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Where to Hike in Europe Summer 2024

May 20, 2024 | Travel Tips

As summer approaches, adventurers and nature lovers alike are gearing up for an unforgettable hiking experience in Europe. With its diverse landscapes, rich history, and stunning vistas, Europe offers an array of hiking trails that cater to all levels of experience. Here we look at all (or at least, many) of the places to mountain hike in Europe this summer.
Aosta Valley Italy

The Alps

The Alps are a majestic mountain range in western Europe and have been a prime hiking (and skiing) destination for many years. The Alps have it all – rugged peaks, glacial lakes, well-marked trails and no predatory wildlife. Trails range from easy strolls to challenging multi-day hikes. The Alps run through France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, Monaco and all of these countries are wonderful to hike in during the summer season.

If you’re heading to Paris for the Olympics this summer, then make a side trip to any of the French Alpine national parks such as Mercantour, Ecrins or Vanoise National Parks for fantastic hiking. Visit the France page for more information on hiking in France.

If you’re going to be in Munich for Euro 2024, then skip over to the Bavarian Alps, where you can visit Berchtesgaden National Park and and stay near towns such as Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Mittenwald. Visit the Germany page for more information on hiking in Germany.

It’s important to note that all of these countries (with the exception of the tiny principalities of Leichtenstein and Monaco) have plenty of other beautiful places to hike aside from the Alps; check out each of their pages to find out more about hiking in France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Liechtenstein.

castle lake mountains germany

Spain

Spain has fantastic hiking in many parts of the country. Summer is a great time to hike in the Pyrenees, a mountain range shared with the southern border of France and Picos de Europa, close to the northern coast of Spain. Some of the great hikes in these two mountain ranges include: the Cares Trail in the Picos de Europa region and the Pico Sobarcal in the Pyrenees. There are also many long distance trails, such as the GR11 in the Pyrenees. Check out the Spain page for more information on hiking in Spain.

If you want to go on a guided hike, check out Manawa’s 10 day tour of the Picos de Europa – Guided Hiking Route Through the Picos de Europa, Asturias

The Caucasus

The countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, through which the mighty Caucasus range can be found, has amazing hiking trails including the Transcaucasian Trail (if you can’t choose and want to hike them all). If you’re more about the day hikes or shorter treks, then choose hikes in Tblisi National Park or from Mestia to Ushgili in Georgia. Or hike up Mount Aragats, Armenia’s highest peak. Or in Azerbaijan, where you can base yourself in Sheki, Laza or Quba for hikes into the Caucasus mountains, or head south to hike in the Talysh Mountains.

georgia caucasus

Scandinavia

Summer is the best (and pretty much the only) season to hike in Norway and Sweden. Norway, in particular, has the beautiful fjord landscapes to explore; base yourself in any number of towns such as Bergen, Odda, Alesund and Stavanger. Try out the extremely popular Trolltunga hike or head to Lofoten Islands for spectacular hikes.

Check out a couple of Manawa’s popular tours in Norway: Manawa’s Fjord Hiking Excursion from Bergen or Manawa’s Summit Hike to Pulpit Rock in Lysefjorden from Stavanger  

Sweden features a very well-known long distance trail, the Kungsleden Trail (the King’s Trail), a 440 km route that is Sweden’s most popular trail. For day hikes, base yourself in Absiko or Åre.

British Isles

The countries of Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are a hiker’s paradise. Whether you’re headed to Snowdonia National Park or Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales (both hugely popular areas for hiking); or the Lake District or the Peaks District in England (ditto on the popular thing); or the rugged Scottish Highlands and many mountainous Scottish islands such a Isle of Skye; or the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland; or Wicklow Mountains National Park in the Republic of Ireland. The latter has added 62 new hiking routes to its already comprehensive walking portfolio.

Check out Manawa’s guided hike to Snowdon summit: Manawa’s Guided Hike to the Summit of Snowdon Starting from Llanberis

fjord norway

The Balkans

Albania – Hiking trails can be found throughout the stunning mountain landscapes of Albania.  The Albanian Alps (or Accursed Mountains) are the main area for hiking, which contain Theth National Park and Valbona Valley National Park, two beautiful and popular destinations.  Hiking from Valbona to Theth is probably the most well known hiking trail in Albania.

North Macedonia – There are beautiful mountains to explore in the western part of North Macedonia, namely the Šar (or Shar or Sharr) Mountains and other ranges throughout the country.  Popular hikes include Mount Korab, Pelister Peak, Mount Medenica, and Mount Galicica.

Croatia – You may come to Croatia for Game of Thrones, but you should stay for the hiking. There is some fantastic hiking to be had throughout the country.  Some of the main hiking areas include: in the Velebit Mountains, Paklenica National Park, Biokovo Nature Park, Risnjak National Park, Istria region, Medvednica Mountains.

Summer could be too hot to visit many of the Croatian islands that have great hiking on them.

Greece – Many parts of mainland Greece are great to explore in the summer. These include Pindos National Park, the spectacular Vikos gorge and the Zagorophoria; the Thrace region featuring Rodopi Mountain Range National Park; the Macedonia region featuring Prespa National Park shared with Albania and North Macedonia; around Delphi, the monasteries of Meteora; hiking on the Pelion and Peloponnese Peninsula; Mount Olympus National Park. 

mountains lake montenegro

BulgariaBulgaria is a superb hiking destination in Europe, with over 35,000 km of marked hiking trails to explore. The Rila, Pirin, Stara Planina, and Rhodope mountain ranges offer up many beautiful hikes, including the Seven Rila Lakes and the Black Peak (Mount Cherni Vrah).

Montegnegro – Don’t miss out the stunning Riviera region of the small, mountainous Balkan country of Montenegro, where you can hike around the Bay of Kotor. As well, there are trails in several national parks such as Biogradska Gora National Park, Lovcen National Park, Durmitor National Park, Skadar Lake National Park, and Prokletije National Park.

Kosovo – This small country, independent from Serbia since 2008, often gets overlooked, but there is excellent hiking around the perimeter of the Kosovo. Some of the main areas to hike in Kosovo include: the Kosovo Accursed Mountains, the Sharr Mountains and the Kopaonik Mountains. 

Romania – The Carpathian Mountains and the region of Transylvania offer up spectacular mountain hiking in Romania.  Some of the main mountain ranges for hiking include the Fagaras Mountain, Piatra Craiului Mountains, Bucegi Mountains, Apuseni Mountains and Retezat Mountains.  There are many hiking trails to explore, including the hike to the highest peak, Moldoveanu.

mountains lake romania

The Islands

Corsica – this small French island is known for the world-famous GR20 but there’s so much other fantastic hiking here, including the Mare a Mare trails and day hikes into the spectacular gorges. To read more about hiking in Corsica, check out the Corsica page and also our blog post on hiking in Corsica – Hiking in Corsica 

IcelandIceland has been drawing a huge number of tourists for a decade, ever since a campaign to capture visitors on stopovers to mainland Europe launched in 2014 and Justin Bieber filmed a music video here. It’s not hard to see the appeal – volcanic landscapes, stunning waterfalls, majestic glaciers, steaming hot springs and a chance to glimpse some Huldufólk. Explore the Thorsmork Valley, the Laugavegur Trek, the Snaefelles Peninsula and so much more.

Faroe Islands – The Faroe Islands are a group of 18 islands located between Norway, Scotland and Iceland and are part of the Kingdom of Denmark.  They are green, rocky and volcanic and covered in hiking trails. All of the islands have opportunities for hiking across their wild, rugged landscapes.  Some of the most popular hikes are the hike to Lake Sørvágsvatn (the lake above the ocean), the famous hike to Kallur Lighthouse, and the stunning Villingadalsfjall.

lake mountains faroe islands

Madeira Madeira is a small, beautiful Portuguese archipelago that sits closer to the African coast than to mainland Portugal and has stunning hikes throughout its mountainous interior. One of the unique features of hiking in Madeira are its levadas, which are paths established along irrigation channels and are quite popular on the island.  There are so many spectacular hikes here, including the very popular Pico to Pico hike (from Pico do Ruivo to Pico do Arieiro).

Azores – Another Portuguese gem, the Azores are a group of nine islands in the Atlantic, all of which have great hiking trails to explore. Some of the best hikes include Sete Cidades on Sao Miguel, Mount Pico on Pico, and the Lagoa de Fogo hike on Sao Miguel.

There are so many amazing places to hike in Europe this summer. Visit Where to Hike When for more inspiration and resources on planning your next mountain hiking trip to this continent. Happy hiking!

azores lake mountains

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