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10 of The Best Hikes In Europe

These are some of the best and most beautiful hikes in Europe that show a kaleidoscope of breathtaking landscapes, from rugged mountain trails to coastal cliffs and tranquil countryside paths.

Europe’s diverse terrain offers a plethora of hiking opportunities for adventurers of all levels, each promising an immersive experience amidst stunning natural beauty and cultural richness.


Beautiful Hikes in Europe

Whether tracing ancient pilgrimage routes, summiting iconic peaks, or wandering through picturesque villages, Europe’s best hikes captivate the imagination and spirit of exploration, inviting you to discover the continent’s boundless wonders on foot.


Camino de Santiago (Spain)

Hiking the Camino de Santiago also known as the Way of St. James, is a legendary route that has drawn travellers for centuries to the northwestern region of Spain. Stretching across approximately 500 miles, this historic trail winds its way through diverse landscapes, ancient villages, and cultural landmarks, culminating at the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle St. James are said to be interred.

Hikers embark on the Camino for a myriad of reasons – spiritual reflection, physical challenge, cultural immersion, or simply the allure of adventure. Along the way, they traverse a variety of terrain, from rolling hills and lush valleys to rugged mountains and expansive plains, each step steeped in history and tradition.


Tour du Mont Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland)

The Tour du Mont Blanc stands as a pinnacle among Europe’s hiking trails, offering a grand circuit around the majestic Mont Blanc massif that straddles the borders of France, Italy, and Switzerland. This iconic trek spans approximately 110 miles, winding its way through some of the most awe-inspiring scenery the Alps have to offer.

Setting out on the Tour du Mont Blanc, hikers are treated to a kaleidoscope of landscapes, from verdant valleys and meadows dotted with wildflowers to rugged mountain passes and glaciers that glisten in the sunlight. The trail provides breathtaking panoramic views of towering peaks, including Mont Blanc itself, Western Europe’s highest summit.


Cinque Terre Coastal Trail (Italy)

Nestled along the rugged Ligurian coastline of northwestern Italy, the Cinque Terre Coastal Trail offers a captivating hiking experience through one of the country’s most picturesque regions. Cinque Terre, meaning “Five Lands,” comprises five colourful fishing villages – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore – each perched on cliffs overlooking the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The coastal trail that connects these charming villages is a hiker’s paradise, winding its way along ancient footpaths and terraced vineyards, offering panoramic views of the dramatic coastline and the vibrant hues of the Ligurian landscape. The trail traverses steep cliffs and rocky outcrops, passing through lush Mediterranean vegetation and fragrant citrus groves, while the sea breeze fills the air with the scent of salt and pine.


Laugavegur Trail (Iceland)

Traversing the otherworldly landscapes of Iceland’s highlands, the Laugavegur Trail stands as a premier hiking route renowned for its surreal beauty and dramatic terrain. Spanning approximately 34 miles from the geothermal wonderland of Landmannalaugar to the verdant oasis of Þórsmörk (Thorsmork), this iconic trail offers an unforgettable journey through some of Iceland’s most breathtaking scenery.

Setting foot on the Laugavegur Trail, hikers are immediately immersed in a landscape straight out of a fantasy novel – vibrant rhyolite mountains painted in hues of red, orange, and green; steaming hot springs bubbling amidst the desolate wilderness; and expansive vistas stretching to the horizon, where glaciers and volcanoes loom on the distant skyline.

The trail winds its way through a kaleidoscope of terrain, from rugged lava fields and glacial rivers to lush valleys carpeted with wildflowers. Along the way, you encounter natural wonders such as the obsidian lava fields of Hrafntinnusker, the emerald-green Lake Alftavatn, and the roaring waterfalls of Þórsmörk. This is easily one of my favourite hikes in Europe that I have done.


Trolltunga (Norway)

Perched precariously 2,300 feet above Lake Ringedalsvatnet in Norway’s Hardangerfjord region, Trolltunga, or “Troll’s Tongue,” is an iconic rock formation that has become a bucket-list destination for adventurers worldwide. The hike to Trolltunga is as exhilarating as it is breathtaking, offering stunning views of Norway’s rugged landscapes and the opportunity to stand on the edge of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring creations.

Beginning in the village of Skjeggedal near the town of Odda, the trail to Trolltunga spans approximately 14 miles round trip and ascends over 3,000 feet in elevation. The hike traverses a variety of terrain, from steep switchbacks through dense forests to rocky alpine terrain and snowfields (depending on the season).

Along the way, hikers are treated to sweeping vistas of cascading waterfalls, crystalline mountain lakes, and snow-capped peaks, providing ample opportunities to pause and marvel at the beauty of the Norwegian wilderness.


GR20 (France)

The GR20, often hailed as one of the most challenging hikes in Europe and is a legendary trail that traverses the rugged terrain of Corsica, an island known for its wild beauty and untamed landscapes. Stretching approximately 112 miles from north to south, the GR20 follows the mountainous spine of the island, taking hikers on an epic journey through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Mediterranean.

Setting out on the GR20, adventurers are immediately immersed in a world of towering peaks, deep valleys, and dense forests, where the scent of pine fills the air and the sound of mountain streams echoes through the wilderness. The trail climbs steeply over rocky terrain, passing through narrow gorges, alpine meadows, and remote mountain passes, offering panoramic views of Corsica’s rugged coastline and interior wilderness.


The Wicklow Way (Ireland)

The Wicklow Way, Ireland’s oldest marked long-distance trail, offers a tranquil journey through the “Garden of Ireland,” showcasing the breathtaking beauty of County Wicklow’s landscapes. Stretching approximately 80 miles from the outskirts of Dublin to the scenic village of Clonegal in County Carlow, this iconic trail winds its way through a diverse tapestry of terrain, including misty mountains, verdant valleys, and ancient woodlands.

Beginning in the picturesque village of Marlay Park on the outskirts of Dublin, the Wicklow Way leads hikers on a journey of discovery through some of Ireland’s most captivating scenery. The trail meanders through the tranquil wilderness of the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains, where rolling hills and lush forests provide a serene backdrop for outdoor exploration.

Being half-Irish I’m a bit biased on this one but it really is one of the most beautiful hikes in Europe to do.


Picos de Europa (Spain)

The Picos de Europa, or “Peaks of Europe,” stand as a majestic mountain range in northern Spain, renowned for its rugged beauty, dramatic landscapes, and rich biodiversity. Located within the provinces of Asturias, Cantabria, and Castile and León, the Picos de Europa offer a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure amidst some of Spain’s most spectacular scenery.

Rising sharply from the surrounding countryside, the Picos de Europa boast towering peaks, deep valleys, and sheer limestone cliffs that create a landscape of breathtaking beauty and rugged grandeur. The jagged summits, including the iconic Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urriellu), provide a dramatic backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, and wildlife watching.


High Tatras (Slovakia/Poland)

Nestled along the border of Slovakia and Poland, the High Tatras mountain range stands as a jewel of Central Europe, offering awe-inspiring vistas, alpine meadows, and rugged peaks that beckon outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. As the highest mountains in the Carpathian range, the High Tatras provide a playground for adventurers seeking exhilarating experiences amidst some of Europe’s most stunning landscapes.

The High Tatras boast a diverse range of terrain, from gentle valleys and pristine lakes to jagged peaks and dramatic cliffs. Hiking trails crisscross the mountains, offering opportunities for exploration at all levels of difficulty.

Whether embarking on a leisurely stroll through alpine meadows or summiting towering peaks like Gerlachovský štít, the highest peak in Slovakia, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and distant peaks.


West Highland Way (Scotland)

The West Highland Way, Scotland’s premier long-distance hiking trail, traverses 96 miles of some of the country’s most spectacular and diverse landscapes, offering a journey of breathtaking beauty and rich cultural heritage. Stretching from Milngavie, just north of Glasgow, to Fort William in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak, this iconic trail takes hikers on an unforgettable adventure through the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

Setting foot on the West Highland Way, adventurers are immediately immersed in a world of rugged mountains, tranquil lochs, and rolling moorland, where the beauty of nature unfolds with every step.

The trail meanders through ancient woodlands, past cascading waterfalls, and alongside picturesque villages, offering panoramic views of iconic landmarks such as Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, and the Buachaille Etive Mòr.

Also being half-Scottish I can easily say this is one of the best, wildest, and beautiful hikes in Europe.


Hiking

These hikes in Europe offer an unforgettable journey through some of the most captivating scenery on the planet, leaving indelible memories that linger long after the trail fades into the distance.

For more hiking advice have a look at my hiking guides.


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