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Hiking in Europe

With spring in the air, it’s great to be outdoors and taking a stroll, basking in the freshness, enjoying the tree blossom in bloom and the smiles from friendly faces!

Enjoy that sun and breeze with some healthy out- door activity by going for a bracing hike in the country. Take in scenic views, stretch muscles that may be dormant and restless after the winter hibernation and experience the joys of some of the best walks around. If you have time on your hands, take a different type of break to herald the arrival of this refreshing season - in Europe!

The Flexicover Team suggests some great places for a wonderful hiking holiday.

Massif de l’Estérel, France

There is more to the French Riviera, or ‘Cote d’Azur’, than just beaches, film festivals and the Monaco Grand Prix. Between Saint Raphaël and Cannes lies this ancient mountain region, its dramatic red scenery naturally carved from iron-rich minerals in the rock rising to the peak of Mont Vinaigre. A dream location for walking or longer, challenging hikes! With an abundance of footpaths and a pleasant climate with more than 300 days of sunshine, it is no surprise that the Massif attracts millions of walkers and tourists every year. Combine some walking with adventure too if you are feeling up to it; a hike up to the village of Les Adrets not only gives breathtaking views but also takes in old bandit country, where France’s version of Robin Hood was said to hide out!

Cinque Terre, Italy

The Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”) is a rugged part of the Italian Riviera, comprising the five small villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is perfect for hiking, incredibly beautiful, charming and perfect for capturing the picturesque scenery of the Ligurian coast. Each of these 5 coastal villages is connected by a single trail and its popularity is enhanced by being ideal for novice and non-hikers. Take the famous Via Dell’Amore(“Love Walk”) trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola for stunning ocean views and scenic picnic areas – it is even wheelchair-friendly! And if hiking between all 5 villages is a bridge too long, then go by train or boat. An amazing vista all year round! ]

Mount Olympus, Greece

For the fabled home of the Greek gods, there’s only one place to go: Mount Olympus. And unlike the giants of old, you won’t have to pile Pelion on Ossa to do so! Start from the town of Litochoro (about 100km from Thessaloniki) and from there the road will go to Prinoia to start your hike from the base of the mountain. Whilst reasonably non-challenging, the final half an hour or so of the climb is a bit steep but definitely worth it! The best conditions are during the spring and summer months and with over 50 individual peaks and plenty to see, this is a popular hike with well-trodden paths that are easy to follow. So stroll into the Greek hinterland and see what legendary sights this World Biosphere Reserve has to offer!

Alpine Pass Route, Switzerland

This fantastic long-distance hike through the Swiss Alps starts in the eastern town of Sargens, heading westwards, and finishes 350km later on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux. And with excellent signposting the route couldn’t be easier. Taking anything around 3 weeks to complete, this really is a once in a lifetime experience! If this too much of a challenge, there are shorter, 3-day hikes too. Whatever length of stay you choose, unforgettable scenery abounds here with mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, wildlife and wildflowers galore. It’s no surprise that the Alps are regarded not only as one of the most hiked and hikeable regions in the world but also one of the most beautiful in which to do so. And there is a wide choice of sleeping options too - hostels, mountains huts, hotels, organised campgrounds or, if you like, take your own tent!

Kungsleden, Sweden

Created in the late 19th century by the Swedish Tourist Association,Kungsleden (“The King’s Trail”) is a hiking trail, approx 270 miles long, designed to improve knowledge and appreciation for the wilds of northern Sweden. It encompasses some of Europe’s largest remaining wilderness areas and includes four national parks. Start in northern Abisko and finish at southern Hemavan whilst walking through Swedish Lapland and passing the country’s highest mountain at Kebnekaise. It’s one of the world’s longest hikes attracting devotees year after year eager to discover and experience a unique adventure and spectacular mountain scenery, particularly from the mountain pass at Tjäkta.

If you are hiking or even just leisurely walking this year, then don’t forget that you may need a helping hand from Flexicover Direct, the travel insurance specialist, committed to providing the highest level of service to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.

If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!