When we started hiking in Europe, we stopped hiking anywhere else. Okay, it’s mostly because of the food. I mean who wouldn’t want a Käse Rösti mid-hike or a celebratory beach-side seafood linguini at the end of a hike.

Whether you’re hiking in the mountains, along the coast, or through rural farmland (vineyard hikes anyone?), Europe hiking trails spoil you with delicious food, fresh dairy, wine, beer, schnapps, and of course romantic scenery. So, our definition of a best hiking trail in Europe is one that combines sensational landscapes with culinary rewards. After all, this is Europe.

At this point, our passion for hiking in Europe is an obsession, albeit a healthy one. So, this post outlines our favorite day hikes in Europe to date.

If you’re interested in multi-day Europe hiking trails, read Best Treks in Europe.

10 Best Day Hikes in Europe

  1. Olpererhütte, Zillertal Alps, Austria
  2. Seven Sisters Cliffs Walk, South Downs, England
  3. Saxer Lücke and Fälensee, Alpstein, Switzerland
  4. Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, Algarve, Portugal 
  5. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit, Sexten Dolomites, Italy
  6. Xlendi Bay to Sanap Cliffs, Gozo Island, Malta
  7. Bobotov Kuk Summit, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro 
  8. Red Wine Trail, Ahr Valley, Germany 
  9. Santiago del Teide to Masca, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain 
  10. Seven Lakes Valley, Julian Alps, Slovenia

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1. Olpererhütte, Zillertal Alps, Austria

Olpererhütte Day Hike, Zillertal, Tyrol, Austria
  • Where: Tyrol (Tirol)
  • Where to Stay: Alpenhotel Kramerwirt in Mayrhofen, Zillertal
  • Trailhead: Schlegeisspeicher reservoir
  • Distance: 13 km circuit
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Time Needed: 7 hours
  • When to Hike: Summer, Early Fall
  • Recommended Itinerary: 7 Day Austria Road Trip

This day hike to the Olpererhütte mountain hut follows the Berlin High Trail, a celebrated Höhenweg (high trail) in the Zillertal Alps of Austria.

This gorgeous Europe hiking trail serves up quintessential alpine landscapes filled with scenes of glaciated peaks, alpine pastures, and sparkling teal waters. It’s also a great introduction to mountain hut culture in the Austrian Alps.

There are a few different approaches in Olpererhütte, but we suggest hiking to this refuge via Friesenberghaus. It’s the “long way,” but it’s also the most captivating route.

To start this hike, drive or take the bus (from Mayrhofen) to the Schlegeisspeicher reservoir. From the lake, you’ll ascend two hours to Friesenberghaus. At the hut, grab a refreshing beverage – like an Apfelsaft or Johannisbeersaft gespritzt –  before continuing along the Berlin High Trail to Olpererhütte.

Soon after leaving the hut, you’ll hike past the Friesenbergsee (lake) and ascend 170 meters. The trail then levels out and you’ll follow a dazzling balcony trail to Olperer mountain hut. Shortly before arriving at the hut, you’ll cross a suspension bridge. 

When you arrive at the beloved Olpererhütte, grab a seat outside on the hut’s terrace. From here, you’ll have unobstructed views of the Schlegeisspeicher reservoir at the foot of 3,000 m+ peaks. There’s no better place to have a slow, indulgent lunch and a glass of wine. 

Learn More: Olpererhütte Day Hike

2. Seven Sisters Cliffs Walk, South Downs, England

Seven Sisters Cliffs Walk, England, Best Day Hikes in Europe
  • Where: East Sussex
  • Where to Stay: Brighton House in Brighton, or The View Hotel in Eastbourne
  • Starting Point: Seaford
  • Ending Point: Eastbourne 
  • Distance: 21.9 km point-to-point
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Needed: 7 hours
  • When to Hike: Spring, Summer, Fall

The Seven Sisters are a series of white chalk cliffs stretching from Cuckmere Haven to Birling Gap in East Sussex, England. Plunging into the English Channel, these shimmering vertical cliffs are best viewed on foot. 

The Seven Sisters Cliffs walk starts in Seaford and ends in Eastbourne, hugging the coast almost the entire way. 

Most people will visit the Seven Sisters Cliffs as a day trip from either Brighton, or London. We recommend starting in Seaford. From the Seaford train station, walk directly to the sea and follow the promenade to the eastern end of the beach. From here, you’ll be able to locate the coastal trail that enters Seaford Head Nature Reserve. Follow the trail in the direction of Cuckmere Haven

From Cuckmere Haven, you’ll walk inland to Cuckmere Inn in order to cross the river safely. After crossing the bridge, you’ll head back to the coast and follow the South Downs Way to Birling Gap and Beachy Head.  

This is easily one of the most rewarding hikes in Europe. Start early and walk slowly, because you’ll want to relish every moment. 

Insider Tip: Order cream tea (tea with scones) at the Birling Gap Café.

Learn More: Seven Sisters Cliffs Walk Trail Guide

3. Saxer Lücke and Fälensee, Alpstein, Switzerland

Saxer Lücke and Fälensee Day Hike, Alpstein, Switzerland - Best Day Hikes in Europe
  • Where: Appenzell Innerrhoden
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Adler in Appenzell
  • Trailhead: Brülisau Car Park / Hoher Kasten Tram Station
  • Distance: 16.25 km circuit 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Time Needed: 5:30 – 6 hours
  • When to Hike: Summer

Fälensee (also spelled Fählensee) is an alpine lake in Switzerland’s Alpstein mountain range. A spectacular circuit trail to Fählensee begins in Brülisau, Appenzell. To start the hike, take the Hoher Kasten Tram to the mountain station. At the top, follow the Erster Geologischer Wanderweg der Schweiz (Geological Trail) in the direction of Berggasthaus Stauberen. 

Along the way, you’ll pass Saxer Lücke (a “gap” in the mountain), where you’ll be treated to striking views of Kreuzberg, one of the most memorable mountains in the Swiss Alps. The trail continues to descend all the way to the lake. 

At Fälensee, grab lunch at the Berggasthaus Bollenwees, before continuing your hike down to the Brülisau car park. This might be the best place to get a Rösti mit Appenzeller Käse (cheesy hashbrowns) in the region. 

From the lake, the trail continues all the way down to Brülisau Car Park. 

While this hike isn’t technically difficult, it’s long and taxing on your knees, because you’re descending the whole time.

Learn More: Appenzell Travel Guide

4. Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, Algarve, Portugal

Praia da Marinha, Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, Algarve, Portugal
  • Where: Algarve
  • Where to Stay: Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort in Carvoeiro
  • Trailhead: Praia da Marinha 
  • Destination: Praia de Vale Centianes
  • Distance: 5.7 km one-way, 11.4 km out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Needed:  2 – 2:30 hours one-way, 5 – 6 hours out-and-back
  • When to Hike: Spring or Fall
  • Recommended Itinerary: 7-day Algarve Road Trip

Famed for its sunshine and spectacular beaches, Algarve is probably not the first place you think of when dreaming about hiking in Europe. However, if you’re visiting Southern Portugal in Spring, or Fall, coastal hiking should be your number one priority. 

One of the most beautiful coastal paths in Algarve stretches between Praia da Marinha to Praia de Vale Centianes. This 5.7 km trail (one-way) can easily be done as an out-and-back hike.

Insider Tip: Grab lunch at O Stop on Vale Centianes beach

Learn More: Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

5. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit, Sexten Dolomites, Italy

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail, Dolomites - Hiking in Europe
  • Where: Belluno and South Tyrol, Northern Italy
  • Where to Stay: Alta Pusteria, or Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • Trailhead: Rifugio Auronzo 
  • Distance: 9.7 km circuit
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
  • Time Needed: 4 hours
  • When to Hike: Summer, Early Fall
  • Recommended Itinerary: 7-Day Dolomites Road Trip

The loop trail around the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen in German) is one of the most jaw-dropping and accessible day hikes in Europe.

The trail starts at the mountain hut Rifugio Auronzo, which is accessible by a toll road (30 EUR for private cars). 

From Rifugio Auronzo, you can either hike on Trail 101 (right) towards Rifugio Lavaredo, or on Trail 105 (left) towards Langealm. Both ways are beautiful.

Though most people venture here to see the three peaks, they soon realize that Tre Cime is just the beginning of an unending visual feast that extends in every possible direction. 

Insider Tip: Make sure to grab coffee and cake at Langealm and a hearty South Tyrolean feast at the Drei Zinnen Hütte (Rifugio Locatelli).

Read our trail guide: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Day Hike

6. Xlendi Bay to Sanap Cliffs, Malta

Il-Pinur Point View of Sanap Cliffs, Gozo Island, Malta

Gozo Island is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s famous for its cliffed coastline, idyllic coves, and pastoral landscapes. 

The island nation of Malta is a fabulous destination for a quick winter sun holiday in Europe. We visited Malta in February and enjoyed brilliant blue skies, moderate temperatures, and peaceful trails. 

The out-and-back hike from Xlendi Bay to the Sanap Cliffs is a deliciously, scenic hike which hugs the pristine coastline the whole time.

To start this hike, head to the seaside village of Xlendi in the southwest coast of Gozo.

Walk to Xlendi Beach and follow the pedestrian path along the bay. The paver walkway wraps around the bay to an idyllic picnic area with a smattering of benches. After crossing a stone bridge, the trail ascends to the Ras il-Bajda cliffs, home to the historic Xlendi Tower, which dates back to 1650.

Continue south along the high cliffside trail. You’ll pass a sheltered cove and then join another paver walkway, which leads to the Sanap Cliffs.

When the paver walkway ends, continue following the coast all the way to Il-Pinnur Point.

Learn More: Best Coastal Hikes in Malta and Gozo

7. Bobotov Kuk, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Hiking to Bobotov Kuk in Montenegro, Europe Hiking Trails
  • Where: Dinaric Alps
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Soa in Žabljak
  • Trailhead: Sedlo on P14
  • Distance: 10.6 km out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
  • Time Needed: 6 hours
  • When to Hike: Summer, Early Fall
  • Recommended Itinerary: 2 Week Montenegro Road Trip

Bobotov Kuk (also spelled Bobotov Kuv) is the highest peak (2,523 m) in Durmitor National Park and a favorite hiking destination in Montenegro. To start this hike, head to “Sedlo,” the pass on the scenic P14 road, which is 14 km outside of Žabljak. 

Initially, the trail is mostly flat, gently meandering across meadows for 1.5 – 2 hours. The surrounding mountains dazzle with their unique shapes and geological features. It’s like walking through a colossal sculpture gallery.

Soon after passing the small lake Zeleni Vrh, the trail ascends dramatically. The final stretch to the summit is partially secured and requires a bit of scrambling.

Trail poles like the Unisex Black Diamond Hiking Poles are very helpful, especially on the descent.

Learn more: Durmitor National Park Hiking Guide

8. Red Wine Trail, Ahr Valley, Germany

Red Wine Trail (Rotweinwanderweg), Ahr Valley, Germany
  • Where: Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Where to Stay: Villa Aurora Bad Neuenahr in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler
  • Trailhead: Various 
  • Distance: Various (up to 35 km)
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Time Needed: Depends on how much wine you drink 
  • When to Hike: Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall 

The Red Wine Trail is a 35 km hiking trail from Altenahr to Bad Bodendorf in the Ahr Valley, Germany. Though the trail can be hiked from start to finish in two days, most hikers will walk a segment of the trail as a day hike. 

Winding through steeply terraced vineyards, this romantic walking trail connects wine-making villages in Germany’s largest red-wine-growing region. The whole point of this hike is to savor the beauty of the sloping vineyards whilst tasting the region’s celebrated pinot noir wines. So, it’s basically a winery crawl. 

We recommend starting your hike in either Altenahr or Mayschoß.

Insider Tip: Don’t miss the wines in Weingut O. Schell in Rech and the Flammkuchen in Weingut Kloster Marienthal

Learn More: Ahr Valley Travel Guide

9. Santiago del Teide to Masca, Tenerife, Spain

Santiago del Teide to Masca Walk, Tenerife - Best Hikes in Europe
  • Where: Teno Mountains, Tenerife, Canary Islands
  • Where to Stay: Royal Sun Hotel in Los Gigantes
  • Trailhead: Santiago del Teide
  • Distance: 8.5 km point-to-point 
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
  • Time Needed: 3 – 3:30 hours 
  • When to Hike: Fall, Winter, Spring
  • Recommended Itinerary: 7 Day Tenerife Road Trip

When it comes to hiking in Europe, most hiking destinations are only accessible in the summer. However, there’s a wonderful exception. If you want to hike in Europe in winter, head to the Canary Islands. We spent one month exploring Tenerife Island from mid-December to mid-January, and we were blown away by the scenic diversity and the trail options. You can read about our favorite trails in Best Day Hikes in Tenerife

One particular hike you should know about is the point-to-point trail from Santiago del Teide to Masca village. After ascending to Degollada de la Mesa, take a quick detour to Pico Verde, where you’ll be treated to a birds-eye view of the serpentine TF-436 road.

Return to the Degollada and follow the ridge trail. You’ll ultimately descend to Mirador de Cruz de Hilda (viewpoint) and walk through the hamlet of El Turrón to Masca. As you descend, you’ll feel like you’re entering a magical kingdom, only recently discovered.

Insider Tip: After the hike, head to Los Gigantes for sunset. 

Learn More: Hiking in the Teno Mountains

10. Seven Lakes Valley, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Seven Lakes Valley, Slovenia, Best Day Hikes in Europe
  • Where: Triglav National Park 
  • Where to Stay: Majerca Hotel and Restaurant in Stara Fužina, or Hotel Bohinj in Ribčev Laz.
  • Trailhead: Planina Blato (1147 m)
  • Distance: 7.6 km one-way, 14.2 km out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate 
  • Time Needed: 3:30 hours one-way, 7 hours out-and-back
  • When to Hike: Summer, Fall
  • Recommended Itinerary: 2 Week Slovenia Road Trip

Seven Lakes Valley (aka Triglav Lakes Valley) is one of the most enchanting destinations in Triglav National Park and one of the best day hikes in Slovenia. The valley contains a string of seven lakes, each uniquely beautiful.

There are several different approaches to Triglav Lakes Valley, including the route starting at Koča pri Savici, accessible from Ukanc, and the one starting at Planina Blato, high above Stara Fužina. Ukanc and Stara Fužina are two small settlements near Lake Bohinj.

We recommend hiking to Triglav Lakes Valley from Planina Blato, which is the easier approach. On route to Seven Lakes, you’ll hike across some of the loveliest alpine pastures in the Julian Alps, including Planina pri Jezeru, Planina Viševnik, and Planina Ovčarija

From the Štapce saddle (1851 m), you’ll descend to Dvojno Jezero (Double Lake), where the Koča pri Triglavskih jezerih (Triglav Lakes Hut) is happily situated. 

If you thirst for adventure, consider hiking this two-day Seven Lakes Valley hike, which follows the thrilling Špičje ridge.

Learn more: Triglav Lakes Valley Day Hike

More European Hiking Trails We Love

Col dala Pieres Summit, Puez-Odle Nature Park, Italy

  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park, South Tyrol, Italy
  • Where to StayAppartamenti Olympic or Dorfhotel Beludei in Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
  • Trailhead: Col Raiser Cable Car mountain station
  • Distance: 13.8 km circuit
  • Difficulty: Moderately Difficult 
  • Time Needed: 6 – 7 hours
  • When to Hike: Summer, Early Fall

The dagger-like Geisler (Odle) peaks are synonymous with the Italian Dolomites. The most well-known vantage points of these striking peaks are from the Seceda Ridgeline and from Val di Funes. However, our favorite viewpoint is from the lesser-known Col dala Pieres mountain summit. 

This unforgettable loop trail starts at the Col Raiser mountain station, accessible from Val Gardena. From here, you’ll hike to Rifugio Firenze and ascend to Forcella Piza. From the narrow mountain pass, the trail continues left to the summit, but we recommend detouring right to Rifugio Stevia for Kaiserschmarrn and the view of Sassolungo (Langkofel).

After reaching the summit of Col dala Pieres, you’ll hike over Forcella Forces de Siesles and back down to Rifugio Firenze. As you descend, the views of the Geisler peaks unfold spectacularly.

Learn More: Col dala Pieres Day Hike

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