18 Epic Hikes in Europe
Introduction: Hiking is the perfect way to get in touch with nature and enjoy some of the most stunning locations that Mother Earth gave us. Located throughout Europe you will find an endless number of hikes that will blow your mind! A little hard work will bring you to unique destinations and stunning views! We will dive into some of Europe’s most epic hikes, from Italy, to France, to Portugal, and everywhere in between!
Epic Hikes in Italy
Path of the Gods, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Recommended by Erin from Never Ending Voyage
Path of the Gods (or Sentiero degli Dei in Italian) is the most popular hike on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The trail is carved into the cliffs high above the sea with stunning views of limestone mountains, terraced vineyards, and picturesque coastal towns like Positano.
The main section of the hike is 6.5 km (4 miles) between the small villages of Bomerano and Nocelle and took us just under two hours. The trail is undulating, but there aren’t any huge ascents, and it isn’t too challenging if you are reasonably fit. As the path is rocky and uneven, good shoes are important, but we managed fine in hiking sandals. The route is easy to follow with red and white markers.
Some hikers connect to the trail from the coastal towns of Praiano (below Bomerano) or Positano (below Nocelle), but you’ll have to walk up (or down) over 1500 steps, and it makes the hike much more strenuous. You could also take the bus from Nocelle to Positano to avoid the steep descent or ascent.
As we were staying near the start of the trail in Bomerano, we avoided the steep steps and hiked the main section as a return walk in about four hours. It’s also much cheaper to stay in Bomerano than on the pricey coast.
It’s a popular hike, so it’s best to make an early start to avoid the crowds and heat. By starting from Bomerano at 7.30am, we had the path to ourselves until near Nocelle.
Path of the Gods is a beautiful, fairly easy hike that’s a great way to see an alternative side of the Amalfi Coast.
Portofino to San Fruttuoso, Italy
Recommended by James at Travel Collecting
The hike from Portofino to San Fruttuoso is through Portofino National Park in the Ligure region of the Italian Riviera. The three-mile/ four-kilometer hike is moderately difficult. There is a steep ascent and descent down, but the main part of the trail is flat. The total elevation change is 863 feet / 263 meters.
The two-hour trail is not a loop, but it is easy to hike one direction only because you can take a boat back to the starting point. The trail starts in Portofino, which can be reached by car or by ferry from Rapallo and Santa Margherita Ligure. The narrow street leading up the hill from the ferry dock quickly becomes a steep staircase that climbs past tiny terraced fields of olive and lemon trees.
At the top of the hill, the path turns into a real hiking trail, passing isolated houses and continuing alongside the cliff. Be sure to stop often and enjoy the views. There is a stunning view of Portofino Bay as a tiny bright blue dot far below. The Mediterranean Sea sparkles on a sunny day. The sea is in view along the way, with the occasional boat moored by the cliff far below.
The last leg of the trail is down switchbacks through shady woods. Eventually there are glimpses of the beautiful tenth century abbey that dominates San Fruttuoso Bay. The hike can be done in reverse, but I recommend starting at Portofino because then you can spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and in the water, or enjoying a seafood lunch at one of the restaurants on the bay. Regular ferries take you back to Portofino throughout the day.
Epic Hikes in Norway
The Rampestreken Hike, Åndalsnes, Norway
Recommended by Cazzy from Dream Big, Travel Far
The Rampestreken Hike is arguably one of the best things to do in Norway, thanks to its epic viewpoint and easy access. Located in the town of Åndalsnes, this hike is suitable for all fitness levels, but if you are hiking in the winter season when snow is around, it’s important you wear proper shoes, otherwise, the hike will take longer than expected and it can get slippery on the way down.
The easiest way to get to the Rampestreken viewpoint is to hike up the Romsdalstrappa mountain path which is actually a set of stairs that were built by Nepalese sherpas. The hike itself is pretty steep and it takes around 1.5-2.5 hours to reach the epic viewpoint, depending on your fitness level, and how often you stop to see the views on the way up.
The Rampestreken viewpoint is a 20-meter long steel ramp that hangs out over the mountain, giving you a feeling like you’re floating over Åndalsnes. Only those who don’t have a fear of heights will walk the whole way out on the ledge but don’t worry, it’s safe to do so!
The views here are stunning on a clear day and it’s worth the effort required. If you’re looking for a shorter hike that offers amazing views of Norwegian Fjords and beyond, then this is the hike for you. Bring water with you, and there are plenty of rest spots on the way up.
Mannen, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Recommended by Beata from Stunning Outdoors
At 400 masl (1,312 feet), Mannen might not be a high mountain, but believe me, it provides stunning views over famous Lofoten beaches, and is not to be missed during your visit in Lofoten!
Mannen is located on Vestvagoya island, between two world famous beaches Uttakleiv and Haukland, allowing you to enjoy the bird eye view of these very beaches and further to the surrounding mountains.
Hike to Mannen’s peak is rather easy, for Lofoten standard, with only few steeper sections along the well trodden trail. This linear hike, 4km (2.5 miles) long (there and back) takes about 2-3 hours to complete but I advise you to reserve more time as you won’t be rushing down. On a clear day the views are outstanding!
The best place to start the hike is large car park at Haukland beach (free of charge). Cross the road and follow the single track road for aproximately 500 meters (1,640 feet) before turning left to the zig-zag path leading to the ridge. The ridge walk is easy but there are a couple of boggy sections which can be tricky to pass, so take your time and walk carefully.
For a better experience plan your hike either early in the morning or in the evening, as Mannen is a very popular landmark.
Recommended by Jiayi of The Diary of a Nomad
Norway has some of the best hikes in Europe, but the most spectacular one is certainly the stunning trail up to Trolltunga, a long rock formation (that resembles the shape of a tongue) sticking out horizontally out of a cliff. It’s located in the Vestland county of Norway.
Trolltunga is not an easy hike. It’s indeed quite difficult as you’ll be climbing up almost 800 meters (2,625 feet) for a total of 10 to 12 hours roundtrip. The entire hike is 28 km (17 miles) long. Do not be put off by the difficulty though, because the views along the way will make every step and every challenge completely worth it. You’ll see gorgeous mountains, streams, and fjords almost throughout the whole hike, and the landscapes will absolutely take your breath away. It’s one of the reasons why this place is an utter dream destination!
If that’s not rewarding enough, the real prize waits for you at the top of the hike, where you can step out onto the rock of Trolltunga and admire the incredible jaw-dropping view of the mountains and fjords around you. The scenery is so beautiful, you won’t even believe your eyes!
My top tip for visiting Trolltunga is to start the hike early in the morning rather than later. This is because there is often a long line at the top of the hike for people who want to step out onto the rock and take pictures. Sometimes, the line can be up to 3 hours long, especially during the busy summer season! So make sure to get to the top before most other people do to avoid having to wait so long.
Epic Hikes in Switzerland
Grindelwald First to Lake Bachalpsee, Switzerland
Recommended by Carolyn from Holidays to Europe
The easy, but scenic, hike from Grindelwald First to Lake Bachalpsee is one of the best things to do in Grindelwald, Switzerland.
To begin the hike, you’ll need to catch the cable car from Grindelwald village to the summit station at First, at 1,924 metres. The hiking trail starts not far from the cable car station and is well sign-posted. There’s a fairly steep incline near the start of the trail but for the most part the path is fairly flat. Allow around one hour to walk to the lake, a distance of 2.45 kilometres (1.5 miles). You’ll pass through alpine meadows – in the summer months cattle graze on the lush grass – and be surrounded by panoramic mountain vistas and incredible views over the chalet-dotted hillsides below.
Your destination, Lake Bachalpsee, is a crystal clear alpine lake nestled at the foot of the Schreckhorn. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear day, you can see the mountain reflected in the glacial waters of the lake. You can stroll around the lake, which is split in two by a natural reservoir. There are plenty of nice places to enjoy a picnic but there are no facilities at Lake Bachalpsee so be sure to take your own water and food.
The First – Bachalpsee trail is open from the end of May to mid-October. No special hiking equipment is necessary but good, sturdy shoes are recommended.
Epic Hikes in the Czech Republic
Bohemian Switzerland Hike
Recommended by Veronika of Travel Geekery
This hike through the beautiful forests of Bohemian Switzerland National Park leads to one of the most notable natural monuments not just in the North of the Czech Republic, but in the whole country. Pravčická Gate, the hike’s destination, is a beautiful stone arch created million years ago from sandstone when it formed a part of an ancient seabed.
There are two different trails leading there and you can even hike both in one day if you choose to do so.
The first option leads from Hřensko, a town just a short bus ride away from Děčín, which is connected to Prague by railroad. The hike leads mostly through the forest and is mildly uphill. The difficulty level is between easy and moderate, and it takes around 2 hours to complete it. The best views await at the end – the Pravčická Gate with a unique wooden structure right next, and views onto the landscapes around, mostly made up of lush forests with occasional sandstone formations sticking out.
Another option is to take Gabriela’s path from the village of Mezní Louka. This option is slightly longer, but the terrain is easier. It also leads mainly through the forest and offers a few more viewpoints along the way. On a few spots, walls of rock line the path.
I can highly recommend taking Gabriela’s trail on the way to the Pravčická Gate and then continuing on the path leading to Hřensko. There are a few nice hotels in Mezní Louka so you can even spend the night before you set off on the hike.
Epic Hikes in Spain
Camino de Santiago, Spain
Recommended by Samantha of The Wandering Wanderluster
Europe is a big continent full of beautiful and diverse landscapes offering some unique hiking opportunities. Of its 44 countries, Spain is one with some of the best hiking trails in Europe including the historical pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.
The Camino de Santiago is made up of numerous routes that begin in cities all over Europe, but all converge onto routes in Spain that all lead to the city of Santiago de Compostela, where legend has it that the remains of the Apostle St James lie, inside the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela.
Thousands of people make the journey along “The Way” every year, with the Camino Frances being the most popular route of them all. Beginning in the small town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the border of France and Spain, the route encompasses over 800km (494 miles). Hikers will cross over the Pyrenees, pass through the city of Pamplona and tackle the hot plateau of the “Meseta” between Burgos and the town of Astorga before walking through the rolling green hills in the beautiful region of Galicia. It takes on average 30 days to complete and while it does require a certain level of fitness, people of all ages come from all over the world to walk the Camino for a range of reasons from spiritual and religious to fitness and weight loss, to simply enjoying the peace and beauty of a really long walk.
For a successful Camino, you should make sure you have well worn-in trekking boots with ankle support and carry no more than 10% of your body weight on your back. Blisters are inevitable for most people, so invest in some Compeed blister plasters and always carry a mini first aid kit with a needle and thread. If you don’t know what for, you’ll certainly find out on the Camino! 😉
Pico de Mijas, Spain
Recommended by Andalucia in My Pocket
Pico Mijas is the highest peak in Sierra de Mijas mountain range, reachable from Malaga in less than half an hour. Sierra de Mijas is where you will find Mijas Pueblo as well, one of the most beautiful villages in Andalucia. In fact, Mijas Pueblo is the starting point of the Pico de Mijas hike.
Hiking Pico Mijas is not very easy, as the trail is graded as medium to difficult. You need to be at least a little bit fit to attempt it, and, to wear proper hiking shoes. The path is rocky and quite steep most of the way up. It takes around 6 to 7 hours to complete this hike and return to Mijas Pueblo. Most of the climb up to Pico de Mijas is not shaded, so this hike is only recommended between late autumn and early spring. The rest of the year the temperatures are too high. Also, it is good to know that there is no water source on the way up, so bringing at least 2-3 litres of water is essential.
The views from the top of Pico de Mijas are breathtaking. On a clear day you can easily see the mountains in Morocco, over the Mediterranean Sea, but also the rock of Gibraltar. If you turn on the other side, you will see the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains (the highest in continental Spain), but also Malaga, with a clear view over the airport. It’s actually quite exciting to see the planes taking off, below you.
Maroma Peak, Malaga, Spain
Recommended By Paulina of Paulina on the Road
Spain is the most beautiful country for mountains in Europe. It is blessed with magnificent landmarks and breathtaking scenarios.
There, nestled at the highest mountain in the Axarquia, Maroma peak is situated at 2,065m (6,775 feet) from the sea level and it looks nothing less than a paradise. The hiking until Maroma peak is one of the most scenic routes for hikers and is also one of the most exhilarating things to do in Malaga, Spain.
There are three very popularly used pathways to reach the Maroma peak, but the hike is undoubtedly an arduous one. The march from Alcaucin is the shortest way to reach the peak, however, a number of pathways are also present through Canillas. The hike might seem like a “walk in the park”, but eventually the lofty climbing would require hiker’s legs. The hiking trail from Robledal is, although tough, responsible for the most breathtaking views.
Once you ascend your hike until the top of Maroma peak, the place renders its tourists with stunning eye shots. The Sierra Nevada would be clearly visible in the background, but once you start your journey above the cloud line, the view is even more surreal. This hike is one of the most sought after things to do in Magala, Spain. Since the ascent of this hike is over 1000 m (3,280 feet), it is significant to hydrate oneself judiciously.
Divine views brewed with pristine air at the Maroma peak can make this experience an everlasting one!
Epic Hikes in France
Tour du Mont Blanc, France
Recommended by Dean & Laynni from Routinely Nomadic
It is a fine thing when a famous tourist destination fully lives up to the hype, and that is certainly the case with the epic Tour du Mont Blanc trek. While just over half of the route is located in France, the Tour du Mont Blanc actually passes through both Italy and Switzerland for a couple days each, making it one of the world’s few truly international hikes. People flock to the area year-round – for hiking and incredible photographs before the snow flies and world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter. The Tour du Mont Blanc, meanwhile, circumnavigates the mountain via a 170-kilometre (105 miles) route that gets trekkers up close and personal with all the tremendous scenery of the Alps. Of course, these amazing viewpoints don’t come easy, as the Tour du Mont Blanc is definitely strenuous. The entire circuit involves over 9,000 metres (29,528 feet) of elevation gain and loss – meaning a stern test for both your lungs (going up) and knees (going down).
The trek takes anywhere from 7-12 days to complete and features magnificently situated mountain huts all the way along the route. While some people choose to camp, a bed and meals are available each night so it is possible to minimize the weight of your backpack, with many carrying nothing more than a few extra clothes, a sleeping bag and some water. Keep in mind that huts fill up fast and you should follow this guide to hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc to ensure you are fully prepared.
Bottom line, if you are up to the challenge, the Tour du Mont Blanc deserves every ounce of the recognition it receives as one of the world’s epic long-distance treks and should be on every avid hiker’s bucket list.
Belvedère des 4 Lacs, France
Recommended by Elisa from France Bucket List
The hike to the Belvedère des 4 Lacs is a must for any road trip through the Jura, in eastern France. This 12 km (7.5 mile) hike, suitable for all ages, usually lasts 2-3 hours and it is possible to combine it with other sites nearby (there are plenty of waterfalls around) as long as you have your own car.
The hike starts from the car park in the village of Les Frasnois, behind the local cheesemaker. The path is well marked and there are always locals walking around or jogging so it is impossible to get lost. Be sure to fill your bottle of water, wear sturdy walking shoes, and a cap if the day is too sunny.
The path takes you to two viewpoints (belvederes in French). The first viewpoint is the Belvedère des 3 Lacs, from where you can see the lakes of Ilay with its island (a former priory), Grand Maclu, and Petit Maclu. These lakes are really beautiful with their pristine, turquoise waters.
Less than one kilometer (0.6 miles) further there’s the Belvedère des 4 Lacs from which it is possible to see a fourth lake, the lake Narlay. Then, the path descends to the lake level and takes you back to the starting point, walking by the lakes.
Epic Hikes in Denmark
Møns Klint, Denmark
Recommended by Derek and Mike of Everything Copenhagen
One of the best hikes in Europe is found on a small island in the southeast of Denmark called Møns. The island itself is quaint, serene and a brilliant destination to escape the city life of Copenhagen. Møns is most known for its natural landscapes, most notably the white chalk cliffs of Møns Klint.
The cliffs are a hidden gem in Denmark, and when you visit you’ll barely feel like you’re still in the country. They were formed millions of years ago when glaciers receded and they drop 120 meters at their steepest point.
The area is frequented by hikers of all ages and abilities. It has several trails including walkways descending and climbing the cliff walls. This means you can easily and safely hike to the Baltic Sea shoreline and admire the cliffs from below. Møns Klint has well-marked and maintained trails and is the perfect destination for a family hike. While the hiking is low-difficulty, it would be a problem for those with mobility issues and challenging for young children.
In addition to hiking, the area is popular with divers who wish to experience the cold-water dives of the Baltic. There is a large picnic grove near the end of the access road to Møns Klint nature reserve. In addition to the picnic area, a GeoCenter has been built where you can learn about the geological history of the cliffs. Discovering how they were formed and about the fossil records unearthed in the cliffs is fascinating.
With so much to do and a gentle family hike, visit Møns Klint in Denmark.
Epic Hikes in Slovenia
Dom na Kofce, Slovenia
Recommended by Inessa and Natalie of Through a Travel Lens
One of the hikes recommended in this publication had to be in Slovenia, and it’s no wonder. The country is known as the go-to destination for everyone into active tourism, nature, and camping. While most of the beautiful hikes are in the Triglav area, there are a few exceptions, and Dom na Kofce is one of them.
What’s good about this route? It is a hidden gem just an hour drive from Ljubljana that mostly the locals and travellers from neighbouring Austria know about. A relatively easy walk up the mountain starts at the parking next to the Matizovec farm. From this free parking, it is a 2-hour hike up, and it is a marked trail through the forest, in the shadows of the old pine trees.
To mention a few of the highlights along the way, there is a spring with the cold and clear mountain water, as well as a small chapel with benches where it is oh so lovely to have some rest and to enjoy the quiet surrounding.
But the cherry on top for this hike is the last 10 to 15 minutes when the trail reaches a scenic meadow with a wooden house standing atop the mountain, close to the border with Austria. The trick is to keep walking towards the house and not to look back for as long as possible. The views are well worth a wait, and the closer to the top, the better the gorgeous panorama of the mountain tops surrounding Dom na Kofce.
Epic Hikes in Greece
Samarià Gorge, Crete
Recommended by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
Hiking through the Samarià Gorge has become one of the most popular things for tourists to do on the Greek island of Crete, and for good reason. The scenery here is nothing short of spectacular. While it’s not a particularly difficult hike, you do need to prepare well by wearing comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes with good grip, and by bringing along some snacks and plenty of water. Occasionally, tourists who have no hiking experience show up in very inappropriate shoes, without realizing what they’re getting into.
If you’re an avid hiker, you won’t have any problems with this walk. The most difficult part is the steep descent at the beginning, when you head down into the gorge. But even this part is made much easier by handrails and a wooden staircase, called the “Xyloskala”. Once you reach the bottom, it’s pretty flat from there on out.
Since this is a gorge hike, don’t expect wide, sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. On the contrary, the most interesting thing about the hike is watching the 300-meter-tall (984 feet) rock walls on either side of you narrowing in closer and closer, eventually pushing you through a space just four meters wide (13 feet), called the “Iron Gates”.
While many tourists join an organized hiking tour from Chania, the hike is easily arranged on your own. I highly recommend staying overnight in Omalos village and then getting an early start from there. Trying to do it as a day trip from Chania is just too exhausting. Keep an eye out for the kri kri — a type of mountain goat that is an endangered species and lives only in this area. The trail is open only from 1 May to 15 October.
Epic Hikes in the United Kingdom
Seven Sisters Cliffs
Recommended by Darek of Darek and Gosia
Let’s face it, there really are many great hiking trails across different countries in Europe. And England is not an exception. But Great Britain is mainly associated with bustling London, meanwhile, the south coast of England hides an extraordinary landscape that at first glance brings to mind exotic places outside of the United Kingdom. With a few very interesting places around this area, there is a hike for everyone. One you really have to add to your bucket list is Seven Sisters hike.
The best way to get there is by driving from London. A journey from the capital city will take around 2 hours by car. Head out to Seven Sisters Country Park where your trail will begin.
The Seven Sister hike itself is considered as an easy one and is just under 8 miles long. It takes around 5-6 hours to be completed which makes is a very family-friendly.
Seven Sisters hike is famous for its spectacular beauty, a bit of drama and mystery. But you need to be quick if you want to experience this beautiful spot. Every year several dozen centimeters of rocks are eroded and disappear in rough waves, so it is not worth postponing your Seven Sisters hike.
If you like hiking and are hungry for breath-taking views or you just want to spend some time in nature, Seven Sisters in England will surely delight you!
Epic Hikes in Portugal
Seven Hanging Valleys, Portugal
Recommended by Linn from Brainy Backpackers
Seven Hanging Valley Trail is among the most epic coastal hikes in Europe with astounding views along golden sun-kissed cliffs towering above the Atlantic Ocean. The hike is linear and takes about 6 hours both ways. But you can expect it to take longer as the trail goes past incredible beaches and natural arches and you’re very likely to stop for a swim or a photo session.
You can start the hike from Carvoeiro Boardwalk and walk past Algar Seco which is known for its astounding natural pool (but be aware of underwater swells – so if you go for a swim, stay close to the rocks so you can hold on). About midway, you get to Alfanzina Lighthouse and a short walk from there the trail forces you down on Benagil Beach. Next to the beach is the world-famous Benagil Cave, so if you have the time, you should rent a kayak to see the mesmerizing natural cave. From Benagil Beach you´ll have to walk upon the main road for a bit, before you can pick up the trail again.
Walking along the rest of the trail you´ll see Benagil Cave from above and many other holes going down to hidden beaches where the waves crash forcefully. Be mindful and respect the safety barriers. Before reaching the end of the trail, look up for the natural arches and enjoy the incredible views of Marinha Beach from above. The beach has been nominated to one of the world’s best beaches more than once. It’s easy to understand why. Go for a swim at the beach and have some lunch before you head back the same way.
Epic Hikes in Croatia
The Pljesevica Mountain Hike, Korenica, Croatia
Recommended by Becki from Meet Me In Departures
If you’re looking for one of the best hikes in Europe, then you need to put the Pljesevica mountain trek on your radar. The hike is located in northern Croatia, in the Dinaric Alps region. It’s right on the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a small town called Korenica. It’s actually only a few kilometres from the famous Plitvice Lakes.
The 13.6km (8.5 miles) trail would be classed as moderate to challenging. It starts off gently meandering through picturesque farms, starts to ascend through the forests and eventually up to an old road used in the Yugoslav war. At the top, you can stand with one foot in Croatia, while the other is in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It will take a full day to do the return journey.
If you have an interest in abandoned places or history then you’ll love the top of this mountain. It’s littered with bullet-hole ridden building, an old runway and crumbling barracks. You could spend a couple of hours really exploring all these.
The main highlight with this trek is the Insta-worthy giant rock platform. You can find this just behind the abandoned barracks, you’ll have to scramble down a steep ravine and then climb up the rock, but it’s worth it for the view (and the photo!)
Be sure to take everything you need for the trail, there are no facilities at all. Also, take note of the warning for land mines at the top. These are all on the Bosnia & Herzegovina side of the trail, so don’t head down that way when you reach the top. It’s all cordoned off with very clear warning signs. This is also European wolf and bear country. Although we didn’t encounter any, they do live in the mountains here.
This is an outstanding hike, and should be tipped as one of Europe’s best!