Long-distance hiking trails in France and Spain in demand

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More and more hikers are eager to walk a long-distance trail or hike a GR trail abroad. GR trails form a network of long-distance hiking trails throughout Europe, mainly in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany and Spain. GR trails are the initials of the Grande Randonnée trails in France and Wallonia, as well as the Grand Route trails in Flanders. The GR trails are marked with a white-red symbol that most closely resembles the Polish flag.

The routes in France and Spain are particularly popular nowadays, precisely because they show a different side of these countries. Away from the campsite and the beaches, and into the mountains and forests. These are the most popular hiking routes in France and Spain at the moment.

Tour du Mont Blanc

The white mountain, better known in French as Mont Blanc, is the second highest mountain in Europe. The Elbrus in the Russian Caucasus is slightly larger. At 4,808 meters, it is the highest mountain in the Alps and the eleventh most prominent peak in the world. The Mont Blanc is also perfect for a hiking vacation. The Self Guided Tour du Mont Blanc is a hiking route around the Mont Blanc that leads through the countries of France, Italy and Germany. The complete rounding can take up to 9 days. 

Camino del Rey

Certainly not the longest, but one of the most popular. The Camino del Rey attracts walkers from all over the world. The trail had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for more than ten years. After four years of extensive repairs and renovations, the route was reopened in 2015. In the past it was known as the “most dangerous hiking trail in the world” after five deaths in 1999 and 2000. Not the longest, but the most dangerous. 

Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago 

The most famous part of the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago is the Pilgrim’s Way from St. Francis, which is also known as the French Pilgrim’s Way. It is the trace of the Camino where the trail enters Spain from France. It starts in the center of the vineyards in France, meets the Galician mountains in northern Spain and ends in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Burning calves, incredible views and the friendliest people make this an unforgettable adventure for every hiker. 

The GR20

The GR20 Corsica is a hiking trail that crosses the entire island and runs from north to south and vice versa. Author Paddy Dillon described the GR20 as the most beautiful route in the world… The whole path is about 180 km long, has 12,000 altimeters and is well signposted along the way. It is considered to be the most difficult of all the Grand-Randonnée routes and consists of two parts: the northern part, between Calenzana and Vizzavona and the southern part, between Vizzavona and Conca. The hike takes about 15 days for most hikers.

Alta Via 1

You’d rather do something more extreme very close to Spain and France? The Alta Via 1 is a hiking trail through the Italian Dolomites, for 120km from Dobbiaco in the north to Belluno in the south. The highest point reached by the standard route is 2,752m and the altitude gain on the route is about 6,665m. Hikers typically take 10 days to complete the trek, give or take a day or two.

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