Europe’s most scenic hikes
Across Europe we really are spoilt for choice by the sheer breadth of scenery available, from the frosty tundra of Scandinavia to the beautifully diverse British countryside and dramatic sun-drenched coasts of Spain. In the east, the gentle Southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania and Serbia complement the more rugged uplands of the central Alps.
All of this is fantastic news for hikers, who can take their pick of sites to suit their tastes - not only in terms of accommodation options but also the environment of their walking route.
Coastal paths in Amalfi, sandy Iberian shores, verdant Tyrolean pastures - these, and plenty more, are all options for the discerning traveller.
So if a beach holiday doesn't float your boat, plan a hiking holiday for your next break! There's so much on offer, the
Flexicover team has chosen some great walks for you to try out - just don't ask us to hike all five consecutively!
Lofoten Islands, Norway
To get away from it all, Norway's wilderness lends itself well to foreign hikers. Indeed, the scenes can feel so alien, you'd almost think you were on a different planet. This really rings true for the northern Lofoten Islands. During winter, when tucked in the safety of remote lodgings, you may catch the Northern Lights glimmering in the sky. And when out and about in the summer months, you'll experience the 'midnight sun', where there's constant daylight for weeks on end, meaning a full-day hike will take in more than usual. Take a trip to the top of Hermannsdalstinden (at an altitude of 1,029m it's the area's highest mountain) for some incredibly breathtaking views.
Levada Walks, Madeira
In the early 16th century, probably while they were making amazing wine and cake, Madeirans came up with a solution to distribute rainwater from the north to the drier south - create an island-wide system of mini-canals (levadas) to channel the water accordingly. As water distribution modernised, these open canals now serve as paths for walkers. They wind around the Portuguese island's picturesque areas offering views of lush forest, volcanic mountains and turquoise seas. There are a number of hikes to choose from but do your research in advance or go with a guide, as some levadas are crumbling away and wouldn't be advisable in wet weather.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
In the Balkans, Mother Nature has really delivered a marvel with the Plitvice Lakes, 19.5 hectares of expansive lakes, woodlands and waterfalls plus hiking paths and wooden walkways wending their way through the gorgeous scenery. The lakes are divided into four main areas: Proscansko Lake, the upper lakes, Kozjak Lake and the lower lakes, with each offering a stunning background for a day's hike. It's ideal for nearly every season, though July and August are best avoided as the number of tourists can compromise its peacefulness. Vivid colours and wildlife make these hikes particularly great for nature photographers and bird-watchers.
Causeway Coast Way, Ireland
The Giant's Causeway can be a hard-to-reach destination, so it's all the better that there's a variety of hiking trails to make a day or two out of it... Irish weather permitting. After exploring the Causeway - a UNESCO heritage site made up of 40,000 hexagonal columns of cooled molten lava - walkers can pick from a range of cliff walks. Energetic hikers will want to take on the full coastal path - a 53km stretch from Portstewart to Ballycastle that takes in Antrim's finest spectacles including the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, rugged clifftops, caramel-coloured beaches, and emerald golf courses.
Tour du Mont Blanc, France
Also known as the 'rooftop of Europe', Mont Blanc is one of its highest mountains at 4,810m, which is why it's become a focus for ambitious climbers. But hikers can soak up the awe-inspiring magnificence without the necessity of mounting an expedition by circumnavigating the range on a 180km trail that takes in France, Switzerland and Italy. The standard route reaches a maximum height of 2,584m and the scale of the hike doesn't limit options - it can be done with a guide or independently, by camping or staying in local lodgings. This means that no hiker need miss out on this world-famous and gorgeous walk.
Wherever you decide to strap on the walking boots and head into the scenic wilderness, having a good travel insurance policy in place is a must. Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.
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