Hiking with Kids: 5 Family-Friendly Treks in Europe

Emma KellyAugust 22, 2019

If you’re looking for the perfect spot for a family-friendly hiking trip, Europe offers endless options. Filled with stunning, varied nature and a wide range of easily accessed hiking trails, you’ll find treks for all levels and ages. 

Hiking in the outdoors teaches kids important skills and lessons. They learn appreciation and respect for the natural world as well as how to stay safe. Being active outdoors also helps them to build their confidence, curiosity, and self-esteem. 

In addition to the wonderful nature found in Europe, there are also many historical sites surrounded by trails. This means that trekking outdoors can also be an educational exercise as well as a physical one.

There are however considerations you have to take into account when hiking with kids. Safety, logistics and suitability rank high on the list. Taking a trip with an experienced guide gives you extra assistance and support. This is invaluable while traveling with the whole family.

To get you started, we’ve chosen a few areas and hikes that we think are particularly family-friendly. Keep reading to learn more.

 

1. Experience adventure in the French Alps for the whole family

 

Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise is a traditional village nestled in the French Alps in the Savoie region. It offers landscapes full of beautiful green meadows, mountains, hidden lakes and more.  

 

Family friendly hikes

On a guided hiking trip in and around this village, your family will be able to venture far into the mountains. Whether you’re exploring the interesting local flora and fauna (think marmots), spending the night in a mountain hut or learning more about the alpine culture, there’s a lot of fun to be experienced here. Sounds exciting? Read about this family of 5 who recently enjoyed a fantastic hiking trip there. 


Join a certified guide on a 2-day family-friendly hiking trip around the Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise area


2. Camp out in the Dachstein Mountains near Salzburg

 

A combined hiking and camping trip is an awesome way to immerse yourself and your family in nature. The Dachstein Mountains in Austria are the perfect setting for this. There are lots of different hiking trails here. It’s also home to Lake Gosauseen, the perfect spot for water activities and a great place to cool down in the warmer months. 

 

Family friendly hikes
Hike through the crisp mountain air. Photo courtesy of Marie Lollok Klementova.

The camping element of this trip gives kids new experiences and teaches them new skills, particularly if they’re involved in meal preparation. Plus, sleeping in tents is great fun.


Explore the beautiful Dachstein Mountains on a five-day hiking and camping trip


3. Visit the highest mountain in Slovenia with the whole family

 

The Julian Alps are a national treasure in Slovenia, particularly Mount Triglav which is the highest mountain in the country. With several hiking trails that wind through the mountains, this is a great destination for kids. One awesome adventure would be to hike between the different mountain huts in the Triglav National Park, sleeping in one overnight and setting off for the next one in the morning.  

If your family is feeling more adventurous, you can even attempt a climb to the summit of Mount Triglav. At 2,863 meters, this climb is not easy. It involves a via ferrata as well as hiking and is only suitable for those over 10 years of age. However, it’s a lot of fun and teaches young people (and the not so young) a lot about perseverance and working towards a goal. 


Take your family on a 4-day hut-to-hut hiking experience to remember in Triglav National Park. 


4. Experience family fun in the magical Dolomites 

 

The Dolomites are an excellent place to take your kids for a hike. Here you’ll find trails for all levels and age groups. There is endless natural beauty to observe in the mountains, valleys, and lakes of the area.  There are also great lessons to be taught regarding how we can best protect these areas of natural beauty.

 

Family friendly hikes.
Take in the spectacular mountains of the Dolomites. Photo courtesy of Marie Lollok Klementova.
Family friendly hikes
Let your children run wild in the mountains. Photo courtesy of Marie Lollok Klementova.

The Dolomites have witnessed many historic events, including the two world wars. This makes them an excellent spot for learning more about history too. Your only difficulty will be choosing which of the awesome iconic sites you hike to first. 

And if you want to keep reading about family vacations in this amazing country, don’t miss our guide with the best outdoor activities to do in Italy with kids.


See the best of the Dolomites on a week of camping and hiking near  Cortina d’Ampezzo. 


5. Explore the natural beauty of the Sierra de Gredos

 

In the Sierra de Gredos mountain range in Spain, you’ll find spectacular granite mountains reaching over 2,000 meters, as well as stunning gorges, rivers, and lakes. This mountain range is also home to interesting native plant life and wildlife. 

 

Family friendly hikes.
Explore the rivers and lakes of the Sierra de Gredos. Photo courtesy of Pablo Nieto.

The mountains are easily accessible from Madrid and the many trails are varied and suitable for beginners and children alike. Plus, there are also several mountain huts where you can stay. We’d recommend staying here for at least a couple of nights to maximize your time spent in the mountains.


Discover the beautiful scenery and flora and fauna of the Sierra de Gredos over two days


 

So, now you have all the information you need to start planning your next great family-friendly hiking trip, it’s time to start booking. Check out all the hiking trips available worldwide and make your next family trip an active one!

 

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