descent on the beautiful Valea Cerbului trail all the way to Gura Diham (4-5 hours).

This trek is a moderate to difficult one and should be avoided during winter. The best season for hiking in Romania is in summer. Regarding prices, expect to pay around 10US$ for your night in the hut. But this is a truly rewarding trek with fantastic views.

By Andra from Our World to Wander | Facebook | Pinterest

Transylvanian Alps Trail

Another fine example of the Carpathians, as you explore the Făgăraş Mountains, Romania’s highest range . 

Retezat Mountains

Explore the Carpathian mountains from caves to high peaks and glaciers.

Scotland Trekking

West highland way.

The West Highland Way is a 96-mile (155-km) multiday trek that starts in Milngavie near Glasgow and finishes in Fort William. The terrain is varied, and although it does include climbs like Conic Hill and the Devil’s Staircase as well as periods of scrambling, it is mainly flat overall.

Most people complete the West Highland Way in 6-7 days. It’s possible to do it in less, and there’s even a long-distance marathon where people complete it in around 16 hours, but 6-7 days is the most common and most comfortable amount of time to give yourself.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Scotland West Highland Way Photo Credit This Travel Guide

Scotland – West Highland Way / Photo Credit: This Travel Guide

Along the way you can either camp or stay in guesthouses and hostels, depending on how comfortable you want to take it. Several companies will transfer your luggage from guesthouses to guesthouses and, coincidentally (or not), there’s usually a pub around the halfway mark each day. You can make this a very easy-going and comfortable trek if you want to.

The best time to walk the West Highland Way is probably April or May, but you can walk it any time of the year mostly. Spring and autumn are generally the nicest times to do it, though.

Costs vary from person to person: some like to keep it cheap while others want their modern comforts. There is no permit, and the primary budget items are transportation, accommodation, food and drink, and luggage transfer, if you opt for that.

Expect to pay around 90US$ (£70) per night for accommodation, around 20-40US$ (£15-30) per day per person for food and drink, and 40-50US$ (£30-40) per person for luggage transfer. Excluding the transportation costs at the beginning and end of the trip, this works out at around 900US$ (£690) per couple. This is probably the more luxurious end of the scale, and you can cut costs by camping, staying in bothies, or finding cheaper accommodation, not eating out twice a day, and not getting luggage transfers.

Whatever way you decide to do it, this trek will go down as one of your most memorable trips ever.

Transverzala Kamnik-Savinja Trail

Part of the Slovenian Mountain Trail, the Kamnik-Savinja Trail lets you explore the Slovenian Alps, taking you to high passes, glaciers, and thick forests. Allow 3-4 days to complete, staying in huts and guesthouses.

El Camino de Santiago de Compostela

No presentation is needed on one of the world’s most famous long-distance walks Europe has. Whether you are on a spiritual quest or hitching to hit the trail, Santiago de Compostela is one of the most famous Spain hiking trails, taking you from Roncesvalles in Spain to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France. The reverse route is of course possible. The entire route is 500 miles (800 km) long and is divided into about 8 sections, each taking about 10 days.

Carros de Foc

The Pyrenees Mountain chain, the natural border between Spain and France has some of the most fascinating mountain landscapes on the European continent. The Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is possibly the most beautiful part of the Pyrenees, and this is where you can do one of the best multiday hikes in Europe, the Carros de Foc.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Spain Carros de Foc Photo Credit Surfing the Planet

Spain – Carros de Foc / Photo Credit: Surfing the Planet

Carros de Foc means Chariots of Fire, and not much is known about the origin of the name of this route created by hikers in 1987. What it’s sure that this circular hike that takes 5 to 7 days to complete goes through the most beautiful parts of the Aigüestortes National Park. There are ten refuge houses in the circuit that provide accommodation for hikers during the 35 miles (56 km), which might not seem a lot at first, but you will have to climb more than 29,600 feet (9,000 meters) in total and will need to overcome some of the key mountain passes in the region. The main feature of this part of the Pyrenees is a large number of alpine lakes of all kinds of colors and the views from the mountain passes are utterly unforgettable.

No guide or permit is required to hike this trail, and neither any entrance fee has to be paid in the national park. The average price of staying in the mountain refuges is about 35US$ (30€) per night. Accommodation with breakfast is provided in large dorm rooms, whereas dinner costs around 25US$ (20€) per person.

By Gábor from  Surfing the Planet | Facebook | Twitter

Sweden Hiking

Kungsleden trail.

The famous The Kings Trail, or Kungsleden as it is locally known, is one of the long-distance hikes Europe offers, at about 270 miles (440 km) long and traversing the  Vindelfjällens Nature Reserve.  Several entry points allow trekkers to either hike a short part if they don’t want to trek the whole distance. Mountain huts are available along the way, but bring your tent if you feel you need shorter breaks. In winter, the trail becomes a popular ski destination as well.

By James from This Travel Guide

High Tatra Mountains

The High Tatra Mountains, which are part of the Carpathian mountains, separate Slovakia and Poland. You can trek five days from hut to hut, the perfect option for a great Slovakia hiking adventure.

Switzerland Hiking

The Alps in Switzerland are another trekking paradise and home to some of the best long distance trails in Europe. Right there, you can find hiking trips for a lifetime and some of the finest hut-to-hut hiking Europe can provide.

Tectonic Arena Sardona

The Sardona UNESCO world heritage path starts in Flims, Switzerland. It is a great hike to do in the spring and summertime. The hike is two days long, and you can go without a guide. You can go all the way from Flims walking it will take you a bit longer, or you can take two chairlifts bringing you to Naraus from where you want to start your trek .

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Switzerland Sardona Path Photo Credit Les Berlinettes

Switzerland – Sardona Path / Photo Credit: Les Berlinettes

On the first day, you walk a good 6 hours through the beautiful landscape of Switzerland before arriving at Pass dil Segnas at 8,620 feet (2,627 meters). The hike is not too strenuous. Only the last part is a bit more tricky as there is still snow and ice in summer so better have good hiking shoes.

From there you can see clearly in the mountains in front of you where the continents of Africa and Europe collided millions of years ago: the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona, a UNESCO heritage site. There you can spend the night at the Segnespass, the only mountain Lodge in the area that is open from 30th of June until 30th of July. One night with breakfast will cost you around 60US$ (50€). If you wish to camp, it is possible also. You can bring your gear and pitch your tent on the way. Not directly on the summit but a little bit before.

On the second day, you will go back down for around 6 hours again, taking another path called „Trutg di Flem“ with waterfalls, gorges, and bridges along the way.

By Amandine from Les Berlinettes  

Dents-du-Midi 

This difficult 3-day trek leads you to the western side of Switzerland, with cabin huts along the route.

Tour des Combins 

Among the long-distance trails Europe provides, the 6-day takes you to the Combin massif, one of the highest of the Alps. Start from the Great St Bernard Pass, and trek along high peaks and valleys at the Italian-Swiss border.

Bernina-Trek

A long-distance trek through the Bernina area and recommended for experienced trekkers only.

Jura Crest Trail (Route 5)

A moderately difficult long-distance hike, this one of 190 miles (310 km) over 15 days, the Jura Crest Trail will make you discover Swiss Jura heights and enjoy sweeping views of the Alps, the Black Forest, and the Vosges.

This list of destinations for trekking in Europe is by far complete, and we will be adding more trekking and trail options. So if we missed your preferred European hiking trails, or if you know another top trail in Europe, please let us know!

If you are looking for more trail explorations, check out our posts on:

Stay tuned for more adventures from our travel around the world !

Follow us now on Facebook ,  Instagram , and  YouTube.  

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage if you make a purchase using these links – at no cost to you. Our opinions are our own and are not impacted by these partnerships.

Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails // Top European Trekking Adventures

ZeWanderingFrogs.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Related Posts

best european hiking trips

Patricia - Ze Wandering Frogs

Bonjour! I am Patricia Pagenel, the founder with Bruno Chartier of this adventure travel blog - Ze Wandering Frogs, where we share our travel tips and personal experiences from traveling in 50+ countries. We have been on a world trip since 2016, looking for exciting new adventures. Our work has been featured on Viator, National Geographic, Huffington Post, and ASEAN Tourism. Find out more about Ze Wandering Frogs in our About Us, our Portfolio, and Partners that worked with us. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to explore the world with us and start planning your own itineraries.

March 6, 2022

Europe , France , Hiking & Trekking , Nature & Wilderness

Mountains , Trails

12 Comments

best european hiking trips

October 10, 2019 at 6:46 am

Nice to bump into your website. My name is Asen and I’m a hiker and a blogger from Bulgaria. Your list is super extensive and very useful. I recently did some urban hiking in Toronto Canada – Cedar Trail, Highland Creek Trail, and Bluffer’s Park. Really cool places. In Europe I’ve recently hiked in Cinque Terre, Italy. It was very hot but crazy exciting! 🙂 Keep up the great work and happy trails!

best european hiking trips

November 18, 2019 at 1:30 am

Glad you liked our article and found it useful! So many trails in Europe! I can imagine Cinque Terre be hot, especially in summer. What your next hiking trip?

best european hiking trips

May 15, 2019 at 6:27 am

Nice post! We are planning our next summer’s hike and we were thinking about Stubai High Trail. We were just wondering if climbing equipments are necessary there?

Thanks in beforehand 🙂

Greetings from Finland

May 17, 2019 at 1:08 am

Hi Vilma, we did not trek the Stubai High Trail ourselves but from what I read as we are looking at hiking it, climbing gear is not necessary. Some people run it with lightweight bags, others go in low hiking shoes. Of course, it depends on the season, and on the snowpack of the past winter. Talking to the people of the huts might give you a better view of how this year might look like. Safe hiking!

best european hiking trips

April 12, 2019 at 7:40 am

Very nice blog.

April 16, 2019 at 11:25 pm

Thank you, glad you like it!

best european hiking trips

March 13, 2019 at 4:58 am

This is fun to do with your friends. RV is also good to have to get into this place if you want to spend few nights there.

March 22, 2019 at 10:53 am

RVs are indeed a good option for traveling to some remote places. We used to have our own as well when we were kiteboarding in the San Francisco Bay Area – we loved it!

best european hiking trips

October 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm

These are amazing hiking trails. I love hiking especial mountainous areas. From the list, I really like the Switzerland – Sardona Path. It looks stunning and I would love to trek it one day. Thanks for sharing. I have got some added to the bucket list.

October 23, 2018 at 9:41 pm

Think you can’t go wrong with any hike in Switzerland! But agree, some appear more stunning than others if that’s possible!

best european hiking trips

September 27, 2018 at 2:31 am

i really love hiking.i hope i will visit all these places at least once in life.

October 12, 2018 at 1:59 am

Same here! Happy hiking ?

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Latest tweets, text widget.

These widgets are displayed because you haven't added any widgets of your own yet. You can do so at Appearance > Widgets in the WordPress settings.

© 2024 Ze Wandering Frogs - Privacy & Cookies

best european hiking trips

The Backpacker Network

Europe Backpacker

Backpacking Europe Routes: 4 Epic Itineraries!

Backpacking Europe Routes

If you’re planning the Euro backpacking trip of your dreams but don’t know where to start, fear not! We’ve put together four Europe backpacking routes that appeal to different interests and types of travelers – the ‘Grand Tour’ of most commonly-visited places; a history buff’s guide to Southern Europe, a budget guide to Eastern Europe and for those of you who just can’t stop traveling, an epic around the continent route at the end!

These handpicked Europe itineraries will suit all kinds of travelers, from those on a blow-out gap year to backpackers who want to get the most adventure for their buck. Sit back and grab a cuppa as we’re about to take you on a whirlwind tour of Europe. 

Related: (opens in new tab)

  • How Much Does it Cost to Backpack Europe?
  • A Guide to Visas for Europe
  • Amazing Hostels in Europe for Backpackers

Top Europe Backpacking Trips: 4 Travel Itineraries

While you may associate backpacking through Europe with train travel and dormitory-style hostels, it’s been a rite of passage since the 18th century, when young people (mostly men) would spend a few years traveling around ‘The Continent’ prior to fully joining society. This was seen as a capstone educational experience – both in terms of seeing classical antiquity up close and interacting with new and different situations, people, and challenges.

This is still the case today too. While Europe’s countless museums , cuisines, and cultural contributions make it a premier travel destination, long-haul travel is also a fantastic way to learn about yourself. 

There are countless combinations of countries, sights, and transit options for a backpacking trip in Europe, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. The itineraries we’ve mapped out below are very customizable for this very reason. You can add more destinations, or stop a route partway through depending on how much time you have. 

Carcassone

We recommend not squeezing in too much as things will start to blur together and you may find yourself getting fatigued. If you’re limited on time (say, you only have a month or so), pick your favorite neighboring countries to explore in-depth. That way, you’ll still get a bit of the backpacking experience, but you won’t run yourself ragged.

As you plan your Europe backpacking route, consider the best time to visit each place . Southern Europe in particular gets very hot and very busy in the summertime but is very comfortable in the winter. The Low Countries are very gray and rainy in the fall and winter but have mild and lovely summers. 

Relatedly, countries like Austria and Switzerland, as well as the Scandinavian region, are typically not considered budget-friendly destinations. Depending on your funds, you may want to plan to spend a bit less time in these countries or forgo them entirely if you’re sticking to shoestring style travel. Off-season travel can also be a way to save if you can be flexible with dates!

If you’re travelling solo and are nervous about the safety aspect of your trip, we urge you not to worry. There are a number of really safe European countries with excellent tourist infrastructure in place. This means that you can backpack worry-free!

1. Western Europe Backpacking Route: The ‘Grand Tour’

Western Europe backpacking route

This tour starts in London because Heathrow is a great international hub for incoming flights, but we encourage you to shop around a bit and see if another city (like Paris, Frankfurt, or Amsterdam) is a cheaper place for you to start. 

London is one of the world’s premier cities. It’s absolutely massive and would take months to explore in full. As such, it’s good to prioritize based on your budget and interests. First-time visitors usually hit the following sites: 

  • Westminster Abbey
  • Buckingham Palace (the residence of the Queen) and its changing of the guard ceremony for royal enthusiasts
  • The Houses of Parliament
  • Number 10 Downing Street
  • The Churchill War Rooms for fans of politics
  • Big Ben clock tower
  • The (free!) British Museum
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • The Tower of London (home to the Crown Jewels)
  • The National Gallery
  • Covent Garden and Neal’s Yard 
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Notting Hill for its Portobello Road Market

If you’d like to stay in England a bit longer, consider some cozy cottage time in the Cotswolds , a football match and a few pints in Liverpool or Manchester , or some seaside charm in Brighton . You can also visit famed educational institutions at Oxford and Cambridge , as well as Roman-era baths in Bath . 

Glasgow has great art galleries, like the notable Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It’s the largest city in Scotland, particularly known for an architecture style that mixes Art Nouveau and Victorian styles. 

Edinburgh , Scotland’s capital, is a great student city, with all sorts of things to do. Trek up Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill, visit the Edinburgh Castle and don’t forget to check out both the Old Town and New Town.

See more: Edinburgh itineraries.

Other great places to backpack in Scotland include Inverness , Dundee , and of course, Loch Ness where you can go monster hunting! The Cairngorms and Glencoe have beautiful mountains for hiking, and fans of critters will love the puffins, ponies, and otters on the Shetland Islands . 

Loch Ness

Ireland and Northern Ireland

Dublin , Ireland’s capital, has castles, museums, cathedrals, universities, and of course, great pub culture in the Temple Bar area. St. Stephen’s Green and Phoenix Park are beautiful emerald green spaces, and the Guinness headquarters is here as well. 

Galway is an easy day trip from Dublin by bus and is a great example of relaxed, charming Irish life. The home to the Claddagh ring, its Latin Quarter still has medieval city walls, and the city is quaint and adorable.  

Many visitors flock to the astounding Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, which offer 14 kilometers of sea cliffs along the Wild Atlantic Way.

If you’d like to spend more time in Ireland, the Aran Islands , or smaller cities or counties like Cork , Killarney , and Sligo are good options. Ireland also has fabulous nature to explore and ample national parks for hiking, swimming, and outdoor fun. 

Northern Ireland is also a destination to consider, famous for the gorgeous Giant’s Causeway. A quick stop at the beautiful capital of Belfast is also highly recommended.

The Netherlands

Amsterdam is perhaps best known for its tolerant attitude towards partying, prostitution, and recreational drug use, but it’s so much more than that. 

The canal area (Grachtengordel) is like stepping into the Golden Age, the museum district (home to the Rijksmuseum, van Gogh Museum, and more) is world-class, and the funkier Noord and West districts allow you more of a taste of local life. Haarlem is just 15 minutes away by train and offers much of what Amsterdam does so well (in terms of cute houses, cute canals, and cute cafes) with a lot less chaos. 

Amsterdam

Rotterdam was bombed almost to nonexistence in World War II, so it’s one of the only cities in the Netherlands that doesn’t have the Golden Age architecture. Instead, it is modern and utterly cool, a stark departure from the rest of the country. 

If you’re visiting in the spring, don’t miss the world-famous tulips in bloom at the Keukenhof or other family-owned farms in the Lisse area. 

Other lovely day trips in the Netherlands include Giethoorn , called the ‘Venice of the Netherlands’ for its extensive canal system; the cheese market in Alkmaar ; the collection of windmills in Zaanse Schans ; Utrecht , a quaint college town with ‘double-decker’ canals; the hub of human rights in The Hague ; pottery and history in Delft ; or the North Frisian Islands on the Wadden Sea for super-cool seascapes and sand dunes, namely Texel . 

Don’t miss these Amsterdam itineraries written by our resident writer!

The capital of Belgium , Brussels has a chic and cosmopolitan vibe. You can’t miss the Grand Place with its stunning guildhalls, as well as the Town Hall. Belgians are also well-known for fries and waffles, treats to indulge in on any visit!  

History enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the historic diamond district in Antwerp , as well as the Ardennes , the site of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. For your dose of medieval charm, check out Ghent or Bruges , which aren’t too far from Brussels.

Luxembourg is a great day trip if you’re passing through en route to France or Germany. It has medieval fortifications, a cute old town called the Grund, and a fascinating interconnected tunnel network called the Bock Casemates. You can see the city from above from the Chemin de la Corniche viewpoint. 

If you’d like to stay longer, other cute cities include Clervaux , the medieval castle in Vianden , and the historic abbey at Echternach . 

luxembourg

Berlin has fantastic clubs and nightlife, a wide range of museums on Museum Island, and a variety of historical monuments, including the Brandenburg Gate and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. 

It has a very different vibe to other German and European cities, much grittier and more modern, and is also quite budget-friendly. Close by on the metro, visit Potsdam for your dose of royal life, with its beautiful Sanssouci Palace and park. 

Munich is a popular destination for tourists, and for good reason. Bavarian culture is perhaps what most foreigners associate with Germany , and you can have your fill of beers, pretzels, and German pub culture here. While away an afternoon at the English Garden, and don’t miss the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens.

Frankfurt is a banking capital and financial center, as well as being the home of the European Central Bank. It also has a lot to offer tourists in terms of museums and culture. Note that this may be a good hub to fly into, as it is home to one of Europe’s largest airports.

As you can see on a map, Germany is quite large! If you like German culture or want to brush up on your German language skills, this is a great place to spend some extra time if you have it. 

Other popular cities in Germany include Hamburg , Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Heidelberg, and Hanover. Baden Baden and Freiburg in the Black Forest are beautiful as well, and there are myriad quaint small towns in the countryside to enjoy. 

Czech Republic

Prague is nicknamed ‘the City of a Hundred Spires,’ due to its baroque Old Town and surrounding Gothic churches. While a relatively small city, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations due to its quaint and compact center. Don’t miss the Astronomical Clock show and the iconic Charles Bridge, which dates back to the 1400s.

Český Krumlov is best known for its castle and mix of baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic styles. For more modernist architecture, check out Brno . If you’d like to visit the home of one of the world’s most popular beers, check out Pilsen .

best european hiking trips

Vienna is another historical heavyweight, with loads of cultural contributions and museums. It is very calm and quiet for a large city, and you’ll enjoy strolling through its parks and gardens, including the Hapsburg summer residence at Schönbrunn.

Salzburg packs quite a punch for a small town. While perhaps most famous as the setting for the iconic film The Sound of Music , it is also the birthplace of Mozart and has a fantastic medieval fortification called the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Don’t miss the great vegan food available here !

Fans of winter sports will enjoy skiing at Soelden , Saalbach , and Lech , in addition to the winter dreamland at Innsbruck . Many visitors also flock to Hallstatt for the classic view of the church reflected on the water. 

Milan is one of the world’s fashion capitals and home to the Duomo of Milan, one of the world’s most iconic churches. Nearby Lake Como is a haunt of the rich and famous during the summer months, but is lovely off-season as well (and cheaper!)

Rome is a must-stop on any European backpacking route, for fantastic cuisine, awe-inspiring history, and beautiful fountains. Don’t miss the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon for history, and the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and Spanish Steps for iconic photo opportunities. St. Peter’s Square and Basilica are iconic Catholic sites, and the Vatican Museums hold many treasures. 

Venice is a one-of-a-kind place, built exclusively on canals. The Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica (and its resident pigeons), and yearly Carnival celebrations attract a lot of visitors, and you can’t miss the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. Keep in mind it gets very muggy (sometimes stinky) and crowded in the summertime.

Florence, San Gimignano, Lucca, Siena, and broader Tuscany are in a class all their own, with rolling countryside, Renaissance icons like Michelangelo’s David and the Duomo cathedral, and wonderful cuisine and wine. A quick pit stop in Pisa to see its iconic Leaning Tower is never a bad idea while you’re in the area.

In the south, check out Naples, Sorrento , and the Amalfi Coast for a bit of a seaside escape. Neapolitan pizza is arguably the world’s most famous and originated here. Nearby Pompeii is quite a sight to behold, totally buried under the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Alternatively, consider Cinque Terre for a similar vibe to the Amalfi Coast. 

There are countless things to do in Italy , and it may be best to prioritize based on what you like best – history, the outdoors, the coast, etc. as well as your budget. While cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice are considered must-sees, customize the rest of your time in Italy with a mix of other things. 

Rome Trevi Fountain

Landscapes, cultural contributions, weather, and dialects vary hugely depending on where you are, and you’ll want to get a good mix in order to make the most of your trip. In general, southern Italy is much cheaper than northern Italy. 

Switzerland

Switzerland is a very pricey location, and as such, may be a country to skip unless you have your heart set on certain destinations. Geneva and Zurich are its most popular destinations, for beautiful lake views and glamorous city life. Its smaller cities, like Basel , Lucerne , and Lausanne are lovely as well, with Interlaken a hub for winter sports fans.

Paris is another of the must-sees on any Europe backpacking itinerary. Similarly to London or Rome, you could spend months in Paris easily, so it’s important to prioritize based on your budget and preferences. Don’t forget, there are plenty of free things to do in Paris too!

Alongside its most popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral, don’t miss Sacre Coeur and the Moulin Rouge in the iconic Montmartre neighborhood; the Latin Quarter; shopping (or window-shopping) along the Champs-Elysées; the Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens; and its variety of other museums, like the d’Orsay, the Orangerie, and the Pompidou. 

Versailles is an easy day trip from Paris as well. If you’re spending a lot of time in museums, consider buying a museum pass. It includes a surprising wealth of museums, and if you plan accordingly it will save you a lot of money. 

To get out of the big city, consider spending some time in Provence on the Cote d’Azur or Nice on the French Riviera. Both are fairly posh locales, but possible to do on a budget with some planning. 

Wine fans can flock to Burgundy or Bordeaux , and film aficionados to Cannes . The beaches at Normandy are a sobering and reflective place, and in the intriguing Alsace-Lorraine region, don’t miss the half-timbered houses in quaint Strasbourg , Kaysersberg , or Colmar . 

Also read: Top Destinations for Wine in Europe .

Madrid is a hub of culture, from the amazing art museum El Prado to its wide boulevards and romantic Buen Retiro park. You can also check out the Royal Palace, home to Spain’s royal family, the main square in Plaza Mayor, or catch a Real Madrid game at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Don’t miss the delicious ‘Chocolate y Churros’ at the San Miguel Market. 

Barcelona , the capital of the semi-autonomous Catalonia region, is home to whimsical architecture from native sons Gaudí and Miró , like the Park Guell, Casa Batlló, and Sagrada Familia church. Another church you shouldn’t miss is the iconic Cathedral of the Sea or Maria del Mar. The famous shopping area La Rambla is home to Mercado de la Boqueria, where you can get lots of fresh juices and other goodies. 

Sevilla is a regal place, boasting the sprawling Plaza de España, a massive gothic cathedral, and Royal Alcázar palace. The former Moorish presence is quite felt here in converted architecture like La Giralda, a former minaret-turned belltower. Sevilla is also the birthplace of flamenco dancing, so be sure to catch that while you’re in town. 

Overall, the south of Spain is a particularly wonderful part of the country, with a relaxed vibe, amazing cuisine, and the bonus of being a bit more budget-friendly. 

Granada, Spain

Check out Valencia, Córdoba, Granada , Ronda, and Málaga for sunshine, citrus fruit, and stunning historical sites like the Mezquita in Córdoba and the Alhambra in Granada . 

For something different, consider spending some time in Bilbao and San Sebastián in the Basque Country, beautiful and modern cities with museums and skyscrapers. Relatedly, one of Europe’s most popular hikes is in this area: the Camino de Santiago . While formerly a religious pilgrimage, many people undertake this journey for non-religious reasons. There are places to stay each night and you can walk anywhere from a day to several weeks. 

If you’re seeking a beach-and-partying break, the beaches in the Canary Islands or the Balearics, like Ibiza, Tenerife , and Majorca . can’t be beaten. Keep in mind transport and lodging can get very pricey in the wintertime, as these boast some of the warmest temperatures in the region. 

Lisbon is a fantastic budget destination, with great weather, delicious cuisine, and a laid-back vibe. The iconic yellow streetcars are a quaint way to travel, or you can trek up the hills to the breathtaking São Jorge Castle for sweeping city views. Don’t miss the lovely azulejo tiles adorning the buildings, and the cool fortifications at Belem Tower and Jerónimos Monastery.   

Close to Lisbon, don’t miss the unbelievable castle and gardens at Sintra . Porto has a cute, cobblestoned medieval district and (of course) fantastic port, and Faro boasts Moorish walls and a great gateway to the rest of the beautiful Algarve region. 

Athens is a vibrant ‘old-meets-new’ place, boasting ancient relics like the Acropolis complex and the Parthenon, amid a great food scene, parks, and gardens.

The Greek Islands are a really special destination suitable for all sorts of backpackers. Party animals will love Mykonos, while Santorini’s white-and-blue buildings are a common bucket-list destination. Milos and Paros are a bit more off-the-beaten-path, and Crete is quite large, perhaps giving you more bang for your buck. Keep in mind the Greek Islands are not often a budget destination, so if you’re traveling shoestring consider planning ahead and comparing transportation options.    

Samaria Gorge, Greece

2. Southern Europe Backpacking Route: The ‘History Buff’

Southern Europe Backpacking Route

History buffs will love Southern Europe for its jaw-dropping array of ancient ruins, medieval fortifications, art, and beyond. 

Southern Spain has a wealth of historical attractions. In Andalucía alone you have the  Mezquita in Córdoba , the Alcazaba in Málaga , the Real Alcazar in Sevilla , the Alhambra in Granada , and Baños Árabes and Puente Nuevo in Ronda . Outside of Andalucía, Tarragona has a Roman Amphitheare, and Cádiz has the Castillo de Santa Ana, as well as a storied naval history.

Southern France has Roman history, Gallic history, papal history, and beyond, with innumerable sites to check out. Visit the iconic double-walled medieval fortifications in Carcassonne ; canals and chateaus in Annecy ; scenes of papal intrigue in Avignon and Orange ; the site of a 2nd-century fortified town in Uzès ; the ‘red city’ of Albi ; Roman ruins in Nîmes ; and The Calanques from the fortifications of Cassis . 

Larger cities in southern France are chock-full of history as well. Arles is one of the oldest cities in France and pre-dates the Romans. Marseilles was originally founded by the Greeks and is thought to be the oldest city in France. Toulouse changed hands from the Visigoths to the Merovingian and Carolingian Franks, originally known as Tolosa in Roman times.

Check out the Bonifacio Citadel and Citadelle de Calvi, as well as Napoleon’s birthplace in Corsica (part of France.)

Italy has a wealth of historical attractions, and not just in Rome. After you’ve seen the Colosseum, the Appian Way, the Forum, and beyond in Rome , be sure to check out some sites in the rest of the country. 

Pantheon

In southern Italy, check out the scene of the volcanic eruption at Pompeii and Herculaneum, lovingly-preserved Doric-style temples at Paestum; ancient cave dwellings at Matera ; and intriguing stone huts in Alberobello . For Napoleon buffs, you can also visit Elba , where he was exiled in 1814.

Sicily has a wealth of ancient sites and offers a great bang for your buck for a Euro backpacking trip. Agrigento is famous for its Valley of the Temples, and the Villa Romana del Casale outside Piazza Armerina boasts one of the most complete mosaics collections in existence today. 

Siracusa and nearby Ortigia Island also have large complexes of ruins in excellent conditions, well worth at least a day or two to explore. For other standalone sites on the island, consider the Tempio di Segesta in Trapani , the Cathedral in Palermo ; the Necropolis of Pantalica ; and Taormina’s Greek theater.

UNESCO describes Valletta, Malta as “one of the most concentrated historical areas in the world.” Established by the Knights of St. John, a Catholic order, Valletta has fabulous gardens, churches, and fortifications dating back to the 1500s. Even older than Valletta is Mdina , the capital of Malta before the arrival of the Knights. 

Malta

It goes without saying that a large draw of Greece is its historical offerings, similarly to Italy. As mentioned in the itinerary above, you can’t miss the Acropolis and Parthenon complex in Athens , and the country is littered with other ancient sites of interest. 

A small selection of your endless historical options include:

  • Byzantine frescoes in Mystras
  • The Oracle at Delphi
  • Eastern Orthodox monasteries atop spindly rock formations in Meteora
  • The site of the original Olympic Games at Olympia
  • The canals at Corinth
  • The world’s oldest city in Knossos , Crete
  • The Ancient Theatre at the Sanctuary of Asclepius in Epidaurus
  • The Mycenae archaeological site of Trojan War fame
  • Delos , the birthplace of Apollo 
  • The remains of the walled city of Philippi
  • The site of the Battle of Thermopylae

North Macedonia

Similar to Greece, North Macedonia has much to offer the history buff. The area around Skopje offers fortresses, bridges, and a market dating back to the 12th century. There is also a Byzantine fortified town at Bargala , the ‘Jerusalem of the Baltics’ in Ohrid , the archaeological site of Tauresium in Gradište , and another fabulous fortress in Isar .

3. Eastern Europe Backpacking Route: The ‘Budget Maximizer’

Eastern Europe backpacking route

Eastern Europe is known for being a budget-friendly destination, and this is definitely true. The region is also chock-full of amazing cities, nature, and things to do and explore so it’s a win-win for aspiring backpackers! 

You can start this tour in the Czech Republic, flying into Prague and following the Grand Tour itinerary for Prague, Český Krumlov, Brno , and beyond . From there, head to Slovakia! 

Slovakia has the most castles per capita in Europe, and its capital of Bratislava has a charming old town that is pedestrian-only, lined with cute shops and restaurants. In addition to its castle and castle ruins, it also has majestic churches in different styles.

Košice dates back to the 13th century, and you can still visit the medieval city walls, with the largest preserved historic city center in Slovakia. Today, it is mainly known for steel production, but its historic center is arguably the best in the country. 

For some nature, go bear-watching in the High Tatras National Park or hiking in the aptly-named Slovak Paradise National Park .

Hungary is also a great alternative in which to start this Europe backpacking route, flying into the large hub of Budapest . Budapest is an absolutely fantastic city, with a variety of attractions at a great price point. 

The city is on a geographic fault line, so you have lots of options for thermal baths: check out Instagram-hyped Szechenyi, avoid the tourists at less popular but equally gorgeous Gellert, or have a truly local experience at Lukacs. 

Don’t miss the jaw-dropping Hungarian Parliament building, stroll along the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, and explore both Buda and Pest via the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Have a beer at one of Budapest’s ruin bars, filled with all sorts of oddities, and try some Hungarian goodies at the Central Market Hall. 

For a less urban experience, check out serene Lake Balaton , try some local wines in caves in the Valley of the Beautiful Women in Eger , or cycle around quaint Szentendre .

Budapest

Slovenia is also a great destination for those seeking a mix of smaller, beautiful cities and lots of nature opportunities. Capital Ljubljana has a similar vibe to Prague and Budapest (with lovely castles, parks, bridges, and museums), and Piran is famous for Venetian architecture along the Adriatic coast. 

Arguably the most popular location in Slovenia is Lake Bled and its iconic Bled Island and church, surrounded by surreal turquoise water. The Julian Alps surround the lake and are a great, nearby location for hiking. 

Croatia has long been a favorite destination for backpackers due to low prices and few tourists. However, Game of Thrones has led to large crowds visiting very small Dubrovnik (AKA Kings’ Landing.) 

Split is also on the Adriatic Sea and is fairly similar, but a bit bigger. This can lead to more reasonable accommodation prices and a bit more breathing room. Croatia’s capital, Zagreb , is also worth a visit for very different architecture to Split and Dubrovnik in a more Austro-Hungarian style, and also boasts the beautiful Medvednica area just north of the city. 

Dubrovnik

For natural splendor, nothing beats Plitvice Lakes National Park , a series of gorgeous turquoise lakes linked quasi-vertically by waterfalls. There are also all sorts of beaches in Croatia if you’d like to take a few days to relax by the water, like Golden Horn Beach ‘ s world-famous white sand. 

Montenegro is a great destination for budget travelers and an ideal place for those seeking something a bit less touristy, but still gorgeous. The area around Kotor resembles a Scandinavian fjord, and the Stari Grad (Old Town) and city walls are fantastic to scramble around.

The capital Podgorica isn’t as exciting as other Eastern European capitals but has a cool clock tower and proximity to Lake Skadar National Park . If you want to splash out a bit, consider a visit to resort island Sveti Stefan , one of the most popular destinations in the country. 

Serbia is often overlooked in favor of Croatia and Montenegro but is absolutely worth a visit. Capital city Belgrade is lovely, with competing Roman, Ottoman, Byzantine, and Austro-Hungarian influences as well as great green spaces and cuisine. Novi Sad has the Petrovaradin Fortress and its network of tunnels, as well as very different architecture and vibes to Belgrade. 

best european hiking trips

Bulgaria is a treasure, with a long and storied history displayed in its folklore, like traditional dancing and arts and crafts. It is also said to be the birthplace of yogurt! Capital Sofia is a great place to see all of Bulgaria’s cultural attractions, or you can visit Nessebar on the Black Sea for a completely different vibe, and its world-famous Sunny Beach. For history and archaeology fans, check out Plovdiv in southern Bulgaria for Roman ruins. 

Did you know? Bulgaria is one of the cheapest countries in Europe !

Romania is perhaps most famous for its mythical Transylvania region, home to beautiful gateway cities Cluj-Napoca and Brașov , medieval fortified towns like Sighișoara, and world-famous Bran Castle , said to be where Dracula lived. 

In the Bucegi Mountains , hike to natural rock formations Babele and the Sphinx, or go underground for salt mine tours at Salina Turda . Capital Bucharest is known for its massive, Soviet-era Palace of Parliament and Old Town Lipscani district. 

Ukraine also has a variety of places of interest for budget travelers. Capital Kyiv has beautiful Eastern Orthodox-style churches, museums, and a reconstructed medieval gate. Lviv is a great place to see Polish and Austro-Hungarian culture collide, and has a world-famous opera and ballet that may be worth a splurge for tickets. 

For something a bit different, Odesa on the Black Sea is also famous for its opera and ballet, as well as the iconic stairway from The Battleship Potemkin and beautiful sea views. Intrepid travelers may be interested in visiting the nuclear disaster site Chernobyl . A tour to the exclusion zone has been determined to be safe and is possible with an official guide. 

Chernobyl

Poland has a wealth of cities, attractions, and natural wonders to offer travelers. Similar to other countries in the region, it is a great budget destination, with fantastic food, friendly people, and enough museums and cultural contributions to entertain any tourist for years. 

Capital Warsaw suffered a lot of damage in World War II and was almost entirely rebuilt. The Soviet-style buildings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t make the mistake of skipping the city! Spend some time eating pierogi, strolling Łazienki Park, visiting the Warsaw Uprising Museum and POLIN Museum, and taking a tour of the Royal Castle as an absolute minimum. 

Cute Krakow is much more popular with tourists for its medieval Rynek Glówny quarter, as well as its proximity to underground marvel Wieliczka salt mine and concentration camp Auschwitz . Poland also has a variety of former German cities with a distinct architectural flair, like Wroclaw , Gdansk , and Gdynia , which are all highly worth a visit. 

In Lithuania, don’t miss baroque capital city Vilnius and nearby Trakai Island for its fairytale castle. At the Curonian Spit , you can see sand dunes that stretch up to 35 meters in height, and those seeking something a bit spookier can visit the sculpture garden at the Hill of Witches. A popular pilgrimage site is the Hill of Crosses , where over 100,000 crosses have been placed over the years. 

Lithuania

Latvia is also an often-underrated country to visit. Its capital Riga has slightly different architecture to its Eastern European contemporaries, with a lot of wood-based and art nouveau buildings at a similarly great price point for budget travelers. 

Nearby Rundāle Palace has a similar aesthetic to Versailles, and Jūrmala is a fantastic resort town that is also close to Riga.

The last stop on this Eastern European tour is in Estonia, a small country with over 1500 small islands. Its capital, Tallinn , has a cute old town with various structures dating back to the 13th century, as well as a medieval fortification tower called Kiek in de Kök. 

Seaside resort Pärnu is known for its distinctive wooden villa-style houses and the ability to mud-bathe. Bog and wetland enthusiasts will love Lahemaa National Park , the former USSR’s first national park.  

4. Around Europe Backpacking Route: The ‘Whole Shebang’

Around Europe Backpacking Route

And for those of you who refuse to take your backpack off, we’ve created this final mammoth Europe itinerary. An amalgamation of the Western and Eastern routes (with a couple of tweaks for logistical reasons), this comprehensive Europe backpacking route showcases the best of what the continent has to offer, from balmy beaches, to dramatic castles and everything in between!

The adventure is limitless with this Europe itinerary, you just need to hope that your wallet is too!

Ways to Travel Around Europe

One of the best things about backpacking in Europe is the relative ease of transport between countries. As you plan out your trip, start by analyzing how you can best get between the countries you want to visit. 

A tip here is to combine trains, buses, and flights strategically. These vary widely in price, and you may be surprised at what deals you may find. 

Overall, the big advantage to buses and trains is that they usually drop you off at a more central location, sparing you transport to and from a farther-away airport. However, sometimes you may find that flights are the best fit for your budget or timeline. 

Train clock

Traveling by train is often considered to be the quintessential way of getting around Europe. Companies like Eurail offer customizable train passes between 33 countries, with regional options and timing options (e.g. 15 days, 30 days, etc.) now on a mobile app. 

This ‘all-in-one’ style pass can be as simple as a hop-on-hop-off, where you show your pass to board the train of your choice. However, some places (like France and Germany) sometimes charge supplements or have a limit on how many passengers can board with a pass per train. For that reason, you may want to book tickets in advance during busy seasons, and always make sure that the journey you are taking is included in your pass! 

The associated downside to Eurail is that it is quite pricey, so you should do the math carefully to make sure you’ll actually save money with this pass. As a rule of thumb, it is largely worth it if you’re spending a lot of time in countries like Switzerland. Conversely, if you’re doing a trip mostly focused on central or eastern Europe, it’s probably cheaper to buy single tickets. 

Although train travel is the most talked-about transport for backpackers in Europe, don’t count out buses ! Companies like Flixbus and Eurolines sometimes have absolutely jaw-droppingly low fares, and charter buses are largely comfortable and reliable. 

Megabus UK

Like trains, buses also usually drop you off in central locations, and it’s a really economical way to get from place to place. The associated downside is, of course, time. Buses get stuck in traffic and delays can be common, as well as the fact that buses are without a doubt slower than trains and planes. 

Like Asia, Europe has a variety of budget airlines that have ultra-low fares, like RyanAir, EasyJet, Wizz Air, and beyond. Be warned though, f the fares seem too good to be true, that’s because sometimes they are. 

These airlines are infamous for nickel-and-diming travelers, with add-ons for anything larger than a (small) backpack and hidden fees. However, that said, if you’re at a point in your journey where you have a longer distance to travel, or want to visit an island or somewhere logistically more challenging, you should definitely look into plane travel.

Time to Plan Your Europe Backpacking Trip!

Backpacking through Europe is definitely something that you should take advantage of. It’s totally doable to stick to a budget with some savvy planning, and you will make memories that will last a lifetime. 

We hope this article has helped to show you a few ways to put together your dream Europe backpacking trip. Of course, these routes are just a few among infinite options! 

In case nothing has tickled your fancy just yet, we’ll leave you with some more food for thought… 

  • An island tour through the Canary Islands, the Azores, the Greek islands, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Malta
  • A royal jaunt through castles in the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland) France, Germany, Romania, and Slovenia
  • An Alpine ski bum tour through Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, and Monaco

If you have questions about specific countries not mentioned, or have another idea for cool groupings, we’d love it if you’d share it with us in the comments! Happy travels!

Tegan and Alex bio pic

Tegan George & Alex McKenzie

  • Tegan George & Alex McKenzie #molongui-disabled-link DIY Norway in a Nutshell: A Budget Traveller’s Guide
  • Tegan George & Alex McKenzie #molongui-disabled-link Visiting Lake Como in Winter: A Budget Guide
  • Tegan George & Alex McKenzie #molongui-disabled-link Europe Travel Budget: How Much Does it Cost to Backpack Europe?
  • Tegan George & Alex McKenzie #molongui-disabled-link Cheapest European Countries To Visit

best european hiking trips

Europe Trekking & Hiking Trips

  • Start Date Select Month May 2024 June 2024 July 2024 August 2024 September 2024 October 2024 November 2024 December 2024 January 2025 February 2025 March 2025 April 2025 May 2025 June 2025 July 2025 August 2025 September 2025 October 2025 November 2025 December 2025 January 2026 February 2026 March 2026 April 2026 May 2026 OR, More specific start
  • Easy Active
  • Challenging
  • Barge Cruising
  • Food & Wine
  • Most Popular
  • Private Yacht Charter
  • River Cruises
  • Scheduled Group Tour
  • Solo Travel
  • Wildlife & Safari Exploration
  • Adventure Options
  • Archaeological Site Visits
  • Christmas Market Visits
  • Cooking Classes
  • Festival Visits
  • Fly Cruises
  • Helicopter Tours
  • Horseback Riding
  • Land & Sea Exploration
  • Local Market Visits
  • Northern Lights
  • Photography Seminars
  • Scuba Diving
  • Small Ship Cruises
  • Small Ship Sailing
  • Spa Relaxation
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Urban Exploration
  • Village Visits
  • Whale Watching
  • Wilderness Lodge Exploration
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wine Tasting
  • Adriatic Pearl
  • Adriatic Sun
  • Avalon Envision
  • Avalon Expression
  • Avalon Imagery II
  • Avalon Impression
  • Avalon Panorama
  • Avalon Passion
  • Avalon Poetry II
  • Avalon Tapestry II
  • Avalon Tranquility II
  • Avalon View
  • Avalon Vista
  • Emerald Azzurra
  • Emerald Dawn
  • Emerald Destiny
  • Emerald Liberté
  • Emerald Luna
  • Emerald Radiance
  • Emerald Sakara
  • Emerald Sky
  • Emerald Star
  • Emerald Sun
  • Greg Mortimer
  • L'Art de Vivre
  • L’Impressionniste
  • La Bella Vita
  • La Belle Epoque
  • La Nouvelle Etoile
  • Le Bougainville
  • Le Champlain
  • Le Commandant Charcot
  • Le Dumont-d'Urville
  • Le Laperouse
  • Lord of the Glens
  • M/S Ambassador
  • M/S Captain Bota
  • M/S Invictus
  • M/S Mama Marija
  • M/S Mama Marija II
  • M/S Sjoveien
  • M/S Splendid
  • M/S Stockholm
  • Magna Carta
  • MS Amabella
  • MS Amacello
  • MS Amacerto
  • MS Amadante
  • MS Amadolce
  • MS Amadouro
  • MS Amakristina
  • MS Amalia Rodrigues
  • MS Amalucia
  • MS AmaMagna
  • MS Amaprima
  • MS Amaserena
  • MS AmaSiena
  • MS Amasonata
  • MS Amastella
  • MS Amaverde
  • MS Amaviola
  • MS Beethoven
  • MS Botticelli
  • MS Fernao de Magalhaes
  • MS Fridtjof Nansen
  • MS Gérard Schmitter
  • MS Gil Eanes
  • MS Infante Don Henrique
  • MS L'Europe
  • MS La Belle de Cadix
  • MS La Boheme
  • MS Lafayette
  • MS Leonard De Vinci
  • MS Loire Princesse
  • MS Michelangelo
  • MS Miguel Torga
  • MS Mona Lisa
  • MS Rhone Princess
  • MS San Spirito
  • MS Seaventure
  • MS Seine Princess
  • MS Spitsbergen
  • MS Symphonie
  • MS Vasco de Gama
  • MS Victor Hugo
  • MV La Belle de L'Adriatique
  • MV La Belle des Océans
  • MV Plancius
  • MV Vikingfjord
  • National Geographic Endurance
  • National Geographic Explorer
  • National Geographic Resolution
  • Ocean Adventurer
  • Ocean Albatros
  • Ocean Endeavour
  • Ocean Explorer
  • Rembrandt van Rijn
  • Renaissance
  • River Duchess
  • River Empress
  • River Princess
  • River Queen
  • Royal Clipper
  • S.S. Antoinette
  • S.S. Beatrice
  • S.S. Bon Voyage
  • S.S. Catherine
  • S.S. Joie de Vivre
  • S.S. Maria Theresa
  • S.S. Sao Gabriel
  • S.S. Victoria
  • Scenic Amber
  • Scenic Azure
  • Scenic Crystal
  • Scenic Diamond
  • Scenic Eclipse
  • Scenic Jasper
  • Scenic Opal
  • Scenic Pearl
  • Scenic Ruby
  • Scenic Sapphire
  • Scottish Highlander
  • Sea Cloud II
  • Sea Cloud Spirit
  • Seabourn Venture
  • Shannon Princess
  • Silver Endeavour
  • Silver Whisper
  • Silver Wind
  • Spirit of Scotland
  • Star Clipper
  • Sylvia Earle
  • Ultramarine
  • Variety Voyager
  • Viking Cruises
  • World Navigator
  • World Traveller
  • World Voyager

Mount Blanc Hiking Adventure

  • Enjoy the view of Chamonix
  • Hike the Mont Blanc
  • Admire the Bioniassay glacier
  • Explore Courmayeur Alpine resort
  • Hike the old trail valley in Trient

Dolomites Hiking Adventure

  • Visit Pesaris' historic center
  • Hike the Mount Coglians
  • Visit a local harpsichord maker
  • Discover Cortina's mountain scenery
  • Hike the spectacular Tre Cime
  • Visit a local dairy
  • Enjoy the culture of Bolzano
  • Tour Venice's Grand Canal by boat

Iceland Trek | Landmannalaugar to þórsmörk

  • Hike in the Landmannalaugar area
  • See rhyolite colors and black sands
  • Overnight in comfortable hiker huts
  • Hike in the lush þórsmörk Valley

Strútur Trek

  • Explore Mt Sveinstindur
  • Experience Eldgjá
  • Explore Syðri Ófæra river
  • Discover Skaftá River

Classic Dolomites Premium Adventure

  • Enjoy hiking in the Dolomites
  • See the charming town of Villabassa
  • Visit Monte Piana's open-air museum
  • Climb up towards Strudelkopf

Dolomites Explorer

  • Visit Bozen's main local attraction
  • Hike the Parco del Respiro
  • Visit the Abbey of Novacella
  • Cable car ride to Castelrotto

Shetland, Orkney & Hebrides

  • Explore Edinburgh Castle
  • Discover Lerwick
  • Explore Portree
  • Experience Kirkwall

Authentic Danube

  • Visit the World Museum at Vienna
  • Enjoy the St. Stephen’s Church
  • Visit to the Nuremberg Castle

Spectacular Southern Highlands Trek

  • Explore Landmannalaugar
  • Discover Mælifellssandur
  • Experience Þórsmörk
  • Visit Sönghellir cave

Hidden Trails in Fjallabak Nature Reserve

  • Experience Mt. Löðmundur
  • Discover Sigöldugljúfur
  • Explore Reykjavik
  • Discover Landmannalaugar

Thorsmork: The Hikers Paradise

  • Explore Álfakirkja
  • Discover Fimmvörðuháls
  • Experience Goðaland
  • Enjoy Krossá

Golden Circle and Northern Lights Tour

  • Hike at Vatnajokull glacier
  • Enjoy Arctic Whale Watching
  • Visit to Ingvellir National Park
  • Wander along Diamond Beach

Northeast Greenland Solar Eclipse Explorer Voyage

  • Witness total solar eclipse
  • Visit Ittoqqortoormiit settlement
  • Explore Islands of Antarctic Sound
  • Observe massive icebergs

Iceland in Depth

  • Be amazed by volcanic landscape
  • Watch for humpback whales
  • Listen to the Dynjandi waterfall
  • Spot Atlantic puffins

Mystique of the Azores

  • Explore Azores Islands
  • Experience Ponta Delgada
  • Stroll Praia da Vitória
  • Hike Vigia da Queimada

Top Europe Travel Destinations

  • Czech Republic
  • Danube River
  • Douro River
  • French Riviera
  • Mediterranean
  • Moselle River
  • Netherlands
  • Norway Fjords
  • Rhine River
  • Rhone River
  • Russian Arctic
  • Scandinavia
  • Seine River
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Europe Trips by Departure Date

  • 2024 Europe trips (618)
  • 2025 Europe trips (328)
  • 2026 Europe trips (11)
  • May 2024 (248)
  • June 2024 (288)
  • July 2024 (296)
  • August 2024 (293)
  • September 2024 (249)
  • October 2024 (231)
  • June 2025 (140)
  • July 2025 (143)
  • August 2025 (143)

Top Experiences in Europe

  • Europe Cruises (687)
  • Europe River Cruises (216)
  • Europe Cultural (159)
  • Europe Luxury (154)
  • Europe Wildlife & Safari Exploration (97)
  • Europe Food & Wine (94)
  • Europe Beaches (63)
  • Europe Land Tours (36)
  • Europe Barge Cruising (33)
  • Europe Active (18)
  • Europe Most Popular (16)
  • Europe Private Yacht Charter (16)
  • Europe Trekking (16)
  • Europe Scheduled Group Tour (12)
  • Europe Family (11)
  • Europe Solo Travel (6)
  • Europe Honeymoon (3)

Europe Trips by Duration

  • 5 day trips (18)
  • 6 day trips (6)
  • 7 day trips (54)
  • 8 day trips (275)
  • 9 day trips (45)
  • 10 day trips (71)
  • 11 day trips (55)
  • 12 day trips (48)
  • 13 day trips (27)
  • 14 day trips (33)
  • 15 day trips (36)
  • 16 day trips (13)
  • 17 day trips (8)
  • 18 day trips (6)
  • 19 day trips (5)
  • 22 day trips (3)
  • 25 day trips (3)

Europe Trips by Activity

  • Europe small ship cruises (411)
  • Europe village visits (280)
  • Europe wildlife viewing (198)
  • Europe hiking (191)
  • Europe wine tasting (162)
  • Europe archaeological site visits (154)
  • Europe whale watching (124)
  • Europe biking (117)
  • Europe urban exploration (109)
  • Europe local market visits (76)
  • Europe kayaking (76)
  • Europe small ship sailing (53)
  • Europe christmas market visits (36)
  • Europe land & sea exploration (32)
  • Europe adventure options (30)
  • Europe snorkeling (17)
  • Europe photography seminars (14)
  • Europe cooking classes (14)
  • Europe northern lights (10)
  • Europe spa relaxation (6)
  • Europe stand up paddle boarding (5)
  • Europe horseback riding (3)
  • Europe festival visits (3)

Why Travel With Adventure Life

Recognized by.

best european hiking trips

Yardbarker

The 20 best European destinations if you like to walk

Posted: May 8, 2024 | Last updated: May 8, 2024

<p>If you or someone you know has ever taken a trip to Europe, one of the first things they’ll tell you is how much walking they did. European cities are much more pedestrian-friendly than most American counterparts. You’ll clock several miles just by hitting the main sights. Additionally, there are plenty of countryside and hiking destinations waiting to be explored on foot. Here are 20 of the best!</p>

If you or someone you know has ever taken a trip to Europe, one of the first things they’ll tell you is how much walking they did. European cities are much more pedestrian-friendly than most American counterparts. You’ll clock several miles just by hitting the main sights. Additionally, there are plenty of countryside and hiking destinations waiting to be explored on foot. Here are 20 of the best!

<p>Since London is one of the biggest cities in Europe, you might not think that the metropolis would be very walkable. However, it’s frequently cited as a great place to stroll around. You’ll be so busy taking in the English grandeur and catching glimpses of Big Ben that you won’t even notice how high your step count is until you take a rest at the pub!</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/20_easy_tips_for_spring_makeup_looks/s1__40253294'>20 easy tips for spring makeup looks</a></p>

London, United Kingdom

Since London is one of the biggest cities in Europe, you might not think that the metropolis would be very walkable. However, it’s frequently cited as a great place to stroll around. You’ll be so busy taking in the English grandeur and catching glimpses of Big Ben that you won’t even notice how high your step count is until you take a rest at the pub!

You may also like: 21 of the best countries for coffee lovers to visit

<p>The Alps are definitely more of a hiking than a walking destination, but with sweeping mountain and lake views, you won’t want to do much else! Base yourself in Grenoble, Annecy, or Chamonix, and enjoy trails that start right from town.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

The French Alps

The Alps are definitely more of a hiking than a walking destination, but with sweeping mountain and lake views, you won’t want to do much else! Base yourself in Grenoble, Annecy, or Chamonix, and enjoy trails that start right from town.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.

<p>Cinque Terre is known for brightly colored buildings built into the cliffsides. And while each town is a virtual rainbow dotting the seaside, there’s a better way to enjoy the area than sitting in traffic in a car or bus. Instead, take the many walking paths that connect the towns. Ideally, you’ll base yourself in one of the villages and enjoy hikes along the Mediterranean while visiting others.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/25_classic_ice_cream_truck_treats_you_probably_forgot_about_030724/s1__23965132'>25 classic ice cream truck treats you probably forgot about</a></p>

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is known for brightly colored buildings built into the cliffsides. And while each town is a virtual rainbow dotting the seaside, there’s a better way to enjoy the area than sitting in traffic in a car or bus. Instead, take the many walking paths that connect the towns. Ideally, you’ll base yourself in one of the villages and enjoy hikes along the Mediterranean while visiting others.

You may also like: 20 of the cutest lake European towns

<p>Another large European capital with decent public transportation, it may seem silly to walk all over Paris. Au contraire, your own two feet are the best way to see the City of Light. You can wander along the Seine, crisscross the water with the many bridges, and dip into the 20 diverse arrondissements (neighborhoods.) All while frequently enjoying unbeatable views of the Eiffel Tower, L’Arc de Triomphe, and the ornate Parisian buildings.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Paris, France

Another large European capital with decent public transportation, it may seem silly to walk all over Paris. Au contraire, your own two feet are the best way to see the City of Light. You can wander along the Seine, crisscross the water with the many bridges, and dip into the 20 diverse arrondissements (neighborhoods.) All while frequently enjoying unbeatable views of the Eiffel Tower, L’Arc de Triomphe, and the ornate Parisian buildings.

<p>If one region on this list is known for walking, it’s the Cotswolds. Well-trodden walking paths connect the numerous villages in the west of England. You can choose a single base and enjoy walking the English countryside to different adorable towns!</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/these_20_vegetables_are_best_eaten_in_spring/s1__40253251'>These 20 vegetables are best eaten in spring</a></p>

The Cotswolds, United Kingdom

If one region on this list is known for walking, it’s the Cotswolds. Well-trodden walking paths connect the numerous villages in the west of England. You can choose a single base and enjoy walking the English countryside to different adorable towns!

You may also like: The 23 best European cities during the spring

<p>Slovakia isn’t well known by any means, but this country nestled between Hungary, Poland, Austria, and Czechia is a fantastic place to trek, particularly in the Tatras Mountains in the northeast. Travelers will enjoy trails that rival those in the Alps but for a much more affordable price.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

High Tatra, Slovakia

Slovakia isn’t well known by any means, but this country nestled between Hungary, Poland, Austria, and Czechia is a fantastic place to trek, particularly in the Tatras Mountains in the northeast. Travelers will enjoy trails that rival those in the Alps but for a much more affordable price.

<p>A Greek holiday typically involves taking ferries to the islands, where you don’t do much but enjoy the beach and amazing food. Meteroa, roughly a five-and-a-half-hour train ride from Athens, challenges this assumption greatly. Here, you’ll be nestled among mountain villages and paths that connect the six monasteries atop the peaks. Spend a few days or a week exploring the views and sites on foot!</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/21_things_that_trigger_millennials/s1__40057139'>21 things that trigger millennials</a></p>

Meteora, Greece

A Greek holiday typically involves taking ferries to the islands, where you don’t do much but enjoy the beach and amazing food. Meteroa, roughly a five-and-a-half-hour train ride from Athens, challenges this assumption greatly. Here, you’ll be nestled among mountain villages and paths that connect the six monasteries atop the peaks. Spend a few days or a week exploring the views and sites on foot!

You may also like: 21 things that trigger millennials

<p>This unique part of the country has spectacular natural beauty. It's famously home to the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage walk that numerous travelers now partake in every year. The full route includes sections in Portugal and France, but the best views are in Spain!</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Basque Country, Spain

This unique part of the country has spectacular natural beauty. It's famously home to the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage walk that numerous travelers now partake in every year. The full route includes sections in Portugal and France, but the best views are in Spain!

<p>Honestly, the entire country of Switzerland is any hiker’s paradise, but if you only have time for one trail, head to Zermatt. This is where the stunning Haute Route through the Swiss Alps starts, ending in Chamonix, France. The 132-mile trek isn’t for beginners, but you’ll be rewarded with Matterhorn views and uncrowded trails.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/20_easy_tips_to_improve_your_5_minute_makeup_routine/s1__40061766'>20 easy tips to improve your 5-minute makeup routine</a></p>

Haute Route, Switzerland

Honestly, the entire country of Switzerland is any hiker’s paradise, but if you only have time for one trail, head to Zermatt. This is where the stunning Haute Route through the Swiss Alps starts, ending in Chamonix, France. The 132-mile trek isn’t for beginners, but you’ll be rewarded with Matterhorn views and uncrowded trails.

You may also like: 20 easy tips to improve your 5-minute makeup routine

<p>The lake technically spans Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Complete walking routes in each country or take one that crosses a border or two. One of the most beautiful lakes on the continent, there are numerous routes to choose from! </p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Lake Constance, Germany

The lake technically spans Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Complete walking routes in each country or take one that crosses a border or two. One of the most beautiful lakes on the continent, there are numerous routes to choose from! 

<p>Iceland is another country that could be listed as a great place to walk on the whole, however, for ease of access and proximity of sites. The trails aren’t too far apart, and in general, you’ll never be far from a waterfall, canyon, beach, or glacier.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/20_ways_to_make_your_home_naturally_smell_amazing_122923/s1__35768840'>20 ways to make your home naturally smell amazing</a></p>

South Coast of Iceland

Iceland is another country that could be listed as a great place to walk on the whole, however, for ease of access and proximity of sites. The trails aren’t too far apart, and in general, you’ll never be far from a waterfall, canyon, beach, or glacier.

You may also like: 20 things you must do in Tokyo

<p>Okay, a trip to Venice likely conjures up visions of gondola rides on the water. And you should definitely see the city that way. However, it’s also a great place to walk.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Venice, Italy

Okay, a trip to Venice likely conjures up visions of gondola rides on the water. And you should definitely see the city that way. However, it’s also a great place to walk.

<p>You’ve heard of the French Alps, the Swiss Alps, and the Bavarian Alps. Well, where exactly are the ‘Julian’ Alps? The beautiful gem that is Slovenia! The first Balkan country to join the EU is home to stunning peaks that are just waiting to be discovered by travelers. And you won’t pay Swiss or French prices and have fewer crowds to deal with!</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/23_foods_that_make_us_nostalgic_for_the_90s_021324/s1__39034591'>23 foods that make us nostalgic for the ‘90s</a></p>

Julian Alps, Slovenia

You’ve heard of the French Alps, the Swiss Alps, and the Bavarian Alps. Well, where exactly are the ‘Julian’ Alps? The beautiful gem that is Slovenia! The first Balkan country to join the EU is home to stunning peaks that are just waiting to be discovered by travelers. And you won’t pay Swiss or French prices and have fewer crowds to deal with!

You may also like: The 20 beer styles you should know about

<p>The biggest city in Bavaria is a sprawling center of grandeur and parks. Thus, there’s no better way to explore than by foot. Additionally, there are a bunch of museums, all of which are must-visits. Plan a cultural weekend that also has a bit of exercise in Munich!</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Munich, Germany

The biggest city in Bavaria is a sprawling center of grandeur and parks. Thus, there’s no better way to explore than by foot. Additionally, there are a bunch of museums, all of which are must-visits. Plan a cultural weekend that also has a bit of exercise in Munich!

<p>Famously hilly Lisbon (like San Fransisco) isn’t the place to expect a leisurely stroll. However, if you’re up for some “urban hiking,” you’ll get a great workout while passing the street cars.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/layered_dips_you_can_make_that_will_feed_the_whole_team_021324/s1__22916569'>Layered dips you can make that will feed the whole team</a></p>

Lisbon, Portugal

Famously hilly Lisbon (like San Fransisco) isn’t the place to expect a leisurely stroll. However, if you’re up for some “urban hiking,” you’ll get a great workout while passing the street cars.

You may also like: 20 random things that are normal in Europe but weird in the U.S.A.

<p>The gorgeous Daugava River runs through the beautiful colored buildings of Riga, inviting you to amble for hours. And as a lesser-known destination, you want to be rubbing elbows with hordes of other American tourists, making for a much more enjoyable trip.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Riga, Latvia

The gorgeous Daugava River runs through the beautiful colored buildings of Riga, inviting you to amble for hours. And as a lesser-known destination, you want to be rubbing elbows with hordes of other American tourists, making for a much more enjoyable trip.

<p>Unless you really like frigid walks and bundling up, it’s most advisable to visit Stockholm in the summer months. Then, you can make the most out of rambling around the Scandinavian city in the sun and enjoying fika (Swedish coffee break) afterward.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/22_things_you_didnt_know_about_dominos/s1__39859667'>22 things you didn’t know about Domino’s</a></p>

Stockholm, Sweden

Unless you really like frigid walks and bundling up, it’s most advisable to visit Stockholm in the summer months. Then, you can make the most out of rambling around the Scandinavian city in the sun and enjoying fika (Swedish coffee break) afterward.

You may also like: 22 things you didn’t know about Domino’s

<p>Sarajevo isn’t so large that enjoying a walking tour is out of the question. However, the best way to use your feet in the area is by hiking up one of the many paths from the city center into the surrounding hills for fantastic vantage points. Alternatively, take the chairlift up and wander back down the old bobsled run from the 1984 Winter Olympics.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Sarajevo isn’t so large that enjoying a walking tour is out of the question. However, the best way to use your feet in the area is by hiking up one of the many paths from the city center into the surrounding hills for fantastic vantage points. Alternatively, take the chairlift up and wander back down the old bobsled run from the 1984 Winter Olympics.

<p>While Paris might be a more obvious choice for a walking city, Prague is actually much larger in square miles. In fact, it’s four times as large, with about half the inhabitants. Thus, there’s plenty of room to wander and appreciate the lovely architecture in Prague. Additionally, there are trails in and around the urban center if you want a taste of nature. And, of course, fantastic hiking is never far away.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/20_healthy_slow_cooker_recipes_100523/s1__36842327'>20 healthy slow cooker recipes</a></p>

Prague, Czechia

While Paris might be a more obvious choice for a walking city, Prague is actually much larger in square miles. In fact, it’s four times as large, with about half the inhabitants. Thus, there’s plenty of room to wander and appreciate the lovely architecture in Prague. Additionally, there are trails in and around the urban center if you want a taste of nature. And, of course, fantastic hiking is never far away.

You may also like: 24 things you didn’t know about Subway

<p>The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the best and most rugged walking paths in all of Europe. At 1,600 miles, it’s no surprise that it’s considered one of the longest-marked paths in the world. Located on Ireland’s West Coast, no matter what short section you choose to complete, you’ll have once-in-a-lifetime views of the Atlantic Ocean and Irish countryside for the duration. </p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Did you enjoy this slideshow? Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the best and most rugged walking paths in all of Europe. At 1,600 miles, it’s no surprise that it’s considered one of the longest-marked paths in the world. Located on Ireland’s West Coast, no matter what short section you choose to complete, you’ll have once-in-a-lifetime views of the Atlantic Ocean and Irish countryside for the duration. 

Did you enjoy this slideshow? Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.

More for You

Miss Teen USA resigns two days after Miss USA: ‘My personal values no longer fully align’

Miss Teen USA resigns two days after Miss USA: ‘My personal values no longer fully align’

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the ranking member, speaks during the House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (Photo: via Associated Press)

Jamie Raskin Schools Republican With Brutal U.S. History Lesson: I 'Wrote A Paper About It'

Stephen A. Smith says he'd pick prime Shaq over prime Jokic:

"I don't like to rain on people's parade, but I'm not happy with this one" - Shaquille O'Neal opposes Nikola Jokic being named the 2024 MVP

You Took On New Debt

$1 Million in Retirement Savings: Here’s How Much You Could Withdraw Per Year

The health condition many women are getting diagnosed with after COVID

The health condition many women are developing after COVID

Why you should 'never leave anything' to your kids

This California lawyer warns you should 'never leave anything' to your kids when you die — saying it'll lead to serious financial woes. Here's why and what you should do instead

Millennials Blame Their Boomer Parents for Not Preparing Them Well Enough for Life's Challenges

Millennials Blame Their Boomer Parents for Not Preparing Them Well Enough for Life's Challenges

GettyImages-1027291072.jpg

Trump lashes out at Paul Ryan after ex-House speaker declares he ‘lacks character’ for being president

20 things you must do in Dublin

20 things you must do in Dublin

Elon Musk

Amid Tesla’s bloodletting, top exec sends Musk a message: The company has ‘taken its pound of flesh’

The deal is available at select Applebee's locations

Applebee's to close up to 35 locations across the US this year

My first husband of 23 years was ‘quite successful.’ Can I claim his Social Security benefits even if I remarried and divorced a second time?

‘His retirement benefits will be larger’: My first husband was wealthy. Can I claim his Social Security even if I married and divorced twice?

Some Of The Most Beautiful Places To Visit in West Virginia

Some Of The Most Beautiful Places To Visit in West Virginia

Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton Sings Heartbreaking Cover Of “I Hope You Dance” For St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

Video Shows Massive Tornado Roaring Through Tennessee

Video Shows Massive Tornado Roaring Through Tennessee: 'Extremely Violent'

Fmr. Trump comms. director weighs in on tearful testimony

Fmr. Trump comms. director weighs in on tearful testimony

Parents hope story of daughter’s death after consuming beverage will help others

Parents hope story of daughter’s death after consuming beverage will help others

3 401(k) Myths You Shouldn't Believe

3 401(k) Myths You Shouldn't Believe

Unfrosted

Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Unfrosted’ has worst debut of any Netflix No 1 this year

I thought my mom had done all the right estate planning before she died, but I missed some important things

I thought my mom had done all the right estate planning before she died, but I missed some important things

UK Edition Change

  • UK Politics
  • News Videos
  • Paris 2024 Olympics
  • Rugby Union
  • Sport Videos
  • John Rentoul
  • Mary Dejevsky
  • Andrew Grice
  • Sean O’Grady
  • Photography
  • Theatre & Dance
  • Culture Videos
  • Fitness & Wellbeing
  • Food & Drink
  • Health & Families
  • Royal Family
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Car Insurance Deals
  • Lifestyle Videos
  • UK Hotel Reviews
  • News & Advice
  • Simon Calder
  • Australia & New Zealand
  • South America
  • C. America & Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • Politics Explained
  • News Analysis
  • Today’s Edition
  • Home & Garden
  • Broadband deals
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Travel & Outdoors
  • Sports & Fitness
  • Sustainable Living
  • Climate Videos
  • Solar Panels
  • Behind The Headlines
  • On The Ground
  • Decomplicated
  • You Ask The Questions
  • Binge Watch
  • Travel Smart
  • Watch on your TV
  • Crosswords & Puzzles
  • Most Commented
  • Newsletters
  • Ask Me Anything
  • Virtual Events
  • Betting Sites
  • Online Casinos
  • Wine Offers

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in Please refresh your browser to be logged in

The best things to do in Malta, from hiking and sightseeing to sandy beaches and nightclubs

Here’s how to make the most out of malta, article bookmarked.

Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile

Simon Calder’s Travel

Sign up to Simon Calder’s free travel email for expert advice and money-saving discounts

Get simon calder’s travel email, thanks for signing up to the simon calder’s travel email.

The warmest country in Europe is expecting a record-breaking year for tourism.

Malta , in the middle of the Mediterranean , is awash with ancient architecture and a beautiful coastline. Located between Sicily and North Africa , the Maltese archipelago is also home to the islands of Gozo and Comino, which both offer their own cultural attractions and natural highlights.

Plus, Malta has an average annual temperature of 23C – which is the warmest in Europe. Should you be looking to explore the shoreline or soak up some medieval history, there are plenty of things to do that suit the entire family.

From enjoying a beach day at Golden Bay on Malta’s north-west coast to hiking across Gozo or exploring a Baroque cathedral in the capital, Valletta , there’s no shortage of things to see and do. You’ll also find a vibrant nightclub scene in centrally situated St Julian’s, and could hotfoot it across to smaller island Comino to luxuriate in the Blue Lagoon’s glorious turquoise water.

Here’s our guide to the best things to do in Malta.

Read more on Malta travel :

  • Unmissable beach spots in Malta and Gozo
  • The best things to do in Valletta, Malta
  • How Gozo became one of the greenest islands in the Med

Meander through Mdina’s Vilhena Gate

The ancient walled city of Mdina sits in the southwest of Malta and is one of the island’s most famous tourist locations. Access into the fortified city is through the main Vilhena Gate, and inside you’ll see an array of medieval architecture: Palazzo Costanzo, St Paul’s Cathedral and Torre dello Standardo. Plus, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you may recognise the gate from the first season. Meander through the city’s gateways and explore its shops, bars, and restaurants. Nearby Rabat is also worth a visit while you’re there, with this village known for its feasts.

Swim in the Blue Lagoon, Comino

The Blue Lagoon is a beautiful bay found between the island Comino and its smaller counterpart, Cominotto. The ferry ride is less than an hour from the mainland’s Cirkewwa and Marfa harbours, or you can charter your own boat to the turquoise spot. The stunning sea offers a crystal-clear view of the white sands below and you can snorkel from the shallow beach, too. Meanwhile, watersports – such as jet ski hire – and diving sites are also available on Comino. Just be aware that the Blue Lagoon gets extremely busy during the summer months.

Visit St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta

Malta’s capital city, Valletta, has an array of architectural masterpieces and Baroque buildings, including the Grandmasters Palace and St John’s Co-Cathedral. The latter was built in the 16th century by the Order of the Knights of Saint John, and while its exterior is fairly simple, the inside of the Roman Catholic church looks far more impressive. There are nine chapels, a series of tombs, a crypt, famous works of art – including The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist – and ornate marble details throughout. It’s worth noting that a modest dress code must be adhered to while inside the cathedral, with visitors expected to have their shoulders covered.

Enjoy the nightlife in St Julian’s

St Julian’s is one of the most built-up parts of central Malta and offers a “buzzier” vibe. The town’s Portomaso Bay is a busy marina with casinos, hotels, and shops, while Spinola Bay is where you’ll find quieter bars. Paceville is the heart and soul of the party, and where you’ll find a vibrant nightclub scene alongside a selection of restaurants. The Feast of St Julian’s is a large, outdoor celebration featuring fireworks and festivities and it usually takes place at the end of August, should you be planning a summer trip.

Have a beach day at Golden Bay

There aren’t many sandy beaches across Malta, which makes Golden Bay even more special. Situated near the village of Manikata on the island’s north-west coast, it features an azure blue sea and (as the name suggests) golden sand. Reached down a flight of steps, there are cafes, sun loungers and umbrellas to make for a long seaside day. If you don’t feel like lounging about, water sports options include paragliding and jet skiing.

Go hiking in Gozo

Gozo is Malta’s second-largest island, and it’s only 45 minutes away by ferry. Like Malta, the island has several historic buildings, such as the medieval citadel seen in Rabat, its capital. However, if you fancy veering into its rural landscape, there are multiple hiking paths to explore. You could set off from eastern city Nadur and follow a route past Ramla, where you’ll discover a sandy bay and the intriguing Calypso Cave. Other options offering an amazing coastal view include a trail along the Sanap Cliffs or a walk to Dwejra Bay.

Soak up the view in Marsaxlokk

If you’re looking for a more traditional Maltese vantage point, Marsaxlokk is a small fishing village situated in the south-east, famous for its colourful boats and harbour view. Tuck into seafood caught from the surrounding waters and wander the narrow streets, all while gazing out over the horizon. There’s also a fish market every Sunday, should you fancy mingling with the locals.

Read more on the best hotels in Europe: Where to stay for a city, beach or retreat break

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Subscribe to Independent Premium to bookmark this article

Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.

New to The Independent?

Or if you would prefer:

Want an ad-free experience?

Hi {{indy.fullName}}

  • My Independent Premium
  • Account details
  • Help centre

IMAGES

  1. Hiking in Europe: 12 best hikes (short and long-distance)

    best european hiking trips

  2. 20 best hikes in Europe

    best european hiking trips

  3. The Top 15 Best Hikes in Europe • The Adventure Junkies

    best european hiking trips

  4. The Best Hikes in Europe For Epic Adventures

    best european hiking trips

  5. 35 best hikes in Europe, chosen by bloggers [2020]

    best european hiking trips

  6. The Best And Most Impressive Hiking Trails In Europe

    best european hiking trips

VIDEO

  1. E8, Cesta hrdinov SNP, Proci prúdu 2023/12

  2. (EDIT) Hiking 115 miles through 3 countries

  3. HIKING IN LUXEMBOURG

  4. European Adventure Vlog Episode 584

  5. Best of all hiking trips in 2023!

  6. European Adventure Vlog Episode 582

COMMENTS

  1. 20 of the Best Hikes In Europe

    Countries: Italy. Level: Tough. Duration: Between 4-6 days. Monte Rosa (4554m), a massif on the border of Switzerland and Italy, is a huge chunk of a mountain. It contains the most land over 4000m in the alps, and it has 18 true peaks (12 above 4000m). That means there's a huge number of different hiking routes.

  2. 7 Best Hikes in Europe for Unbelievable Scenery

    If you need some help whittling it down, ascent Prutas Peak (7,851 feet above sea level), a circular route that will take around eight hours, and the Skrka route, also known as Paradise Valley ...

  3. 22 Best Treks in Europe: Adventurous Multi-Day Hiking Trails

    21. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hut to Hut Hike, Dolomites, Italy. 22. Rosengarten Catinaccio Traverse, Dolomites, Italy. Europe Trekking Gear. More Europe Hiking Trails. When to Trek in Europe: The best time to embark on multi-day treks in the Alps and Nordic Europe is between mid/late June and mid/late September.

  4. Best Hikes In Europe

    Top Hikes in Europe. 1. Tour du Mont Blanc. Distance: 110 miles (170 km) Countries Visited: France, Italy and Switzerland. Number of days: 11. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult (depending on the level of fitness) Accommodation: Resorts, Hostels, Mountain Huts. Flowing over the peaks and valleys of the Western Alps through the stunning ...

  5. 20 Best Hikes in Europe for Breathtaking Views

    Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy and Switzerland. The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is consistently ranked as one of the best treks in the world and is one of the most popular hikes in Europe. You circumnavigate glacier-covered Mont Blanc, the second-highest mountain in Europe.

  6. 9 of the Most Breathtaking Hikes in Europe

    Start Maribor, Slovenia. Finish Ankaran, Slovenia. Distance Up to 617km. Duration Up to 37 days. 'The Slovene Mountain Trail, also known as the Transverzala, is the oldest long-distance hiking ...

  7. 32 Epic Hikes in Europe You Need to See to Believe

    The Austrian Tyrol is full of wonderful hiking trails, but one of the most outstanding among them is the hike to two lakes near Ehrwald, Seebensee and Drachensee.The epic views make this one of the best hikes in Europe. To get to Ehrwald, as it is a quite remote village, the easiest way is by car.

  8. 15 Best Hikes in Europe

    1. Tour du Mont Blanc, Europe Hiker gazing over Lac de Cheserys on the famous Tour du Mont Blanc. When it comes to European hikes, it's hard to beat Tour du Mont Blanc, a 170-kilometer system of walking trails set on and around the highest peak in Europe. It's considered by many to be one of the best hiking areas in the world.While the majority of the most famous trails start on the French ...

  9. 23 Best Hikes in Europe: Our Favorite Day Hikes

    6. Xlendi Bay to Sanap Cliffs, Malta. Gozo Island is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It's famous for its cliffed coastline, idyllic coves, and pastoral landscapes. The island nation of Malta is a fabulous destination for a quick winter sun holiday in Europe.

  10. 10 Best Europe Hiking & Trekking Tours 2024/2025

    Hiking & Trekking Tours in Europe. Find the best Hiking & Trekking tour in Europe. There are 789 trips to choose from, that range in length from 1 days up to 18 days. The month with the most departures is September, making it the most popular time for a guided hiking adventure in Europe. 250+ hikes in Europe with 4,708 reviews.

  11. 20 Best Hikes in Europe

    Location: Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca, Spain. Distance: 83.8 miles / 135 km. Duration: Typically completed in 6-8 days. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. The GR 221, also known as the Dry Stone Route, is a 135-kilometer trail that runs through the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range on the island of Mallorca.

  12. The Top 15 Best Hikes in Europe • The Adventure Junkies

    ALTA VIA 1 - ITALY. Photo by Augusto Mia Battaglia , licensed under CC BY. Connecting the towns of Dobbiaco in the North and Belluno in the South, the Alta Via Uno is an incredible hiking journey through the Eastern Dolomites of Italy. It covers 120 km (75 mi) and it reaches its highest point at 2,752 mt (9,029ft).

  13. 19 Best Hikes in Europe: Wild, Offbeat and Trail-worthy

    The Rota Vicentina is an amazing hiking trail in the south of Portugal. There are two routes: the Fishermen's Trail and the Historical Way, both routes can be done as separate hikes or combined with each other. The total distance of the Fishermen's Trail is 76km, the Historical Way - 229km.

  14. The Best Hikes in Europe: Our Top 13 Picks for 2024

    Kungsleden Trail, Sweden — Top choice for trekking with the family. Blue Trail, Italy — Top choice for seaside hiking. Alpe-Adria Trail, Austria-Slovenia-Italy — Top choice for pleasure hikers. Moderate: Alta Via 1, Italy — Top choice for limestone lovers. Camino de Santiago, Spain — Top choice for a historic hike.

  15. 32 BEST Places to Hike in Europe (Hiker's Favourite European Treks)

    Best places to hike in Europe. Hiking in Andorra - Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley. Hiking in Austria - Saalbach Village and Ziller Valley. Hiking in Croatia - Plitvice National Park. Hiking in the Czech Republic - Jeseniky Mountains & Bohemian. Hiking in Denmark - Funen - Archipelago Trail.

  16. The best hiking in Europe: 10 of the Old Continent's most unmissable

    Iceland serves up utterly unique landscape after utterly unique landscape (Image credit: Getty). Location: Iceland Distance: 48 miles (77km) Duration: 3-4 days Difficulty: Moderate to challenging The Laugavegurinn trail is Iceland's classic hut-to-hut trek, taking in everything for which the land of fire and ice is rightly famed - multi-colored mountains, glaciers, precipitous gorges, lava ...

  17. The Best Hiking Destinations in Europe

    The Republic of Georgia is one of Europe's best-kept secrets when it comes to hiking. A three-hour drive north of the country's capital, Tbilisi, is Kazbegi National Park. Situated in the northern part of the Caucasus mountains, Mount Kazbegi is the third highest peak in Georgia at an elevation of 16,581 feet.

  18. 21 Best Day Hikes in Europe for Scenery, Culture & Adventure

    The hiking trails inside Croatia's Plitvice Lakes National Park offer some of the best day hiking in Europe - especially Trail A, ... Photo: Travel Outlandish. The Alps are Europe's largest mountain range, stretching some 800km from Monaco down the Balkan Peninsula. The most popular hiking trails (such as the Tour du Mont Blanc) ...

  19. The 17 Best Hikes In Europe

    Switzerland is one of the best places to hike in Europe. From turquoise mountain lakes to winding roads offering spectacular vista's and fairytale towns to epic mountain ranges. Switzerland pretty much has it all and is the perfect country to go on a road trip! 1. Saxer Lücke Hiking Trail - One of the best day hikes in the Alps

  20. 36 Best Hikes in Europe for Long Distance Hiking Trails

    Tour Du Mont Blanc (TMB) - France, Italy, Switzerland. The most famous of the long distance hiking trails in Europe! This stunning trek in the Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland takes around 10-12 days to cover a circuit of 106 miles (170 km), with a height gain and loss of approximately 32,808 feet (10,000 m).

  21. Backpacking Europe Routes: 4 Epic Itineraries!

    Top Europe Backpacking Trips: 4 Travel Itineraries. While you may associate backpacking through Europe with train travel and dormitory-style hostels, it's been a rite of passage since the 18th century, when young people (mostly men) would spend a few years traveling around 'The Continent' prior to fully joining society.

  22. 16 Best Europe Trekking & Hiking Trips for 2024-2025

    Travel made your way ™. Build your ideal Europe trip. Call 1.406.541.2677. Embark on an unforgettable European adventure with Adventure Life's 16 trekking trips for 2024 and 2025. From majestic Swiss Alps to the rolling hills of Tuscany and the snow-capped peaks of Iceland, Europe holds captivating beauty and unforgettable experiences.

  23. The 20 best European destinations if you like to walk

    Prague, Czechia. While Paris might be a more obvious choice for a walking city, Prague is actually much larger in square miles. In fact, it's four times as large, with about half the inhabitants ...

  24. Best things to do in Malta 2024

    Meander through Mdina's Vilhena Gate. Follow this ancient entrance into the walled city (Getty Images) The ancient walled city of Mdina sits in the southwest of Malta and is one of the island ...