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7 Best Places to Hike in Europe

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Hiking trail in the Dolomites, Italy

Hiking trail in the Dolomites, Italy

With exceptional opportunities for active adventures, the following list provides our suggestions for the seven best places to hike in Europe.

From the Alps to the Dolomites, Via Francigena to the Camino de Santiago, the landscape across Europe can immerse you in thrills or seclusion as you uncover the scenery.

Coastal cliffs, islands, and rolling hills can bring to life a new perspective of the continent.

  1. 1. Dolomites, Italy
  2. 2. Swiss Alps, Switzerland
  3. 3. Isle of Skye, Scotland
  4. 4. Cinque Terre, Italy
  5. 5. Mallorca, Spain
  6. 6. Southern Iceland, Iceland
  7. 7. Santorini, Greece
  8. Plan Your Trip for the Best Places to Hike in Europe

1. Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites in Italy

The Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites offer views of jagged peaks and azure lakes in this secluded corner of northeast Italy.

From the natural beauty of the trails to history that dates back to World War I, isolated villages to meadows, the Dolomites provide a new perception of Italy, away from its reputation of rolling hills and Roman ruins.

Colossal limestone walls and lush green valleys become majestic backdrops on a multi-day trek or half-day excursion that can make the secluded corners of the soaring peaks visible, with limits that reach over 10,000 feet above sea level.

Learn more: 7 Breathtaking National Parks in Italy for Nature LoversItaly Tours & VacationsItaly Travel Guide

2. Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Train passing by the Swiss Alps in Switzerland

Swiss Alps, Switzerland

The Swiss Alps are renowned for their beauty, their pristine views of nature, and the well-connected network of trails that offer a safe environment in which to set out on a number of long-distance or short-looped treks.

Decorated with glaciers, waterfalls, wildflowers, and jagged mountain peaks, when trekking the Swiss Alps you can discover the natural barrier that has divided northern and southern Europe for millennia. Follow in the steps of ancient armies, uncover alpine towns, or embrace panoramic views that sweep across the summits of Mont Blanc, Eiger, and Matterhorn.

Learn more: Switzerland Tours & VacationsSwitzerland Travel Guide

3. Isle of Skye, Scotland

Hiker at the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Hiking the Isle of Skye immerses you in the otherworldly scenery of craggy coastlines, jagged peaks, and eerie rock formations. The island is known as one of the best hiking destinations in the world, with landscapes that exude natural wonder.

The coastline sweeps into shimmering cobalt waters. Quiet bays act as refuges for wildlife. The mountains loom large across the center of the island for spectacular panoramas.

From interesting rock formations to craggy coastline, views of puffins or sightings of whales, trekking on the Isle of Skye captures nature’s vibrancy.

Learn more: Scotland Tours & VacationsScotland Travel Guide

4. Cinque Terre, Italy

View of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is often considered a coastal paradise on the Mediterranean Sea and remains one of the 7 Breathtaking National Parks in Italy for Nature Lovers. Narrow pathways that wind along the cliffs and overlook the water have connected the five charming towns for centuries. Homes that look out to the horizon have steep terraces where grapes, olives, and towering basil plants thrive.

To hike the trails of Cinque Terre is not the same as conquering the Alps or the Himalayas, instead immersing you in a combination of exceptional views, quintessential fisher people’s homes, and the beauty of a slower pace of life.

The trails are steep and narrow, but the drama of the coastal scenery remains the ultimate reward. Visitors can take the route to reach all five towns or trek to a few.

Learn more: How To Spend 2, 5, or 7 Days in Cinque TerreCinque Terre Tours & VacationsItaly Travel Guide

5. Mallorca, Spain

Calo des Moro in Mallorca, Spain

Calo des Moro, Mallorca, Spain

The sun and smooth roads of Mallorca provide a great introduction to the diverse terrain of long, flat trails or twisting mountain paths.

The diverse trails allow you to bask in nearly 300 days of sunshine a year as you venture over the Tramuntana mountain range in the west or wind along the scenic roads in the south and east.

Enjoy panoramas of azure waters, explore spirited hill towns, and travel to the remote corners of the lyrical landscapes at your pace when hiking Mallorca.

Learn more: Spain Tours & VacationsSpain Travel Guide

6. Southern Iceland, Iceland

Haifoss waterfall in Southern Iceland

Haifoss waterfall, Southern Iceland

The Southern region of Iceland is a day-trekker’s paradise, where the drama of the natural landscape is accessible to those willing to spend time exploring by foot. Trekking takes you away from easily accessible streets to massive waterfalls, vast panoramas over the seascape, and tremendous canyon views.

Following Iceland’s trails can give you a solitary experience in treasured scenery. The land can feel exotic and untamed, represented in the thundering white water or black basalt towers. The reward? Timeless memories.

Learn more: Iceland Tours & VacationsIceland Travel Guide

7. Santorini, Greece

Red beach, Santorini, Greece

Red beach, Santorini, Greece

Santorini is known for its romantic ambiance, where historic architecture overlooks the glistening caldera. However, the same characteristics that create this setting provide the perfect hiking opportunities. Walking on the trail that connects Fira to Oia is the perfect example of Santorini’s blissful pathways.

The cliffside route winds between the two villages, offering some of the most panoramic views on the caldera and greater island that you can visit during a Santorini Vacation.

Beyond the most well-known trail, you can also find winding paths that lead to the highest peak on Santorini, discover lush vineyards and neoclassical mansions on the way to thermal baths, or uncover the remains of an ancient civilization. The beauty of hiking in Santorini is endless.

Learn more: Greece Vacations & ToursGreece Travel Guide

Plan Your Trip for the Best Places to Hike in Europe

View of the Swiss Alps from Mount Titlis in Switzerland

Swiss Alps, Switzerland

The thrills and joys of hiking can be intimate, with every trekker appreciating a different aspect of a trail, from its length to its views, its nature to its accessibility.

With 44 countries, 10 major mountain ranges, more than 100 minor mountain ranges, seductive coastlines, and rolling hills, Europe beckons hikers of all skill levels with landscapes and experiences that provide a surprising contrast to the cosmopolitan culture for which the continent is known.

Our Best Europe Tours & Vacations have more inspiration for your active Europe trip or you can find the information you need with Zicasso’s Europe Travel Guide.

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