Where should I go in Europe for epic hikes and climbing adventures? What time of year has the best weather for hiking? AtlasGuru travelers answer these questions and share their best hikes in Europe. With 44 nations comprising the European continent, there is no shortage of landscapes to explore—from warm Mediterranean islands to snowy Alpine treks, spelunking in massive cave systems, or taking in verdant hills and valleys.
Here, AtlasGuru’s travelers share their itineraries and trip advice on the best hikes in Europe. Travel stories from real travelers ensure your hiking and outdoor adventure in Europe is exactly what you are looking for.
Best time to visit? With the amount of daylight and warmer temperatures, summer (June–August) has the best weather to go hiking in Northern Europe.
Best Hikes in Northern Europe
Norway’s landscape boasts rugged coastlines of fjords and alpine tundra mountains. Travelers can take thrilling pictures of rock formations overlooking the fjords by hiking Kjeragbolten or Trolltunga, or journey to the northernmost point in Europe at North Cape. The archipelagoes of Lofoten, Svalbard, and Vesterålen are also some best places to go hiking.
The island country of Iceland is a hotbed of geothermic activity, including volcanoes, geysers, geothermal lakes, and sulfur springs. Hikers can walk through the geothermal area of Hveradalir, see the famed Skógafoss waterfall at the start of the Fimmvörðuháls Trail, or explore the varied landscapes on Laugavegur Trail in Landmannalauger.
Best time to visit? Autumn (September–November) has the best weather to go hiking in Southern Europe, as it avoids the heat of summer and snow-covered mountain trails of spring.
Best Hikes in Southern Europe
Italy shares notable mountains with some of its bordering nations such as the Matterhorn (Switzerland), Monte Rosa (Switzerland), and its highest point, Mont Blanc (Switzerland and France). Those wanting to hike entirely in Italy can explore Gran Paradiso National Park in the Alps, Alta Via 1 in the Dolomites, or the northwest coast of Cinque Terre.
Spain’s landscape is mostly semi-arid plateaus and mountain ranges. Notable hikes include the historic Camino de Santiago, Montserrat’s unique peaks, and El Caminito del Rey, which takes hikers along the face of towering cliffs. The Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco hold some of Spain’s best hikes, like the Teide Volcano on Tenerife.
What is the best time to visit? Hikers wanting to take on the mountains will find the best weather in late summer and early autumn, while lower elevations will have milder temperatures in late spring and early summer.
Best Hikes in Western Europe
Switzerland is famous for its rolling green hills and stunning mountain ranges. The three peaks it shares with Italy—Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa—are all popular hiking destinations from the Swiss side, and the all-Swiss region of Jungfrau is a must-see.
France is mostly plains or rolling hills to the north and east, with the Pyrenees and Alps to the south and west. The Mediterranean island of Corsica is one of France’s best hiking destinations. Check out the GR 20 hike while there, or the GR 10 in the Pyrenees if you’re on mainland France.
Central & Eastern Europe
Best time to visit? With winter snowfall common in both Central and Eastern Europe, summers have the most favorable weather for hikers visiting either region.
Best Hikes in Central Europe
Slovenia has over 10,000 caves, many of which lie in the Karst Plateau to the south. For above-ground explorers, the Slovenian Mountain Trail traverses most of the country and takes about a month to complete. Don’t feel like going all the way? Mount Triglav is Slovenia’s highest peak, and one of the best destinations for hikers.
Germany’s landscape is flat and marshy to the north and hilly and mountainous to the south. It has a lot to offer: you could hike with mountainous views at Berchtesgaden National Park, explore the beautiful Partnach Gorge, walk through the Black Forest via Westweg Trail, or take in the jagged rock massifs of Schrammsteine.
Here are itineraries and tips for hiking in Europe from our community of travelers.