Travel

Central Europe’s Best Hiking Trails

Central Europe is home to many amazing hiking opportunities, tongue-twisting city names and tasty beer. This region contains rolling pastures, snowcapped peaks and breathtaking alpine lakes. It’s a place that deserves to be explored. Its vast network of trails is perfect for both beginners and experts.

These ten incredible hikes in Central Europe will take you to a place of absolute serenity.

Kamnik Saddle, Slovenia

Avoid the tourist traps of Lake Bled, Triglav National Park and Ljubljana and instead head to Logar Valley, where you will find hidden hiking treasures. Logar Valley is lush and green in north-central Slovenia’s Kamnik Alps. There are forests of bright green pastures and deep green trees.

Kamnik Saddle, also known as Kamnisko Sedlo, is the trail you should make a priority. This 8.8 km (5.4 miles) out-and-back adventure is both challenging and spectacular. It starts at the Slap Rinka waterfall trailhead. The trail travels through lush alpine meadows and rocky mountains. Your effort will pay off as you climb 990m (3250ft) elevation.

Advanced technical climbers can continue to Mount Planjava and Ojstrica. Are you looking for something shorter? Enjoy the beauty of Slap Rinka.

Olpererhutte, Austria

The Austrian Alps offer a stunning spectacle of rocky peaks, rolling hills, and cozy mountain huts. You can enjoy a day of fantastic hiking at Olpererhutte, Zillertal Alps, in Tyrol.

There are many ways to get to Olpererhutte. The most scenic route is the Schlegeisspeicher or Friesenberghaus trails. The loop is 13.8km (8.5 miles) long and can be strenuous on the legs, but it’s easy on the eyes.

You’ll see tranquil meadows and lush forests along the way, a fun suspension bridge and the occasional cow. The most amazing thing about Schlegeis Stausee’s turquoise water is the almost endless views. It will be well-deserved, so allow enough time to stop by the hut for lunch!

Oeschinen Lake, Switzerland

Switzerland is the perfect place for a hiker: it has rugged mountains, blue glacier lakes and crisp alpine air. It can be hard to choose which hiking trail to follow in Switzerland due to its many trails. But Oeschinen Lake should be at the top. It will be hard to miss it once you see it. The brilliant blue water surrounding the towering Swiss Alps is just what you need.

It is just one hour from Bern and can be reached by a 3.1km (5 mi) loop through the Bernese Highlands. Zermatt and Interlaken often overlook this area. You can take the cable car to Oeschinen Lake or walk along the river.

The lake is easy to access and can be a popular spot. But don’t worry, the crowds won’t last long. To escape the crowds, continue past the lake shore to make a loop around the back of the mountain. Enjoy the stunning views from the top.

Garnica Peak, Poland

The beautiful Bieszczady National Park is located in southeast Poland. It is just a stone’s throwing from Ukraine and Slovakia, on the one hand, and the other. This area is renowned for its rolling pastures and wildlife diversity, as well as its extensive network of trails. Garnica, the highest peak in the Bieszczady Mountains, is the best place to go for a day of hiking.

Many routes can be taken to Tarnica and the neighboring peaks. However, the 9.6 km (6 miles) hike is the most popular hike from Wholesale. Are you looking for a shorter, quieter trail that is slightly longer? Start at Ustrzyki Gorne instead. The unforgettable 21.7 km (13.5 miles) loop that passes Tarnica, Halicz and Rozsypaniec is the ultimate Bieszczady experience!

The trail is nearly entirely exposed no matter your route, so be prepared for the elements. However, the tradeoff is a constant panorama of lush pastures and layers on the horizon.

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