Geologically, Europe is a little world of its own, with mountain ranges, temperate islands, arctic forests and ocean coasts. With so much interesting terrain, you could spend a lifetime hiking across alpine passages or Spanish caminos.
To help narrow down the overwhelming number of walks and hikes our continent has to offer, our Family Travel Managers want to share this list of the five best European walks on which to take your family.
1. Catbells – England
Catbells is the most famous walk in the popular Lake District. Everything about it is charming and accessible, from the walk’s twee name of mysterious origin, to the modest height of the summit of 450m.
What better place to read aloud the lines of Coleridge or Ruskin than from the pinnacle’s view of Derwentwater? Or even take the family boating on the water itself.
2. Pen y Fan & Corn Du – Wales
This circular hike of modest gradient is perfect for small legs. If stunning vistas are what you are looking for, this hike, with two peaks over its 4 miles, packs great value per mile. Look out for Wales’ famous sheep and red grouse among the heather uplands.
Image credit: Cal Bailey
Pen y Fan means The Mountain’s Peak. On this peak was a Bronze Age burial chamber. When you have seen the views, you can imagine why powerful Bronze Age kings wanted to be buried here. The second peak is a second burial site and translates as Black Horn. From here you will have fantastic lines of sight, down the Usk Valley to Brecon.
3. Champlönch – Switzerland
Best enjoyed in the summer months, the Swiss National Park Trails recommends this gentle route through the Eastern Alps, something our Family Travel Managers can organise for you. The 6km trail is very accessible and is the perfect way to see the Alps without climbing its notorious slopes and gradients.
The walk is cleverly accompanied by virtual tour guides, great for teaching children about the geography of the area. After picking up a WebPark GPS from the National Park Centre, various animal avatars pop up to explain the beautiful surroundings.
4. Dolomites – Italy
Blocking the Italian Peninsular off from the rest of Europe, the Dolomites are a beautiful cliff-like mountain range at the north-end of Italy. Like Champlönch, this trek combines the stunning views afforded by mountain hikes with the family-friendly nature of shallow gradients.
The Pian dei Buoi plateau is surrounded by grazing pastures to the north and jagged mountain peaks to the south. The flat plateau offers many routes. The second thing that makes this walk perfect for families are the Auronzo chairlifts that swoop visitors up the hills from the town below.
5. French Riviera
Famous for its luxury villas, rich clientele and fast cars, the South of France also offers spectacular walks. If you are taking the family out for a stroll, allow us to plan a walk along the Loup River, from Villeneuve Loubet to La Colle.
With quaint arched bridges over the river and picnic spots aplenty, the flat riverside-walk is great for a family day out in the French sunshine. The river is warm enough for a paddle, and the villages on both ends are full of ice-cream and pizza shops.
If you are looking for a holiday with your family, why not get in touch with one of our Family Travel Managers at Simplexity.com.