Kati and I have hiked in almost every continent of the world. We love to spend the day out in nature, in a forest or the mountains, and enjoy the beauty. We love the fresh air. The clean water. The incredible sounds and smells.
We also love that hiking is a free activity that you can do anywhere you go.
If you love hiking up and down the trails, admiring stunning nature, breathing in the fresh air at every single step like us, you should go and hike in Europe, once it is back open. This continent is not only famous for exquisite classical cities and historical architecture, but also dramatic mountain scenery that come with nice trails. There is a belief that hiking originated in Germany over a century ago, so it has proved that Europe is a perfect hiking destination.
Here you can enjoy magnificent views, fluffy cotton clouds, snow-covered mountain tops, lush grassy fields, and lovely villages. Not knowing what comes around the next corner is awesome, and some of our best times is when we are lost.
Most importantly, the hiking routes are pretty much close to towns and rails, making them easily accessible for you.
Here are the top 10 best places for a day hike:
With lots of small towns beautifully situated in the mountains, many people have put Austria on their travel map.
This charming country offers convenient access through its great transportation system, making it easy to roam around. For those who love spending hours on day hikes, Zillertal is definitely an excellent choice for all ages and fitness levels.
The region allows hikers to choose the various paths from easy to difficult, from a few hours up to over a week. During the hike, the Zillertal Valley will spoil you with the picturesque landscapes of the Alps. Lush fields, sparkling glaciers, and over 3000-meter peaks make it one of the tracks that you can not kick out from the lists.
For less than 4 hours routes, you can try Toller Blick ins Stilluptal – Blick ins Zillertal Loop from Gemeinde Finkenberg, which is suitable for all skill levels. If you are looking for more challenges, then go with Rastkogelhütte – Arbiskopf Loop from Hochfügen.
Walking along the breathtaking scene of the Lauterbrunnen valley could turn your effort into a wonderful reward.
This small village is located in the Jungfrau region, where it lies in between steep cliffs and many beautiful waterfalls. You will enjoy observing cows and goats walking around the meadows while walking past wooden houses on green hills with bright colored flowers on the windowsill. Once you start off the hike, you will be surprised with well-maintained paths that offer some of the incredible views of snow-capped peaks, pristine fields, turquoise snow-fed lakes and high ended waterfalls.
Pretty traditional huts located along the way provide hikers a great place to rest and a cup of some hot chocolate at the same time admiring the Swiss panoramas. If you are craving for more, you can continue walking up to Schilthorn peak.
Bled and Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Lake Bled and its surroundings are the ideal backdrops for your next hiking trip, with an impressive village and wonderful sceneries. You would first head to Bled Castle with over a thousand-year of history and enjoy coffee at one of the spectacular terraces in Slovenia. Then, you continue hiking around Lake Bled and its western side for an hour. After climbing up 680 meters to Mala Osojnica peak, you will see a jaw-dropping view of the village and castle, which is your special reward for today.
Not far from the lake is Triglav National Park stretching across the stunning Julian Alps. This place is where hikers will get to appreciate the stunning landscape over alleys and rivers.
If you keep walking for approximately 4 kilometers from Bled to Laden Vintgar Gorge waterfall at the national park’s northeastern corner, you will find wooden bridges styling the way along the Radon river and get to enjoy the majestic views of Mount Triglav.
Poprad is a small town on the Slovakian side of the mountains and has become a hub for hikers to reach many fantastic walks. The town offers a wide range of trails, from easy ones to required technical hikes. From here, you can make your way to the High Tatras National park in the north of town, where the High Tatra Mountains stand between the border of Poland and Slovakia.
The recommended route is Krvan Peak on the western side of the High Tatras, which is named one of the most popular hikes in the country. Hikers will appreciate the magnificent scenery, including an exciting walk up below 2,500 meters. To get there, you can take a direct train from Prague, Zillna, Kosice, or Bratislava to Poprad. From there, you can travel on tram or bus to the mountain resorts and trails.
Cinque Terre National Park, Italy
This amazing coastal line is one of the most photogenic spots in Italy. The five romantic towns; Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, lay down allied to the cliff facing the sea and surrounded by beautiful greenery.
There are over 120 kilometers of trail along the seaside, nearly 50 tracks for you to pick. The most famous route is 4 kilometers from Corniglia to Vernazza, which takes approximately 2 hours to finish. You will naturally attract by the brilliant view along the route, making you stop from time to time for nice snapshots. Besides, you will also experience steep stairs with well-marked paths, so all hikers would probably need to be careful with it. These small villages are very easy accessible. Trains operate in both directions connecting each town. Hikers can leave luggage at the starting point and take the train back at the end of the trail. If you would like to discover a little longer, you should settle yourself in one of the villages.
Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
Slovenia is one of Europe’s hidden gems where travelers will enjoy exploring the beauty of nature. This country is also perfect for day hikes with many routes that cater to all hikers’ conditions. The remarkable Bohinj is a good starting point for a noteworthy hike among the Julian Alps. Lots of people said it is the more attractive version of nearby Lake Bled. You will not believe it until you get to experience the trail yourself through your eyes on this Masterpiece of Slovenian treasure. For one day hike, you can take a train from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, then take regular buses to Bohinj.
Although the walk could take about 6 hours, this track offers a phenomenal view over the region and leads you up to the highest summit south of Lake Bohinj, which is Mt. Rodica. Along the route, you can also notice a constantly changing series of landscapes.
Karlovy Vary to Loket, Czech Republic
Most travelers make their way to Karlovy for its famous colonnades and hot spring. But for hikers, it is a marvelous day hike that you can simply do from Karlovy Vary to Loket. Even though the trail is quite flat and well-preserved, you will never be bored of the astonishing views, and lush green forests from the path parallel to the Ohre River. The whole route also runs through the splendid mossy forest with the sound of birds singing along the hike, making it fun and more pleasant. You could even hear some weird sounds from the woodpecker. For the first 3 kilometers, the track is paved until you reach a restaurant, then you need to cross the river on a wobbly bridge.
The trail could get busy on approach to Loket, especially during the weekend as this colorful town attracts lots of tourists with its beautiful castle. The castle is literally a bit small, but every little detail on it makes it well worth visiting. Don’t skip to climb up the tower for a tremendous view over the valley.
After a visit, you can enjoy a leg of lamb with a lovely atmosphere at a castle restaurant and grab some drinks at the village’s medieval square. In summer, there is some live music performing at the open-air theatre just below the beautiful castle. The hike is approximately 24 kilometers, which some hikers take about 6 hours to complete. Kids will surely enjoy the hike as it is easy with a lot of things to do, and you do not have to go the entire 24 kilometers.
Because of its breathtaking natural settings, Norway has become one of the hikers’ best friends. Many amazing short distance hikes are waiting for hikers to discover across the country. Among several places, Pulpit Rock is the most well-known, offering majestic views with great photography chances.
There are over thousands of tourists visiting this stunning vertical cliff every year. To get there, you have to travel on a ferry or join a bus ride to Stavanger. You can also take a train from Oslo to Stavanger via Kristiansand and catch a bus to Pulpit Rock. It might sound a bit complicated. Still, it has been ranked one of the best for visitors’ travel experiences.
This trail is suitable for all physical levels, and of course, the best time to trek here is in summer. Try the hike up to Pulpit Rock and get to the very edge of it for the most memorable experience you would ever get from here.
The Dolomites, Italy
The diversity of the landscape and a remarkable backdrop of imposing cliffs from the Lago di Sorapis hike will fascinate you in every season. Starting from Passo Tre Croci Parking lot, the half-day hike could return using the same route.
This path takes 11 kilometers in return using the standard route. During the journey, you will get to walk through the forest before joining the cliff’s edge, which will lead you to the dazzling pool of Lago di Sorapis. Hikers could also take a far more challenging trail to Cortina.
Hikers can also take a far more challenging trail to Cortina. This track allows you to climb toward a windswept mountain pass where the amazing wind sceneries are hidden beneath you. The wall of the mountain peak lies on the horizon. There might not be many visitors taking this route. Still, it is definitely worth the trek with stunning views of the Dolomites.
Bachalpsee is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes, which lies in the Bernese Oberland region. The trail is accessed by the Grindelwald First cable car, and it is about 6 kilometers round-trip from the station. This route is very popular among tourists who love enjoying the Swiss landscape on foot.
The track is not only well-developed and easy to walk, but it is also an ideal trip for all ages. Hikers can smoothly find perfect spots to have a picnic on numerous benches, with alpine meadows and an awesome backdrop of glacial mountains. Taking tons of nice pictures is also expected to happen along the route. After chilling out at the lake, you can either walk back or walk down to the Bort middle station.
Our Last Word
We love to get off the plane in Europe and already be thinking about hiking. Kati’s family are avid hikers and we love to join them whenever we are with them, and love to explore on our own as well. Hiking is something we love to do whether we are home or away and hiking in Europe is clearly one of ours and many people’s favorite activities as it is a great way to appreciate the beauty of nature. Although day hike requires a short time, you will probably get to enjoy every moment of it. Those who love to do sightseeing and some other kind of tour can undoubtedly include this activity in your itinerary.
Prior to the start of your journey, make sure that you plan your trip as well as your physical and mental health. We hope that our top hikes list will give you some inspiration and idea to add on your next trip and let you explore further than ever before.
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