Are you up for some adventure, and are you thinking of hiking for your travel getaway? Hiking is a great exercise for people who want to be one with nature – it’s a great activity both for the young and old and can be enjoyed by beginners and experts.
Whether you are adventurous and are up for extreme hikes or want to enjoy the journey on the way to the peak, hiking is a fulfilling activity that is good for the bones, muscles, and heart. Moreover, the fulfillment one gets when reaching the top, not to mention the incredible view, is a priceless experience.
While there are many hiking destinations out there, here are ten of the ultimate hiking spots every hiker shouldn’t miss! Read on and discover which hiking spots should make the cut on every hiker’s bucket list.
Inca Trail, Peru
First on this list is the Inca Trail in Peru, known to be one of the hardest trails to hike in the entire world. This trail is not for the faint-hearted as the Inca trail is a 42-kilometer trek that can last up to four days with changing and unpredictable weather, making it extra challenging.
Hiking up the Inca Trail takes you back to the route followed by the ancient Inca people over 650 years ago. Hikers will be able to witness the original stonework and pass through the two tunnels created by the Incas, the ancient ruins of the Wiñay Wayna overlooking the Urubamba River, and numerous waterfalls.
Those who cannot complete the entire trail can opt to hike up an easy and short trail, which is what most tourists do.
Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
The Annapurna Circuit trail in Nepal makes the Inca Trail look like a breeze – after all; it is a 17-day journey that spans about 205 kilometers, taking hikers to the tallest peaks in the world. One of these is the Thorung Pass, which has an altitude of 17,770 feet.
The Poon Hill is another highlight which provides a stunning view of eight out of the 14 highest mountain peaks on the planet. This vantage point is best viewed during sunrise, so hikers try to reach the peak at this time.
If the 17-day journey is a challenge, there are easier alternatives for those who want to take on a shorter hike without compromising the view. The Annapurna Panorama Trek is a 3-5 day hike that ends in Poon Hill.
Samaria Gorge, Greece
This hike on the island of Crete is a 16-kilometer trek that descends through a narrow valley before reaching the Libyan Sea. The first part of the hike can be pretty tough, but the next 13 kilometers will be a stroll.
Halfway through the hike is the trail’s most iconic sight – a narrow gap where the gorge’s walls, which are 300 meters in height, are only a few meters apart from each other.
Finally, hikers will reach the small town of Agia Roumeli and rest at its black sand beach after a long hike before waiting for a boat back to the main town.
Hiking Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, can take up to 5-11 days, depending on the hiker’s acclimatization fitness and route. One of the most iconic and spectacular sites in Africa, almost 30,000 people take the journey up Kilimanjaro.
Casual hikers or mountaineers will best enjoy either the Marangu, Rongai, or Lemosho routes. The Marangu Route is the only route to offer accommodation and the shortest route at six days before reaching the Uhuru Peak.
On the other hand, the Rongai route is the only route to approach the mountain from the north. Compared to Marangu, Rongai features a more gradual slope. Lastly, the Lemosho route, which takes up to 7-11 days, offers the longest path. The least traveled path, the Lemosho route, begins on the western part of the mountain.
W Circuit, Torres Del Paines National Park, Chile
A simpler and more relaxed hike, the W Circuit trail in Torres Del Paines National Park is a travel destination more than a hiking destination.
While it is not popular among seasoned hikers because of how relatively easy the hike is, this destination still offers some of the best views along the way.
One of the best sights in this trek is the Paine Grande which features an incredible hanging glacier at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The hike takes about four to six days and is typically best experienced around December to February.
Milford Track, New Zealand
A five-day journey in a 53-kilometer trek, the Milford Track hike takes hikers to the most stunning landscapes on New Zealand’s South Island. Hikers will enjoy the scenery of Sutherland Falls, one of New Zealand’s highest waterfalls.
Diverse accommodation options during the journey include basic alpine huts, much more comfortable and luxurious private lodges—Marvel at the cold and pristine lakes, lush meadows, and snowy glaciers.
Everest Base Camp, Nepal
One of the most prominent mountains globally, Mount Everest features a 65-kilometer, one-way trail known as the rollercoaster of trekking. It goes up a mountain ridge before dropping down to a river and up the mountain ridge once more as it nears the base camps.
Hikers can take up to 12-14 days to complete the trek and climb up 18,000 feet; however, most of the walking is done at an altitude of 11,000 to 14,000 feet.
Highlights in this trek are the Namche Bazaar, the Everest View Hotel, which happens to be the highest hotel globally, and the Tengboche Monastery.
Tour Du Mont Blanc, Europe
This 170-kilometer trail that passes through France, Switzerland, and Italy is known to be one of the more luxurious hikes in the entire world. The trek takes about 11-12 days and boasts one of the most breathtaking and gorgeous sceneries and landscapes.
Hikers will pass through wide valleys, rhododendron forests, and lush meadows, as well as Alpine passes and villages. For those who would want to complete the trails in a more comfortable manner, cable cars are available, too.
The trail is well-marked and easy to follow. The food along the way is delightful, so be sure to indulge yourself with the best cuisines. Because Tour du Mont Blanc is more on the luxury side, there are many tour outfitters that offer services to make hiking more comfortable and convenient.
Cinque Terre Hike, Italy
One of Italy’s most scenic hikes, Cinque Terre, is an easy day hike that takes hikers along an ancient route and a view of the Mediterranean Sea. The trek will also pass through villages atop seashore mountains.
The best route to take is to start at Monterosso and end at Riomaggiore, stopping for coffee and lunch along the way, but you can also do it the other way around. Should you start in La Spezia, walk the trail and ride the train back to your accommodation.
The entire walk can take up to six hours, but some hikers prefer to enjoy the adventure and make the hike last for a few days to take in the incredible environment and view of the sea.
Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, USA
The trail, which is visible from the Grand Canyon rim snaking down the cliffside across a wide plain dropping towards Colorado River, is none other than the famous Bright Angel Trail, a 25-kilometer trail that drops 1,340 meters from the south canyon rim.
The drop goes all the way to the edge of the water over at the Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground. Hikers will be in awe of the scenery along the trail – that is why the trail is still a popular destination for non-hikers and hikers alike. Those who prefer to do a day hike will do a portion of the trail for the scenery.
While the Bright Angel Trail is a relatively light and easy trek, be mindful of the mule trains that share the route.
Hiking is truly a challenging yet enjoyable activity that is enjoyed by all ages. It is one of those few activities that allow people to be in touch with nature and spend some peaceful and relaxing days away from the everyday hustle and bustle of urbanization and modernization.
Nothing beats the simplicity of getting a pair of hiking boots and spending hours and days on end with fresh air, gorgeous scenery, the stillness of landscape, and solitude. The best part of it all is that every trail is best explored on foot, with no fancy equipment needed to enjoy what nature can offer. Plan your next hiking adventure and enjoy the hikes of a lifetime in the best destinations!