Whether you’re looking for a rugged mountain trek, a relaxing stroll in a picturesque landscape, or a challenging climb, Europe has some of the best hiking experiences in the world. With its breathtaking vistas, charming villages, and varied terrain, Europe is a paradise for hikers. From the rolling hills of Scotland and Wales to the jagged peaks of the Alps, here are the best European countries for hiking.
Switzerland is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Europe. With its majestic alpine landscape and stunning mountain views, it’s no wonder why. In Switzerland, you can explore the area around the breathtaking Matterhorn, visit quaint villages, and enjoy the fresh mountain air. For those looking for a challenge, take on the iconic Tour du Mont Blanc, an epic trek that takes you through three countries.
Scotland is an excellent choice for hikers. Its rugged terrain offers spectacular views and challenging hikes, as well as plenty of spots for a relaxing stroll. The Highlands of Scotland are a popular destination for hiking and feature some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery. You can explore the area’s lochs, glens, and moors, or take on the challenge of climbing Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. Like most of the countries on this list, Scotland has endless activities for all types of travelers, or for time in between adventures.
Known as the land of the midnight sun, Norway is one of the best countries in Europe for hikers. The country’s varied terrain and spectacular landscape make it ideal for trekking. From the majestic fjords of the west to the rugged mountains of the north, Norway has something for everyone. For an unforgettable experience, take on the challenge of hiking to the summit of Galdhøpiggen, the highest mountain in Norway.
Austria is a great country for hiking, with a variety of terrain from green meadows to soaring peaks. The Alps offer some of the most spectacular views in Europe, and the villages of Austria’s Tirol region are perfect for a relaxing stroll. For a challenging trek, take on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, a stunning alpine road that takes you to the highest peak in Austria.
Italy is a great destination for hikers, with a wealth of trails and stunning scenery. From the beaches of the Amalfi coast to the rugged mountains of the Dolomites, there’s something for everyone. For a challenging trek, take on the The Sella-Herbetet Traverse, a stunning hike that takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Italy.
France has a long history of hiking and mountaineering, and its varied terrain makes it an ideal destination for hikers. From the majestic peaks of the French Alps to the lush forests of the Ardennes, France offers something for every hiker. For a truly unforgettable experience, take on the challenge of climbing Mont Blanc, one of the highest peaks in Europe.
Spain is often overlooked as a hiking destination, but it has some of the most stunning landscapes in Europe. From the forests and beaches of the Costa Brava, to the high Sierra Nevada peaks, to the rugged Pyrenees Mountains, Spain offers something for every hiker. For an unforgettable experience, take on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route that takes you through some of the most beautiful and historic landscapes in Spain.
Germany is a great destination for hikers, with its rolling hills, dense forests and stunning mountain views. From the Black Forest to the Alps, there’s something for every hiker in Germany. For an unforgettable experience, take on the Rheinsteig Trail, a stunning trek that takes you along the banks of the Rhine River.
Ireland is an excellent destination for hikers, with its lush green countryside and rugged coastline. From the wilds of Connemara to the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher, Ireland has something for every hiker. For a challenging trek, take on the Wicklow Way, an epic trail that takes you through some of Ireland’s most picturesque landscapes.
These are just some of the best hiking destinations in Europe. No matter your level of experience, there is a trail for you to enjoy. So get out and explore the great outdoors!
The Baltics are becoming increasingly popular as a hiking destination, with their stunning forests, deep lakes, and rolling hills. From the beautiful Vatika in Latvia to the rugged coastline of Estonia, the Baltics offer something for every hiker. Between this group of countries (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), there is hiking for every type of adventurer.
Bulgaria is a great destination for hikers, with its rolling hills, lush forests and stunning mountain views. From the ancient Rila Monastery to the breathtaking Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria has something for every hiker. For a one of the most stunning and frequently visited areas, take on the Seven Rila Lakes, a stunning hike that takes you through some of Bulgaria’s most stunning landscapes.
Scotland is known for its rugged beauty and stunning lochs and glens, making it the perfect destination for hikers. From the peaks of the Cairngorms to the Wilds of Assynt, Scotland has something for every hiker. For a truly breathtaking experience, take on The West Highland Way, an unforgettable trek that takes you through some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery.
Croatia is an excellent destination for hikers, with its stunning national parks and rugged coastline. From the Plitvice Lakes National Park to the breathtaking Dalmatian Islands, Croatia offers something for every hiker. For a challenging trek, take on the Velebit Mountain, a stunning hike that takes you through the Dinaride mountain range.
These are just a few of the best countries in Europe for hiking. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed walk in the countryside or a challenging trek in the mountains, Europe has something for everyone. So, grab your hiking boots and start exploring!
We know this list isn’t exhaustive, but this gives you a good starting point to do some research on the top destinations in each of these countries. Find the country that fits your budget, timing, weather, and types of hiking in order to find the best fit destination. For example, if you are looking for rolling hills, Ireland, might be a better option, and if you are looking for rugged high alpine peaks, the european alps might be your best fit.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about