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Hiking in Europe is one such sport that is enjoyed by numerous adventure lovers and people who like to work out themselves. Putting that excessive strain on your muscles and climbing on top of a mountain by foot has a lot of advantages on the human body.
It is a great exercise, helping people to lose weight, keep a healthy heart, and it helps in staying energetic as well. Apart from that, the reward for this is beautiful scenery, which greets eyes, after hiking up the mountain.
It is supposedly said that long-distance hiking or mountain hiking had first originated in Europe, more specifically Germany. Europe, even though a populated continent, has some beautiful mountains that are situated in fantastic locations for hiking.
Some hills are steeper than others, it is the thought of conquering the mountain, and the ability to look down at the beautiful picture from so high is what makes the people keep going. For those who love hiking, hiking in Europe Mountains will always be on their bucket list. But why?
It is a fact that even though the mountains in Europe are not very intimidating through their altitude, this continent has a few of the most vibrant mountain ranges and landscapes. And it is these visuals that attract all these people to go hiking in the mountains of Europe at least once.
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When is the best time to go hiking in Europe?
Europe is such a destination where anyone can go anytime around the year. However, if the primary purpose of your visit is hiking, you must keep in mind that going during the peak months of winter would not be an excellent decision.
Europe, especially the northern parts, have very chilly winters; places with higher altitudes, like the mountains, are even colder. The best time for hiking for most people is the season of spring, also though some people prefer the summers.
Continue further reading to know about some of the best mountains to go hiking in Europe that is the most appropriate hiking destinations.
Top 6 Mountains to Go Hiking in Europe (For Outdoors Enthusiasts)
Tour du Mont Blanc
The Tour du Mont Blanc Mountain passes through the beautiful countries of Italy, Switzerland, and France and covers a distance of 170 kilometers. The mountain also flows over the beautiful peaks and valleys of the Alps Mountains.
This mountain is considered to be among one of the best for hiking in Europe, and this is not only because of the beautiful view of the Alps that can be seen here. Hikers, on an average need around 11 days for hiking this mountain.
Depending on the fitness level, the difficulty level of hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc ranges from between moderate to severe. For hiking this mountain, hikers begin from the Chamonix in South-east of France.
This allows the hikers to experience and witness the most magnificent parts of the continent within two weeks and there are numerous route variations to please even the pickiest of the hikers.
Apart from all these, the mountain treats the hikers with numerous accommodation possibilities ranging from the luxury ski resorts to the boutique hotel hostels and even the romantic mountain huts.
Tour de Monte Rosa
This trail, running over the two beautiful cities of Italy and Switzerland, is another one of the Alp trails. The distance of this trail is about a hundred and sixty-three kilometers and takes the average hikers around nine days to reach the end.
This route also allows the hikers a beautiful view of the Alps, the most famous mountain range of Europe. The level of difficulty in this trail is also very hard. The Monte Rosa, the name meaning ‘glacier’ was legalized as a path in the early sixteenth century by none other than Leonardo da Vinci.
This trail provides a beautiful backdrop to the hike. This path is filled with snow that makes hiking here very hard, especially during the winters. The best way to go hiking in this route is during July, which is in the summer season. The only means of accommodation in this route is the frequently present mountain huts.
Walker’s Haute Route
The Walker’s Haute Route is a distance of a hundred and twelve miles, i.e., around 180 kilometers. On average, it takes hikers around 14 days to cover this route. This only includes the two cities of France and Switzerland.
The scenery throughout this route is magnificent with the gorgeous snow peaks, little European villages here and there and the lush green valleys.
There are also numerous glaciers along with the way, some as long as four thousand meters. The communities here serve as a much-needed break in the scenery during the long 14 days journey.
This route, also known as the Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn or La Haute Route, extends from Chamonix to Zermatt. And this is one of the best mountains to go hiking in Europe. A professional mountaineering group had once walked this route. They had skied the way in the mid-nineteenth century. They had created the path, making it easier for today’s adventurers.
It is advised that it is best to take this trip during the summers. The difficulty level of this journey is very hard. There are also some accommodation openings here and there in the form of hostels, hotels and mountain huts. This route also has route variations for people to select from based on their level of physical fitness.
Camino de Santiago Trail
This is one of the longest trails and is divided into eight sections, each section being at least eighty to a hundred kilometers. The trail runs over the two cities of Spain and France.
Each part of this route takes around seven to ten days for an average hiker to finish, so the total number of days to cover the full journey can even be thirty days or even more. This trip has a moderate difficulty and requires a huge amount of physical strength for anyone to finish it.
This trail makes the hikers travel through the stunning Pyrenees, the short yet unforgettable mountain range that divides France and the north of Spain. The name of this trail, Camino de Santiago, means, ‘The Way of Saint’; it was originally the most popular route for catholic pilgrims.
The most beautiful route of this trail is called ‘The French Way.’ It drives the hikers across the valleys with principal rivers, roaring together with the majestic summits.
There are numerous critical cultural spots in this area, the most important one of these being the Cathedral at Santiago, the one built in the Gothic Baroque Style.
On one of these routes, that runs from St. Jean Pied de Port and tread through the renowned town of Pamplona, in July, is the Running of the Bulls Festival.
There are many accommodation options available here, like rustic huts, guesthouses, camping, and hostels. Hikers sometimes also take a detour from this way and take a trip to the coast; it adds another three days to the trip though.
Read also: Top 10 Best Hiking Backpacks
El Caminito Del Ray
This is one of the shortest trails and is only three kilometers long. The El Caminito Del Rey Trail lies in the country of Spain. It is straightforward to hike through this road, and the whole activity takes half a day only. This trail offers the hikers a peek at the area of Spain called Andalucía.
Even though it is barely easy, this trail is tremendously dangerous. The path was closed for a long time due to landfalls and is opened recently.
However, the view from here is magnificent with the gorge, the canyon, and the quite beautiful river running only a few meters beneath the pathway, curving the edges of the valley.
West Highland Way
This is a hundred and fifty-one-kilometer long path and is moderately easy to hike on, depending on the weather and the season. On average, the number of days needed to finish this path is around a week, i.e., seven days. The popularity of this path has been rising throughout the years.
This route connects Milngavie, outside of Glasgow and Fort William, which is the home to the chief peak in Britain. Hiking on this trail, one can easily see the most refreshing yet harsh views.
The path, even though it is more comfortable than the previous ones, it provides a beautiful image of some of the best places of Scotland, including the serene moors, the mysterious lochs, the magnificent glens, and heights and the woodlands.
Towards the end of this pathway, hikers are treated with an exhilarating ride of the Jacobite Steam Train, which is also nicknamed the Hogwarts Express, after the Harry Potter series.
The best time to go on this journey is from May to October since this area becomes very hostile and wet during the months of autumn and winter. Besides, it is advised to avoid this journey during the summers because of the very bloodthirsty midges. There are many accommodations in the way, like a few campsites, B&BS, and hostels.
These were just a few of the hiking trails that are present throughout the European continent. Many such other trails are equally beautiful, if not more. Plan a hiking trip so that you get all the right accommodation and bookings.
Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.