Europe is home to some of the most breathtakingly beautiful hiking trails in the world. Whether it’s mountainous, coastal or in peaceful woodlands, you’re sure to find a route on this list that will make you want to grab your hiking boots and head over to Europe this summer.
The West Highland Way is a 96-mile trail of pure beauty. Starting from just outside Glasgow, you’ll discover wonders such as Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, Devil’s Stairway and Loch Leven, before finishing in Fort William (home to the Jacobite Steam Train AKA The Hogwarts Express!) The scenery in the Scottish Highlands is second to none with snow-capped mountains, vast expanses of grassland and sparkling lakes to feast your eyes on. This route is a great introduction to Scotland’s rural areas, which are often overlooked.
The Bernese Oberland include an assortment of mountains, moors, forests and glaciers in Switzerland with some of the most incredible hiking routes in Europe. The best time to walk the trails are from June through to September when the weather is warmer and the flowers have bloomed in all different colours, making Switzerland all the more picturesque. The views across the Swiss Alps are unforgettable, particularly when walking beside the classic alpine peaks of Wetterhorn, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, which overlook some charming valley towns such as Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. Whether you pick the most challenging trails or take it a bit easier, hiking in the Bernese Oberland is like being transported into a fairytale.
Many people mistake Nordkapp for the most northerly point of Europe, forgetting about the little peninsula beyond it that is Knivskjellodden. This 11-mile hike offers a wild and rugged landscape that will fuel your sense of adventure. Be warned, the six hour walk is only really possible in the summer months, from around late June to September due to the snow covering the peninsula until early June and the fast-fading light from September onwards. The hike starts in the town of Honningsvag on the island of Mageroya and takes you across the stunning cliff top of Sandfjorden and other natural wonders such as glacial valleys and incredible rock formations. Although one of the more rugged routes, it’s definitely one to add to your list!
The Tour du Mont Blanc is over 105 miles long with 10,000m of ascent and is usually broken up into 11 daily stages. Starting in the beautiful French town of Chamonix, the route goes through France, into Italy, across to Switzerland and ends up back in France. The hike will take you across rivers and glaciers, into breezy meadows full of colourful flowers and of course up mountains with incredible views. As it is a vast and varied hiking destination, it is possible to choose routes more or less challenging depending on your fitness level, and to just do sections of the hike rather than the whole thing. Whether or not you complete the whole circuit, you are guaranteed the most wonderful views and the pure enjoyment of fresh mountain air.
The wild and rocky landscape of the Amalfi Coast makes for some great hikes with beautiful views over the coastline and across the sea to Capri. The terrain varies depending on the altitude, getting rockier and more rugged towards the mountain summit, with wooded areas, ruins, mule paths and lemon groves lower down. The scenery on the Amalfi Coast is idyllic, with an abundance of butterflies and flowers adding colour to the hillsides. This is the perfect destination for a relaxing and beautiful hike.
The Black Forest is one of the most magical places in Germany and has plenty of hiking trails to enjoy. The trail lengths vary with the longest being about 124 miles, so you could hike for a few hours or a few days! The Black Forest stretches from the town of Baden-Baden to the Swiss border and from the Rhine to Lake Constance and holds within it an expanse of hills, rivers, lakes and forests. Here, you can completely escape from reality in the fairytale-like woodland and not see or hear a soul, or you can walk to some charming towns such as Calw. Titisee Lake is also a wonderful hiking destination: at 2km long and 1km wide, it is the forest’s largest natural lake and is a place of ethereal natural beauty.
This 34-mile route is located in South-West Iceland, starting from Landmannalaugar, an area famous for its hot springs, to the glacial valley of Þórsmörk. Along this trail you’ll cross lava fields, glacial streams and diverse landscapes with features such as hot springs, volcanoes, glaciers and mountains, so if you like variety, this is the hike for you! Laugavegurinn is considered one of the most scenic and breathtakingly beautiful hikes in Europe, and with so many natural wonders to explore it will certainly spark your sense of adventure!