- Name GR5 (GR5)
- Distance de sentier 2,600 km, 1,616 milles
- Durée en jours 130 jours
- Début de sentier Bergen op Zoom (Nl)
- Fin de sentier Nice (F)
- Classement Traildino MW, Marche modérée, sentier de randonnée
- Classement Traversée de montagne T1, Randonnée
Northsea - Riviera, three months
The GR5 is one of the most popular long distance hikes in Europe. And with reasons: the trail connects the North Sea with the Mediterranean and crosses some of the best and most varied mountain ranges of the continent. If you want, you can continue the GR5 north into Great Brittain: the E2.
Along this trail, friendships were coined and hiking clubs were born... Not surprisingly, a lot of information can be found on the world wide web.
The trail starts in the Netherlands, Bergen op Zoom. Soon the path enters Flanders and its sandy grounds and typical villages. The GR5 again enters the Netherlands, the old and interesting city of Maastricht. Next is the Ardennes region of Belgium, the romantic and forested hills with its grey houses and farms. Third country is Luxembourg. The path follows the border with Germany, along the meandering river Moselle and its castles.
In France the GR5 explores the Vosges, then the Jura, sometimes crossing the border with Switzerland, and finally, after crossing the lake of Geneva by ferry, it follows the length of the Alps. Highlight here is the Mont Blanc. But also the Vanoise, Écrins, Queyras and Mercantour. The trail ends in Nice, good place for a refreshing bath and good meal before returning home.
Many hikers made a life experience of this hike, often returning year after year to tag another section on the record. Nowadays the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostela is probably more popular, highlighting the spiritual needs people probably have.