Ready to explore some of the world’s most trek-worthy terrain? Europe is full of hiking opportunities of varying types and intensities with some of the world’s most spectacular nature along the way. From the Alps to the Dolomites, the mountain ranges here are known as some of the most picturesque on Earth. 

Whether you’re a nature lover who likes a leisurely hike, or an avid hiker who enjoys nature, these 5 European hikes are can’t-miss experiences this summer. 

Scotland: The Great Glen Way

While there certainly are proper mountains in Scotland, the greatest beauty of this country isn’t necessarily at its highest peaks. The heart of Scotland is in its beloved highlands and lochs. And it’s also there that you’ll find incredible nature to be explored via endless trails across the country. 

The Great Glen Way winds along a geological fault line that takes you coast to coast, past three of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs, including the famous Loch Ness. This gentle, 72-mile trail is a great option for those new to long-distance walking. And it will reward those who choose to tackle it with a truly perfect European hiking experience. 

This is a 5-7 day hike with a range of accommodation options along the way.

Greece: Samaria Gorge on Crete

One of the most notorious hikes in Greece (if not in all of Europe), Samaria Gorge can be found on Crete, the country’s largest island with a mountainous landscape notorious for its fertile valleys. Located in Crete’s White Mountains, this hike will take you down one of the longest and tallest gorges in all of Europe. 

The best part of the Samaria Gorge hike on Crete? Grabbing a drink in the adorable village of Agia Roumeli at the end of the trail and cooling off in the crystal-clear waters of the Libyan Sea.

The Samaria Gorge hike is a moderately challenging 9-mile point-to-point trail that will take about 4.5 hours (not including stops) and is mostly a descent down through the gorge. 

Albania: Theth to Valbona

While you can go from Theth to Valbona or from Valbona to Theth, whichever direction you choose to hike you’ll be met with breathtaking views of the Albanian Alps in the north of the country. 

Hiking from Theth to Valbona, you’ll face a steep initial incline followed by a more leisurely, winding path down towards Valbona after the summit. Vice versa, you can make your way up the more moderate incline followed by a steep descent into Theth. The vistas from the summit here rival the best of Europe and summer is the perfect time to enjoy them.

You’ll likely spend a night in both mountain towns, before and after, where you can enjoy home-cooked Albanian food at quaint guest houses surrounded by magnificent nature. 

This is a full-day through hike that will take anywhere from 6-10 hours.

Norway: Pulpit Rock

Known locally as Preikestolen, you’ve probably seen pictures of Pulpit Rock on social media or in the movie Mission Impossible – Fallout. Just under 5 miles roundtrip, this is one of those hikes that’s more about the destination than the journey (though the journey is pretty spectacular too). This hike takes you through swamplands and forests to a magnificent vista from Pulpit Rock, 2,000 feet above a fjord. 

This is an easy to moderate hike that should take about 4 hours roundtrip. 

Switzerland: Eiger Trail

It would be hard to compile a list of the best hikes in Europe without including Switzerland, the epicenter of the Alps. For this hike, we’re going to head to Grindelwald, a charming mountain town that’s everything you could want out of a Swiss Alp getaway. 

Here, you’ll take the Eiger Trail from Eigergletscher down to Apiglen. Eiger is one of 3 main peaks in the Bernese Oberland. This hike is the perfect example of everything Switzerland and the Alps. The views are unparalleled.

This 3-4 mile hike will land you in Apiglen where you can reward your efforts with an ice-cold beer and a hearty meal. 

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About The Author

Danie is a full-time traveler and freelance travel writer. She’s been on-the-move since 2015 from Albania to Zambia (and 70+ others in between). She’s developed a very sophisticated algorithm that evaluates countries based on a thorough analysis of their wine, hot sauce, local friendliness, and how hard she happy-cries at their nature. You can find her portfolio at owentheglobe.com or her photos on Instagram @danieelizabeth

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