When your feet are getting a little bit weary of that long, sometimes wobbly, amble back from the local pub, why not spice up their lives a bit and get them out in the fresh air.

We’re not talking barefoot, that can only come to no good, local boozer or otherwise, but rather an epic hike around some of the best trails and treks found in Europe. Here’s our top 20 to set you, and your feet, off on the right foot.

1) Tour de Mont Blanc, France

Tour-du-Mont-Blanc

When it comes to hiking in Europe, this mother of all treks circumvents the mighty slopes of the highest mountain in the Alps. Trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) introduces the ambitious trekker to some of the most dramatic and versatile scenery in the world. With its 170 kilometres, it is certainly a long-distance trek but what’s much more impressive are the 10,000 metres of cumulative ascent and descent on this 11-day hike.

  • Countries: France, Italy, Switzerland
  • Level: Moderate – steep ascents and descents each day
  • Duration: Roughly 11 days, 5-7 hours each day

2) Norwegian Fjords, Norway

Hiking-Fjords-Norway

For extreme variations in scenery in one stunning place, head to the Fjords of Norway. Here are thousands of walks for all types of hikers. Take the family on treks over blue glaciers, viewing mountains that come straight up from the narrow fjords. Or, wander through natural parks offering the diversity of barren glaciers to lush forests. Those up for a challenge can visit the iconic Trolltunga, Himakana, Langfossen, or Preikestolen. All levels of trekker are welcome.

  • Countries: Norway
  • Level: Easy to Challenging
  • Duration: Endless variation. Anything from 2-3 hour treks to full-day adventures, and overnight trips.

3) Mount Triglav, Slovenia 

Mount-Triglav-and-Lake-Bled

Every true Slovenian must climb this beloved mountain, and so should mountaineers visiting this country. There are two ways to access the 2864m summit, both challenging, and both relying on via ferratas, or fixed cables, to help climbers through the scree and along narrow paths. Check out the route from charming Bled that rests en route at Kredarica hut, the highest in Slovenia.

  • Countries: Slovenia
  • Level: Medium
  • Duration: 2 days

4) Caucasus Mountains, Georgia 

Hiking-Caucasus-Georgia

Explore where few others have before, as many of these trails through Georgia’s arid Caucasus Mountains have just opened in recent years.  You’ll spot wildlife like deer, chamois and marmot, be sparkled by green, white and turquoise lakes, pass through medieval villages and towns, and be surrounded by peaks shooting up into the sky. For a thrilling challenge, climb the highest mountain of Eastern Georgia, Mt. Kazbegi at 5047m!

  • Countries: Georgia
  • Level: Easy to Challenging
  • Duration: Most are 3-5 days to longer treks

5) Via Dinarica, The Balkans

French Pyrenees

Get to the Balkans and explore the food, music and the old-world heritage that still exists in this corner of Europe. The Via Dinarica traverses the Dinaric Alps and Sharr Mountain Range in more than 120 stages and acts as an adventure and cultural corridor across Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, and Macedonia. Conquer the entire 1930 km trail, or break it down into chunks, such as in our 8-day adventure from Croatia to Bosnia.

  • Countries: The Balkans
  • Level: Easy to Challenging
  • Duration: Several day trip options can be combined for your perfect adventure.

6) England’s Coast to Coast, UK

Jurassic_Coast_HDR-1

From the Irish Sea to the North Sea, this 309k journey takes you through history, following Alfred Wainwright’s path from St. Bees Head and ending at Robin Hood’s Bay. Passing by castles and Roman ruins, through valleys and along cliffs, this strenuous hike is not for beginners. You pass through three national parks – The Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North York Moors National Park. At the end of all of this, or even each day, a pub awaits.

  • Countries: England
  • Level: Moderate 
  • Duration:  Approximately 8-10 days

7) Tour de Monte Rosa, Italy 

Temi

The trek around this 4634m mountain is stunning, and it is not easy. Every day there are steep ascents and descents over ice and rock. Besides glacial conditions, there are alpine meadows and forested valleys to trek through. From balcony ridges, you’ll see a panoramic paradise of peaks all over 4000m high.

  • Countries: Italy
  • Level: Challenging
  • Duration: Between 8-11 days

8) Canary Islands, Spain

Canary-Islands-Hiking

Get off the beach and onto the trails. Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Gomera are all set up for walking, and each has an individual flair. Tenerife boasts the world’s 3rd highest volcano, pine forests, ravines and coastal paths with the fewest hikers of the three islands. Gran Canaria also has dramatic valleys and rocky shoreline to trek, but it’s missing the massive volcano, so it has better views. The most distinctive scenery is on La Gomera, where you could be trekking in South or Central America. If you want to go further afield, take a long weekend to trek El Hierro.   

  • Countries: Spain
  • Level: Easy to Moderate
  • Duration: Heaps of different routes lasting from a few hours to 2-3 days.

9) Laugavegurinn, Iceland

Hiking-the-Laugavegurinn-Trail

Wild Icelandic horses running through neon green valleys, hot springs and steam rising from black volcanic rock- sounds like another planet! Trek this 55km route is famous for folklore and magic, which you can experience as you make your way through rainbow-coloured hills and over glaciers. The variety of landscape on this hike makes it distinctively remarkable. Make sure you book huts in advance and be prepared for extreme weather.

  • Countries: Iceland
  • Level: Challenging
  • Duration: Approximately 4-6 days

10) Haute Route, France & Switzerland

Haute-Route-Switzerland-Cows

The Haute Route starts at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest massif in Western Europe, and ends on the flanks of the most famous, if not the most elegant and most instantly recognised of all mountains, the Matterhorn. Even though it has made its name for being one of the best winter hikes on skis, the 200-kilometre-long summer version of this trek is certainly no less interesting or challenging. On this hike, you’ll cross 11 passes, clock up more than 12,000 metres in ascents and pass under ten of the twelve highest peaks in the Alps. A popular option is to trek the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt.

  • Countries: France/ Switzerland
  • Level: Moderate to Challenging
  • Duration: Roughly 10-12 days, 6-8 hours per day

11) High Tatras, Slovakia 

High-Tatras-Mountains-Slovakia

Get amongst Eastern Europe’s only alpine mountain range and choose your own adventure. There are over 100 lakes, plus waterfalls and valleys to trek through. There are all sorts of hut to hut hikes to choose from. This is a Biosphere reserve area of the Tatra National Park, so you can spot local wildlife like marmots and chamois (mountain goats). Try a three-day tour combining Green Lake, Velicka Valley and Strbske Lake for a memorable trio of experiences.

  • Countries: Slovakia
  • Level: Easy to Medium
  • Duration: Multiple routes anywhere from 1 day to multi-day hut to hut treks.

12) GR20 (Northern & Southern), Corsica

Hiking-GR20-Corsica

Running north to south from Calenzana to Concha along the jagged spine of the Corsican mountains, this rugged terrain can still be accessed by any seasoned hiker. Despite the rough exposed areas, the GR20 is well marked by red and white blazes, and there are plenty of places to rest and restock. You’ll find sheltering refugios, or huts, to stop in along the way, get a hearty plate of food, ride out a storm with a glass of red wine or have a needed night’s rest. A less challenging option is to skip the Northern section and to trek only the GR20’s Southern Route.

  • Countries: Corsica, France
  • Level: Challenging
  • Duration: 11-12 days, 180km

13) The Dolomites, Italy 

Dolomites hike

These spiky peaks, crags and pinnacles are a UNESCO World Heritage site for multiple reasons. There’s history, where trails are named after WWI, passing abandoned bunkers along the way. There’s culture. Visit the Ladin shepherds in their once isolated villages. There’s also diversity in beauty and language. Traverse pastel meadows of wildflowers and hear the whispers of different languages inhabiting the Italian Alps.

  • Countries: Italy
  • Level: All levels
  • Duration: Day trips to multi-day adventures.

14) Mont Blanc, France 

climbing-mont-blanc

The physically challenging Mont Blanc Summit climbs Western Europe’s highest mountain at 4810m. You’ll need to be proficient in use of crampons and an ice axe to make your way over rock and ice, and you’ll need an experienced guide. There are a few ways to summit, the easiest of which is using the Tramway du Mont Blanc to the Nid d’Aigle, then up the Aiguille Gouter and the Bosse ridge. Along the way, stay in Refuges, which must be booked in advance. Try an extended 7-day experience starting off with a dazzling training climb to Gran Paradiso.

  • Countries: France
  • Level: Challenging
  • Duration: 2-3 days

15) Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy 

Natural Beauty

The Gran Paradiso sits in the Valle d’Aosta, in northwestern Italy’s Alps. Originally this park was set to preserve the Ibex, and the focus on flora and fauna is still one of the main draws of this sprawling park. There are 70,000 hectares of territory ranging from 800m to 4061m at the peak of Mount Gran Paradiso. Views of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn ranges can be seen from the many routes through the park. There are day hikes around the lakes, and also the option to take the multi-day ascent to the highest point.

  • Countries: Italy
  • Level: Easy to Challenging
  • Duration: Hundreds of day walks, or ascending Gran Paradiso itself is a 2-day skilled trek.

16) Plivtice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Opposite Of The Big Waterfall

Sublimely turquoise waters interspersed with waterfalls and linked with sturdy and picturesque wood walkways, Plitvice Lakes National Park is the type of place where eight hours of hiking fly by. A ferry ride across Lake Kozjak connects two halves of the park and its sixteen lakes, all tucked in lush foliage that’s even more striking layered in snow for winter.

  • Countries: Croatia
  • Level: Moderate
  • Duration: 6-8 hours

17) Kings Trail, Sweden 

Kings-Trail-Sweden

For spotting reindeer along a wild frontier, and still having time for a sauna at the end of the day, head the to King’s Trail. This 440km trail goes through low altitude green valleys. The beauty is that this trek is accessible for everyone. There are plenty of huts along the way to rest your head, or you can try out camping and roaming free in this artic playground.

  • Countries: Sweden
  • Level: Moderate
  • Duration: Around 8 days

18) Circumventing the Matterhorn, Switzerland

Lake Stelli and Matterhorn

The Matterhorn Trek has been described as one of the most beautiful treks in the world taking in many ancient trails that have linked the Swiss and Italian valleys for centuries. The 150km route offers a multicultural experience, crossing from the pristine surroundings of Switzerland to the slightly more chaotic lifestyle of the Italians, hence its nickname the Spaghetti Tour. From the cobbled streets and horse carriages in Zermatt, through Alpine meadows and glacial passes, the mirror image of the Matterhorn on Lake Stelli is worth every step.

  • Countries: Switzerland and Italy
  • Level: Moderate
  • Duration: Approximately 8 days

19) GR10, France

French Pyrenees

Hike from sea to glistening sea! The GR10 is a 955km trek across the French Pyrenees from Hendaye on the Atlantic Coast to the Mediterranean coast at Banyuls-sur-Mer. Walk through valleys of wildflowers, cross glaciers in a day, and hike at the foot of the French Pyrenees. Along the way, interact with varying cultures, accommodation types and terrain.

  • Countries: France
  • Level: Easy to Challenging
  • Duration: 45-60 days

20) Dream Trail, Munich to Venice

Traumpfad München - Venedig

The way from Germany’s ‘Beer Capital’ to Venice, which is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in itself, covers 520 kilometres in distance and more than 20 kilometres in elevation. The route can be done in 30 stages, offers lots of variations and is suitable for most walkers with a head for heights and a reasonable amount of money in their pockets. Experience Europe’s most famous squares and cultural sights, then get up into Alpine terrain, all the while following the footsteps of the Romans.

  • Countries: Germany, Austria, Italy
  • Level: Moderate
  • Duration: Around 1 month

Discover our European hiking trips, and other hiking adventures across the globe