Five scenic hiking destinations in Europe for spring | Finnair Russia
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Springtime adventures: five European hiking destinations to add to your list

As the chill of winter fades away and nature starts to awaken, spring emerges as an ideal season for outdoor exploration. Across Europe, hikers are drawn to diverse landscapes from the rugged Scottish Highlands to the sun-drenched trails of the Amalfi Coast. Lace up your hiking boots and join us on a journey through some of Europe’s most captivating destinations.

Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo (Stairway to Heaven) in Madeira

When you explore these scenic destinations, make sure to stay on designated trails and follow local guidelines for observing wildlife, especially during sensitive breeding seasons. Avoid littering and minimise your environmental impact by disposing of waste properly.

Unforgettable views in Madeira

Madeira, known as the Pearl of the Atlantic, is a haven for hikers, offering rugged cliffs, lush forests and stunning coastal views. Whether you're seeking the challenge of Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo, the tranquility of camping under the stars or the beauty of the island's iconic levadas, ancient water channels spread across the island, your trip is certainly going to be one to remember.

Funchal, Madeira

While wild camping is not officially permitted, there are designated campsites where you can pitch your tent and enjoy a night under the stars. Choose campsites near popular hiking trails or scenic viewpoints, such as the campsite at Pico Ruivo, allowing you to wake up to striking views and embark on early morning hikes before the crowds arrive.

Many hiking trails in Madeira are well-marked and accessible to independent hikers, but hiring a knowledgeable guide can enhance your experience, especially for more challenging routes or off-the-beaten-path adventures. A local guide can also provide invaluable insights into the island’s history and the levadas as well as ensure your safety on remote trails.

Finnair flies to Funchal Airport in Madeira all year round.

Every route is a scenic route in Senja and Andøya

Tromsø and the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway might be familiar to many hiking enthusiasts, but have you heard of the nearby islands of Senja and Andøya? Both offer untouched nature, majestic landscapes dotted with fjords and rugged beauty perfect for all things adventure.

Explore Senja’s dramatic landscape and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding fjords and mountains by embarking on scenic hikes along trails like Segla and Husfjellet. If you’re visiting during the summer months, make sure to experience the phenomenon of the midnight sun. Between late May and mid-July, the sun never fully sets, bathing the landscape in a surreal golden glow. Take advantage of the extended daylight hours to embark on midnight hikes, kayak excursions or simply enjoy a nice stroll along the coastline.

Segla mountain, Senja

Andøya offers endless natural beauty and cultural richness to fill your days but don’t miss the opportunity to go whale watching while you’re there. The island is renowned for its rich marine life, including orcas, humpback whales and sperm whales. Several tour operators offer boat excursions for a chance to observe these giant creatures in their natural habitat.

Finnair flies to Tromsø daily all year round and to Bodø multiple times a week between June and August.

Seaside sights and culinary delights in Positano

For the ones who enjoy basking in the sun, embracing the carb-loaded Italian diet and staying in a comfortable accommodation to balance the aching muscles after all the hiking adventures, Positano and the stunning Amalfi Coast is an excellent choice.

Amalfi Coast

There is a plethora of hikes to choose from, the Path of Gods being one of the most famous and picturesque ones. Embark on the legendary trail that winds along the cliffs high above the Amalfi Coast, offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the seaside villages below. Allow plenty of time to soak in the scenery along the way and make sure to bring your camera to capture the unforgettable views.

After a rewarding day of hiking, treat yourself to the culinary delights of Positano. Sample fresh seafood, homemade pasta and limoncello-infused desserts while enjoying the fresh sea breeze. Alternatively, you can learn to prepare authentic dishes yourself with a hands-on cooking class led by a local nonna.

Spaghetti with mussels

Finnair flies direct from Helsinki to Naples between April and October, and a bus from Naples to Positano takes 90 minutes. Positano enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and sunny summers but plan your hiking excursions for the spring or autumn months to avoid crowds and enjoy the best weather conditions for outdoor adventures.

Haggis, neeps and tatties in Scotland

The untamed beauty and the vibrant hues of violet heather as far as your eyes can see, all followed by a hearty meal back in town – the Scottish Highlands beckons adventurers from around the world. Choose from a variety of hiking trails, ranging from gentle strolls to challenging ascents, and immerse yourself in the magnificent scenery.

When hiking in Scotland, you may encounter friendly locals who are eager to share their knowledge and passion for the outdoors. Keep an ear out for the phrase "Lang may yer lum reek," a traditional Scottish expression of goodwill meaning "long may your chimney smoke."

The Scottish Highlands

Finish your active day by indulging in Scotland’s culinary delights. Treat yourself to a glass of fine Scotch whisky and don’t be afraid to try traditional dishes like haggis, neeps and tatties for a truly authentic taste of Scotland.

Finnair flies to Edinburgh multiple times a week. Visit Scotland in late summer or early autumn to witness the heather-covered hillsides burst into vivid shades of purple creating a stunning contrast against the greenery of the landscape.

The natural wonders of Slovenia

Nestled in the heart of Europe, Slovenia is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering pristine landscapes and breathtaking mountain trails. Slovenia boasts an extensive network of hiking trails catering to all skill levels from leisurely strolls to challenging alpine treks. Plan your hikes based on your preferences and fitness level, ensuring an enjoyable experience.

Start your trip with a visit to Zelenci Lake, a hidden gem nestled in the foothills of the Julian Alps. The lake's emerald-green waters, surrounded by lush greenery and limestone peaks, create a postcard-perfect setting. Enjoy the area’s unique ecosystem while taking in the views of the lake and surrounding marshlands.

Zelenci Nature Reserve

Don’t miss iconic routes like the Triglav Seven Lakes Valley Trail, offering stunning views of alpine lakes and rugged peaks, or the Vintgar Gorge Trail, which leads you through a picturesque canyon carved by the Radovna River. After a day of hiking, soothe your muscles in rejuvenating thermal spas. Slovenia is renowned for its geothermal waters, which are rich in minerals and known for their therapeutic properties.

Triglav National Park

Finnair flies direct from Helsinki to Ljubljana between April and October. Use Ljubljana as a starting point for your adventures and be prepared to adjust your itinerary based on weather and trail conditions.

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