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Top Hikes in Europe: Ultimate Guide for Adventurers

  • Zoe Wallace
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  • March 18, 2024
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  • 4 minute read
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Top Hikes in Europe: Ultimate Guide for Adventurers

Europe offers some of the world’s most breathtaking hikes, from icy Nordic tundras to sun-kissed Mediterranean islands. Here’s a compilation of the top hikes across the continent, showcasing the diversity and beauty of Europe’s trails.

Key Takeaways
  • Europe offers diverse hiking experiences, from the volcanic landscapes of Iceland to the serene beauty of the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia.
  • The hikes range in difficulty from easy scenic walks to challenging treks requiring technical skills, catering to adventurers of all levels.
  • Unique features of these hikes include stunning views of the Alps, cultural heritage sites along the Camino de Santiago, and the blend of sea and mountain vistas in Sardinia's Selvaggio Blu Trail.

Landmannalaugar, Iceland

Landmannalaugar is famed for its colorful rhyolite mountains, geothermal hot springs, and unique trails. The Mt. Blahnúkúr and Mt. Brennisteinsalda Loop offer epic views and a soothing soak in the naturally occurring People’s Pool. For a more extended experience, the 55 km Laugavegur Trek from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk spans over four days, highlighting some of Iceland’s most extraordinary landscapes​​.

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park is renowned for its stunning turquoise waters, cascading waterfalls, and wooden boardwalks. The trails here are easy to moderate, allowing for a leisurely exploration of Croatia’s most unique natural site. Different “programs” or suggested routes can help you tailor your visit based on time and energy level​​.

Path of the Gods, Amalfi Coast, Italy

This trail offers jaw-dropping views over Positano and the Sorrento peninsula. The Path of the Gods is a relatively easy trek that can be done point-to-point from Bomerano to Nocelle, featuring ever-changing vistas of the Amalfi Coast​​.

The Ladder of Kotor, Montenegro

 

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For those seeking dramatic vistas, the Ladder of Kotor presents a challenging trek with possibly over 70 switchbacks. The reward? Unparalleled views of the Bay of Kotor from above​​.

Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First, Switzerland

 

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This strenuous hike in the Jungfrau Region takes you past alpine lakes, mountain huts, and snow-covered trails, with stunning views of the Swiss Alps throughout. Ending with the option of the First Cliff Walk, this hike is a must-do for anyone visiting the Jungfrau region during the summer​​.

Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, Portugal

Explore one of Portugal’s most beautiful walks along the Algarve coastline. The trail passes by famous beaches like Marinha Beach and offers views of Benagil Cave. It’s an easy to moderate hike, perfect for capturing picturesque vistas of the Algarve​​.

Selvaggio Blu Trail, Sardinia, Italy

Italy’s toughest trek, the Selvaggio Blu in Sardinia, is a challenging adventure that blends the beauty of the sea with mountainous landscapes. This 40 km trail includes steep climbs, abseils, and via ferratas but also offers relaxing swims at stunning beaches​​.

Mount Triglav, Slovenia

Climbing Slovenia’s highest peak, Mount Triglav, involves challenging via ferrata routes. This two-day adventure through the Julian Alps is a rite of passage for many Slovenians and a memorable climb for visitors​​.

The Transcaucasian Trail, Georgia

This ambitious trail aims to connect the Greater and Lesser Caucasus across several countries. The Georgia section is a 10-day adventure through the Svaneti region, offering a unique insight into this less-traveled part of Europe​​.

West Highland Way, Scotland

 

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Scotland’s most famous long-distance trail, the West Highland Way, spans 95 miles from Milngavie to Fort William. The route covers Loch Lomond, Glencoe and ends near Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak​​.

Kungsleden Trail, Sweden

 

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The Kungsleden, or “King’s Trail,” offers 270 miles of Nordic natural beauty across Sweden. Divided into four sections, it features tundra plains, mountain vistas, and rustic huts for accommodation, suitable for both summer and autumn hiking​​.

Planning Your Hike

When planning your hike in Europe, consider the time of year, as seasons can greatly affect your experience. Many trails offer different experiences based on the season, with some being more suitable for summer months and others perfect for spring or fall cooler days. Always check local conditions and requirements, such as permits or guide necessities, especially for more challenging hikes.

Ultimately, each of these hikes presents a unique adventure, from serene walks through national parks to challenging ascents of rugged peaks. Europe’s trails offer something for every hiker, promising unforgettable experiences amidst some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes.

Zoe Wallace

Zoe Wallace

Zoe is a contributing Travel Author of Culture.org. Her passion for exploration and commitment to responsible and sustainable travel inspires many to embark on their own adventures and appreciate the world's wonders.

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