Europe’s varied geography lends itself to hundreds of day walks that require nothing more than an average level of fitness and good shoes.
Here are five of the most scenic and most accessible. The majority of visitors can enjoy these walks, and because of their location in the southern part of the continent, three of them can be undertaken year-round. Spring and fall are especially good times, when the weather is more temperate and the crowds thinner.
I have listed the walks in order of increasing difficulty. All that’s left to do is read about them and then plan your dream trip…
Croatia‘s Plitvice Lakes National Park is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. 16 interconnected lakes in hues of blue, green and turquoise sit on two levels and are connected by cascades and waterfalls, including 256-feet (78 meters) high Veliki Slap. Wooden boardwalks curve around and over the water, giving the landscape a fairy tale-like appearance.
The surrounding rocky outcrops, mostly dolomite and limestone, harbor some caves that can also be visited.
You’ll probably spend more time than anticipated snapping photos of this water wonderland, so plan for an entire day, especially if coming from Zagreb, the capital.
The park is huge at nearly 115 square miles (300 square kilometers) and you could spend several days here, using the small train and low-noise electric boats to move between different parts.
There is an admission fee of 180 kunas (about US$29) for one day, in high season — less at other times of year. This includes transportation within the park, which also has cafés.