Backpackers and long distance trekkers will soon have a new trail to explore in Central Europe, where a new route is schedule to open this summer. The trail, which has been dubbed the European Peace Walk (EPW), was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, while fostering a sense of cooperation and understanding a century after the start of that horrible conflict.
The EPW will begin in Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia and run to the Mediterranean Sea at Trieste in Italy. Along the way, it passes through five countries total, with Hungary and Slovenia rounding out the list. The route covers approximately 520 km (323 miles) and is expected to take trekkers 22 days to complete, end-to-end. The trail organizers are quick to point out that there will be multiple access points however, allowing hikers to walk as little or as much as they would like.
As with other European hiking trails, the EPW will be free to hike and feature budget accommodations across its entire length. In fact, numerous hostels are already in place along the route, granting backpackers access to basic, affordable accommodations located approximately a days walk apart. This frees them up to carry a lighter pack if they choose, as they can leave their tents, cookware and other camping equipment behind. For those looking for more comfortable accommodations, nicer hotels will be available as well, and designated campsites will still be available for those who choose to use them.
The trail looks to offer trekkers a great mix of historical locations, cultural interaction and scenic beauty. The landscapes that it passes through are said to be breathtaking, and the towns and villages that fall along the path are already preparing to welcome visitors from all corners of the globe. The atmosphere on the route is expected to match that of the Camino de Santiago in Spain, which is a route that is famous for drawing backpackers together from a wide variety of locations and backgrounds.
The European Peace Walk is scheduled to open on July 28 of this year, and it is expected to be quite popular with adventure travelers. In fact, organizers for the EPW are predicting that it will draw more than 30,000 visitors per year before the end of its first decade of existence.
If you’d like to be amongst the first to walk the new trail, registration is already open.