We have said it before and we say it again. Day hikes are such a great and easy way to add an activity to a holiday. No matter if you are used to hiking, if you are new into hiking or just don´t feel for a multi-day hiking trip. You will get your adrenalin kicks, you will challenge your comfort zones, you will get an outstanding experience and you will meet lots and lots of people sharing your interest in nature. In the mountains we all become friends, especially if there are tricky parts or if you need to aske for help or advice. Everyone is willing to share their experience and will do their best to encourage you.
What is a day hike?
We think of day hikes like "luxuary hiking" and a day hike can also be a biking or kayaking tour, everything that involves some kind of physical activitiy.
Besides being able to "cherry pick" hikes of your own liking every day, day hikes give you a lot of flexibility from how streneous the hike is to how you choose to sleep and eat. They are also the perfect way to start hiking or simply something to add to your trip if you want a nice mix of different acitivities and places to visit.
Flower trail, Grindelwald, Switzerland
We started hiking with our kids in our own neighbourhood, in Sweden, when they were young. We then went to Switzerland and Italy where spectacular views are within easy reach using gondolas or ski lifts. Later on we shifted to hikes that were more streneous and without using any transportation like gondolas.
We have also done some multi-day hikes freecamping along the way in Sweden and multi-day hikes staying overnight in mountain huts (refugios) in Spain.
Refugio de Ulldeter, Pyrenées
What day hike to choose?
In the beginning we found it difficult to find hikes at the right "level". With small kids and if you are not used to it you have to know that. The hike can´t be too long or too many metres of height. Also, some people like myself are really afraid of heights and it is not always an option to turn around.
One good thing to keep in mind when planning your hike is that for most people it takes around three hours to walk an ascent of 800-1,000 metres. If it is a rocky trail it will take longer and if it is an esy walked trail without any obstacles shorter.
For some a streneous hike is repellent while for others too much "air" around your feet is deterrent. So, we elaborated our own (subjective) colour system with inspiration from skiing to define the difficulty of the hike - green, blue, red and black with an asterix (*) as a sign for those afraid of heights. This is of course a very subjective ranking of hikes from our point of view.
What to bring and how to dress?
If you plan to stay overnight, read our packing list for camping here.
What shoes to choose when hiking?
This is probably one of the most common questions asked. For a good reason! Do I need to buy and wear heavy hiking boots? Why does not my comfy running shoes work just fine? And what if I constantly struggle with blisters? Read more about which shoes to choose here.
How difficult is the hike?
Very limited ascent/descent, mostly flat.
No tricky or nerve thrilling paths.
Moderate ascent/descent up to 500 metres of height.
No tricky or nerve thrilling paths.
Ascent/Descent up to 1,500 metres of height.
A few tricky and/or nerve thrilling paths.
Ascent/Descent more than 1,000 metres of height.
Several tricky and nerve thrilling paths.
* Some part(s) involve steep
climbing or cliff hangers that
might be scary if you are
afraid of heights.
Start planning your hike!