Summer is almost here and many hikers flock to Europe where mountain trails are (mostly) snow-free and temperatures are perfect for getting out into the mountains. Many European countries provide endless hiking opportunities, from the stunning Alps in Switzerland, Austria, Germa
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds or just discover a new place to break in your boots, check out these European countries that have beautiful mountain landscapes to explore.
Explore over 35,000 km of marked trails inside and outside of the three huge national parks in the Balkan, Pirin, Rila and Rhodope mountain ranges of this eastern European country. Bulgaria has mountains on the doorstep of its capital, Sofia. There are many organized tours here, if you don’t want to hike independently.
Georgia is one of the best countries to hike the majestic Caucasus mountains, a mountain range spanning several countries. There may not be a lot of marked trails here but there are many mountain towns to base yourself out of and go on guided hikes. In between hiking, explore the Black Sea resorts, ancient Orthodox churches, and sip some wine from the oldest wine producing country in the world.
The small Balkan country of Montenegro has lots of hiking on offer through the beautiful Dinaric Alps, its main mountain range. The capital, Podgorica, is an ideal base as it is close to many of the country’s five national parks. Hike around the lovely Bay of Kotor or if you’re looking for a challenge, trek two trans border routes, the Peaks of the Balkans and the Via Dinarica. And if you want to cool off, you can go rafting in Tara Canyon, Europe’s deepest.
North Macedonia is a small country north of Greece and has many mountain ranges throughout, including around the capital, Skopje. While there are established trails inside and outside of the country’s three national parks, it is advisable to go with a guide on most trails. Lake Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a big draw here. You can also visit the Mother Teresa monument, who was born in North Macedonia.
There is spectacular hiking in Romania, where the Carpathian mountains and its subranges cut a swath through the eastern European country. The Transylvanian region is one of the main hiking areas and is quite popular. There are numerous national and natural parks, with a lot of established hiking trails. But beware: Romania has Europe’s largest brown bear population.