by Ellie Coverdale, Guest Writer
Hiking is an incredibly all-inclusive activity. It can be a chance for exercise, a chance for sightseeing, a chance for solitude, a chance to catch up with a friend or friends. It can be easy, or fiendishly difficult. It’s always a chance to reconnect with nature and a wonderful option as an activity when you’re traveling. Speaking of traveling, Europe is home to some incredible trails that are worth checking out before you’re too old to carry yourself up and down the countryside. These trails are famous for a reason and, if you like hiking, should definitely be on your bucket list. So, let’s take a look at what Europe has to offer.
- The Way Of St James
The Way of St James, also known as the Camino de Santiago, is a pilgrim route that, with some variation, always ends at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia, Spain. It’s an ancient route that originated as a pilgrimage in the 9th Century. It can be pretty much as long or short as you want, making it a great way to see some breathtakingly historic parts of Europe.
2. Trolltunga, Norway
“Trolltunga means what it seems it means: the troll’s tongue. A breathtaking vista can be seen from a rock sticking out that looks like it could be the tongue of a giant medieval monster”, explains Harriet Louise, travel blogger at Academized and Australian Help. Even without the giant tongue show piece, this is a great hike, very much worth checking out if you’re in Norway.
3. Seven Rila Lakes, Bulgaria
Situated near the highest mountain range in the Balkans, the entire Seven Rila Lakes area is ‘hikeable’, with amazing views that make you feel as if you can see across Europe. It’s as difficult as you want, with flat grassy areas that contrast with craggy mountainous sections. A beautiful part of Bulgaria.
4. The Pinzgau Hut Trek
This hike located near Zell am See, is an Austrian classic. It’s a loop hike that hits the Pinzgau Hut, a beautiful Austrian mountain hut that serves lovely food and has amazing views of the nearby mountain ranges. It’s a tough trek and there isn’t much flexibility. It’s also at a great altitude, which will put some people off and attract others.
5. Goethe’s Path, Germany
This is the most popular hike in all of Germany, a country famed for its walks. Goethe’s Path is in Northern Germany and is named after J.W von Goethe, the famous poet. Allegedly, he did the trek in 1777, and it inspired many of his most famous works. It’s great for people of all ages and skill levels, since it’s mainly flat and has so many beautiful and interesting sights.
6. Dolomites, Italy
The Central Dolomites trail, through the famous mountainous region of Italy, is a really full on hiking route. You can pack several days with walking and still have more to see. “It’s like something out of The Sound of Music, with its expansive vistas, flowery meadows, lakes, forests and mountains. Definitely one to check out!”, says Jessica Ealing, lifestyle writer at Paper Fellows and Ox Essays. The hut to hut route leaves plenty of time to soak up the sights and culture of the Italian countryside.
7. King’s Trail
The Kungsleden, or King’s trail in Sweden is located in one of the largest protected areas in Europe, the Vindelfjallen Nature Reserve. Whatever your hiking wants and desires, this location will be guaranteed to have it.
8. Laugavegur Trek, Iceland
Iceland has a certain reputation for impossible levels of beauty. This walk, littered with hot springs, volcanoes and glaciers, certainly doesn’t let that reputation down.
9. The Tour De Mont Blanc
Perhaps Europe’s most famous mountain, Mont Blanc is actually surprisingly accessible to people of all skill levels. It’s striking and intensely beautiful.
10. The Flysch Route
Set along the Basque Country coast, in Spain, the coastal route is nothing short of astounding. The geological history dates back some 50 million years, and the cliffs are stunning.
Wherever you turn in Europe, you will find yourself an amazing hike. It doesn’t matter which corner you’re in, one will always be nearby. This list is only ten highlights, there are so many others to enjoy. So, get your boots on and start exploring!
Ellie Coverdale writes for UK Writings and Essay Roo on matters of lifestyle and travel. She loves sharing her insights on experiencing the world and how to approach your personal and professional life to maximize your opportunities for adventure. She also writes articles for Boom Essays as a teacher.