Europe is very diversified and consists of innumerable unique heritage and natural treasures. It has many hiking trails across the continent that are loved by the people who love to hike. From Walking under the Mediterranean sun, discovering bucolic forests, climbing high snow-capped peaks, and the tumultuous horizon of the Atlantic Ocean, it has everything.
To help you see more clearly among the best hiking spots in Europe, here is a selection that takes you from North to South and East to West.
The West Highland Way, Scotland
Do you want to immerse yourself in the Scottish atmosphere? Embark on the West Highland Way trek, Scotland’s most famous trail. Over roughly a week of hiking, you link Fort William and Milngavie – not far from Glasgow, traversing some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
Between mountains, valleys, castles and lochs, the West Highland Way has some great surprises for you. Take the time to make a few detours from time to time to take full advantage of the treasures along the trail!
The Haute Route Chamonix – Zermatt, Switzerland
The Haute Route Chamonix – Zermatt connects the two world capitals of mountaineering, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. This trail, which takes you through typical Swiss landscapes, takes you to the highest altitudes in Europe! It’s almost a week of walking and some major challenges awaiting you along the Haute Route, so prepare yourself well!
Walk the surface of the most imposing glaciers in the Alps and marvel at the sculptural beauty of the high peaks: the Dent Blanche, the Grand Combin, the Pigne d’Arolla, and much more.
The Kjeragbolten, Norway
Without knowing it, you may already know the Kjeragbolten. This rock wedged between two massive and vertiginous blocks of the Kjerag, dominating a fjord, inhabits the collective imagination. It is a trek or hiking objective for many walkers who climb the peaks to see it.
But what matters is the journey, not the destination, right? The trails that lead to Kjeragbolten honor Norway’s reputation with flying colors. You indeed cross landscapes of striking purity, which alone are worth the detour.
Crossing the Rodna Mountains, Romania
Head to the Romanian Eastern Carpathians, located right in the heart of the Rodna (or Rodnei) Mountains National Park. A particularly wild landscape awaits you, mixing green and blue mountains, traditional pastures, alpine lakes and deep caves. The highest peak of the Rodna Mountains, the Pietrosul Rodnei, culminates at 2,303 meters above sea level, offering those who venture there a breathtaking panorama of the Carpathian chain.
In short, crossing the Rodna Mountains is a hike of choice for those who enjoy wide open spaces away from the tourist bustle.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Nestled in the mountainous region of Lika, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is home to no less than sixteen lakes, which stand out for the intensity of their turquoise water, but their quite excellent configuration. Indeed, each lake flows into the other through a waterfall. In all, there are nearly a hundred waterfalls that bathe the park. All are surrounded by a primitive forest inhabited by particularly rich biodiversity.
Due to the magic that undeniably emanates from this timeless place, the tour of the Plitvice Lakes is one of the best hiking spots in Europe.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Embark on a trek to discover the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre are five villages classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, which occupy part of the coast of the Italian Riviera. Here, the landscape is typically Mediterranean: the sun shines its rays on the spray-swept pine forests and the vineyards.
Take the Cinque Terre trails to reach Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. These five small fishing villages of all colors are perched like eagle’s nests on the coast, offering visitors a unique landscape in the world.
The Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Located in the Southwest of the country, the Ring of Kerry traces a loop of almost 200 kilometers, crossing varied landscapes among the most beautiful in Ireland. Along the trail, you will discover Killarney National Park and its gorgeous lake. While crisscrossing its multi-century-old oak forests, perhaps you will have the chance to meet one of the many deer that inhabit the region.
Let the magic happen by immersing yourself in this special atmosphere, unique to Ireland, tinged with magic and mystery. Your gaze is sometimes on the wild coast, dotted with dark islands, sometimes on one of the multicolored towns on your way. It is an ideal hike to reconnect with yourself.
The GR20 in Corsica, France
It is hard to choose one from the many wonderful hikes that pass over France. But we admit that the Island of Beauty lives up to its nickname. Its dream landscapes, which sometimes seem straight from another planet, offer an incredible playground for lovers of walking and nature.
The GR20 is known to be one of the most beautiful, but also one of the most difficult, hiking trails in Europe. However, the game is worth the effort since it will take you to the heart of simply breathtaking landscapes!
Stubai High Trail, Austria
Lovers of the Alps, you may not have tasted one of the most beautiful trails in the mountain range yet! The Stubai High Trail takes you to the peaks, allowing you to trek through the Stubai Valley for eight days.
If you are looking for one of the best hiking spots in Europe to clear your mind and commune with nature, look no further! Let yourself be carried away by the beauty of the forests and the murmur of the streams and waterfalls you will find on your way. The purity of the scenery on the trail is simply overwhelming.
The Bear Circuit, Finland
The Bear Circuit, or Karhunkierros, which is easily among the best hiking spots in Europe, will not fail to captivate you. This pretty path will allow you to discover, for more or less a week, the sumptuous Finnish nature, very close to the Russian border.
During your hike, admire breathtaking panoramas from the top of the granite hills of Oulanka National Park, or let yourself be carried away by the charm of intimate landscapes bathed in streams and waterfalls. Although the path has some difficulties, many lodges line it, offering welcome comfort to hikers.
Our Final Word
Kati and I have done many hikes throughout the world and typically cannot wait to get out and see and feel the landscape around us. Here were just 10 and there are literally hundreds of others. Get out of your car, your airplane or your room, feel the earth beneath you and take a hike. Long or short it doesn’t matter but getting out into nature does. See you on the trails.