Dirt trail leading along grove of pine trees along crest of valley. Mountains slope upward on other side of valley.
The TMB is one of the most famous long distance hikes in Europe.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / agustavop

8 Hiking Trails That'll Help You Discover the Beauty of the European Countryside

The Best Way to Experience Europe’s Natural Beauty

One of the best ways to explore Europe is on your own two feet. If you are wanting to avoid European tourist traps and get an authentic sense of what the continent has to offer, hiking from town to town is the way to do it.

Whether you are tackling mountains and fjords, or strolling through valleys awash with wildflowers, hiking Europe will give you a close-up view of the countries you are walking through.

You’ll catch the scent of freshly baked baguettes wafting from boulangeries in France, hear the jangle of cow bells in alpine meadows in Switzerland, and see life as it is in some of the highest and most isolated corners of Europe. Plus there many lessons hiking teaches you, so you’ll get a lot more out of the trip than just great photos.

Lace up your hiking boots and get your walking sticks out — you’re going to want to discover these incredible hikes in Europe.

Tour du Mont Blanc: Switzerland, France, Italy

Also known as the TMB, this is one of the most famous long distance hikes in the world. The track stretches around Mont Blanc for around 110 miles, passing through Switzerland, France and Italy.

The classic hike usually takes around 11 days, with hikers most commonly kicking off from Chamonix. Along the way you can choose from lots of accommodation options, tailoring the length of your days to suit your fitness.

This flexibility means people of all fitness levels can do the hike, but ideally you need some experience hiking in mountain terrain, and you should always go well-equipped with the right hiking gear as the weather can change rapidly.

Two tents pitched at edge of river among green shrubbery.The journey will take you through the Swedish mountains on what is known as the King's Trail.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / johansjolander

Kungsleden: Sweden

Stretching for 270 miles, ‘The King’s Trail’ is truly a royal hike. Carving through Swedish Lapland’s incredible landscapes, you will get to enjoy dazzling scenery for the length of the hike.

The journey will take you through the Swedish mountains and across Vindelfjallen, one of the largest nature reserves in Europe.

The track is clearly marked and huts along the way are clean, simple, and manned by wardens who allocate beds. Hikers usually tackle the trek in summer.

You can undertake the hike in winter, travelling on skis, but the harsh weather can pose some risks. It’s recommended to join a tour group if you wish to take on this hike during this time.

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Man with hiking poles walking along gravel path that winds along base of mountain. There are another layer of mountains in the background.Hike amid snowy peaks, rolling alpine fields and picturesque villages.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / jurgar

Bernese Overland Trails: Switzerland

A collection of trails, these hikes weave through Switzerland’s highlands (oberlands) and the foothills of the Swiss Alps. You’ll traverse quintessentially Swiss landscapes — think snowy peaks, rolling alpine fields and picturesque villages.

Hiking is a popular pastime in Switzerland and this enthusiasm means all the trails are well marked and easy to follow. You can do day hikes or match together several trails for a longer overnight experience.

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