Top 11 Unforgettable Hiking Trails in Europe: Explore the Unbeaten Path

Top 11 Unforgettable Hiking Trails in Europe: Explore the Unbeaten Path

Are you ready to explore Europe’s most beautiful natural wonders? From picturesque coastal trails to challenging mountain climbs, we have rounded up the best hikes in Europe for all levels of hikers. Whether you are a seasoned adventure traveler or just starting out, this list has something for everyone!

1. Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail near Carvoeiro in Portugal’s Algarve region is one of the best hikes in Europe. The 6-kilometer route offers stunning coastal views the entire way, from Praia da Marinha to Praia de Carvalho. With its breathtaking beauty and easy access, this trail is a must-do for any hiker visiting Europe.

Make sure to bring your safety gear and check out the best time of year to visit for optimal conditions. With the right preparation, you can ensure a safe and memorable experience along this incredible trail.

2. Plitivice Lakes

The second must-visit hike in Europe is Plitvice Lakes, located in Croatia. This stunning area is made up of sixteen interconnected lakes and waterfalls that are surrounded by lush forests and craggy cliffs. It's a great spot for nature lovers, as you can wander through the many trails and take in the sights of cascading waterfalls and vibrant green trees.

Plus, the area is home to a variety of wildlife, including bears, wolves, boars, and birds. With its breathtaking scenery and wealth of outdoor activities, Plitvice Lakes is a great destination for hikers looking to explore Europe.

3. El Camino del Rey

The Way of the King, or El Camino del Rey, is a spectacular trail in Southern Spain that is renowned for its narrow walkways and vertigo-inducing views. Along the route, hikers will traverse across three famous gorges and make their way along a precarious pathway that hangs deep in the canyon. Though it is not for the faint of heart, those who are brave enough to take on this challenge will be rewarded with stunning views of some of Europe's most beautiful landscapes.

The hike takes around four hours and requires some basic climbing skills. It is important to note that safety equipment is mandatory for this hike, so make sure to bring along a helmet and a harness before setting off.

4. The Kjeragbolten Hike

The Kjeragbolten Hike is an unforgettable experience for any traveler looking to explore Norway. Located in the Lysefjorden, the Kjeragbolten Hike will take you to one of the most iconic spots in the country. You'll get to stand on a boulder wedged between two cliffs, with a stunning view of the fjord below.

It's a challenging hike, but well worth the effort as you'll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful views Europe has to offer. Along with all the other best hikes in Europe, Kjeragbolten should definitely be on your list of must-see places!

5. Pico de Arieiro – Madeira

Pico do Arieiro, Madeira, is one of the best places to visit on the island. It offers very impressive views with jagged mountains, deep valleys and stunning landscapes. The most famous and popular hike on Madeira Island is the Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo hike, also known as 'Pico to Pico'. This 11 kilometre out and back Madeira hike is a really unique experience with the best views you will find on the island.

Depending on the luck of the day, fog can be an issue but we recommend going for it anyway as it's worth it for sure. With stunning views of sunrise at Pico do Arieiro and breathtaking valley and peak views throughout the hike, this is definitely one of the top 20 hikes in Europe that any hiker should not miss!

6. Besseggen Ridge Hike

The Besseggen Ridge Hike is one of the most famous hikes in Europe and is located in Norway's most popular National Park - Jotunheimen. The ridge is located between Gjende and Bessvatnet and offers hikers stunning views of the area. The car park is located in Øygardstøl (around 20 euros for the day) and each year around 30,000 hikers enjoy the breathtaking view from the top of the ridge.

For those looking to explore this beautiful stretch of nature, be sure to have all the necessary gear, follow safety tips, and plan your accommodation near the trails. It is best to visit during summer months when conditions are ideal for hiking.

7. Adrspach-Teplice Rock Towns – Bohemian Switzerland

Adrspach-Teplice Rock Towns in Bohemian Switzerland is one of the most spectacular Middle Europe sandstone areas. It's the perfect place for hikers of all levels to experience the stunning beauty of the region. The area offers breathtaking views of the countryside and plenty of challenging trails. From Hrensko, take a hike in Kamenice Gorge, one of two adjoining gorges, or explore Edmund's Wild, with its narrow rock formations and steep cliffs.

With so much to explore, Adrspach-Teplice Rock Towns are a must-see for anyone visiting Europe for stunning views and thrilling hikes. Be sure to bring along your must-have gear, keep an eye out for safety tips, and check out the best time of year to visit before you go.

8. Tour du Mont Blanc

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of Europe's most iconic treks, consistently ranked as one of the best treks in the world. The 170-kilometer loop takes around 10-12 days to complete, and passes through France, Italy and Switzerland. With stunning vistas and varying terrain, this is an ideal challenge for experienced hikers looking to take on a classic European trek.

There are plenty of options for accommodation along the way, so it is easy to plan your own route and take your time. Make sure you have the right gear and know the safety measures before embarking on this incredible journey.

9. Trolltunga

Trolltunga, which literally means 'Troll's Tongue' in Norwegian, is one of the most iconic images of Norway's fjord lands. It's an impressive rock formation and a popular hike due to its stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The hike to Trolltunga is approximately 20 km long, though the difficulty level varies depending on the route you take.

Make sure you have all the necessary gear and safety tips for your hike to Trolltunga, as well as information about where to find accommodation nearby. The best time to visit Europe for a hike is generally in the summer months, when temperatures are warmer and days are longer.

10. Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands are a must-see destination for any avid hiker in Europe. Located off Norway's northwest coast, the archipelago of islands offers some of the most stunning and remote hikes in the continent. Matmora, for example, is a peaceful and quiet hike located well off the main Lofoten tourist route.

Starting from the northern end of Austvagoya island, this hike offers breathtaking views of fjords and mountains. The best time to visit the Lofoten Islands for hiking is during the summer months when you can enjoy long days of sunshine and breathtaking landscapes.

11. Dolomites

The Dolomites in Italy offer some of the most dramatic hiking trails in Europe. From the Adolf Munkel Trail in Odle – Geisler mountain group, to the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike, this area offers a range of options for all levels of hikers.

With a mix of moderate to steep ascents and descents, you'll find something to suit your needs and plenty of breathtaking views. Be sure to take your time and enjoy the journey – as you take in the landscapes, look out for wildlife and enjoy some of the best hikes in Europe.

Must-Have Gear for Hiking in Europe

When it comes to must-have gear for hiking in Europe, you'll need the right footwear and clothing. A good pair of hiking boots with a supportive sole is essential, as well as waterproof and breathable layers to keep you comfortable while out on the trails. Other must-haves include a map and compass, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and a first aid kit.

Don't forget your energy snacks and plenty of water – some of the hikes featured in this list can be quite challenging! It's also important to note that if you're planning on exploring remote regions in Europe, you may need special permits or additional gear such as bear spray or snowshoes. Whatever hike you choose from our list of 20 best hikes in Europe, make sure you have all the necessary gear to stay safe and comfortable during your adventure.

Safety Tips for Hiking in Europe

Hiking in Europe is a popular activity, with stunning trails from the Austrian Alps to the El Camino del Rey in Spain. To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trek, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you carry the right gear such as a map, compass and first aid kit. Be aware of the weather conditions and any potential hazards before you set off. Check the trail markers and plan your route.

Give yourself plenty of time to complete your hike, and be aware of the local laws concerning overnight camping and open fires. Consider taking a guide or joining an organized tour with experienced guides who will keep you safe on your journey. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy a safe and exhilarating hiking experience in Europe.

Where to Find Accommodation Near the Trails

Once you've selected a trail and have the right gear, it's time to think about where you'll stay during your hike. Fortunately, there are plenty of accommodation options for hikers in Europe, depending on your budget and preference. For example, if you're looking for a more rustic experience and want to be close to nature, camping is a great option and is available at many of the trails mentioned above.

For those who prefer more comfort, there are plenty of bed-and-breakfast inns, hostels, hotels, and guesthouses scattered throughout Europe. Just be sure to book ahead of time as availability can be limited during peak season. With the right planning and preparation, you can have an unforgettable hiking experience in some of Europe's most beautiful landscapes!

Best Time of Year to Visit Europe for Hiking

The best time to visit Europe for hiking is between late spring and early autumn, when the weather is mild and the trails are in their prime. Visitors can expect cooler temperatures in the spring and warmer ones in the summer, and autumn brings some of the best colors of the year.

For those looking for a winter adventure, the Alps offer some spectacular snow hikes that can be quite challenging. With its wide variety of landscapes, Europe provides a wealth of opportunities for hikers of all levels. Whether it's a short day hike or a multi-day trek, anyone can find something to suit their interests.

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