Kids deserve to explore the outdoors not only for long-lasting memories but also for their well-being. Children learn to appreciate and respect nature while building their self-esteem, confidence, and curiosity. But, suitability, logistics, and safety when hiking with the young ones should be a priority. That is why hut-to-hut hikes are the best compromise!
Unlike tent trips, this type of hiking allows you to explore the finest places in Europe while staying comfy at night. You do not stress packing up bulky items such as a tent, sleeping bags, and utensils. Instead, you get everything in the huts, and all you have to do is pack your kids outdoors gears and clothing.
Isn’t that fantastic? If this sounds like your ideal treks, then keep reading for the best hut-to-hut hikes for kids in Europe’s worth exploring. I will also give you some tips to ensure you enjoy every moment with your loved ones.
Six best hut to hut hikes for kids in Europe
Dolomites Mountains, Italy
In summer, the weather in the Dolomites is fantastic, with temperatures not exceeding 25°. This is one of the best weather for the kids as they get to hike and engage in other outdoor activities. The amazing scenery is also a sight to behold. You get a spectacular view of pristine alpine lakes, vast meadows, and ethereal limestone cliffs.
This mountain presents many trails suitable for all levels and ages. One such trail is Alta via 1 that stretches for 150km. It takes about 8 days to cover the path, but completing it with kids might sound unrealistic. So, you can choose to hike a section based on your plans.
Learning is also part of the adventure. The kids will learn how to protect the area’s natural beauty and the history of world wars. The place has witnessed historical events, among them the two world wars.
Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, French Alps
The beautiful scenery of the French Alps, consisting of hidden lakes, mountains, and green meadows, is worth exploring with your kids. Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise is the best place to adventure with the kids. During summer, the area boasts of meandering rivers and vast green playgrounds. Therefore, the kids get to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities.
If your kids love skiing, then you should visit the place during winter. Though you will have to endure the weather, the ski activities in some of the best resorts are worth the sacrifice. Always remember to dress for the trip!
Kids will appreciate the indigenous flora and fauna and learn of the military remaining in the area.
The mountain huts in the place are also comfy and built for the winter season. The structures alone are sure to win your kids’ hearts. But, take guided hikes to ensure the kids get every detail.
Triglav National Park, Slovenia
4-day hut-to-hut hiking gives you the best experience of the Julian Alps in Slovenia. Hike between the various Alps in Triglav National Park and take stops at mountains huts for sleepovers. The king of all is Mount Triglav, the highest mountain in the Country. Its extensive, run-off and major geological impact is an important occurrence that kids can learn about. In fact, the official symbol and flag of Slovenia feature the mountain’s ‘three-headed’ peak.
You can attempt to hike to the peak of Mount Triglav, at 2,863 meters. In doing so, you will pass through Ferrata and hike through challenging trails. As such, it is only suitable for children above ten years. There is a lot to learn and enjoy for the young; they build perseverance and appreciate the importance of working towards specific goals.
Greina Pass hut to hut hike in Switzerland
Greina Pass offers 15 miles hike starting from Runachex to Ghirone. The kids can tackle the moderate trek in the plateau engulfed in the mountains. It takes only two days where you pass through beautifully untouched and protected landscapes. Kids get a spectacular view of trickling mountain brooks and lush emerald pastures.
The route also takes you through magical woodland, rivers, and the valleys. As you begin to climb, you get a spectacular view of the charming waterfall and churn holes. Allow the kids some break before you tackle the last steep section that takes you to Terri hut. Here you spend the night before you begin your journey the next day, descending through wetlands. This part of the journey takes you to Ghirone, your final destination.
Eagle Walk in Tyrol, Austria
Eagle walk trail is a renowned hiking destination in Europe that stretches 413 km encompassing 33 stages. The hike might sound too much for the kids, but, for them take the shortest trail with three simple steps. Start your walk at Innsbruck, ascending to Hafelekar 2269 m high. This is the top point of your hike, where you begin to descend through Goetheweg. Geotheweg gives you a spectacular view of Innsbruck and other surrounding mountains.
The route continues through switchbacks and small side valley crossings to the first stop at Pfeishütte. Here you spend the night at the mountain hut and proceed to Halleranger Alm the next day. You start by ascending to Stempeljoch then descend to spectacular Halltal valley. You then move through the red hiking trail, Wilde Bande Steig, to your sleeping huts at Hallerangerhaus. The next day head to Scharnitz via a wide path where you take the train back to Innsbruck.
Note that the second day requires an average of 6-hour. So ensure your kids can handle it. The ideal age is 15 years and above.
Sierra de Gredos, Spain
The stunning lakes, rivers, and gorges with remarkable granite mountains of up to 2,000 meters await you at Sierra de Gredos. Your kids will get a chance to learn and appreciate the various native plants and wildlife. The mountains are accessed through Madrid, where you choose a suitable trail based on your experience.
For children, start your adventure at La Plataforma and head to Puerto Candeleda. This route is easier to walk across and offers an incredible view of the Sierra de Gredos Mountains. Once you hike for a few kilometers, it will start getting warmer, which is good for your kids. There are also several mountain huts for sleepovers that allow you to maximize your time with kids comfortably.
Tips for hut to hut hikes with kids
- Teach your kids safety and survival skills: Children should stay safe along the trail. Teach them hiking skills that include; awareness of dangerous plants, being attentive to the surrounding, staying in groups, and always being in a group. Prepare your kids to carry their backpack with a survival blanket, a whistle, snacks, and water. It comes in handy in case of emergencies.
- Plan your route: Get a map of your chosen location and check every detail of your course beforehand. Know where to take rest stops and distances between huts to make the hike smooth for the kids.
- Make a hut reservation in advance: If you plan to hike during peak season, the huts will be busy. Since kids are joining the trip, you’ll want to avoid any unforeseen circumstances, so always book lodges in advance.
- Choose destinations that match your kid’s age: While the above destinations are best for kids, some have age limitations. You do not want to stretch the limit of your children, so choose trails that are easy for them.
- Go when the weather is good for the kids: As an adult, you can withstand extreme weather with the right gear. But, kids are susceptible to change in conditions. Plan your hike during the warm season. Check the weather last minute before you leave to ensure the forecast is right for the young ones.
- Get an experienced mountain guide: You cannot afford to risk your kid’s lives by exploring new places alone. Spend some few dollars and let a qualified guide show you the ropes. It gives children peace of mind and allows them to learn every detail of the area from the escort.
- Carry a sleeping bag liner for you and your kids: You will get the beddings in the huts, but do you know how many people have used them before? You guessed right. A sleeping bag liner is the best way for kids to avoid getting in touch with dirty linens.
- Bring cash: Most of the huts services are offered on a cash basis—no debit or credit cards. To avoid being on the wrong side, carry enough money based on your research on the pricing. Remember to keep your valuables and cash in a secure travel wallet.
- Pack hut slippers: After trekking for hours, staying with hiking shoes can be a nightmare. Avoid this by packing a pair of comfy indoor slipper for everyone.
- Pack lots of snacks: Snacks have a way of winning kids’ hearts even when they are tired. And, the last thing you want is for your children to get hungry far from the stop points. Pack more snacks and some surprises for the kids for every milestone trekked.
- Let kids lead: Children like taking the lead. Let them do it; they will set the ideal pace and rest when they feel exhausted. However, when trailing a technical trail or one with dangerous wild animals, then children should not be ahead!
- Make it fun: Hiking the trail is exciting for the kids, but wait until they get bored? You will not like it! Children lose interest so easily if they do the same things for an extended period.
Engage them in some exciting activities such as hiding fun treasures and the scavenger hunts along the trek. If all activities seem to fail, sing hiking songs to elevate everyone’s moods. Or even tell stories to kids as you hike and pause when they take a break. This encourages them to keep going.
Key Insights & Takeaways
Tick any of the six destinations and attest to the excitement of hut-to-hut hikes, especially when done with kids. Each itinerary has been chosen to ensure it is easy and presents learning opportunities for your children. Just pick a destination based on your children’s age and go during the warm season. Making reservations earlier and planning your route are tips to keep everything smooth during the trip.
About the author:
Name: Ally Mash
Bio: Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.
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