Dramatic landscapes, old-world villages, stunning World Heritage sites and dynamic gateway cities makes Europe an ideal hiking destination. Choosing the best hike in Europe can be overwhelming with so many trails on offer that boast their own unique beauty and experience. Here’s the inside scoop for the ultimate hiking guide to Europe starting with the best walking destinations in Europe to help you plan your Europe Walking Holiday. If you are planning a hiking adventure in Europe, read more on where to stay with our guide to Luxury Accommodations in Europe that perfectly compliment your hiking holiday. Whether you are looking for inspiration or need help planning, here is our list of the best walking destinations in Europe to get you started.
Europe Walking Guide Contents
Best Hikes in France
Step into the past in Brittany and Normandy as you stroll through seaside villages and along D-Day beaches and iconic World War II historic sites. When it comes to European hikes, it's hard to beat Tour du Mont Blanc, a 170 kilometre system of walking trails set on and around the highest peak in Europe. It's considered by many to be one of the best hiking areas in the world. While the majority of the most famous trails start on the French side, the Tour du Mont Blanc trails can also be accessed from Switzerland or Italy. Marvel at picturesque Alpine villages, flowering meadows, and deep valleys as you traverse the iconic Mont Blanc tracks. For a gourmet treat, Provence makes the perfect walking culinary adventure traversing beautiful renowned wine villages and local markets for exquisite food and wine experiences.
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Best Hikes in Portugal
Discover Sintra's dreamy terrain of castles and palaces and old-world architecture through to the breathtaking Vinho Verde wine region and into the cobbled streets of Porto. For a more off beaten walking adventure, walk in the island of Madeira, one of the most beautiful islands in Europe. The most thrilling hike is for sure the one from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo, the two highest volcanic peaks on the island.
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Best Hikes in Scotland
There are dozens of amazing hikes from climbing Ben Nevis, the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye, walking the Loch Lomond to the West Highland Way. Scotland’s long-distance walking routes, such as the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way, are amongst the best hiking trails whether you're a beginner or experienced hiker. The Great Glen Way is an ideal place to start your hiking adventure as it embraces three of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs. The route traverses Scotland from coast to coast through deep glens and past dramatic mountain ranges.
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Best Hikes in Italy
Unlock Cinque Terre's World Heritage coastline, with its renowned colored cliffside villages. The paths connect the five fishing villages that make up Cinque Terre with the blue Mediterranean Sea as your constant. Hike the alpine majesties of the Dolomites from its highest peaks to picturesque alpine lakes and to jaw-dropping viewpoints. Hit the trails of Tuscany’s picturesque vineyards and quaint medieval villages for a gourmet walking experience. Embark on lovely strolls amongst Lake Como and Bellagio set against a dramatic alpine backdrop, majestic palazzos, timeless villas and lovely lakeside towns. Wander through Sardinia, Italy’s Mediterranean jewel, and hike to old-world towns, secluded coves and along picturesque coastal paths. The trails in this maginficent country are just endless! For more information, we have an entire article with a round up of the Best Hikes in Italy.
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Best Hikes in Spain
Traverse the high plains and valleys of the Pyrenees and follow the path of pilgrims on the historic Camino de Santiago trail journeying through windswept coastline, dramatic pine forests and well-tended vineyards along the way. Hike scenic trails through terraced olive groves, tranquil beaches, World Heritage sites and traditional fishing villages in Mallorca.
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Best Hikes in Norway
Unearth majestic fjords into an extraordinary geological wonder. Cruise across magnificent Sognefjord, Norway's deepest fjord, an ideal gateway to vigorous Norway hikes through serene valleys, quiet villages and dense pine forests.
Best Hikes in Iceland
Relish in milky geothermal lagoons, bubbling mud pots, vents of steam rising out of otherworldly terrain, jagged volcanoes topped with glistening white glaciers, rugged coastal cliffs and black-sand beaches. From Thingvellir National Park to Snæfellsjökull Peninsula and more, Iceland is a destination that brings no shortage in easy to challenging hiking trails with landscapes like no other!
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Best Hikes in Switzerland
The Matterhorn, one of the highest mountains in the Alps, is the most iconic walking destination here. It offers the ultimate challenge for experienced multi-day hikers. The Hornlihutte trail, which starts with a cable ride up from Zermatt Bergbahn gives stunning views of mountains ranges. Described as one of the most beautiful treks in the world, the Matterhorn Trek poses many ancient trails that have linked the Swiss Alps and Italian valleys for centuries. Traverse the pristine surroundings of Switzerland to the charms of the Italian wonders. From the cobbled streets in Zermatt, alpine meadows and glacial passes to the serene mirror reflection of the Matterhorn on Lake Stelli, makes a walk in Switzerland a must visit.
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