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Travelers Favorite Self Guided Hiking Tours in Europe

Travelers Favorite Self Guided Hiking Tours in Europe

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 self guided hiking tours 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.

1. France

1. France

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.

AtlasGuru contributor, Gaspard, shares his experience of hiking the legendary GR34.

Starting my hike with the rising sun on the sea, the view was simply breathtaking. As the hours and the kilometers went by, I could understand where the coast of Brittany holds its reputation from: straight cliffs cut by the gigantic waves, old fishing harbors in the smallest creeks, and a wilderness unchanged over the centuries.

– Gaspard, Facing the Ocean - Hiking Brittany's Legendary GR34.

2. Germany

2. Germany

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.

Do you feel like an adventure before going on a hike? AtlasGuru contributor, Nina, recommends visiting the longest castle in the world.

Burghausen is a town in the east of Bavaria, close to the border to Austria. The name already implies its main attraction, Burg means castle. Burghausen has the longest castle in the world, stretching along a hill for 1051 metres. Nowadays the castle is mainly used for housing and museums.

– Nina, Hiking in Bavaria close to the Austrian border and exploring medieval castles.

AtlasGuru contributor, Konstantin1993, shares some ideas for activities in Hirschbach area.

We had wonderful days climbing in Hirschbach. There is a horizontal via ferrata there, which you can manage even without previous experience. The hike from Algersdorf to Hohenstein Castle was also a special experience.

– Konstantin1993, Experience authentic Bavaria like a local - Mittelfranken.

3. Switzerland

3. Switzerland

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.

Are you a James Bond fan? AtlasGuru contributor, Johanna, shares her experience from dining at a very special spot at the top of Schilthorn.

So we arrived at the top for lunch break, we were lucky that two tables were free for us at the restaurant. It was really really really crowded. This is actually a turning restaurant, so during your lunch you can have the view in all directions, this is cool. Also, this restaurant is very famous because the 6th James Bond movie was shot there. So when you are at the top, there are different lookout points where you can go to have a nice view and there is even a James Bond museum which is free.

– Johanna, Hiking in Switzerland - Schilthorn and Eiger with stopover by Lauterbrunnen.

4. Norway

4. Norway

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.

It was crazy how much the surrounding nature changed during the train ride. Suddenly the forests disappeared and nature became more and more sparse. We were really excited to finally see the typical Norwegian nature and when we arrived at Finse (which is, by the way, the highest train station in Norway) we weren't disappointed at all!

– Tobias.wetzel 49, Wildcamping in Norway.

5. Italy

5. Italy

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.

If you want to capture some memories for the family album, AtlasGuru contributor, Mylittletravelinspo, shares ideas on how to create some perfect picture opportunities.

We spent the night in the parking lot and decided to rent one of the wooden boats the next morning. Even though it is quite expensive, I highly recommend to do this! It is such a unique experience! However, 30 mins are enough to paddle along the lake and take some pictures ;)

– Mylittletravelinspo, Dolomites Camping & Hiking Itinerary (3 days).

6. Spain

6. Spain

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.

AtlasGuru contributor, Pacavi13, shares some ideas where to find the most delicious local food in Galicia.

To enjoy Galician food the top 3 are: O Galego, Cee; La Comidilla, Vigo and Casa Loncho, Olveiroa.

– Pacavi13, Santiago de Compostela, Finisterre and Vigo with backpack on the shoulder.

7. Iceland

7. Iceland

The island country of Iceland is a hotbed of geothermal 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 Landmannalaugar.

AtlasGuru contributor, Bik, gives some tips on how to prepare yourself for the Landmannalaugar adventure.

There is no sign of humanity along the road, except for the sign leading you the way. You can shower in the campgrounds and sleep in the hut or in your own tent, but there is no food or electricity for the hikers. You need to carry your tent, all your clothes, food, sleeping equipment and snacks for three days on your back.

– Bik, One week in Iceland and getting to see the best it has to offer!.

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