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15 epic hiking trails in Europe

Written by Fiona

October 22 2021

Europe is a fantastic place to explore on foot and you will discover many amazing hiking trails that are perfect for short or longer holidays. If you want to find out more about them or if you want to see if there is anything that you can do to make your hiking adventure the best that it can be, this is the guide for you.

Tour du Mont Blanc.

1.      Tour du Mont Blanc

This location is usually referred to as the TMB. It’s easily one of the best hiking trails in Europe and it transverses more than 170km. It passes through France, Italy and even Switzerland, and it circumvents the Blanc Massif in the Western Alps. The scenery is breath-taking.

If you want to walk this classic route, you will normally do it anti-clockwise, and it will take you 11 days in total. It’s also possible to run the route in fewer days.

2.      Cinque Terre Coastal Trail

Five stunning Italian towns are linked by an 11km coastal route. You can walk this trail in around six hours, but if you do it in two days you’ll be able to take in the stunning atmosphere and architecture of the towns along the route.

3.      Alta Via

The Alta Via Uno connects Dobbiaco and Belluno in the Dolomites in Italy. It is an incredible journey of 120km. The highest point stands at around 9,029ft and the route normally takes an experienced hiker around 10 days to complete.  When you venture on this trail, you will be able to see the beauty of the mighty Civetta, Tofana, Pelmo and Lagazuoi.


4.      The Kings Trail

The 440km Kings Trail is a route that passes through the famous Vindelfjällens Nature Reserve in Sweden. It’s one of the most protected areas in Europe.

Most of the people who walk this trail will only do a small section of it. The journey is ideal in summer but if you do choose to go in winter, then you will soon see that it transforms into a skiing trail.

You can make use of mountain huts for accommodation should you want to complete the route.

Corsican mountains.

5.      GR20

The GR20 cuts across the island of Corsica diagonally. It runs from north to south and it’s around 180km in total. It is considered to be the most difficult of Europe’s GR routes, but at the same time, it is one of the most stunning.

It takes most people 15 days to complete and you won’t need any climbing equipment. That being said, you will need a good fitness level. This hike may take you well into the night, so ensure that you take the best backpacking flashlight you can find with you. If you’re yet to buy a flashlight, then have some solid options.

6.      Haute Route

The Haute Route is the French and Swiss Alps. With snow-capped peaks and stunning villages, it’s a demanding hike that is best in summer. It will take you around 12 days to complete and it’s 180km long.

In winter, skiers will take on this challenging route, too.

Credit: Arthouse Studio

7.      Hot Spring Route

The Hot Spring Route can be found in Iceland. There are spectacular landscapes to be seen on this 55km trail. Enjoy contrasting glacial views and hot springs en route.

If you prefer a longer route, then you can combine this trek with Fimmvörðuháls. This will provide you with two more days of walking.

Slovenian mountains.

8.      Slovenian Mountain Trail

The Slovenian Mountain Trail is a fabulous 500km trail that winds across the mountains of Slovenia. This is the longest and most popular long-distance trail in the country. it takes around 28 to 30 days too hike starting at Maribor, then heading to the plateaus of the Pohorje Hills, the Kamnik and Savinja Alps, the Karavanke Alps and the Julian Alps. It finishes at the Adriatic coast.

Austrian mountains.

9.      Eagles Walk

This offers opportunities for multi-day hiking routes and day trips, too. The route covers 412km and you will cross Austria, from east to west. With 33 stages, walkers can easily choose a section to do, but if you have time it’s well worth completing the whole hike.

10.  Camino De Santiago

If you want a spiritual path, then this is for you. It’s a pilgrimage path and there are many different starting points. The distances vary as well, but the most popular route is The French Way. This starts in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. The French Way is also called the GR65 and journeys through the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. The 150km route passes through the regions of Aragón, Navarre, La Rioja, Castile and Leon, and Galicia. It is usually completed in six or seven stages.

Westweg Trail. Credit: Amwyll Rwden

11.  Westweg Trail

The Westweg Trail is in Germany and it links Pforzheim and Basel. It is around 285km long and it passes through many villages running north–south through the Black Forest.

top hikes in europe
Fabulous Scottish Highlands scenery on the West Highland Way.

12.  West Highland Way

The 154km Scottish trail connects Milngavie, just north of Glasgow, with Fort William in the Highlands. It’s the most popular route in Scotland and walked by some 50,000 people form across the world each year.

Most people walk the route over a week. Read 10 beginner tips for walking the West Highland Way.

13.  Central Circuit

Located in Spain, this mountain range offers lots of hikes, from multiple-day walking routes to day outings. It allows you to trek through Northern Spain, while also being able to see some of the most stunning sights around.

Hike in Romania.

14.  Retezat Mountains

A visit Romania offers the chance to walk in the Retezat Mountains. The route is part of the Southern Carpathians and you have all sorts of options, from day trips to longer hiking trips. The Limestone Retezat gives you caves, gorges and lower altitude hiking opportunities and the Central Retezat gives you higher peaks, with glacial valleys and peaks.

top hikes in europe
Hardangervidda Plateau

15.  Hardangervidda Plateau

Crossing the Hardangervidda Plateau in Norway is difficult, but it’s worth it. Hiking here is best for people who are fit and experienced. The journey will take place over even to 12 days and it gives you the chance to explore some of the most untouched corners in Norway. There are shorter options available, too.

Which of these top hikes in Europe do you fancy doing?

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