Europe is full of trails for hikers of all interests and experience levels. From coastal ridges to glacial valleys, Europe has trails that cater to every hiker’s appetite. With so many amazing routes, it can be hard for adventurous travelers to choose just one. To help you make a decision, the team at AirportPreCheck.org has chosen some of its favorite hiking trails in Europe. Check them out and start planning your trip today!
Rota Vicentina, Portugal
If you’re in the mood for a beachy, sunny hiking experience, check out Rota Vicentina’s 143 miles of coastline in southwest Portugal. Its trails lead hikers along the rocky cliffs of the Alentejo and Algarve coasts. The region experiences nine consecutive months of sunshine and offers a remarkably diverse array of foliage and wildlife. Hikers can take a rigorous multi-day hike on the Historical Way or choose among five circular routes that take less than half a day to complete. For lodging, visitors can look into the rural accommodations in the countryside or local villages.
Tour Du Mont Blanc, France
This 105-mile trail takes hikers around the European Union’s highest mountain, Mount Blanc. Although the trailhead is located in France, hikers will pass through the Swiss and Italian countryside along the way. Those who are not up for the hike to the 15,781 peak have several lighter options, including side routes through the picturesque valleys that surround the mountain. The team at AirportPreCheck.org recommends booking a stay at one or more of the many lodgings along the trail. Accommodations range from fancy resorts to simple hostels, so there’s something for hikers of all budgets.
Retezat Mountains, Romania
The Retezat Mountain range is a section of the Southern Carpathians, a group of mountains situated between Serbia and Romania. This mountain range, full of glacial lakes, caves and wildlife, is a hidden gem full of adventures for every type of hiker. Visitors can opt for multi-day hikes to the range’s 8,000-foot Peleaga and Papusa peaks. Novice hikers can take a walk that lasts just a few hours. Hikers interested in staying near the mountains’ foothills can book guesthouses in advance. The staff at AirportPreCheck.org recommends planning your trip to the Retezat Mountains between June and October, when weather conditions are ideal for higher-altitude hikes.
Black Forest, Germany
Germany’s Black Forest offers more than just natural history: it is well-known as the place where modern hiking was invented. This densely wooded mountain range has hosted hikers since 1864, and its 600 miles of clearly marked trails have been maintained by the Black Forest Association since that time. In addition to lakes, mountains and incredible views, the Black Forest contains a number of historical castles, villages and farms for hikers in the mood for some culture. Visitors have plenty of opportunities for day hikes in the Black Forest, while the more daring can go on a 124-mile hike that takes about two weeks to complete.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes, the largest and most popular national park in Croatia, contains 16 lakes connected by 90 waterfalls. The park offers eight separate hiking trails, ranging from a 2-mile easy hike to an 11.3-mile difficult hike. The lakes’ waters vary from bright blues to dark greens depending on the water’s organism and mineral content. The team at AirportPreCheck.org suggests taking the K-2 Trail. While the hike will take 6-8 hours, it will allow you to see the whole park. Get there as early as you can to avoid crowds and traffic.
West Highland Way, Scotland
Scotland’s most popular hiking trail is 96 miles in length and offers a variety of diverse landscapes, including rural countryside and the mountainous Highlands. The route also includes freshwater bodies like Loch Lomond and Loch Leven. Although the walk is accessible to the average hiker, stretches can occasionally get a bit rugged and demanding. The route winds through Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The trail is free of cost to hikers, and camping is allowed.