It’s hard to outshine the jaw-dropping adventure, beguiling scenery, and charming culture that Europe has to offer. So why try?
The continent’s unbeatable character and diverse terrain mean there’s something for everyone to fall in love in with. Especially hikers looking for adventure.
Scandinavian peaks and Mediterranean coastlines may well inspire the hiker in all of us, but charming destinations like these can soon put you out of pocket.
There are, however, plenty of hiking adventures out there that won’t break the bank. You’ve just got to know where to look…
Here are 2 incredible hiking destinations that will blow your mind, not your budget.
The Lake District, United Kingdom
Enjoyed by wildlife and hikers alike, The Lake District offers the kind of striking landscape and rugged terrain that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere, thanks to ruthless conservation that’s left the region practically unspoiled.
With the promise of picturesque lakes, waters, meres and tarns (16, to be precise) and unmissable countryside hills, fells and mountains, it’s no wonder this region is a hotbed for hikers.
Mt. Helvellyn, in particular, is one of the region’s top hiking spots. It’s a route that every keen hiker should complete at least once in their lifetime.
Home to two famous ridges (Striding Edge and Swirral Edge) resembling dragons’ backs, Mt. Helvellyn boasts a 950m ascent which promises a tough challenge for even the most experienced hikers out there. Not to fear though, there are more forgiving routes to dig your boots into – and they’re perfect for those looking to enjoy the scenery without the heart racing drops.
With the most difficult route expected to take around 5-6 hours, there’s no need to make this trip a long stay – unless of course, you want to conquer some of the other region’s famous walks.
Parking: Pay and display, Glenridding village
Train Station: Penrith, or Windermere
Average cost of one night’s stay: £70 – £110
There’s a reason this enchanting part of France has captured the hearts of hikers worldwide.
Flourished with semi-circular cliffs and extreme currents, the Pyrenees mountain range is nothing less than breathtaking. And with hundreds of routes to choose from, you can enjoy these spectacular scenes from every angle.
Cirque De Gavarnie is up there with the best of them. Nicknamed the ‘Colosseum of Nature’ by Victor Hugo, a French poet, this trail is known for its out-of-this-world views.
Rocky streames, winding paths, striking waterfalls and life changing experiences, Cirque De Gavarnie will leave you in awe of the region.
Altitudes reach an impressive 1,590m, but the trail itself ascends slowly, so you can take it all in at a leisurely pace.
The surrounding waterfalls are best viewed from the peak. However, if you want to get up close and personal, scramble down to the base and see the world from a whole other level.
This trail is 5km (8 miles) in total, and it’ll take you around 3 hours of walking to complete it. We wouldn’t blame you if you want to head back around though!
Parking: Gavarnie village, pay to park
Train Station: Lourdes
Airport: Tarbes Lourdes Pyrenees, or Pau Pyrenees
Average cost of one night’s stay: £60 – £90
Exploring Europe’s Hiking Highlights
Europe is home to some incredible hiking hot-spots, some cheaper than others. But whether you’re after a handful of budget walking holidays, or one blow out trip, there’s a trail for you.
Take the tour and find the hike for you with Sole Power’s interactive hiking map.