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Top Three Hiking Trails In Europe

Top Three Hiking Trails In Europe

Europe is quite a continent – as continents go, it’s relatively small but it encompasses 50 odd countries, with Russia being the largest and the Vatican City the smallest.  Europe’s topography is as diverse as its culture and you can clearly see the changes in land and architecture as you travel.  We’re taking a look at the top three hiking trails in Europe and a walk in Europe wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Alps which is where we begin.

Tour du Mont Blanc

Top of the list is the Tour du Mont Blanc, or TMB as it’s known in hiking circles.  This has long been one of the most popular long distance trails on the continent, taking in Switzerland, France and Italy as it circles the Mont Blanc Massif.  You can expect to spend up to ten days on this classic walk, though the winner of the annual TMB Marathon usually does it in less than 24 hours!  There is an ‘official’ route for this trek, though there are plenty of alternatives, some of which really do take you off the beaten track and are best left to the experts.  There is plenty of accommodation along the route (from hotel to bed and breakfast and even dorm type arrangements) so that the trail can easily be broken up into manageable day treks.

Tre Cime Circuit, Italy

The next hike takes us to the Dolomite Mountains in Italy for the Tre Cime Circuit.  The Tre Cime of the title refers to the three peaks of Lavaredo, a stunning trio of peaks in north east Italy.  The tallest peak, Cima Grande, rises nearly 3,000 metres into the clouds and it was first conquered in 1869 by Paul Grohmann.  The peaks can be circumnavigated in about 4 or 5 hours on paths embedded in the scree and there’s the option of descending through the alpine meadows of Forcella Arghena.

English: Mer de Glace glacier on the French si...

English: Mer de Glace glacier on the French side of the Mt Blanc massif (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lairig Ghru, Scotland

Moving away from mainland Europe, we come to the British Isles and travel all the way north to the wilds of Scotland.  Lairig Ghru is a ten mile mountain pass in the Cairngorms that became a popular ‘drove road’ with the men of nearby Rothiemurchus clearing the track of rocks every spring.  Now a popular haunt for walkers, the complete route from Aviemore to Braemar is about 27 miles with no shelter along the way.  However, if that’s too daunting a prospect, the trek can be shortened  by starting or finishing at Linn of Dee.

Of course, if you’re planning to walk any of these routes, then you’ll need to make sure that you have the appropriate clothing and equipment.  Walking in these areas is not like going for a stroll in the park and safety considerations are of paramount importance.  Whether you plan to be walking for a day or a week, proper planning and safety equipment is vital in these locations to ensure that you enjoy a walking holiday rather than gaining notoriety as the emergency services rush to the rescue!  Any one of these top three hiking trails in Europe is sure to delight the seasoned walker with breathtaking scenery, so don’t forget to pack the camera!

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