European Mountains that are worth a hike
Hiking is one of the world’s most loved outdoor activities today, and this is no doubt because it provides a perfect balance between fun and exercise. Hiking on trails and footpaths originates in Europe. This continent is home to various stunning, picturesque trails, ranging from the snow-capped Alps and volcanic peaks to steep gorges and rugged coastlines.
Needless to say, Europe is home to several magnificent and scenic mountains that are perfect for hiking; however, some are worth a hike more than others. Here, let’s take a look at the best European mountains that are worth a hike:
Mont Blanc, Europe
When it comes to mountain hiking in Europe, Mont Blanc is definitely at the top of the list. This spectacular mountain has one of the most versatile and impressive sceneries that can be found anywhere in the world. It has an outstanding altitude of 4,808 metres, making it the highest peak in the Alps and the whole of Western Europe.
The trail on this mountain measures 170-kilometre, a long-distance trek that lasts about 11 days if you spend between 5-7 hours trekking each day. Although the main routes through which hikers reach the Mont Blanc zenith start in France, hikers can still access the trails from Italy or Switzerland.
With such a great height and length, Mont Blanc may seem insurmountable. However, the reverse is the case, as thousands of non-experts in the company of certified mountain guides have participated in and thoroughly enjoyed hiking tours on this mountain. Its trails traverse through scenic Alpine villages and deep valleys, thus, creating plenty of opportunities for hikers to refuel and take breaks at the mountain shelters along the way.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre route is a strong contender on our list, as it boasts of not only an 11-kilometre path that connects five fishing villages but also breathtaking views that make you feel like you’re walking in heaven. It takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete a hike on this trail, and hikers can make stops at any of the villages along the route.
The hiking trail can be accessed from two locations: Monterosso and Riomaggiore. Accessing the trail from Monterosso exposes hikers to harder, more strenuous paths, making it the preferred option of experts and professionals. Accessing the trail from Riomaggiore, on the other hand, gives access to the much more accessible and paved paths, making it perfect for beginners.
El Caminito del Rey, Spain
The King’s Little Pathway is one of Spain's most remarkable hiking trails. It gives hikers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, with spectacular views of the breathtaking Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes gorge and the river flowing 105 metres below it. This 8-kilometre-long trail takes about 4 hours to complete.
This trail is not for the faint of heart as it has been described as one of the world's most dangerous hikes. This is because of its famous 3-kilometre walkway section, which takes hikers along the steep walls of a narrow gorge, 100 metres up in the air. You shouldn't have a problem if you do well with heights; if you do not, however, this trail might be challenging.
The Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites, also known as Dolomite Mountains, have over 2000 peaks, 18 of which rise above 3,050 metres. These mountains are a dream destination for hikers as they boast beautiful mountain chains and numerous hiking trails, each one better than the last.
Some of these trails include:
Adolf Munkel Trail: This moderately easy trail is about 9 kilometres long and roughly takes about 3 hours to complete. There are several mountain restaurants and stops for hikers who need breaks.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo: Popularly known as one of the best hikes in the Dolomites, Tre Cime di Lavaredo is a must-visit destination for hikers. Recognized for its incredible scenery and relatively easy routes, this 10-kilometre-long hiking trail is always busy with hikers and bus tours all year long.
Alta Via 1: Hiking through Alta Via 1 is absolutely stunning as you get to see some of the most impressive peaks of the Dolomites. Depending on your pace, the 120-kilometre hike takes about 8-10 days to complete.
Norwegian Fjords, Norway
The Norwegian Fjords is a stunning landscape, stretching approximately 57,604 square metres. It offers a variety of hiking trails, from blue glacier peaks to lush forestry, and one of the most stunning views in the region.
In terms of difficulty, this mountain has something for everyone, irrespective of skill and experience. One of the most popular trails in the Norwegian Fjords is Trolltunga because of its beauty and high edges. Hiking Trolltunga and sitting on the edge of the Troll Tongue is a dream.
The entire trek to and from Trolltunga is about 28 kilometres with an ascent of 800 metres, taking roughly 10-12 hours. While the hiking trail is initially tricky at the beginning due to the uneven paths, the trail evens out and becomes easier as you progress. Hikers are, however, still required to be physically fit and to prepare adequately before embarking on the hike.
Other Fjord trails include Geirangerfjord, Himakana, Langfossen, Preikestolen, Voss, Haugesund and Haugalandet.
Europe has several beautiful destinations that top the bucket list for most hikers. If you are looking to hike on any of the mountains we have recommended, it is highly advisable to prepare adequately and equip yourself with essentials. Perhaps the most important thing you’ll need after cash is comfortable clothes.
At Fat Moose, we have outerwears, such as jackets, pants, vests and overshirts, that are specifically designed to keep you safe and warm on your outdoor adventures. With these clothes, you can be sure to enjoy every bit of your hike without any discomfort or worries.