When you think of an amazing hike you may picture the Adirondacks, the wild trails of New Zealand or a trek through the foothills of the Himalayas. But Europe also has a number of incredible hikes ready for people of all skill levels and ages. Here’s a guide to the most beautiful European hiking destinations.
Tour de Mont Blanc, France
The Tour de Mont Blanc is a wonderful hike you can do in the Alps. It stretches about 110 miles and will take you at least eleven days to complete as you traverse through parts of France, Italy and Switzerland. The trail can get steep at times and go down sharply, but it’s doable for a moderately experienced hiker with good equipment.
The views are breathtaking as you look out from the heights and enjoy verdant valleys. You start in Chamonix, France and circle back to eventually end up there again, too, and in the process you will enjoy some of the most beautiful nature in the world with plenty of upscale hostels and guesthouses to stay in along the way.¹
The Plitvice Lakes in Croatia boast a range of hikes that are full of jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery often rated as the most stunning in Europe. There are a choice of paths to take for your hike ranging in distance from three to 18 kilometers. The scenery is the most exquisite in the spring and summer, where you will get to appreciate the surrounding nature in all its glory.
To get to the Plitvice Lakes fly into Zadar and consider renting a car. After driving under two hours you will reach the starting point for the trails.²
Valbona to Theth, Albania
Next up is a hike through Albania. This hike is not too difficult but it goes almost six miles and will take most hikers between five to eight hours. This hike is through an area known as the Accursed Mountains but you won’t find yourself in a horror movie here, instead you’ll find incredible landscapes of the Valbona Valley National Park and friendly locals with rich culture.
Starting in Valbona and trekking to the neighboring mountain town of Theth where you can stay overnight is truly a wonderful experience, although this route is only doable in the summer. Theth also has a picturesque church which you can visit. This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Europe, hands down.³
Alta Via, Italy
Italy’s Dolomite High Route is 93 miles long and traces its way along the Alta Via 1 through high mountain passes. You will cross through locations that saw some of the most intense fighting in World War One and lovely lakes and fields. The Dolomites aren’t Europe’s highest mountains but they’re very unique and captivating and you will see incredible scenery on this hike.
There are also many places you can stay overnight and enjoy a delicious Italian meal in the evening.⁴
Hiking Norway’s Kjeragbolten is only recommended for experienced hikers looking to tackle a difficult trek. It’s incredibly beautiful and will take you about six hours. It’s recommended to bed down in Stavanger and then drive about three-and-a-half hours to Lysebotn where you can begin the hike.
You will have many moments of incredible beauty on this hike and enjoy some of the best walking that Europe has to offer. Even though it is a hard climb the views more than make up for it.²
UK Coast to Coast Walk
This hike is 192 miles and stretches from the North Sea to the Irish Sea through all the phases of UK history, geology and geography. You can always choose to hike just a small portion of this route as well, of course, with many places to stay along the way.
Doing the coast to coast UK hike will take you through North York Moors National Park, Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Lake District National Park. There are also plenty of pubs along the way, so get ready to float among the daffodils with Wordsworth.¹