Hiking in Europe is arguably the best way to experience the region’s scenery at a slower pace—and there’s a network of hiking trails, country roads, and village walks that criss-cross the continent, stretching over multi-day routes and punctuated by inns to sleep at each night.
Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice luxury or haul a heavy pack full of camping gear to travel this way. While it’s possible to rough it and plan multi-day hikes through Europe on your own, tour operators can organize these types of trips, shuttling your luggage between inns while you walk—all you’ll need is a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
When it comes to booking a village-to-village hike, start by considering your skill level, hiking experience, and how much time you have, then think about what other activities you’re looking for along the way. Those interested in excellent wine and delicious food should head to Provence, for example, while history buffs may want to experience Spain’s Camino de Santiago. But you can also get off-the-beaten path in Sweden, or hike between lavish villas and postcard-perfect towns of Lake Como.
Below, we share six unforgettable inn-to-inn hikes to plan a trip around (plus a few key things to know before you go).
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Tips for planning an inn-to-inn hike in Europe
In lower elevation destinations like France, Portugal, and Spain, spring and fall are the best times to hike for cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. High in the Alps and in Northern Europe, you’ll want to aim for peak summer, when you’re least likely to encounter snowed-in paths.
If you’re traveling with a guided tour, they’ll transport your bags from lodge to lodge for you (and may even provide laundry service). Bring a couple sets of hiking clothes that you can wash along the way, consisting of non-cotton shirts and pants (made of spandex or other quick-drying material), and a warmer hiking layer (like one made of polar fleece). At night, especially if your stops include upscale hotels of restaurants, you’ll want something comfortable yet stylish to wear.
For any exploring you do without a professional guide, don’t rely on Google Maps to get you where you’re going in one piece. The All Trails app has vetted hikes with up-to-date info like closures and conditions, and can be used offline. It’s always best to carry a paper map, too, just in case you run out of battery.