We all have favourite mountain peaks, oh yes we do! The mountains we come back to regularly, despite having conquered them dozen times we can’t wait to re-visit! It doesn’t necessarily need to be Mt Everest but a peak which brings us the feeling of freedom, the sense of adventure or achievement. Maybe it’s a peak that has a special meaning to us, or brings warm memories; it could be an amazing sunrise or sunset, an inversion or being proposed to. Also, it could be the one we had to push the boundaries to reach the top, leave our comfort zone behind. There may be thousand reasons but every hiker has their favourite, remarkable mountain/hike. Personally, we have about a dozen of all-times favourites that we would gladly climb any day… And with active holidays becoming more and more popular, what a better idea than climbing a stunning mountain peak this summer?! So whether you only dream or seek inspiration to find THE special mountain, here is a list of 15 remarkable mountain peaks, perfect to conquer in summer. All of them are reachable without a guide, but require a strong drive, experience and respect for the mountains. Some of these peaks have significant vertical drop, hence good head for heights is desirable; other may have over 1000 meters of ascent. Please ensure you are fit to hit such trails.
Hope conquering them will be memorable experience for you, so don’t hesitate, go climb them!
Remember to share your experience with us once you’re back!
15 remarkable mountain peaks to conquer in summer
4.Mt Elbrus, Russia
5.Bidean Nam Bian, Scotland
8.Mt Etna, Italy
11.Velky and Maly Rozsutec, Slovakia
13.Maglic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
14.Gola Pljesevica, Croatia
15.Bobotov Kuk, Montenegro
1.Hermannsdalstinden 1774 masl, Moskenesoya island, Lofoten, Norway
by Stunning Outdoors
Time: 12-14 hours (or 2 days)
Undoubtedly, Lofoten islands provide a first class hiking experience! We got addicted to local hiking trails very easily. As we completed many Lofoten hikes in summer, we had a wide range of peaks to choose from. For us it was one of best hiking experiences ever, hence it won’t come as a surprise that our list of outstanding mountain peaks is open by a Lofoten mountain hike!
Hermannsdalstinden, located in a remote part of Lofotodden National Park, is a perfect mountain to be conquered in summer. It is a long hike, approximately 12 hours round trip, hence if one wants to conquer it within a day, the arctic day with 24 hours daylight will make it much easier, without the need for torches nor night equipment or tricky navigating in the dark. Rather contrary, it will give you a chance to enjoy midnight sun in the beautiful surroundings, something you’ll never forget!
Thinking about it today, a year later, Hermannsdalstinden still makes my heart skip a beat! Instantly I see myself returning to the camp spot well past 11 pm in glorious sunshine, having a quick dinner while still caressed by warm sun rays and falling asleep in the middle of the night in daylight. Bizarre and incredible; mostly the latter.
However, if you think that the distance is too much for just a single day, you can split the hike over 2 days, wild camp in the mountains. You will definitely have a time of your life; mountain camps are like no other!
The hike can be divided into 2 stages: first leg to Munkebu hut and further to the top of Hermannsdalstinden. Both are rewarded with spectacular views of rugged peaks, waterfalls and lakes. Ever busy trail to Munkebu hut changes into a partially marked secluded path once passed the hut and the feeling of adventure increases with every step. Most likely you’ll be on your own, as only a few walkers dare to climb the king of Lofoten’s peaks!
Conquering Hermannsdalstinden top is a fine hiking experience, one that we wholeheartedly recommend. However, keep in mind that you are in a remote wild area, hence you need to be a confident hiker and being able to navigate the faint wild paths, good hand-on-rock skills are also very useful. Find out how to make the most of Hermannsdalstinden hike, how to plan it and enjoy epic time!
Most hikers start their adventure at Sorvagen’s main visitors car park and we do recommend hitting the trail from this spot.
2.Kebnekaise, 2096.8 masl, Sweden
by Stunning Outdoors
Time: 2-3 days
Despite Swedish Lapland being a remote and wild place, do not expect to be alone climbing Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden. Having said that, I need to add that conquering Kebnekaise got a bit more complex in recent years. Let me explain – the mountain has two summits – the southern & the northern. For years the southern summit (covered by glacier) was the highest peak at 2106 masl. However, within last few years the southern peak has shrunk significantly as the glacier melted away, putting the two summits at very similar altitude.
To tell you more: ‘The height of the southern peak varies by around three metres between summer and winter. In the long run the northern peak will become the highest year-round’ according to official announcement from Stockholm.
This makes the matter of standing on rooftop of Sweden a bit more complicated, as the northern top can only be climbed with a guide, it requires some climbing experience and familiarity with mountaineering equipment.
However, if you are not much concerned about the 3 meters difference in the scale of 2000 meters, I guarantee that the hike to southern peak will challenge you alright and you’ll love it!
You can hike to the southern peak via east or west route, however only the west route (which is significantly longer and involves climbing additional mountain before Kebnekaise) can be tackled without a guide. It’s a trade off, yep you can do it yourself but this will cost you additional effort.. and satisfaction if I may add.
You probably wander why hike to Kebnekaise is classified as challenging. The mountain is remotely located in wild Lapland, so you first have to get to Kebnekaise Fjällstation (the mountain station and campground), which is located approximately 19 km from the closest settlement of Nikkaluokta, reachable by road (car or bus). That is a good warming up before the coming adventure! And a full day 1 hike.
You will have a choice to sleep in your own tent or in the fully equipped station hotel (which is recommended to book in advance due to popularity). Hike up to the sounthern top of Kebnekaise takes about 6 hours, from the fjallstation. Return walk to mountain station takes approximately 4-5 hours; that’s the day 2.
On ‘day 3’ retrace your steps all the way to Nikkaluokta.
Kebnekaise area offers other fabulous hikes; the most famous of them being Tarfala valley (12-15 km round trip), so you may wish to stay at the fjallstation longer to have a chance to explore the area for couple more days. We strongly recommend discovering the local valleys and fells unhurriedly, especially as you walked 19 km to reach this spot and possibly will never come back.
3.Halti 1328 masl, Finland
by Stunning Outdoors
Time: 7-8 days
Halti, a mountain located at the Finnish-Norwegian border, is a MUST-do on our list, however again, it doesn’t come easy.
First of all, it probably comes as a surprise to some of you, that apart from lakes and forests there actually are mountains in Finland. Oh yes there are! And not just any mountains, but full-flavoured incredible arctic fells!
I was surprised as well, but hey, these are rugged mountains divided by wild rivers and wide valleys! What a spectacular sight, truly astonishing! You will be pleased to learn that Finnish mountains provide one of the best hiking experiences in Europe, and are amazingly perfect for multi-day hikes with overnight stay at open wilderness huts (or camping). Halti is a stunning destination and for many Finns it’s like a pilgrimage, to be completed at least once in a lifetime!
A hike to Halti is especially amazing in summer, however you should ensure to pack warm clothing as you’ll be hiking thru arctic wilderness after all. Summer above arctic circle has many faces, some of them involve fresh snow!
An important piece of advice- ensure to buy Finnish or Swedish mosquito repellent, we recommend MyggA brand (gel in small green bottles, it works perfectly fine, contrary to most repellents you can buy at home)
The best starting point to climb Halti from Finnish side, is Kilpisjarvi. The trail is signposted and marked, as most of the way it follows international Kalottireitti trail (Nordkalotledden); look out for knee-high poles marking the route.
Along the way you’ll pass several lakes, and will have to ‘wild cross’ several rivers and streams (without bridges), navigate vast featureless tundra and endlessly walk along valleys that cut the Finnish fells. Along the trail to Halti you will also pass the biggest waterfall in Finland, Pihtsusköngäs, which itself is a famous hiking destination!
As the trail to Halti from Kilpisjarvi is a 53km linear, prepare yourself for a fantastic multi-day experience, ensure to pack all you may find useful in the cool arctic. Most importantly, get to know the trail and how to navigate to Halti! Ensure to have offline means of navigation as mobile reception in Finnish fells is very poor. A paper map (buy at Kilpisjarvi visitors centre, directly at the trailhead) or offline navigation app (like Maps.me) are perfect. Just to picture the situation, during our hike along Kalotireitti trail we managed to catch mobile signal only once (for about 1 km), we briefly caught Norwegian Telia.
When in Kilpisjarvi, remember to get the most up-to-date hiking information about the conditions in the fells; these can be obtained in the visitors centre at the east end of the village, at Halti trailhead.
Summer is especially great season to conquer Halti as hiking during polar day is a liberating experience! You no longer have to worry about times and nightfall as the day never ends, for about 2-3 months, that’s absolutely incredibly handy for long walks! It literally makes no difference whether you hike during the day or night as it’s just as light, 3pm looks exactly the same as 3 am! In summer the snow would had already melted away (mostly) and the rivers level would stabilise, making them easier to cross. You still can expect patches of snow on Halti, thou, so ensure to have good waterproof hiking boots (this helps with river crossings too!) Sometimes you’ll find that the only reasonable way to cross a river or stream is doing so barefoot (or in sandals or Crocs) so have them handy!
An advice from our experience hiking the trail, is: don’t rush too much, enjoy the exceptional scenery and some of the wildest and most remote fells in Europe. True gems they are!
4.Mt Elbrus, 5642 masl, Russia
by Alya & Campbell from Stingy Nomads
Time: 4 days
Mt Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe.
Hey, you may think, Elbrus is in Russia and Russia is generally not considered an European country, so Elbrus shouldn’t be on the list of best European mountain peaks to climb in summer! Geographically Elbrus is located on European continent and this makes is the highest peak in Europe, forget Mt. Blanc!
It’s a bucket list peak for many climbers who aim to climb all Seven Summits – the highest mountains on each continent. Elbrus has two summits: Western (5,642 masl) and Eastern (5,621 masl) – both dormant volcanic domes.
The end of June, July, and the first half of August are the best months for climbing Elbrus. However, even in those months the weather is unpredictable and can change in a matter of an hour. What is more, even during summer you can expect snow cover on the top!
Climbing Elbrus is a challenging experience, despite being relatively straight forward the climb is physically demanding, and the permanent snow cover requires the use of crampons and ice axe, walking pols and, obviously, suitable boots.
Most climbers conquer the Western summit, choosing the most accessible and easiest route – ‘the South Route’, which allows use of cable car instead of initial steep climb.
The climb starts at Azau (2350 masl), a small town at the foot of Elbrus mountain. It’s possible to start the ascent directly from Azau but most climbers take the cable car first, and land at Mir Station (3500 masl) then take a chairlift up to Garabashi (3700 masl). The hiking trail to Garabashi is not very spectacular as it goes under the cable car through rocky/muddy terrain, so why not skip it?
Before finally starting your hike, we recommend to stay at Garabashi for a couple of days, for acclimatisation. To help with acclimatisation you can do short hikes: to Shelter Maria or to Pastukhov Rocks to allow your body get used to the altitude and pressure.
The day before venturing to the top most people stay at Shelter Maria, at 4100 masl. Final ascent starts at night, usually between 12 am and 1 am in order to have sufficient time to get back before midday.
The walk up to Elbrus was one of the toughest experiences we’ve ever had in the mountains! Having started in the middle of the night, initially it was dark, very cold, and windy. We climbed independently, but followed several other climbers also making the ascent. When we reached the Saddle between the peaks we had to wait for an hour to ensure the conditions were good enough, before continuing the ascent to the peak. It took us about 6 hours to reach the top! We were extremely tired but the summit views were more than rewarding. We could see the entire Caucasus Mountain range! It’s an amazing feeling to be on the top of the highest mountain in Europe!
Once your heart and eyes are satisfied, retrace your steps down to the ‘base’.
5.Bidean Nam Bian 1150 masl, Scotland
by Stunning Outdoors
Time: 9-11 hours
Elevation gain 1300 metres
Climbing Bidean Nam Bian is on top of hiking bucket list of many Scottish walkers, it’s not an easy task, by no means. Due to the length of hike and its difficulty Bidean Nam Bian gained a legendary status of one of the hardest hikes in Scotland. Don’t let this discourage you, thou, as the hike to impressive Bidean Nam Bian is unforgettable and having achieved it, you’re very likely to put it on top of your best hikes in Scotland list!
Summer is the best season to conquer Bidean Nam Bian, as the last remaining snow patches have already melted and there’s no need to worry about ice/snow, also the days are long enough to accommodate such a lengthy hard hike!
Hiking trail to Bidean Nam Bian is unmarked, however most of the way it’s very easy to follow, as the lower sections of trail are maintained (stone steps); with only one pathless ascent over the eastern slopes of Stob Coire Nan Lochan.
If you wonder why the total elevation gain exceeds the height of Bidean Nam Bian, the answer is: recommended, and most popular way of climbing Bidean Nam Bian involves climbing another 1 or 2 mountains along the way!
Despite being the most popular the ascent is rather ‘hard’. Therefore, before heading to Bidean Nam Bian you should carefully consider whether you’re confident and fit enough to endure such a strenuous 11 hours hike in difficult, dangerous terrain. Are you comfortable with climbing up steep pathless slopes (ascent to Stob Coire Nan Lochan), do you enjoy scrambling (there’s plenty!)
Where is the trailhead for Bidean Nam Bian in Glencoe? The most convenient is leaving your car at the car park in the Pass of Glencoe dedicated for Hidden Valley (directions) walking to the bottom of the glen where you can safely cross river Coe by bridge, before heading up a steep path (stone steps) along rugged Gearr Aonach. This section follows a small stream; soon you’ll climb to an end of the valley and face a rock wall. This is where the pathless ascent to Stob Coire Nan Lochan starts. Head to the left, up the grassy slopes until reaching the top of ridge. Follow this ridge to the summit (easy scrambling involved). Once at the top you’ll be glad to know that the hardest part of the hike is already done! Walk from Stob Coire Nan Lochan to Bidean Nam Bian is approximately 40-50 mins straight forward scramble, without any difficulties. View from Bidean Nam Bian will take your breath away, whichever direction you look you will only see endless ridges and distant mountains. You have just climbed one of the highest and hardest peaks in UK! Well done!
But the challenge is not over, it’s a long and tiring way down! To get back you can retrace your steps to the car park, or alternatively follow the wide rugged ridge east and descent via Lost Valley (a high valley hiding under the eastern slopes of Gearr Aonach). The valley is an unmissable historic landmark, you wouldn’t like to skip it! To return to the car park from Lost Valley follow the rough trail thru woodland.
We recommend taking a proper paper Ordnance Survey map ‘Explorer 384 Glencoe’ for this hike. Having a map will allow you to make last-minute changes to the route, keep in mind that Scottish Highlands are notoriously bad for mobile reception, hence don’t rely on online navigation apps. Just take the good old fashioned, and always reliable paper map!
6.Carrauntoohill, 1039 masl, Ireland
by Stunning Outdoors
Time: 6-8 hours depending on the route
A hike to the rooftop of Ireland is a strenuous task, one best undertaken during long summer days, preferably with stable weather conditions. Carrauntoohill has a reputation of a difficult mountain to climb. In our opinion it’s somewhere in the middle difficulty-wise, strenuous but straight forward. I guess, your experience will depend on the chosen route and the weather conditions.
Best place to start this hike is Cronin’s Yard, and this is where we headed from.
We followed the well-trodden scenic trail, to reach our preferred ascent route, via Devil’s Ladder. Despite the ominous name, the trail is OK to climb and easy to follow. However, as the gully is filled with loose rock and sand, several notices have been issued in recent years, strongly advising against choosing this route, in the best interest of a walkers’ safety and to avoid further erosion of the gully. Of course, YOU as the hiker need to use your best judgement and make decision.
Good news, there is an alternative zig-zag path which will take to the same plateau as Devil’s Ladder, but via additional mountain top. From the plateau, it’s an easy 20-30 mins ascent to the top of Carrauntoohill, which offers breath taking views of surrounding Macgillycuddy’s Reeks (mountain range) and further to the Atlantic.
For the way down we advise taking Brother O’Shea path, a rough steep track that will take you down to a small lake (perfect for a break), but keep in mind that the terrain is difficult and you have to be very careful while following the faint path past the lake as some ‘false legs’ of the path end abruptly over mini-cliffs. For the safest and easiest descent keep to the right, near the rocky massif of Carrauntoohill, the easiest passage is just there! In no time you’ll be down in the valley, at the foot of Carrauntoohill!
We believe that hike to Carrauntoohill is the finest walking experience in Ireland, one not to be overlooked. However, remember that its bad reputation for sudden weather changes is not a joke, prepare well before heading out, be sure to have a good weather window and take means of navigation as the top is often shrouded by low clouds and visibility can drop to none.
If the visibility is poor, we recommend retracing your footsteps, as Brother O’Shea Path route is more difficult that the way up via Devil’s Ladder or ‘zig-zag path’.
Follow this simple advice and you’ll have a fantastic experience at the rooftop of Ireland! Check this article to find out exactly how to hike to Carrauntoohill and a hiking map!
7.Mulhacen, 3482 masl, Sierra Nevada range, Spain
by Linn from Brainy Backpackers
Time: 6-9 hours depending on the route
Mulhacen is the highest peak in mainland Spain and in the whole Iberian Peninsula. Do I have to say more? It’s an unmissable peak that any outdoor enthusiast will have to climb at least once if they happen to be in Spain.
It can be conquered over two days, or within a day. It is around 24 km linear or circular route, hence if you want to conquer it within one day, summer is best time for doing so!
It can also be tackled at slower pace, using a shuttle bus from Capileira to Mirador de Trevelez. Sadly, you’re not allowed to get there by private car, so unless you want to make it a two-day hike, you will have to book the shuttle bus in advance.
The bus will pick you up at the same place it dropped you exactly 6 hours later, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy the impressive views of Sierra Nevada National Park and take breaks as needed. However, make sure to start walking down minimum two hours before pick up.
The hike to the top of Mulhacen is neither a technical nor a difficult one. However, I rate it demanding because it is long, especially if completed without taking a bus service. Mulhacen’s altitude requires good physical health as the last kilometers are pretty tough to walk in thin air. Furthermore, final section of the trail is very rocky.
Summarizing -whatever option you choose the hike up to Mulhacen is one of best hikes in Spain, without a doubt.
8.Mt Etna, 3326 masl, Sicily, Italy
By Izzy & Phil from The Gap Decaders
Note: This hike will require guide assistance, if you want to climb up to active volcano craters!
Time: 5- 6 hours
Mount Etna looks vast and mighty, especially from Taormina, the nearest town. Dominating the landscape, Mount Etna offers a once in a lifetime bucket list challenge that Sicily travellers and hikers can’t resist.
Keep in mind that Mt Etna is an active volcano and the last major eruption was in 2017, however, the volcano rumbles almost daily with clouds of ash and sulphur spitted several hundred feet into the air.
Unless you are a vulcanologist, you really need a guide to climb to Etna’s summit, highest crater. The paths are ever changing and a guide will understand recent activity and safe sulphur levels. This noxious gas can knock you out, in fact some years ago an unlucky hiker some fell into one of Etna’s many side craters and died.
This circular route starts from Rifugio Sapienza at 1900 masl. From the refuge follow the faint rocky path along the route of the cable car. Most visitors choose to take to the cable car to the top station at 2500 masl.
From around 2920 masl, you’ll be the base of the main crater. The guide will take you across a flat rough lava field, then you can start the traverse to the main crater for your final climb of 400 metres or so. It feels like walking on heated floor – the steam and sulphur gently coil around your feet and ankles. Occasionally you may encounter ice and snow at this height even in summer, and this path can be challenging as sometimes ice forms in the riven lava. It’s a steady sideways and upwards climb until you reach crest of final ridge for the most incredible view into the enormous crater, ever smoking, rumbling and spitting red hot magma.
It’s a whole new world at the top, unlike anywhere else on earth. If there are clouds, you’ll climb above them and see green and yellow sulphur gasses swirling around and across your path. Your guide may divert you to avoid this section depends on potential activity, wind direction and speed. The landscape this high up is dominated by shades of grey lava and stark white snow, slowly melting from the heat of the volcano below.
After exploring the main crater, you’ll move along the rim to the far side. This is where you’ll start the descent through piles of ash, which pillows your steps as you almost run down the mountain. Next along the way down you’ll come across another rim, between two smaller craters created in 2002, the path narrows down and requires care and sure footedness. Once you come off the rim, head around the base of the main crater towards the cable car station. You can take the car down or simply hike the rest of the way to the refuge.
Mount Etna symbolises force of nature, unique and totally different to any other mountain we have hiked. Level of difficulty is easy to moderately, the hike does not require technical skills, but certainly isn’t suitable not for the faint-hearted. Hike to Mt Etna it’s one of the best we ever completed!
9.Schilthorn, 2970 masl, Bernese Alps, Switzerland
by Jackson from Journey Era
Time: 5-6 hours
Undoubtedly, Schilthorn is an amazing viewpoint, as it offers a magnificent 360-degree panorama of many Swiss rugged peaks including Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, just to mention a few.
I recommend conquering this peak on a sunny day, as the phenomenal views of the surrounding mountains will keep you motivated during the hike!
Hiking trail from Murren to Schilthorn is very challenging , with 1600 metres of altitude climbed throughout the trail, all the way to the Piz Gloria summit, also known as James Bond ‘007’ filming location.
The trail begins in the town of Murren and the first leg from Murren to Rotstockhutte is relatively easy. Most of the way it’s a dirt path, only short sections go through rocky terrain.
Rotstockhutte is a great place to rest, especially as it seems to be the midway point of the trail.
Hiking further, the steep ascent from Rotstock hut to Schilthorn will test your fitness. You will gain over 1000 meters of height within just few kilometres along the way.
Also, this section will see you clamber over boulders while it constantly heads uphill. However, this point is quite safe, there are no drop-offs nor cliffs. If you can manage the steep incline there isn’t much more to worry about!
Just bear in mind that the path becomes fainter, so look out for yellow singposts marking the way towards Schilthorn. At the final section of the trail, man-made ladders we fitted to provide protection and safety along the path leading straight to the ‘007’ headquarters and the famous Piz Gloria – Schilthorn Summit.
The trail from Murren to Schilthorn mountain summit is just shy of 13 km in total. If you want to hike all the way down you will need to add several kilometres but most hikers catch the Schilthornbahn down to Murren, which is a nice and easy way to return after a long, demanding hike.
10.Rysy, 2499 masl, Tatra Mountains, Poland
by Stunning Outdoors
Time: 9-11 hours
The rooftop of Poland, Rysy has three summits: the middle at 2503 masl, the north-western at 2499 masl and the south-eastern at 2473 masl. The mountain is located at the Polish-Slovak border and you may have already noticed that the highest (middle summit) belongs to Slovakia (!) despite conquering Rysy from Poland you will still be able to stand at 2503 masl, on the Slovak side of the mountain.
With its north-western summit, Rysy is the highest mountain in Poland, and much sought summer peak.
Conquering Rysy from Polish side, provides a fine scrambling experience and will make your heartbeat go up on many occasions.
Summer is perfect time for conquering this fine peak, as the snow is most likely to be gone (apart from small odd patches at Kociol pod Rysami, which is the most shadowed place in Polish Tatra range), making the climb possible without any technical equipment except for helmet, just in case of rock fall.
Secondly, summer days are much longer, which will allow you to get up and down in daylight. However, bear in mind that the hike to the top of Rysy is a whole day (long day!) excursion. Only getting to the Morskie Oko hut (along the way to Rysy) is a 9 km walk along paved road (something which most Tatra hikers call the ‘necessary evil’).
Further, proper hike to Rysy starts from Morkie Oko, initially it follows the lake shore, then steep up to Czarny Staw pod Rysami lake and along its shore. Direct ascent to Rysy starts from Czarny Staw pod Rysami. First, it follows a stony path for about 1.5 hours and later it reaches Bula pod Rysami (2054 masl) where the trail is secured with chains, till the very top of the Rysy.
Please note that this peak tends to be very busy as everyone wants to climb to the rooftop of Poland! Planning a hiking holiday in Polish Tatra mountains, but feel that climbing Rysy would be a stretch? Check out our guide to Zakopane and hikes in Tatra range to find hiking ideas for Tatra!
11.Velky (1610 masl) and Maly (1343 masl) Rozsutec, Mala Fatra, Slovakia
by Stunning Outdoors
Time: 8-9 hours
Velky and Maly Rozsutec are neighbouring mountains in Mala Fatra range, Slovakia. The two are distinctive peaks and fabulous viewpoints, hence they’re popular amongst Slovak, Czech and Polish hikers who can easily reach Mala Fatra range. Hike to the Rozsutecs is a full day trip, one that will test your fitness and hand on rock skills, as there’s quite a lot of scrambling involved. Worry not, the most difficult/tricky sections are secured with chains and ropes, some spots are also secured with steel foot and hand holds. A day spent hiking the two Rozsutec peaks will be one to remember, an amazing adventure indeed!
We recommend hiking to Maly Rozsutec first, by following a trail from Stefanova village (large car park, full day charge 3 EUR, facilities+ local pub). Stefanova can be easily reached by bus from Terchova (several connections a day, from as early as 7 am, just perfect for a full-day hike!)
Having arrived to Stefanova walk towards the village and look out for YELLOW TRAIL markings. The trail will take you through upper part of Janosikove Diery – a series of narrow gorges with waterfalls and cascades, one of the most famous landmarks of Mala Fatra range! You’ll be closely following the gorge, by metal or wooden footways, log stairs and ladders. Visiting the Diery along the way to Maly Rozsutec adds to the adventure factor of the hike.
As soon as you pass the gorge you’ll come to a large meadow in the middle of spruce forest and you can pick GREEN or BLUE TRAIL to Sedlo Miedzirozsutce (the saddle betweeen Maly and Velky Rozsutec). Having reached the saddle, we recommend taking the RED TRAIL to Maly Rozsutec (to the left) which at that point looks inaccessible. Take my word for it, climbing the crags and rock outcrops of Maly Rozsutec is a lot of fun and not much danger (chains and lines provided), however one has to stay focused on the route and be extremely careful, especially if the rocks are wet!
Having satisfied your eyes with stunning views from the top, we recommend retracing your steps back to the saddle and following the RED TRAIL up to Velky Rozsutec (directly in front of you). Most of the way you’ll walk thru a fine spruce and pine forest, but once you come to an open space you’ll be awed by the view! The trail to peak of Velky Rozsutec will see you scramble over rock outcrops, but soon you’ll see a cross marking the summit. Once at the top take your time to enjoy the view and explore the summit area; you’ve done well, not many walkers venture to the top of Velky Rozsutec!
This walk is not very technical but does require good head for heights and hands on rock skills. Also it’s a relatively long and strenuous hike.
12.Triglav, 2864 masl, Julian Alps, Slovenia
By Jozef from Caucasus Trekking
Time: 2- 3 days depending on the route
At 2,864 meters, Triglav is the highest mountain in Slovenia and one of country´s national symbols. It´s said that each Slovenian should climb it at least once in their life.
The climb to Mt Triglav is not very technical, but it’s long, no matter which route you choose. The hike will first take you through dense forests and valleys with glacial lakes up to the approach via steep and exposed sections leading to the summit. I recommend using a helmet and, harness and/or a rope (or climbing a via ferrata, depending on the route) to climb the summit!
Good head for heights and fitness level is required to complete the hike. You can hire a local guide, if you do not feel confident enough to continue the self-guided hike.
There are 4 main routes to Triglav summit:
-From the south: a trail starts at famous Bohinj lake and passes famous Valley of Seven Lakes. This is a long, pleasant, and relatively ‘gently climbing’ route. It takes two to three days to complete – faster hikers tend to spend the night at Planika Lodge or Koča na Doliču hut, then climb the mountain and return to Bohinj.
-Several popular routes start at Mojstrana village and approach Triglav from northeast – you can choose Vrata, Krna or Kot valley. During the climb, hikers can admire the impressive 1200 meters high northern wall of Triglav. This route also takes two days to complete, with sleepover at Triglav Lodge at Kredarica.
-Another route starts at Pokljuka and approaches Triglav from east.
-finally, the last route heads to Triglav from west, from Soca valley. Initially it climbs narrow Zadnjica valley – this is a shortest but steepest route. Very fit hiker might reach the summit and return in a single day (10-14 hours), so it is an interesting option for visitors who raft in Soca valley who fancy a different activity for a single day.
Triglav is usually snow-free from July till September, hence apart from helmet and harness there’s no need to take additional, winter gear.
13.Maglic, 2386 masl, Bosnia & Herzegovina
by Sabina from Wild in the Balkans
Time: 7 – 8 hours
At 2,386 masl, Maglic, located at the border between Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro, is the highest peak of the former.
Hike to this peak and across Maglic Mountain is among the most stunning and impressive hikes in this beautiful Balkan country!
Hiking to the summit of Maglic is best done as a loop hike, starting at Prijevor saddle in Sutjeska National Park near Tjentiste village. The trail takes you by foot across the border, high in the mountains. In one moment, you’re walking through the Sutjeska National Park, oldest and biggest national park in Bosnia, and in the other moment, you’re in Piva Nature Park in Montenegro.
Expect a steep climb straight from the start and chain-assisted rock scrambling sections further up. After a 2-hour climb, you’ll be on the top of Bosnia’s Maglic. Further, the trail follows a spacious grassy ridge and then descents to Trnovacko Lake.
The most demanding parts of the hike are the chain-assisted sections at the beginning of the hike, and further, the very steep descent to the lake.
Although this loop walk is demanding, views from the top and along the ridge are well worth your effort; the bird’s eye view over Sutjeska National Park as well as one of the last primeval forests in Europe – Perucica Forest, and stunning views of the heart-shaped lake of Trnovacko in Piva Nature Park and mountains surrounding it, are sufficient reward!
14.Gola Pljesevica, 1647 masl, Dinaric Alps, Croatia
by Becki from Meet Me In Departures
Time: 7 – 8 hours
If you’re looking for outstanding views and a bit of challenge, then Pljesevica Mountain trek in northern Croatia will certainly tick both boxes.
The Pljesevica hike of 13.6 km encompasses a few peaks and takes you to the top of Gola Pljesevica at 1646 masl. This mountain, at the Bosnia and Herzegovina border in the Dinaric Alps definitely has a the middle of nowhere feeling. Only the relics such as spooky derelict barracks, bullet hole-ridden checkpoints and a smashed up airfield remind the hiker that this was an important site during Yugoslavian war. I could not help myself but explore. The top of Gola Pljesevica has a beautiful natural feature – a giant rock plateau overlooking Croatia.
I hiked the trail from the Croatia side, starting in a small village called Korenica. Reference point; this is only a few kilometres away from the iconic Plitvice lakes.
From Korenica, the trail starts off through flat and picturesque Croatian farmland, before heading into the undulating forested terrain. The trail ranges from a mixture of covered areas, and open steep scrambles up rocky facades. At the top, the route follows an old rubble road used for access to the mountain top during the war.
Although the trail continues down to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I retraced my steps back to Korenica.
There are some things to be aware of during the hike including the landmines on the Bosnia and Herzegovina side (do not go off trail!). This is also European ‘wolf and bear’ territory, we didn’t encounter either, but they do live in the forests on this mountain range.
15.Bobotov Kuk, 2523 masl, Montenegro
By Veronika from Travel Geekery
Time: 6-7 hours
I can hardly think of better view of the world than from the top of Bobotov Kuk, the highest peak in the Durmitor National Park in Montenegro.
The closest town and great base for this hike is Žabljak, which offers plenty of hiking options in Montenegro. You can hike all the way from Žabljak and make it a circular route, but this way the hike is really long and probably an overkill if you want to return the same way.
The most preferred option is to start at Sedlo, it’s the spot where road gets closest to the mountain. From Sedlo, it’s about 3 hours of moderate hiking, with the final ascent being very steep. You’ll have to use ropes and avoid looking down. Once on the top, though, you’ll be stunned by the incredible views over the mountains around you!
For the way back you can either retrace your steps to Sedlo or alternatively you can take the longer route, directly to Žabljak, which I quite recommend. Only at the start you’ll have to negociate a section of loose rocks, but further the walk is mostly pleasant, through the picturesque countryside, passing a few katuns, where you can stop for refreshments.
Overall, the hike is strenuous but if you’re generally fit, you won’t have a problem. A word of advise: hiking poles will hep you make the most of the hike and be easier on your knees when descending.
The views from the top of Bobotov Kuk are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen; and I’ve done quite a lot hiking in Montenegro.