There is a lot more to Europe than just charming towns. It is also home to some of the world’s most spectacular nature.
If you love a bit of adventure, Europe is an incredible continent riddled with amazing hikes.
Here is a round-up of the most breathtaking hikes in Europe that will have our jaw on the floor!
1. Laugavegur Trek, Iceland
Iceland is world-famous for the unique and diverse landscapes it has to offer. The Laugavegur trek in Iceland is one of the most fascinating hikes in Europe.
The 5 days trek takes you from Laugavegur to Thorsmork and goes through the most beautiful scenery that Iceland has to offer. From cascading waterfalls to dramatic cliff-faces and towering hills and mountains. All set in the mystical and dark Icelandic landscape.
This hike is truly remarkable and one to never forget.
Distance: 55km / 34 miles
Average hiking time: 5 days
2. The Blue Trail, Cinque Terre, Italy
The Cinque Terre is set upon the rugged Italian Riviera. It is made up of 5 colourful villages on the dramatic coastline, all connected by a trail.
The Cinque Terre not only offers incredible landscapes and vistas but also allows you to enjoy the magic of Italian food, culture and ambience making this trip an all-round incredible experience.
The Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail) is one of the shorter trails on this list that can be done in one or two days. Four separate paths along the coast connect the Cinque Terre. It could technically be done all at once without stopping in six hours.
However, the best way to enjoy this trail is to go slow and stop at the villages and soak up the Italian vibes, enjoy the food and wine and even go for a swim in the beautiful Meditteranean Sea.
Distance: 11km/ 7 miles
Average hiking time: 2 days
3. Tour du Mont Blanc, France
The Tour du Mont Blanc in France is one of the most popular and well-known hiking trails in Europe, and for good reason! This trail is a whopping 170km long and will see you traversing the Alps of France, Italy and Switzerland.
The highest point of the hike is a towering 10,600m. This means you need to be prepared for very high altitudes and be in top physical condition for this extremely challenging hike.
If you are up for the challenge you will be rewarded with the most heavenly views of the Alps, rivers, waterfalls, valleys and numerous mountain peaks.
Distance: 170km/ 110 miles.
Average hiking time: 11 days
4. Camino de Santiago, France & Spain
The Camino de Santiago is one of the most famous hikes in the world. Otherwise known as The Way of St James, it is primarily a Christian pilgrimage hiking trail, but can be enjoyed regardless of your religious views. The route goes to Santiago de Compostela, the burial place of St James.
The hike covers a number of routes, the most famous being the Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port in France. The path crosses the Pyrenees and then winds it way through Spanish cities such as Pamplona and Leon before reaching Santiago.
You’ll traverse across stunning Spanish landscapes and get the chance to immerse yourself in nature and wildlife while doing a hike which has major cultural significance.
The hike itself is relatively easy, well marked and maintained. The difficulty comes from the sheer length. It is a huge 790km and can take over a month to complete, meaning this hike is a real test of stamina and patience. Completing this trail is a remarkable achievement.
Distance: 790 km/ 500 miles
Average hiking time: 32-35 days
5. Kungsleden Trail, Sweden
The spectacular Kungsleden trail in Northern Sweden is a lengthy 440k long trail that passes through one of the largest protected areas in Europe, the Vindelfjallen Nature Reserve.
Along this challenging route, you will be able to witness the breathtaking views of Sweden’s tallest mountain as well as many other National Parks, including Sarek. This trail is truly stunning and will allow you to get really close to nature in a beautiful part of the world.
You can complete the entire 440km or just do a smaller section of it according to your limitations.
Distance: 440km/ 273 miles
Average hiking time: 30 days
6. West Highland Way, Scotland
The West Highland Way is one of the most famous hiking trails in Scotland and possibly the whole of the UK. This is one trail that should not be overlooked!
The route is relatively moderate and doesn’t require much endurance, but you will still need to be prepared for changeable weather and terrain. This trail traverses some of the most dramatic scenery the UK has to offer.
The West Highland Way starts in Milngavie, near Glasgow, and climbs upwards, ending in the remote town of Fort William. If you’re up for a challenge you can take a slight detour to climb Ben Navis, which is the highest peak in the UK.
This hike is big on views, you will have the opportunity to see the famous Scottish lochs, glens and woodlands.
Distance: 154km/ 96 miles
Average hiking time: 7 days
7. Schwarzhorn, Switzerland
The Schwarzhorn mountain peak located in Switzerland is an impressive 2,928m high. It’s not possible to hike all the way to the top, but you can almost reach there.
There is an 8.6km trail and then a further 1km climb to reach the highest point. The last 1km is extremely steep and difficult.
To attempt this peak you need to have all the right climbing equipment, be very experienced with mountain hiking and be in top physical condition. This hike is not for the faint-hearted but is epic for those with adventure running through their veins!
Distance: 10km/ 6 miles
Average hiking time: 1 day
8. Slovenian Mountain Trail, Slovenia
Slovenia usually isn’t the first country that springs to mind when you think of Europe, but it should be! It is a country full of incredible beauty that is still relatively untouched and highly underrated.
The Slovenian Mountain Trail is the oldest hiking trail in Europe and links the country’s highest peak, Mount Triglav with a number of other Slovenian peaks in the Julian Alps. The trail racks up to a hefty 600km long trail.
While Slovenia is starting to become a more popular hiking destination, it still gives you the opportunity to hike in complete solitude, something which can be hard to find on the more popular hiking trails in Europe.
Average hiking time: 28 days
9. Rota Vicentina, Portugal
The Rota Vicentina in Portugal is a relatively new trail which showcases the glory of the southwestern coastline of Portugal. The trail is a total of 450km and is made up of two trails, the Fisherman’s Trail and the Historical way, along with a number of short circular routes.
The relatively new Rota Vicentina showcases the south-west of Portugal in its full glory.
The Fisherman’s trail follows the rugged Atlantic coastline, while the Historic way takes you through rural villages and the isolated landscapes of the southwest.
Distance: 450km/ 280 miles
Average hiking time: 16-20 days
10. Alta Via 1, Dolomites, Italy
The Alta Via 1 is a spectacular hike through one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, the Dolomites in Italy. The trail starts in Dobbiaco and cuts it way south through to Bellomo.
Alta Via one is at a relatively high altitude and spoils you with so man jaw-dropping vistas, it will be hard to take it all in. So savour this trail!
If you are a history buff this hike will also be a treat for you as it passes through a number of World War One sites.
There are optional cable routes which allow you to explore more of the steeper hillsides and tunnels for a bit of extra adventure.
Distance: 120km / 75 miles
Average hiking time: 10 days
11 Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), Norway
Preikestolen, otherwise known as Pulpit Rock, is one of the most famous photo spots in the world. It is heavily featured on almost every travel Instagrammers account.
Like with most things, places usually become very popular for a reason! And Pulpit Rock is no exception. It is well worth the effort (and crowds) to witness this hike and viewpoint yourself.
To make this hike extra special, and with fewer crowds, opt to climb up there for sunrise. Just get yourself a guide for this!
Distance: 4km / 2.5 miles
Average hiking time: 4 hours
12. The Accursed Mountains, Albania
Albania is another destination that is overlooked when it comes to incredible nature in Europe. Not only does Albania have some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe it is also home to The Accursed Mountains or the Albanian Alps. These mountains offer some of the best “off the beaten path” hiking you can find.
This hike is located between two alpine villages, Valbona and Theth, and can be completed in one day. Upon completion, you can spend the night relaxing in the opposite village. You decide which direction you want to walk in, however, there is more to do in Theth meaning ending here is recommended.
The route is moderate and takes you through river beds, meadows and dense pine forests. Halfway through you will be treated with a dramatic mountain pass.
Set aside a few days to linger in this beautiful part of Albania.
Distance: 9.5km / 6 miles
Average hiking time 7 hours
13. Ryten hike to Kvalvika Beach, Norway
The Lofoten Islands, located above the Arctic Circle in Norway, are a hiker’s dream. One of the most jaw-dropping hikes in the Lofoten Islands is the Ryten Mountain hike which overlooks the dramatic Kvalvika Beach.
The hike starts off flat and then proceeds into a steep climb to the top of the mountain. There are a variety of inclines, steps and boardwalks to help you reach the top. Once you reach the halfway point you will start to be treated with epic views of lakes and towering mountains for as far as the eye can see.
Just before you reach the top you will witness the insane view of the secluded Kvalvika Beach far below. This beach features dramatic mountains dropping off into the beautiful aqua ocean. This viewpoint makes this hike one of the absolute best in Europe, it will leave you speechless.
You can continue up to the top of the mountain to soak up the rest of the diverse vistas.
Distance: 9km / 5.5 miles
Average hiking time: 3 hours
There you have 13 of the most jaw-dropping hikes in Europe!
Europe is a continent of incredible diversity, nature and adventure and is begging to be explored and every corner is waiting to be rediscovered.
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