Feb 13
The Best Multi-Country Hiking Tours

The Best Multi-Country Hiking Tours

Ryder-Walker’s Multiple Country Treks

Ryder-Walker’s treks are not only culturally and geographically unique, but some also have the added distinction of visiting multiple countries in the same trip. These multi-country hiking treks include:

When trekking through multiple countries, you’ll traverse alpine borders that are often minimally marked, with just small plaques or World War era guard buildings. The cultural shift between valleys can be striking. For example, on the Tour du Mont Blanc, you move between France, Italy, and Switzerland, Within each country, you’ll experience noticeable differences in cuisine, architecture, and lifestyle, even over short distances, such as between two alpine valleys.

Tour du Mont Blanc: France, Switzerland, & Italy

The Tour du Mont Blanc is the ultimate multi-country tour, as well as one of the most famous hiking tours in Europe. The trek circumnavigates the awe-inspiring Mont Blanc Massif, connecting footpaths around the entire mountain range. The Mont Blanc itself sits comfortably nearly straddling the triple border between France, Italy, and Switzerland, with each country separated by the nearly impenetrable mountain walls of the Mont Blanc.

In history the distance between these countries was akin to weeks of travel, with very little way to navigate Western Europe’s largest mountain without journeying far into the valleys below, however today there are some truly awe-inspiring constructions allowing for travel between France and Italy, including the Aiguille du Midi and Skyway Monte Bianco cable cars as well as the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

Today, when we walk the Tour du Mont Blanc we see firsthand the cultural effect of the region’s historic separation. While all three countries are equally idyllic and pastoral, when traveling between, for example, the alpine hubs of Chamonix in France and Courmayeur in Italy, we experience a distinct change in cuisine, language, and energy. There is little more satisfying than walking between the delicious meals of French Savoyard fondues and cheese dishes to an Italian restaurant serving a delicious array of pastas, cured meats, and fresh salads. This classic tour is a highly satisfying cultural expose, as well as one of the most renowned hiking goals in the world!

For the best chance to hike this route, we suggest planning as far ahead as possible, ideally up to a year in advance. Only pre-booked dates are available for our Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc trek. Our Guided TMB trips in June and August fill up quickly and we limit the number of guests to 13 ensuring a personalized experience.


Hiker’s Haute Route: Switzerland & France

The Hiker’s Haute Route begins its journey by traveling backward through the final days of the Tour du Mont Blanc, eventually splitting off from that route and traveling deep into the Swiss Alps. The Haute Route itself was originally designed as a ski touring route. It was meant to connect the Alpine recreation meccas of Chamonix and Zermatt. Today we hike a lower route beneath the imposing peaks and glaciers. Our journey will have us winding through increasingly forgotten valleys as we travel toward Zermatt.

After hiking over the high mountain border between France and Switzerland we travel through French-speaking Switzerland. In the distance of a single mountain pass, the spoken tongue becomes Swiss German. Some highlights of this tour include the French town of Chamonix. It is perhaps the most bohemian mountain town in the world. We will also see the Swiss town of Zermatt which sits beneath the Matterhorn. Another village on our way is the Swiss town of Sant Luc – a charming Swiss hillside town that is dotted with Bel Epoch hotels. In Sant Luc there is a town-wide fascination with astronomy. The clear Swiss skies support stunning stargazing and an excellent location for the local observatory.

The Hiker’s Haute Route is a challenging trek, dominated as it is by massive alpine passes and long distances without any support, however, this challenge is part of what makes the Hiker’s Haute Route such a prestigious and rewarding hiking route.


High Peaks of the Bavarian Tyrol: Germany & Austria

On our High Peaks of the Bavarian Tyrol trek, we travel between Germany’s Bavarian Tyrol and the Austrian Tyrol. These mountains, unlike some of our other multi-country trips, share a very close cultural history. Traveling between the German and Austrian villages has long been unobstructed. The trip itself begins beneath Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze, in the town of Garmisch. Garmisch is a town fallen straight from the pages of a fairy tale. You will find lederhosen stores on every corner and a multitude of charming historic Gertownhousesuses.

From Garmisch we set out on our circumnavigation of the Zugspitze. Travel through quaint villages such as the village of Erhrwald. Erhrwald supports multiple parades in which the locals dress up in traditional clothing and celebrate Austrian culture. We will also visit the village of Mittenwald, which is one of Austria’s most beautiful villages. It sports painted facades and stream/canals running through the town. Enjoy stunning views of the Alps as well as the Wetterstein range.

Haute Pyrénées Mountain Trek: France to Spain

The High Pyrénées stand out as one of Europe’s most rugged and secluded mountain ranges. Tucked far away from major urban centers, these craggy peaks are surrounded by quaint Basque villages and mountain huts, making them perfect bases for exploration. Unlike our other village-to-village treks, our  Haute Pyrénées Mountain Trek itinerary offers a unique experience by spending multiple nights in the charming villages of Cauterets, Gavarnie, and Torla. Immerse yourself in Basque culture and embark on unforgettable hikes each day. Despite their rugged appearance, the Pyrénées offer relatively accessible hiking, with a few longer days and occasional challenging stretches, making this guided itinerary a moderately difficult adventure.


Montenegro & Croatia: Highlights of the Adriatic Coast

Experience the best of both countries with our hiking adventure in Montenegro and Croatia: Highlights of the Adriatic Coast. Montenegro’s rugged beauty captivates with its Dinaric Alps, home to jagged peaks, deep canyons, and ancient forests. The 180-mile Adriatic coast of Montenegro is breathtakingly beautiful, with cliffs and fjords giving way to beaches and seaside villages, all bathed in a Mediterranean vibe. We begin with a visit to National Park Lovćen, then overnight in the historic port city of Kotor before hiking on the Vrmac peninsula with epic views of the Adriatic and Dalmatian Coast. Transitioning into Croatia, the country is adorned with over a thousand islands, offering a stunning backdrop of white boulders and azure waters. Inland, vineyards and olive orchards dot the countryside, creating a peaceful and picturesque setting. Continuing our journey, we drive up Croatia’s coastline, with a stop in Dubrovnik, a city full of historic landmarks and vibrant culture. The following days, we visit the islands Korčula and Hvar, where we have the unique opportunity to climb to both islands’ highest summits. We close the trek with a visit to the coastal city of Split, known for its sandy beaches and historic architecture, completing our unforgettable adventure along the Adriatic Coast.


Find you perfect trek image with hiker in the mountains

About the author: Branford Walker
Since the age of three, Branford has either participated in the development of or been on almost every trip Ryder-Walker has to offer. He is Ryder-Walker’s lead Customer Service agent and also writes and guides for the company.  He lives in New York.
Branford Walker
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