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Established just five years ago, the Via Alpina is Europe's first trans-Alps trail. This 3,500-mile link-up of local wanderwegs—many of them hundreds or thousands of years old—winds through eight countries along the backbone of, Europe's greatest mountain range.
You'd need more than a year off (not to mention some serious bail-out money) to hike the whole thing—which is why we scoured the route to find its greatest, most mountainous 100 miles. Hiking from the Swiss villages of Adelboden to Altdorf, you'll cross the route's tallest passes, snack on local cheeses and chocolates (so tasty you'll be ruined for life), and have a chance to summit the Monch, a Mount Rainier-like peak and Eiger neighbor that you can climb in an afternoon.
-Mapped by Backpacker Editors