5 incredible multi-day hikes
Europe has some epic multi-day hikes. Whether you’re looking for incredible scenery, dizzying heights, emerald green fields, snow-capped peaks, or even a combination of it all... Do you have what it takes to be on the trail for anything between 2 and 30 days?
1. Dolomite High Route
Italy’s Dolomites are among the most revered and respected mountains in Europe. Few hiking trails get you to the heart of this natural wonder like the Dolomite High Route, or Alta Via 1. The hike will take you past historical sites, along the shores of snow-fed alpine lakes, through serene fields, and along the edge of exhilarating precipices.
Visit the website of Alpine Exploratory for more information about this hike.
Length: 129 kilometers / 10 days
Starting point: Dobbiaco, Italy
Tip: Best months to walk are July and September
Trains: There are regular trains to Dobbiaco from many nearby cities like Innsbruck, Venice, Fortezza and Munich.
2. Tour du Mont Blanc
France’s Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the European Union, so it has unsurprisingly been a magnet to adventurous travelers and locals for many years. The famous Tour du Mont Blanc trail takes in some of the best views of this iconic peak from three different countries along the way. Quaint alpine villages provide support between the long days of walking.
Visit the website of Autour du Mont Blanc for more information about this hike.
Length: 160 kilometers
Starting point: Chamonix, France
Trains: There are regular SNCF trains to Gare de Chamonix Mont-Blanc from several cities throughout France and Switzerland.
3. Slovenian Mountain Trail
Slovenia is a haven for outdoor and hiking enthusiasts. The legendary Slovenian Mountain Trail will connect you with some of the country’s best natural attractions. This lengthy, well-maintained trail will take you across some of Slovenia’s steepest mountain ranges, including the Julian and Kamnik-Savinja Alps. There are more than 50 huts that line the route.
Visit the website of Slovenia for more information about this hike.
Length: 500 kilomters / 30 days
Starting point: Maribor, Slovenia
Tip: Before you start hiking, make sure to pick up the Slovenian Alpine Association Passport. You can fill it up with stamps you collect along the way.
Trains: There are regular direct trains from Ljubljana to Maribor station.
4. El Camino
The El Camino is possibly Europe’s best-known multi-day walking trail. It originally started out as an ancient Roman trade route, and then later became a Christian pilgrimage. But these days it’s a hiking trail that attracts a diverse selection of adventurers. The most scenic route is called The French Way, and it takes hikers past the banks of beautiful rivers, along the Pyrenees, and across spectacular countryside. You can start the trail from various locations, but hikers strive to reach the iconic finishing point of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.
Visit the website of the Santiago Compostela for more information about this hike.
Length: 760 kilometers
Starting point: There are multiple starting points for the El Camino, the one in France is in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
Tip: There are several variations on the El Camino that offer various lengths and different pros and cons. Read up about one that suits your time constraints and requirements before departing.
Trains: There are regular trains to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port along the Bayonne - Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port railway, which connect to larger towns including Bordeaux.
Sweden’s Kungsleden, or King’s Trail, is one of the most dramatic and popular on the continent. From start to finish it measures an impressive 435 km. The shortened version from Abisko to Nikkaluokta takes trekkers through one of western Europe’s last unspoiled regions. You’ll go past vast birch forests, stark arctic landscapes, desolate tundra, and even giant glaciers, before leading them into the shadow of Mount Kebnekaise – Sweden’s highest peak. There are huts strategically located throughout the route to provide respite from any bad weather. Officials keep the path in pristine condition throughout the hiking season.
Visit the website of Visit Sweden to find out more about this hike.
Length: 105 kilometers / 3-5 days
Starting point: Abisko Mountain Station
Tip: Most people go in August, so try to go before or after to escape the crowds.
Trains: There are several trains, as well as an occasional direct night train to Abisko Turiststation - the northernmost startingpoint - from Stockholm that takes approximately 19 hours.