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Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

Do you crave the peaceful tranquility of a hike and the calming, rhythmic waves? Are you looking for a change of pace from your usual hiking adventures? You’re in the right place! Europe’s scenic coastline and striking beaches offer numerous opportunities to combine hiking with beach exploring.

The coastline’s stunning scenery provides endless opportunities for those who seek solitude and enjoy the breeze. Our guide to Europe’s top beach hikes will have you exploring secluded coves, and remote beaches, taking in some of the most incredible views the continent has to offer. 

So let’s dive into the breathtaking coastline of Europe and see what we can find!

Get your hiking gear ready and prepare for a memorable adventure exploring the top hikes to beaches in Europe.

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1. Italy – Cinque Terre – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

If you are looking for an incredible hiking experience along the coast of Italy, then Cinque Terre should be on your list. This stunning region consists of five picturesque villages that are perched on cliffs above the Ligurian Sea. 

As you embark on your hike, you will climb the narrow paths through vineyard terraces, olive groves, and pine forests. You’ll also stroll through the winding streets of the villages, taking in the beauty of the colorful buildings and stunning views of the sea.

While the hike is challenging, with up to 2,788 feet in altitude to be mastered in the mountainous hinterland, you’ll appreciate the fresh air and the opportunity to take in the unspoiled coastal panorama. And if you need to take a break, don’t worry–there are plenty of rest stops along the way where you can sit and soak up the beauty of the surroundings.

Vernazza is known to be the prettiest village in Cinque Terre, and you’ll want to take some time to explore this charming place. You’ll also want to visit a series of viewpoints up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Reggio, which offers incredible views of the sea and the surrounding mountains.

With its stunning scenery, charming villages, and breathtaking views, this region of Italy is the perfect place to embark on a seaside hike.

How to get there 

To get there, the easiest way is by taking a train. Trenitalia has direct connections to La Spezia from major Italian cities such as Rome, Florence, and Pisa (the closest airport).

Once you arrive at La Spezia, you can hop on the Cinque Terre Express train which runs between La Spezia and Levanto in Sestri Levante. This train stops at each of the five villages, making it easy to get around and explore.

If you prefer a more scenic route, you can also hike between the villages on the Cinque Terre trails. However, be prepared for steep climbs and uneven terrain, especially on the section between Monterosso and Vernazza.

2. Spain – Menorca

Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

If you’re looking for a hiking adventure that combines history, nature, and stunning seaside views, Menorca’s Cami de Cavalls is the perfect trail for you. This trail has a fascinating past that dates back to the Middle Ages when the island had few inhabitants. Back then, landowners used to explore their farms on horseback while watchmen patrolled the coast to protect the island from hostile ships.

Today, the Cami de Cavalls stretches for 114 miles along Menorca’s stunning coastline, linking watchtowers, lighthouses, and trenches. The trail takes you through gorges, caves, valleys, fishing spots, and hidden coves. You’ll be mesmerized by the island’s natural beauty, which includes turquoise waters, dramatic cliffs, and pristine beaches.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Cami de Cavalls is its versatility. Hikers can combine their love of nature and adventure with their desire to relax on a beautiful beach. The trail offers many spots where hikers can swap their hiking boots for a bikini or swimming trunks and enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean.

After a day of hiking, the perfect way to end the day is to indulge in some delicious local tapas and freshly squeezed orange juice. Menorca is known for its fresh and flavorful cuisine, which includes a wide variety of seafood dishes that you can savor at any of the island’s numerous restaurants.

In summary, Menorca’s Cami de Caperfectly blending of history, nature, and seaside relaxation. If you’re a hiking enthusiast, this trail is a must-do experience. 

Make sure you pack your hiking boots and a swimsuit and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on this historic bridle path.

How to get there

Menorca Airport is conveniently located just 4.5 km from the island’s capital, Maó. You can fly directly to Menorca from various cities in Europe, including London, Madrid, and Barcelona. Alternatively, you can also take a ferry from the ports of Mallorca, Valencia, or Barcelona.

Once you’ve arrived in Menorca, getting around the island is relatively easy. You can use the buses in the local public transport network to reach the trailheads, but if you want more flexibility, renting a car is your best option. Many car rental companies are available at Menorca Airport, so you can easily rent a vehicle to get around.

If you already have your own vehicle, you can bring it on the ferry to Menorca, making it even easier to explore the island on your own terms. Keep in mind that driving is on the right-hand side in Spain.

3. Germany – Baltic Sea Coastal Walk – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

One of the best seaside hikes in Europe is the Baltic Sea Coastal Walk in Germany. This trail stretches from Stralsund to Usedom Island, offering breathtaking views of the unique expanses of Northern Germany.

As you embark on this seemingly endless trail, you’ll be greeted by the red sails of Zeesboote, historic fishing vessels that dot the sea. You’ll hear the whistling of seagulls in the wind and be enveloped by the salty scent of the sea.

But the coastal walk isn’t just about natural beauty. Selected country hotels await on the way, offering a comfortable respite for tired hikers. However, before reaching your lodgings, you’ll first walk along the coast, leaving behind the historic old town of c and seeing the outlines of brick buildings in the distance. The towering Greifswald Cathedral serves as a beacon, showing you that the Hanseatic city is not far away.

After crossing the Peene Bridge to Usedom, known for its imperial baths and fishing villages, you’ll reach the crowning glory of your hiking trip: the seaside resort of Ahlbeck. This charming resort town enchants with its Art Nouveau villas and white sandy beach.

If you’re looking for a seaside hike that offers a blend of natural beauty, historic landmarks, and comfortable lodgings, then the Baltic Sea Coastal Walk is the perfect choice.

So lace up your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

4. Montenegro – Vrmac Ridge

Montenegro’s Vrmac Ridge offers one of the most picturesque coastal hikes in Europe. The hike starts from Kotor’s medieval old town, which is famous for its stunning architecture. From here, the Vrmac Peninsula begins, taking hikers through beautiful pine tree forests and winding paths toward the top of the ridge.

The highlight of this hike is undoubtedly the breathtaking view of the Bay of Kotor, which looks like something out of a fairy tale. As you climb higher, the view becomes more expansive, revealing the steep mountain flanks that rise towards the sky on all sides, and the four large pools of the winding bay below. It’s no wonder why some travelers compare the scenery to the lakes of Italy or the fjords of Norway.

Once at the top, take the opportunity to visit a ruined fort and learn about Montenegro’s history, or simply enjoy the panoramic view. From the top of the ridge, you can see the little stone harbors where local calamari fishermen get their boats ready to go out to sea.

If you’re looking for a peaceful and stunning coastal hike in Europe, Vrmac Ridge is the perfect destination. You’ll be immersed in the beauty of Montenegro’s natural scenery and the fascinating history of its medieval towns. 

Don’t forget to bring your camera and capture the amazing views along the way.

How to get there:

To get to the starting point at Fort Vrmac, you’ll need to take a car from either Kotor or Tivat. There are several access routes to choose from, but one option is to head to the Trojica Pass on the old Tivat-Kotor Road. Near the intersection where another road leads up to Njegu cai, you’ll spot the remains of the Trojica fortress with an old tower that’s currently under reconstruction. Turn left behind the fort (if you’re coming from Tivat) and you’ll find a narrow asphalt road that winds uphill for about 3.5 km. Follow it to the Vrmac fortress, which serves as the starting point for the ridge hike. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes and plenty of water, as the trail can be steep and rocky in places.

5. Portugal – Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira

Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

As we continue our journey along the best seaside hikes in Europe, we must not forget the magnificent hike along the Ponta de São Lourenço in Madeira, Portugal. This hike is situated along the eastern peninsula of Madeira, and what makes it different from the rest of the island is the lack of trees and low vegetation. This is due to the lack of rain in this area, making it a unique place to explore.

Ponta de São Lourenço is a protected natural area where several protected seabirds nest, including Cory’s shearwater, Madeiran petrel, Bulwer’s petrel, and the common tern. You’ll be able to experience these wonderful creatures up close, which makes the hike even more special. The natural beauty of the area will leave you in awe, and the stunning landscapes are something you won’t want to miss.

As you hike, you’ll see fantastic views of the deserted islands to the south and the islands of Porto Santo to the north. The crystal-clear waters will also captivate your attention and take your breath away. Once you reach the end of the path, past the “Casa do Sardinha,” you’ll find several viewpoints where it’s worth taking a break to let the colors and the roaring sea of the cliffs cast a spell on you. This place is magical, and you’ll feel like you’re in another world.

How to get there: 

Getting there is relatively easy, whether you choose to drive or take public transportation.

If you opt to go by car, simply take the VR1 expressway from Funchal, which runs along the southeast of the island and passes through Machico and Caniçal. From there, it’s about a 30-minute drive to the eastern end of the island. Once you reach Ponta de São Lourenço, you can park at the Abra Bay car park. Be aware that this car park is quite small, so you may have to park on the side of the road if it’s busy. However, it’s definitely worth the effort, as this point is one of the most beautiful spots on the island and attracts many visitors.

If you prefer to take public transportation, Madeira Island is well-served by a variety of bus lines, and many of them pass through the island’s most beautiful spots. To get to Abra Bay from the south of the island, you can take the 113 bus. The fare from Funchal is between 3 and 5 euros and decreases for subsequent stops. Buses run about once an hour from 8 am to 7 pm, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly.

Whether you choose to drive or take public transportation, hiking at Ponta de São Lourenço is definitely worth the effort.

6. Spain – Cabo de Gata – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

The stunning region of Cabo de Gata is an ideal destination for beach hikes in Spain. Located in the province of Almeria, the rugged coastline of Cabo de Gata offers magnificent views of the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 

The Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park is one of the most visited national parks in Europe and is home to a variety of wildlife, including flamingos, turtles, and dolphins. Its rich vegetation consists of species such as holm oaks, Aleppo pines, junipers, and rosemary. 

Hikers have plenty of trails to choose from in this area, with varying difficulty levels. The Cala del Plomo trail is an easy two-hour route that will take you along the cliffs and over the beaches of Cabo de Gata. The Cala de la Higuerica is a more challenging path that takes about three hours to complete and offers great views of the bay from its highest point. 

Whether you are looking for a stroll along the beach or a more intense hike, Cabo de Gata has something for everyone. With its breathtaking natural scenery and rich biodiversity, it is no wonder why Cabo de Gata is considered one of the best beach hikes in Europe.

7. Portugal – Praia do Carvoeiro

For breathtakingly beautiful beach hiking, Portugal’s Praia do Carvoeiro is not to be missed. Located on the Algarve coastline, this stunning spot provides some of the most scenic beach walks in all of Europe. Take a stroll along the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy unparalleled views of the crystal-clear waters and dramatic shoreline. Praia do Carvoeiro is great for long hikes, with plenty of trails and paths to explore. There are also several lookout points along the way, so you can take a break to admire the spectacular scenery. The beach is accessible by car, or you can make a day trip out of it and take a bus from nearby towns. No matter how you get there, Praia does Carvoeiro is sure to be one of your favorite beach hikes in Europe.

8. Greece – Shipwreck Beach

For those looking for a stunningly beautiful beach hike, look no further than Shipwreck Beach in Greece. Located on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, this beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. As its name suggests, the beach is home to the remains of a sunken ship from the 1950s, which adds to the already captivating landscape.

The route to Shipwreck Beach takes you through a winding path that winds through a forest, eventually leading you to the white sand and crystal clear waters of the beach. With cliffs jutting up from the sea, this beach is perfect for those who want to take in the natural beauty of the area.

Once at the beach, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors occupied. Snorkeling is an option due to the abundance of marine life and coral reefs in the area. For those looking for something more active, there are various hiking trails around the beach and along the cliffs. Whether you’re just taking a stroll or going for an adventure, Shipwreck Beach is sure to provide a memorable experience.

9. France – Sentier du Littoral

Théoule-sur-Mer - Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

Théoule-sur-Mer – Photo by Isabelle Fabre

Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

The Sentier du Littoral, or Coastal Trail, is one of the most beautiful beach hikes in Europe. This coastal path stretches for about 14 kilometers along the French Riviera, from Cannes to Théoule-sur-Mer. This stunning trail offers some of the most spectacular views of the Mediterranean, passing through historical sites, little coves, and breathtaking cliffs.

The hike itself is relatively easy and mostly flat, but you should still be prepared for a bit of elevation change. The trail will take you through ancient towns, pine forests, and beach resorts. Keep your eyes open for several beautiful natural arches and a few tiny beaches to explore. As you walk along this lovely coastal path, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the nearby islands and the azure sea.

The best part about this hike is that it’s easily accessible for both hikers and bikers. Whether you choose to explore it on foot or by bike, make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you hydrated and energized during your trek. It’s also a great idea to bring along a camera to capture all of the amazing views you’ll find on your journey. 

If you’re looking for an unforgettable beach hike in Europe, make sure to add the Sentier du Littoral to your list. You won’t regret it!

10. Montenegro – Ada Bojana – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

Ada Bojana

Ada Bojana by 📸 @yana_lezhnenko

Ada Bojana, a beach located on the Montenegrin coast near Ulcinj, is a great destination for those looking for a beautiful beach hike. The wide sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains and islands make it the perfect place for a relaxing beach hike.

The main feature of Ada Bojana is its large and peaceful lagoon, which is separated from the Adriatic Sea by a long sandbar. This creates an isolated oasis and gives visitors a unique experience of nature at its best. The island is also home to some of Montenegro’s most exotic wildlife, including pelicans, hawks, and migratory birds.

The beach is easily accessible by car or boat and visitors can explore the various trails that run around the perimeter of the lagoon. There are several well-marked trails suitable for both experienced and novice hikers. The trails vary in difficulty and range from gentle strolls to more challenging hikes, providing something for all ages and levels of fitness. Visitors can also explore the local villages and visit the ancient churches scattered throughout the area.

Ada Bojana is an ideal destination for a beach hike, offering breathtaking views of the sea and mountains, plenty of wildlife, and an opportunity to explore Montenegro’s natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon in the sun or an adventurous journey through rugged terrain, Ada Bojana has something for everyone!

11. Ireland – Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland - Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland – Photo: Alison Kay Bowles

Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

One of the most popular beach hikes in Europe is the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. This breathtaking hike stretches 8 kilometers (5 miles) along the coast and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The highest point of the cliffs is O’Brien’s Tower, standing at 214 meters (702 feet) tall. Here, hikers can take in the breathtaking scenery, including the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, and the hills of Clare and Galway. As you walk along the path, you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze and beautiful wildflowers that line the cliffs. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife, such as puffins, hawks, and dolphins. At the end of your hike, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular sunset from one of the highest points in Europe.

12. Albania – Borsh

Borsh, Vlorë, Albania

Borsh, Vlorë, Albania – Photo: nekstep

Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

If you’re looking for a beach hike that offers an impressive view, look no further than Borsh in Albania. Located on the south coast of Albania, the picturesque seaside village of Borsh offers visitors a chance to explore some of the most breathtaking coastlines in the country. The beach is situated between two hills, making it a great destination for hikers who want to admire the majestic views from above.

The hike itself is quite easy and suitable for all ages, as it only covers a few kilometers along the beach. As you walk along the path, you’ll be able to take in the breathtaking view of the turquoise water and white sand. The path also takes you through small forests and past local villages, giving you a chance to learn more about the culture of this amazing country.

At the end of your hike, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of the Mediterranean Sea. Here you can take a break, relax, and simply enjoy the beauty of this amazing place. Borsh is one of the best beach hikes in Europe, and should not be missed!

13. Monaco – Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

If you’re looking for an exotic beach hike in Europe, look no further than Monaco’s Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. This incredible coastal path offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and nearby Villefranche-sur-Mer. The trail takes you along rugged cliffs, past picturesque beaches, and through lush vegetation. Along the way, you can take in the views of Monaco’s famous harbor, or take a dip in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. With its diverse terrain and stunning scenery, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is the perfect spot for a beach hike. Don’t forget to bring a picnic, as there are plenty of stops to enjoy a delicious meal on the beach.

14. Italy – Cinque Terre – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

If you’re looking for a beach hike that takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, then look no further than Cinque Terre in Italy. Cinque Terre translates to “Five Lands” and is made up of five stunning villages nestled along the Italian Riviera. The trails between these five villages provide some of the most breathtaking views and the most exciting beach hikes in Europe. 

The trail begins at the beautiful fishing village of Monterosso al Mare, where you can enjoy the turquoise waters and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. From there, you’ll take a moderate hike up to the village of Vernazza, with its unique harbor and picturesque beach. After Vernazza, you’ll continue up the coast, passing the villages of Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, each offering breathtaking views.

The entire trail spans about 12 kilometers and passes through vineyards, olive groves, and pine forests, as well as numerous charming beach towns and villages. During your trek, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best seafood that Italy has to offer, swim in some of the clearest waters in Europe and take in some of the most spectacular views on the continent.

If you want to experience one of the best beach hikes in Europe, then Cinque Terre should be on your list. With its stunning scenery, amazing food, and unforgettable views, it’s sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.

15. Croatia – Paklenica National Park

Velebit, Paklenica National Park

Velebit, Paklenica National Park – Photo by Hrvoje Perković

Located on the coast of Croatia, the park is renowned for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. Within the park are two impressive canyons, Velika and Mala Paklenica, both of which offer spectacular hiking opportunities.

The Velika Paklenica canyon is the larger of the two, with cliffs that reach up to 2,000 meters (6,600 feet). The trail winds through this awe-inspiring canyon and takes you to breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and lush vegetation. The park also houses numerous caves, such as the Manita Peć Cave and the Paklenica Cave.

The Mala Paklenica canyon is smaller than the Velika one but still provides a memorable experience. It is full of narrow paths, making it more challenging to navigate. But it’s worth it – some of the views here are even more beautiful than those in Velika Paklenica. 

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, Paklenica National Park has something for everyone. 

16. England – Seven Sisters – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters

Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters – Photo: viobivol

Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

The Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex are some of the most breathtaking beach hikes in Europe. The stunning chalk cliffs stretch along the coast for nearly eight kilometers, making them one of the longest stretches of white cliffs in England. The area is home to a variety of wildlife, and the views are breathtaking. 

The best way to experience the Seven Sisters is to take a walk along the cliff tops. Several trails wind along the top of the cliffs, offering amazing views out to sea and down the coast. You can also make your way down to the beaches below. The beaches are typically quite secluded, and there are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a seal or two! 

There are several car parks along the route where you can leave your car and explore the area. Keep in mind that parts of the area can be quite steep, so be sure to wear suitable shoes. You can also find plenty of places to stop and rest along the route. 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach or an exciting hike along the coast, the Seven Sisters is an amazing place to visit. With stunning views, diverse wildlife, and plenty of options for exploration, this area is a must-visit for anyone looking for a great beach hike in Europe.

17. Malta – Ghajn Tuffieha

Ghajn Tuffieha

Ghajn Tuffieha

Malta is an island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea, and it offers some of the best beach hikes in Europe. One of these is Ghajn Tuffieha, a stunning stretch of coastline located on the western side of the island. The hike begins at Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, where visitors will be able to take in views of the azure-blue Mediterranean Sea. The trail then leads along the coast, up a small hill, and past a traditional Maltese village. Along the way, hikers will pass by several isolated beaches, many of which can only be accessed by foot. From the top of the hill, there are sweeping views of the area, including nearby Gozo Island. The trail then continues along the cliffs before looping back down to the start. The hike is roughly two hours in length and suitable for all fitness levels.

18. Cyprus – Cape Greco – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

Cape Greco - Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

Cape Greco – Photo by Kelemen Krisztina

For those who love an outdoor adventure, the Cape Greco National Park in Cyprus is the perfect spot for a beach hike. Located in the southeast corner of the island, this park offers stunning views of crystal blue waters and rugged cliffs that provide an ideal setting for a fun and challenging hike. 

The main hiking trail is located at the very tip of the Cape and follows the coast for about three kilometers. This path is filled with stunning views of the coastline and is sure to leave you feeling awe-struck as you meander through the area. Along the way, you’ll pass by stunning beaches and coves, along with plenty of plants and wildlife. You can even take a detour to nearby Ayia Napa, where you can explore some of its beaches and attractions. 

At the end of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Cape Greco. This is one of the most popular spots in Cyprus and is well worth a visit if you’re looking for an amazing beach hike. There are also plenty of other activities to do while you’re here, including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and more. So, don’t miss out on this stunning part of the world and start planning your next beach hike in Cyprus!

Long & challenging hiking trails

1. France – Grande Randonnée 34 (GR 34)

Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

If you’re looking for a scenic seaside hike in France, look no further than the Grande Randonnée 34, also known as the customs officer’s path. At 1,242 miles long, it’s one of the longest hiking trails in France, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. The trail follows the Breton coast, which has its mild microclimate and plenty of wild swimming spots.

The GR34 got its name centuries ago because smugglers and customs fraudsters used hidden routes to avoid detection. Today, it’s a popular hiking trail that offers countless options for stages. One highlight of the trail is the picturesque harbor town of Doëlan, which is located in southern Brittany. From there, the route continues through the wilder Finistère region before ending in the charming fishing village of Merrien. This final destination is surrounded by lush forest, colorful bird life, and crystal-clear water, making it a true paradise for nature lovers.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, the GR34 has something to offer. With its breathtaking coastal views and charming towns, this trail is sure to leave a lasting impression. So pack your bags and hit the trail for an unforgettable hiking experience in France.

How to get there

To get to the starting point of the trail, the best option is to take the French TGV (high-speed rail) to Rennes. From there, you can catch a local train to the Morlaix gare, which is the nearest train station to the trail. Once you arrive at the station, you can take a direct bus to Roscoff, which is where the trail begins.

One great thing about this hike is that it is not overly crowded, even during peak season. As you walk along the coast, you will be treated to stunning views of the sea and the rocky cliffs. The trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow, although some sections can be quite steep and challenging.

Another advantage of the Grande Randonnée 34 is that it can easily be combined with other activities and sights in the area. For example, after completing the hike, you might want to explore the charming town of Roscoff or visit some of the nearby beaches. If you are looking to extend your trip, Lorient has a TGV connection back to Paris. 

2. Ireland – The Sheep’s Head Way

If you’re looking for a coastal hike that’s not too challenging, but still provides stunning views and cultural experiences, the Sheep’s Head Way in Ireland is a great option. Even if you’re not a professional hiker, you can still complete this circular route in about a week. The trail starts in Bantry, a town in County Cork, and winds through rolling countryside along the cliff tops. 

One of the highlights of the Sheep’s Head Way is the chance to see historical landmarks such as lighthouses and a 17th-century fortress. You’ll also come across ruins of stone houses that give a glimpse into Ireland’s past. And, of course, the sheep that give the trail its name are sure to make an appearance. 

If you need a break along the way, the village of Kilcrohane offers a peaceful respite. Here, you can find two pubs, a post office, and a shop that sells everything from potatoes to paintings. It’s the perfect place to recharge and soak in the local atmosphere before continuing on your journey. 

Overall, the Sheep’s Head Waybeautifulderful choice for hikers who want to experience the beauty and history of Ireland’s coast without undertaking a too-strenuous trek. 

So lace up your boots, grab your pack, and get ready to explore the rolling hills and stunning views of this beautiful country.

How to get there

To get to the start of the Sheep’s Head Way in Ireland, take the N71 to Bandon, then continue on the R586 through Dunmanway and Drimoleague. Finally, rejoin the N71 and head into Bantry. This route is approximately 88km long.

It’s worth noting that the N71 route through Clonakilty and Skibbereen is technically the main road, but it’s also longer by about 25km. If you’re looking to get to the start of the Sheep’s Head Way as quickly as possible, taking the shorter route through Dunmanway and Drimoleague is your best bet.

Once you arrive in Bantry, you’ll find the Sheep’s Head Way clearly signposted. The trail is a 200 km long-distance walking route that runs along the ruggedly beautiful Sheep’s Head peninsula in West Cork.

3. Guernsey – Channel Island Way – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

The Channel Island Way is a stunning coastal hike on the southern coast of Guernsey. The picturesque landscape of flower-covered cliffs, secluded bays, and pebbly beaches resembles that of the Mediterranean, which is why the Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, found the area so inspiring. The hike begins at Petit Bot, where a verdant valley meets the sea. From there, hikers trek up and down the rugged coast, enjoying breathtaking views of the coastline.

As you make your way along the trail, you’ll encounter the impressive Les Hanois lighthouse towards the end of the route. From there, the landscape becomes flatter, and the sea is less rough. It’s a great opportunity to soak in the scenery, breathe in the fresh sea air, and admire the stunning views.

The Channel Island Way is a moderate hike that covers 35 miles and can be completed in 2-3 days. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to stop for a break, whether it’s at one of the secluded bays or the pebbly beaches. There are also various accommodations along the route if you want to spend a night in the area.

Guernsey – Channel Island Way is a perfect coastal hike for anyone who wants to experience breathtaking views, stunning scenery, and a mix of rugged and smooth terrains. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting, this hike is an absolute must-do. 

So, grab your hiking boots, and get ready for a memorable adventure along the stunning southern coast of Guernsey.

How to get there

The Channel Island Way offers hikers the chance to experience the best of Guernsey’s coastlines and countryside. But how do you get there?

Luckily, Condor Ferries is the only company that operates on the routes to the Channel Islands. You can sail from either Cherbourg or St Malo in France to the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. Alternatively, you can sail from the UK ports of Poole and Portsmouth to these picturesque islands near the French coast.

Once you arrive in Guernsey, you can begin your hiking adventure along the Channel Island Way. This long-distance trail covers 62 miles and offers hikers breathtaking views of Guernsey’s coastal cliffs and quiet bays.

Be sure to pack a comfortable pair of shoes and a waterproof jacket as the trail can be quite challenging at times. However, the stunning views along the way make it well worth the effort.

4. Scotland – West Knoydart

Prepare to be taken on a walk between heaven and hell in Scotland’s West Knoydart!

The Knoydart Peninsula is an isolated wonder, cut off from the rest of the West Highlands by Loch Nevis and Loch Hourn. To reach it, you’ll have to take a boat, but the journey is well worth it for the breathtaking natural scenery that awaits you.

The peninsula boasts an array of stunning landscapes, including rugged mountain ranges, green valleys, and the chance to spot whales and dolphins in the surrounding waters. This walk is truly unique to Europe, offering a sense of adventure and remoteness that is hard to find elsewhere.

Starting from Inverie, the main village on the island, follow the signs to Doune. The trail to Airor is one of the safest routes through this wilderness and will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings.

Along the way, make sure to stop by the rustic lodge by the sea in Doune. Here, you’ll find huge portions of delicious prawns that will satisfy any hunger pangs after your long walk.

West Knoydart is a place that you’ll never forget. The isolation, natural beauty, and unique landscapes are a true testament to the wonders that Scotland has to offer. 

Don’t miss out on this breathtaking hike along the coastline.

How to get there

To get there, you’ll need to catch the Western Isles Ferry from Mallaig to Inverie, the main village on Knoydart. Keep in mind that the ferry can get booked up quickly, so it’s recommended that you book in advance.

Once you arrive in Inverie, you’ll need to arrange your own transport to start your hike. One popular option is to follow the Old Forge Road towards the abandoned village of Sourlies. This route offers stunning views of Loch Nevis and the surrounding mountains. From Sourlies, you can continue on to the Cape Wrath Trail, a challenging but rewarding 200-mile trail that spans from Fort William to Cape Wrath.

Alternatively, you can take a more leisurely hike around the peninsula. The 17-mile loop offers panoramic views of the Sound of Sleat, Loch Hourn, and the Isle of Skye. You’ll pass through pristine beaches, rocky coastlines, and rugged mountains along the way.

Conclusion – Best Seaside Hikes in Europe

We hope this list of the best seaside hikes in Europe has inspired you to explore some of the most stunning coastal landscapes the continent has to offer. Remember to take your time and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you hike through these incredible destinations. 

And if you’re looking for even more travel inspiration, we highly recommend checking out Framey – the perfect app to stay connected with friends and discover new travel destinations. With Framey, you can see your friends’ holiday photos and get inspired for your next adventure. 

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore the world!

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