Last year, during the strictest lockdown we realised that nothing is more valuable than being able to spend some time outside. The pandemic made us re-evaluate the value of nature and outdoor activities. Of course, exploring beautiful cities in Europe is a wonderful activity, but hiking offers you so much more. Setting off on a hiking trail is an excellent way to take care of your mental and physical health.
There are a lot of mountains and hikes in Europe to choose from. But don’t worry, that’s why we are here, to give you some inspiration! Below, you will find five beautiful hikes in Europe ranging from easy to challenging levels. Ready?
1. El Caminito Del Rey, Spain
This almost 8-kilometer trail is truly spectacular and undoubtedly unforgettable! The walkways zigzag along cliff-sides, canyons and a big valley. The pathway was originally built between two waterfalls in order to bring workers and materials to the local hydroelectric dam.
You can only walk the trail one way, from north to south and it consists of mountain paths and suspended walkways. At the start, in the town of Ardales, there is a restaurant and several parking areas where you can leave your car. After the hike, you can go back to parking area by a shuttle bus (by the way, it runs both ways).
Suspended walkways, a glass balcony, views from a hanging bridge, the Caminito del Rey is worth every footstep!
2. Beautiful Hikes in Europe: Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy
Duration: few hours – several days
This magical national park is nestled in the heart of the Italian Alps. You can have lovely single-day hikes, but since the park covers 70.000 hectares of magnificent territory, you can also plan multi-day hikes depending on your fitness level and on the difficulty of the route.
Valnontey River Trail for example is an easy, 1-1.5h (2.2km) trail that takes you through an alluring valley along the Valnontey River. If you want something more challenging, we recommend the Alpe Money Hike. It is a 6-7.5h (16.3km) trail, which takes you up to the Gran Paradiso Mountain range. From the peak you will have best views from the highest mountains of the park. (You’ll need your waterproof shoes for this trail!)
3. Rysy Hike In The Tatra Mountains, Poland
Difficulty: Challenging (preparation needed!)
Duration: 4 hours 15 minutes (from Morskie Oko)
Climbing the Rysy is considered to be one of the best hikes in Poland. There are several reasons for this. First of all, the trail starts at the most popular place in the Tatra Mountains, at Lake Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea). Nothing can be compared to the beauty of this lake, it is truly a wonder of nature! Moreover, Rysy is the highest mountain in Poland (2499m), therefore it attracts many adventurous hikers for good reason.
After arriving at Palenica Bialczanska car park, you can choose from two options to get to this magical lake: either take Morskie Oko Lake Hike (2.5-3h) or take Morskie Oko Horse Carriage (1h). If you decide to climb this challenging mountain, you have to be aware of many things first. Preparation and knowledge is indispensable for this hiking trail to avoid stressful situations and traffic jams on the trail. Not only do you have to be in a good physical condition, but you also have to know that this trail requires high mountain hiking skills.
If you have all the required skills and decide to take on this beautiful challenge, you will be awarded with the most splendid panorama from the peak.
4. Beautiful Hikes in Europe: Eibsee Loop Trail, Germany
This loop trail offers you a stunning scenery over the emerald-green waters of the lake Eibsee. The trail is generally flat with only a few smaller hills and it winds through the forest which provides shade and gentle breezes.
We recommend walking the trail anticlockwise for a better view. The lake with its clear water and little islands looks like an enchanted fairytale location. You’ll have so many beautiful different views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. It’s a very picturesque gentle walk, perfect for a summer swim or paddle. Highly recommended for families!
5. The Flysch Route, Spain
The Flysch Route takes place in the Basque Coast Geopark, in Spain. This well marked trail hides a singular treasure of natural beauty. The route stretches from Zumaia to Deba and between these two villages you will discover a true geological phenomenon – the flysch. The flysch is a sequence of sedimentary rock layers that lead down into the sea. Due to erosion, layers and layers of rock are revealed and each layer represents a different geologic era.
Put on your comfortable, non-slippery shoes and come to admire the breathtaking panoramic views and the beauty of the cliffs which conceal 50 million years of history. It’s a real journey back through time.
Are you thinking about planning a day trip from Sydney, Australia? Click here for some awesome tips!