Are you an outdoor enthusiast looking for an adventure? Look no further than Europe, home to some of the best hikes in the world. From the snow-capped Alps to the rolling hills of Scotland, there are plenty of stunning trails to explore. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these top 15 best hikes in Europe will take your breath away.
From classic routes in the French Pyrenees to lesser-known trails in the Caucasus Mountains, we’ve compiled a list of the must-see hiking spots across the continent.
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1) One of the best hikes: Cinque Terre, Italy – Best Hikes in Europe
For anyone looking for an unforgettable hiking experience, the Cinque Terre in Italy is one of the best hikes in Europe! Located on the Ligurian coast, this picturesque region of five towns offers some of the most stunning coastal trails in the world. From long distances to shorter routes, you can tailor your journey to whatever level of difficulty and distance you are looking for. The diverse scenery of colorful villages, terraced vineyards, and rocky cliffs provides hikers with breathtaking views throughout the journey.
Before embarking on your hike, make sure to check out the various routes to decide which one is best for you. The most popular hike is the ‘Blue Path’, a 10-kilometer route that passes through all five villages of Cinque Terre. For an easier journey, opt for the ‘Red Path’, a 5-kilometer route that still allows you to explore all five towns without too much effort. And don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and water as well as sun protection, comfortable shoes, and a hat.
If you want to make your trip extra special, consider adding a boat ride or lunch break in between your hikes. You can also take a break in the beach towns of Vernazza or Monterosso and enjoy the crystal clear waters.
Whether you’re looking for a short walk or an adventure across Cinque Terre’s dramatic coastlines, this is one of Europe’s best hikes that you won’t want to miss!
2) Best hiking vacation: Saalbach to Schmittenhöhe Hike, Austria
Are you looking for an unforgettable hiking experience? Look no further than the Saalbach to Schmittenhöhe Hike in Austria. This scenic hike is considered one of the most beautiful routes in the country, taking you through the stunning alpine landscape of Salzburger Land.
The hike starts from the picturesque village of Saalbach, located at the base of the Schmittenhöhe mountain. From here, you’ll be able to get spectacular views of the Austrian Alps and a 360° panoramic view of the area. From Saalbach, the trail will take you up to Schmittenhöhe, where you can take in more breathtaking views of the valley below.
This seven-mile-long hike is suitable for hikers of all levels, with plenty of stops along the way to take photos or rest and refuel. Make sure you bring plenty of water, as well as snacks, so you can properly enjoy your time outdoors. On your way up, you’ll also come across some traditional alpine huts where you can stop for a bite to eat and soak in the incredible views.
The Saalbach to Schmittenhöhe Hike is a must-do for any outdoor enthusiast looking for an unforgettable experience in Austria.
The stunning mountain scenery, fresh air, and peaceful atmosphere make it a perfect destination for hikers who are searching for something unique and special.
3) Hiking Romania: Hiking in the Bucegi Mountains – Best Hikes in Europe
The Bucegi Mountains are a perfect place to experience the beauty and culture of Romania while exploring the great outdoors. From lush forests and alpine lakes to breathtaking mountain peaks, the hiking opportunities in Romania are endless.
Located in the Southern Carpathian Mountains, the Bucegi Massif is one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in Romania. The area is known for its picturesque landscapes, including high peaks, deep valleys, and magnificent waterfalls. There are plenty of trails for hikers of all levels and abilities, from easy hikes to more challenging ones.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, consider visiting the Bucegi Plateau. This mountain plateau provides an expansive view of Romania’s mountain ranges, with an array of wildflowers and wildlife along the way. You can also check out Babele, which are large stone formations that look like giant mushrooms at the top of the plateau.
For those looking for a more challenging adventure, try hiking up to the peak of Mount Omu or the Sphinx rock formation. Both locations offer stunning views, making them popular destinations for hikers. Just remember to bring plenty of water and food as these trails can be quite strenuous.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, hiking in Romania’s Bucegi Mountains is sure to be a memorable experience. With its lush forests, alpine lakes, and majestic mountain peaks, it’s easy to see why this area is such a popular destination for hikers.
So grab your hiking boots and get ready to explore Romania’s stunning scenery!
4) Looking for “hiking near me”? Switzerland can be your hiking home: Switzerland Engelberg Valley – Best Hikes in Europe
Are you searching for a hiking adventure that is close to home? Look no further than Switzerland Engelberg Valley. Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, this picturesque valley offers a variety of different hikes for all levels of hikers. From easy strolls around the meadows to challenging trails leading up to majestic mountain peaks, there is something for everyone.
The hikes in this valley are suitable for both experienced and beginner hikers. For beginners, the gently sloping meadows are perfect for a leisurely afternoon walk while experienced hikers will find more difficult trails with breathtaking views. With over 500km of trails, you can explore the stunning scenery of the area at your own pace.
For those looking for a more active hiking experience, try one of the many via ferratas. A via ferrata is a route up a mountain that uses steel ladders, steps, and bridges to assist climbers. It’s an adrenaline-filled adventure that will take your breath away as you conquer each step.
Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a more challenging hike, Switzerland Engelberg Valley has something for every type of hiker.
With incredible mountain views and well-marked trails, it’s no wonder why so many people come here to explore the beautiful outdoors.
5) Best hiking area in the world: Tour du Mont Blanc, Europe – Best Hikes in Europe
If you’re looking for an adventure that is sure to leave you breathless, then the Tour du Mont Blanc is the hike for you! Located in the heart of Europe, this scenic route will take you through France, Italy, and Switzerland, allowing you to experience some of the most stunning mountain views imaginable. This multi-day trek is not for the faint of heart, but if you are up for the challenge, it promises to be an unforgettable journey!
The Tour du Mont Blanc is considered one of the best hiking routes in the world. This 170 km trail offers stunning views of glaciers, valleys, forests, and crystal clear lakes. You will also have the chance to pass through alpine villages with quaint architecture and get a taste of local culture.
Before beginning your hike, it is important to make sure that you are properly prepared. Make sure to bring appropriate clothing and footwear, as the weather can change quickly and the trail can get icy in certain areas. It’s also a good idea to bring a map and a compass so you know where you are going at all times.
Tour du Mont Blanc
In terms of accommodation along the route, there are numerous villages and towns where you can find a place to stay. There are also huts, lodges, and campsites available at various points along the trail. If you prefer to camp, be sure to bring a tent and all the necessary camping gear.
Most importantly, take your time and enjoy the journey! The Tour du Mont Blanc is a spectacular experience that should not be rushed. Soak in the views, chat with the locals, and revel in the beauty of this amazing part of Europe.
With a little bit of preparation, you are guaranteed to have an incredible hiking experience!
6) One of Crete’s top attractions: Samaria Gorge, Greece – Best Hikes in Europe
If you’re looking for an exciting hiking adventure, look no further than Samaria Gorge in Greece. Located on the remote island of Crete, the 16km Samaria Gorge National Park is one of Europe’s most stunning natural attractions. It’s also one of the most popular hikes in Greece and it’s easy to see why: with towering mountains, lush greenery, spectacular views, and a stunningly deep gorge, this hike offers something for everyone.
The hike starts at the entrance to the gorge, located in the remote village of Omalos. From here, you’ll make your way along a steep, narrow path through the gorge. The first few kilometers of the trail are relatively easy, but as you progress further, the trail gets steeper and more challenging. Along the way, you’ll pass through stunning forests and vineyards, cross several bridges, and take in amazing views of the White Mountains. As you reach the end of the gorge, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Libyan Sea.
Make the most of your hike
To make the most of your hike, make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, dress in comfortable clothing, and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Be aware that temperatures can get quite hot during summer months, so bring sun protection and make sure to take plenty of breaks to stay hydrated. Also, bear in mind that there are no facilities along the trail, so be prepared and plan accordingly.
For a unique experience, consider staying overnight at one of the gorge’s traditional guesthouses. There are several lodgings available where you can enjoy a meal and rest before continuing your journey.
Make sure to add Samaria Gorge to your travel bucket list! With its beautiful scenery and challenging terrain, it is one of Crete’s top attractions and offers an unforgettable experience.
7) Beautiful hiking: Green Lake Hike, Slovakia – Best Hikes in Europe
Green Lake Hike in Slovakia is one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Europe. With its stunning alpine landscapes, dense forests, and crystal clear waters, the Green Lake hike is an unforgettable experience. This hike is easily accessible from Bratislava, making it a great option for those who are looking to experience some of the best nature that Slovakia has to offer.
The Green Lake Hike starts at the village of Červeny Klastor and follows the valley to the lake. It is a moderately difficult hike and can take up to 4 hours to complete. Along the way, you will be able to admire the stunning views of the valleys and lush meadows. The best part of the hike is when you reach the lake itself, as it is surrounded by tall mountains and beautiful pine trees. This is a perfect spot for taking some photos or just enjoying nature’s beauty.
When planning your trip, make sure to bring along plenty of food and water. The hike can be quite strenuous and you want to make sure that you are well-hydrated and well-fed. Additionally, make sure to dress appropriately for the weather and wear good hiking shoes. Also, don’t forget to bring your camera so you can capture all the amazing sights along the way.
The Green Lake Hike is an incredible experience that should not be missed! If you are looking for a beautiful and active getaway, then this hike is perfect for you.
Enjoy the breathtaking views, explore the local flora and fauna, and make memories that will last a lifetime!
8) Mountain hiking: Matterhorn Base Camp, Switzerland – Best Hikes in Europe
If you’re looking for a spectacular mountain hike, look no further than Matterhorn Base Camp in Switzerland. This incredible hike offers stunning panoramic views of the Alps, plus the chance to explore alpine lakes and glaciers. Located at the foot of the Matterhorn, this hike will take your breath away.
To begin your journey, you’ll take the cable car to Schwarzsee and make your way towards Trockener Steg via the iconic mountain ridge of the Matterhorn. This 7-mile hike takes approximately 6 hours, making it an excellent day trip. From Trockener Steg, you’ll continue to Solvay Hut and Matterhorn Base Camp.
Along the way, you’ll be able to take in the incredible views of the Matterhorn, Gorner Glacier, Monte Rosa, and other peaks of the Alps. You’ll also have the chance to explore alpine lakes and majestic glaciers. The terrain is varied, so come prepared with hiking boots, poles, a backpack, and plenty of water.
No matter what time of year you choose to do this hike, Matterhorn Base Camp is sure to leave you in awe of the beauty and majesty of the Swiss Alps.
So grab your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable hiking experience!
9) One of the most famous hut-to-hut trails in Europe: Corsica GR20 Trail, France
If you’re looking for an unforgettable, challenging, and rewarding hiking experience, then the GR20 Trail in Corsica is the perfect destination for you. This world-renowned trail is known for its spectacular views, awe-inspiring landscapes, and beautiful forests.
The GR20 Trail runs through the heart of Corsica, from Calenzana in the north to Conca in the south. The route is divided into two parts, the Northern Trail and the Southern Trail, which are linked together by a connecting path. Both sections offer breathtaking views of the mountains, meadows, forests, and villages along the way.
The GR20 Trail can take anywhere from 10-20 days to complete depending on your fitness level and the amount of time you have to spare. It is important to plan as you will need to book huts in advance as they can fill up quickly. Make sure you have the right equipment such as sturdy walking boots, a good waterproof jacket, a map, and a compass.
When you’re taking on this trail, you’ll get to experience some of the most stunning scenery in Europe. From alpine lakes to wildflower-filled meadows, you’ll be amazed at what nature has to offer. You’ll also get to admire some of the most incredible sunsets in France while taking a break from your hike.
Finally, don’t forget to explore some of the small villages along the way. Take a break in Vizzavona, L’Ile Rousse, or Porto Vecchio to sample some of the local food, culture, and nightlife. It’s also worth stopping off at one of the many waterfalls that line the route.
So if you’re looking for an amazing hiking experience full of adventure, challenge, and breathtaking views, then look no further than Corsica GR20 Trail!
10) One of the most dangerous but amazing hikes in the world: El Caminito del Rey, Spain
If you’re an adrenaline-seeking adventure traveler looking for an unforgettable experience, then El Caminito del Rey, Spain should be at the top of your list. Located in the province of Málaga, El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Pathway) is one of the most dangerous yet beautiful hikes in the world. With its old hanging pathways, dizzying heights, and spectacular views, it offers an unparalleled level of excitement.
This treacherous pathway is suspended over the Guadalhorce river gorge, connecting two mountain walls with a height of more than 100 meters. It’s not for the faint of heart! It’s recommended that you wear a safety harness, even if you’re an experienced hiker. There have been fatalities in El Caminito del Rey, so caution is key.
Apart from its obvious dangers, this hike offers some of the most amazing views of the surrounding mountains and cliffs. In addition, you can also enjoy several tunnels and viaducts built into the mountainside which offer plenty of exploration opportunities. Be sure to bring a flashlight and plenty of snacks for your journey!
If you’re looking for a thrilling outdoor experience, El Caminito del Rey should be at the top of your list.
From its stunning views and history to its danger and excitement, this one-of-a-kind hike is sure to leave you with memories you’ll never forget.
11) Go Hiking: The Transcaucasian Trail, Georgia – Best Hikes in Europe
Are you looking for an adventure of a lifetime? Embark on a journey along the Transcaucasian Trail, the most challenging and remote hiking trail in the world. Spanning 3,200 kilometers across the countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, the Transcaucasian Trail is one of the best long-distance hiking trails in Europe.
The beauty of this trail lies in its diversity. From majestic mountains to meandering rivers and lush forests, the Transcaucasian Trail has something for everyone. You can even explore centuries-old monasteries, ancient churches, and ancient fortresses on your journey. With so much to explore, it’s no wonder that the trail attracts hundreds of hikers each year.
For those looking for a real challenge, the Transcaucasian Trail will not disappoint. It takes around two to three months to hike the entire length of the trail, making it an ideal journey for experienced trekkers. You should be prepared with good physical fitness and suitable clothing and equipment as you will encounter some difficult terrain and weather conditions along the way.
So if you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, don’t miss out on the amazing opportunity to hike the Transcaucasian Trail. Whether you want to conquer all 3,200 kilometers or just explore a section of it, this incredible trail will give you an unforgettable experience.
Pack your bags, lace up your boots, and get ready for an adventure you won’t soon forget!
12) Hiking with stunning panoramic views: Pulpit Rock, Norway
Take your breath away with a stunning panoramic view of Lysefjorden from Pulpit Rock in Norway! This hike is a must-do if you’re looking to experience breathtaking beauty while exploring some of Norway’s amazing hiking trails.
The Pulpit Rock or Preikestolen is located 600 meters above Lysefjorden in the Rogaland region of southwest Norway and is one of the country’s most popular attractions, attracting more than 200,000 visitors each year. The hike takes around two hours each way, but the incredible views from the top make it well worth the effort.
When you reach Pulpit Rock, you’ll be rewarded with majestic views of the Lysefjorden and mountains from the top. Bring a camera to capture the spectacular scenery! The best time to visit Pulpit Rock is during the summer months when the days are longer and the weather is warmer. Be sure to wear proper hiking shoes and clothing, and take plenty of water and snacks for the journey.
Pulpit Rock is an incredible experience, making it one of the best hikes in Europe. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, this hike offers something for everyone.
So don’t miss out and add Pulpit Rock to your list of must-see hiking trails!
13) Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: one of Croatia’s most popular tourist attractions – Best Hikes in Europe
Located in the stunning mountainous region of Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist attractions. The park is known for its breathtaking beauty and numerous hiking trails, offering visitors a chance to explore the breathtaking natural scenery of this region.
This stunning park is home to 16 different lakes and a plethora of cascading waterfalls. The National Park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list and offers visitors the chance to take in picturesque landscapes while exploring numerous hiking trails that offer stunning views over the lakes and valleys. The best way to experience the park is by taking one of the trails that wind their way around the lake system.
From well-marked trails to mountain climbing paths, there are plenty of options for hikers of all levels and ages. You can explore tranquil lakeside areas, or challenge yourself with a difficult mountain path that offers fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. You can also rent a boat and go on a boat ride around the lakes or take part in one of the numerous birdwatching tours that are available here.
Looking for a unique experience
For those looking for a unique experience, Plitvice Lakes National Park also offers a variety of activities including biking, kayaking, and more. There are several restaurants located within the park where you can get refreshments after your hike.
The lush surroundings of Plitvice Lakes National Park make it one of the best places to visit in Croatia and an ideal destination for nature lovers and hikers alike. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll around the lakes or a challenging hike through its scenic landscape, this park has something for everyone.
With its variety of hiking trails, stunning scenery, and plenty of activities available, Plitvice Lakes National Park is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
14) Best hiking trails: Hornstrandir Nature Reserve Hike, Iceland – Best Hikes in Europe
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve Hike in Iceland is an amazing experience that should not be missed. This nature reserve offers some of the most breathtaking views and hiking trails in the world.
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is one of the best places for hiking in Iceland. The area features rugged landscapes, cliffs, and beautiful fjords that make for a perfect outdoor adventure. In addition to the stunning scenery, visitors will find plenty of wildlife to observe, including arctic foxes, birds, and seals.
The hike itself takes around 8 hours, and the route begins at Ísafjörður, Iceland’s northernmost town. From there, hikers will make their way through the reserve until they reach the summit of Hornstrandir, which sits at an elevation of 658 meters (2,159 feet). Along the way, they’ll be rewarded with some incredible views of the Icelandic countryside.
If you’re looking for a memorable experience in Iceland, then the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve Hike is worth checking out.
The route is relatively easy and can be completed in a day. Just be sure to pack all your essentials and stay safe while you explore the area!
15) One of the most beautiful places to hike: Pravčice Gate Hike, Czech Republic – Best Hikes in Europe
This breathtaking hike in the Czech Republic is a must-see for any outdoor enthusiast. The Pravčice Gate Hike is a moderately difficult path of about five hours, located in the Western Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. The trail passes through forests and old, abandoned castles, leading to a spectacular limestone arch known as Pravčická brána. This natural rock bridge, which stands more than 50 meters tall, is the largest of its kind in Europe and is sure to take your breath away.
As you make your way up the trails, you’ll be surrounded by stunning views of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers, deer, and other wildlife. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable view of the rugged sandstone cliffs, the Elbe Valley below, and the Czech countryside beyond.
Travelers should come prepared with good hiking shoes and plenty of water, as well as warm clothing during the colder months. The terrain can be slippery and steep in some areas, so you’ll want to take your time and bring a walking stick. If you’re planning to take photos along the way, make sure to bring a camera with a wide-angle lens to capture all the beauty.
This awe-inspiring hike is sure to give you an unforgettable experience and lasting memories. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a relaxing walk in nature, Pravčice Gate Hike will give you both.
So grab your gear and hit the trails for an amazing hike through one of Europe’s most beautiful places.
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