These hiking adventures feature different levels of effort, terrain and comfort. Here, we dive into our favorite family-friendly hiking trips. Let’s face it, memories like this are supposed to be shared!
The key to a successful trek with small kids is a hiking trip with a great deal of flexibility as well as broad interest. The Engadine Trek is the perfect flexible trip to introduce your young ones to the European hiking experience. The Engadine is a peaceful valley that lies in the Eastern Swiss Alps. It is filled with historic locations, romantic charm, and some of the most peaceful village to village hiking Ryder Walker has to offer.
The true magic of the Engadine for a family comes from the area’s fantastic transportation systems. Charming red “toy” trains run through the valley making shorter hiking days a consistent option. The Engadine also has a robust system of lifts, trams, and funiculars. This makes sure that younger hikers never have to go farther than they are comfortable with without the excitement of a gondola ride! The Engadine also has a charming series of castles which run through the valley. This makes for excellent side expeditions for the entire family!
Hiking with teenagers is the perfect way to connect with your children and bring the family together. The key to a successful hiking trip with teenagers is a location that is filled to the brim with interest. This includes exciting locations to visit, opportunities to swim, lively villages, and exciting cultures. When I was fourteen my father took me to research the first iteration of the Croatian Dalmatian Coast Trek. The trip is still one of my favorite memories from that time period.
The Dalmatian Coast is the stunning shoreline which runs along the Croatian section of the Adriatic Sea. Here cobalt blue waters crash into the white limestone shore. Busy villages popular with young tourists bustle throughout the day and night. Series of fantastic hikes take you across islands, through ancient forests, and to secluded coves. The trip culminates in the city of Dubrovnik, the shooting location for Kings Landing in HBO’s Game of Thrones. This is sure to be a hit with any teenager!
By the time your children have grown into a young adult they are ready to experience the most epic tours. The more adventurous the better! The Remote Westfjords Trek will take you across the moonscape of Northwestern Iceland. Here the stark volcanic rocks of the legendary island meet with the waters of the Arctic Ocean. Whales, seals, and puffins are daily sights. This trip is guaranteed to be a life changing experience with thrilling boat rides, challenging hikes that follow stone cairns through the wildest reaches of Iceland, and a direct look into Iceland’s Viking history. The trip begins and ends in the capital of Reykjavik, a surprisingly lively city. A wealth of historic locations and one of the most welcoming local populaces in the world can be found.
Experience full engaging days over mountain passes and nights spent in charming mountainside huts and inns. Of these more involved hiking trips The Eiger Trail, which travels between the glitzy Swiss town of Gstaad to the tourist hub of Grindelwald beneath the impressive north wall of the Eiger, is the most spectacular.
As you triumph over multiple engaged days of hiking you will experience the dramatic heights of the Alps rising up as you approach the alpine giants: the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. Of particular note here is the day between the village of Kandersteg and the tiny farmer’s community of Griesalp. You will pass over the staggering Hohturli pass, which skirts the edge of the Blumlisalp Glacier and is the highest trekking day on the entire Via Alpina!
When traveling with a multi-generational group the most special trip you can have is one which brings something of interest for everyone. A truly dynamic trip is the best choice. For the best trek for multi-generational hikers we recommend the Via Ladinia Trek. The Via Ladinia trip will bring you on an exceptional tour through the limestone spires of the Italian Dolomites. This region of Italy is particularly unique because it is a tri-lingual region where Italian, German, and the traditional Ladin language are all spoken. This area is rich with local history, including locations where the most frenetic battles along the Austrian frontier during World War I were fought. “Blood Mountain” is a mountain above the lake town of Alleghe which was decapitated to stymie the Italian advance, and multiple locations which are integral to the unique Ladin mythology.
The hiking here is highly flexible with both relaxing and demanding hiking options on offer every day. This trip also boasts some of the best accommodations in the entirety of the Alps. The beds are magnificent, the food is rich, and the service is impeccable. The Via Ladinia covers every possible base, interesting culture, excellent and flexible hiking, and fantastic accommodation. It’s the perfect option for a multi-generational group!