Hiking lovers, this one is for you! Are you looking for some inspiration for where you are going to go hiking next? Here are the best places to hike in Europe as recommended by hikers. They have picked their favourite walks, trails and treks from around Europe to tempt you to book that next adventure!
Included are hikes in popular places like the French Alps with its stunning mountains or Norway’s famous hiking trails if you are looking for a big hiking challenge. But also hiking destinations to suit everyone like the beautiful Peak District in England or Snowdonia in Wales which has hiking trails for all levels plus some unexpected places like the Algarve in Portugal.
Trekking in Europe is stunning, there is so much breath-taking scenery you really are spoilt for choice so whichever hiking destination you pick you won’t be disappointed.
Below is a table of contents with a summary of all the best places to hike in Europe. Simply click your favourite destination or if this is your first visit to Europe and you are looking for hiking inspiration for a hiking trail in Europe. Take your time and scroll through this epic list of pure outdoor indulgence!
Don’t forget to tell me about any hiking trails in Europe that you love in the comments below.
By Halef and Michael at The Round The World Guys
Andorra is a tiny country sandwiched between Spain and France at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountain. It offers a picturesque landscape with so many options for nature and hiking explorations.
If you are an avid hiker, you’re in for a treat. While there are many options for exploring the region, don’t miss the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley for its distinctive beauty.
The Vall del Madriu-Perafita-Claror hike cuts through a valley that was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004. Here, you can walk through the Cultural Landscape of Andorra – starting from the trailhead in the Escaldes-Engordany, not far from the capital Andorra la Vella.
There are many different paths and itinerary suggestions on their official website, ranging from a few hours on a trail to multi-day journeys. Along the hiking route, you will enjoy a picturesque walk through the old pastures, traditional shepherd cabins, and huts that have dotted the valley for hundreds of years.
Hiking in the Zillertal in Austria
By Linda from Travel Tyrol
Austria’s Zillertal or Ziller Valley is one of Europe’s most diverse and therefore very popular, hiking destinations. Hikers are spoiled for choice with 1,400 km of trails covering various altitude and difficulty levels. Whether you prefer sticking to the valley floor or attempting a three-thousander, there is something for everyone.
A great thing about Zillertal hiking trails is that you don’t have to carry a heavy backpack filled with drinks and snacks to keep you going. There are more than 150 mountain hut restaurants or snack bars where hikers can refuel along the way.
A favourite day hike in the Zillertal is from the Schlegeis Dam to the Olperer Hut or Olpererhütte, which have been welcoming hikers since 1881. It’s not an easy hike, going from about 1,782 m to 2,389 m above sea level but it can be done in under 2 hours. The great views of the Schlegeis Dam and the surrounding mountain peaks, including the Hochfeiler at 3,510 m high, are worth the effort. Enjoying these with a beer and a hearty Austrian meal will make you reluctant to leave.
In that case, you can always book a bed! The Olperer Hut is on the Berlin High Alpine Trail for those who prefer multiple day hikes. From there, the Olperer summit (3,476 m) can be reached in about 4 hours.
By Jodie at Alajode
The tiny resort village of Saalbach is known its ski slopes – but don’t think there’s nothing to do there come the sunnier months. In fact, Saalbach in summer is a hiker’s dream as the steep ski hills turn into lush green hiking trails.
I discovered those trails for myself this summer and can’t wait to head back and attempt more. The hiking trails were (obviously) scenic but what surprised me more than the number of trails available was the diversity of the hikers enjoying them. Saalbach has such a great range of trails, all within a short drive or a walk from the main resort, that there’s something for every age, ability and style of hiker.
For new hikers, the short educational trail will teach you a little bit about the nature around you while introducing you to the world of hiking. For photographers, view-chasers and early-birds, a sunrise morning hike to one of the peaks is a must and was a highlight of my time there. And for hardcore hikers, the 24-kilometre Seven Summits trail is a physical challenge that covers over 1.4 km of altitude and makes up part of the ultimate hiking challenge: the Saalbach Hiking Challenge.
Plitvice National Park
By Soumya at Travel, Books and Food
Plitvice National Park is one of the most visited places in Croatia and is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. And it is not hard to figure out why.
With more than 16 lakes and 90 waterfalls, it is definitely one of the best places to hike in Europe. It is further divided into the upper lakes and the lower lakes. With more than 8 hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult and from 2-3 hours to a full day hike, you can choose the one that is the most convenient to you. Spend a day here and be mesmerised by the colours and sounds of the trails.
It costs approximately 20-25 Euros for a full day ticket based on the different seasons. You can either do as a day trip from either Zagreb or Zadar. Alternatively, you can stay overnight and explore the different lakes over two days with a 2-day pass which costs approximately 35 Euros.
Top hiking tips
- Stick to the upper lakes if you are going on a super crowded day to avoid the crowds and have the beauty of nature mostly to yourself.
- Even though the hikes are not that difficult, it is recommended that you wear good walking shoes and carry lots of water.
Jeseniky Mountains, Czech Republic
By Teresa at Brogan Abroad
Chances are that you have never heard of the Jeseniky Mountains in the Czech Republic. And neither had I until I went there to hike. And to be honest I didn’t know what to expect, as I knew nothing about the area and I was really pleasantly surprised by it!
The Jeseniky Mountains are located in the Moravian-Silesian region, in the northeast of the Czech Republic, where it borders Poland. They are considered one of the best places for hiking, biking and other mountain sports in the country, so I just had to go and find out for myself.
The Bila Opava trail follows the Opava River along the valley all the way to the top of Mount Praded. The trail is said to be the most beautiful in the Jesenikys and I soon found out why. It starts in the spa town of Karlova Studanka and runs through a deep valley where you come across natural weirs, waterfalls, cascades and pools. The hike takes you over wooden footbridges and ladders and you’ll even need chains to climb the upper part of the trail over a rocky gorge.
Coming out of the valley, you arrive at a mountain chalet called Barborka that is famous locally. Unfortunately, it was closed when I got there so had to wait a bit longer for refreshments. A couple of miles further on you reach Praded, the highest mountain in the Jesenikys and the location of a TV transmitter that is also a hotel. A great place to stay overnight!
Bohemian Switzerland National Park
By Veronika at Travel Geekery
For me, one of the best places to hike in Europe is the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. It’s located in the northern tip of the Czech Republic, near the town Děčín. The area is rich in karst formations, lush greenery, rivers and streams, as well as cute little villages with old traditional houses.
The main draw here is the Pravčická Gate, a unique sandstone formation, which even appeared in the Chronicles of Narnia. No wonder – this is the largest natural rock arch in Europe! We hiked to it from the village of Mezní Louka, which was an easy 6 km hike through the forest following the ‘Gabriela trail’. The gate is the most popular tourist attraction in the region, yet we met nearly nobody on the trail.
On another day, you can manage a hike to the amazing lookout point called Mary’s Rock. It sits on top of a sandstone hill and used to serve as a fire watchtower for the town of Jetřichovice, which lies just below. Near there you can also find a former bandits’ castle from the 14th century carved out from a rock and well worth visiting. It’s called Šaunštejn and you have to climb on a ladder in a crack in the rock to get to the very top if you dare 🙂
Funen (Hiking The Archipelago Trail)
By Line at Nordic Travellers
Funen is said to be Denmark’s garden because of the islands fertile black soil, many orchards and rolling green hills. It is in these beautiful surroundings you find the 220 km long South Funen Archipelago Trail.
The hiking trail takes you close to the coastline, through a unique cultural landscape and romantic small villages. Even though the trail is long, it is not hard (Denmark is flat as a pancake). If you just want to hike a small part of the trail, you can do that, as the trail is divided into seven sections, and each section has its own special features. If you are into island-life, you can do the part of the trail that is located on Aeroe. Or if you want to get a bit of sweat on your forehead, you can choose the part that takes you through Svanninge Bakker (the hills in Svanninge).
The Archipelago Trail is a network of paths primarily intended for hikers and ramblers. The entire route is signposted with poles bearing blue pictograms of a hiker. If you are used to hiking, you should be able to finish The Archipelago Trail in nine days. If you want to, you can just drop down and fold out your sleeping bag between hikes, but there are also some excellent lean-to-shelters along the way that can be rented for the price of a cup of coffee. Learn more about hiking the Archipelago Trail here: Funen on foot
Peak District National Park
By Becky at Becky the Traveller
England is well known for having some beautiful hikes, with 10 National Parks dotted around the country you’re spoilt for choice. But for me, one of the best places to hike in England is the stunning Peak District National Park in Derbyshire.
Close to the centre of the UK, the Peak District National Park has a mix of hikes to suit everyone (and is easily accessible from the big cities Sheffield, York, Nottingham, Manchester and Leeds). In summer, it is transformed into a stunning sea of bright purple heather that you can see for miles.
In the ‘Dark Peaks’ area, you can hike up to the top of one of the Peak District’s three mountains – Kinder Scout, Higher Shelf Stones or Bleaklow Head to enjoy views for miles (on a good day of course). There’s the popular Mam Tor hike from Castleton, ranked in the UK’s top 10 hikes!
Further south in the ‘White Peaks’ area, there are woodland walks and more gentle hills so all the family can enjoy the outdoors. One of my favourite hikes is Dovedale where you can step across the famous stepping stones over the River Dove.
But there are really so many gorgeous hikes the Peak District had to be up there with the best places to go hiking in Europe.
Hiking in Cheddar Gorge, UK
By Pip at Pip and the City
Hiking through captivating landscapes is one of the top things to do in Cheddar Gorge in England. Cheddar Gorge has the accolade of being Britain’s highest, inland limestone cliffs, rising up to 450ft over the English countryside.
The most popular walk in Cheddar is the scenic cliff top walk, a circular and moderately challenging hike at the top of the Gorge. This circular three-mile route can be accessed via a series of steps known as ‘Jacobs Ladder’. To hike the gorge via these steps you must purchase a ‘Cheddar Gorge and Caves Explorer ticket’ as Cheddar Gorge is actually private land, although a public bridal way does cross it. The ticket does include access to Cheddar’s other attractions and is valid for a year if you don’t have time to see everything.
It’s a vigorous walk up Jacob’s ladder as you make your way up 274 steps to reach 900 ft above sea-level. Once you have reached the top you will be treated to beautiful views of the gorge and the picturesque Mendip hills!
If you don’t want to pay to hike the Gorge you can always follow the winding road along the bottom of the gorge. Here you’ll spot wildflowers, rock formations and free-range goats and sheep, clinging to the rock face.
Top hiking tip – If you are coming just for a day hike you can use the pay and display parking at the bottom of the gorge, or some of the local pubs offer reasonably priced parking and the cost can be redeemed against a drink for after your walk.
Calanques National Park
By Natasha at World Inside my Pocket
The Calanques National Park is not only my favourite place to hike in Europe but one of my favourite destinations in the WORLD. Calanques are fjord-like coves that develop in the rocks along the Mediterranean coast. The Calanques National Park is a long stretch of coastline with an abundance of beautiful Calanques. It’s France’s 10th National Park, stretching from the bustling city of Marseille to the picturesque town of Cassis.
There are around 18 Calanques, all accessible by hiking trails and varying in sizes; some Calanques cut in a striking manner deep into the coastline, whereas others are more like small creeks. Last summer, I camped in Cassis for a week and spent my time thoroughly exploring the Calanques.
I bought a physical OS map of the national park and planned four different hikes in various areas of the park. Some hikes are best to tackle from Cassis, walking from the humble town right into the Jurassic landscape of the park, yet some are more accessible to reach via Marseille. In these cases, I would get a train or bus to Marseille and begin the hike from there.
There are so many different day-hikes to choose from in this French national park, you’ll be watering at the mouth! However, if you’re short on time, my two favourite Calanques to hike to are Calanque d’en Vau (best from Cassis) and Calanque de Sormiou (best from Marseille).
Not only are the views in Les Calanques breathtaking and the hikes challenging but you can also walk to some of France’s most stunning beaches and bathe in the turquoise Mediterranean Sea, making it one of the best days out in all of Europe.
Mont Blanc Massif (French, Italian & Swiss Alps)
By Christa at Expedition Wildlife
The Mont Blanc Massif is an extensive mountain range within the Alps of France, Italy and Switzerland. Within this range is the tallest mountain in Europe, the Mont Blanc, rising to an elevation of 4,807 m.
The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) trek is the most iconic hiking destination in the region and stands as one of the greatest and most sought-after long-distance treks in the world. This stunning trek takes around 10-12 days to cover a circuit of 170 km, with a height gain and loss of around 10,000 m, making the entirety of the hike challenging and the completion that much more rewarding.
As you loop around the massive mountains making up this mountain range, you’ll cover rocky peaks and stunning flower-hewn valleys along the way. Keep an eye out for marmots, ibex, and other iconic mountain wildlife. There are huts and B&Bs in which to stay along the TMB route, and the jovial company of your fellow TMB hikers at breakfast and dinnertime make for a fun experience.
Check out Cicerone’s “Trekking the Tour of Mont Blanc” or another detailed guide or map to make planning this trek of a lifetime that much easier!
The Harz Mountains
By Vicki at Vicki Viaja
The Harz Mountains are in the middle North of Germany. Although the mountains in the South of Germany are way more popular, the Harz Mountains offer amazing hiking-opportunities as well.
The area is full of stunning nature, a large number of lakes, dams and rivers, and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the mines and old-town of Goslar, the Luther Town Eisleben, and the Upper Harz Water Regale. All of those attractions are not only perfect for a walk but can teach you a lot about the mining history of Germany which used to be an important source of income for this area. You can find hiking trails for all kind of walks, starting from beginner hikes up to professional treks.
The Harz Mountains are a great hiking destination during all seasons. In summer, it usually doesn’t get as hot here as in the surrounding lowlands. While during winter the snow makes the area look like being cut out of a Christmas-fairytale book. That’s why this area is also famous for skiing and winter sports.
In winter, my favourite hiking area is Torfhaus. It is easily accessible by Public Transport and offers several hiking trails through beautiful nature. In summer, the so-called Liebesbankweg (Love Bench Way) is a great option, not only for couples. The Liebesbankweg got recently voted under the ‘Top 15 Hikes of Germany 2018’.
The Black Forest
By Cate at International Desserts Blog
One of the best places to hike in Germany is the Black Forest. Not only does this area get the most sun out of the entire country, but there also are so many hiking options and trails are usually well marked and maintained.
When I lived in Freiburg, my two favourite places to hike were only a short tram or bus ride away. The first is Schauinsland, a mountain roughly 10 km from Freiburg and easily accessible by tram and 20-minute cable car ride. From the top of Schauinsland, you’ll find stunning views of Freiburg, as well as several trails, such as the 2.5-hour 10 km intermediate “Schauinsland Gipfel – Schauinsland Turm Loop.” You can also simply hike back down the mountain.
My other favourite hiking spot is the nearby peaceful Titisee lake area, which you can reach via train, bus or car. If you’re looking for a leisurely hike, try the 2-hour 7 km “Blick auf den Titisee” loop around the lake.
Top hiking tips
- Be sure to bring water and snacks when you go hiking because stores, cafes, and restaurants may close earlier than you expect.
- For more detailed hiking information, ask at the local tourism office. Tell them what you’re looking for – great views, lakes, castle ruins, farms, etc. and they’ll point you in the right direction!
By Kevin at Wandering Wagers
Landmannalaugar is one of the best hiking destinations in Iceland. This outdoor playground located within the barren interior of the island might not be the easiest to reach, but once you get there it makes for one heck of an adventure.
The region is filled with vibrantly coloured valleys, geothermal pools, glacier-fed rivers, volcanos, lava fields and towering mountains. Every trip within Landmannalaugar seems to offer a new and exciting experience.
Landmannalaugar can be hiked in a few different ways, so coming back and trying something new is a great option for those who are spending a fair bit of time in the country. The hikes through Landmannalaugar, Iceland include a 5-day through hike that takes you along breathtaking hills lined with geothermal pools that are perfect for resting tired feet.
For those looking for something shorter, you can also explore the rolling hills and valleys of this wilderness park. Just make sure you visit here before winter hits and the hills and valleys become covered in snow.
To reach Landmannalaugar you must leave the ring road and make your way along F208 to F224. Follow it through to the rivers and to the end. You won’t miss it as the lots here are always filled with locals, especially on weekends.
You might like to read next – Hiking a glacier in Iceland
Cinque Terre hikes
By Dhara at It’s Not About the Miles
Looking for the best hike in Europe? Then hiking Cinque Terre is one of the most rewarding activities to do on your trip. The Cinque Terre (literally, five lands), are five sensationally beautiful villages on the Ligurian Coast of Italy. If you want the best experience when hiking in this region, pick the shoulder months of April-May or mid-September to mid-October. You may encounter rain in these months, more so than in the summer, but fewer crowds.
The most beautiful and by far the most popular, hiking trail in the Cinque Terre is the Sentiero Azzurro, the Blue Trail. It’s made up of four individual hiking paths and takes about six to seven hours to complete end to end. You will want to stop often to gawk at the jaw-dropping views and take photos.
The Via dell’Amore, linking Riomaggiore to Manarola, is 1.2 miles long and the easiest stretch. It is flat and mostly paved and hugs the shoreline. The 1.2-mile section from Manarola to Corniglia is also relatively easy and has beautiful water views.
The 2-mile section that links Corniglia to Vernazza goes up to the highest point of the Cinque Terre before coming back down to the coast. Lots of climbing and steps, but your reward for the walk is beautiful views of terraced hillsides and the blue Ligurian Sea. Vernazza to Monterosso is considered the toughest section. It’s about 1.8 miles. On this section, you can see all five villages: a panorama worth the exertion!
Top tips for hiking in Cinque Terre – There is a fee to hike the Cinque Terre. Make sure you are appropriately attired for hiking and follow park advisories and regulations. Happy hiking!
By Mike of 197 Travel Stamps
The Dolomites in Northern Italy are one of the most impressive mountain ranges in Europe and the world. The beautiful mountaintops offer incredible panoramic views, relaxing mountain pastures invite for a relaxing stroll and small traditional huts are waiting with tasty Italian and Tyrolean food.
One of the most famous hikes in the Dolomites is the short day hike to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the eastern part of the Dolomites. The hike takes around 2 hours each way and is doable with an average level of fitness. Due to its popularity, the area gets crowded during the summer months.
Another beautiful hiking area in the Dolomites is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Catinaccio and Latemar Mountains. A great trek for hikers with more experience is the trail to the top of Mount Latemar at nearly 3,000 m. The hike starts at Passo di Costalunga and it takes around 3 hours up to the top and 2 hours back. On a clear day, you can see mountain peaks that are over 100 km away – an incredible view.
Thanks to the numerous ski resorts in winter, many cable cars are open during the summer months as well and offer an easy way to access the most beautiful treks in the Dolomites.
Brixen region, South Tyrol
By Anya at Road is Calling
Brixen is a splendid holiday town in South Tyrol which serves as a gateway to the Dolomites and offers a lot of history and culture. Nature lovers, hikers, and adventure seekers will find in the area around Brixen endless hiking paths, high altitude trails and summit hikes.
There are different difficulty levels of hikes and trails, and every outdoor enthusiast can choose whatever suits them better.
One absolutely spectacular hike is the Dolomites Panoramic Trail, an 11 km long circular trail that not many visitors go to. The trail is located near the northern part of Puez-Geisler Nature Park and can be accessed by bus or car in about 40 minutes. There is free parking at SP29 between Rifugio Edelweiss mountain cabin and Rodelalm eatery. From there you can take one of a few other trails to access the Dolomites Panoramic path.
Almost right at the starting point, a breathtaking view opens up. The views and the hike are gorgeous no matter where you start and how far you make it.
The Alps in Liechtenstein
By Paulina at Paulina on the Road
One of my favourite places to hike in Europe is definitely Liechtenstein. It’s not only a destination off the beaten track but also a paradise for hiking lovers. Despite its very limited size. Nestled between Austria and Switzerland along the Rhine River, the Alps cover a considerable part of this small country. Whereas the capital Vaduz is located in the valley, you need to drive to Malbun to access the most spectacular hiking trails.
From Malbun you can do such emblematic hiking trails as the Princess Gina Trail which is famous all over Europe for the variety of its fauna. Another spectacular hike is the Fürstensteig. However, you shouldn’t be afraid of heights as sometimes you’re climbing on rocks that descend hundreds of metres. However, after each hike, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views over the neighbouring countries.
One of my favourite hikes was the Princess Gina trail which leads you to the Pfalzerhutte. This quaint mountain hut does not only offer delicious hearty mountain food but you can even spend the night and wake up to a breathtaking mountain panorama.
Thus despite its size, Liechtenstein offers a large variety of hiking trails in Europe for all kind of levels.
Kotor and Lovcen mountains
By Kami at My Wanderlust
While most of the people visit Kotor, Montenegro for the beautiful old town and the view from the St. John Fortress the area is perfect for hiking around too. Just look at the surrounding mountains and you will see why! The most popular place in the area is Jezerski Vrh, the second highest peak in Lovcen mountains with the altitude of 1,657 m above the sea level.
You can get there from Kotor by car or you can hike – one-way trip should take you around 5 hours. You start from the city using so-called Ladder of Kotor – the old way through the mountains connecting Kotor with Cetinje. Afterwards, you follow the road through the Lovcen National Park (there’re some shortcuts too).
The final part is 461 steps up to the peak where the Mausoleum of Petar Petrović Njegoš (the most famous ruler of Montenegro) is located. The entrance is 3 EUR but it’s definitely worth the views you get from the top. On a clear day, you can see 70% of Montenegro from there and the landscape really takes your breath away! You can walk back the same route, stopping along the way at the local restaurant to try the local delicacy – Njeguški pršut – named by many the best ham in the world!
By Elaine and Dave at Show Them the Globe
The unique landscape of Western Norway, famous for its breathtaking fjords, glaciers and stunning coastline, also boasts some of the best hikes Europe has to offer. With its lush landscape and towering mountains, it’s the ideal place for a day or overnight hike.
One of the most beautiful fjords is Lysebotn Fjord in Western Norway is home to the incredible hiking trio of Kjerag, Preikestolen and Flørli 4444. All of these offer a mix of stunning scenery and incredible views. The iconic Pulpit Rock at Preikestolen juts out like a preacher on a pulpit over the Lysefjord below and recently starred in Mission Impossible: Fallout where Tom Cruise hung from the edge of the rock!
Kjerag is a challenging hike but the reward, a free hanging rock wedged in a mountain crevice, makes the long hike worth it! If you are feeling brave, daredevils can even step out onto the rock! Flørli 4444 is also known as the stairway to heaven and is a challenging 4,444 step hike up the longest wooden stairway in the world.
Trolltunga is an epic hike and another of our Western Norway favourites. The 20 km hike leads to a jagged trolls tongue rock which juts out above Lake Ringedalsvatnet and rewards with both incredible views and mindblowing photos!
Check out some more hikes in Norway here.
Hikes in the Algarve
By James at Portugalist
When most people think of the Algarve, beaches are usually what comes to mind first. The Algarve is primarily known as a cheap beach destination, but that’s not all this part of Portugal has to offer. It’s surprisingly also a fantastic walking destination.
What makes the Algarve such a good walking destination is its diversity. There are plenty of great coastal walks along the Central Algarve and more rugged ones along the coast of the Western Algarve. Inland, there are fantastic walks through the mountainous area of Monchique while the Ria Formosa near Faro is known for its incredible wildlife.
The best time to visit is out of season. The summer months are hot, with temperatures often reaching 40 °C and above. Spring, autumn, and most of the winter months are much more suitable, with milder temperatures that are still pleasantly warm but not overbearingly so.
A good, simple walk to get you started is the Seven Hanging Valleys near Carvoeiro. This 11.4 km walk offers some fantastic views of the Algarve coastline and brings you to some of the region’s best beaches. Praia da Marinha, in particular, at the end of the first half of the walk, has received numerous awards and accolades from international travel publications.
The Bucegi Range in the Romanian Carpathians
By Andra at Our World to Wander
Romanian has started to become a more and more popular destination for hiking in Europe. Its pristine landscapes, a combination of mountains, seaside and Danube’s Delta and affordable prices have put it on many people’s bucket list.
The Carpathians are an excellent place for hiking, providing many day treks as well as multiple day hikes. One of the ranges that are most popular is the Bucegi mountains, given its proximity to the capital, Bucharest. You can easily leave Bucharest early in the morning (by car, bus or train) do a hike and then be back in the city by nightfall.
Most day treks in the Bucegi mountains start from Busteni, a resort located at around 150 km from the capital. You can hike up to the summit of Omu peak at 2,505 m, a walk that has multiple routes but which can be done in one day. For breathtaking views overnight you can spend a night at a beautiful chalet called Malaiesti and on your return, you can hike on a trail that is frequently visited by mountain goats.
No matter which hike you pick, be mindful of wild animals, as Romania is one of the countries that has an impressive number of brown bears.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
By Nicky at Go Live Young
Skye, off the western coast of Scotland, is a mecca for hillwalkers and climbers, with its majestic Alpine peaks. There are hikes at all levels, from easy strolls to challenging multi-day hikes, allowing everyone to access the breathtaking scenery and dramatic landscapes that the island boasts.
As a family, we love spending time outdoors and Skye is the perfect outdoor playground. Some of our favourite family-friendly hikes on Skye include the Old Man of Storr – an Isle of Skye icon. A moderate hike of 4.5 miles, up to the Old Man with amazing views over the island.
Quiraing hike, another Skye icon, 4.5 miles along the cliffs of the Quiraing. A walk to Loch Coruisk – ‘’one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been”. You can take a boat ride across the sea and hike the 7 km around the loch. And lastly, Clarion Coral Beaches – an easy 4 km hike to white sandy beaches that could be in the Caribbean!
Each of these hikes enables you to get in amongst spectacular and unique scenery. The beautiful walks on the Isle of Skye in Scotland certainly make it one of the best places to hike in Europe, for everyone to enjoy.
The Outer Hebrides, Scotland
By Kathi at Watch Me See
The Outer Hebrides, also called the Western Isles, are a brilliant outdoor destination but have recently become even more popular as a hiking area in Europe. These islands off the west coast of Scotland are incredibly varied in landscape and offer everything from vast and empty moorlands to scenic coastlines and rugged mountain scenery.
The hills might not be as tall as on the mainland, but there are loads of hikes and trails through this beautiful archipelago.
The recently opened Hebridean Way, for example, offers 156 miles of trail across 10 islands from the Isle of Vatersay in the south to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the north. It can be hiked in one go, which takes around 12 days, or in sections.
If you only have a few days and want to see as many different landscapes as possible, I’d highly recommend the section across Harris. It follows much of the pre-existing Harris Walkway, a well-drained path that crosses the mountains of Harris from west to east. If you’re lucky you might even spot local golden eagles on their hunt for prey.
The Isle of South Uist offers a completely different experience, especially the Machair Way along the west coast of the island. Machair is the local name for the grassy plain along the coastline, which can only be found in Scotland and Ireland. During the summer the landscape is covered in colourful wildflowers. It’s incredible!
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
By Kirstin at The Tinberry Travels
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is not only a great place to visit on your travels around Scotland but is a wonderful place to enjoy a spot of hiking. Well connected and with plenty of accommodation as well as camping options, there are almost endless trails covering all types of terrain in the National Park which make it one of the best places to hike in Europe.
Popular half and full day routes include Ben A’an, Ben Lomond and Loch Venachar but there really is something for everyone. With short hikes suitable for family groups such as Conic Hill to multi-day adventures such as the famous West Highland Way and Rob Roy Way.
Hiking the West Highland Way you’ll enjoy loch-side views, moorland and mountainside over the space of 8 days. On the Rob Roy Way you will follow in the footsteps of outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor over 77 miles of rugged, Scottish landscape.
If you’re a Munro bagger then the area also has a total of 21 Munros, making it a perfect spot to kick start the challenge or tick off a few in quick succession. Overall, no matter where you go, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park will provide beautiful scenery with crystal waters, panoramic views and lush, green forestry and is certainly a must for any hiking enthusiast!
More hikes in Scotland
By Karen at Wanderlustingk
Many tourists visit Slovenia without hiking in the stunning Julian Alps: This is a shame as Slovenia has some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Many people don’t realise that the Alps extend into Slovenia and although many European tourists know about this, the Julian Alps are just as beautiful as the Alps elsewhere with hotel rates only a fraction of what you’d find in Austria and Italy. If Triglavski Narodni Park is not on your radar, you need to look it up!
While visiting Slovenia, I hiked close to Mangart. Mangart is the third highest mountain in Slovenia and the road to it is the highest road in Slovenia, so so expect epic views. If you’ve love hiking, come prepared as the ascent to the peak is moderate with most people being able to climb the mountain without significant issues or equipment.
It only takes about one hour to drive from Tolmin (where the popular Tolmin Gorge is) to Mangart, so it’s a great place to indulge in some adventures. Lovers of adrenaline (with experience) can try out the challenging via ferrata up the face of the mountain prior to ascending to the top of the mountain.
Interested in another popular hike in Slovenia? Check out things to do and hikes at Lake Bled
Hiking in Spain
By Claudia Tavani at My Adventures Across The World
The Pyrenees have some of the most beautiful long and short distance hiking trails in Europe, on either France or Spain. This mountain chain going from Cap Higuer in the Bay of Biscay to Cap de Creus in the Mediterranean Sea has a lot to offer to nature and adventure lovers.
Aneto, with its 3,404 m, is the highest peak. Among the most famous hikes in the Pyrenees, there’s the very challenging GR-10, GR-11 and HR trails, which are all challenging multi-day hikes.
In the region of Costa Brava, one of the nicest trails is the one that goes from Portbou to Cadaquès: it is part of the GR-92 trail, and what’s nice about it is that it goes through a bunch of lovely medieval villages. The entire trail is around 42 km long, so it takes anything between 2 and 3 days.
Another trail is that of Vall de Nuria, which crosses the region of Garrotxa. The area is popular for skiing in the winter, but when spring and summer come, it is a great place for hiking in Europe.
Picos de Europa National Park
By Talek at Travels with Talek
Picos de Europa National Park lies between the provinces of Asturias and Leon in northern Spain. Within the park, there are many spectacular hiking trails. Some say the Cares River trail is the most challenging.
The area is crisscrossed by deep gorges and the Cares River runs along the bottom of the gorges. In the higher areas, the land is dotted with lakes, dense forests and peaks that can reach up to 7,000 feet high. The landscape is wild, vast and stunning.
You can start the hiking trail in either of the two provinces. The recommended round trip hike covers 24 kilometres. We started in Asturias from Poncebos to the town of Cain in Leon. The local guest house we stayed at overnight outfitted us with walking sticks, a block of local cheese and a slab of bread and we were off.
The first kilometres are a bit steep but then the trail is easy terrain running parallel to the Cares River for about 6 to 7 hours back and forth. The trail can be very narrow in some parts. Occasionally the path takes you through small tunnels carved out of the rock and across bridges that hang precariously over the abyss.
There is much wildlife on the trail; mountain goats, eagles, and vultures which are pervasive. Try negotiating a narrow mountain pass several thousand feet above a plunging gorge with 10 vultures circling over your head. Talk about nerve racking.
Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, The Pyrenees
By Gabor at Surfing the Planet
The Pyrenees Mountain chain occupies most of the border area between Spain and France. This region is famous for its pristine alpine landscapes. This 430 km-long mountain range is divided into several sections and from our point of view the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is the most picturesque area.
The peculiarity of this part is the high number of alpine lakes of different colours all around the national park and a very diverse landscape. From dense pine forests to barren, 3,000 m tall peaks.
In Aiguestortes National Park, you can do some of the best hikes in the Pyrenees, and there are trails for all different levels of walkers. For the less trained there are easy hikes like the one through Planell d’Aigüestortes that takes you to a charming lake called Estany de Llebreta or from Espot to Estany de Sant Maurici, the largest lake in the National Park.
For those who look for a more challenging hike. They can take on the Carros de Foc, a fascinating circular multi-day hike (you can also do one section on a day trip), that goes through the most beautiful mountain passes of the park. It also allows you to sleep in mountain refuges that are usually found in simply unbeatable locations.
Hiking in Switzerland
By Arzo at Arzo Travels
With the scenery it doesn’t surprise that Switzerland is a hiker’s paradise in Europe – hiking is a must-do activity in Switzerland.
There are very challenging hikes you can do – or if you are not the most experienced hikers, you can do other hikes.
Hiking Ebenalp is such an “easy” hike. The Ebenalp Mountain is not as high as other mountains in Switzerland (elevation 1,610 meters). Even though it is a shorter, (but quite a steep hike), the views are still breathtaking and it is probably one of the most beautiful places in the country.
The mountain is located in the western part of Switzerland, in the canton of Appenzellerland. It has become most famous when Ashton Kutcher recommended it to its followers on Facebook and now, it has become a popular destination for day trips.
Get via car or train to Wasserauen Station and then hike up. I recommend hiking up to the very top, to Mountain Guesthouse Ebenalp then hike down and pass the prehistoric Wildkirchli Caves before you will see a hotel in one of the most beautiful settings – the Aescher.
From there, I recommend hiking down and use the path to see the Seealpsee Lake – a lake that comes in a stunningly beautiful colour.
This trip might take a full day in total but it includes a lot of time for resting and admiring the scenery, too.
For another great hike in Switzerland read about Campfires and Concierges Haute Route.
Hiking in Wales
Snowdonia National Park
By Becky at Becky the Traveller
The list of best hikes in Europe wouldn’t be complete without mentioning gorgeous Snowdonia in Wales. With mountains, hills and coastlines that go on for miles, Wales has something for everyone.
Snowdonia National Park is a particular favourite with hiking lovers, with its striking mountains and numerous lakes. Hiking in Snowdonia is perfect for both adventurers and beginners, there are challenging climbs, scrambles across Crib Goch ridge or gentle walks alongside the lakes. If you fancy a real hiking challenge why not try the Welsh 3000s Challenge, hiking all 15 summits in Snowdonia in 24 hours!
How can I not mention Snowdonia, without Mt Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales! With routes from all sides of the mountain, it makes this a very popular walk in Wales. It’s unlikely you’ll be lonely at the summit but that’s handy if you need someone to take your photo and don’t have a tripod! Be sure to add this to your Europe bucket list for places to visit.
Read next: The best walks in Snowdonia National Park
Brecon Beacons National Park
By David at Delve into Europe
The Brecon Beacons National Park in the south and mid-Wales is a fantastic area for hiking in Europe because there is so much varied terrain to explore there.
The Beacons has five distinctly different areas. The Black Mountains in the east are a series of long ridges and deep valleys. The central Beacons – including the highest peak in southern Britain, Pen y Fan – are the highest, most dramatic mountains. Fforest Fawr, to the west, is empty moorland with beautiful gentle countryside to the north.
Waterfall Country is a series of reversing gorges to the south of Fforest Fawr, between the villages of Ystradfellte and Pontneddfechan. And the Black Mountains, in the far west, is a dramatic escarpment with a stunning lake – Llyn y Fan Fach – and one of the best castles in Wales, Carreg Cennen, nearby.
There are a multitude of hikes to choose from in the Brecon Beacons, but for me, you can’t beat Pen y Fan. There are several routes up the mountain, including the popular path (known locally as ‘the M4’ after the nearby motorway) from Pont ar Daf to the summit, which takes around 40 minutes if you’re very fit.
However, the longer, more satisfying, more energy-sapping route begins at the Upper Neuadd reservoir, climbing up Cribyn before the final haul to Pen y Fan’s summit. You can either return the same way or complete a ‘horseshoe’ via the neighbouring summit of Corn Du and Bwlch Duwynt.
Was your favourite place to hike in Europe on the list or can you recommend any more great hiking destinations in Europe? Let me know in the comments below