Written by Rebecca Brown for MonaCorona.com.
Hi, I’m Rebecca.
I’m a translator, avid traveller and hiking enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and my blog Rough Draft gives me a chance to showcase some of them.
Europe is home to some of the world’s most spectacular hiking trails. Whether you’re embarking on a religious hiking pilgrimage in Spain or you’re climbing to the peak of the tallest mountains while trekking Europe, it’s safe to say you won’t be short of expeditions to enjoy. Here are the top 10 best hiking trails in Europe to consider.
For the best hike in Iceland, complete the scenic Laugavegur Trek.
Iceland is renowned for being one of the most diverse landscapes in the world so it’s no wonder that it’s home to one of Europe’s most fascinating hiking trails; the Laugavegur Trek.
The trek begins in Laugavegur and concludes in Thorsmork and takes you through some of Iceland’s most beautiful scenery. You’ll see cascading waterfalls, breath-taking cliff faces and a plethora of imposing hills and mountains. It’ll be a hiking trail unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before and it’s definitely one that you need to add to your European hiking bucket list.
When hiking in Romania, don’t miss out on the dreamy Transylvanian Mountain Trail.
This Romanian hike is approximately 80km to 130km long, depending on exactly which route you take.
The mysterious Bran Castle that’s long been associated with Dracula can be seen looming on a high, rocky cliff along the trail and is one of the main reasons so many people flock to complete this hike every year.
The most common trail leads you over three of Romania’s highest mountain peaks, as well as through numerous medieval towns that are home to monasteries, castles and churches.
Cinque Terre will be one of the toughest yet beautiful treks on your hiking holidays in Europe.
While the Cinque Terre hiking trail is actually one of the shortest featured on this list at just 40km long, it’s also one of the most strenuous.
Set upon the rugged Italian Riviera coastline, Cinque Terre offers a beautiful combination of picture-perfect Italian coastal scenery and rough terrain to produce one of the most demanding hiking trails in Europe. If you plan to hike it in the summer, be sure to be prepared for hiking in hot weather.
For the Best Hikes in France, don’t miss Tour du Mont Blanc hiking in the Alps.
One of the most popular hiking trails in Europe is the Tour du Mont Blanc in France. It’s a lengthy 170km long and will see you traversing across vast landscapes along the Alps – starting in France, and travelling across to Italy and Switzerland.
There are 10,000m high ascents, so you need to be prepared for intense changes in altitude; if you can cope with that, then you’ll be greeted by the most heavenly views of the Alps, as well as numerous rivers, waterfalls, valleys and towering mountain peaks.
Beyond a religious pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago is one of the best hikes in Spain.
The Camino de Santiago is primarily a Christian religious hiking trail, but you will also be able to thoroughly enjoy it regardless of your religious leanings.
You’ll traverse across stunning Spanish landscapes and will get the chance to immerse yourself in the beautiful surrounding nature and wildlife. While you don’t have to complete it for religious purposes, it has been said that it’s an eye-opening hiking trail and one of the best hikes in Spain and all of Europe. Just be sure to prepare with the right necessities from this Camino de Santiago packing list.
The Kungsleden Trail Sweden is one of the best hiking trails in Europe that are truly fit for a king.
Residing in Northern Sweden, the Kungsleden (King’s Trail) is an impressive 440km long and passes through one of the largest protected areas in Europe; the Vindelfjallen Nature Reserve.
Along this route, you’ll have ample opportunity to sit back and take in the astounding views (and catch your breath!) of Sweden’s tallest mountain as well as numerous other National Parks such as Sarek. It’s a truly gorgeous hiking trail in Europe and one that should be added to your bucket list immediately!
The West Highland Way is the absolute best hike in Scotland.
Taking approximately seven days to complete, the West Highland Way is arguably the most famous hiking trail in Scotland and perhaps even the entire United Kingdom.
It’s a relatively moderate hiking route to endure, especially compared to some of the other trails on this list but you will still need to be prepared for all kinds of weather and terrain.
While traversing the West Highland Way, you’ll have ample opportunity to see various famous Scottish lochs, glens and picturesque woodlands.
Black Forest in Germany offers some of the best day hikes in Europe.
There are numerous hiking trails throughout the Black Forest in Germany, with some of them stretching for up to 200km at a time.
This is one of the best places to go hiking in Europe as it offers so many different trails that suit different fitness levels and abilities. Regardless of which trail you choose, you’re sure to be surrounded by the most spectacular woodland scenery and wildlife.
When hiking in Poland, Morskie Oko Lake to Rysy Park is a must.
The highest peak in Poland, Rysy Park, reaches an impressive summit of 2,500m and is incidentally the conclusion of this famous hiking trail.
This hiking trail begins at the spectacularly crystal clear lake called Czarny Staw and takes you all the way up to the top of Rysy Park. Along the way, you’ll be greeted by mesmerising views of Morskie Oko and Czarny Staw itself, as well as gaining the unique opportunity to see Slovakia to one side of the mountain and Poland on the other!
While this trail isn’t necessarily the most technical, it can be quite strenuous in some parts so make sure you’re prepared for every eventuality and don’t climb it if you don’t feel comfortable with heights!
Schwarzhorn in Switzerland is beautiful, but not for the faint-of-heart alpine trekkers.
The Schwarzhorn mountain peak in Switzerland towers at an impressive 2,928m high and while you can’t climb all the way to the top, you can hike the 8.6km trail and then the 911m trail up an incredibly difficult and steep path.
It’s certainly not a hiking trail made for the faint-hearted and you’ll need to undergo an awful lot of exercise and fitness regimes before you attempt it but it’s undoubtedly one of the most rewarding hiking trails in Europe.
Hopefully, this guide will have given you plenty of wanderlust-worthy inspiration for your next hike in Europe! Whether it’s the Camino de Santiago in Spain, traipsing up into the high peaks of the Alps or you’re wandering through the Black Forest in Germany, there’s sure to be something to suit your hiking needs.