7 Breathtaking Under-the-Radar Day Hikes in Europe
- February 18, 2017
If you have followed the blog for a while you know I LOVE a good hike. I’m always scanning Pinterest for lesser known hikes in Europe and even created a board specifically for hikes in Europe. I realized that I can’t be the only one looking for new hikes so decided to work with other bloggers who have a knack for hiking unique trails throughout Europe.
From the UK to Italy to Switzerland and finally back to Ireland these hikes are sure to make you want to strap on your favorite pair of hiking boots and hit the trails.
South Devon Coastal Walk
Contributed by Sophie from SoloSophie
The amazing Sophie from SoloSophie caught a serious case of wanderlust a few years ago and hasn’t looked back since. With breathtaking photography skills and a knack for showcasing the new and unknown, Sophie will have you itching to book a plane ticket. Check her out on Facebook and Instagram!
Come rain or shine (and it rains a lot in Devon so come prepared with a heavy duty rain jacket!), the South Devon coastline is one of the best places to go hiking in the UK. There’s always something new to see; be it flowers, cows or even seals if you’re lucky enough! With rugged landscapes, sparkling sea and plenty of pubs to stop off along the way for a tradition fish and chips, some of the best hiking spots in the area include those around Kingswear and Prawle Point- the most southerly point of the UK.
Find out more about this awesome hike on SoloSophie’s post on Elender Cove.
The Jurassic Coast
Contributed by Joanna from The World in my Pocket
Reading through Joanna’s posts is like taking a trip of your own. Her beautiful pictures combined with her knack for exquisite writing will make you feel like you’re there with her even if you’re sitting on your coach sipping a cup of coffee. Check her out on Facebook and Instagram!
The Jurassic Coast lies on the South West coast of England, stretching on a distance of 96 miles between Exeter in Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset. It is a World Heritage site and it has protected areas along it, like Durdle Door or Chesil Beach. I have hiked different parts of the Jurassic Coast, mostly between Studland and Weymouth. The scenery of the coast is fantastic, with the path climbing high on the white chalk cliffs, up to 191 meters, the highest point of the hike.
The entire 96 miles hike can take a few days to complete but there are many camping sites on the way where you can spend the night. The Jurassic Coast is not a very popular hike and there will be areas where you won’t meet any other soul. The path goes through some remote areas and bringing enough water and food is essential, especially in summer, when the sun can dehydrate you fast. In my opinion, the Jurassic Coast is one of the most beautiful paths in the UK.
Find out more about this awesome hike on Joanna’s post on the Jurassic Coast.
Contributed by Jurga from Full Suitcase
Plain and simple: Jurga puts me to shame in traveling know-how. Not only does she travel with her husband and three boys, but she makes it look SO EASY. Plus, she has amazing photos that will light up that wanderlust fire for anyone. Be sure to check her out on Facebook and Instagram!
Have you ever heard of Oeschinensee? Probably not. Oeschinen Lake is a mountain lake in Berner Oberland region in Central Switzerland and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the world’s most beautiful hiking trails, yet very little known not only outside Switzerland, but among the Swiss as well.
This hiking trail is a pure delight for all hiking and outdoor enthusiasts. What makes the Oeschinensee – Oberbärgli – Heuberg trail so special is that you are surrounded by the most spectacular landscapes during the entire hike. Every time you think the view cannot get any better, it does; and when you think the walk cannot be more varied, it proves you wrong. To us, this is the very best mountain hike ever, and it ticks all the boxes. It’s a spectacular challenging hike with the very best Swiss Alps have to offer: a turquoise blue mountain lake surrounded by impressive mountains, several streams to cross, a waterfall or two, a steep rocky climb, a glacier, and typical Alpine landscapes with Swiss cows, mountain goats and sheep you meet along the way.
Find out more about Oeschinensee Lake and practical tips for visiting on Full Suitcase!
Cinque Terre: Portovenere
Contributed by Nam from Laugh Travel Eat
Nam’s quirky personality shines through on her posts and her love for travel is contagious. If you’re ever looking for honest, detailed, and personality-filled guides to locations throughout Europe or Asia look no further! Be sure to follow Nam on Instagram and Pinterest.
Find out more about this hike and the town of Portovenere on Laugh Travel Eat!
Contributed by Isobel from Testaccina
Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world and for good reason! Testaccina is your one-stop-shop for all things Italy! Reading through the posts makes me want to hop on a plane tomorrow to experience the food, views, and culture of this amazing country. Be sure to follow Testaccina on Instagram and Facebook.
The Amalfi coast, in the South of Italy, is reknowned for one of the country’s most famous hiking routes – Il Sentiero degli Dei, The Path of the Gods, a breathtaking 8km walk from the tiny hilltop town of Agerola to Nocelle, a village above the pretty coastal resort of Positano. What most people don’t know is that there are plenty of other hiking trails in this part of the world, many of which are known by locals only, linking some of the coastlines prettiest towns.
My favourite walk links the two towns which I would most reccommend visiting here – Ravello and Amalfi. The whole walk takes about an hour, although it’s less than 5km. Ravello, one of the highest points along the coast, is a lofty, refined town famous for its music festival and breathtaking views over the sea. To start the hike, for which you’ll need no special equipment, you need to take a local bus down to the hamlet of Scala, the oldest village on the Amalfi Coast, just a couple of kilometres below Ravello. From Scala, follow signs for the village of Minuta, cutting through a small piazza with a chapel and a fountain before starting down the stone steps that face the sea. You soon pass the ruins of St. Eustachio, a derelict church now open to the elements, which is a great place to stop and take pictures. Below that, continue along the Via Torricella and through the tiny village of Pontone, where you can stop for water or a bite to eat, before starting on the final, steep flight of steps through the gorge below that ends in the town of Amalfi. This once proud port city still carries signs of its maritime past, but it’s famous too for its lemon desserts and limoncello liquor – perfect after a tiring hike!
Read more about this beautiful hike on Testaccina!
Contributed by Jen and Ryan from Passions and Places
Jen and Ryan are a traveling couple who have a true love for ethical outdoor travel. Their passion for our beautiful planet shines through on their blog. Be sure to follow Jen and Ryan on Instagram and Pinterest.
The picture that’s on pretty much every postcard of the Azores features two twin lakes, one green and one blue, on the island of São Miguel. And a stunning view overlooking the lakes is just one of the reasons to consider hiking the volcano above Sete Cidades, a picturesque town situated at the bottom of the volcanic caldera. The Church of São Nicolau in town marks the start of the hike, which winds along the edge of the twin lakes and through lush green valleys before climbing up the volcano. Just before the summit, though, you’ll come across a large abandoned luxury hotel – an unexpected sight in the middle of nowhere. It’s not closed off, so you can explore the inside, which is in varying states of decay, and even climb to the roof for beautiful views of the Atlantic. Once you’ve had your fill of urban exploration, the hike continues along the rim of the crater, offering more spectacular views of the twin lakes, before descending back to town. The hike is pretty accessible for all levels of hikers: only small sections are steep, and it can easily be done in a half day.
Find out more about the Azores on Passions and Places!
Sheep Head’s Way in West Cork
Boots not Roots (me!) of course!
Ireland is a hiker’s dream come true. Not only are there rolling green hills, but 9 times out of 10 you will be next to some body of water (even if that just means rain… haha). Last October we hiked the Sheep Head’s Way in West Cork and fell in love with the rugged terrain by the sea. A 6ish mile loop it’s the perfect spot to spend the day even in the crazy wind and rain. You’ll come across sheep, hills, and Lord of the Rings like terrain with stunning views of the sea. Plus, there’s supposedly a lighthouse! We missed it, but it’s on the map!
Find out more about this off-the-beaten path hike on my post about hiking in West Cork.
Hopefully this post has encouraged you to bring your hiking boots on your next trip to Europe! Where’s your favorite off-the-beaten track hike?