The best countries for hillwalking in Europe

The best countries for hillwalking in Europe


The UK has some gorgeous destinations for hillwalkers, but there’s plenty of other countries with incredible scenery, from glacial lakes to enormous mountains.

You might be looking to escape the country for a bit, and want a bit of adventure in a place you’re not familiar with. Or perhaps you’ve conquered the toughest routes in the UK, and are looking for a brand new challenge.

Whatever the reason, you’ll want to be informed about the best spots to visit. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best countries to visit for a hillwalking holiday.

Each of these destinations has a lot to offer, so it’s worth doing a bit more research about specific areas to go to. But whichever country you visit, you can’t go wrong!



Many visit France for its romantic cities and culture, and incredible food. But there’s more to France than cheese and wine. It also happens to be one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world.

One of the best things about hillwalking in France is its diversity. There’s tall, steep mountains, but you’ll find just as much satisfaction strolling through the countryside with the backdrop of medieval structures and sprawling vineyards.

You could explore the colourful Colorado Provenzal, which as the name suggests, consists of orange-brown scenery reminiscent of an American desert.

Or, if you’re looking for something with a bit more altitude, there’s the Mer de Glace which will take you to France’s largest glacier and expose you to some gorgeous high-up views.

And after a long day of hillwalking, the cheese and wine will still be at the base of the mountain waiting for you. If you’re looking for a holiday which combines luxury with tough but gorgeous routes, there’s few places more suitable than France.



Germany has a huge hiking culture, so if you’re an experienced and passionate hillwalker, why not visit a country with a large community of like-minded people?

And there’s a reason why exploring the outdoors is such a popular pass-time in Germany. It’s home to some of the most beautiful forests and sprawling hilltops which will make you feel like you’re in a fantasy adventure.

There’s some tough and long treks here, like the Luther Trail which has a total length of around 3,000km and takes you through breathtaking lands steeped in religious history.

Or you could opt for something a bit more relaxing and short, like the Eibsee Loop which takes you around the gorgeous Eibsee lake.

Germany is a great spot for both beginner and experienced hillwalkers. Because hiking is such a popular activity in the country, there’s plenty of routes of varying difficulties and they’re all very well marked and maintained.



Looking for a warmer hillwalking holiday? Italy’s Mediterranean climate makes it the perfect spot for hillwalkers looking to explore during most times of the year. During the Spring and Fall, especially, the routes will be less crowded than in Summer but you still won’t have to worry too much about wrapping up warm.

Italy’s diverse landscapes range from huge mountain peaks to serene valleys and rivers. But one of the best reasons to go hillwalking here is Italy’s fascinating cultural heritage and sites. Trails often pass through Roman and medieval ruins, and through towns and villages, allowing you to stop on your journey and soak up the local culture.

If that appeals to you, you could try the famous Cinque Terre (or ‘the five towns’) trail which takes you along a cliffside hiking route, linking five gorgeous seaside villages.

Or, for a more typical hike up a mountain, there’s lots to explore in the Dolomites. Such as Tre Cime Di Lavaredo, which is a jaw-dropping route taking hillwalkers through some incredible views, past three giant limestone peaks.



We’ve covered some of the most popular and beautiful countries in Europe. But one country many don’t immediately consider for their hiking trips abroad is Croatia.

That’s a massive shame - as Croatia boasts a gorgeous coastline and a varied landscape, from almost tropical woodlands to unbelievable waterfalls and lakes.

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is one attraction we’d highly recommend to hillwalkers of all experience and ability. It’s a range of 16 lakes, all connected by breathtaking waterfalls and surrounded by woodland. All you need to do is look at some pictures of some of these lakes, and next thing you know you’ll be booking tickets.

But, if you’re heading off to Croatia, you’d be missing out if you didn’t take advantage of its coast. The Hvar Town and Milna coastal path is another trail you shouldn’t miss out on, taking you through a forest, up hills, and past beaches for a truly varied experience.

Croatia, like Italy, is great to visit most times of the year. But if you go in Summer, you could combine your hillwalking holiday with a beach holiday and let yourself relax after a tough climb!



For our final recommendation, we’re moving away from the warmth of Italy and Croatia. But that doesn’t mean there’s no adventure and excitement to be had in Norway.

In fact, if you’re booking hillwalking holidays for Spring and Summer, it’s the perfect time to visit this beautiful country without missing out on certain trails due to the cold and snow.

Norway boasts some of the most awe-inspiring mountain landscapes in the world, so if you’re a fan of high altitude walks, this is the country for you.

Pulpit Rock is one essential experience. It’s the most popular trail in Norway, and for good reason: it’s relatively easy but infinitely rewarding, with a view at the top across a jagged rock which will make even the biggest lovers of high heights tingle with nerves.

Alternatively, there’s the multiple routes up Galdhøpiggen - which is the tallest mountain in both Norway and the whole of Northern Europe. Just make sure you’re ready for a long and steep climb!

Bringing Sprayway abroad with you


At Sprayway, we have a wide and diverse range of clothing for hillwalkers of all experience and ability.

Whether you’re exploring the warm coasts of Croatia, or the chilly French Alps, you’ll need to be prepared.

So check out our collection ahead of your trip to Europe - and if you find yourself on the trail in some Sprayway gear, let us know! Send us a picture on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #Sprayway and you might feature on our social media.