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Discover Europe's Best Walking Destinations

Discover Europe's Best Walking Destinations: Seven More Routes

, door FLOW Admin, 7 min. leestijd

Continuing our journey through Europe's most captivating walking routes, here are seven more destinations that promise stunning scenery, cultural treasures, and unforgettable experiences.

Missed Part 1 of our European walking destinations series? Click here to start from the beginning!

1. Madeira Island, Portugal

Pico do Arieiro, Madeira

Route: Vereda do Areeiro

Madeira's levadas (irrigation channels) and mountain paths provide stunning walking opportunities. The Vereda do Areeiro is one of the island's most spectacular hikes.

  • Distance: 14 km
  • Duration: 6-7 hours
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • When: Year-round, but the best months are April to October.
  • Highlights: Starting at Pico do Areeiro, the trail traverses rugged peaks and tunnels, leading to Pico Ruivo, Madeira's highest point. The route offers panoramic views of the island's dramatic landscape.

2. Trolltunga, Norway

Trolltunga, Norway

Route: Skjeggedal to Trolltunga

The hike to Trolltunga (the Troll's Tongue) is one of Norway's most spectacular walks, featuring dramatic fjord landscapes and the iconic rock formation jutting out over Lake Ringedalsvatnet.

  • Distance: 27 km round trip
  • Duration: 10-12 hours
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • When: June to September for optimal weather conditions.
  • Highlights: Start in Skjeggedal, trek past mountain lakes and through rugged terrain, and reach Trolltunga for breathtaking views over the fjord. The hike is demanding but immensely rewarding.

3. GR20, Corsica, France

GR20, Corse, France

Route: Calenzana to Conca

Known as one of Europe's toughest long-distance trails, the GR20 traverses the mountainous spine of Corsica, offering an exhilarating adventure through varied landscapes.

  • Distance: 180 km
  • Duration: 15 days
  • Difficulty: Very Challenging
  • When: June to September for stable weather.
  • Highlights: Begin in Calenzana, cross rocky ridges and alpine meadows, and end in Conca. Key highlights include the Cirque de la Solitude and breathtaking mountain views.

4. Alpe-Adria Trail, Austria, Slovenia, and Italy

Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Route: Grossglockner to Muggia

This transnational trail connects Austria, Slovenia, and Italy, showcasing a blend of Alpine and Mediterranean landscapes.

  • Distance: 750 km
  • Duration: 37 stages, each around 20 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • When: May to October for ideal hiking conditions.
  • Highlights: Start at Austria's highest peak, Grossglockner, pass through Slovenia's Triglav National Park, and end at the Adriatic Sea in Muggia, Italy. The trail offers diverse scenery and cultural experiences.

5. The King's Trail (Kungsleden), Sweden

The lake Langas, seen from south of Saltoluokta on the King's Trail

Route: Abisko to Hemavan

Kungsleden, or the King's Trail, is Sweden's premier long-distance trail, winding through the Arctic wilderness of Swedish Lapland.

  • Distance: 440 km
  • Duration: 20-30 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
  • When: Late June to early September to avoid snow.
  • Highlights: Start in Abisko, trek through birch forests and past glacial lakes, and finish in Hemavan. Highlights include the Kebnekaise massif and the beautiful Tjäktja Pass.

6. Via Francigena, Italy

Siena cathedral, Italy

Route: San Miniato to Siena

The Via Francigena is an ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. The section from San Miniato to Siena offers a picturesque journey through Tuscany.

  • Distance: 87 km
  • Duration: 4-5 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • When: April to October for pleasant weather.
  • Highlights: Begin in San Miniato, pass through vineyards and medieval villages, and end in the historic city of Siena, renowned for its stunning cathedral and the Piazza del Campo.

7. Peaks of the Balkans, Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro

Montenegro alps

Route: The circular trail through the Dinaric Alps

This remote and beautiful trail weaves through the mountains of Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro, offering an off-the-beaten-path adventure.

  • Distance: 192 km
  • Duration: 10-13 days
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • When: June to September for the best weather.
  • Highlights: The route offers high mountain passes, traditional villages, and breathtaking scenery. Key highlights include the Valbona Valley in Albania, the Rugova Canyon in Kosovo, and the Prokletije Mountains in Montenegro.

Preparing for Your Walking Trip

Before embarking on these extraordinary trails, thorough preparation is essential. Integrating regular walks into your daily routine can significantly boost the stamina necessary for these extended journeys. If finding time for outdoor walks proves challenging amidst your busy schedule, contemplate utilising a walking pad. This convenient equipment enables you to walk within the comfort of your home, ensuring you maintain fitness levels and are fully prepared for your European adventure.

Top Tips

  • Preparation: Research your route, including terrain, weather conditions, and accommodation options.
  • Gear: Invest in high-quality hiking boots, weather-appropriate clothing, and a comfortable backpack.
  • Navigation: Use a map and a GPS device or app, and familiarise yourself with trail markers.
  • Fitness: Build up your walking stamina through regular walks or by using a walking pad at home.
  • Cultural Respect: Learn basic phrases in the local language and understand local customs and etiquette.

Conclusion

Exploring Europe's diverse landscapes on foot provides an unparalleled immersive experience. Whether navigating the rugged fjords of Norway or the ancient paths of Tuscany, these routes offer both physical challenges and cultural enrichment. Happy hiking!

FAQs

What specific preparations or permits are required for each route?

In Madeira Island, Portugal, for the Vereda do Areeiro hike, no permits are required, but it's essential to be prepared for challenging terrain and variable weather conditions. Similarly, for the Trolltunga hike in Norway, permits are not necessary, but hikers must register at the trailhead for safety purposes. Adequate gear and provisions for the long and demanding trek are crucial for both routes. Moving to Corsica, France, for the GR20 trail, while no permits are needed, it's advisable to purchase the "Topo-Guide" for detailed route information and book accommodations in mountain refuges in advance during peak season.

What are the accommodation options along these routes?

Accommodation options along these routes vary and include a range of choices to suit different preferences and budgets. From mountain refuges or huts offering basic amenities along the GR20 in Corsica to guesthouses, hotels, and camping areas along the King's Trail in Sweden, hikers have diverse options. Farm stays, known as agriturismi, are also available along certain routes, providing a unique cultural experience. Reservations are often recommended, particularly during peak hiking seasons, to ensure availability and a comfortable stay.

What are the public transportation options to and from the starting and ending points of these routes?

When it comes to public transportation options, accessibility to the starting and ending points of these routes differs. In general, buses or trains provide transportation to major trailheads or nearby towns, facilitating access for hikers. Shuttle services may be offered by tour companies or accommodations, simplifying logistics for travellers. Additionally, taxi services are available in many regions, offering flexibility for transportation arrangements. For those preferring self-drive options, car rentals provide convenience and freedom to explore at their own pace.


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