This post is about the 10 best mountains in Europe for walking. For those with stamina and a good pair of hiking boots, adventure tour specialists Ramblers Walking Holidays has chosen their top 10 European peaks for high grade walking holidays on mountains that can be climbed without any special walking equipment.
The 10 Best Mountains in Europe for Walking
Each hike to the top 10 listed summits below is part of a carefully planned itinerary to ensure that every trail is as equally impressive as the final destination. Hiking through alpine woods, flower-rich meadows and crossing mountain streams before making the final ascent, these challenging hikes offer a huge sense of wonder and achievement throughout, peaked only by the reward of reaching the summit.
1 Piz Boe (3152 meters) In the Heart of the Dolomites, Northern Italy
The Dolomites are well known for their soaring rocky peaks and Piz Boe is the literal and figurative highpoint of this holiday. Ascending from the cable car at Passo Pordoi, a challenging scree and rock scramble is more than well rewarded at the top by 360° views not only of the Italian peaks but also the Austrian peaks to the north.
2 Mulhacén (3479 meters) High in the Alpujarras, Southern Spain
It’s not often you get the opportunity to climb a country’s highest mountain, but when you are at the top of Mulhacén, all of mainland Spain lies beneath you. Only really practical over summer, this hike, high in the Alpujarras, includes walking the open but rocky 800 meter ascent up the mountain’s more gentle southern ridge to the summit.
High in the Alpujarras departs 8 April, 20 May, 2 September, 7 October & 22 December 2018 and 7 April, 19 May, 9 June, 1 September, 6 October & 22 December 2019.
3 The Klingspitz (1988 meters) Maria Alm, near Salzburg, northern Austria
You don’t have to climb to over 2000 meters for a great peak. Easing the way, some of the ascent to the Klingspitz is comfortably covered using the Gabühel double chair lift, leaving plenty more energy to soak up the magnificent views from the summit down the valley and across to the mighty rock wall of the ‘Steinernes Meer’ (stone sea) that separates Austria from Germany.
Maria Almdeparts 13 June, 11 July, 1 August, 8 August, 15 August and 22 August 2018
4 Pico Grande (1655 meters) The Heart of Madeira
In spite of its name, Pico Grande is only Madeira’s third highest peak. Whilst it can be approached from different directions, the best is overlooking the valley of Curral das Freiras, which clings to the lush terraced hillsides of a long extinct volcano. For the ultimate experience, take the hike when the summit is above the clouds, with other peaks poking through and the vast Atlantic Ocean lying beyond.
The lowest peak in the top 10, Pico Agero still comes highly rated, given its dramatic Picos scenery and the fact that it is likely to be free of snow all season. From the summit, the huge triangular rock face of Cueto Agero is very impressive with its descent, equally so, picking its way through an imposing ring of cliffs. This hike also takes in the spectacular Cares Gorge walk along the base of towering rock walls split between jagged pinnacles. With walks through Mediterranean cork oakforests, alpine meadows and along mountain ridges, experience the flora and fauna of the region, immersed in Celtic language and unique traditions that make this corner of Western Europe invitingly exotic.
6 Pic de la Sierra (2912 meters) Hiking in Andorra
Andorra is a peak-baggers dream destination. Pic de la Sierra is the third highest peak in Andorra and takes a route passing through the beautiful Vall Ransol, which has the best flower meadows in Andorra. From the summit, there are views of many of Andorra’s highest mountains, including the Pic del Comapedrosa and beyond the country’s borders into France and Catalonia. Enjoy quiet rambles through the Sorteny meadows and Val de Incles with some of Europe’s rarest and most colourful mountain flora, as well as with more strenuous hikes to the World Heritage listed Val Madriu.
Hiking in Andorra : 7 night departures: 3, 10, 17 & 24 June; 15, 22 & 29 July; 5 &12 August 2018 // 14 night departures: 3 & 17 June; 15 & 29 July; 5 August 2018
7 Collada dels Pessons (2775 meters) Andorra Mountain Trek
Collada dels Pessons is actually a pass, not a peak, but with views as spectacular as any summit. Taking in a unique area in the Pyrenees with dramatic jagged ridges, scree slopes and a glimmering necklace of mountain lakes known as the Coronallacs, the route has already been tipped to become a new classic, rivalling Tour du Mont Blanc, The Haute Route and Alta Via I. Enjoying staggering sunrises over the peak of Comapedrosa and walks along the steep slopes of Els Aspres path, hutting down each night in a charmingly rustic retreat to a healthy helping of delicious Catalan food.
8 Mattjischhorn (2461 meters) Arosa Village, Eastern Switzerland
There are many peaks that can be climbed from Arosa and Mattjischhorn is not the highest. Approached however along a broad grassy ridge, the summit itself is grassy, which is a real rarity at this height, making it perfect for lying back and taking in panoramic mountain view. Featured as part of a one week holiday, exploring this remote and little known area of Switzerland, Arosa has all the ingredients for the perfect Alpine holiday with a spectacular train line opening up hikes along the valley floor and cable cars whisking walkers to high altitude trails at well over 2000 meters. With peaks eager to be bagged in every direction, there are over 120 miles of walking trails to be had extending though remote valleys, ridges and chocolate box Swiss villages along the way.
Arosa Village departs 15 August, 22 August (14 nights) & 5 September 2018.
9 Kucki i Kom (2487 meters) A Trek through the Balkans
After years of obscurity the Balkans are a hot new destination for hikers. Kucki i Kom is the highest mountain in Montenegro’s Komovi Mountains and a great one to bag on this high grade challenging walking holiday. Starting in the summer alpine settlement of Katun Stavna, the walk to the summit of Kucki i Kom crosses meadows and scree before climbing along a cloud-piercing rocky ridge to the summit. This remote and exhilarating walking adventure covers treks through unspoilt wild terrain taking in some of Montenegro’s and Albania’s most impressive summits including the literal highs of Maja e Kollate and Maja e Rosit, both at over 2500 meters.
10 Elferspitze (2505 meters) Tirolean Summer, Austria
There are so many great peaks in the Stubai Valley, some over 3000 meters, but this ticks all the boxes. As a good ridge walk through quite spectacular limestone scenery, culminating in a tricky ascent to the tiny summit of Elferspitze, with a klettersteig and a ‘chimney’ en route, it offers a spectacularly panoramic path with a steep descent to summer pasture where ibex and marmots can be seen.
This walk explores some of Austria’s most picturesque woodlands and high alpine pastures before embarking on a selection of harder hikes. It offers an almost endless selection of walks, options include the Grade 6 balcony walk from Muttereralm, the high level circuit to the Starkenburger hut and the more challenging Grade 8 accent of Peiljoch up to the snout of a glacier. With the Stubai Valley Super Card, you can access cable car rides to the Kreuzjoch above Fulpmes and the Dresdner Hut at the southern end of the valley open up the magical world of the high Alps to all grades.