20 day hikes in Europe for nature lovers

Top 20 day hikes in Europe

Looking for your next hike in Europe? Not sure where you’re heading but want something unique and astonishing? We got you!

In this list, we’ll be reviewing 20 of the best day hikes in Europe. We’ll be providing a huge variety of hikes so that you find exactly what you’re looking for. We have mountains, beaches, lakes, valleys, and more.

If you love spending time in nature and hitting the trails, this article is for you. Let’s explore together!

1. Plitvice Lakes

plitvicelake drone shot

● Location: Croatia
● Distance: 3.5 km
● Duration: 3 – 4 hours
● Difficulty: Easy to moderate
● Quick tip: Visit during spring or fall for less crowd

Plitvice Lakes are one of the best day hikes you can visit in Croatia. It’s an easy hike for all ages and it’s truly remarkable.

There are several trails you can follow with Trail A being the most popular one. It takes you through the Low Lakes (Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluderovac, and Novakovica Brod) and some waterfalls like Veliki Slap and Sastavci Waterfall.

This hike has become very popular so get there early to avoid the crowds.

2. Leutaschklam Gorge Hike – Rein Valley

Leutaschklamm hike

● Location: Germany & Austria
● Distance: 16.3 km
● Duration: 2 to 8 hours
● Difficulty: Easy
● Quick tip: Open only from the beginning of May until the end of October

This hike is literally on the border of Austria with Germany. The hike has 3 different trails and each one takes a couple of hours to complete. One of the hikes will be taking you back and forth between Germany and Austria. The other hike takes you by the Panorama Bridge where you can witness gorgeous views of the entire gorge. Last but not least, the other trail takes you close to the waterfall and literally lets you smell the water.

You can access the gorge both from MittenWald, Germany, and the towns in the Tyrol region of Austria.

3. Fimmvörðuháls

Fimmvorduhals hike

● Location: Iceland
● Distance: 25 km
● Duration: 8 to 10 hours
● Difficulty: Challenging
● Quick tip: Very challenging hike so prepare yourself mentally and physically

Iceland is infamous for its unique landscapes and beautiful waterfalls. Well, in this day hike you’ll find 26 waterfalls, 1 volcano, and 3 different landscapes. Easily one of the most unique hikes in the entire world.

You’ll be starting off at Skogafoss waterfall and then you’ll be following the Skoga River. The road is rocky, the soil is volcanic and full of moss and you’ll only see grass at the beginning of the hike. Eventually, you’ll also hike through a forest before reaching Basar.

4. Vereda da Ponta de Sao Lourenço

sao lourenco hike<br />

● Location: Portugal – Madeira
● Distance: 7 km
● Duration: 2 – 3 hours
● Difficulty: Easy – moderate
● Quick tip: If you feel tired, you can return by boat.

This is one of the most popular hikes in Madeira and it’s the perfect place for a stunning sunrise. This trail offers a unique experience, with a dry and arid landscape that contrasts with the lush vegetation found elsewhere on the island.

If you want to read more you can check our article here.

5. Monterosso Al mare to Vernazza

Monterosso hike

● Location: Cinque Terre, Italy
● Distance: 3.7 km
● Duration: 2 hours
● Difficulty: Easy
● Quick tip: Start early in the morning for a cool sea breeze

Located on the , Monterosso Al mare and Vernazza are two beautiful villages full of colorful houses, picturesque vineyards, and azure waters.

The hike is about 2 hours and it’s fairly easy for beginners. Experienced hikers might need less than 2 hours to complete the trail. It‘s recommended that you start from Monterosso Almare because the view of Vernazza’s harbor when approaching it, is just jaw-dropping.

During the summer period, this trail has a lot of tourists and this is another reason you should start early in the morning. If you decide to visit during winter, keep in mind that you might find the trail closed due to rainfall.

6. Murren Via Ferrata

Murren hike

● Location: Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
● Distance: 2.2 km
● Duration: 3 hours
● Difficulty: Challenging
● Quick tip: If you have a fear of heights, avoid this one!

We’re starting to have second thoughts if the day hike in Iceland is actually the toughest one on this list. Murren Via Ferrata definitely deserves a spot up there.

This hike is intense and exciting. There are ropes, metal narrow bridges, ladders, rock climbing and more. Definitely not something for anyone with a fear of heights.

Oh and did we mention ziplines? Yeah, you’ll be going across a ravine with a zipline. If you find all this exciting, wait till you see the unbeatable views of the cliffs, the ravine, and the mountains. It’s a lifetime experience for sure!

7. Fira to Oia

fira to oia hiking

● Location: Santorini, Greece
● Distance: 10 km
● Duration: 3 to 5 hours
● Difficulty: Easy to moderate
● Quick tip: Start from Fira for an overall downhill walk

We’re sure you’re not surprised to see this hiking trail on the list. Santorini is beautiful and so is this day hike.

You’ll be starting from Fira and then moving on to Firostefani, Imerovigli, and finally Oia. These villages feature the Aegean style, with whitewashed houses with blue domes and paved pathways everywhere.

Once you reach Oia, you need to see the famous sunset everybody’s talking about. The place will be crowded so make sure to get there as soon as possible.

8. Terrasses de lavaux

Terrasses de lavaux hiking

● Location: Switzerland
● Distance: 11 km
● Duration: 3.5 hours
● Difficulty: Easy
● Quick tip: If you want to visit the cellars, make a reservation in advance

Vineyards, beautiful lake views, beaches, picturesque villages, and cellars. What do they all have in common? They’re all part of the Terrasses de Lavaux day hike.

This one is a must for nature lovers that decide to visit Switzerland. You’ll be visiting the vineyards ( there are many places for picnics ), you can also take a swim at Lake Geneva and lastly, you can visit the Swiss villages and taste the locals’ cellar wine.

The best time to visit this trail is in summer and fall ( June to October ).

9. Arthur’s Seat hike

Arthur seat easy hike

● Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
● Distance: 5 km
● Duration: 1-2 hours
● Difficulty: Easy
● Quick tip: Make sure to visit on a clear day for the best views

This is one of the most famous attractions when visiting Edinburgh. It’s a fairly easy trail that starts In Holyrood Park and takes you through Holyrood Palace, Dynamic Earth, and more.

The Arthur’s Seat is actually an extinct volcano that offers spectacular views once you reach the top. You can see as far as the Kingdom of Fife.

10. Kjeragbolten hike

Kjeragbolten hike

● Location: Norway
● Distance: 12 km
● Duration: 6 to 8 hours
● Difficulty: Challenging
● Quick tip: If you want a great photo, climb the boulder that sits between two cliffs

We’re sure you’ve seen a picture like that before. Maybe we’ve seen the exact same one. A huge rock stuck between two cliffs and a man sitting on it.

This rock is actually more than 1000 meters above the ground. Spooky isn’t it?

The trail is challenging but if you love nature, you’ll love the road as well. You’ll be climbing, going down valleys, and more. If you hear bells ringing, don’t worry it’s the sheep!

11. Levada das 25 fontes

25 fontes hike madeira
25 fontes hiking

● Location: Madeira, Portugal
● Distance: 11 km
● Duration: 3 to 4 hours
● Difficulty: Moderate
● Quick tip: Get there as early as possible

This is another popular hike in Madeira. This time, you get to see the pretty greenery of the island immesring yourself into the beautiful laurel forest. The hike follows water channels called levadas and takes you to 25 different fonts and waterfalls.

For a better experience it’s recommended to arrive early in the morning before the organized tours arrive!

You can check out the full guide we wrote here.

12. Ryten

Ryten hiking

● Location: Lofoten Islands, Norway
● Distance: 3.5 km
● Duration: 3 to 5 hours
● Difficulty: Easy to moderate
● Quick tip: Get creative with your photos on the top of Ryten

This is a typical Lofoten day hike with the only difference being its amazing top. The trail is steep and strenuous, as all of the Lofoten trails, but the scenery is amazing and you’ll definitely find it interesting.

At the top of Ryten, you’ll find an outcropping rock named “mini Trolltunga” and there you can take as many “brave” photos as you want.

Ryten is one of the easiest Lofoten trails so we don’t think you’ll have a problem climbing the mountain and completing the hike.

13. Valley of the Seven Lakes

7 lake valley hike<br />

● Location: Triglav National Park, Slovenia
● Distance: 15 km
● Duration: 6 hours
● Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
● Quick tip: Get there before the crowds (6am)

Stretching from Italy to Slovenia, the Julian Alps are a relatively unknown section of the European Alps. There’s an extended trail that’s about 600km but we don’t recommend that one for a day hike.

We do recommend the Valley of the Seven Lakes, though. It’s a valley with seven glacier lakes that’s about 15km long. Don’t forget to explore the mountain huts and its fantastic cuisine.

14. Hrensko to Pravcicka Gate Hike

hrensko hike

● Location: Czech Republic
● Distance: 10 km
● Duration: 4 hours
● Difficulty: Easy to moderate
● Quick tip: This is one of the few hikes that are accessible all year

The main attraction here is the Pravcicka gate. It’s a huge rock arch that has been featured in many movies in the past. It’s the biggest one of its kind in Europe.

Start in the town of Hrensko and follow the trail for about 4km till you reach the Pravcicka Gate. After that, you can continue hiking for another 5km till you reach the village of Mezni Louka. It’s a wonderful small village with quite a few accommodation options.

Overall, the trail is easy, not steep, and for the most part, you’ll be going through the woods.

15. Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First Hike

Schynige hike

● Location: Switzerland
● Distance: 16 km
● Duration: 6 hours
● Difficulty: Challenging
● Quick tip: Take the cogwheel train up into the mountains and then start hiking

Looking for a challenging hike up into the Swiss Alps? You got it!

The Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First hike is one long trail that takes you through lakes, mountains, plateaus, and mountain tops. A typical hike in the Swiss Alps requires some cows here and there, and this hike is no exception.

The trail can get difficult and long so we wouldn’t recommend this to a beginner.

16. Port Eynon to Rhossili

Rossili hiking

● Location: Wales
● Distance: 10 km
● Duration: 3-4 hours
● Difficulty: Easy to moderate
● Quick tip: Make sure to time the tides correctly in order to complete the Worm’s Head walk

There are many many hikes in Wales that surround its coastline and feature amazing beaches and views. One of the best is the Port Eynon to Rhossili hike!

You’ll be starting off in Port Eynon, a small village with a quiet and kids-friendly beach. You’ll be visiting quite a few beaches like Mewslade Bay and Fall Bay. Later, you’ll reach the start of the Worm’s Head walk, which, as mentioned, is only visible when the tides are low.

The Rhossilli beach is one of the best in the world and it’s worth the entire hike.

17. Preikestolen hike

Preikestolen hiking

● Location: Norway
● Distance: 8 km
● Duration: 4 hours
● Difficulty: Moderate
● Quick tip: It’s recommended that you only attempt this hike in summer

A little over an hour away from Stavanger is the start of this small but amazing hike. It’s only 2 hours to the top and then another 2 to get back down.

The trail is steep but you’ll get up very easily. Moreover, the view you’ll be getting from the top is breathtaking. You’ll be able to see the fjord, the nearby mountains, and more… all that from a huge rock that sits up in the sky.

Make sure to visit during summer because the weather at the other times of the year is freezing.

18. Cinque Terre

cinque terre hike

● Location: Italy
● Distance: 11 km
● Duration: 5 hours
● Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
● Quick tip: You can always take the train to the next city if you get tired of hiking

For this hike, you have many options. The hike goes through 5 different cities along the Italian coast. To do that, you’d definitely need a whole day.

Instead, you can go from one city to another… Your best option is the Blue Trail which goes from Riomaggiore to Monterosso Al Mare. It takes about 5 hours to complete and it’s fairly easy.

Cities here are all the classic Italian style. Colorful houses overlooking the bay and paved pathways everywhere. If you’re a fan of this architecture, this hike is for you.

19. Koscielec hike

Koscielec hike

● Location: Poland
● Distance: 18 km
● Duration: 8 to 10 hours
● Difficulty: Challenging
● Quick tip: It’s a hard trail but it’s worth the sweat

This hike starts and ends in Zakopane, Poland’s getaway into the Tatras. While hiking this trail, you’ll see many alpine lakes, flower fields, and abandoned huts. Even though the path is difficult, the view at the top is rewarding. You’ll be having an astonishing view of Poland and Slovakia.

20. Five Lakes Trail

Five lake hiking

● Location: Switzerland
● Distance: 10 km
● Duration: 3 – 4 hours
● Difficulty: Easy to moderate
● Quick tip: There are some mountain restaurants you can try if you get hungry

To start this hike in Zermatt, Switzerland, you’ll be getting a funicular and a gondola to reach the top of the mountain. After that, you basically need to hike till you reach the funicular again.

On your way, you’ll be seeing five stunning alpine lakes that definitely deserve a good picture. You can sit by one of the lakes and have a snack or wait until you reach one of the mountain restaurants.

Due to low temperatures, this hike is the best during spring and summer.

These are our top day hikes that you can find in Europe. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, Europe’s diverse landscapes offer endless possibilities for exploration and adventure. Share with us your favorite hiking routes!

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Hi! We are María & Toni, digital nomads and creators of Lost Coconuts.

On our blog we share travel guides, tips for digital nomads and free tutorials with everything we’ve learned so that you too can start your own digital projects. About us

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