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The best walking holidays across the US and in Europe


At least once in your life, you have to visit two continents that are, North America and Europe.

Yes, we know these continents have wonderful carb-heavy dishes and diverse, rich history, but that’s not why we suggest them to add them to your bucket list. The reason we’re focusing on these two continents, in particular, is that they’re home to a stunning range of vistas. 

What we mean by this is that each American state and European country has a unique experience of its own. You don’t have to splurge your hard-earned cash to be able to make the most of that experience fully. Once you’ve paid for your flights, buses, ships or trains, and accommodation, you can make the most of your remaining time exploring on your feet.

Yes, we get you may want to pay admission to the odd attraction now and again; however, you can really see so much of a place by just walking!

To save you from the research, all of us at the walkathon has spent time conducting our own, to present you with the best destinations for you to walk on holiday.

7 best walking destinations

1. Colorado – United States

At some point in your life, you deserve to take time off to visit Colorado. This state is located in the western part of America and is home to the magnificent Rocky Mountains southern area. Likewise, this is the only state in America that has an elevation of over 1000 meters. Alongside its marvelous mountains, Colorado has some magnificent plains. This state mainly consists of Eastern and high plains. 

Colorado is the only destination in America, where four states meet together as it borders New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Alongside this, it has spectacular valleys such as the San Luis Valley and the Rio Grande. Passing through Colorado are many rivers such as Arkansas, San Juan, South Platte, Dolores, Green, Animas, North Platte, White, and Mancos River. 

Now can you see why we feel you should make it a priority to visit Colorado? We haven’t even mentioned its wildlife yet!

Whether you choose to walk in its mountains or the foothills, Colorado will stimulate your inner adventurer. There are many walks you can do in Colorado; however, we’ve curated the top few. To help aid your decision, we’ve ranked the Colorado trails from easy to difficult.

Bison Peak- Easy but long

If you like to take it easy when walking but have patience, we’d recommend walking the trail of Bison Peak. This is a 19 kilometer trail and begins at the stunning Taryall Resovoir in the Tarryall Mountains. The reason it’s been named Bison as, as you hike through the rocks, you’ll soon realize they look like Bison. 

This walk is a steep one, where you’ll gradually reach an elevation of 1,139 meters. However, once as the top, you’ll be rewarded by epic 360-degree views.

Lions Lakes in The Rocky Mountains National Park- Hard

Located near to Allenspark, Lions Lake is a 20 kilometer hike and worth it to see gorgeous alpine lakes sat amongst the peaks. Often this trail is classed as hard as it has an elevation of 3000 feet, but don’t let that put you off. 

The lion’s lakes trail is so rewarding as it is one of the easiest to navigate, but it also has a gorgeous range of flora and fauna. If you wish, you can also find a camping site in this region, splitting your hike up.

Fountain Valley Trail in Roxborough- Easy

We’ve already mentioned some complex and longer hikes. If you’re looking for a walk with less intensity and less distance, the Fountain Valley Trail may be suitable. This trail is located to the south of Colorado’s capital, Denver. 

Generally, walking this trail covers a distance of 2.3 miles and takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete. Don’t worry about your starting and ending point, as this picturesque trail is based on a loop. The reason it’s so popular is that it has stunning red rock formations, eagles, mules, dears, foxes, and wild birds. 

Bear Canyon Loop at NCAR

If you want another easy day trail to complete in Colorado, we recommend walking Bear Canyon Loop. This hike takes place near Boulder and starts at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Likewise, it only takes a 40-minute car journey from Denver to reach. 

This trail is considered easy as it’s only 2.3 miles in length and takes around 2 hours to complete with an elevation gain of 400 meters. 

What’s great about walking this trail is that you’ll witness a range of wildlife such as mule, deer, birds, and fish (if you see the lakes). Do be cautious though, as sometimes mountain lions and black bears have been spotted in this area. 

Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

This hike is one of the most popular day hikes for Colorado. Adams Falls is best for walking in the months from May-September. Similarly, it also covers around 0.6 miles in the distance and takes about 30 minutes on average to complete. 

It’s so popular that you walk past a breathtaking waterfall and the East Inlet Creek. If you’re a family with children looking for an easy hike suited to all abilities, then Adams Falls would be perfect for you. 

2. Romania

We reckon that Romania is a country that does not come to the front of your mind when you envision Europe. Today, we will change your opinion and convince you why you should visit it, at least to walk. 

This southwestern European country is renowned for its breathtaking Maramures, Calimani, the southern Carpathian Mountains, Apusensi Mountains in the west. This country houses a lot of untouched beauty and remarkable historical, gothic architecture. 

Whatever trail you decide to walk in Romania, it’s like traveling back in time. We know there are many trails out there to explore in Romania; however, we’ve handpicked a few good ones to walk on holiday there.

Zarnesti Gorges, Pestera, and Magura Villages

When visiting the region of Transylvania, this walking route is a must. This is one of the most popular routes for walkers, as they make a loop through the spectacular Piatra Craiului National Park. While walking this route, you admire the stunning Piatra Craiului mountains and see many nomadic locals of the mountains.

Generally, this trail is easy to follow, as many walks follow the narrow path on foot between marvelous rock formations. It starts at the quaint town of Zarnesti and goes through Zanesti Gorge. This is an enchanting limestone canyon that was formed due to a cave roof collapsing. 

Following this, you will walk through the mountains near to the Priporului Summit, where you’ll reach an elevation of 1,400 meters. Carry on after that, and you will reach rural villages of Pestera and Magura, then back to the town of Zarnesti.

Făgăraș Mountains

Take a trip to the highest mountains in southern Romania. This region is located in Transylvania and boasts some of Romania’s best views. Which also means it’s a very popular place for walkers in Romania. When visiting here, you can choose how easy or difficult you want to make your walk. 

You can make it long of around five hours or choose a three hour route from Capra Cabin to Capra Lake, where you will witness the enchanting Capra Waterfall. Whatever it is, we recommend seeking help from a local expert to help you navigate the best path to walk.

Ochiul Beiului Lake

Not only does Romania have stunning mountain ranges, but it also has crystal clear blue lakes. We recommend walking around Ochiul Beiului Lake, often deemed as Romania’s best lake. This lake is located in the Sasca Mountains and a short hike away from the gorgeous Beusnita waterfall.

Satchinez Ornithological Reserve Timișoara 

If you’re a wildlife lover, then you may want to walk around the Satchinez Ornithological Reserve. Located in Timișoara a region in western Romania, this reserve has many protected birds such as the little egret, the great egret, the black-winged stilt, the grey heron, and the squacco heron. There are over 55 different types of bird species here and 17 marvelous winter species.

3. Oregon – United States

Oregon is another state; you cannot skip when visiting the United States. This state is located in the Pacific North-Western region of the United States West Coast. What’s individually unique about Oregon is that the state lies on an extinct volcanic field referred to as the Boring Lava Field.

 It also has a highly active volcano known as Mount St Helens. Alongside this, Oregon has a beautiful rock formation and is the best place to wander walking in.

One of its famous cities, Portland is only 60 miles away from the Pacific Ocean and sits at the foothills of the remarkable Tualatin Mountains. It’s also home to many rivers such as Klamath, Columbia, Snake, Grande Ronde, Applegate, and Willamette. Given this beautiful range of scenery, we’ve selected some of the best walking routes for you to explore.

Trail of Ten Falls, Silver Falls State Park-Moderate

If you are looking to spend your time walking for a good few hours in Oregon, then the Trail of Ten Falls may be for you. This is an epic walk as you’ll be walking in Oregon’s largest state park and is one of the most popular ones. 

In total, this walking trail is done in a loop and is around 7.8 miles long. This takes approximately three to five hours, with not much elevation of 1300 feet. What’s fantastic about this walk is that you get to witness 10 amazing waterfalls! The height of the waterfalls ranges from 27 to 178 meters. Four of these waterfalls are even more impressive as you can walk behind them. 

Tillamook Head Traverse-Moderate

Are you more of a beach lover instead of the mountains? If so, we are sure Tillamook head will take your breath away. This is located on the Pacific coast of northwest Oregon. Tillamook head leads onto the glorious Cannon Beach. 

Walking this route is excellent for families, as the elevation is not too high, it’s only 1350 feet, and the distance of the route covers 6.3 miles. Often the walk starts at Indian Beach Trailhead walking up to Tillamook trailhead. On this route, you’ll also see pieces of history, too, as there are WWII bunkers. This route is easy to navigate, as the path is well marked out.

McKenzie River Trail to the Tamolitch Pool- Moderate

If you’re looking for a slightly longer walk, with little elevation, this hike may be for you. This trail is 23.2km long and has a height of 343 meters. This walk is stunning; you’ll encounter a larger river and 600-year-old pine trees. 

Don’t worry about the season you visit, as this trail is accessible at all times of the year. If you wish to make the full McKenzie trail, it’s over 26 miles long; however, this is the shorter version. 

4. Norway

Scandanavia is home to a bunch of gorgeous green countries, and one of the most talked about is Norway. This country is filled with mountains, coastal fords, and glaciers; it’s a photographers and walkers dream. 

Due to its natural landscapes, Norway is a popular destination gaining over 8 million tourists per year! It’s also rated as one of the worlds most happiest countries and is home to indigenous people, the Sami. We couldn’t possibly fit all the magnificent walks Norway has, but we have picked a few for you.

Trolltunga 

Trolltunga is an ancient rock formation around 1,100 meters above sea level and 700 meters away from the northern area of lake Ringedalsvatnet. To walk to Trolltunga, it only takes a day to get up and then back down again. 

It’s often recommended you walk during the months of June-September, and you begin your walk early in the morning. You can walk this on your own; however, most tourists get a walking guide to accompany them.

Kjeragbolten

Located in Southern Norway, Kjeragbolten is a boulder stuck in between a mountain’s crevasses. This is a walk that requires you to be in excellent physical shape, and you’ll need a tour guide. On average, the trail will take around 6-10 hours to complete and has an elevation gain of 800 meters.

Segla

Segla, on the island of Senja, is one of Norway’s most popular hikes. The best time to walk this is from May to September, but be warned it’s a strenuous one. Its distance is around 5km and has an elevation gain of 610 meters, on average, taking 3-4 hours to complete. However, once at the peak, it has some rewarding views.

Besseggen Ridge

This is another popular walking route with tourists, so popular on average; it has 30,000 people walk it every year! It’s recommended that this route is for experienced walkers, and it takes around 6-8 hours to complete. However, once you’re at the top of the ridge, the views are breathtaking.

5. Alaska – United States

By its area, Alaska is the largest state of the United States and the nearest one to Asia. What makes Alaska unique is that it has 34,000 miles of coastline! Likewise, in its coastal areas, there are active volcanoes, and the state has more than three million lakes. 

Alaska’s landscapes are so diverse as having wetlands, watersheds, mountain ranges, lakes, glaciers, forests, tundra, rivers, volcanoes, etc. It’s also home to a variety of wildlife such as the moose, black bear, polar bear, brown bear, goat, orca, caribou, turtle, many forms of fish and birds.

A lot of Alaska’s natural landscapes are untouched and function with little human disturbance. Have we sold Alaska to you yet? It’s a dreamy place to walk in nature.

Harding Icefield trail- Strenuous

If you’re looking to undergo a day hike in Alaska, the Harding Icefield trail may be great for you to walk. In total, it’s an 8.2-mile trip and begins on a valley floor. Then throughout the trail, you will walk through cottonwood, alder forests, meadows, and ice. 

On this walk, expect to gain 1000 feet of elevation, and it should take around 6-8 hours to complete. Remember each step of the walk, pause to enjoy its scenic vistas, it’s worth every moment. Similarly, if you’re planning on walking this trail, check the time of year as it could be icy.

East Twin Pass trail, Eklutna Lake- Strenuous

This walk takes place near Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage. Likewise, this trail is not for the average walker; you need to be physically in shape to complete it. 

On average, the length of the trail is 12.6km and has an elevation gain of 1,491 meters. What’s great about this walk is when you’re hiking, you witness the phenomenal twin peaks that rise nearly 6000 feet from sea level.

Raven Glacier Trail- Moderate

To walk the Raven Glacier Trail, it’s best done in the months June to October. In total, the trail is a 7.4mile round trip with a high elevation gain of 2420 feet. This is a shorter walk as it’s the start of a longer Crow Pass Trail. However, what’s beautiful about it is that you get to see glaciers and waterfalls.

6. Italy

We all know Italy for a few things such as the Pope, pizza, pasta, coffee, and football. In addition to these tremendous Italian points, the country boasts some beautiful places to walk in. What about adding to the country’s incredible accolades already, with some epic vistas?

Italy is located in the Southern part of Europe and has some stunning landscapes. This is because of the country borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. When visiting Italy, expect to see its stunning Apennine mountain range and The Alps. 

It’s home to a range of mountains such as Mount Blanc, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso, Bernina, Stelvio, and the Dolomites. The country also has many rivers such as Po, Tiber, Adige, Arno, Piave, Brenta, Adda, Oglio, Tanaro, Coghinas, Tagliamento, and many more. 

Italy also has five large lakes known as Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, Lake Trasimeno, and Bolsena. In addition to all of this, Italy also has stunning islands. This country is like a walker’s heaven. To help you dream about walking in this country more, here are some great Italian walking routes.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop

When you walk the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop, you’ll be taking in the phenomenal views of the Dolomites. This is a spectacular mountain range, a UNESCO heritage site, and they form part of the Southern Limestone Alps. 

This walk is mainly flat, and it covers around 6 miles worth of ground. If you’re a person who likes to take photos, this walk presents many photo opportunities of the Dolomites. Don’t worry if you’ve not packed your snacks or drinks; this walk has many Rifugios (mountain huts) on the way.

Corno Grande, Abruzzo

Located in central Italy, the Corno Grande is the highest mountain peak in the Apennine mountain range. The walking trail is moderate to complete and covers around 9km in length. 

On average, this trail takes around five to seven hours to complete and looks over Italy’s most significant national parks Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti Della Laga. Depending on your walking ability, you can choose one of two routes. There is one that is normal for a moderate ability and a direct route for the more experienced walker.

Sentiero degli Dei, Amalfi Coast

Italy’s Amalfi coast on its southern edge is just a treat for the eyes. This is an easy walk to do, and it’s mainly uphill and then down along a footpath. Don’t worry, compared to other walks on the Amalfi coast; this route has very little stair climbing to do.

In total, it takes around 3 hours to complete and covers a distance of 7.8 km. It’s worth it though, as once you reach the top, you will get a very one of a kind view of the Amalfi Coast, a photo opportunity with fewer tourists. However, this walk is not advised if you suffer from vertigo.

7. California – United States

We all most likely known of the famous state of California. Well, other than its tourist attractions and political stance, it has some magnificent scenery. This state borders with Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. 

California is home to a range of rivers such as Smith, Klamath, Trinity, Salmon, Redwood Creek, Mad, Humboldt Bay, San Fransisco Bay, and many more. It’s also home to some of the best national parks such as Yosemite, Point Reyes, Joshua Tree, Lassen Volcanic, Redwood, Pinnacles, and many more. 

Not forgetting the diverse range of wildlife the state has too such as the grizzly bear, whales, dolphins, chipmunks, squirrels, bats, birds, and much more. California’s scenery and diverse wildlife make it a remarkable destination for walking holidays.

Yosemite Falls Trail- Strenuous

If you’re an avid walker and are in Yosemite National Park, you should walk this trail. This is a round trip walk that covers 7.2 miles and takes on average around 7-8 hours to complete. On this walk, you’ll get to witness America’s tallest waterfall, which rises 739 meters above the valley floor. If you can manage a further mile, you can walk up to Columbia Rock, where there are even more phenomenal views of Yosemite.

James Irvine Trail

Located in Praire Creek Redwoods State Park, this is an easy trail to walk. Choose to walk this trail at any time of the year and expect to be walking one way of 4.5 miles worth of distance; however, if you choose to make it a round trip, it’s 9 miles in length. It also covers around 489 meters worth of elevation. This trail is mainly through the forest, and it’s full of fallen trees and cozy bridges. This walk is for all abilities. 

Fern Canyon- Easy

If you are looking for an easy walk, then the Fern Canyon walk is great for all abilities. As the name suggests, this walk features many enchanting ferns; there are eight different ferns on this loop. However, you’ll also come across many rocks and waterways en route.

There is even a waterfall on this walk. In total, this trail is around 1.8km long and takes around a few hours to complete. The pathway on this trail is well marked out, meaning it’s easy to navigate. This walk is great for families, and there are even bathrooms on the side and access to the beach.

There you have it, seven epic American states and European countries to go on vacation and spend time walking. Do note; we’ve not covered all of the best routes or destinations either. This is merely less than a handful that we’ve provided for you.

The truth is, there is way more out there to explore and walk across. However, as much as there are resources online, we’d always advise you to check the walking route, the distance and the season to walk in.

In some countries, in lesser known routes, we’d recommend getting help from a local guide.

Have you walked in the USA or in Europe? Tell us about your experience. 

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