Best European hiking destinations: Many people who spent a lot of time indoors during the pandemic are being called outdoors, and hiking is an ideal way to get some fresh air.

The transmission of COVID-19 outdoors is generally agreed to be low. So an outdoor activity like hiking can help you cure your delta-variant blues, keep you fit, and you can enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

But where are the best places to hike? For those EU residents lucky enough to be vaccinated, the EUDCC means that they will soon have relatively easy and open opportunities to travel around Europe. Luckily, has compiled a list of the top 10 hiking destinations in Europe, from Mediterranean trails to Scandinavian climbs.

10 – Portugal

best European hiking destinations

In first place is a country known for its sweltering summers and beautiful beaches. But Portugal is more than sun, sea and sand, and it boasts some of the most remarkable hiking trails in Europe.

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail stretches to the Algarve coast and includes the famous Bengal Cave. Elsewhere, impressive red sandstone cliffs can be the backdrop for a beach walk along the Costa de Caparica Trail.

Away from the coastline, the Trillo dos Currais Trail leads hikers through the breathtaking Inpeneda-Geres National Park.

9 – France

best European hiking destinations

From the Alps to the vineyards of Bordeaux, France has walks (and wine) for every occasion. If you want a break from the bright lights of Paris or the Mediterranean beaches, be sure to try hiking the French countryside.

The Pilgrims’ Trail, Mont Saint-Michel, is best hiked at low tide, and it is recommended that you do so with a guide. It will lead you to an incomparable view of the island of Mont Saint-Michel.

Further south, intrepid hikers can admire the Azure and Verdon Rivers by traversing the Verdon Gorge.

8 – Germany

best European hiking destinations

Germany has so many beautiful forests, rivers and mountain ranges that you’ll immediately see why hiking is so popular in Germany.

The warm German summers are perfect for hiking and exploring trails that feature fairy-tale castles in the Brothers Grimm’s homeland. You can do just that on the Rhine Castle Trail, or visitors can explore the Goethe Trail in the Harz National Park.

Meanwhile, the Artists’ Path has become the setting for many movies and TV shows and is considered the most beautiful walk in Germany.

7 – Norway

best European hiking destinations

Enjoy a little Scandinavian “freeluftslivin'” and head out into nature in Norway. With a lunchbox full of pickled herring, you can climb the picturesque and dramatic Pulpit Rock or explore the fjords of southern Norway.

More ambitious travelers can even attempt to climb the summit of Galdhöpiggen, the highest peak in Northern Europe.

6 – Switzerland

best European hiking destinations

Switzerland is the home of chocolate, cuckoo clocks and spectacular mountain scenery.

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

5 – Spain

best European hiking destinations

A sun-soaked Mediterranean trail beckons you to Spain, which can add hiking to its already established reputation as a beach and cultural destination.

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

4 – Italy

best European hiking destinations

Italian cuisine and ancient monuments are well known, but if you incorporate hiking into your Italian vacation, you can dilute it with guided tours of the Carbas and the Colosseum.

You can watch wildlife on the Sella Herbet traverse or admire the crystal-clear ocean and colorful towns on the Blue Trail. You can also go mountaineering in the Dolomite Alps or even on Vesuvius, which, fortunately, is less active these days than in the days of ancient Rome.

3 – UK

best European hiking destinations

Great Britain consists of four states with different characters and landscapes. Therefore, you can find hiking trails for all tastes. You can climb Snowdon in Wales, explore the Lake District in England or walk Quiring on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

If you have time, why not try the famous coast-to-coast walk, which takes you through three different national parks and two feuding counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

2 – Iceland

best European hiking destinations

Iceland may be cold, but Iceland’s volcanoes, spectacular beaches and giant waterfalls will make you forget about the weather. Where else better to drink fresh glacial water or see a stunning geyser?

Iceland boasts the Laugavegur Track, which is perfect for exploring the Icelandic highlands, and the Fimmverduhals Track, which starts at a stunning waterfall and includes a view of a volcano.

1 – Ireland

best European hiking destinations

The overall winner is the Emerald Isle, Ireland itself. Although the weather in Ireland can be unpredictable (it can start raining at any time), the temperate climate makes it perfect for hiking. Experience Ireland’s famous Irish hospitality by walking along the Sea of Giants or climbing Mount Torc in Kerry.

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

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