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Take your pick from the best hikes in Europe!

There are over 40 countries in Europe and each features its own unique culture and landscapes. If you are planning a walking holiday in Europe, there is something special for every hiker, whether you want to tackle alpine crossings or lakeshore rambles, follow centuries-old pilgrimage trails, or hike through landscapes that inspired painters and poets.

Where are the best places to hike in Europe?

Hiking opportunities in Europe are so extensive and varied it is not easy to choose the best hiking trails in Europe. Do you want to embark on one of the famous European long distance hiking trails? Do you only have three or four days to enjoy a multi day hike? Europe also has great options for basing yourself in a town or village and enjoying multiple day hikes in the area.

We have picked our top five in each of these categories, carefully chosen to inspire hikers to engage with the rich natural wonders and fascinating history of this continent.

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Tackle the best European long distance trails

Completing one of of the European long distance trails is an achievement you will carry with you for life. These walking tours are epic in scale but with the right preparation and equipment, most people will be capable of experiencing the breathtaking views, while crossing country borders, and immersing yourself in the nature and culture of the terrain you pass through.

The Tour du Mont Blanc

This could be the most famous of all the European long distance trails, circumnavigating the mighty Mont Blanc massif and passing through three countries as you do so: France, Italy and Switzerland. The TMB is one big highlight from beginning to end, with dramatic scenery and friendly accommodation, making it one of the best European walking holidays. Over 170 kilometres, it takes around 11 days on high mountain trails with significant ascents and descents every day.

The Alpe Adria Trail

The 750-kilometer-long Alpe-Adria-Trail is a Europe long distance hike that is quickly becoming a classic. Starting from Austria’s highest mountain – the Grossglockner in Carinthia, and continuing through Slovenia until it reaches the Adriatic coast in Italy, the Alpe Adria offers 43 stages of hiking pleasure. If you are really into long-distance-hiking, the Alpe-Adria-Trail is the right thing for you.

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The GR20 in Corsica

All serious hikers have this one on their list. The GR20 runs along the craggy spine of Corsica from Calenzana in the north to Concha in the south. The terrain is rugged and should not be taken lightly but it is considered one of the best walks in Europe and it is well marked, with good refuges where you can sleep and eat a hearty meal each night. Trekking the 180 kilometres of the GR20 takes around 12 days.

A traverse of the Pyrenees

There are a few options for a traverse of the Pyrenees mountains from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea along the border of France and Spain. There is the GR10 on the French side (the Sentier des Pyrénées), the slightly easier GR11 on the Spanish side (the Senda Pirenaica), and the Haute Route Pyrenees (HRP) runs between them over 800 kilometres and requires a greater level of experience. The whole traverse takes at least 50 days with stunning scenery and wildlife-spotting opportunities throughout this European long distance trail.

The Via Dinarica in the Balkans

The Balkans is a less-explored part of Europe that offers significant rewards for hikers, and the Via Dinareca is an epic 2,000-kilometre adventure from Slovenia to North Macedonia, passing through Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia and Albania on the way. With superb hiking over a variety of unspoilt terrain, trekkers are realising that this is now one of the best places to hike in Europe. It‘s an opportunity to find out more about this fascinating region as you pass through on your own two feet.


Alpe adria trail huhnersberg original

Stunning shorter multi-day hikes: Europe’s best

Not everyone has time to tackle an epic European long distance trail but there are plenty of options for shorter multi-day hikes that are equally memorable.

Our selection of the best multi-day hikes in Europe includes adventures that can be completed in under a week.

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The Painters‘ Path in Germany

The Mahlerweg, or Painters‘ Path, is a multi-day hiking trail in Germany’s Saxon Switzerland National Park. It is near the Czech and Polish borders and famous for its sandstone mountains rising from verdant forests. The landscape often seems straight out of a fairytale and inspired many a painter in the 19th century. You can complete this circular multi-day hike in six days and there are plenty of good accomodation options along the way.

The West Highland Way in the United Kingdom

From the outskirts of Glasgow to Fort William, the West Highland Way winds through some of Scotland’s most magnificent scenery. Walk alongside the sparkling waters of Loch Lomond, hike through the iconic landscape of Glencoe – familar from many films – and on past Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Britain. This is one of the best multi-day hikes in Europe that can be completed in six days.

The Welsh 3000s in the United Kingdom

What a way to experience the natural beauty of Wales. Here in the Snowdonia National Park there are fifteen mountains that top 3,000 feet (over 900m). This challenge involves four thousand meters of altitude gain and the fittest can complete them all in 24 hours. The trail can be enjoyed over a few days, hiking and scrambling across multiple mountain ranges with stellar views.  

The Nockberge Trail in Austria

The Nockberge mountains in Austria’s Carinthia are a green hiking paradise in summer. These gently-rounded peaks are part of a UNESCO Biosphere Park and the stunning Nockberge Trail is a perfect way to experience this beautiful area. The 68-kilometer trail takes walkers through eight stages across ridges and summits from Katschberg to Lake Millstatt.

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Franziska Becker
Hiking Alpe-Adria-Trail thru hike Europe

The best bases for day walks in Europe

Choose your own adventure every day from a comfortable base on your hiking trip. Europe has many towns and villages with incredible day-hiking opportunities right on their doorstep. We’ve rounded up a selection of Europe’s best hiking holidays with top villages, towns and resorts for mountain explorations.


Heiligenblut am Großglockner is the perfect location for breathtaking days in the mountains on your hiking Europe vacation. This alpine village is in the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, one of the largest conservation areas of the Alps. Take the trail right up close to the Pasterze glacier, enjoy the charming Gamsgruben Trail, or the Naturgefahren Trail with the whole family. Or catch one of the cableways for so many options for day walk routes to suit all fitness and experience levels.

Heiligenblut am Gro glockner c HT NPR K. Dapra 2

Gavarnie, Pyrenees

The tiny village of Gavarnie is perfect if you want easy access to a series of stunning day walks amidst the peaks of the Pyrenees on your hiking Europe trip. From the village itself you have great views of the impressive Cirque de Gavarnie, and within a few hours’ walk you can be crossing the France-Spain border, exploring the Ordesa Canyon, or hiking to one of the many mountain refuges for lunch.


On the sunny side of the Alps, Villach is an historic Carinthian city surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains, making it a perfect base for hiking near Austria’s borders with Italy and Slovenia. Enjoy a soft bed and a delicious evening meal in the charming medieval town centre after an exciting day hiking in the Dobratsch Mountain Nature Park or on the Gerlitzen mountain. 

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Cortina D’Ampezzo, Dolomites

This well-known Italian mountain town is a hiker’s heaven in the warmer months. There are 400 kilometres of marked trails to explore around Cortina D’Ampezzo, many assisted by the network of cable cars and chairlifts that whisk hikers up into the dramatic, sculpted peaks of the Dolomite Mountains. Shorter day walks from Cortina take walkers to waterfalls and sparkling mountain lakes, including some of the best hikes in Europe.

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is another excellent urban base for alpine day walks in Austria. As well as being rich in culture and gastronomy, Innsbruck is encircled by five major hiking areas: Naturpark Karwendal, Patscherkofel, Kalkkogel, Sellrain-Stubai and Miemingerkette. The Patscherkofel alone has 60 mid-altitude day routes to choose from. Walks in Europe are not complete without a stop at a mountain hut restaurant for a delicious snack or lunch!

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