Hiking route in Alsace
Zig-zagging through Alsatian villages, loop-de-looping valley-hugging Alpine mountains, or tackling thigh-testing peaks in the Irish country. Europe has quite the trail mix to pick and choose from. So how do you find the best spots for hiking in Europe? You don’t – we’ve done it for you. The weather’s pleasantly amiable from spring until autumn, so ramble your way through the continent’s wonderfully hikeable paths and reward your efforts with, perhaps, a fine piece of pie or a flute of prosecco, in some of our charming member properties among the regions. You’ve earned it.
1. Alsace, France
Hunawihr, small village in Alsace
If hell is other people, the quaint, quiet countryside of Alsace is surely heaven. Meander the vine-laced hills and you’ll wind up in fairytale villages, dinky hamlets and the UNESCO-listed natural park in the Northern Vosges. Hiking heaven can be found on the eight-kilometre route from Bergheim to Riquewihr. Aim for the church steeple of Riquewihr – the beloved village was listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Find more verdant rambles on the official Alsace Tourism website.
Where to stay: Another Alsace beauty is Chateau des Monthairons: the hotel’s handsome interiors are decorated with 19th-century furniture, antiques, dripping chandeliers and greenery galore.
2. St. Moritz, Switzerland
Badrutt´s Palace Hotel and surroundings
If the rich and famous go anywhere in Switzerland for walk-and-talks with panoramic peaks and post-hike luxury, it’s St. Moritz. Verdant meadows sit cheek-and-jowl with majestic mountains, while shimmering lakes tempt ramblers in for a pristine plunge. You don’t have to be a seasoned trekker to experience the outdoor pursuits – the Engadin in particular has an extensive hiking trails, from long-distance endeavours to nature walks and even gourmet hikes (the latter, we like the sound of). Find the dream route for you on the St. Moritz tourist page.
Where to stay: Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has long been a go-to alpine hideaway for celebrities hiking in Europe – Alfred Hitchcock even spent his honeymoon here. Palace is no understatement: the 19th-century hotel is a luxurious landmark, boasting astonishing views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Saint Moritz from the toasty heated pool.
3. Voss, Norway
For anyone looking for a green respite from urban living, you can’t been Norway. And perfectly plonked between two famous fjords, Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord, the soulful mountain town of Voss is a dream spot for hiking in Europe. The walking wonderland has waterfalls, rivers, lakes, forests, valleys, and picturesque peaks, making it one of the more varied trekking spots in the continent. In a few hours, you can backpack your way to Mount Hangur and be back in Voss. Nearby Stølsheimen is another dreamy area to hike, as is the eight-kilometre trail to the more challenging Lønahorgi mountain top. For an easier stroll, try the Prestegardsmoen to Bømoen route. Check out the A to Z of hikes on the Visit Voss website.
Where to stay: Those happy to swap busy nine-to-fives for a slower pace of life will find their happy place within Fleischer’s Hotel’s grounds and walls. The historic hotel hasn’t lost any of its 19th-century charm, but the modern luxuries are bang up to date. End a day of hill-yomping with a proper Norwegian fish supper.
4. Galway, Ireland
You don’t have to travel to Norway to hike your way through beautiful fjords. Ireland is home to three glacial fjords – Lough Swilly, Carlingford Lough and Killary Harbour. The latter forms a natural border between Galway and Mayo and is one of the best spots for hiking in Europe. One of the most famous treks is the 10-mile Famine Walk, stretching from Killary Fjord through Connemara and into County Galway. It’s wild, raw and packed with history. You’ll stroll past tiny cottages that were once home to residents during farsh famine times in the 1840s. With bogs, boulders and the looming Mweelrea Mountain at your side, you’ll feel like you’re in an epic movie as you make your way to the finishing point.
Where to stay: Elevate your post-hike triumph with home-cooked food, real log fires and cheery comfort at Cashel House Hotel. Hidden away in a secluded 40-acre estate, there’s plenty more woodland walks here – if you have the energy. If not, the McEvilly family will make sure you’re at home the moment you arrive. Flop into a squishy sofa and laze luxuriously.