Long Distance Hiking Trails in Europe

Long Distance Hiking Trails in Europe
Europe is blessed with an extensive network of long-distance hiking trails. Usually, these are national trails that have been extended and linked together into a trans-continental route. This web of paths makes it plausible to tour all of Europe on foot. These enable truly epic hikes, such as walking from Gibraltar to Stockholm or from Scotland to the southern tip of Greece. The only time you'll ever need to set foot in a vehicle is for one of the rare ferry crossings.

Route E3

The E3 is the great west-to-east trail of Europe. The path begins on the Atlantic coast of Spain in Leon and ends in Istanbul. The route crosses northwest Spain, the Pyrenees Mountains and moves up through the center of France. It then turns east, plunges through Luxembourg and runs right through the middle of Germany. Moving towards southeastern Europe, the route then passes through the outer edges of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, cuts through Romania and finally reaches the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea. From there, Istanbul is only a few days' hike away. The route extends for almost 4,480 miles. In 2009, there are plans to extend the path southwards from Leon, so it will reach into Portugal.


Route E6

The E6 is a major north-south route through the middle of Europe. The classic route begins in the extreme northwest of Finland, above the Arctic Circle. After crossing the whole of Finland, the path requires taking a ferry across the Baltic to Stockholm, Sweden. From there it crosses southern Sweden and takes the Oresund bridge to Denmark. Then, it crosses through the center of Germany into Austria and then Slovenia, finally emerging on the Adriatic Coast. An adjunct to the E6 was later created in Greece, although that trail does not touch the main E6 route at any point and intersects only with the E4.

Route E11

This route is a fine example of a long-distance trail that is more modest in scope. Even so, it still runs for almost 1,290 miles. It begins on the North Sea at the Dutch city of the Hague. From there it crosses northern Germany, passing through cities like Potsdam, before reaching Frankfurt-am-Oder and going on into Poland. It continues across northern Poland, only stopping when it reaches the Lithuanian border.

Route E2

This grand hike begins in Scotland and goes on for 2,910 miles. Before even leaving Scotland, the path bifurcates, offering two options. One goes south through the Midlands of England before reaching the cliffs of Dover. The other heads to Anglia in eastern England and the city of Harwich. From either point, ferries continue the path in the Low Countries. From Harwich, the ferry goes to Holland, while the Dover ferry heads to Belgium. The two routes come back together again in southern Belgium, cross into Luxembourg and then into the Lorraine region of France. From there it climbs into the Alps, enters and crosses Switzerland, and then returns to the lowlands in Mediterranean France, reaching its end at Nice.


Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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