I don’t know how it happened, but 2017 is gone. Man. This year was an epic year for hiking. I spent a month hiking around Iceland and I did some beautiful hikes in France, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Spain, Montenegro, Czechia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovakia. Iceland was amazingly huge, so beautiful that it became scary sometimes. France somehow felt familiar and made a deep mark on my soul. It’ll be hard not go back one day.
I got a new pair of shoes – Mendel Island, a new one person tent Lunar Solo from SMD and I lost my lovely Opinel knife when hiking the PPT in Montenegro. I actually lost many other things too, but since I’m blessed with a leaky memory for unimportant things, right now I can’t think of anything specific.
In terms of hiking, a significant plus for me was that I managed to hike in many countries. In particular, Iceland had been on my list for a really long time and having a whole month there was brilliant. I also managed to nail more long hikes than the previous year which is something I really wanted to do. As far as the negatives for the year, I didn’t manage to visit Norway, Finland or Ukraine even though I had got as far as planning hikes in those places. Life has taught me to be happy for the things I’ve done and to be chilled out about things I haven’t done or I don’t have. Aside from that, I failed completely in hiking the Cathar Way, about 240 km in the south of France. (I think that’s why I haven’t been very active recently on my website – it somehow took away my energy to write about hiking – But now that spring it on its way, it’s all back and ready to splash out!) What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Most of the time.
I hope that in 2018 I’ll do at least a few longer hikes in a brand new continent to me: North America.
Anyway – what 10 hikes to choose for this year’s list? Let’s not think about it twice and let’s choose some.
1. GR 132 (La Gomera, Spain)
One of my most memorable hikes of all time. If I want to think about something peaceful but not boring, I think about my time spent in La Gomera. (It’s also the most visited hike on this website.)
2. Fougax et Barrineuf – Montségur big loop hike (France)
The French Pyrenees are a serious candidate for my future home (I have a few of them already). It puts a smile on my face just to think of it. Lovely mountains, lovely people, lovely nature, lovely everything.
3. Víknaslódir Trail (Iceland)
An Amazing experience full of warm but still rough weather, relaxing days with Anna and a big sense of freedom. Oh, and, of course, without people which is always nice.
4. Malerweg (Germany)
One of the longest hikes of this year. Awesome rock formations and table mountains interspersed with tidy, lush Rye fields and green forests.
5. Silesian Beskids (Czechia / Poland)
Alright, I’m deeply biased with this one. It’s the place my grandfather was born and died, where I grew up and where most of my family still lives.
6. Around the land d’Aillou (France)
7. Mývatn to Ásbyrgi (Iceland)
Our first off-trail experience in Iceland. No people during the first three days, followed by the most powerful waterfall in Europe. A deep experience for every hiker.
8. Herceg Novi – Zlijebi (Montenegro)
Quite an ordinary hike but somehow it stuck with me. Maybe because I was living a very easy-going life at the time, maybe because I met a guy there who lived in Zlijebi with only a couple of goats, the sun above his head and an old semi-stray dog.
9. Laugavegur Trail (Iceland)
One of the world’s classic hikes. And with good reason!
10. Primorska Planinarska Transverzala (Montenegro)
The longest hike of the year. 180 km in Montenegrin autumn across white Dinar Alps full of stray dogs, wild goats and western winds.