Are you one of those people who think Europe is just about beautiful cities and history? Let me tell you that there is much more to this continent than sightseeing. While it can be hard to find as many remote mountain ranges as there are in Asia or South America, Europe boasts world class hiking opportunities. From hut to hut routes to multi-day camping & hiking adventures, you can find just about anything in this small and compact continent. These are some of the best hikes in Europe that are worth both your time and energy.
TOUR DU MONT BLANC – FRANCE, ITALY & SWITZERLAND
Usually referred as the TMB, the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the best hiking trails in Europe. It traverses 170km (110 mi) passing through the countries of France, Italy and Switzerland to circumnavigate the entire Mount Blanc Massif in the Western Alps. The classic route is normally walked anti-clockwise over 11 days. An extraordinary journey for anyone wanting to explore one of the best hiking areas in Europe.
ALTA VIA 1 – ITALY
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). Hikers normally take around 10 days to complete the entire route where they can contemplate the beauty of many famous peaks such as the Tofana, Lagazuoi, Pelmo and of course the mighty Civetta.
THE KINGS TRAIL – SWEDEN
Kungsleden (aka The Kings Trail) is a 440 km (270 mi) route that passes through the Vindelfjällens Nature Reserve in Sweden, one of the biggest protected areas in Europe. Most of the walkers only do a section of it. The journey is a hiking trail in summer and a ski trail in winter, and there are many mountain huts along the way to break your journey at.
GR20 – CORSICA
GR 20 is a long distance trail that traverses Corsica diagonally from north to south. It is considered to be the most difficult of all the GR routes and one of the most beautiful mountain trail in Europe.
GR 20 is a long distance trail that traverses Corsica diagonally from north to south. It’s 180km long with variation in height of about 10 000 metres and can be walked in 15 days. Even though the GR20 doesn’t require any climbing techniques, perfect fitness level and confidence in walking over a variety of rugged terrains is necessary.
SLOVENIAN MOUNTAIN TRAIL – SLOVENIA
In Slovenia, lovers of long walks are able to find trails with interesting themes and diverse characteristics, connecting mountain peaks and valleys with coastal areas. The Alpe Adria Trail connects Mt. Grossglockner with the sea through valleys. The Walk of Peace follows the battlefields of World War I, and the European Long-Distance Path E7 crosses the Soča Valley, from the River Nadiža to the Baška Grapa Valley.
EAGLES WALK – AUSTRIA
Hiking Austria’s mountains not only offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, but it also allows you to get to know the country’s people and traditions along the way. No matter whether you challenge yourself and tackle the main route on a week-long tour, or if you prefer choosing a couple of more easy-going day trips, the 256.6 mile long Eagle’s Walk takes you on the hike of a lifetime. Broken up into 33 stages with a total elevation gain of 19 miles, this long-distance trail accommodates a wide variety of skill levels and hiking preferences. Best of all, the Eagle’s Walk is easily accessible from several holiday regions across Tirol
WESTWEG TRAIL – GERMANY
WEST HIGHLAND WAY – SCOTLAND
The West Highland Way was Scotland’s first long distance route and remains by far the most popular. Stretching for 151km from Milngavie on the edge of Glasgow to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, the route offers a fabulous introduction to the Scottish Highlands. Those wanting to add an extra days walking could even begin in the heart of Glasgow, reaching Milngavie by following the Kelvin Walkway.
It offers tremendous variety, beginning in the pastoral landscapes beneath the Campsies, past the serene beauty of Loch Lomond, and on into increasingly rugged and majestic Highlands. It then crosses the vast, awe-inspiring expanse of Rannoch Moor, with a glimpse down Glencoe, before crossing the hills to lovely Loch Leven. The route finally reaches Fort William via beautiful Glen Nevis. The very keenest could continue from the town by walking.