Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Great European Climbs

There’s nothing better than feeling the breeze on your face when you’re climbing up the side of a steep mountain or rock. Rock climbing is an extreme sport that, though tough, welcomes beginners as there are countless locations around the world suited to all levels and abilities. Here are five of the best hikes and climbs in Europe:

The King’s Trail, Lapland

This hiking trail is one of Sweden’s most popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. At more than 400km-long, the trail contains so many different hikes that it would be impossible not to find a few suited to yourself. More commonly known as the home of Santa Claus, the alpine environment engulfs what Lapland trips are all about and in the winter you can even bring your cross-country skis for use along the trail.

Chamonix, France

Rock climbing in Chamonix gives you ample opportunity to test your skills. There are a number of well-known crags, including Barberine, Servoz, La Joux and Gaillands that all feature the beauty that is the Chamonix Valley. These crags offer a variety of challenges so pick the ones that suit your ability best or, for added assistance, climb with an instructor. For experienced climbers, and those after a particular challenge, there is the Mont Blanc climb. This 4,810m high mountain is the highest in the Alps and to summit it is a true challenge.

Costa Blanca, Spain

If you’re planning a rock climbing trip for the autumn or winter, consider the limestone rock climbs you can do in Costa Blanca. The weather during this time of year is comfortable, even sunny, but not too hot and you can find affordable flights here from many cities in the UK or Europe. The Calpe Area, in particular, is a beautiful, scenic climb up cliffs near the sea.

Western Swiss Alps, Switzerland

The Alps include countless climbs but the Western Swiss Alps in particular are a must-climb. This region includes limestone rock with both single and multiple-pitch routes and the high altitude can give you an added challenge. You can have your pick of climbs on the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch mountains as they are all in this spectacular region of natural beauty.

Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany

This gorgeous national park, located in southeast Germany, includes a pristine natural lake, Königssee, with countless hiking trails surrounding it. You can hike high in the Bavarian Alps to look down on the serenity that is Königssee. The park has a change in altitude of more than 2,000 meters so you’re sure to see a variety of landscapes and wildlife as you hike up and down the trails.

Thus, there’s no need to travel far to experience some of the best hikes and climbs the world has to offer. These five destinations alone prove Europe’s the place to be for challenging, scenic and worthwhile climbs.

Image by lassi.kurkijarvi used under creative commons license

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