Follow the Marks Pointing East: 5 Refreshing Eastern Europe Hikes

A painted monastery on the Bulgaria & Romania on Foot trip
A painted monastery on the Bulgaria & Romania on Foot trip

Hiking in Eastern Europe

Active holidays off the tourist radar 

 
If you are looking for an active holiday off the tourist radar, the countries in Eastern Europe are a welcoming place that combines natural beauty and rich culture with warm hospitality and friendly locals. Hiking in Eastern Europe will allow you to follow trails that go off the beaten path and discover places where few others have been before. 
 
From Romania to Slovakia and Bulgaria to Slovenia, a hiking holiday in any of these countries will bring you new experiences that are unlike trekking elsewhere in Europe. 
Below are five ideas for novel walking holidays in Europe that you may not have thought of before and that offer excellent value for money.
 

Go Hiking in Hemingway’s Julian Alps

Traverse the high trails of the Julian Alps
 
The Julian Alps, in the northwestern corner of Slovenia, were the stage of bitter fighting during World War I and it was while based in these mountains that Ernest Hemingway wrote his book ‘Farewell to Arms’. Characterised by high mountain lakes, peaceful alpine valleys and rugged limestone peaks, more recently they have become famous as a trekking destination. 
 
Our trip ascends thematic paths, including an option to climb Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain, with plenty of time on the last days to soak up the beauty and history of the fairytale town of Bled. 
 

Lose Yourself in Bulgaria’s Stunning Rila Lakes

Trekking in the remote Rila Mountains in Bulgaria
 
Calling all keen walkers seeking an alternative mountain experience, in a country that simply teems with history and beautiful natural landscapes… Each of Bulgaria’s Seven Rila Lakes is named according to its shape! Surrounded by rugged peaks and deep valleys, the chain of these glacial lakes is the jewel of the Rila Mountains. Starting at 2,100m, the lakes are found at differing altitudes and appear like large footprints leading up the mountain. 
 

Get Carried Away by Transylvania’s Legends

hiking group in the Bucegi Mountains foothills enroute to Bran |  <i>Kate Baker</i>
 
Transylvania’s legends are an enticing reason to explore Romania’s stunning mountainscapes and offer a unique opportunity to go hiking in Eastern Europe. The dramatic Piatra Craiului (‘royal stone’) rises sharply from the plains below offering one of the best ridge walks in Europe, while the Bucegi Mountains are home to a diverse range of landscapes, from beech forests to flower-laden meadows and high limestone cliffs. Here you will find Bran Castle, home to the fictitious character of Dracula, immortalised in Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic horror novel. 
 

Get Enchanted by Romania’s Monasteries & Villages

A visit to Voronet Monastery in southern Bukovina is a cultural highlight
 
Walk through the timeless landscape of the majestic Carpathian Mountains (also known as the Transylvanian Alps) where the way of life has changed little through the centuries. Ancient villages and monasteries that you will pass while trekking include the famous Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, while you’ll also cross through pristine forests brimming with wildlife and carved wooden churches. 
 
 

UTracks offers more hiking trips in Eastern Europe besides the five mentioned in this article. If you would like to find out more and get a complete overview of our active holidays in Europe, start by having a look at our European walking holidays
 
For more information on the Eastern European places mentioned above, you can download the trip notes on the individual trip pages or get in touch with our travel experts around the world.
 
 
Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Eastern Europe, Balkans, Walking, Hiking

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