Whether you’re a nature lover or fitness enthusiast, it doesn’t get much better than spending a day in the great outdoors. No matter where you are in the world, there’s bound to be a trail with a view that can be just as rewarding as winning the lottery.
From the soaring peaks of the Himalayas to mystical Machu Picchu, here is a list of some of our favourite hikes around the world:
Inca Trail – Peru
One of the most popular hikes in the world, the Inca Trail takes you through 82km (4 days of hiking) of mountainous terrain. While the journey can be strenuous, bearing witness to the mystical Machu Picchu at the end of the hike makes it all worthwhile.
Torres Del Paine National Park – Patagonia, Chile
Fancy an adventure to the end of the world? While many seasoned hikers travel to Patagonia to do the 4-day W-trek, there are also many day hikes in the national park that offer equally incredible sights. One of our favourites is the 17km French Valley trail that offers amazing views of Pehoe Lake and French Glacier.
Mt Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
Known as the ‘Roof of Africa’, hiking Mt Kilimanjaro is not for the faint-hearted. With a peak of 5895 metres, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. While difficult (to reach the peak, hikers travel through 5 distinct climate zones), the view from the top makes it all worthwhile.
Stairway to Heaven (Haiku Stairs) – Oahu, Hawaii
While hiking the original stairs is illegal (and comes with a hefty $1000 fine if caught), keen hikers can still climb the summit on one of the nearby legal trails. The Kaulana’ahane trail will take approximately 4 hours to complete, with a rewarding panoramic view of the Haiku Valley to welcome you at the top.
Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike – Arizona, USA
Each year, the Grand Canyon attracts over 5 million visitors. Of this number, less than 1 percent experience this natural wonder from below the rim. This epic hike starts from the North Kaibab Trail on the North Rim, where you descend 23km to the bottom of the canyon before connecting with the Bright Angel Trail and climbing 15km back out again at the South Rim.
Cinque Terre National Park – Italy
To experience the beautiful Italian Coast, minus the crowds of the Amalfi, a trip to the Ligurian coast in Cinque Terre National Park is a must. There are several walks that offer spectacular views of the rocky coastline, with some favourites being the Sentiero Azzurro trail and High Path.
Scottish National Trail – Scotland, UK
The Scottish National Trail is an 864km-long walking route that is the length of Scotland; starting in Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath. Luckily, the trail is made up of several small sections, making it possible for walkers to cover small parts of the trail.
Tonquin Valley – Alberta, Canada
Did you think Western Canada couldn’t take your breath away any more? Think again. This 44km horseshoe-shaped hike through Jasper National Park should be on everyone’s bucket-list! Some highlights include the Amethyst Lakes and the Ramparts mountain range.
Lauterbrunnen (Jungfrau) – Switzerland
Hiking amongst the Swiss Alps is sure to be on everyone’s bucket-list. Luckily, in Lauterbrunnen, you’re not limited by choice. In fact, there are 238 trails in the area waiting to be explored!
Cat Ba National Park – Vietnam
As if Ha Long Bay and its surrounds wasn’t beautiful enough, you can also spend a couple of hours hiking through Cat Ba National Park (on Cat Ba Island) and witness some pretty amazing panoramas! The track around the National Park is a short 3.5km, so allow about 2 hours to complete the circuit.