Five Easy Euro Walking Trails
The invigoration of a hiking holiday isn’t just reserved for hardcore exercise enthusiasts with top-of-the-range boots, a khaki ensemble and an impeccable sense of direction.
The world is diverse enough to offer entry-level ramblers the same incredible views and changing scenery along gentle and easy-to-follow walking trails – you just have to know where to find them.
So to make it even simpler to enjoy the hills, forests, lakes and rivers that Europe has on offer, the Flexicover team has picked out five very different trails that only have in common their suitability for most.
Karlovy Vary to Loket, Czech Republic
If you’re in the fairy-tale land of Bohemia, it seems apt to explore its woods, streams and sites of legends on foot. The four-hour walk from the spa town of Karlovy Vary to postcard-perfect Loket takes in all these attractions, while being both easy to follow and requiring little exertion. Starting in Karlovy Vary ramblers follow the Ohre River until presented with Svatoš Rock, an unusual rock formation that’s said to be the wedding procession of Jan Svatoš; it was turned to stone by an angry fairy after Jan broke his promise to remain a bachelor. There’s a suspension bridge to cross after, and then a blue-marked trail takes visitors the rest of the way to Loket. And the good news is you can take a bus or train back to Karlovy Vary.
Cirque de Gavarnie, France
In the heart of the Pyrenees National Park, it’s difficult to stand outside in Gavarnie without being gobsmacked by the glacial views that surround it. But for those interested in exploring the area fully, there are plenty of walking trails. A one loop walk with little incline follows the stream up the valley, surrounded by 3,000m-high rock walls with gushing waterfalls, adding a dramatic effect. Travellers can buy an easy-to-follow walking map from the tourist office for the bargain price of €1, which contains instructions in English.
Zell am See-Kaprun, Austria
Botanists among us will adore the near-flat herbal path in the Zell am See-Kaprun region, best enjoyed between June and September when nature is in full bloom. The short 45-minute trail from the mountain restaurant in Mooserboden to the Fürthermoaralm shows off the mountainside plants, flowers and herbs, which have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The more knowledgeable can go it alone, while for the rest there’s the option to join a guided walk to have the herbal highlights pointed out as you stroll and enjoy the vistas.
Esino Lario to Ortanella, Italy
Lake Como may be most famous for the exclusive villas that surround the lake that boast spectacular views, but the mountainous villages are its hidden secret. The 45-minute walk from Esino Lario to Ortanella, along a former mule path, allows visitors to breathe in forest-fresh air and experience the solitude of near-untouched land. It’s mostly flat, marked on the ground, and the destination of Ortanella has a restaurant for a welcome pit-stop before the return.
Pulpit Rock, Norway
For those who don’t mind taking steep sections slowly, the Pulpit Rock hike is hugely rewarding for a little extra exertion. The sheer-edged rock, named like it’s shaped, is a major attraction in southeast Norway between April and October. The first section of the four-hour round walk is flat but there are short bursts of incline thereafter on rocky trails. Though locals see it as one of the easier fjord hikes, plenty of hikers take breaks enroute as there’s no rush to make it to the top. If that still sounds like too much exertion, the natural phenomenon can be enjoyed from below on a cruise of the fjords.
Wherever you plan to head to on your travels it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of cover to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.