Europe's most challenging treks

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Martí Micolau

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Europe offers not only great cities of art and history or beautiful beaches, but also some of the most wonderful and challenging treks in the world. From France to Switzerland, from Germany to Italy, also passing through Northern Europe, there are paths and paths that are just waiting to be experienced. You can immerse yourself in unspoiled nature, put your skills into play and for a moment forget everything that is outside.

Here is a list of the most challenging treks in Europe.


  1. Way of Santiago, France and Spain
  2. Dream Trail, Germany, Austria, Italy
  3. Way of Kungslede, Sweden
  4. Picos Central Circuit, Spain
  5. GR10 trail in the Pyrenees, France
  6. Tour of Monte Rosa, Italy and Switzerland
  7. Haute route from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn, France and Switzerland
  8. Tour of Mont Blanc, Italy, France and Switzerland
  9. Via Dinarica, Balkans
  10. GR20 path, Corsica
  11. User questions and comments

10 - Camino de Santiago, France and Spain

It is one of the most traveled routes in Europe. Along the way and in the hostels you will meet many people who will later become travel companions. There are several paths and trails that arrive in Santiago de Compostela but, whichever route you take, on average you walk 20 to 30 km per day and the difficulty, based on the traits, ranges from moderate to high.

The Tour most famous is the French Way, of 800 km, which starts in France and reaches Santiago de Compostela. It takes at least a month to complete it all. You can decide to travel only the last 100 km. This route is also called "Ruta Interior", then there is the "Ruta de la Costa", the Cammino de Nord, which however runs along the entire Cantabrian coast. The latter takes place all in Spain, starting from the city Irun to Santiago de Compostela, with a length of always 800 km.

9 - Dream Trail, Germany, Austria, Italy

With this route it is possible to get from Munich, in Germany, to Venice, in Italy, passing through Austria, on foot! The Dream Trail despite being a beautiful trek that crosses the Alps. also one of the most difficult in Europe! The most difficult part is the first, which leads from the Alps to the Dolomites, while the last stretch leading to Venice is mainly flat.

The trek starts from Munich and is 522 km long, which can be covered in 21 days. IS' good physical preparation is required, as during the journey you will have to face significant differences in height, even reaching an altitude of 2.000 meters. The best months to travel it are those of July, August and September.

8 - The Kungslede Way, Sweden

This spectacular trek, also called the "King's Walk", covers a stretch of the mountain range on the border between Sweden and Norway. We are in the Swedish Lapland, in the midst of the most unspoiled nature! Due to the harsh winter temperatures, this route you have to walk it in the summer, from June to mid-September.

The route has a difficulty ranging from moderate to high, in fact you will find yourself, in the middle of nature, sometimes without any services for kilometers, you absolutely must know how to adapt!
It starts from the town of Abiske and ends in the village of Hemavan, further south. It stretches for 440 km, divided into 4 itineraries of 110 km each. To sleep along the way, you can set up your tent in the various camping areas or stay overnight in the small tourist huts.

7 - Picos Central Circuit, Spain

The path is inside the Parque Nacional de Los Picos de Europa, an imposing mountain range in Spain. Even if the journey is relatively short compared to the others mentioned here, with 79 km to cover in 5 days, the difficulty is really high, above all for the high altitude and the different height differences.

It is a circular trek in the heart of the mountain range. There is no real starting point, but you can choose the most convenient town to reach and organize your itinerary from there. During the night you can then stop in various shelters, guesthouses and small hotels. The best time to walk this trail goes from May to September.

6 - GR10 trail in the Pyrenees, France

We move to France for one of the most beautiful mountain treks. The GR 10 is a great crossing of the Pyrenees, from east to west. It starts from Hendaye, a town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and reaches Bayuls sur Mer, on the opposite shore, on the Atlantic Ocean. The whole route is about 860 km long and, to cover it from start to finish, it would take about 50 days to two months. Path it is very demanding, also due to the steep slopes.

This walk is a must for those who love the mountains and walking! Obviously two months is a long time and not everyone has this time available, but there are several shorter routes and itineraries which also last a week. However, the difficulty is high, so recommended for those who are well prepared. In addition to admiring spectacular landscapes and valleys, you can sleep in hostels, shelters and bivouacs. There are also areas equipped for pitching the tent, making your experience even more unforgettable.

5 - Tour of Monte Rosa, Italy and Switzerland

This tour takes you to discover mountains and landscapes that literally take your breath away! It is divided between Italy and Switzerland. The path really is very demanding, also due to the altitude, which also reaches up to 3.000 m with the stage of Colle del Teodulo. It is only recommended if you are experienced hikers and mainly, during the summer.

The Monte Rosa trek does not have a starting and ending point, but it is a circular route, which starts and ends in Zermatt, in Switzerland. It is about 163 km long and 9 days are required to travel it, each time arriving at a different stage. The daily walking hours vary from 6 to 8 depending on the distance traveled (you really need to be trained).

4 - Haute route from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn, France and Switzerland

The route is also known as the Walkers Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, it is located between France and Switzerland and is a trek very challenging which also includes the passage of some glaciers that you will meet during your excursion. In fact, it is only recommended for those who are an experienced hiker or at least have some familiarity with this type of excursion, not for those who have just started.

The Haute Route runs from Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland. The route stretches for 180 km and usually takes two weeks to complete. If you want to embark on this adventure, you must know that, of course, the best time to do this is summer, as in winter you will encounter a lot of snow. Here you will sleep in huts, hostels and hotels.

3 - Tour of Mont Blanc, Italy, France and Switzerland

It is one of the best treks in europe and the world, but it is also one of the most challenging! Just a few numbers to understand this wonderful route: a length of 170 km, 10 days in duration, elevation gain of 10.000 meters and three countries involved, namely Italy, France and Switzerland. Being very difficult and demanding, in its entirety it is only suitable for those who have is a experienced hiker, also due to the steep slopes.

The circular route passes through all three states in a circular fashion, but there is no real starting point! You can choose Courmayeur, Les Houches, Chamonix Les Contamines, Saint Gervais, Les Chapieux, Orsières, Trient or Vallorcine and choose whether to follow it clockwise or anticlockwise (the latter is the most frequented). Along the way the services are truly excellent, you will find several shelters and you can choose whether to sleep in characteristic shelters, hostels or even luxury ski resorts!

2 - Via Dinarica, Balkans

We now move to the Balkans, where this is one of the longest and most difficult routes in the world. It crosses 7 countries for a total of 1.930 km. The route starts from Slovenia and then crosses Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia reaching as far as Kosovo and Albania. To cover it all it would take at least 3 months. Along the way you will admire spectacular and very different landscapes: high peaks, beech forests, alpine lakes and the Tara River Canyon.

Three months is a long time and unfortunately not everyone can take this time to admire and experience the beauty of the Balkans. They therefore exist a whole series of shorter itineraries, which can be easily adapted to the needs of hikers. The best period is the mid-seasons, therefore the months of May, June, September and October and, if desired, it can also be covered in some sections by bicycle.

1 - Path GR20, Corsica

Located near Italy, this is a wonderful trek, perfect for those who love the mountains and are not afraid to get involved. Be careful though, this is a route often classified as the most difficult in Europe. To travel it you have to be experienced hikers! And it is preferable to undertake the experience in the mid-seasons, so as to avoid the heat.

The trail runs along 200 km and is divided into two main sections: the first from Calenzana to Vizzavona (northern part), the second from Vizzavona to Conca (southern part). Along the way you will have to face several gradients and some very steep sections, but nature and the view will repay all the effort! Along the way you can sleep in huts, hostels, tents and bivouacs.

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