Hiking: Ireland Has the Best Walks of any European Country


Hiking: Ireland has the best in Europe. This is according to Save on Energy.

The comparison site used fitness and travel website AllTrails.com to find a list of hiking trails in Europe and put their their statistics people onto it. And Ireland emerged as the winner. Well, we all knew that already. Here is a breakdown of their results.

Number 1: Ireland (87.3)

If you’re looking to be left in awe of extraordinary landscapes and incidences of natural beauty then Ireland is the place to be. The average rating tops the rankings at 87.3 out of 100.

The average walking length is 11,402m which is roughly equivalent to seven miles – enough to get your blood pumping but still within the realms of enjoyment for the casual hiker. With the rolling green hills, you can expect an average elevation of 427 metres too.

hiking ireland

2. Iceland (86.6)

Iceland is famed for its gorgeous scenery, unspoilt environment, and spectacular views wherever you look — all ingredients for a great hiking trail! With plenty of hiking and trekking choices, you’re bound to find a good one with an average rating of 86.6 out of 100.

The trails tend to be a little longer than in Ireland, with the average walk length sitting at 18,976 metres which is nearly 12 miles. Although this may seem long to hiking beginners, the health advantages far outweigh the length.


3. United Kingdom (86.5)

The coastal walks in the United Kingdom are very highly rated and due to the abundance of coastline, it’s easy to see why. The average length is comparable to Ireland at 11,041 metres yet the average elevation is lower at 307 metres, meaning reaching the finishing point is more attainable for those new to hiking.

The average rating of hikes throughout the UK is 86.5 out of a possible 100, which means it takes third place in this ranking.


Hiking the Cornwall coast from top of the Castle

4. Italy (86.1)

While Italy’s splendours are well known, people say it is only when you venture into the rugged mountains and journey along its beaches that you realise just how beautiful the nation is. This is especially true when it comes to hiker feedback, as the trails have gained an average rating of 86.1 out of 100.

The elevation is the highest in the rankings with the average being 675, whilst the walk length is 13,194 metres.


Hiking at Col du Fréjus, Italy

5. Spain (84.9)

There is a hiking route for everyone in Spain, from the famed Camino de Santiago to the Vas Verdes. Finding a good hike in this country isn’t difficult due to the diverse landscapes, well-marked trails, and pleasant weather, with many people agreeing and giving them an average rating of 84.9.

A novice may find the average elevation (646 metres) and walk length (16,356 metres) tricky but the scenery you’ll see along the route is more than worth it.

6. Switzerland (84.6)

Switzerland is a hiker’s dream, with the famous Alps and the gorgeous blue lakes. The nation includes simple routes for solo travellers and families looking for a fun daytime activity, to difficult tracks that can take you all the way to the summit of mountains for the greatest views.

With an average walk length of 17,338 metres and the highest elevation on the list of 833 metres, Switzerland has an average rating of 84.6.


Hiking at Interlaken, Switzerland

7. Norway and Germany (83.7)

Place seven is a tie between Norway and Germany as both countries achieved an average rating of 83.7. People come from around the world to experience the trails each of these nations offer, but you’ll find the longest in Germany, with an average length of 14,048 as opposed to Norway’s 8,682 metres.

The average elevation of the two countries is pretty similar though, the results are both over 400 metres.

Hiking to Preikestolen, Forsand, Norway

8. France and Portugal (83.3)

Another tied place is France and Portugal in the eighth spot with a rating of 83.3 out of 100. While hiking may not necessarily be at the top of your agenda when you visit these countries, you should definitely consider walking along a few of the trails.

Despite the fact that the two countries’ average elevations are almost identical with the findings both above 460 metres, there is quite a large difference between the average hike length. Novice hikers may prefer the shorter routes in France, which has an average route length of 12,526, while those more experienced may prefer Portugal’s trails which average out to 15,127 metres.

Hiking at Serra da Estrela, Unhais da Serra, Portugal

9. Belgium and Denmark (81.3)

In ninth place is Belgium and Denmark with an identical average rating of 81.3. The pilgrim walks, long-distance hikes and beginner trails are great ways to explore these areas in Europe.

The average walk length is slightly higher in Denmark (13,433 metres) than that of Belgium (12,196 metres) but the elevation stays similar with 196 and 261 metres respectively.

10. Luxembourg (81)

Completing the top 10 European countries with the best hikes is Luxembourg with an average rating of 81 out of 100. This country boasts one of the most comprehensive networks of walking routes in Europe, with over 300 hiking trails to choose from. Out of these many walks, the average length is 10,017 metres and the elevation you can expect is around 273 metres.

Hiking to Vianden’s Castle, Luxembourg


Europe is full of picturesque coastlines, nature trails and sightseeing opportunities. The best way to experience these wonders is to hike through the extensive areas of countryside and take some time to soak in the sights. So, if you’re keen to jump into your next walking holiday, take a look at the Emerald Isle. We know we got that X factor!


After you have finished some hikes in Ireland… then you are ready for expert level: a marathon in Greenland…. Yikes!

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