Our 10 Greatest Multi-Day Hikes in Europe

Our 10 Greatest Multi-Day Hikes in Europe

By Claire WhittersDestinations

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Europe boasts some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet—and what better way is there to experience this natural oasis than by foot? Home to over 40 countries, 10 major mountain ranges, and over 100 minor mountain ranges, outdoor pursuit opportunities on this continent are limitless. Explore the Italian Dolomites, wander through kissing gates in the Scottish moorlands, hike the jagged Portuguese coastline and appreciate European hospitality and indulge in local cuisine along the way.

Beckoning visitors from around the globe, Europe is one of the most popular international destinations. Travel easily beyond borders and experience a new language and culture only 10 minutes away from the last. With the unrivaled natural beauty and charm, we had a hard time curating this list. Alas, we narrowed it down to some of the greatest treks on the continent—enjoy!

10 Best multi-day hikes in Europe

10 Best multi-day hikes in Europe

Tour du Mont Blanc
GR20 Trek
Alta Via 1 Trek
Peaks of the Balkans
West Highland Way
The Pennine Way
Hardangervidda Plateau Transverse
The Walker’s Haute Route
Camino de Santiago - The French Way
Rota Vicentina: The Fisherman’s Trail

1. Tour du Mont Blanc

The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the greatest treks in the world and the most popular long-distance route in Europe. Escape into the Alps and circle 170.0 km through Italy, France, and Switzerland around the continent’s highest mountain. This beautiful, well-revered route exhibits spellbinding views of the craggy mountains, hanging glaciers, and surrounding luxuriant valleys.

Reserved for experienced hikers, this trek through the alps demands about 15.0 km of hiking a day with an elevation change of about 1,000 m. Check out our Tour du Mont Blanc blog to ensure you are equipped with the proper gear. Note the refuges along this path are quick to book, so reserve your accommodations now! Refer to our comprehensive guide to TMB accommodations for tips and tricks. If you discover the refuges you wish to book are filled, easily book the Tour du Mont Blanc adventure tour.

Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc

Location: France, Italy, and Switzerland
Distance: 170.0 km
Days Recommended: 8-14days
When to do: June-October

2. GR20 Trek

Awarded the title of the most challenging trek in Europe, the GR20 travels over 150.0 km around the Island of Corsica. Among one of the most beautiful hikes in the world, the GR20 explores the rugged and majestic mountains of Monte Cintu, Paglia Orba, Capu Tafunatu, and Mount Incudine. Indulge views of the expansive lush green valleys, turquoise rock pools and striking granite spires—the scenery along this trail is breathtaking.

A high level of fitness and dedication are required when tackling the Grande Randonnée. The Superbowl of hiking routes, the mountain refuges that line the trail are quick to fill—so book in advance. If you are scrambling to secure a reservation, you can always pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars. Not interested in organizing your own adventure? Book the GR20 self-guided tour and let us handle the headache-inducing task.

GR20 Trek

GR20 Trek

Location: France
Distance: 180.0 km
Days Recommended: 10-15days
When to do: June to October

3. Alta Via 1 Trek

The Alta Via 1 Trek is an epic multi-day hike through the Italian Dolomites. This challenging hike through the alpine terrain explores soaring crests, deep ravines, glacial lakes, high mountain passes, and explores several battle sites from World War I. A magnet for geologists, history buffs, and intrepid adventurers alike, this amazing hike is comparable in difficulty to the Tour du Mont Blanc. Discover the beauty of the iconic craggy limestone peaks that command the skyline.

Demanding a modest effort, proper preparation, and equipment, the Alta Via 1 is no walk in the park—though it is the easiest route of all the six of the Alta Via Trails due to its superior infrastructure and more manageable terrain. Wondering where to lay your head at night? Accommodations along this incredible trek are limited to mountain refuges and wild camping. You can also book the Alta Via 1 Trek on 10Adventures Tours.

Alta Via 1 Trek

Alta Via 1 Trek

Location: Italy
Distance: 120.0 km
Days Recommended: 8-10 days
When to do: June-September

4. Peaks of the Balkans

Immerse yourself in the Accursed Mountains along the Peaks of the Balkans Trek. This incredible transnational journey travels 194.0 km from Shkodra, Albania, and loops through some of the most rugged and remote regions of the Balkans. Explore the wild landscape characterized by sky-scraping peaks, lush valleys, alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, montane meadows, and dense woodlands. The incredible scenery along this trek will undoubtedly render you speechless.

Reserved for experienced trekkers, this remarkable journey travels at high altitudes and demands the navigation of technical terrain, so proper preparation and adequate gear are required. Although guided tours are recommended, confident hikers can tackle this trek solo. As far as accommodations go along the Peaks of the Balkans, hikers will stay in family-run guesthouses and refuges, mountain huts, or wild camping.

Peaks of the Balkans

Peaks of the Balkans

Location: Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro
Distance: 192.0 km
Days Recommended: 10-15 days
When to do: June-October

5. West Highland Way

Stretching over 150.0 km from Milngavie to Fort Williams, the West Highland Way is an incredible multiday hike through the Scottish Highlands. Discover Scotland’s beautiful country and rich culture and immerse yourself in the Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, and Glencoe landscapes. The charm of this trek is that it enables explorers to experience the warmth of Scottish hospitality, stopping off at pubs, and distilleries and staying in rustic family-run B&Bs located along the scenic pathway.

One of the most beautiful long-distance hikes in Europe, and the most popular trek in Scotland, this path is well revered. B&Bs off the trail fill up well in advance, though wild camping is also permitted. If you are hoping to take advantage of the more luxurious accommodation option—be sure to book ASAP. If booking this adventure yourself seems daunting, easily book the West Highland Way Walking Tour or check out our guide to the West Highland Way for tips and tricks from experienced trekkers.

Castle ruins in Scotland

Castle ruins in Scotland

Location: Scotland
Distance: 154.0 km
Days Recommended: 6-9 days
When to do: May-October

6. The Pennine Way

The Pennine Way is a famous long-distance hiking trail in the UK inspired by the famed Appalachian Trail in the United States. Stretching 435.0 km from Edale in Derbyshire to the borders of Scotland in Yetholm, this route wanders through limestone cliffs, breathtaking moorlands, and the Pennine Chain. Explore the wild and remote terrain, navigating over 200 gates, 300 stiles, and 200 bridges along the way.

Traveling through the backbone of Britain, this National Trail demands a valiant effort. Experienced hikers should be able to easily complete the route in 3 weeks, and those on a time crunch can rush to tackle this trek in 2 weeks. Meandering through the lush countryside and charming villages, accommodations along this route are plentiful. Rest your head in a cozy inn, B&B, or take it outside and sleep beneath the stars. Curious to learn most about this beloved adventure? Check out our epic guide to the Pennine Way.

The Pennine Way

The Pennine Way

Location: England and Scotland
Distance: 435.0 km
Days Recommended: 2-3 weeks
When to do: May-September

7. Hardangervidda Plateau Transverse

Explore a swathe of untamed Norwegian wilderness along the Hardangervidda Plateau Transverse. This wonderful trek progresses across the largest alpine plateau in Europe, traveling a distance of 115.0 km. Discover the area occupied by herds of reindeer, several lakes, mesmerizing waterfalls, glaciers, jagged mountains, and vast montane meadows. Located above the treeline, this route sees extreme weather conditions, so come prepared.

Wondering where to lay your head to rest for the night when exploring this remote corner of the world? Hikers have a choice of accommodations—choose to say in the Norwegian Trekking Association huts, either private or communal, or rough it wild camping. Unlike many treks, the terrain along the Hardangervidda Plateau Transverse is manageable, instead, it's the exposure and limited infrastructure along the route that poses the greatest challenge.

Hardangervidda Plateau Transverse

Hardangervidda Plateau Transverse

Location: Norway
Distance: 115.0 km
Days Recommended: 7-10days
When to do: June-October

8. The Walker’s Haute Route

The Walker’s Haute Route travels to 10 of the 12 highest crests in the European Alps and crosses numerous high mountain passes. This demanding multi-day trek stretches 200.0 km from Chamonix, France culminating in Zermatt, Switzerland—a charming mountain village framed by the famous Matterhorn.

The initial 2-stages of the trek are shared with the Tour du Mont Blanc hikers, so expect to share the route and compete for accommodations. Cabanes (or mountain hostels) are the choice accommodation on the Haute Route, though they fill up fast so reserve your bunk well in advance. Note that weather conditions along this remarkable trek are extreme, especially at Fenêtre de l’Arpette, so make sure you are properly equipped with gear. If you are seeking more information regarding this epic multi-day hike, check out our extensive guide to the Walker’s Haute Route or book the Haute Route Trek on 10Adventures Tours.

The Walker’s Haute Route

The Walker’s Haute RouteThe Walker’s Haute Route

Location: France and Switzerland
Distance: 200.0 km
Days Recommended: 12-15 days
When to do: June-September

9. Camino de Santiago - The French Way

You are likely familiar with the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage, and the Camino Francés is the most popular route in the network of trails that extends through Spain and surrounding countries. Departing from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the multinational trail travels 780.0 km, finishing in the holy city of Santiago de Compostela. This challenging trek tours the French Pyrenees, the mountains of León, the remote Galicia countryside, and the vibrant vineyards of La Rioja.

This sundry route has an abundance of pilgrim and cycling infrastructure to support trail-goers, so accommodations and resources are copious. Stay in lively albergues- which are pilgrim-only hostels or opt for a more luxurious experience, staying in hotels or B&Bs. Organizing such a lengthy adventure can be intimidating, refer to our Camino Francés guide or book the pre-planned French Way tour.

Camino de Santiago - The French Way

Camino de Santiago - The French Way

Location: Spain
Distance: 780.0 km
Days Recommended: 30-35 days
When to do: May-October

10. Rota Vicentina: The Fisherman’s Trail

Part of the Rota Vicentina network of trails in Portugal, the Fisherman’s Trail is a striking trekking route that stretches 230.0 km along the Vicentina Coast. Though not one of the most popular hiking routes in Europe, this trail is arguably one of the most scenic– meandering along dramatic headlands, sandy beaches, and charming fishing villages. Originally a 3-stage trail to promote sustainable tourism, the route was extended in 2020 to 13 scenic stages.

Traveling south from Porto Covo to Lagos, trekkers will experience the warmth of Portuguese hospitality, staying in inns and hostels while indulging in fresh seafood and delicious vino. Those yearning for a more rustic experience can wild camp—though the damp and windy maritime conditions pose inherent challenges. Though this route is on our best treks list, it also affords an epic cycling experience.

Rota Vicentina: The Fisherman’s Trail

Rota Vicentina: The Fisherman’s Trail

Location: Portugal
Distance: 230.0 km
Days Recommended: 12-15days
When to do: May-October

You may be wondering… where are the Icelandic Treks on this list? Well, we thought the striking Nordic country deserved its own article—so check out the 8 best treks in Iceland to discover the natural oasis floating in the North Atlantic Ocean.

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