If you are a hiker who loves to explore the long trails, then don’t worry today I have created a list of some best thru-hikes in Europe that you can trek with your friends or alone. In the list, you will go through some popular long trails in Europe, while some are underrated trails that are equally a worth of experience.
Thru Hikes in Europe
PEAKS OF THE BALKANS
The peaks of the Balkans is one of the diversified hiking trails, through your hike you will see wild landscapes, long and jagged peaks to beautiful valleys. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of sheep and cows around the trail, as it is home to these calm animals.
The peak of the Balkans is a 192 km trail which makes it a long hike. But you can expect your journey to be completed in 13 to 15 days, totally depends on your health and fitness. The fun part about the trail is that it is crossing 3 countries, which makes it accessible from three different countries. Theth (Albania); Plav (Montenegro), Kosovo are three different countries, and depending on the particular choice you can start your hike from one of these.
Other than mountain peaks you will expect your encounter with small lodges through your journey. Also, hikers are welcomed by locals in their society with hospitality. And last but not least you will be sleeping in stone houses, also known as “kulas”.
GRAND ITALIAN TRAIL
The 3,700 miles trail grand Italian trail is one the longest and photogenic places for hikers. The trail makes its way between the mountains and is divided into 368 sections. If you are not in hurry to complete your journey then you can spend your time on some sections which are more beautiful and diversified.
Through your journey between different sections, you will be adorned with the beauty of natural landscapes, beautiful coasts, and snow-capped mountains. Through your journey, you will visit the ancient ruins and make your way through vineyard-covered valleys.
while the trail is 6, 600 km you can expect to complete your journey in 350 to 360 days(almost one year). Your journey of this thru-hike will start from Trieste (starting point) and end in Santa Teresa Gallura. If this 3,700 miles is too much for you then you can select the sections of your choice from 368 sections. Always carry an existing GPS with you, as a lot of paths on the trail are unmarked.
THE SLOVENIAN MOUNTAIN TRAILS
THE SLOVENIAN MOUNTAIN TRAILS is filled with adventures and breathtaking views. The trail starts from Maribor and makes its way toward the plateaus of the Pohorje Hills. Through this gap, you will be offered a glimpse of the tallest Alpine submit in the distance by the trail. from there the trail will take to different ranges and one of the highest and longest ranges.
The trail will add thrill to your journey as you go down and then up in valleys followed by the breathtaking views one after another.
Before visiting the trail you should know that the Slovenian trail connects 49 mountain huts, 5 towns, and 23 peaks. The trail will end at Debeli Rtic, and can be completed in 30 days, depending on your fitness level one can complete in 20 days or less.
If you don’t want to complete the trail don’t worry tere are various points given after distance for exist.
Kungsleden is a 400 km long hiking adventure on a trail named The King trail which passes through Sweden’s most beautiful mountains and provides a scenic view one after another. It is no surprise that The king hiking trail is one of the most popular trails in the world among experienced and first time hiker. The hike between Abisko and Nikkaluokta is considered the most alpine and most hiked trail in the country. A journey along Kungsleden takes you through verdant mountain heaths surrounded by tarns and dramatic peaks, and the trail also passes through several mountain villages.
The trail is consists of three national parks: Abisko, Stora Sjöfallet which lies in Laponia and Pieljekaise is between Jäkkvik and Ammarnäs trail. These national parks offer visitors the beauty of natural landscapes. But while you are there always considerate when you meet reindeer, don’t panic just don’t move or sit still on the ground in a way that you look as small as possible.
To explore more about the trail and place itself you can join or go to Sami summer camps which come along your journey at different places. Other than that STF has around 15 to 16 cabins between the distance of 10 to 20 km. This a thru-hikes in Europe, Sweden which will take around 30 days of your physical activity to be completed. If 400km is too much for you then you can choose any section, the one most popular is between Abisko and Nikkaluokta which is 105km long(this alone will take you 10 days, depending on your fitness and health you can cover the distance in fewer days).
One of the top listed thru-hikes in Europe and in the world Lycian way is a beautiful and unique combination of scenic views such as mountainous hinterland, Turkish culture, and ancient ruins. The trail is 540km long, and it takes 30 days for an average hiker to complete his/her journey. The trail is followed by teke peninsula outline and lies between the towns of Fethiye and Antalya in southwest turkey.
The amazing thing about hiking the trail is that it can be done without camping or tents and by staying in village pensions. But still for your own clear mind always carry camping gear with yourself. As you will meet natives and families there you came to know that the place is very welcoming, all people are friendly to visitors and offers help if needed.
The Lycian way is one of the adventurous and most beautiful places or trails in the world, that draws the attention of a lot of different hikers all around the world. The journey is filled with stunning coastline, resort towns, and villages that attract the attention of every visitor. As you explore the trail further you will be blown by the breathtaking views of beaches and vertiginous sea cliffs, this also where you can explore moss-covered chambers that take you back to the history of the democratic union.
Other main highlights of the trail are delicious food, Ancient ruins (you may find it everywhere), Turkish hospitality, and a quality transportation facility. Keeping it short Lycian way is a great mixture of sights, attractions, and experiences that keep the trail always interesting to explore further on the route.
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Camino de Santiago
One of the trails that became popular in recent years Camino de Santiago is one of the most popular thru-hikes in Europe with trails or routes ranging from 100km to 1000km. as per reports around 350,000, Compostela pilgrim certificates were issued in the year 2019. this is the big no. if we compare it to early days which is only 1200 in 1985.
The trail is not popular only among hikers but also loved by people who love cycling because of the rewarding experience and scenic views the trail has to offer. While your journey you can explore the historic sites and monuments of the place. There are several different routes and each portrays a different culture as you walk through these routes. The trail itself is filled with a variety of landscapes as you make your way through coastal Camino routes to vineyards. Camino is one of the popular routes among visitors, it is also an addictive route as many hikers plan to revisit this route again after they visited it the first time. Besides that, the trail has a lot of options or routes, depending on a personal choice you can choose any route. There are routes that are 120km long and on the side, some are 1000km long (thru-hikes).
The amazing thing about the trail is that anybody can conquer it, whether you are a hiker, athlete, or a normal person. For better and easy experience all routes are marked with scallop shells and yellow arrows painted on roads and trees. Follow the marks and you will make it to the end i.e Santiago de Compostela
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Tour de Mont Blanc
One of the classic treks and thru-hikes in Europe Tour de Mont Blanc is listed among the top “must-do” treks. The beauty of the place is increasing day by day, which is making it a top choice for international hikers.
The trail circuit is not long as compared to its other siblings but still, the whole circuity takes 170 kilometers walking around the mont blanc mountain. Mont Blanc is a mountain with a height gain of 10,000m. The trail makes its way through three different alpine regions within Switzerland, Italy, and France.
Unlike other trails, the route of this can be done anticlockwise, makes finishing and starting in Chamonix. This journey of 170km will take 10 to 12 days of your walking to finish, but the reward is immense. Not only the trail offers you some earthly and spectacular views but also gives you enough time to explore yourself as you make your way through some unguided treks. In case you don’t have enough time to complete the full circuit then you can select 5 or 6 best sections that are the main highlights of the Mont Blanc.
One of the priority choice for hikers for a summer hike Haute-Route Is a long hike of km. The trail will take you to the high-level traverse in the swiss alps. Haute Route is a land of glaciers and towers, the added contrasts of snow peaks increase the beauty of the place further that can’t be explained in words. As you continue the trail will take you through green valleys which are covered with flower meadows, and along your way, you will see some picturistic villages with friendly people who are happy and welcoming.
The trail crosses several passes and peaks (total 12) of which 10 are the highest in the alps. There are two different route passes each refects the different culture and languages. The Haute-Route trail in Switzerland will take 10 to 12 days to complete (walking from Chamonix (France) to Zermatt).