Few things are as exciting and refreshing as hiking a forest and staying close to mother nature. Europe has a vast landscape with varied beauty that beckons for your exploration.
You will be greatly rewarded when you get your boots and pack your bag for an outdoor adventure in one of its beautiful forests. But which forests are worth exploring in Europe?
Over the lockdowns, people have had a lot of spare time to have fun spending quality time with the family building pillow forts and playing board games, catching up on their favorite TV shows, playing Intertops poker bonus, or whatever else.
However, sometimes people need to get out for a bit. You know, spend some time in nature and see the beautiful world around us!
This article addresses this question by providing you with five of Europe’s expansive forests to hike about in and enjoy the beauty of the world.
1. Belluno Dolomites, Italy
Italy has many beautiful tourist attraction sites; however, Belluno Dolomites National Park is a gem worth exploring by forest and nature lovers. This park was founded in 1990 and extended from the Pave Valley to the Cismon Valley.
It is vast, but its beauty is enhanced by exclusive flora and fauna only found in this area. Because of its rarity, the government decided to protect its hectares of the astonishing natural panorama.
The 32,000 hectares of forest are a national heritage, where nature rules. Several factors make this forest noteworthy, including its inaccessible and untouched location on its borders with the Southeastern Alp.
Belluno Dolomites has a beautiful pale rockface on its mountains; no wonder its name- pale mountains. You will likely see haunts of golden eagles soaring through the sky in this forest. Since these eagles are rare, they add to the forest’s splendor.
Belluno Dolomites also have various plant species that you may have never seen. Mountain climbers will be treated to a wide range of wildlife, including species synonymous with Alpine and Dolomitic areas.
The routes in the park may lead to Monte Schiara, a high climbing location at 2,565m. Additionally, if you have a bike, you can go for a one-hour bike tour through Braies lake to Belluno town.
2. Kungsleden, Sweden
Kungsleden means ‘The King’s Trail’ and covers 435 kilometers or 270 miles. The route overlaps the northern part of Sweden and passes through Arctic Circle and Lapland.
What can you expect to see in this forest? The landscape is stunning and hosts the indigenous Sami people. Furthermore, the route will take you through glaciated valleys, dense forests, and meandering rivers.
Hiking Kungsleden allows you to experience the beauty of scenic mountains as you pass through four national parks categorized as World Heritage Sites.
You will undoubtedly relish many streams and lakes as you hike past Abisko National Park. Regardless of the time of the year, Sweden’s tallest mountains along this trail are capped in snow, providing hikers with a spectacular view.
The trail’s multiple entries and exit points allow you to customize your hike easily.
3. Ecrins, France
Many people know France as a country of lovebirds, with most honeymooners relishing an experience in Paris. However, France provides more than romantic destinations. Hikers, single or married, can enjoy its tourist destinations, including the remarkable Parc National des Ecrins.
This park is huge, only second to Vanoise in the country. This 1000 sq km piece of land is a protected area linking Isere departments and Hautes Alpes.
It stretches between Embrun, Briancon, and Bourg d’Oisans. And since it is in a remote location in France, most of the park remains unspoiled, making it ideal for hikers looking for beautiful European forests.
Ecrins is also surrounded by fantastic mountainous terrain defined by fast-flowing rivers and tumbling glaciers. The steep, narrow valleys and the accompanying waterfall create a delightful worth staring at.
You can visit this area during summer and meet with other hikers, mountain bikers, rock climbers, and river runners who come here to enjoy jaw-dropping sceneries and the perfect climate.
This does not mean that winter is a bad time to visit. You can enjoy hut-to-hut ski touring, snowshoeing, and mountaineering with the right clothing. You can expect good restaurants near the park that offers exquisite accommodations.
4. The Pennine Way
The Pennine Way is found in almost every written article about the world’s best trails. It is not coincident that this trail is famous. The Pennine Way has gained popularity because of its illustrious history, classic British scenery that is near perfection, accessible hiking challenges, and iconic landmarks.
Pennine Way is in the UK and resembles the Appalachian Trail in the United States. Like the Appalachian Trail, the Pennine Way offers great walks many people enjoy and has changed many lives.
Although these ranges of hills are shorter than many mountain ranges in Europe, the Pennines have a unique rural charm. Hiking the Pennines is soul-soothing, enabling hikers to enjoy Britain’s present and past.
You will not find soaring rock pinnacles, grand wilderness, or glaciers in the Pennine Way. Still, you will enjoy liberating hundreds of quiet kilometers, big blue skies, and an empty motherland.
Hiking through this trail takes you to the heart of England and allows you to experience fresh air in the modern world.
5. The Harz Border Trail
Harz border trail is rich in idyllic nature reserves like scenic cliffs, the Eckertal Valley, and fragrant forest paths. This border trail forms part of the Green Belt running across Germany. The Green Belt once divided Germany from Europe.
During the cold war, the Harz Border Trail was part of the secretive patrol ways on the inner German border.
Besides exploring the GDR history along this route, you can delight in examining the crumbling ruins of Ahlburg castle. You can also enjoy the great art project- Ring der Erinnerung” and the Drei-Länder-Stein.
You can also stretch your muscles by climbing to the highest point of mount Harz, which is 3,743 feet.
The Harz Border Trail also combines nature, the mountains, nature, and culture to hikers’ delight. As you traverse this trail, you will meet challenging hikes that will leave you exhausted but delighted. If you feel too tired to continue on foot, you can always take the Brockenham steam train to Schierke.
Europe is rich in beautiful forests that you can hike to enjoy nature. Countries across this continent have unique mountainous forests full of flora and fauna.
This article has looked at only five beautiful forests and their hiking trails. The list can be endless, but I hope you love the ones highlighted in this article.
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