Europe is filled with some of the best hiking trails all over the world. This is a dreamland for any adventure seeker with the continent’s vast picturesque landscape and cascading waterfalls. Hike Europe if you enjoy the rush from thrilling heights and love spending time in nature.
Not only does Europe have some of the best hikes, but it is also home to a few of the longest hiking trails in the world. So if you are ready for an adventure, it is time to decide which one of the European hikes you will be going on next. While planning your next hike, a great idea would be to check out a few tours in Europe which will be a great reward after conquering one of these epic hikes.
7 Destinations to Hike in Europe
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to the best hiking trails in Europe. While this continent may be the second smallest in the world, it is definitely not limited in what it has to offer. European trails are a must-see for any hiker. With the magnificent views and even a few wild treks, you are assured a wild adventure.
1. Samaria Gorge, Greece
Greece is a popular tourist destination, filled with people from all over the world coming to explore this beautiful country all year round. If you want to explore parts of Greece without the hustle and bustle of crowds, you may enjoy the Samaria Gorge hike. This hike is located in Crete’s Samaria National Park in the White Mountains, it is not the only hike in the area, but it is the biggest. This trail is open daily, depending on the weather. However, it usually is open from the 1st of May to the 30th of October.
“The Gates of Samaria” is what this hiking trail is most famous for. The narrowest point is only 13 feet wide and approximately 1000 feet high. While this is what the hike is famous for, you will also experience many beautiful sites and wildflowers through the trail. You will pass over a river and the little chapel, Agios Nikolaos, during your hike. This hike is a descending trail that has approximately 10 miles between its start and finish points.
The hike starts off at the top of the gorge and ends in the town of Agia Roumeli at the Libyan Sea. This is the best finishing point because you will need the crystal clear water to soothe your feet after this steep hike. It will take you approximately 6 to 7 hours to complete the hike. So make sure to pack everything that you may need for this lengthy trip. Including your best pair of hiking shoes and tons of sunscreen.
2. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes is one of the best places in Europe for hiking, there are eight different hiking trails located along the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just a beginner, you will definitely find a trail that you can and enjoy. This park is filled with stunning picturesque sites from waterfalls to bridges, the Plitvice Lake trails have it all.
If you are a beginner hiker, or simply just looking for an easy route with incredible scenery, you’re in luck. There are four easy hiking trails in this park, ranging from approximately two miles to three miles long, taking around two to four hours to complete each one. You will be able to explore beautiful sights like the Great Waterfall and Kozjaka lake.
There are also two medium hiking trails that will take you approximately four to six hours to complete and range from around 4 to 5 miles long. If you choose the moderate hiking trails, you will be able to explore the upper lakes as well as the sailing across the lake Kozjaka. However, if you are up for a challenge try the difficult hiking trail which explores the whole park. This trail takes around six to eight hours to complete and is approximately eleven miles long.
Whichever trail you choose, make sure that you are fully equipped for your trek, with comfortable hiking shoes, plenty of water, and sunscreen. If you plan to try one of the longer trails, a good idea would be to pack a lunch.
3. Tour De Mont Blanc, France
If you want to tick hiking to the highest European Alps off your bucket list, then it is time to visit the Tour De Mont Blanc. This hiking trail is one of the best places to hike in Europe, with an impressive height of more than 15,000 feet. The hike is approximately 105 miles long and takes approximately eight to eleven days to complete.
There are a few different hiking trails to choose from, each offering different views of the incredible landscape and different accommodations to choose from during the hike. The most popular include the Col De Tricot Trail, which starts from Col de Voza and joins a route to Mont Blanc. You will mainly see lush forestry on this route, as well as the swinging bridge over the Bionnassay glacier, and the Village of Les Contamines.
The Lac Blanc trail is another popular trail of the Tour De Mont Blanc, this trail starts at the Grand Balcon Sud junction and scales past the Lac De Chesery. This route is definitely one of the more challenging European routes and even has ladders that will help you climb certain points of the route.
This is definitely a trail for a more experienced hiker as beginners may feel overwhelmed with the steep climbing involved during this hike. While this may be a difficult route, the sites that it has to offer makes it worth it. During the hike, you will be able to admire the breathtaking views from Aiguilles de Chamonix and Mont Blanc.
4. Besseggen Ridge, Norway
The Besseggen Ridge hike is famous for being one of the best hikes in Europe – and one of the most difficult. It is in the Jotunheimen National Park, which is only three hours away from Oslo. This hike can be done starting at Memurubu and ending off at Gundersen or vice versa. Whichever way you choose, you are guaranteed to see the fantastic sites this hike has to offer, which is one of the best treks in Europe.
This hike is done by approximately six hundred thousand people each year and is considered a must-do hike for all Norwegians. The Besseggen Ridge hike takes around six to nine hours and ascends at least three thousand feet. This nine-mile hike consists of beautiful views of the Gjende lake and the Bessvatnet Lake, which you can drink straight from. However, this hike can be very demanding and should only be done by experienced hikers.
One of the Longest Hiking Trails in Europe
If you are a more experienced hiker seeking a long adventure, you can add this hiking trail to your bucket list. This hike takes approximately 8 months to a year. So if you are ready for a challenge and can take a year off from your day-to-day life, it is time to add this trek as your next hiking spot.
Grand Italian Trail (Sentiero, Italy)
The Grand Italian trail in Sentierio, Italy, is the longest mountain trail in the world. If you are ready to experience one of the best backpacking trips in Europe this is it. The impressive hiking trail is more than three thousand miles long.
This scenic trail allows you to explore Italy on foot, starting from Trieste to Sardinia. Take in picturesque views, different local cuisine in Italian cities, and explore nature reserves. The European trek also passes through six UNESCO National sites as well as fifteen national parks.
To try to avoid the Northern parts of the route being covered in snow, the best time to start the trail is in March. If you are ready for this year-long challenge, start planning your trip and check out destinations in Italy for accommodation and other planning information. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend a year exploring Italy, this trek is truly every hiker’s dream year.
Final Thoughts on Best Hikes in Europe
Whether you are just a beginner hiker or you have been an expert hiker for years, Europe is truly one of the best hiking countries in the world. Some hikes will only take a few hours to complete, others can take a few months.
Whichever you choose, you will definitely have some amazing sights. From cascading waterfalls to rocky landscapes, Europe has it all. If you are ready for the ultimate adventure, it is time to add one of these best hiking trips in Europe to your next vacation.