For many people, a walking holiday is an excellent chance to enjoy the beautiful and diverse scenery of an area without the distractions of modern life. If you’re considering the best places to visit for a walking holiday, there are plenty of destinations in Europe to keep in mind.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking a challenge or a novice that wants to push themselves further, Europe has much to offer. A group walking tour in any European country can be a very enriching experience for those who enjoy the outdoors.
With this in mind, here are nine great destinations for a walking holiday that will immerse you in both culture and beauty.
Though many hikers and tourists might overlook Albania as a holiday choice, it will provide you with the most beautiful scenery. The country’s untamed mountains, known as the Albanian Alps, can provide one of the best walking trips based in Europe. A walk across the mountain range reveals unspoilt landscapes and a way of life that’s slowly dying out.
The nation’s coast is just as breathtaking – allowing you to explore the Albanian Riviera and ancient Greek cities at your own pace. Albanian walking holidays are a hidden gem of an experience for many and can easily open your eyes to the country’s fascinating history. Take a walking holiday to Albania to immerse yourself in stunning vistas before the tourist crowds catch on to this secret
After thousands of years as a destination known for its beauty and culture, Greece is still a popular destination for walkers. This is a great chance to soak up the country’s natural splendour in a way which goes beyond most tourist visits. Your trip could include a walk along the Via Egnatia, an iconic Roman road that connected the empire’s countries.
If you want to visit Greece in a way that sets your journey apart from the usual tourist trail, this path has much to offer you. By taking time away from iconic landmarks, you could find even more of the nation’s lesser-known charms. To immerse yourself in ancient civilisations and a blend of cultures, take a walking holiday in Greece.
Full of myths, fairy tales and folklore, Romania is a great choice for walkers that enjoy experiencing rural life through a lense of tradition and storytelling. Many countries have left their mark on Romanian history, and it stands today as a beautiful mix of Roman, Saxon, Hungarian, and other cultures. Romania is able to offer plenty of memorable moments for any traveller that enjoys quiet hikes through rich history.
You could walk through Transylvania, a staple setting of literary gothic horror – especially the iconic Bran Castle, which many know as ‘Dracula’s Castle’. Romania has more to offer than just stories; art, fine cuisine, and pottery are key parts of any tour of the country. If you’re looking to understand a country better through its rural way of life filled with culture and tradition, take a Romanian walking holiday.
Another well-kept secret, the country of Georgia has a rich and complex story that you can uncover on a walk through its many sights (along with some world-class wine). With a chance to visit the Caucasus Mountains and the Tbilisi sulphur baths, each corner of this country has an abundance of experiences to offer. The cave towns and monasteries serve as great rest spots during long walks and will take your breath away
You could visit the Stalin Museum on your walking holiday or learn about the country’s folk art from a felt master en route. Whether you stay in the towns or visit the mountainside, there’s always a slice of history or beauty to behold. For a great blend of old and new with plenty of incredible experiences, book your walking holiday in Georgia.
The mix of cultures in Turkey means that every walking holiday you take could be completely different from the last. A west Turkey trip lets you sample a unique mix of Christian and Muslim architecture alongside ruins of various ancient sites. This country has a lot of variety with bazaars, mausoleums, and fishing villages being key parts of central Turkey walks.
To the north-east, you can enjoy monasteries perched on the side of mountains and meet friendly locals away from the popular, often busy coast. Close to Istanbul, you can see remnants of the three vast empires that were captured by the nation’s beauty. Though it may take a few trips to see all that Turkey has to offer, this makes it a great destination for a walking holiday.
It may be one of the smallest countries in Europe, but Montenegro is still a joyous destination and people are finally starting to notice its many wonders. This nation’s Byzantine architecture boasts a distinctive flair that you won’t find in many other places. Montenegro once fought off the Ottoman Empire, and this has impacted how the country stands out amongst its many neighbours.
The main highlight for a walker or hiker is Tara Gorge as it’s the largest and deepest canyon in all of Europe. On the cusp of the Adriatic Sea, you will fall in love with the nearby walled-in mediaeval villages. For a smaller trip that still has plenty of outstanding views any tourist would fall in love with, be sure to consider a Montenegro walking holiday.
Another country known for its rich culture, even veteran walkers find new sights and activities to enjoy whenever they visit Italy. Far from the usual tourist trail, explore Furlo Gorge, the Cesane Forest and many more beautiful, natural landmarks. If you still want to visit the towns for wine tasting, Gubbio is an ancient Roman site built into Mt. Ingino with a rich wine history
If you’re a seasoned hiker who can handle long distances, walking through the Apennines is a good opportunity to challenge yourself. The northern slopes in particular can give you a calm and peaceful journey amongst beautiful landscapes fuelled by great cuisine. To discover a side to Italy that never ceases to amaze, book a walking holiday across the snow-capped Apennines.
North Macedonia is one of the youngest countries in Europe, but still has thousands of years of history. You can see Roman, Serbian, and Byzantine influences in its architecture and the nation’s cuisine is just as diverse. While many regard North Macedonia as a poor country, there is so much to this destination that makes it rich, offering plenty for tourists and walkers alike.
A walking tour in North Macedonia will mainly focus on the peaks and parks, though the streets are also quite a sight. Mavrovo and Galicia National Parks are common highlights for hikers; with the nearby villages of Jance and Galicnik also offering a warm welcome. For guided walks with a surprising amount to offer, take a walking holiday in North Macedonia.
Perhaps the cornerstone of the Balkans, Bulgaria is a crossroads of cultures with a bountiful legacy. As a part of your walking holiday, you could visit Sofia, Plovdiv, Bansko and lots of other great cities and towns. After trying the food in a traditional tavern, you can then hike the Pirin, Rila, or Central Balkan mountain ranges to hunt for caves.
Walking through the mountains could be physically taxing if you aren’t used to long treks. If this is the case, you could stick to wine tasting in Melnik or explore the remains of Roman and Thracian culture. For an experience that blends ancient cultures with Balkan tradition, you would definitely enjoy a walking holiday in Bulgaria.
A guided walking holiday in Europe could open your eyes to the beautiful and diverse scenery across the entire continent. You could visit the highest peak of a mountain range, or just enjoy the historic and iconic landscapes that have captivated tourists and walkers for many years.
Whatever your choice, make sure you decide on one of the best walking holidays in Europe. Wild Frontiers has been helping hikers find great spots all over the world for 25 years. Our walking holiday trips cover many fitness levels and settings, helping us make sure there’s a walk for everyone. For more on our destinations or to book one of the choices above, contact us today