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10 Stunning hiking holidays in Europe you can only do in summer

While spring and fall are great time to be in Europe, there are some trips you can only do in summer. Higher elevations and higher latitudes make for shorter travel seasons.

Here are 10 hiking holidays in Europe you can only do in summer.

East of Iceland's capital Reykjavik, glaciers, mountains in every colour of the rainbow and ancient forests overlook swirling rivers, soothing hot springs, incredible lava flows and deep gorges. Fantastical rock formations rise up out of carpets of Arctic flowers and brilliantly coloured moss. The Laugavegurinn hiking trail connects Þórsmörk with Landmannalaugar and this trip adds a hike to the famous waterfall at Skogar.

Northwest of the Norwegian capital of Oslo, sheer rock walls rise a kilometre up into the sky, farms hang onto impossibly narrow strips of land, while waterfalls tumble down its cliffs. This is Norway's heartland, where Nigardsbreen glacier, the mountains of Jotunheim, lush valleys and three national parks are all within easy striking distance. Explore this spectacular area on foot, allowing you to discover tranquil spots and incredible viewpoints, away from the crowds.

The remote archipelago of the Azores, part of Portugal but situated in the middle of the Atlantic, is a wonderful playground of volcanic origin. Crater lakes, caverns and thermal springs dot the islands, while the craggy coastline hides picturesque fishing villages. Adventure activities such as hiking and canyoning are the order of the day. Whales are numerous in the many marine reserves while on land a network of natural parks and biospheres protects the unspoiled environment. This tour has you discover 4 of the most interesting islands on foot.

Beneath the peaks of Jungfrau, Eiger and Monch, in Switzerland's Bernese Oberland, are some of the Swiss Alps most scenic hiking trails. Based in Kandersteg we hike the best of them, using cable cars to get us at altitude, and walk among towering cliffs and soaring peaks, glacial valleys and flower-strewn alpine meadows.

Alpine meadows and rocky peaks, windswept cols and glaciers, glorious views and some great trekking and hiking. Find all that and more in the Mont Blanc Massif. For experienced hikers, our self-guided Mont Blanc Circuit is the perfect trek through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Alps of France, Italy and Switzerland.

With ten walking days and 3 rest days this accommodated trek is the ideal way to hike around the Mont Blanc Circuit in France, Italy and Switzerland. As your luggage is transported for you between overnight stops, you carry only a day pack, enabling you to enjoy the scenery to the max. Indulge in amazing alpine views of glacial lakes and mountain vistas while each night you sleep in a comfortable bed and enjoy a great meal.

Our Haute Route passes beneath 10 or the 12 highest mountains in the Alps, from Mont Blanc near Chamonix in France to Matterhorn near Zermatt in Switzerland. Spectacular mountain views, stunning valleys and pretty glacial lakes are all around on this fantastic trek through the Alps.

Trails of the Italian Alps

High up in the Alps' Aosta Valley, against the border with France, Gran Paradiso, Italy's oldest national park, feels like a true wilderness. Encounters with ibex and chamois are common on your trek and the views of Mont Blanc and as far over as Matterhorn are simply stupendous. Glacial lakes, valleys carpeted in wildflowers and snow-covered mountains set the back-drop for a week of fantastic hiking. Nights are spent in atmospheric mountain refuges, adding to the alpine experience.

Tiny Alpine Slovenia offers great scenery amidst which you will find incredible walks and hikes. Pretty landscapes dotted with small churches and quaint villages share the country with amazing mountainscapes. Hike to waterfalls in the Martuljek Gorge, indulge in an abundance of alpine fauna and flora in the Karavanke Mountains, visit Lake Bled, walk the shores of Lake Bohinj and hike the stunning Pokljuka Plateau.

Craggy peaks towering up to the sky, where wooden farmhouses dot the orchard-clad valleys, where hiking trails lead you from mountain huts to spa resorts to glorious vistas. These are the Dolomites, part Austrian, part Italian, with a culture all its own. During your stay in the village of Dobbiaco/Toblach you get to choose from a menu of half- and full-day hikes, according to your abilities. Use the extensive bus, train and cable car system to get you to and from the trail heads and hike around the famous Tre Cime, through alpine meadows and along limestone escarpments. En-route, don't forget to stop for a treat in one of the chalets!


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