/ Europes best hiking destinations

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phja - on 21 Nov 2016
Hi, I'm looking for the collective wisdom on where in Europe are the best spring/summer hiking destinations. Scenery is most important (we don't care much for culture). So far we have been to:

-Chamonix
-Zermatt
-Bernese Oberland
-Dolomites
-Costa Blanca
-Julian Alps

We prefer to base ourselves in one place and drive out to day hikes...usually covering up to 20KM.

Have been looking at the Pico de Europa as a possible next destination. Has anyone been here hiking? Any other great hiking destinations?

Thank you
SenzuBean - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

I just arranged a club trip to Zakopane in September to walk parts of the Tatras - really enjoyed it! The Slovak side would be a lot quieter, but we were happy enough on the Polish side (we had 2 Polish speakers in our group, which we decided was best utilized). We were at our holiday house within 1hr 45 mins from the airport due to the brilliant roads.
subtle on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

> Hi, I'm looking for the collective wisdom on where in Europe are the best spring/summer hiking destinations. Scenery is most important (we don't care much for culture).

You don't care much for culture?

Oh well.
phja - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to subtle:

Yes, we have an affliction that makes us allergic to other people...much prefer our own company out in the mountains
Ken Applegate - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

The Picos de Europa is an amazing place. It's not a large area, but there's plenty to do.
Wulfrunian - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

Macedonia - try the Sar Planina (Shar Mountains) and the Korab massif from a base in Mavrovo. You could probably walk all week and not see another soul (except maybe the odd shepherd).
Trangia - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:
Picos de Europa is stunning and well worth a visit

The Pyrenees

Many of the Spanish Sierras

Also there is great hiking on the Mediterranean islands, particularly

Corsica
Majorca
Crete


and La Gomera, Gran Canaria and La Palma in the Canary Islands where the hiking is stunning
Post edited at 18:37
philipivan - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

Jotunheim
Mallorca
Sardinia
Abruzzo
Ecrins
Alan M - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

Transylvanian Alps (Southern Carpathians)
Simon Caldwell - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

Picos de Europa are great, but quite small - though there are some other less well-known areas nearby.

Anywhere in Norway is brilliant.

But best place in Europe is north west Scotland.
nutme - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

Alps in spring is a bit of gamble. April is still alpine ski season. Even in May snowline can be at 2000 - 3000 meters altitude mark.

I would consider Norway if you like dramatic views.

Pico de Europa in my humble opinion is great, but it's much better to do as hut-to-hut or backpacking trip. Day hikes may not be that great because it's a long mountain range.

Had a very good walking trip to Mallorca in 2013. Loved it, but found locals to be a bit unfriendly with fences and restrictions everywhere.

Corsica is a gem if you want 5 - 15 days hut-to-hut. For day walks it's probably meh because exiting areas are quite deep in.

Maybe worth considering Cappadocia. It's very different to Alps or northern walking in Europe.

Iceland is reasonably good. Especially if you don't mind a bit of glaciers.
phja - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Personally not convinced by norway in summer. Have been cross country skiing there and it is fantastic but doesnt look too inpiring in summer from the photos ive seen, quite bland. Am i missing out??
davidbeynon on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

The best walking country in norway is far from bland. It does have unreliable weather and mozzies though.
Simon Caldwell - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

> Am i missing out??

Yes
RX-78 on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

We hiked in the Italian Alps this summer and once out of the valleys and away from the ski areas it was very empty (lifts often used for hikers/sightseers in summer), the great thing was that food was cheap and very good. Also most people we did meet were Italians, rarely anyone from elsewhere.
lordyosch - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

I've been to the Picos three times walking and once with kids. I love the place.

Plenty to do there for walkers, a few huts to stay in and plenty of opportunity for camping.
I wrote a blog about one trip...
https://lordyosch.wordpress.com/about/backpacking-in-the-picos-de-europa/

As someone else said there are other less well known places nearby; Somiedo and Fuentes Carrionas.

Also you could consider Sierra de Gredos which is near Madrid.

There are decent maps available for all these areas published by Adrados.

Jay
Gav Parker - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

Hi
I had a week in the Pico's the last week in October my first visit. What a stunning place. Walked everyday fantastic scenery and loads of lovely mountain villages.
You wouldn't be disappointed!

Gav
BnB - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

Surprised no one has recommended the Pyrenees. Staying near Cauterets (or many other choices in the vicinity) with a hire car you can have a different adventure each day in a stunning variety of landscapes.
tallsteve - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

The Picos is great and I will definitely return - though in Spring the high mountains and huts will still be in snow. See my post here:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=647208&v=1#x8362467

The Pyrenees, especially the Spanish side, is fabulous. The Eastern end has the Cather castles in dramatic locations and loads of history as well as great mountains.
The German/Austrian border offers lower Alps and plenty of huts as well as good roads and cable car access to the heights. Try the Garmische Partenkirchen/Seefeld/Innsbruck area. Seefeld is a winter ski village where you can get cheap summer accomodation deals.
lordyosch - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to BnB:

Fair point. The Pyrenees are amazing too!

Cauterets is a good base as are Gavarnie, Torla and Benasque.


One thing I'd say about driving in the Picos or the Pyrenees is that road miles take longer than map miles suggest! Very twisty roads when you get into the mountains.
sheffbabe - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

I have hiked in many of the areas already mentioned (including the picos, sardinia, malta and tenerife), and for day walks, would definitely go for Mallorca

It has a good enough road network to mean you can travel to and from walks easier (not the case in sardinia and the picos) and up in the mountains it is truly wild - I have barely seen anyone else.
There is excellent scrambling too - particularly the cavall bernatt ridge

If you fancy a two day exped, then stay up at Lluc monastry, which is stunning and well worth a visit

The other option is to do a long distance walk e.g. GR 20
Sam Mayfield - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

The Rila Mountain range in Bulgaria! truly stunning and you shouldn't find too many people. Flights into Sofia cheap car hire and cheap accommodation.

Friends have also said great things about Slovenia which we drove through briefly this year and cant wait to head back and explore.

I have contacts if interested.
Sam Orange House

TobyA on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

> but doesnt look too inpiring in summer from the photos ive seen, quite bland.

Gosh, never heard Norway called bland before.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=237844
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=51118
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=219623
etc etc
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to TobyA:

wow

that last one is like Marsco with the vertical gain turned up...!

davidbeynon on 25 Nov 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Is the last one piggtinden?

[edit] All I had to do is click
Post edited at 14:35
ads.ukclimbing.com
Oliver Houston - on 25 Nov 2016
In reply to phja:

If noone else has mentioned it, Montenegro is pretty awesome, cheap, pretty quiet, Durmitor NP is safe and relatively easy to get info on. Most of the visitors were from nearby (Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia), all very friendly and mourned our departure from the EU with us (we went at the end of June).

I hear Serbia and Slovenia are also amazing, but there are minefields in the border regions (apparently well documented now).

We spent a few days in the Picos 5 years ago, would love to go back!

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