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Ready to take your hiking to new heights in 2024?
If you’re planning to pack your bags and seek adventure across the continent, you won’t be disappointed by the array of incredible hiking trails that Europe has to offer. From steep, rugged valleys to decadent, rolling fields and dense forests, the sheer variety is immense.
No matter your level of experience, it’s worth knowing about the hiking hotspots to add texture, thrills, and new terrain to your next European walking trip.
Why go on a walking holiday abroad?
Walking in Europe offers a multitude of incredible opportunities for hiking.
Those seeking higher, longer, and more extreme adventures flock to mountain ranges like the Alps and the Pyrenees. Mont Blanc, for example, towers above 4,800 metres high, offering an incomparable sense of scale. If you’re planning a high-altitude trip without a guide, you should take a mountaineering course first.
It’s true that walking in the UK offers an array of landscapes to discover. However, the experienced walker is someone who constantly seeks new challenges, stories, and more complicated routes. Heading to the most beautiful areas of natural scenery across Europe promises an entirely new and immersive experience.
Before you book…
Even if you’re an expert walker, there are a few extra things to consider before going on a walking trip in Europe. Packing the right kit not only helps you to stay comfortable on the move but ensures the right level of support for your feet and posture too.
The essentials include moisture-wicking base layers, plus a fleece if you’re hiking in cooler weather. Even in winter, you might find that you’re comfortable in short-sleeved tops while you’re on the move. Along with your clothes, you’ll need emergency supplies and GPS devices for navigation.
Above all, you need to choose an ergonomic rucksack and sturdy walking boots to keep you walking for longer. Make sure you go for some practice walks to ensure that you’re comfy in your kit before taking it to Europe.
Three of the best regions for hiking in Europe
- The Pyrenees: Connecting northern Spain with the south of France, the Pyrenees combine some of the best trails in Europe with warm hospitality and local delicacies at every corner. From ski resorts to quaint, remote villages, some trails intersect local communities, while others cross miles of vast mountainous terrain.
- The Dolomites: If Italy is on your list, hiking in the Dolomites certainly won’t disappoint. Perhaps the most famous vantage point is the Tofana di Mezzo peak: with a summit at 3,244m, it’s not one for the faint-hearted. Other routes include some of the region’s crystalline lakes like the Lago di Sorapis, and a sprawling network of trails ensure that you can always choose a route suitable for your desired difficulty level.
- The Balkans: Often overlooked by tourists visiting alpine hotspots for their walking holidays, the Balkans promise varied landscapes with dense forests, rocky hillsides, and immense valleys. The region covers mountainous landscapes across several countries, including Croatia and Albania to the west, all the way to Bulgaria and Romania to the east. Durmitor National Park in Montenegro is a Balkan hiking hotspot.
Ready to book now? Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with local emergency numbers and protocols for the country you’re visiting. Walking in a group is always safer than going alone, so make sure that you look out for yourself and your fellow hikers!