10 great walking holidays in Europe

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We round up some of the best guided and self-guided walks that explore the continent’s high peaks, deep fjords and rare wildlife

The far east of Iceland

Some parts of Iceland are well-trodden, but the east remains a vast wilderness of ice and fire. This eight-day adventure takes in an impressive array of what the island offers: you start with a warm-up walk to Strútsfoss, a thunderous 100m waterfall, then explore deeper into the country with an ascent of 1,833m Snæfell, a snow-capped peak that gives extensive panoramas of Vatnajökull, Iceland’s massive ice cap, and Bárðarbunga, a volcano that erupted in 2014 and continues to grumble. You might spot reindeer and pink-footed geese. A foray down the Jokulsa gorge is followed by three days of coastal and ridge walks that include areas deeply embedded in Iceland’s mythology such as Alfaborg, home to the elves. These may only be spotted, however, with the assistance of brennivín, Icelandic potato schnapps seasoned with caraway.
• Eight-day guided trip with Discover the World departs 13 July and 27 July, from £1,833 full board including flights (from Gatwick or £300 credit)

High Tatra, Slovakia

Moving from hut to mountain hut through scenery that is vertiginously beautiful is something you might associate with the Alps. The Slovakian High Tatra, however, offer a cheaper alternative that has all the same challenges and pleasures. With quick transport up to the foothills, useful cable car routes and efficient overnight huts, the Tatra is logistically well-prepared for the multi-day hiker. Things can get busy in high season, but even in August, the huts always seem to find room for everyone. This classic trek, designed by Travel Slovakia, takes you through the best of the Tatra with nights in some great huts – for example, a rambling wooden chalet perched on a precipice with bunk beds, lively and sociable cafeteria, and a tradition of drinking weird herbal teas. The walking is steep and stony. Take poles if you get sore knees.
• Seven-night self-guided hike with Travel Slovakia runs June-September, from €448 half-board (five nights in huts), including airport transfers

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