Best European Hiking Destinations for Spring

Europe is not only a place where you can visit a variety of museums and try foods that are foreign to you. The continent features a very diverse landscape across the different countries that call it home. Many of these places are perfect for hikers seeking breathtaking views after a challenging journey. Even though it’s springtime, some of these spots may still be rather chilly. Make sure that you bring the right gear along to make the journey much more pleasant. If you do, you’ll truly be able to enjoy some of these wonders!

Mont St. Michel in France: Wine Vineyards and Gothic Architecture

Beautiful panoramic view of famous Le Mont Saint-Michel tidal island
Image Credit: Shutterstock / canadastock

This can be a great place to start, particularly for people who may not be avid hiking enthusiasts. You can craft a route that allows you to enjoy things like wine tasting or even a tour of the famous Mont St. Michel Abbey. The island can be accessed via shuttle when the tide is low – that’s another one of the reasons why it’s a good starting point for people who may not be avid hikers. Without having to walk too much, you can still enjoy most of the things the area has to offer.

Pulpit Rock: The Ultimate Place to the Scandinavian Mountaintops

Cliff Preikestolen in fjord Lysefjord - Norway
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tatiana Popova

Getting to pulpit rock can be quite the challenge, and we’re not just talking about the hike part. From Oslo, the capital of Norway, you may have to take a flight and then a 7+ hour car ride to get here. But is it worth it to stand on the rock and look at the river below that runs through the valley? Most people would say it certainly is! Spring is a great season to visit since you’ll get a chance to see more green in the valley area that you look down on from the rock.

Seven Hanging Valleys Trail: A Tropical Hike in Portugal

Portugal Algarve Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, lighthouse Farol de Alfanzina
Image Credit: Shutterstock / vane_hinausindiewelt

Anyone up for a walk along cliffs that overlook caves and other rock formations along the Portuguese coastline, which features turquoise water? One of the best things about this trail is that the entrance at Marinha Beach is accessible by car. There’s a clear path that runs through these cliffs. It is, however, considered a rather challenging hike. It takes about 4 hours to complete and includes steep inclines and drops. Proper footwear is a must here; don’t think you can wear sandals just because you’re at the beach.

Rhine Castle Trail: On a Good Spring Day, This German Hike Could Seem like a Fairy tale

The Schönburg (Schoenburg) is a castle above the medieval town of Oberwesel in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / DaLiu

The full trail here can take up to 3 days to complete. You’ll be walking along the German wine country here. But the real highlight of the tour is the chance to catch a glimpse of Rhine Castle, which makes you feel like you’re in a setting worthy of Game of Thrones. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a three-day stretch this spring where the weather is sunny but not too hot. It tends to rain quite a bit in the region, making your experience a bit more gloomy than it needs to be.

Switzerland’s Engelberg Trail: Is It a Good Time of Year to Climb the Alps?

Valley of Engelberg with Eugenisee lake.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Benny Marty

Spring is one of the best times of the year to climb the Alps. Don’t worry – there are plenty of hiking trails to choose from here. You don’t have to be an action man ready to climb up to Matterhorn’s summit. Some trails are even pet-friendly, plus they feature stops at beautiful rest areas equipped with everything you’ll need to feel comfortable after hours on the path. Without a doubt, no matter which hiking path you choose, these trails include some of the most impressive scenic views in the entire continent.

Hiking up the Vesuvius: Walk Alongside History’s Most Famous Volcano

Tourists visiting Mount Vesuvius volcano.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Julia Lourido

The hike to the top of arguably the world’s most famous volcano takes about two hours. What makes the most sense here is to take the day to visit the town of Pompeii and potentially Herculaneum, the other city buried in the volcano’s ashes on that fateful day. It’s easier to get to this region if you’re staying near Naples. The hike is one of the easiest on the list. Think of it more as a theme ride through a historic tragedy than a hike. Tourists can complement their day with a big bowl of pasta to help with the cramps they may experience after walking all day.

The Via Transilvanica: You Know the Legend

The medieval Castle of Bran, known for the myth of Dracula.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / SCStock

Another mythical place that has a ton of history is, without a doubt, Transylvania in Romania. What many people don’t know is that there’s actually a path with multiple trails that you can take to get here. In a sense, this is a pilgrimage route similar to the “Camino de Santiago” in Spain. The route allows you to see some impressive scenery within the Romanian countryside that, for one reason or another, isn’t as popular as some of the other trails on the list. Spring is a great time to come here; just make sure that you pick a route that matches your hiking abilities. There’s no shame in taking a shuttle or even a cab to the next town when you feel like you just can’t go on.

Camino de Santiago: Where Hiking and Faith Walk Hand in Hand

Camino de Santiago, Spain
Image Credit: Shutterstock / sollafune

The “Camino de Santiago” is a popular pilgrimage that sees people walk through small Spanish towns along the hillside. It offers a little bit of everything, including stops at some of the country’s most iconic churches. Is it fair to say that this is a trial that doesn’t make much sense unless it’s done for religious purposes? It really depends on the emphasis that you want to put on your trip. Even without the religious factor, it can be interesting to explore some of the small Spanish towns, all with unique gastronomy and things to enjoy at every stop. As is the case with the Via Transilvanica there’s no shame in taking a cab or shuttle to the next stop. In fact, one of the safest ways to enjoy the trial is to book a tour with a larger group and to have access to a car to cover some of the tougher parts of the route. To walk the entire length of the way, you need to be in great shape. It’s a bit like doing the Tour de France without a bike; you have to walk a ton of miles every day. That’s just not something that everyone is equipped to do, and that’s okay!

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez

Bio:

Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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