Top 12 Countries in Europe that Hikers Will Absolutely Love

Top 12 Countries in Europe that Hikers Will Absolutely Love

Go hiking in Europe and be awed by lofty mountains, incredible nature and gorgeous towns.

There is nothing better than getting out on the trail and travelling on your own two feet through beautiful landscapes. Unlike when you travel by faster modes of transport, walking can transport you into a world of fine detail and you can literally stop and smell the flowers. If you like to hike then European Countries offer a wide and exciting range of options for walking in the wilds. Here are 12 countries in Europe that hikers are sure to find utterly irresistible:

1. Scotland

The rugged landscape of Scotland is a hiking paradise. From the craggy mountain peaks and cold mountain lochs to rolling farmland and ancient oak and Scot’s pine forests, from crinkled, rocky coastlines to long sandy strands, from remote castles in picturesque glens to historic cities brimming with beauty and culture, Scotland is the perfect place for a hiking holiday. With fewer than 5.5 million inhabitants, this is a land with plenty of space and solitude to enjoy – though you will receive a warm welcome wherever you go.

2. Norway

Image Credit: Aram Kudurshian

Norway’s fjords are spectacularly beautiful. Hiking along and amongst the mountains of the crinkled Norwegian coast can give you an insight into the land that send forth Viking invaders into the world – a harsh land and yet one that has a very distinctive wild beauty. Visit the beautiful railway of Flam, the historic settlement of Bergen, or journey into the far, far north to see the Northern Lights in the Arctic circle.

Also Read: Hiking in Asia: 10 Places With Stunning Trails

3. Sweden

Image Credit: Juho Holmi

Sweden’s landscape is wide, open and dramatic. Hike in Sweden’s forests or around coastal areas near the beautiful and elegant capital of Stockholm. Those looking for real adventure can hike north into the forests and hills, far north into Lapland to see Santa Claus and ride sledges pulled by huskies across the cold landscape. Why not take advantage of Scandinavia’s fantastic freedoms and wild-camp to increase the range of your hikes?

4. England

Image Credit: Kyle Taylor

England’s green and pleasant land is a perfect place for a hiking holiday. Why not explore the beautiful moors, limestone uplands and rolling farmland of Yorkshire, visit the beautiful leafy lanes of the Cotswolds, or experience the high drama and literary history of the Lake District, with its rugged hills and swiftly changing waters? Whether you are looking for a long-distance hiking challenge or a gentle stroll amid cheery and calming scenery, England could be the place for your next holiday.

5. Switzerland

Image Credit: Dino Olivieri

For grandeur and excitement nothing can beat the Alps. The Swiss mountains offer an alpine paradise where you can hike between picturesque settlements in valleys high in the rooftop of Europe. Visit Grindelwald, where the village nestles beneath the famous peaks of the Eiger, the Matterhorn, Jungfrau, or see the spectacular waterfalls in the neighbouring valley of Lauterbrunnen, where you can see the Trummelbach falls thundering down through the rock.

6. France

Image Credit: Mike Ortega

France too has Alpine delights, or, if the mountains are a little too strenuous, there are also many other places to hike across the country: the beautiful karst landscape of the Jura for example, the beautiful Dordogne, the vineyards of Provence or Bordeaux and the heady delights of Champagne. Wherever you hike in this lovely country you will be rewarded for your efforts by some of the best food found anywhere in the world.

7. Germany

Image Credit: Frank Kovalchek

The Bavarian Alps rise dramatically from the landscape to the south of the country. The German state of Bavaria is a hiking wonderland of historic castles and towns, beautiful scenery and cheerful beer gardens. Likewise in the south west of the country, all along the Neckar river, you will find a range of lovely hiking country with many attractions and can visit some charming university towns, or elsewhere, walk in the woods of the magical Black Forest.

Also Read: Top 10 Hiking Getaways From Singapore

8. Austria

Image Credit: Henning Leweke

Austria is a land of wild woods and mountains, of fairytale castles and elegant cities. There are a wide range and high number of hiking trails, long and short distance, all across the country. Hike in summer in the mountains around the winter ski resorts of Leogang, Saalbach and Hinterglemm, a trendy destination for a young and international crowd, or explore the Austrian Tyrol, to discover a slower paced and more sedate way of life.

9. Italy

Image Credit: Chen Siyuan

From the Italian Alps to the Dolomites to the rolling farmland and vineyards of Umbria and Tuscany, Italy specialises in hiking trails with a dash of panache. Italy is perfect for picture-perfect postcard views and lovely Mediterranean weather in which to walk. For views to die for and an escape from motorised transport, consider a visit to the Cinque Terre – the five towns on the Italian coast that nestle like handfuls of colourful jewels on the cliffs.

10. Wales

This country may be small but some might argue that it is perfectly formed. Hikers will love exploring the rugged hills of the Brecon Beacons or seeking adventure in the wild and wind-swept Snowdonia National Park, where hikers can also enjoy the adventurous thrills of ziplining above or below ground, rafting, kayaking or cliff-side camping if hiking is not adventurous enough for them. History lovers will also be in seventh heaven as they visit Wales’ many castles and ancient monuments of other kinds.

11. Montenegro

Image Credit: gregoriosz

Montenegro may be little known by many but it is highly regarded by those in the know, especially those who enjoy adventure in the great outdoors. In Montenegro you can hike around beside the glistening sun-drenched waters of Kotor Bay, or venture deep into the dramatic mountains and gorges of Durmitor National Park, where the rivers can be rafted, the hills climbed and paths trekked.

Also Read: Top 10 Mountains in Philippines With the Most Incredible Views

12. Croatia

Image Credit: Pablo BM

Croatia’s sunny coast and islands make for many an idyllic hike. Whether you explore the waterfalls and pools of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the scenic landscape of Krka National Park or one or more of the varied Croatian islands that repose in the Adriatic Sea, there are walks to suit all ages, abilities and inclinations. Plus, on the coastline, there are several historic and cultured cities to enjoy.

Also Read: 10 Mountains in Southeast Asia With the Most Incredible Views

About Author

Elizabeth Waddington
Elizabeth Waddington

Elizabeth Waddington lives in rural Scotland with her husband and her dog. She is part of a small community who are trying to live as sustainably as possible. A professional freelance writer who works from home full time, she has over ten years of writing experience and an MA in English and Philosophy. She mostly writes about travel, sustainability and permaculture and has a particular interest in adventure holidays, camping, walking and sustainable travel. She travels whenever she can.