Best European walking trails to try in 2023

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Walk famous long-distance trails or tackle some that we’ve crafted especially for you. Taking several days to complete the full journey, these walks require more stamina but reward with some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet.

The Cathar Trail

One for the history buffs and fans of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, this walk takes you through the Pyrenees mountains along the Cathar Trail – a 58-mile long-distance route that crosses from France into Spain. Explore an incredible line-up of ruined castles and chateaus that tell the tragic tale of the Cathars – a persecuted religious group destroyed by the Spanish Inquisition in the 13th century. Highlights include Chateau de Foix, the spa town of Ax-les-Thermes, and Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park – a mountainous wonderland with peaks that reach over 2,500 metres.

Camino de Santiago

The 1000-year-old pilgrimage route to the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela – believed to be final resting place of St James the Apostle – is one of the world’s most-walked network of trails. There are nine routes that make up the official Camino de Santiago, but our favourite is the so-called Camino Frances (the French Way). While the full trail measures a leg-aching 497 miles, the final 70-mile stretch is undoubtedly the most scenic. Pass through medieval villages in the golden countryside of Sierra de Ligonde and catch your first sight of the finish line from the hilltop monument in Monte de Gozo Park

Tour du Mont Blanc

This is the big one. At a whopping 4,807 metres above sea level, Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and the tallest in Western Europe. The Mont Blanc trail winds through the eye-popping Alpine passes of France, Switzerland, and Italy with all sorts of sightseeing opportunities along the way. A highlight is Courmayeur, one of Italy’s most popular ski resorts located on Mont Blanc’s southern side. Here you can elevate your senses by taking a ride on Skyway Monte Bianco – a cable car that ascends to an altitude of 3,466 metres at its final stop.  

The Dolomites

When it comes to photo-worthy walks, hikes, and climbs, few places rival the dazzling Dolomites – the mountain range in the northern Italian Alps that was bestowed UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2009. Adored by skiers in winter and walkers in summer, it offers peaks, pastures, lakes, and hundreds of exhilarating trails. We recommend the lengthy circuit around Sassolungo and Sasso Piatto that ticks-off the meadows above Selva on the north side of the Val Gardena, the glittering Lake Misurina, and views of the Marmolada – the highest peak in the Dolomites. 

The Dachstein Trail

Austria is full of showstopping walks, but one of the best by far is the Dachstein Trail. At 2,995 metres above sea level, the main summit of the Dachstein Mountains is one of the highest elevations in the Northern Alps. Hikes here reward with a fairytale-like landscape of alpine pastures, cloud-piercing peaks, and glistening glacial lakes. Venture into the Notgasse gorge in search of UNESCO-protected prehistoric petroglyphs, ascend from the shores of Lake Hallstatt to cross a sky- high suspension bridge overlooking the Salzkammergut mountains, and stay in a traditional mountain hut where the welcome and hospitality are almost on par with the views.

The Gotaleden Trail

With two-thirds of Sweden covered in protected woodland, there’s a smorgasbord of walking opportunities on offer. But we’re most fond of the Gotaleden Trail. This long-distance route from Gothenburg to Alingsås includes over 44 miles of forested valleys, glistening lakes, and nature reserves home to beaver, wild boar, brown bears, and more. When you’re not busy exploring all the joys of the great outdoors, be sure to make time for fika – Sweden’s almost obligatory daily break for coffee and cake.

All destinations featured are included in our carefully-curated itineraries. We offer a fabulous selection of European trails all of which promise excellent walking and hiking opportunities. Please note, all itineraries are subject to change.