Top 10 classic walks in Europe

Exploring Europe on foot is a classic experience in itself and if you’re looking to find out a few of the recommended regions for walking, as part of a small group or on a self guided trip, then right here is where you put your best foot forward. From pilgrimage trails such as the Camino de Santiago in Spain and the Pilgrims Way in southern England to the fjords of Norway and the historic Tour du Mont Blanc, our top 10 classic walks in Europe will have you voting with your feet in every sense.

1. Amalfi Coast, Italy

There's a fantastic, undiscovered stretch of the Amalfi Coast that's been created for walking with the gods, but away from the crowds. Secret coves and dripping grottos line the shore whilst, further inland, up the steep mountain foothills of Monte Tre Calli, you'll find well worn donkey trails leading to traditional villages, such as Bomerano on the Agerola Plain. Stroll with the scent of citrus.

Best time to go: February to December
Our top selling trip: Amalfi Coast walking vacation
See all our trips: Walking vacations in Italy
Read more: Amalfi Coast travel guide and Walking vacations in Italy guide

2. Camino de Santiago, Spain

As one of the world's oldest pilgrimage routes it's impossible not to have the Camino de Santiago in our top 10 list. The 100km stretch from Samos to Santiago de Compostela takes walkers through a naturally unique side to Spain that unveils the gorgeous Galacian countryside en route through hilltop towns and river valleys. If you're looking for a change of scene in Northern Spain, Picos de Europa National Park offers wilder and lesser-known walking trails, just a few miles south of the Camino de Santiago.

Best time to go: March to October
Our top selling trip: Camino de Santiago trekking vacation
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3. Carpathian Mountains, Romania

Settle into a locally owned guesthouse in the rural Romanian village of Magura and you'll instantly be able to access mile upon mile of alpine walking trails from within the protected perimeters of Piatra Craiului National Park. This is Transylvanian hiking heaven with virgin forests, Saxon villages and elevated ridge walks conjuring Carpathian Mountain landscapes as far as the eye can see.

Best time to go: June to September
Our top selling trip: Carpathian Mountains vacation
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4. Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

The crystal clear shallows along the Croatian coast were an Adriatic icon long before Dubrovnik served as Kings Landing. If you're looking for classic European walking trails, look no further than the Dalmatian Coast that's littered with shimmering crown jewels. From the vineyards and forests along the Ljuta River in Konavle Valley to the beaches, monasteries and fortifications on the islands of Lopud and Mljet, some of the scenery that you'll encounter on a walk is nothing short of magical.

Best time to go: April to November
Our top selling trip: Croatian Coast walking tours, self guided
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Read more: Croatia walking vacations travel guide

5. The Fjords, Norway

Strap on your hiking boots as you step into the national parks of Norway. These protected areas, blissfully free from traffic, are where you'll find the country's most magnificent fjords, glaciers and ice-capped mountains. Warm up with a walk up Molden Peak (1,116m) before hiking through Lustrafjord, Sognefjord and Mørkrisdalen Valley via ferry rides, hiking huts and Norway's premier peaks.

Best time to go: June to August
Our top selling trip: Fjords walking vacation in Norway
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6. Cyclades, Greece

Go Greek on your next classic walking vacation in Europe and you won't be disappointed. The Cyclades archipelago, especially, has some legendary trails with Paros, Santorini and Naxos all offering ample excuses to indulge in extra dollops of yoghurt and honey after a decent 5-10km stroll. Early starts avoid the midday sunshine whilst a sea breeze guides you through olive and citrus groves towards lazy lunches overlooking the ocean.

Best time to go: March to November
Our top selling trip: Cyclades walking vacations in Greece
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7. Tuscany, Italy

There are classic walks and then there are Chianti Classico walks. Combine wine tasting and alfresco afternoons with strolls through olive groves, woodlands and vineyards as you explore a region that’s as well regarded for Renaissance art as it is for rolling hills. From walking trails in the Chianti countryside to the streets of Siena and Florence, walking in Tuscany always paints a perfect picture.

Best time to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Tuscany tours walking and wine tasting
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Read more: Tuscany travel guide and Walking vacations in Italy guide

8. Tour du Mont Blanc, France

The Tour du Mont Blanc takes offers hikers a chance to circumnavigate Mont Blanc, one of Europe’s most iconic landmarks, and enjoy the scenery along the way. This is not a super tough trek although it is at altitude and can be a challenge to inexperienced and unfit walkers. Best advice is to walk as part of a guided group with a mountain guide, luggage transfers and overnight rests in mountain refuges.

Best time to go: June to September
Our top selling trip: Mont Blanc walking vacation
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9. Las Alpujarras, Spain

There’s no better walking companion to guide you through the whitewashed villages of southern Spain – the Pueblos Blancos – than the author of Driving Over Lemons, Chris Stewart. The Alpujarras region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is a joy for any walkers wishing to uncover authentic Andalucía. Terraced orchards, river gorges and alpine meadows border a range of decent 14km walking trails and alfresco lunches at Chris’s farm make for a welcome break.

Best time to go: May to October
Our top selling trip: Las Alpujarras walking vacation
See all our trips: Walking vacations in Spain
Read more: Walking in Spain travel guide and Andalucía travel guide

10. The Pilgrims Way, England

This is one of southern England’s most historic long distance walking trails and takes you from Winchester to Canterbury over the course of 200km. A self guided two week walk with accommodation and luggage transfers really helps to lighten the load although average daily distances of 17km still require fair fitness levels – hearty breakfasts, and pub lunches, are a must.

Best time to go: March to October
Our top selling trip: Winchester to Canterbury, Pilgrims Way
Read more: Walking vacations in England guide
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Aneta Ivanova] [1. Amalfi Coast, Italy: Ken Mayer] [4. Dalmatian Coast, Croatia: Lukas] [7. Tuscany, Italy: Free-Photos] [10. The Pilgrims Way, England: Mikael Leppä]
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