Best Trekking Trips to do in Europe This Fall: From the Lycian Way to Madeira's Marvels

Best Trekking Trips to do in Europe This Fall: From the Lycian Way to Madeira's Marvels
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As the leaves start to turn brown and the summer crowds dwindle, Europe transforms into a trekker's paradise. This fall, grab your hiking boots and explore some of the continent's most stunning trails on a self-guided adventure. Here are six must-visit trekking destinations that promise breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and unforgettable experiences.

Lycian Way, Turkey

The Lycian Way in Turkey is a trail steeped in history and natural beauty, stretching over 500 kilometers along the Mediterranean coast. This ancient path, created to connect the various cities of the Lycian civilization, offers a mix of coastal and mountainous terrain. As you hike, you'll encounter ancient ruins, rock tombs, and historic villages, all set against the backdrop of the stunning turquoise sea. The trail passes through charming towns like Kas and Fethiye, where you can rest and enjoy local cuisine. The Lycian Way is not only a physical challenge but also a journey through time, providing insights into ancient cultures and civilizations.

Our trips:  Lycian Way - Hiking along the coast
The Lycian Way in the West


Carpathian Mountains, Romania: Adventure in Dracula's Backyard

The Carpathian Mountains in Romania are a treasure trove of natural beauty and adventure. Spanning several countries, the Romanian section is particularly renowned for its dense forests, rolling hills, and diverse wildlife. This region is perfect for hikers of all levels, offering a range of trails from gentle walks to strenuous climbs. Highlights include the Bucegi Mountains, known for their dramatic rock formations, and the Piatra Craiului range, famous for its rugged peaks. As you trek through this mystical landscape, you might feel a connection to the legends of Dracula, adding an element of intrigue to your journey. The Carpathians also offer opportunities to explore traditional Romanian villages and experience the local way of life.

Our trip: Carpathian Mountains Self Guided Trek,Transylvania (Romania)

Zagoria Valley, Albania: The Hidden Gem

For those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, the Zagoria Valley in Albania is a hidden gem. This remote and unspoiled area is characterized by its dramatic landscapes, featuring lush meadows, ancient stone bridges, and picturesque villages. The valley is less frequented by tourists, allowing for a more intimate and authentic trekking experience. The trails here vary in difficulty, catering to both casual walkers and seasoned hikers. The local hospitality is a highlight, with villagers often inviting trekkers to share a meal or a drink of raki, adding a warm cultural touch to the adventure.

Our trip: Zagoria Valley Trek - Southern Albania

Rila-Pirin, Bulgaria: Double Mountain Adventure

 

The Rila and Pirin Mountains in Bulgaria offer a double dose of trekking adventure, each with its own unique charm. The Rila Mountains are home to the famous Seven Rila Lakes, a series of glacial lakes that are a highlight of any trek in the region. The Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is another must-see, offering a blend of spiritual and historical significance. The trails in Rila vary from gentle hikes to challenging climbs, catering to all levels of hikers.
The Pirin Mountains, on the other hand, are known for their rugged beauty and alpine landscapes. The Pirin National Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, features a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a paradise for nature lovers. Trails here can be demanding, often requiring scrambling over rocky ridges, but the panoramic views are well worth the effort. The combination of Rila and Pirin provides a comprehensive trekking experience, showcasing the best of Bulgaria's natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Our trips: Rila-Pirin Mountain Trek (Bulgaria), Guaranteed Departures
Rila - Pirin Trek Classic (hut-to-hut)
The Three Highest (Bulgaria)

Madeira, Portugal: Island Trekking Paradise

Madeira, a Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, is a haven for trekking enthusiasts. The island's unique network of levadas (irrigation channels) offers an extensive array of trails that take you through lush forests, along steep cliffs, and past cascading waterfalls. The Laurisilva forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a highlight, featuring ancient trees and a rich diversity of plant species. The climate in Madeira is mild year-round, making it an ideal destination for trekking in the fall. The island's dramatic coastal cliffs provide stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the trails often lead to charming villages where you can sample local delicacies like bolo do caco (a traditional bread) and poncha (a local drink made with sugar cane rum).

Our tripBest of Madeira self-guided tour

Crete, Greece: Coast-to-Coast Odyssey

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, offers a unique trekking experience that takes you from coast to coast. The island's diverse landscapes range from rugged mountains to beautiful beaches, making it an ideal destination for hikers. The coastal trails are particularly stunning, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. As you walk, you'll pass through traditional villages where time seems to stand still, and ancient ruins that tell the story of Crete's rich history. One of the most rewarding aspects of trekking in Crete is the opportunity to explore its varied terrain. From the olive groves and vineyards of the countryside to the secluded coves and dramatic cliffs along the coast, there's always something new to discover. After a long day of hiking, relax at a seaside taverna and enjoy fresh seafood, local wine, and the warm hospitality of the Cretan people.

Our trip: Crete- Walking from Coast to Coast

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