The 10 best European hiking destinations to reconnect with nature

The great outdoors is calling for many who spent a lot of time indoors during the pandemic, and hiking is the perfect way to get some fresh air.

Outdoor transmission of COVID-19 is widely considered to be low. So, an active vacation such as a hike could help heal your Delta variant blues, keep fit and enjoy beautiful scenery.

But where are the best places to hike ?? For EU residents who are lucky enough to be vaccinated, the EUDCC means that they will soon have relatively easy and open travel options in Europe. Fortunately, saveonenergy.com have compiled a list of the top 10 hiking destinations in Europe, from Mediterranean trails to Nordic climbs.

The former is a country known for its scorching summers and beautiful beaches. But Portugal is more than sun, sea and sand and can boast some of the most beautiful walks in Europe.

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail stretches to the Algarve coast and includes the famous Bengali Cave. Elsewhere, dramatic red sandstone cliffs can be your backdrop to the beach promenade of the Costa de Caparica Trail.

Far from the coast, the Trilho dos Currais takes hikers through the beautiful Inpeneda-Geres National Park.

From the Alps to the Bordeaux vineyards, France has walks (and wine) for every occasion. If you fancy getting away from the bright lights of Paris or the beaches of the Mediterranean, hiking in the French countryside is a must.

The Pilgrim’s Path, Mont St Michel is best done at low tide and it is recommended to tackle with a guide. It will lead you to the incomparable view of the island of Mont St Michel.

Further south, intrepid hikers will be able to admire the rivers of Azur and the Verdon while surveying the Gorges du Verdon.

Germany has so many beautiful forests, rivers and mountain ranges that you will instantly understand why hiking is such a popular German pastime.

Hot German summers are perfect for hiking vacations and exploration routes that show fairytale castles in the home of the Brothers Grimm. This is exactly what you can do on the Rhine Castle Trail or visitors can explore the Goethe Way in the Harz National Park.

Meanwhile, the Painters’ Path is the backdrop for many movies and TV shows and is widely regarded as Germany’s most beautiful promenade.

Enjoy a little Scandinavian ‘friluftsliv’ and dive into the great Norwegian spaces. With a lunch box full of pickled herring, you can climb to the scenic and spectacular Pulpit Rock or explore the fjords of southern Norway.

The most ambitious travelers can even try to reach the top of Galdhøpiggen, the highest peak in Northern Europe.

One on the list you might be expecting, Switzerland is home to chocolate, cuckoo clocks and sensational mountainous landscapes.

On the Engelberg Trail you can enjoy panoramic views while breathing in the pure Alpine air or climb the Matterhorn – one of the highest peaks in the Alps.

A sun-drenched Mediterranean trail awaits you in Spain, which can add a walking holiday to its already established reputation as a beach and cultural destination.

Travel the spiritual Camino de Santiago and reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, or you can visit Peñalara National Park while staying in nearby Madrid. Spain also has mountain trails and you can explore the Pyrenees on the Pico Sobarcal.

Italian food and ancient landmarks are well publicized, but incorporating a hike into your vacation in Italy could break the carbs and trips to the Colosseum.

You can observe wildlife on the Sella-Herbetet crossing or admire the crystal-clear ocean and colorful towns along the blue trail. Mountaineering is also an option with the Dolomites or even Vesuvius, fortunately less active today than in Roman times.

The UK is made up of four nations with distinct characters and landscapes. As such, there are rides to suit all abilities. You can climb Snowdon in Wales, explore the Lake District in England, or walk the Quiraing on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

If you have the time, why not try the famous Coast-to-Coast Walk that will pass through three different national parks and two conflicting counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Iceland may be cold, but Icelandic volcanoes, spectacular beaches and giant waterfalls will make you forget time. What better place to drink cool glacial water or see a magnificent geyser?

Iceland has the Laugavegur which is perfect for seeing the Icelandic highlands and the Fimmvörðuháls Trek which starts at a beautiful waterfall and includes a view of a volcano.

The big winner is the Emerald Isle itself, in Ireland. While Ireland’s weather can be unpredictable (it can start to rain anytime), the temperate climate makes it perfect for hiking. Sample famous Irish hospitality as you walk the Giant’s Causeway or climb Torc Mountain in Kerry.

The Irish countryside and coastline are perfect and everything else will make weary wanderers feel right at home.


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