Best time to go walking in Europe


Walkers know never to depend on weather, however, each to their own when it comes to how exposed to the elements they want to be. Walking vacations in Europe do vary greatly, climate wise, however, not just from country to country but within one country. Here are some of our top tips on the best time to go walking in Europe, with a sprinkling of all the seasons from Andalucia to the Aegean, Croatia to Catalonia.
  • Croatia is seriously hot in summer and the wind is deceptive, so stay hydrated and wear a hat. Head into the mountains of Risnjak National Park for cooler temperatures. Some islands stay open for business into October, when they are idyllic for hopping and hiking. May is also gorgeous with temperatures around 23°C, but the coastal winds are less predictable, and storms can happen.
  • Head to the Amalfi Coast in spring or autumn, as it’s heaving with people in summer, although elevated hiking routes are cooler. October and November are mild at 17-20°C, although some businesses close, so research well. Easter can be busy with religious festivals, but for heavenly wildflowers, trails brim with wild orchids and it is a pleasant 16°C in March and April to 24°C in May.
  • Although gorgeous all year round, with the exception of July and August, when it is just too hot to hike really, enjoy mild winters and empty mountains around Andalucia or Alicante. December, January and February are still fine and you will catch the olive harvest in many places too. March and April are a fiesta of flora on Andalucian hillsides.
  • May and June are Catalan-tastic for hikers, with cooler temperatures than the roaring forties of summer. Although the Pyrenees are cooler in summer for walking.
  • Stay clear of Greece during the summer peak season if you want to do some serious hiking. April, May and June or September-November are ideal. Wild flowers in the former, wine and olives in the latter.
  • The best time to go do the Tour de Mont Blanc, or indeed the summit, is mid-June until mid-September. Although the weather is unpredictable all year round on this, Europe’s most massive massif.

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Ana Vujakovic from our Croatian supplier, Huck Finn Adventure Travel: “If you plan to visit Croatia’s national parks, it is good to check their opening times in advance. In the summer months it is not something that should be a problem since they have longer working hours, but arriving early in the morning (just after opening) will help you see the park before rest of the visitors arrive. Also, traveling with a local operator can help avoid long lines and pick put the best spots to see. One of the parks we recommend the most is Velebit National Park – interesting for its biodiversity and untouched nature as well as no crowds.”
Chloe Knott, one of the alpine aficionados at our leading supplier, Exodus: “For the Tour de Mont Blanc generally, the climbing window is between June and September. September is great – the trails are generally a little quieter whilst the weather is usually still warm and clear. November isn’t ideal as you have less daylight hours and unpredictable weather. The main climbing season for the ascent of Mont Blanc is from June to September. Expect warm temperatures (15 to 25°C) in the valleys, cool (5 to 15°C) on the passes (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and very cold (-20°C) on the summit, with strong winds too. For snowshoeing, there is usually a blanket of snow between December and March.”
Photo credits: [Top box: Ray Bouknight] [helpdesk: Fresco Tours] [Ana Vujakovic quote: Darij & Ana]
Written by Catherine Mack
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