Sure, Europe is chalk-full of some of the most historic monuments and amazing cities, but you’re missing out if you don’t take advantage of its stunning natural sights. All across Europe, there are fantastic hikes suitable for every beach wanderer, mountain climbers, and view-seeker.
Here are 5 of the best hikes in Europe you can do in a day. While some of these hikes are straightforward and others are more “choose your own adventure,” they will each treat you to incredible views and your own mountain-top feeling.
Also known as Pulpit Rock, this is one of the most iconic hikes in Norway. You’ll end your hike at the edge of a cliff towering over the Lysefjord saying “I’m flying, Jack.” The hike itself boasts incredible views the entire way. To get there from Stavanger, take a ferry to Tau, and then a bus will take you right to the trailhead. You can hike the entire trail (to the “pulpit” and back) in just a few hours, so it’s a very doable day trip from Stavanger.
After landing at Palma de Mallorca, take a bus or car to the port town Sóller. From here there are dozens of trails to take to explore this region of the island. Stick along the coast or go further into the mountains. There are plenty of trails to check out to map your own route.
Walking along Cinque Terre is like walking through a postcard. Cinque Terre is not just one place. It’s made up of five villages along the coast of Italy (Cinque Terre = five lands). Hiking trails run between and around the villages. Walk along the coast for incredible views of the Ligurian Sea, or venture further up into the mountains. Check to see which trails are open before you go; on occasion they’re closed for repairs from natural events. In the case that a trail is closed, just take a train to the next village and continue on.
Path of the Gods
Italy really doesn’t have a bad side. While Cinque Terre shows off the picturesque northern coast, the Path of the Gods shows off the south. The Path of the Gods, or Sentiero degli Dei, is a trail carved into the mountains of the Amalfi Coast, spanning from Agerola to Positano. While you have some options of where to start and end, the entire path is clearly marked and well-traveled.
Les Calanques is a national park filled with a series of clear blue beaches and rocky cliffs on the southern coast of France. Together, the villages of Les Goudes and Cassis are the bookends of the national park. Start at either end and choose your trail to explore for the day. Reward yourself at the end with a dip in the beautiful French Riviera waters.
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