Exploring Romania’s wild and vast Carpathian Mountains will be a unique and memorable experience for tourists who don’t know what to expect. Romania has a lot of potential for hiking, trekking, backpacking trips, mountain biking, climbing, and all things outdoors – even though it’s a less known destination for this. Which is exactly why you should consider visiting Romania for your next hiking vacation!

Boasting a wide variety of hiking trails that wander through stunning natural landscapes, majestic peaks reaching 2,500m altitudes, dense woodlands, plenty of natural attractions, quaint little villages still unspoiled by the touch of the modern world and a rich wildlife population, Romania rightfully deserves the title Europe’s last wilderness reserve.

The Carpathian Mountains dominate the country’s relief and circle the famous region of Transylvania which is a popular destination for tourists all over the world. So for those of you who want to go hiking in Romania, explore the Carpathians and discover the wonders of Mother Nature – we’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll tell you about three places you can go hiking in Romania and how to plan your trip.

Hiking in Piatra Craiului Natural Park

Piatra Craiului Natural Park Romania - hiking trails for all experience levels

Piatra Craiului Natural Park – hiking trails for all experience levels


Rising at the eastern extremity of the Southern Carpathians, Romania’s Piatra Craiului mountains are a favourite among hikers and climbers for the best hikes in Romania.

This range might not be the largest, nor the highest (the maximum altitude is reached at La Om Peak at 2,238m altitude) in Romania, but what really captivates hikers are the distinctively rigged limestone summits which are unlike any other mountains in the area. The unique crest scratches the sky like a natural barrier and magically draws hikers – and all eyes – to it.

The mountains in Piatra Craiului also boast rich vegetation and animal life which is why it’s also a natural park. Enjoy some of the best hikes in Romania while taking in stunning scenery.

There are plenty of trails in Piatra Craiului for all experience levels. They’re perfect for hiking day trips for medium experienced hikers or for family trips with kids.

If you’re a beginner, the best option would be following the trail that takes you from Fântâna lui Botorog, all the way through the Zarnesti Gorges, with spectacular vertical walls bordering the valley (which are also popular for rock climbing), continues towards Cheia Pisicii, and ends at Valea Vlădușca. It’s a 6 hours trail in general, but it really depends on your pace and how many stops you make along the way.

You can also check out the trail that goes uphill to Curmatura Hut (the only accommodation in the mountains) also starting from Fântâna lui Botorog. The hike takes just under three hours and is available all year round.

You’ll begin your ascension following the indicators on the left side of the fountain, through the forest, until you reach Poiana Zanoaga. Here’s where the path splits in two, and you’ll have to follow the yellow markings until you’ve finally reached Cabana Curmatura, a beautiful mountain chalet that also serves as a starting point for the trails going up the ridge of Piatra Craiului.

If you’re looking for more challenging trails towards the ridge or even to summit La Om Peak, these can be done in one-day hikes of approximately 8-10h starting from Pestera village.

These hiking trails in Romania are recommended for experienced mountaineers able to sustain effort and a quick pace, and we would recommend hiring a hiking guide as it’s easy to get lost especially in the evening as it gets dark. Besides the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Rucar-Bran Corridor and Bucegi Mountains if the weather is on your side.

Hiking in Bucegi Mountains

Bucegi hiking in Romania's Southern Carpathian Mountain range

Bucegi hiking in Romania’s Southern Carpathian Mountain range

Hiking trips in Romania’s Bucegi mountains are also very popular due to the massif’s proximity to Bucharest and the existence of cable cars in Sinaia and Busteni taking people up to the plateau and offering a very easy start to any hiking trip. It’s a two-hour trip to Bucegi from the capital and less than an hour from Brasov by either car or by train.

But it’s not just accessibility that makes Bucegi Mountains such an appealing hiking destination in Romania. The striking glacial landforms such as Valea Morarului, Padina Crucii, or Tiganesti glacial lake, the famous natural rock formations Babele and The Sphinx, the breathtaking views from Omu Peak at 2,505m altitude and the numerous circuit trails contribute to its reputation as one of the best hiking areas in Romania.

The town of Busteni, located in Prahova Valley, marks the starting point for most hiking trails in Bucegi, Romania. The cable cars from Busteni or Sinaia will take you straight to the Bucegi plateau at 2,200m altitude.

Once you’ve reached the plateau, you can continue your trip and visit well-known natural attractions such as The Sphinx and Babele rock formations, Bolboci Lake and Caraiman Cross where you’ll get superb views and, if lucky and the sky is clear, see the Black Sea 350 km away!

Heroes' Cross on Caraiman Peak with its spectacular view over the Carpathian Mountains

Heroes’ Cross on Caraiman Peak with its spectacular view over the Carpathian Mountains

Since Bucegi is quite a compact massif, you can cover multiple hiking trails on the same day. From Babele, you can easily reach Omu Peak after only a 3-hour hike one-way, or head towards Crucea Caraiman, following the red cross markings.

Compared to some of the other best hikes in Romania, both of these treks are very easy, even for inexperienced hikers, so you don’t need any special gear apart from adequate footwear and clothing.

One thing you should keep in mind when planning a hike in the Bucegi Mountains is the popularity of the mountain resorts at their base and the accessibility of the mountains which attracts many people who want to spend time in nature.

This can often lead to traffic jams on the road, queues at the cable car, fully booked accommodations and a large number of tourists walking these trails on the plateau, especially during summer months in Romania. That’s why it’s best to plan your trip early on if you intend to stay overnight at one of the mounting cabins nearby.

Hiking in Apuseni Mountains

Trekking in the Apuseni Mountains in Romania

Trekking in the Apuseni Mountains in Romania

The Western Carpathians formation South – West of Cluj-Napoca are generally known as Apuseni Mountains although they contain many ranges and Apuseni Mountains and Natural Park is only a small part of it in the South.

Nevertheless, these mountains have a special appeal for outdoor lovers being one of the most popular hiking destinations in Transylvania, Romania. The Carpathian mountains have many natural attractions among which numerous caves (400, to be more precise) including glacial caves like Scarisoara Cave, karstic landscapes ideal for via ferrata and rock climbing, breathtaking waterfalls and beautiful picturesque valleys.

There are many scenic routes that you can wander on in Apuseni National Park, but also plenty of places to rest and relax. Given that the area is densely populated and quite well developed, there are many accommodation options to choose from in small villages like Marisel, Rachitele or Garda de Jos.

Besides having an easy starting point for your hikes, you’ll get a feel of the local Carpathian community by staying in traditional guesthouses, eating home-grown products and immersing yourself in Romanian culture and traditions.

Cetațile Ponorului in the Apuseni Mountains

Cetațile Ponorului in the Apuseni Mountains

Cetațile Ponorului, Lumea Pierdut, Padis Plateau or Cascada Bulbuci are just some of the famous natural attractions that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Apuseni mountains. If you want to see all of them we recommend hiring a hiking guide who can also transfer you by car between areas as otherwise you would need 8-10 days to explore the entire region and see all these beautiful sights.

Also, if you happen to reach Vladeasa massif, make sure to check out Pietrele Albe, a fascinating limestone complex situated near Rachitele village.

A Note About Safety when Hiking in Romania

Wherever you choose to go on your hiking or backpacking trip in Romania, make sure to be prepared and do your homework. Hiking infrastructure is not very well developed with few signs or maps in English and few accommodation options deep in the mountains.

Also, Romania is home to the largest brown bear population in Europe and many other wildlife so if you’re planning to go hiking in Romania on your own, consider taking a pepper spray with you or hiring a guide who knows what to do in these unexpected encounters.


Pin The Best Hiking Destinations in Romania

Pin The Best Hiking Destinations in Romania

Europe’s best camping spots that are off the beaten path

If you’re looking for a truly unique camping experience, you’ll want to check out some of these hidden gems in Europe. From secluded mountain retreats to idyllic coastal spots, these locations offer everything you need for a relaxing and memorable trip. So, if you’re ready to explore some of Europe’s best kept camping secrets, read on!

Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Camping in Norway's Lofoten Islands

Camping in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

If you’re looking for breathtaking scenery and incredible hiking opportunities, the Lofoten Islands in Norway are the perfect place for you. This archipelago is known for its dramatic landscapes, with towering mountains, pristine lakes, and picturesque coastline. There are also plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, including seals, eagles, and even whales.

Italy’s Cinque Terre

Discover Italy's Cinque Terre while camping in Europe

Discover Italy’s Cinque Terre while camping in Europe

The Cinque Terre is a stunning stretch of coastline in Italy that is made up of five picturesque villages. This is the perfect spot for a relaxing camping trip, as you can spend your days swimming in the crystal-clear waters, exploring the charming villages, and indulging in delicious Italian cuisine.

The Isle of Skye in Scotland

The stunning landscape of Isle of Skye - best discovered by camping

The stunning landscape of Isle of Skye – best discovered by camping

The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s most scenic and popular tourist destinations. With its rugged coastline, towering mountains, and lush green landscapes, it’s easy to see why. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and kayaking. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins or whales offshore.

Slovenia’s Lake Bled

Gorgeous Lake Bled is the perfect place to go camping in Europe

Gorgeous Lake Bled is the perfect place to go camping in Europe

Lake Bled is a beautiful glacial lake in Slovenia that is surrounded by forests and mountains. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy some peace and quiet. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, such as hiking, swimming, boating, and horseback riding.

Why you should go camping in Europe

If you love spending time outdoors and enjoying nature, then camping in Europe is definitely for you. The continent is home to some of the most beautiful camping spots in the world, and there are plenty of hidden gems to be discovered. Here are just a few reasons why you should go camping in Europe:

  1. There are so many different types of scenery to explore. Whether you want to camp in the mountains, by the sea, or in a forest, Europe has it all. And with so many different countries to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your next camping adventure.
  2. You can find campsites that suit all budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxury camping experience or something more basic, there are plenty of options available across Europe. There are also a number of free campsites if you’re on a tight budget.
  3. The weather is usually pretty good. Of course, the weather can never be guaranteed but in general, the climate in Europe is ideal for camping. In the summer months, you can enjoy long days and warm nights, perfect for spending time outside. And in the winter, there are plenty of opportunities for winter camping if that’s what you’re after.
  4. There’s a huge range of activities on offer. From hiking and cycling to swimming and fishing, there’s no shortage of things to do when camping in Europe. And with so much natural beauty to explore, you’ll never get bored.
  5. You can meet new people and make lifelong friends. One of the best things about camping is the sense of community that comes with it. You’ll meet like-minded people from all over the world and form friendships that will last a lifetime.

The best time to go camping in Europe

In Europe the climate can vary a lot from country to country so the best time to go camping here will depend a lot on your destination.

For example, in Spain, the best time to go camping is in the springtime. The weather is perfect for spending time outdoors, and the flowers are in bloom. Camping in the Pyrenees is a must-do for any nature lover.

In Italy, it is ideal to go camping in autumn. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, but the crowds have thinned out since summer. Plus, you’ll get to see the leaves changing color in all of their autumnal glory.

In Norway, it is much better to go camping in summer. The days are long and there’s plenty of daylight to enjoy all that Norway has to offer.

Summer is the best time to go camping in Norway

Summer is the best time to go camping in Norway

No matter what time of year you choose to go camping in Europe, you’re sure to have an incredible experience. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

How to plan a camping trip in Europe

Make sure to pack everything you need – and then some!

No matter where you’re camping in Europe, it’s always a good idea to come prepared. This means packing all of the essentials like a tent, sleeping bag, food, and water, as well as some extra items just in case. A first-aid kit, flashlight, and multi-purpose tool are always a good idea, and don’t forget any medications you might need.

Choose your campsite carefully

When it comes to camping in Europe, not all campsites are created equal. Do your research in advance to find a spot that suits your needs, whether that’s close to hiking trails or near a lake for swimming. You’ll also want to make sure the campsite has all the amenities you need, such as toilets and showers.

Hire a campervan

If you’re planning on doing a lot of camping, it might be worth hiring a campervan. To do find a suitable campervan to rent out, it can be useful to consult online booking and price comparison sites such as www.campstar.com.

Hiring a campervan will allow you to have your own space and all the amenities you need while still being able to explore different parts of Europe. Just make sure you’re aware of the restrictions on where you can park.

Be respectful of nature

This one goes without saying, but it’s important to remember that you’re camping in nature and should treat it with respect. This means leaving no trace behind when you leave, picking up any litter you see, and being considerate of other campers

Don’t make these mistakes when camping in Europe

  1. Don’t forget to pack your passport! While most European countries are part of the Schengen Area and don’t require passports for travel, there are a few exceptions.
  2. Don’t forget to research the local laws and customs before you go camping. In some countries, like Germany, there are strict rules about where you can and can’t camp.
  3. Don’t forget your travel insurance! This is especially important if you’re going to be camping in a remote or wilderness area.
  4. Don’t leave your trash behind. Remember to take all your trash with you when you leave, and to leave no trace of your stay.

Camping in Europe: An experience you’ll never forget…

Camping in Europe is a great way to explore the continent and collect unforgettable memories. You will discover new cultures and meet new people while enjoying the great outdoors and nature. All in all, camping in Europe is an experience you’ll never forget!


Europe's Best-Kept Camping Secrets

Pin Europe’s Best-Kept Camping Secrets

Take a step into the Balearics by visiting the gorgeous city of Palma, Mallorca. This is the largest city in the archipelago; and while the Balearic Islands are more commonly known for their beautiful beaches and nightlife, Palma de Mallorca is a gorgeous city with so much to offer.

Palma Cathedral is otherworldly, and tapas bars and boutique stores line the streets. It’s the perfect historic city for sitting outside and enjoying an ice-cold drink in the afternoon.

But if you’re based in Mallorca’s capital for a trip, you might be interested in some of the best day trips from Palma de Mallorca. While it’s situated in the south of the island, excellent transport links mean that it’s great for day trips to see some of the best of the Mallorcan countryside and engage in authentic Balearic culture.

If you’re interested in the best day trips from Palma de Mallorca, read on!

Soller and Port de Soller

Port De Soller - A perfect day trip from Palma de Mallorca

Port De Soller – A perfect day trip from Palma de Mallorca

This day trip from Palma de Mallorca is extra special because you’re going to use an incredible method of transport to get there!

A historic train from the 1920s links Palma with Soller. This train winds through the Tramuntana Mountains, stopping off on the way to enjoy one of the best vistas on the island.

The journey to Soller aboard the historic train

The journey to Soller aboard the historic train

Eventually, it reaches Soller. This is a small town most famous for its imposing cathedral, which stands out amongst the rows of terraced shops.

From Soller, you can hop in a tram and head to Port de Soller. This is a gorgeous beach destination, which only opened up to tourists in around the 1980s when a tunnel gave it road access. This means that it avoided the mass tourism of the 1960s/ 1970s that you’ll see throughout the rest of Mallorca, and today it has more of a local feel!

Take a walk up to a viewpoint to look out over the scenery, wander the backstreets and enjoy a fresh baguette, or simply sit by the beach and watch the world go by. Port de Soller is quite a sleepy town, but it’s lovely.

Once you’ve finished in Port de Soller, you can take a tram back to Soller and then transfer to a train. The trains operate all throughout the year, so it’s a great day trip even if you’re visiting Mallorca in winter!


Pollenca is a beautiful town situated in the north of the island. Basking in centuries of history, Pollenca is an ancient town with a history of being conquered frequently throughout its past.

You can take in all of the city’s best sights by walking around, enjoying places like the “Pont Roma”, which is a Roman Bridge on the outskirts of town.

Don’t miss the Placa Mayor and the 18th-century church too!

There’s also an immense viewpoint over the island at El Calvari, which is set up 365 steps and is lined by cypresses on either side. As you go up, you can take in impressive views of the island, each a little better than the last – which will give you the motivation to hike the whole way to the top! From the summit, enjoy views spanning to Port de Pollenca.

Port de Pollenca is also worth visiting as a day trip from Palma de Mallorca. Ideal in the summer months, it’s a blue flag beach with looming views of the Mallorcan mountains in the background. The white sand beaches are incredibly inviting on a hot summer’s day when you’ve been road-tripping all over the island!


A view of Valldemossa from the Miranda dels Lledoners

A view of Valldemossa from the Miranda dels Lledoners

Serene Valdemossa is so close to Palma, it’s hard to call it a day trip – but you’ll feel world’s away as you drive to this village in the Traumatana Mountains!

The highest town in Mallorca, Valdemossa is located on a hilltop, with surrounding views of vineyards.

Attractions include the Real Cartuja, otherwise known as the Royal Carthusian Monastery, where you can find cloisters, a beautiful church, and King Sancho’s Palace which was gifted to Carthusian Monks.

The Chopin Museum is a great spot to visit to discover the village’s history, plus there are wonderful walks in the surrounding countryside.

Valdemossa also has great importance amongst Mallorcans. It’s the birthplace of the only Mallorcan saint, Santa Catalina Thomas!

Sa Dragonera Island

The distinctive shape of Dragonera off the coast of Mallorca

The distinctive shape of Sa Dragonera off the coast of Mallorca

Sa Dragonera Island is a tiny island just off the coast of Mallorca.

It’s easy to visit on a boat day trip from Palma; here, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of the island including its history of being a pirate’s residence, see wildlife like the native lizards and take in glorious walks such as the local lighthouse.

It’s the perfect day trip from Palma de Mallorca for the summer months!

Cabrera National Park

Explore Cabrera National Park by boat or by hike, or both!

Explore Cabrera National Park by boat or by hike, or both!

The Cabrera Islands are a small archipelago just off the coast of Mallorca. You can enjoy them by taking a boat trip to the Cabrera National Park; hike around the island and take in the immense Mediterranean views and white-sand beaches.

It’s the largest national park reserve in Spain, so there’s so much to see here, including the Blue Cave which is renowned for its incredible colour effects, and the Castle of Cabrera.

Nowadays, the islands are uninhabited, but they have a fascinating history spanning centuries, and you’ll learn all about them on the guided tour of Cabrera National Park!

Hike Puig de Massanella

The rolling peaks of Puig de Massanella

The rolling peaks of Puig de Massanella

Puig de Massanella is the highest hikeable peak in Mallorca (Puig Major is the highest, but it’s a military area that tourists can’t access). From the summit, you’ll see a surreal view of the island!

The total hiking distance (there and back) is about 12km, and you’ll gain 700 metres. You’ll feel on top of the world – or at least on top of the island – when you summit it, and as long as you go on a clear day, you should be able to enjoy some of the best views in the Balearics!

This hike is doable in a day, but it’s not easy – you’ll need a good level of fitness and some orienteering experience. You can start the hike from a trailhead by Restaurant Ca’n Gallet which is an hour’s drive from Palma, making it a perfect day trip. Public transport can be a bit tricky in this area, but you could take the T1/ T2/ T3 bus to Inca and transfer to the 312, which takes about an hour and 20 minutes.


If you’re visiting Mallorca with children, Aqualand is a must! Located in S’Arenal, this water park boasts something for all ages, with high-adrenaline rides like the whirlpool ride “tornado”, rapids and the flume “the devil’s tail” for adults and teens and more relaxed, smaller slides for children! There are also plenty of pools to splash about and relax in.

This is one of the best day trips from Palma de Mallorca because it’s so easy to access! Reach it on the number 23 bus which connects with the capital. Adult tickets are only 30,00€ if you buy them in advance!

Visit the wineries

Sample delicious local wines during a day trip from Palma de Mallorca

Sample delicious local wines during a day trip from Palma de Mallorca

Have you ever had Mallorcan wine? While varieties from mainland Spain are more famous, there are lots of wineries throughout the Balearic island as well. One of the best day trips that you can do in Mallorca is to see as many as possible!

  • One of the best is Vins Nadal Winery in Binissalem. It’s an indoor winery with the option to go out and explore the vineyards, and you can sample some reds, whites and rose wines, try some Mallorcan snacks and see the wine cellars.
  • Alternatively, visit Can Ribas. This winery has a long history spanning all the way back to 1776. You’ll be able to enjoy a historic courtyard as you sample some of their delectable wines, with packages available for all budgets.
  • Or, head to Bodegas Angel. This winery is close to Palma, but you’ll feel as if you’re in the heart of nature as you sip on red, white and rose wines while looking at the Tramuntana Mountain view!

You can make your own wine tour by choosing a few of the best Mallorca wineries and organizing transport in between them.

However, you can also do a wine tour from Palma and take in some of the best vineyards on the island!


Visit vibrant Ibiza as a day trip from Palma de Mallorca

Visit vibrant Ibiza as a day trip from Palma de Mallorca

With useful boat and flight links, you can actually take a day trip from Mallorca all the way to Ibiza!

Ibiza is known for its nightlife and superclubs, but it’s actually a gorgeous island with lots of hidden coves and spectacular viewpoints.

Visit Ibiza town and smaller villages like San Juan, or simply road trip around all of the best beaches, like Cala Carbó or local favourite Pou des Lleó.

To make the most of a day trip to Ibiza, I’d recommend either taking your car on the boat, or flying over and renting a car when you’re there. Boats take about two hours and leave from Palma.


Visit Menorca - the smallest of the Ballearics, yet full of coves and beaches

Visit Menorca – the smallest of the Balearics, yet full of coves and beaches

The smallest of all the Balearic Islands, Menorca is a great day trip from Palma de Mallorca.

You’ll need to either fly or drive to Alcúdia (around 45 minutes from Palma) and take the ferry (which is 2.5 hours). While Menorca is the smallest main Balearic Island, it actually has the same number of beaches as Ibiza and Mallorca combined!

Dive in the perfectly blue waters of Cala Macarelleta or go snorkelling off Cala Pregonda. Road tripping around Menorca is an absolute dream, but thanks to its small size, it’s very feasible to do in a day.

Again, it’s best to have a car here – you can either take yours with you (if you take the boat) or hire a car from the airport.

How to take these day trips from Palma de Mallorca

Most people fly into Mallorca. If you do, you can rent a car from the airport. It’s probably the easiest way to see these incredible day trip locations, and the roads around Mallorca are fairly easy to drive on.

If you can’t drive or don’t want to rent a car, many of these Palma de Mallorca day trips are connected by bus or rail (in the case of Soller and Port de Soller!). There are also plenty of organized tours leaving from the capital, most of which are bookable on Get Your Guide.

These day trips from Palma de Mallorca are incredible ways to see more of the island – and all of the Balearics! By basing yourself in Palma, you’ll be able to access plenty of amenities, but you’re also in an excellent position to see the rest of the island. Mallorca is a dream destination for many, and this guide will help you make the most of your trip there!


The Best Day Trips from Palma de Mallorca

Pin The Best Day Trips from Palma de Mallorca

Undoubtedly, The UK’s National Parks are among its greatest treasures. From the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Lake District National Park to the world-famous Jurassic Coast, England and South Wales are full of stunning landscapes waiting to be explored.

But the best UK National Parks are not just about the landscape – they are also a haven for wildlife, with an incredible diversity of plants and animals to be found in each one.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure while backpacking in the UK, or want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, then make sure you visit one of these 10 best UK National Parks!

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of the best places in the UK to return to nature. With over six hundred miles of trails winding through the mountains and hills, it’s perfect for an exhilarating hike.

Mickledore views are highly recommended when hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The trail can be rough at times, but it is well worth the effort it takes. The Mickledore ridge is a pass-through mountain range with breathtaking views of wildlife everywhere.

Overall, it is one of the best national parks in the UK for an adventure visit.

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is a must-see for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. With majestic mountains, deep valleys, and pristine rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot rare wildlife in the Cairngorms National Park. The area is home to red squirrels, reindeer, ospreys, and golden eagles, so keep your eyes peeled!

Many Munros – Scottish mountains over 3000 feet – also make for great hiking trails. Be sure to take on at least one of these when visiting the park!

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe UK National Park

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe Park is one of the many beautiful national parks in the United Kingdom. It is known for its picturesque landscapes and lush vegetation. The park is also home to various wildlife, making it a perfect place for nature lovers to explore.

Since its establishment in 2020, Duncombe National Park has become a popular destination for hikers and campers. Many trails wind through the park, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park is the newest park in the UK and is one of the best national parks near London. A short train ride will get you to the park. It is the best place to stargaze because of the large rolling hills that allow you to lay in peace without the lights from a city blinding the view.

Woolmer Forest, a lowland heath site, is home to many rare species and is the only place in the country with all twelve species of native reptiles and amphibians.

South Downs Way is a hiking and biking trail that is scenic beyond what you can see when driving. There is also a section of the park that has been turned into a battlefield site where you can learn about and experience what it was like to fight in the Battle of Hastings.

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its beautiful lakes, stunning mountains, and tranquil valleys make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

But there are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, from hiking and climbing to water sports and mountain biking. And, of course, no visit to the Lake District National Park would be complete without taking a ride on a steam train!

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor UK National Park

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park is a stunning area of natural beauty in Devon, England. With its ancient forests, wild moors, and tumbling rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of things to do in Dartmoor National Park, from exploring the many hiking trails to visiting the historic sites. You can even go horse riding or camping in the park!

But one of the best things about Dartmoor National Park is the wildlife. With red deer, wild ponies, and rare birds, it’s a haven for nature lovers. (Do not forget to bring your camera, though)

The Peak District National Park

The Peak District - the UK's most popular National Park

The Peak District – the UK’s most popular National Park

The Peak District National Park is one of the best National Parks in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its stunning landscapes and incredible views make it the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

There are plenty of things to do in the Peak District National Park, from hiking and cycling to rock climbing and caving. You can even go horse riding or take a scenic drive through the park!

But the wildlife is one of the best things about the Peak District National Park. With red deer, badgers, foxes, and otters, it’s a haven for nature lovers.

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park is a stunning park located in the UK that offers 125 miles of water to boat, swim or sail in. You can rent a boat for a day or use your own, making it the perfect place to spend a summer day.

Wildlife viewing is a huge part of this park, especially if you enjoy bird watching. As with every other national park, you can find miles of hiking or biking trails offering breathtaking views you cannot see from the main roads.

Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

If you’re looking for a taste of the wild in the UK, head to Exmoor National Park. This sprawling area of unspoiled countryside covers over 400 square miles, making it one of the biggest and best national parks in England.

Exmoor is home to various landscapes, from woodlands and valleys to moors and hills. Wildlife is also abundant here, with red deer, Exmoor ponies, and otters calling the park home.

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland UK National Park

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park is located in the northeast of England and is one of the best national parks in the UK. The park is home to various landscapes, including forests, heathland, moorland, and coastline.

The park is also home to many castles, including Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, and the Turf Knowe burial site.

If you are interested in exploring the UK’s national parks, then Northumberland National Park is one that you should not miss.

10 Best UK National Parks for Wildlife and Unforgettable Hikes

Pin me!

Are you ready to embark on the challenge of hiking the Appalachian Trail, or want to know how to prepare for hiking up Kilimanjaro? In this article, we will talk about fitness tips, gear recommendations and more information for how to train for a thru hike for beginners.

What Is Thru-Hiking?

Thru hiking is hiking an established long-distance trail end to end within one hiking season. The term thru hike can also be used more generally to refer to any hiking trip where you are carrying your own gear on your back for overnight trips. In comparison with camping, you’ll be using the power of your own legs to arrive at your destination, and often with a large backpack in tow.

On a thru hike, you will usually go for multiple nights in a row, and you will have to bring everything with you: your shelter, clothing, food, and cooking equipment.

Thru-hiking is an amazing experience. It will allow you to test your limits and challenge yourself in ways that might surprise you. You may be hiking for days or weeks on end, and you will need to stay focused. It is also important that you take the proper safety precautions and prepare yourself physically and mentally.

How to Physically Train for a Thru Hike if You’re a Beginner

There are a few hiking fitness tips that can help you train for your first-time thru hike. On a typical thru-hike, you’ll be hiking for at least 5 days in a row, so you will need to build up some stamina in order to get to the appropriate fitness level.

Focus on Overall Fitness

Taking part in various forms of aerobic fitness like cycling, swimming, running and group fitness classes will not only give you a solid aerobic base, but will also help you gain confidence and momentum as well.

Targeted Exercises to Train for A Thru Hike

In addition to overall physical fitness, there are certain muscle groups that you should train before embarking on a long hike. Large muscle groups like your quads, glutes, and core will need to be in tip-top shape to ensure you have the endurance and condition for your long hike. The most efficient way to train a muscle group is through resistance training, but luckily most of the reps can be done with minimal equipment.  The Thru Hikers Workout from REI gives some good exercises that can help beginners get in shape for your thru hike.

Start with Short Hikes

To start out, you should try going for shorter hikes in order to see if this is the hobby for you. Gradually add more and more distance until you work your way up to the typical distance covered on a thru-hike.

Hike with your Pack

Eventually, you’ll want to try hiking with a pack on in order to train your body for the extra weight. As much as you can, you should simulate the true conditions for your hike, which means either hiking with your full pack of gear, or adding weights to your pack.

Prepare for diverse scenarios

You should also practice hiking in different weather conditions to test out your gear and your pack set-up. You want to make sure that you’re prepared for the worst case scenario, so try hiking when it’s raining or snowing. If your pack starts getting wet, take out everything and stuff it into dry bags (waterproof bags). Practice what you would do if you get caught in a sudden rain storm, or if the weather suddenly becomes much colder.

Safety Precautions for Beginner Thru Hikers

There are certain safety precautions you should take if you’re a beginner to thru hiking. You should always have an emergency first aid kit with you. You should tell someone where your hiking trail is, and when to expect you back.

The Best Gear for Thru Hiking

As a beginner, part of how to train for a thru hike means preparing your gear ahead of time. Make sure you have all of the hiking essentials so that you are safe on the trail, and so that your hiking experience is enjoyable.

When thru hiking, you will need to be hyper-focused on keeping your pack ultralight. Every tiny ounce adds up over time. With the right hiking gear, you will be able to hike further each day with miniml physical discomfort.

Here is a list of some of the most essential gear for a first-time thru hikers, but the specific gear will depend largely on which trail you are hiking and which weather you may be faced with.

  • The right hiking boots – be sure to take a few long hikes in them beforehand to break them in
  • A hiking backpacking – Your pack will become like an extension of your body, and choosing the right pack is one of the most crucial decisions during trip preparation.
  • Ultralight backpacking tent
  • Ultralight sleeping bag
  • Ultralight cooking gear
  • Water purification tablets or a water filter
  • Safety equipment like a knife and a first aid kit
  • Trekking poles – Even with the best training, trekking poles are essential on thru hikes. They can help save your hips and back from unnecessary aches and pains. Trekking poles are said to take 25% of the strain off of your knees, which means you will be able to go further distances with minimal physical discomfort. They might also be critical if you will be crossing streams or treacherous terrain.

The Best Thru Hikes in the World

You have probably heard of the famous PCT and Appalachian Trail thru hikes, but there are plenty of established thru hikes found all over the world. Each of these hikes come with their own particular characteristics, so the packing and training will vary slightly for each thru hike.

Here are the most famous thru hikes from around the world:

  • The Appalachian Trail (United States) Distance: 3,510 kilometers (2,180 miles)
  • The Pacific Crest Trail (United States) Distance 4,265 kilometers (2,650 miles)
  • The South West Coast Path (UK) Distance: 1,016 kilometers (630 miles)
  • Te Araroa (New Zealand) Distance: 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles)
  • Continental Divide Trail (United States) Distance: 4,990 kilometers (3,100 miles)
  • Grand Italian Trail, Sentiero Italia (Italy)Distance: 6,166 kilometers (3,830 miles)
  • Great Himalayan Trail (Nepal) Distance: 1,700 kilometers (1,056 miles)
  • Hokkaido Nature Trail (Japan) Distance: 4,585 kilometers (2,849 miles)
  • Trans Panama Trail (Panama) Distance: 800 kilometers (497 miles)
  • Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail United States) Distance: 1931 kilometers (1,200 miles)

These are all high on the list for avid thru-hikers. If you don’t have a ton of spare time to do one of these thru hikes in a full season, some people choose to do portions of the trail a little bit at a time. Over a few years, you will be able to complete the entire thru-hike.

We hope you are equipped with the knowledge you need in order to train for your very first thru hiking adventure. Covering vast distances on your own two legs with everything you need on your back is an incredibly rewarding experience. Enjoy!


How to Train for a Thru Hike

Pin How to Train for a Thru Hike