5 spectacular European treks
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Fresh air, impressive views, some much-needed escapism. There’s a lot to be said for a good walk. And we don’t just mean strolling to the shops or shuffling your way to work – exploring the great outdoors can help rejuvenate both your body and mind.
To help maximise your time in the countryside, the team at Wikiloc have recommended five of the most spectacular routes in Europe for trekking, pooling recommendations from their passionate community. Leave some space in your suitcase for your trekking boots – these places are going to take your breath away.
1. Ascension to Hörnli mountain shelter (Cervino, Switzerland)
You don’t need to travel to Egypt to see a pyramid. Located between Switzerland and Italy, Mount Cervino is probably the most famous mountain in the Alps thanks to its unmistakable geometric form.
This trail connects you to a landscape of magnetic beauty stretching from idyllic Zermatt right up to Hörnli shelter, and the route is accessible to people of all skill levels.
2. Sentier des Douaniers (Bretagne, France)
There was a time when custom officers patrolled the Bretagne Coast, from Mont Saint-Michel to Saint-Mathieu lighthouse, on the lookout for smugglers and looters of wrecked ships.
Nowadays, Le sentier des Douaniers (or route GR34) is better known for some of the most captivating vistas in France. From never-ending beaches to sleepy fishing villages and dramatic capes, this is a route that’s packed with scenic surprises.
3. Eastbourne to Seven Sisters (East Sussex, United Kingdom)
There’s so much to take in along this 18-kilometre route including photogenic lighthouses and scenery that feels like it stepped straight out of the pages of a fairytale. But the leading attraction is undoubtedly the cliffs that Seven Sisters Country Park is named after.
Their unique, undulating shape, chalk-white faces and gorgeous vantage points over the English Channel deliver justice to the slogan at the entrance: “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.”
4. Landmannalaugar to Porsmork (Iceland)
We don’t know whether Monet, Van Gogh, Turner or Friedrich ever travelled to Iceland, but if they did, we’re pretty sure the route that runs from Landmannalaugar to Porsmork would have been an inspiration for their paintings.
Along this route, which takes four to five days to cover, dramatic mountaintops and volcanoes loom and thundering volcanoes abound. It’s like strolling through an open-air museum exhibiting nature’s greatest masterpieces.
5. Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Dolomites, Italy)
There are few places in the world as breathtaking as the Dolomites. Amongst its many routes, there is one that truly stands out: Tre Cime di Lavaredo. A trio of colossal granite rocks with a distinctive tooth-like appearance is the prize that awaits after two to three hours of trekking.
During the journey, you will also be able to soak up the sight of lakes with crystal clear waters, stunning chapels and even a highly recommended chocolate cake that you can buy at Locatelli Refuge for a delicious (and welcome) energy boost.