A Quick Guide to Hiking the Amazing European Mountains
Europe is a continent that is full of mountains (even though it doesn’t look like this when you check it on the map). However, at a closer look, you’ll see mountains throughout the entire land in locations like Italy, Switzerland, or France.
Actually, these are the most popular locations and you’ll discover various types of terrain, weather, and amazing scenery that are very picturesque. You will find hiking trails that will wind you around and take you to heights that will test your limits, yet will be fully worth the experience.
Preparedness – the first step
If you’re new to the experience, it’s best to think about preparedness first. After all, it will do you no good if you end up getting lost while exploring these gorgeous mountains. Thus, when it comes to hiking a long trip, you must include the necessities that will help you during your day-to-day travel. The most important items to have would include:
However, you should consider other items that will enhance your trip or keep you alive. For example, some of these mountains still have wild brown bears that may be a threat to your life if you don’t know how to deal with them. They are usually attracted to smells and your food may be an extremely motivating factor to chasing you. So, we recommend using the best bear canister money can buy to keep nosy bears at bay. Having a pocket knife or multi-tool will also come in handy.
To summarize, being prepared means expecting the unexpected, so make a list of things you know you will need before you pack so you can be fully prepared for such a trip.
European Mountains You Should Include In Your Trip
We discuss the first step (preparedness) so let’s move on to the second: mountains to visit. As already mentioned, Europe is full of gorgeous mountains, but there are a few that must be visited at least once in a lifetime. Below we compiled a list of the best challenges:
Mont Blanc is located in France and is a huge attraction for those who want to hike, mountain climb, or just take in some nice views. The total elevation is around 30,000 feet and it gives you a challenge as you hike the trail, but you get to take in views that many do not see. One great thing about this area is that it is very accessible and there are people around that can help you in the case of an emergency. You can also visit various points of interests that are just off of your trail to enhance your experience!
In northern Italy, you will find the Dolomites mountain range that is part of the Southern Limestone Alps. The Dolomites are divided into several other ranges such as the Tofane, Sella, Schiara and the Sorapiss. Many people love to hike here, as well as cycle, climb and ski. Besides seeing any peaks, you will go through several passes and can visit some of the major parks in the area like the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park.
Nearly 15,000 feet in elevation, the Matterhorn is just one mountain located in the Alps, at the border of Italy and Switzerland. Many flock here in the summer months for some great hiking trails and views. You can find many themed hiking trails here, so you can get the most out of your trip. You can also learn about the glaciers, plant life and minerals of the mountain and learn about the legends and myths of the area!
Mount Elbrus is over 18,000 feet in elevation and is known as the highest peak in Europe, and is one of the Seven Summits. Located in the Caucasus Mountains, this area is very rugged and can be a push to hike. You must be absolutely prepared here as Mount Elbrus is one of the world’s deadliest mountains and many died here, at this extinct volcano.
While there are many routes you can take, if you are new, you should take the Standard Route that is at the South Face, where you can begin your ascent at Azau Valley or Barrels Hut, where most people start off. Many state that you can stay in huts or find campsites on the mountain where you can rest up for the next day; these include facilities in which to wash and use the restroom.
The Grossglockner is located in Germany and is over 12,000 feet in elevation, and is the highest mountain in the Alpine Republic. This area is great for hiking of any season, and it is full of demanding trails, themed paths, round paths and many valleys to trek through. The beauty is unimaginable, and you will surely want to take photos here!
You can take a guided tour or go it solo, but you may not want to miss out on the many waterfalls, and reservoir lakes in the area, such as Krimml Waterfalls, the 5th largest in the world. The water is nebulized and has negative air ions that help your immune system, and breathing! Stop in Kaprun for the reservoir lakes that also have springs, watercourses and power places. This mountain is not to be missed!
This mountain is located between Switzerland and Italy, and is considered extremely majestic. Part of the Alps, you can visit here and the Matterhorn if you choose! You can do the short hike in 2 days, viewing many glaciers, peaks and more! It is a medium difficulty range to hike, and is at a length of 5 km through the Aosta Valley and Val d’Ayas. The highest point on Monte Rosa is Bivacco Gastaldi, at 2,590 meters. You can feel comfortable bringing your teen children here for a family hike, where you may encounter Chamois, Marmots, and Ibexes as you trek through this beautiful mountain.
Jungfrau is located in Switzerland and is full of beautiful scenery, animals, and trails to hike! You may find it hard to choose which trail, but a few of the best ones include Eiger Trail, Blumenthal Panorama Trail, North Face Trail, and Lieselotte-Weg Trail. You can do a trail in one day if you are short on time, for most of these trails, and either go with or without a guide. Visit amazing glaciers, lakes and more during your trip to Jungfrau!
As you can see, Europe boasts some of the world’s best mountains in which you can hike and take in amazing scenery, see beautiful animals, and have the time of your life, taking yourself to the limits!
About the Author
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.
Have you hiked any of Europe’s amazing mountains? What are your tips?