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Don’t take us wrong, we do enjoy winter hiking and love snow a lot, but in March, we desperately start looking forward to spring, longer days with some sunshine. So if you share the feeling, this article is for you!
If you don’t like cold and are not getting excited about the snow and winter hiking, then you will probably be even happier to read this article and get ready for your first hiking experience this year.
For some this is THE best season of the year – everything is coming back to life after a winter sleep. The world is becoming colourful and so full of fragrances again! The days are becoming longer and uncovered paths are easier to navigate. The warmth and vitamin D top up makes us generally happier after the cold winter months. So why would you hesitate going hiking? Swap warm, heavy boots for lighter pair and GO enjoy the stunning outdoors!
So without further delay…
Below you will find 15 hiking ideas across Europe, all perfect for SPRING!
We asked some fellow bloggers, to share their favourite spring hike. We have added few of our own great ideas and here is a list of Stunning hikes across Europe, to be discovered by you in spring.
15 stunning spring hikes across Europe
1.Schiehallion mountain (1083 masl), Scotland
2.Hay Stacks, England
3.Brecon Beacons, Wales
4.Gower Peninsula, Wales
5.Ruta Lagos de Saliencia, Somiedo, Spain
6.Seven Hanging Valleys, Portugal
7.Delphi to the Corycian Cave Hike, Greece
8.Sorapis Lake, Italy
9.Gorropu Canyon, Sardinia
10.Rheinfälle waterfalls, Switzerland
11.Ozren Mountains, Bosnia & Herzegovina
12.Stogaj and Bertnica Beach, Pag Island, Croatia
13.Bohemian Switzerland, Czech Republic
14.Sucha Bela, Slovak Paradise, Slovakia
15.Monaco to Menton, Monaco
1. Schiehallion mountain (1083 masl), Scotland
by Stunning Outdoors
Length 1o km. Difficulty: easy
Schiehallion is one of best the known mountains in Scotland. This 1083 metres high munro may not the most exiting one to climb for keen munro baggers (walkers who aspire to tick off all the munros!) but it is one of the easiest munros and is not far from main Scottish cities. Add the fact that there is a well defined straight forward path makes it a great option for a spring hike, especially if you have not done much of winter hiking and need to build up your strength.
The hike is linear, which means you walk up and down on the same way. The whole route is just under 10km long and it can take up to 4 hours to complete it.
Hiking trail to Schiehallion starts at the far end of Braes of Foss car park. It is an excellent path all the way to the top, with only the final section being more tricky due to walking across boulderfield. There are numerous cairns along the way to help with navigation, so try to follow them until reaching the top cairn further along the ridge.
Due to Schiehallion’s central location, in a good weather the views are very extensive with some of further munros. When we visited, the views were a bit obscured but we did experience an inversion, which makes every hiker very happy!
To get back to the car park retrace your footsteps. To respect nature, do not make shortcuts but stay on the main path!
2. Hay Stacks, England
by Stunning Outdoors
Length 7.5 km. Difficulty: easy
Hay Stacks in Lake District National Park in England may not be the most challenging of Lakeland hikes, however it takes you to the very heart of the protected area and provides amazing overview of the park! Why we think it’s perfect for spring? Simply because the route is straightforward, it avoids steep ascents, it’s most likely to be snow-free.
Hiking trail to Hay Stacks begins at the slate mine at the top of Honister Pass (one of several mountain passes in Lake District), initially it’s a maintained track, which turns into a well trodden path as you progress further along. The crushed-slate trail rises gently only to reach a spacious plateau with ruins of old cottage. Pass the ruins the path becomes more rugged as it leads you down to a small stream. Directly past the stream you’ll finally climb the grassy slopes of Hay Stacks, as you gain height the views will improve and you’ll be able to admire some of the iconic English lakes: with Buttermere and Crummock Water. Follow the path straight ahead, pass a small pond Blackbeck Tarn, and you’ll reach the cairn-marked top of Hay Stacks in no time! Enjoy the scenery, the summit is spacious with plenty of sitting space (rock outcrops). During our visit to Hay Stacks in Easter we ensured to find a covered spot where we could enjoy Easter eggs in sunshine, sheltered from the cool English wind.
Despite being a relatively short and straightforward hike, Hay Stacks will reward you with amazing views to the lakes and iconic mountains; one of its nearest neighbours is the mighty Great Gable! Walk to Hay Stacks (and back) takes approximately 2-3 hours, including a lunch break at the top, the trail is signposted at the slate mine and easy to follow. Waterproof shoes or boots are recommended; some sections of the trail may be wet as ground may be saturated with water from thawed snow in places.
3. Brecon Beacons, Wales
by Pauline from BeeLoved City
Length 16 km. Difficulty: moderate long hike
If you like destinations off the beaten path, the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales is perfect for you.
Very often overshadowed by its sibling, Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons have yet so much to offer, especially if you like hiking.
There are dozens of hikes in the Brecon Beacons but the most impressive one is the Horseshoe ridge walk. This beautiful mountain walk will take you up Pen y Fan, into the heart of the Brecon Beacons.
This circular, 16 km hike starts at Taf Fechan car park and takes 5 to 6 hours to complete.
Follow the ridge towards Corn Du and then head to Pen Y Fan.
The Brecon Beacons have been used by the British army for training purposes for decades. So it’s not unusual to see military personnel making their way up the mountain.
Be prepared, it is a challenging walk with quite a few steep passages. That said, don’t let it discourage you because the views you’ll see along the way and once you reach the top, will reward all your effort!
Once you get to the top, you will get a 360 degree view of the beacons. From the top of Pen-y-Fan, the world literally opens up to you. Freedom, breath-taking landscapes and pure beauty will be your reward! It’s nothing like you have ever seen before.
Once you’ve soaked up the amazing views you can start the descent from Pen-Y-Fan, back to the car park, enjoying views of the valley below.
It’s also a great hike to do with your dog (medium size or large dog).
To be able to appreciate the true beauty of this place, you need to plan it for a nice and sunny day. This can be tricky in Wales as nice weather is nowhere near a guarantee at any time of the year. But as a general rule, May to September would be the best time.
4. Gower Peninsula, Wales
by David from Dalve Into Europe
Length 1o km. Difficulty: easy/medium coastal walk
The Port Eynon to Rhossili walk is the best hike on Gower Peninsula in South Wales, and one of the best sections of the entire Wales Coast path.
It’s a 10 km (6 miles) point-to-point walk along some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the UK. There are many ascents and descents along the way. The last time I walked it was in springtime, when it took around 4 hours. I’d rate it medium in terms of difficulty.
The route starts at the family-friendly beach at Port Eynon, quickly climbing the hill for superb views down the coast. You soon see Worm’s Head, a tidal island just off the coast of Rhossili – this is your first goal, with the end another 2 km further on.
You pass a lot of rugged cliff scenery en route. The best is around The Knave and Horse Cliff, about halfway along the walk. Eventually you reach Mewslade Bay, a magnificent wild beach backed by soaring cliffs. Fall Bay is less than 2 km further on, a gorgeous small beach with cliffs and rock formations.
After this you turn the corner and head for the information hut at the top of the cliff. One option is a detour (at least an hour each way) over to Worm’s Head, which depends on tide times (posted in the hut). Otherwise the cliff top path to Rhossili beach takes around half an hour. This beach has been voted best beach in the UK, Europe and one of the best in the world. It’s an incredible, 5 km sweep of pure golden sand.
If you’re planning to camp out, you have a little more walking to do – climbing the 193 metre hill, Rhossili Down, and heading to the Hillend campsite in Llangennith, 3 km to the north.
5. Ruta Lagos de Saliencia, Somiedo, Spain
by Kevin from kevmrc
Length 1o km. Difficulty: medium with significant elevation gains
This next hike is located in the region of Asturias, northern Spain. You’ll find it in Somiedo, a natural park on the border of Castile and León region.
The hike is called the Ruta Lagos de Saliencia or Saliencia Lakes hike. It’s a circular hike, starting from the Alto de la Farrapona at 1,708 meters high (5,603 feet) and looping around the Saliencia Lakes to finally get back to the starting point.
The distance for this hike is 10.3 km (6.4 miles), and it takes around 3 hours for the full circle. Expect a significant elevation gains and drops along the route, thus it’s a medium-difficulty hike.
But I’m sure you’ll spend more than 3 hours on the hike: as you follow the trail, you’ll discover the 3 mountain lakes that make the Lagos de Saliencia; they are: Lago de la Cueva, Lago Calabazosa and Lago Cerveriz. Each lake is an opportunity to stop and take in the view. Spring is the perfect time to hike this route, as you’re likely to spot wildlife around the lakes, as well as cows, sheep, and possibly bears!
If you’re up for a longer hike, you can hike all the way to the Lago del Valle, another lake in the nearby valley, for a total of 8 hour route.
6. Seven Hanging Valleys, Portugal
by Linn from Brainy Backpackers
Length 11.5 km. Difficulty: easy coastal walk
In the southern tip of Europe, along rugged sun-kissed cliffs, washed by the deep blue Atlantic Ocean, is the spectacular Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. Stretching from Carvoeiro (western end) to Marinha Beach in the east, this is a great day hike on the Portuguese Algarve coast with several possibilities to go swimming on a hot day.
If you chose to do it as a round trip, it is a total of 11.5 kilometers, though some people choose to only walk one way and hitchhike the way back. It is not a technical hike, so pretty much anyone can do it.
The perfect time to visit this part of Europe is spring, as it is still not particularly hot, just perfect for walking, while it might already be warm enough to go for a swim!
Bear in mind though that the trail is exposed to the sun all day, so it is important to bring enough water to stay hydrated, sunscreen and a hat – even in spring time.
Staring at Carvoeiro Boardwalk past Algar Seco, you have the opportunity to take a dip in a spectacular natural pool. There are also several rock formations and caves worth visiting. Continuing on the trail you’ll pass several stunning beaches and once at Alfanzina Lighthouse you are halfway. Passing more beaches below you will finally arrive at Benagil Beach – a perfect stop for a swim or a snack.
There, you will have to go up on the road to continue the path further up. The path won’t get less interesting though. You will pass huge natural holes in the ground where the waves smash in on secret beaches one can only reach by kayak or boat. The natural formations are huge and pretty cool to look into. You will also pass massive natural arches before reaching the remarkable Marinha Beach, nominated to the most beautiful beach in the world, time after time.
7. Delphi to the Corycian Cave Hike, Greece
by Helena from Just For One Summer
Length 10 km. Difficulty: medium
Delphi is one of the most popular destinations in Greece thanks to its famous archaeological site and oracle. But did you know it is an amazing place for hiking as well?
Delphi lies in a beautiful valley filled with olive orchards, halfway between the sea and the rugged peaks of Mount Parnassus. It is a starting point of multiple hiking trails, some descending down towards the coast, others zigzagging up through the rocky slopes above the village.
The best hike in the area leads from the town of Delphi to the impressive Corycian Cave, an ancient place of worship to the god Pan and the Corycian nymphs. The trail climbs above Delphi through a passage called Kaki Skala (Bad Steps), much easier than the name suggests, before it disappears into a forest near a tiny mountain settlement called Kroki.
Last section before reaching the cave is quite steep but your efforts will be rewarded by magnificent views across the Kalivia plateau with the highest summits of Mount Parnassus in the background.
The Corycian Cave itself is an impressive sight! Bring a flashlight (and be very very careful) if you want to explore its huge chamber with stalagmites and the ancient inscriptions near the entrance.
The hike from Delphi to the Corycian Cave is off medium difficulty and approximately 10 kilometres long. We returned back to Delphi the same way, making it a full day trip. However, a road runs close to the cave so it is possible to arrange pickup if you feel like hiking both ways would be too much. Trail marks are not located regularly, so I strongly recommend getting a detailed hiking map.
The hike can be done any time of the year but spring is by far the best choice. Mild temperatures, plenty of sunshine and explosion of wildflowers of all colours and shapes make this otherwise pleasant hike an absolute delight during the spring.
8. Sorapis Lake, Italy
by Coni from Experiencing the Globe
Length 12 km. Difficulty: easy/medium
The hike to Lago di Sorapis is one of the most beautiful treks in the Italian Dolomites. Not only it has a breathtaking finale, where you’re greeted by a turquoise lake guarded by a gorgeous rocky peak, but the whole approach is a textbook hike. You will go up and down through a lush forest, with ever-changing views of the valleys around, and you can even spot the landmark of the region, Tre Cime di Lavadero, from the trail.
The easiest way to tackle this trek is to base yourself in Cortina d’Ampezzo or around Misurina lake. From these locations you can take a public bus or drive to Passo Tre Croci, where this circular hike starts. The hike is about 12 km with a bit over 400 meters of altitude gain. It takes approximately 4 hours, but I’d recommend planning a day trip. The area is beautiful, so you’ll want to spend more hours exploring it, without any rush.
Next to the lake is a meadow, ideal for chilling out and having a picnic, also you’ll find a mountain hut almost next to the lake where you can have a bite and a drink. Still, take enough water with you. And a camera! You won’t want to miss the myriad of stunning photo-ops!
I did this beautiful hike in June, and there wasn’t even a trace of snow in the trail, making spring the perfect time to go. You still have snowed peaks in the background, you won’t meet many people on the trails, prices of accommodation will be much more affordable, and you’ll have great weather to enjoy the outdoors.
9. Gorropu Canyon, Sardinia
by Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
Length 10 km. Difficulty: medium with uneven terrain
Gorropu Canyon is one of the most beautiful landmarks in Sardinia. It’s located in the centre of island, where you can find some of Sardinia’s best hikes. There are several trails in the area with varied difficulty level and all of them equally rewarding. All trails lead to Gorropu Canyon, which I believe is of the deepest in Europe.
The most accessible and the easiest trail is the one that starts at about 10 km from the village of Dorgali, in the parking lot of Rifugio Gorropu. It’s a linear trail about 10 km long, and it takes between 5 and 7 hours to get there and back.
Once you get to the entrance of the gorge, you’ll have to pay a €5 admission fee to actually access the canyon. The initial 1km of the trail, inside the canyon is very easy, but it gets tricky further ahead as canyon’s bottom is filled with massive, slippery boulders. The final leg of the trail (1km) is suitable only for experienced climbers. You need to retrace your footsteps to get back to starting point.
The canyon is a wild place with no facilities or refreshment huts, so ensure to take enough supplies: water and food. Sturdy and good gripped hiking boots are recommended for this hike due to uneven and slippery terrain you walk on.
Spring is great time for hiking Gorropu Canyon – the temperature is pleasant and you won’t meet crowds. For your own safety avoid hiking in the canyon during rainfall.
10. Rheinfälle waterfalls, Switzerland
by Alastair & Elke from Stunning Hikes
Length 15 km. Difficulty: easy, long hike
This circular river hike features a beautiful monastery, the stunning Rheinfälle waterfalls and a 200-year-old wooden bridge. It’s a perfect spring hike because the parks around the monastery and the meadows along the way are all covered in beautiful flowers. And with all the snow melting, spring is the best time to visit the waterfall. You will never have more water coming down the fall than in spring. Prepare to be impressed!
The route is just under 15 km but it’s an easy hike with only 260 m of total scent and can be completed in 4.5 hours, but plan more time as you won’t be rushing at all.
Start in Rheinau at the monastery. The hiking path starts to the right just before the bridge through some beautiful gardens. Follow the river until you come to Nohl bridge. Cross the bridge and continue towards Schaffhausen as this will give you the best views of the waterfall.
Keep walking and enjoy the views of the Rheinfälle, a truly stunning waterfall.
Past the waterfall, cross the train bridge. On the other side you will reach castle Laufen, with a restaurant if you need a short break. Make your way down the stairs between the castle and the church to another viewpoint of the Rheinfälle waterfall. Continue along the river and cross Nohl bridge again, this time turning up the road to the left after the bridge.
The path leads uphill and at the top you will cross the border into Germany. Continue through the quiet village of Altenburg and back down to the river on the other side. Reaching the river, walk towards Rheinau bridge. This part of the walk is truly stunning and quiet. Cross the bridge back into Rheinau, a beautiful village with lovely half-timber houses, a historic restaurant from the 15th century and, of course, the monastery. Take your time discovering this beautiful place at the end of your hike.
Ozren Mountains, Bosnia
11. Ozren Mountains, Bosnia&Herzegovina
by Sabina from Wild In The Balkans
Length 21 km. Difficulty: moderate, long hike
I love this hike because the starting point is only a 20-minute drive from the centre of Sarajevo. It’s a loop hike, and you can modify it to be longer or shorter.
The trail is passes through various landscapes: from deep fir and pine forests to vast meadows. Longer, warmer days awaken the plants and trees. It’s a time of wildflower blossom. Meadows are decorated in spectacular colours!
Drive to Cavljak Mountain Lodge, your starting point of the hike. Walk to Crepoljsko and climb to the peak at 1524 masl. It’s easy to recognize due to a tree on the top. At this section of the trail, there are 3 or 4 places to enjoy homemade food and drinks.
Further, the trail continues towards Bukovik (1534 masl), the highest peak of Ozren Mountain situated above Sarajevo. At the peak, you will be reward with a wonderful view of Sarajevo. At the foot, is a mountain lodge.
From the lodge, a forest trail descends to Skakavac Waterfall at 1189 masl. With a height of 98 meters, this is the tallest fall in Bosnia. Once at the top of the waterfall, follow an uphill gravel road to complete a loop walk to Crepoljsko, to where you have descended from Bukovik. At this point, there is a water source available you can refill water bottles.
The hike described above is of moderate difficulty but it’s rather longish at 21 km. So plan a whole day to complete it and have enough water and food.
If you’re wondering what to pack for a trip to Bosnia or you need general information about the country’s currency, and other info click here to see Sabina’s tips.
12. Stogaj and Bertnica Beach, Pag Island, Croatia
by Stunning Outdoors
Length 9 km. Difficulty: easy
You won’t find this hike in a guide book. However, we enjoyed it a lot, it was a highlight of our visit to Pag island, which in fact is one of our favourite Croatian islands.
Stogaj is a rock formation, a well known climbing spot, offering many routes and indeed we have seen quite few climbers trying to conquer this amazing pinnacle. However, even if you’re not a climber, you can still appreciate the beauty of this spot.
Drive to village Metajna, and leave a car at the small harbour car park. Walk up to the trail head just outside the village. This hike is linear, you can make slight variation and walk higher section near the Stogaj one way, and lower section on the Bertnica beach on your way back.
From Metajna to Slana beach (the furthest point we recommend) is about 4.5 km, but you can easily extend your route.
The trail is beautiful, you literally feel like walking in moon-like landscape. The white/yellowish rocks, blue sky and beautiful beaches will definitely wow you.
In spring, it may be too cold to have a swim at Bertnica or Slana Beach but it was warm enough just to sit on the beach and enjoy the water hitting the rocks.
Take your time and enjoy the Adriatic air.
13. Bohemian Switzerland, Czech Republic
by Veronica from Travel Geekery
Length 10 km. Difficulty: easy/medium
Bohemian Switzerland is a National Park in the North of the Czechia, which features unique karst formations that were created millions of years ago, when this area used to be an oceanbed.
There are many hiking trails in the area, but one of the best ones covers the main draw in Bohemian Switzerland – the Pravčická brána, i.e. the Pravčická Gate. This unique rock formation is the largest of its kind in Europe and only the second largest worldwide.
An easy starting point to this non-circular route is the town of Hřensko. Simply follow the red marked trail. In about 1.5 km you’ll get to a crossroads called Tři Prameny (Three Streams). Turn left, continue along the red trail to the destination – Pravčická brána. It’s now 2.5km to the stone arch, mostly uphill thru an old forest, but still quite gentle.
Once by the stone arch, take some time to relax and take plenty of photos. Further, it’s an easy 5.5 km hike on a trail called Gabrielina stezka (Gabriela’s path). It’s still marked red and easy to follow. Finish in the lovely little village of Mezní Louka, where there are a few charming places to stay as well. Alternatively, catch a bus back to Hřensko.
The whole hike is 10.3 km long and takes about 4 hours to complete. It’s easy to medium difficulty, leading mostly through the forests. I hiked it in April and loved how nature was waking up after the winter. The whole area is dotted with uniquely shaped rocks and several smaller viewpoints. It’s well established as one of the most popular destinations for local hikers.
14. Sucha Bela, Slovak Paradise, Slovakia
by Stunning Outdoors
Length 10+ km. Difficulty: medium with many ladders and uneven terrain
A hike through Sucha Bela valley is a classic walk in Slovak Paradise, in our opinion. And we think that spring is a good time to visit – there will be less people (and no waiting times at the bottom of the ladders) and also more water in streams, so more fun. However, a word of caution as well – there are plenty of metal and wooden ladders to climb, and steps with chains, plenty of fallen trees and mossy stones, so one needs to take extra care during the visit in Sucha Bela valley.
The hike is definitely designed for those who do not mind climbing ladders, often vertically attached to the rocks and can cope with highs well.
This ONE WAY hike starts in Podlesok and follows the GREEN trail. The valley itself is about 4 km long and will take at least 2 hours to complete. About half way through the valley you will see Misové vodopády – very impressive 29.5 meters cascade of waterfalls. If you love waterfalls do not worry there are still few more to be discovered along the trail.
Once you get to the end of the valley, you will have several return options to Podlesok. We recommend walking to Klastorisko (first Yellow and then Red trail), and then you have another couple of options to get back to Podlesok.
– there is an entrance fee to the park
– you will need insurance while visiting Slovak mountains as mountain rescue in Slovakia is not free.
15. Monaco to Menton, Monaco
by Nick from The Danish Nomads
Length 10km. Difficulty: easy coastal walk
When you think of the Principality of Monaco, hiking is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. Celebrities, casinos, and fast cars are what most people associate with this little tax heaven on the French Riviera. However, we’re here to tell you that there are indeed great outdoor experiences to be found on your visit to the world’s second-smallest country!
On the eastern outskirts of the city, you’ll find the trailhead to a short hike not many people know about, aside from the locals. Referred to as the “Promenade Le Corbusier” it winds its way from Monaco to Menton, via Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. It’s right on the rugged coastline and for 2 hours or so you’ll be walking alongside the azure blue Mediterranean sea.
Majority of the trail is easy and flat. However, there are the occasional steps, but nothing technical or difficult.
On a clear day, you won’t find much relief from the sun. Spring is, therefore, the perfect time of the year for this walk. Temperatures will be pleasant, even in the middle of the day, and you are pretty much guaranteed to avoid heatstroke. Bring plenty of water though!
After 10 stunning kilometers, you’ll arrive to the little French town of Menton. Theere you can extend the walk along the beach promenade, pick a place for lunch, or cool down in the refreshing sea. Before you know it, you’ll be on a bus back to Monaco, a whole unexpected hiking adventure richer. Highly recommended!