When you start hiking, day hikes turn in to overnight trips, and before you know it, you’re planning a multi-day trekking adventure. Whilst there may not be any Hollywood movies about these trails yet, this selection of Europe’s best multi-day hikes treats hikers to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Think jagged mountain peaks, turquoise lakes, ancient glaciers and dramatic coastlines. And for those who take on the challenge of these multi-day hikes, the experience is one you will never forget.
Five of Europe’s Best Multi-Day Hikes
Dolomites Alta Via 1
Distance: 125km // Duration: 12 days // Elevation Gain: 7,300 m
The Alta Via 1 is perhaps the most famous of all of the Alta Via (High Routes), beginning at the famous Lago Di Braies near Dobbiaco to Belluno. The route is accessible from June to September, with 15 mountain refuges along the way for overnight stays (wild camping is not allowed). Along many sections of the trail there are via ferrata routes, but it is possible to bypass these and stay on the hiking trail.
Stubai High Trail
Distance: 100 km // Duration: 8 days // Elevation Gain: 8,000 m
The Stubia High Trail is a high alpine trail through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Austrian Alps, overnighting at 8 huts sitting above the Stubai Valley. Most sections of the trail are graded black. Whilst the trails don’t cross any of the glaciers in the Stubai valley, some of the steep, narrow paths require hikers to be sure footed with a good head for heights. The Stubai High Trail offers hikers to join/leave the trail and return to the valley at almost every section, making it a great option if you’re short for time and only looking for 2-3 days on the trails.
Distance: 180+ km // Duration: 14 days // Elevation Gain: 12,000 m
A famous route for ski tourers in the winter, as well as hikers in the summer. The Walker’s Haute Route is one of the most famous mountain traverses in the world, going from Chamonix in the French Alps to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The route crosses 11 mountain passes, and whilst you’ll be surrounded by some of the most famous 4000m+ peaks in Europe, the route itself never rises about 3000m above sea level. Some nights are spent down in the valley while others are spent in mountain refuges, so you’ll cover a lot of vertical meters on this hike.
West Highland Way
Distance: 154 km // Duration: 7 days // Elevation Gain: 3,900 m
The first official long distance hiking trail in Scotland, the West Highland Way is a trail starting a short journey north from the city of Glasgow. The route increases in intensity and altitude gain from south to north, which is why this is the most popular direction for hikers on the route. The route finishes close to the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK, and many hikers end their trip with this final peak.
GR 20 – Corsica
Distance: 180+km // Duration: 15 days // Elevation Gain: 19,000 m
The GR 20 is considered one of the Europe’s most challenging multi-day hikes for serious hikers. This rugged and rocky route follows Corsica’s rocky mountainous spine from north to south (or south to north). Whilst there are very little flat sections to this trail, hikers are rewarded with sunning views across the island.
CORSICA ++ GR20 from Klaas on Vimeo.
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