Hiking the GR10: One of Europe’s Most Varied and Well-Marked Long-Distance Trails
Most people enjoy going out for a walk in the countryside to get a breath of fresh air and take in the scenery, but some hiking enthusiasts (fundamentalists) try to make this their living reality for months on end as they dive deeper into nature and themselves.
Multi-day, well-marked paths are all the rage — well at least they were before the pandemic forced us all to retreat into our homes. Long distance hikes really embrace the popular maxim, it’s about the journey, not the destination. Of course, there is usually a provisional sort of destination to reach but it’s hardly the point of the adventure.
It’s all about maximizing your days, increasing those beautiful Aha moments and keeping things simple.
I have little doubt that if you do decide to go ahead with an undertaking of this sort, it may just turn out to be one of the most impactful experiences of your life, which will stay with you long after you return home and pack up the hiking gear.
My own expedition
I was fortunate to embark on my own little expedition when I had some free time after a long winter ski season. I had long been harbouring the idea of a long-distance hike for as long as I can remember and towards the end of my winter season, I began researching in earnest in the hope that I could make these dreams a reality.
I had few time constraints to worry about as it would be summer in Europe which meant the conditions would be ideal, with long daylight hours to ensure I’d get the most out of my days. The real parameters I had to focus on was the ability to pick up supplies regularly, temperature and weather variability, busyness of the trail and flight costs.
I narrowed it down to several interesting long-distance hikes in Europe that fit my criteria — Kungsleden in Sweden, the Via Dinarica trail in the Balkans, the GR20 on the island of Corsica and the GR10/11 in the Pyrenees, along the French/Spanish border. After some deliberation, my partner and I picked the GR10 as our first multi-day tramping…