Updated on January 15, 2024

Are you one of those people who think Europe is just about beautiful cities and history? Let me tell you that there is much more to this continent than sightseeing. While it can be hard to find as many remote mountain ranges as there are in Asia or South America, Europe boasts world class hiking opportunities, like hiking to the highest hut in Europe Campanna Marguerita. From hut to hut routes to multi-day camping & hiking adventures, you can find just about anything in this small and compact continent. These are some of the best hikes in Europe that are worth both your time and energy. 


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Tour Du Mont Blanc - France

Photo by Didier Weemaelslicensed under CC BY

Usually referred as the TMB, the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the best hiking trails in Europe. It traverses 170km (110 mi) passing through the countries of France, Italy and Switzerland to circumnavigate the entire Mount Blanc Massif in the Western Alps. The classic route is normally walked anti-clockwise over 11 days. An extraordinary journey for anyone wanting to explore one of the best hiking areas in Europe. If you want to get started thru-hiking, check out these tips.  




Alta Via 1 - ItalyPhoto by Augusto Mia Battaglialicensed under CC BY

Connecting the towns of Dobbiaco in the North and Belluno in the South, the Alta Via Uno is an incredible hiking journey through the Eastern Dolomites of Italy. It covers 120 km (75 mi) and it reaches its highest point at 2,752 mt (9,029ft). Hikers normally take around 10 days to complete the entire route where they can contemplate the beauty of many famous peaks such as the Tofana, Lagazuoi, Pelmo and of course the mighty Civetta.




Kings Trail - SwedenPhoto by Magnuslicensed under CC BY

Kungsleden (aka The Kings Trail) is a 440 km (270 mi) route that passes through the Vindelfjällens Nature Reserve in Sweden, one of the biggest protected areas in Europe. Most of the walkers only do a section of it. The journey is a hiking trail in summer and a ski trail in winter, and there are many mountain huts along the way to break your journey at. 



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GR20 - CorsicaPhoto by Jean-Baptiste Belletlicensed under CC BY

The GR20 crosses Corsica diagonally from north to south in 180 km (111 mi). It’s considered the most difficult of all the GR routes and, by many, as one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe. It can be walked in 15 days and although no climbing equipment is needed, a good level of fitness is a must. 




Hot Springs Route - Iceland© Copyright by Benjamin PREYRElicensed under CC BY

The variety of landscapes you can enjoy in just 55 km (34mi) is what makes the Laugavegur (aka Hot Springs Route) one of the most popular hikes in Iceland. The trail is normally completed in 2-4 days and links the hot springs area of Landmannalaugar with the glacier valley of Pórsmörk. If you’re looking for a longer route, it’s possible to combine this trek with the Fimmvörðuháls trail for an additional 2 days of walking. 




Slovenian mountain trail - SloveniaPhoto by chripelllicensed under CC BY

The Slovenian Mountain Trail (SPP) covers all the Alpine ranges in Slovenia (Kamnik Alps, Karavanke and Julian Alps), starting with a hike across Pohorje, over the Dinaric ridges and crossing the magnificent Karst Edge to end up right on the coast at Ankaran. It covers 500 km (310 mi) and it takes around 30 days to complete. If that isn’t enough, the highest point on the way is none other than Slovenia’s highest peak, Triglav. 




Haute Route - SwitzerlandPhoto by Jonathan Foxlicensed under CC BY

Located in a world of glaciers, towering snow-capped peaks, green alpine valleys and picturesque villages, the Houte Route is a trek of contrasts. It’s also a demanding summer hike that takes around 10 to 12 days to complete the 180 km (111.8 mi) between the towns of Chamonix (France) and Zermatt (Switzerland). It’s easy to understand why many hikers consider the Haute Route as one of the best treks in Europe. 



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Cinque terre - ItalyPhoto by Shutter Fotoslicensed under CC BY

The five picturesque Italian towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso (all considered part of the UNESCO world heritage list) are linked by a 11 km (6.8 mi) long coastal route. The whole trail can easily be walked in 6 hours but most of the walkers do it in 2 days, so you can enjoy longer times at the towns enjoying the beautiful architecture, the views over the Mediterranean Sea and sampling some delicious Italian food. 




Eagles Walk - AustriaPhoto by Roman Pfeifferlicensed under CC BY

Whether you plan to do a day trip or a multi-day hiking route, the Eagles Trail offers endless opportunities for all levels of hikers. Covering a total of 412 km (256 mi) crossing the entire Austria from East to West, the trail is broken into 33 stages allowing you to choose a specific section according to your preferences. Best of all, the route can easily be accessed from several regions across Tirol. 




Camino de Santiago - Spain

Photo by Jesús Pérez Pachecolicensed under CC BY

A spiritual path for some and a hiking adventure for others, El Camino is any pilgrimage route to the shrine of the apostle St James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. There are many different routes, starting points and distances to choose from, being the most popular the French Way starting in Roncesvalles (Spain) or in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (France). 




Westweg - Black ForestPhoto by Rafa Winlicensed under CC BY

As part of the European Long Distance Trail E1, the Westweg crosses the Black Forest in South-West Germany linking the towns of Basel and Pforzheim. The trail is around 285 km (177 mi) and passes many small villages on its way, making it easy to find accommodation and food while on route. There are also services available that will transport your luggage to the next accommodation available, leaving you with just a day pack to hike with. 




West Highland Way – Scotland

Photo by Kris Williamslicensed under CC BY

The 154km (96 mi) that connect the towns of Milngavie and Fort William is what is called the West Highland Way, the most popular hiking route in Scotland. This long distance hike can be completed in 6-8 days and offers a tremendous variety of sceneries ranging from pastoral landscapes to the more rugged Highlands. 




Picos de Europa - Spain

Photo by Peter Clarklicensed under CC BY

The Picos de Europa mountain range offers all kinds of walks ranging from day hikes to multi-days routes from hut to hut. The Central Picos Circuit combines the Central Picos Transverse with the Cares George and the Jermoso Transverse to make a 5-6 trek through the most impressive areas of Northern Spain. 




Retezat Mountains – Romania

Photo by Horia Varlanlicensed under CC BY

A very little known mountain range in Europe is the Retezat Mountains in Romania. They are part of the Southern Carpathians and the possibilities for hiking adventures are endless. From day trips to multi-day hiking routes, there are two main areas to explore. The Limestone Retezat with lower altitudes and plenty of caves and gorges, and the Central Retezat, with higher peaks, valleys and glacier lakes. A fantastic option if you’re looking to experience some of the best hiking in Europe without the crowds.




Hardangervidda Transverse - Norway

© Copyright by Sigurd Ragelicensed under CC BY

Crossing the Hardangervidda Plateau is a tough and challenging adventure only suited for the fit and experienced hiker. It takes between 7 and 12 days to do the whole transverse depending on your route choice. While you might see other people near the main huts, you will spend the majority of your time enjoying the untouched corners of this region of Norway in solitude. If you’re not up for the full-on adventure, there are shorter and easier options for less experienced hikers. 


8 Responses

  1. Reni

    Hi Amanda and Antonio

    Wow, amazing pictures. Glad to spend summer in Switzerland and your post gave me a few ideas of tours we could do.

    Great to find walks and tours in Switzerland and Italy, which is so close from us. And Island… well… it’s on our bucket list too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Happy travelling,

  2. Justine

    This post has given me serious problems; I was looking to do a hike or two in central Europe and now I want to do 15 😉

  3. Bram

    Superb list! I would like to suggest two other, probably less-known, hiking trails in Europe. (1) The Müllerthal Trail in Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland is arguably the greatest unknown long-distance trail in Western Europe. (2) The Hadrian’s Wall Path in northern England runs from the North Sea to the Irish Sea and follows iconic Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Particularly the Hadrian’s Wall Path can compete with all the hikes listed in this article, I think. Even though it only takes about six days to complete, it is a fabulous hike.

  4. Katerina

    Great list, but would add Rota Vicentina trails in SW Portugal totalling 400 km to walk, along the most beautiful and best preserved coastline of Southern Europe. Hiked it this October, just one word to say – FANTASTIC!

  5. Kees

    One hike that definitely could be included is the GR11 through the Spanish Pyrenees. In roughly 820 kilometers it goes from the rolling foggy hills of the Basque country to the scorching Cap the Creus in the Mediterranean. Along the route there are high mountain traverses, remote valleys, wild rivers and lovely little villages with ample opportunity to sample some of the local food and culture.

  6. Louise Brown

    thank Amanda and Antonio for Amazing photos,
    I planned travel EU within 3 weeks, but so hard to hike some of them, I love cloud and snow.
    So, can you suggest the best place of list fit for me?
    Thank you