Best Hiking Trails Around The World

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Hiking is one of the best activities to create a special sense of connection with nature, get away from the humdrum of the nine to five.  For some, hiking pushes the mental threshold further to reach the finishing line, testing their strength, determination and endurance. These are breathtaking places where it is only accessible by your own two feet, over glaciers, canyons and oceanside walks. 

 

Early mornings are the best times to start your hike. Be sure to read these essential tips before you go. So prepare yourself with a good pair of shoes, a backpack filled with survival gear and you are good to go.

In this post, we have hikers who are sharing some of their most incredible climbs around the world. There are probably many more trails which did make it to the list, do share your favorite hiking treks in the comments below.

Table of Contents

Roys Peak, New Zealand

Contributed by Jennifer Parkes from Backyard Travel Family

Roys Peak, Wanaka, New Zealand
Roys Peak, Wanaka, New Zealand (Photo Credit: Backyard Travel Family)

Roys Peak is possibly one of the most instagrammed hikes in New Zealand.  Located in the South Island of New Zealand, only an hour from the famous tourist spot of Queenstown, is the growing town of Wanaka: home to Roys Peak.

 

Roys Peak is a 5-6 hour hike to an incredible viewpoint as well as the summit of Mt Roy.  The views from the “instagram viewpoint” are incredible, but make sure you head up another 30 minutes to the actual summit of Mt Roy.  So many people are happy to take the pretty photo and head back down, but if you have walked all that way, wouldn’t it make sense to do the extra half hour and actually reach the summit?

 

The views over Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps are just incredible and standing up on top of Mt Roy, you really are standing on top of a mountain.  It is definitely most beautiful when there is snow on top of the mountains.

 

The track itself is a rather boring uphill climb.  Unlike other New Zealand hikes that often meander through bush to reach a peak, this is a 4WD style track that zig zags up the hill, relentlessly.  There are no flat sections, just an uphill slog to the top.  It is extremely exposed to the elements so can be scorching in the hot summer sun and freezing and snowy during winter.  It is a 1300m elevation gain after all, so you are hitting alpine territory.

 

The best time to climb is to plan to be at the summit or the viewpoint for sunrise or sunset.  Sunrise in the summer may mean hiking at 3am, compared to a more leisurely winter wakeup (however it will be freezing at sunrise in winter)  Whatever time you choose, do make sure you check the weather forecast.  You do not want to hike all that way for it to be in the cloud. 

 

Please note that the whole track is closed from 1 October to 10 November for lambing, as the track crosses farm land.  There is no wriggle room here, so plan around this, if Roys Peak is a must do on your trip.  

 

 

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania

Contributed by Sharon Gourlay from Tasmania Explorer

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
Wineglass Bay, Tasmania (Photo Credit: Dive Into Tasmania)

If you love your hiking trails served up with gorgeous scenery and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you’ll love the hike to Wineglass Bay. Located in Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania, Wineglass Bay is often listed in top 10 lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Since access is only via foot or boat it’s extra special as this keeps the huge crowds away and makes for a great hiking trail!

The hiking trail itself is relatively straightforward and it only takes about an hour each way from the nearby car park. The walk is harder than it sounds though as its basically straight up and straight down with many steps. At the top are some great views of Wineglass Bay from a lookout as pictured here. Although this can sound daunting, the trek is well looked after and even our four year old walked most of it. On arrival at Wineglass Bay, you’ll find a gorgeous beach complete with white sand, aqua blue sea and contrasting orangey rocks. It’s stunning!

If this isn’t far enough for you, there are many other great walks from here within the Freycinet National Park. To see more, you can also walk back to the beginning via a different path called the Hazards Beach Circuit which takes longer but is flatter. All up, going one way over the lookout and then back around the Hazards Beach takes about five hours.

Along the way, you have a great chance of seeing native Tasmanian wildlife such as quolls and wallabies. You can do this walk at any time of year, just check forecasts as it wouldn’t be much fun in the rain. It is at its most popular in summer and up until easter so visiting just outside of these times can give you great weather and less people.

Perhentian Kecil Village To Coral Bay Hike, Malaysia

Contributed by David from Paid Surveys Fanatic

Keranji Beach, Malaysia
Keranji Beach, Malaysia (Photo Credit: Paid Surveys Fanatic)

This hike is the perfect way to explore tropical beaches and jungle with a good mix of walking past places where you can stop for a drink or swim while also often feeling like you have left civilization all together. Perhentian Kecil is one of the Perhentian Islands located off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. It’s reached via an easy boat trip from the mainland and is known for its great beaches and underwater environments. However, it also has great hiking.


There are a few options but my favourite is from the main village to Coral Bay. This hike takes just over an hour but I recommend you take your swimsuit and stop along the way. The start of the hike is through the village which is a refreshing change to the tourist areas. Here you can see how the locals live, pick up a fresh juice and take a look at the local mosque.

 

Then get ready to leave the village behind as you may make your way through the jungle around the southern part of the island. From time to time, there are tiny, private coves, but otherwise, the jungle surrounds you which is good as it provides plenty of good shade. The first milestone is hitting Petani Beach which is gorgeous. There are a couple of hotels here so you can stop and have a swim or a cool drink. From this point until the end at Coral Bay, there are a few small, pretty beaches usually with one hotel and a restaurant.

 

 

While there were a few people on these beaches, we rarely saw anyone on the paths which helped us feel far removed from the touristy parts of the islands. The path was generally in good condition although some sections were overgrown or had trees across it. Perhentian Kecil is best visited from March to late October. Visiting outside of this time is during the monsoon when the island basically shuts down and boat trips decrease and can cease all together in bad weather. I recommend going early in the day when it is cooler.


Bring along a waterproof backpack on your hike as you may decide to just go for a quick dip or kayaking while there.

Mount Batur, Indonesia

Contributed by Jackie Szeto & Justin Huynh from Life Of Doing

Mount Batur, Indonesia
Sunrise Trek at Mount Batur, Indonesia (Photo Credit: Life Of Doing)

Hiking Mount Batur to watch the sunrise is a unique experience when visiting Bali, Indonesia. With a summit of 1,717 meters (5,633 feet), it’s doable to complete this beginner-friendly hike in a few hours. 

 

The best way to do this hike is to join a group trekking tour. The tour includes round-trip transportation from Ubud accommodations, guides, breakfast, water, and a snack box with hard-boiled eggs, a banana, and bread. Pick-up from accommodations starts from 1:30am-2:00am, and then the hike starts at 4:00am. It will be dark, so flashlights or headlamps are needed. 

 

The hiking trail isn’t marked, yet all the trekking groups use the same one to ascend the mountain. While the trail isn’t difficult, watch out for loose rocks and gravels. Some areas can get slippery so it’s recommended to have shoes with grippy traction. Hiking in running or trainer shoes is possible as many visitors wore these types of footwear. There will be some inclines so walk up slowly and/or ask the guides for additional support. 

 

At the summit, find a spot to sit and relax until the sun rises. If you have a drone with you, it will be a great opportunity to capture sunrise on the volcano or the people climbing up to the top. Drone safety should be considered before flying the drone.

When you are the top, it is the perfect time to grab a snack from your snack box and/or purchase hot coffee and tea from the small cafe. 

 

Once the sun rises between 6:00am-6:30am, it peeks through the layers of clouds, and life on this inactive volcano wakes up. Hikers are rewarded with a gorgeous view of Lake Batur and the surrounding caldera. As a heads up, seeing the sunrise isn’t guaranteed as it depends on the skies and weather conditions. 


Even though it’s an early start to do this hike, it’s well worth the effort to see the sunrise. Since it’s the start of the day, there is a full day to explore or relax in Bali. 

Mount Major,
New Hampshire USA

Contributed by Jamie Italiane from The Daily Adventures of Me

Mount Major
Mount Major (Photo Credit: The Daily Adventures of Me)

Sometimes the best hikes aren’t the longest, but are accessible to many and have stunning views. Mount Major in New Hampshire is just such a hike. This 1,786-foot mountain sits in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire arguably one of the best spots for fall foliage in the world. 

 

In about three hours you can complete this moderate hike by using one of three main trails. At the top is an old hiker’s outpost as well as stunning views of the surrounding White Mountains, including Mount Washington, the US East Coast’s highest peak, and Lake Winnepasuake. 

After the hike, you can spend time exploring the area including the adorable town of Meredith, New Hampshire. 


Tongariro Alpine Crossing,
New Zealand

Contributed by Trisha from Try Wandering More

tongariro turq lake (1 of 1) (1)
Tongariro Turq Lake, New Zealand (Photo Credit: Try Wandering More)

During your New Zealand Road Trip, you cannot miss hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing located in central North Island, widely regarded as one of the best day hikes in the world. It is part of one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and home to Mt. Doom (Mt. Ngauruhoe) from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies which has made this trail ever so famous. Its natural and cultural significance for the local Maori people has led to The Tongariro National Park being given dual UNESCO world heritage status. 

 

This 19.4-kilometre moderate difficulty trail takes you through an other-worldly volcanic landscape with perfectly conical active volcano peaks topped with solidified lava and snow, steam vents, red craters, emerald lakes and rainforest. You will be awe when traversing this place.

 

It is a one-way hike. So you’ll have to park your car at the ending point (Ketetahi Car Park) and get on a bus to the start of the trail (Mangatepopo car park). It takes one about 6-8 hours to complete the hike, but we took a whopping 10 hours because we took multiple stops, a lot of pictures and did not have the proper gear. So our top tip is to do this hike with hiking shoes and sticks. Some areas of the trek are slippery, so proper gear is a must. 

 

The hike is done all year round. It is most crowded in the summer months from December to February due to stable weather conditions. Do not forget to pre-book the shuttle as it sells out fast during these months. To beat the crowds, get on the first shuttle up.

In the winter months, the area is covered in snow. If you don’t have snow/ice hiking experience, you will have to book a guide who will provide all the required equipment too. If you have ice hiking experience, you can go by yourself but finding a shuttle may be tough.

 

All in all, don’t miss this epic hike. If you have more time, do the 43.1km 3-4 days trek through the Tongariro Northern Circuit.

Bright Angel Trail in
Grand Canyon National Park

Contributed by Kristen Czudak from Yonderlust Ramblings

Grand Canyon (Photo Credit_ Yonderlust Ramblings)
Grand Canyon (Photo Credit: Yonderlust Ramblings)

One of the most majestic places in the world is the Grand Canyon, and one of the top ways to experience this natural wonder is by hiking the Bright Angel Trail.  The Bright Angel Trail traverses the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, down to the bottom and the iconic Colorado River.  This trail is long, arduous, and steep, but if you’ve ever wanted to witness the Grand Canyon from top to bottom, the payoff is worth it!

 

The trailhead for Bright Angel is located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.  This hike is 9.5 miles one way, from the top of the South Rim down to the Colorado River, so hiking down and back up is right at 19 miles roundtrip.  Hiking Bright Angel is unique, in that you descend first, saving the harder ascent for the latter part of your hike.  The elevation gain from the bottom of the trail back up to the South Rim is just under 4,400 feet!

 

Hiking Bright Angel Trail is mesmerizing for many reasons.  First, the Grand Canyon’s vibrant colors, unique geography, and raw beauty is on full display, with a breathtaking backdrop of the park’s rugged gorges constantly on the horizon. Reaching the Colorado River at the bottom is about as surreal and highly sought after of a moment as any hiker can hope to have in their lifetime, as it was for me! Secondly, expect to see some unique wildlife along the way, including birds, reptiles, and resident bighorn sheep!

 

As exhilarating as this hike is, it requires careful planning and respect.  Fall is often considered the most ideal time to hike the Grand Canyon on Bright Angel.  Temperatures are lower, but even in autumn months like October, temperatures at the bottom can still reach the 100’s mid day.  Do not attempt this hike without a proper water transportation system, plenty of water and electrolyte replacing snacks, and appropriate hiking footwear and breathable clothing!  For the truly adventurous hikers, Bright Angel Trail can be combined with the North Kaibab Trail on the North Rim for a complete Rim to Rim hike!

Laguna Torre, Argentina

Contributed by James from Travel Collecting

Laguna Torre Argentina
Laguna Torre, Argentina (Photo Credit: Travel Collecting)

Hiking to Laguna Torre is one the absolute best things to do on a trip to Argentinean Patagonia.  The hike is quite long – it is 18 km/ 11.2 miles round trip to Laguna Torre (about 3 hours each way) – but is totally worth it.   There is only an 800 feet / 245 meters elevation change, so it is actually not that difficult if you are reasonably fit. 

 

The hike ends at a small lake that is backed by the jagged peaks of the Cerro Torre (Tower Hill), with a glacier beside it and icebergs floating in it.  It is one of the most stunning views in the entire world!  Along the way are several viewpoints with more distant views, plus, in the early parts of the hike, views of the famous Fitz Roy mountain. 

 

The hike goes through fields of wildflowers, down to another small lake, alongside a small river and through the woods.  For most of it though, there are breathtaking classic Patagonian mountain views. 

 

When you get to Laguna Torre (Tower Lake), it is possible to continue along a ridge around part of the lake to the base of the mountain, though it was too windy the day I went to do this.  I felt like I was about to be blown off the ridge into the lake far below!

The best time to do the hike is late spring and summer (October – April). This is the driest and warmest time of year, when many colorful wildflowers are in full bloom.  However, it is also the windiest time of year and Patagonian winds are legendary, so try to avoid especially windy days. I recommend doing the hike early in the morning, when skies tend to be clearer.  I set out at 8:00am and made it in plenty of time for clear views of the peaks, but by the time I was ready to start the return trip, it was starting to cloud over.  Don’t underestimate the weather and pack for everything.  The day after I did this hike in warm sunny weather, it snowed! 

 

Bibbulmun Track,
Western Australia

Contributed by Ariana Svenson, World of Travels with Kids

Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia
Author with her baby on Bibbulmun Track (Photo Credit: World of Travels with Kids)

Stretching 1000km from Western Australia’s capital city Perth, to Albany on the South Coast, the Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails.  What I love about this trail is that you can either do it from ‘end to end’ which takes approximately 6 weeks or you can just do it a day at a time. 


A feature of the Bibbulmun track are the huts located along the trail (49 it total) located a day’s walk apart from each other – this ranges from between 10km and 25 km apart in different sections of the trail. 


The best times to walk the Bibbulmun track are either the Southern Hemisphere Autumn (April-May) or spring (September to mid-November) which is our Western Australia wildflower season and my favourite time to hike.  Winter tends to be rainy and wet underfoot, while the summer season is extremely hot in most places and should be avoided. 


The joy of doing the Bibbulmun track comes with the changing terrain, the stunning Western Australian scenery, and the achievement of doing a top long distance hike.  Slowing down to spend the nights in the rustic huts along the trail, and getting in tune with nature you can bird watch, and become closer to the environment are all benefits. If you are travelling north to south, the final section of the Bibbulmun track leads you along the truly spectacular rugged and remote southern coastline.


Things to look out for include snakes, which are deadly in this part of the world, and hiking in summer which can be extremely hot and you could become dehydrated very quickly. 

While it is a long term dream to become an “End to ender” at the moment I’ve only managed a few short day hikes; while based at the gorgeous Walpole Western Australia.  I greatly admire my friend who has been crossing off sections while at the same time mother to two small children.   Indeed one of the great things about the Bibbulmun track is that it an extremely flexible and accessible walking trail!

Pico Ruivo, Madeira

Contributed by Alex from Earthosea

Pico-Ruivo-hiking-trail-Madeira (1)
Pico Ruivo, Madeira (Photo Credit: Earthosea)

Hiking Pico Ruivo in Madeira is one of the best things you can do on the island of Madeira. The island of Madeira is located in the Atlantic Ocean, just 500 kilometers off the coast of Morocco and is prominent for its beautiful nature. Along with that the island is known for its scenic views over the Atlantic Ocean and has been winning “Island of the Year” for the past couple of years.

 

The hiking trail of Pico Ruivo is the most famous hiking trail on the island and is also the most challenging. It starts at Pico Areeiro, which is easily reached by a car. Right next to it is the path that leads to Pico Ruivo, the highest peak in Madeira. Keep walking on the path and you will get to Miradouro do Ninho da Manta, which is a viewpoint on the hiking trail, overlooking the northern mountain ridges and the coast.

 

While hiking to Pico Ruivo you will pass through Pico das Torres, which is the most dangerous peak on the island. Thus, you will have to be careful while passing through it, as there are quite lots of rockfalls. However, carefully, you can pass through the narrow path and enter the tunnel under Pico das Torres. 

 

Nevertheless, hiking to Pico Ruivo is an incredible experience, which you will remember for a lifetime. The hardest part of the hiking trail is climbing the peak, which takes around half an hour through steep terrain. However, once there you will be stunned by the jaw-dropping view over the island. If the day is clear you will get the chance to see all parts of the island, which is quite stunning.

 

Hiking to Pico Ruivo takes around 4 hours each way and 8 hours in total. The hiking trail to Ruivo peak is 14 kilometers in total and is of circular type. Keep in mind, that the weather at the top of Madeira can change quite fast, so it is good to check the forecast beforehand. 

Inca Trail, Peru

Contributed by from Rhonda from Travelyesplease

Inca Trail, Peru
Inca Trail, Peru (Photo Credit: Travelyesplease)

The Inca Trail hike in Peru is a challenging, fascinating, and historically significant journey through the Peruvian Andes. This ancient route, constructed by the Inca themselves, is part of a network of ancient roads that was built to connect the vast Inca Empire.

 

This 44 km, 4 day trek starts in the Sacred Valley at the Urubamba River and ends at Machu Picchu, Peru’s most iconic Inca citadel. During this point-to-point hike you’ll climb into high altitude terrain, reaching 4200 m above sea level at the highest spot on the trail. With heights like this, altitude sickness is a risk so hikers often turn to traditional remedies like chewing coca leaves or drinking coca tea to combat the effects.

 

As the trail winds up and down the mountains, there are beautiful views of snow-capped peaks, distant rivers, and cloud forests. The highlight of this hike is the impressive amount of well-preserved, pre-Columbian ruins along the route. Some notable sites include the cliff-side Inca town of Sayacmarca, the Winay Wayna agricultural terraces, and the Sun Gate where hikers get their first glimpse of Machu Picchu.

 

Due to the trail’s popularity, government regulations require that all hikers be accompanied by a licensed guide/trekking agency to protect the local environment and historic sites (and for safety reasons). There’s also a limited amount of trail permits allotted per day, so treks need to be booked months in advance. A benefit of having to hike with a trekking company is that you don’t need to bring your own camping equipment and food, as this is all provided and carried for you.

 

The best time to do this hike is from May to September, when conditions are the driest. Plan to spend 2-3 days in Cusco before your hike to give your body time to acclimate to the high altitude.

Kumano Kodo
Pilgrimage Trail,
Japan

Contributed by Cassie from Cassiethehag

Nachi Falls
Nachi Falls (Photo Credit: Cassiethehag)

The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail in Japan is assuredly one of the most magical hikes I have undertaken. There are multi or single day hiking options available, with some travellers opting for a short walk to see one of the sights along the way. However, I personally chose a four-day option, staying in local mountainside family b&bs along the way. Since I booked in advance, they even prepared vegan meals for me!

 

What makes the Kumano Kodo trail so special are the numerous Shinto-Buddhist shrines and temples which you pass along the path – it was spiritually important and thus once walked by notable figures such as spiritual leaders and samurais. While the simple torii gates I passed while following the misty forest pathway as it winded up the mountain remain the most memorable, Kumano Hongu Taisha, the Oyunohara torii gate and Kumano Nachi Taisha (which stands next to the 133m tall Nachi Falls) are popular stops even for those travelling by car or train due to their beauty and significance.

 

I also recommend staying at Yunomine due to its hot springs, better known locally as onsen, which are perfect for soaking your weary muscles after a long day of hiking. The water at Yunomine was believed to have healing qualities, though you might even spot a local boiling an egg in it! 

 

The mountain views and mighty forest are sure to make for wonderful hiking views, but it’s the spiritual landscape that makes the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage so appealing. Due to rainfall and inexperience, I found moments of the steep trail difficult, but the overwhelming comfort I took from the landscape made it unforgettable and the experience remains very dear to me. 

Mt Pulag, Philippines

Contributed by James from Teamajtravels

Mt Pulag Peak
Mt Pulag Peak (Photo Credit: Teamajtravels)

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak on the large island of Luzon, in the north of the Philippines. It is best known for sunrises above the sea of clouds, which is visible from the summit. 

 

The image of Mt Pulag’s sea of clouds is amazing! But you also need to be lucky and encounter the right weather conditions. Unfortunately for us our visit was met with thick fog and very poor visibility. But the climb itself was still worthwhile. 

 

You will find the best weather conditions between March and May. But it is a mountain and the weather conditions are unpredictable and constantly changing. 

 

The climb is suitable to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and is beginner friendly. You should always go with a guide or tour group though as it is easy to get lost! To catch the sunrise then you will need to start your ascent between midnight and 2am and can go at a comfortable pace from there (and you will still probably get there early). 

 

Conditions are mild until that last hour of the hike. We were unprepared for how intense the wind and the cold was closer to the peak. The Philippines has a tropical climate and is generally hot all year! But the conditions are vastly different when close to 3,000m above sea level. If the conditions are cloudy you may be hit with this foggy mist that makes everything very damp. If you are not dressed appropriately (which we were not!) it can get very cold and potentially dangerous if you hit very cold temperatures. 

 

So take a wind/water resistant jacket and gloves at the very least!

On the way down you will have the benefit of sunlight and will be treated to some impressive mountain landscape, and rice terraces & farms scattered around the hill sides. It is a far cry from the concrete jungle of the capital Manila and an insight into a much simpler life that the locals enjoy. 

Finger Lakes Trail,
New York State

Olivia from Happy in the Hollow

Finger Lakes Trail

The Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) may not be as well known as other hiking routes in the United States, but it is a gem in New York State worth discovering. 580 miles long, it is the main route of the bigger Finger Lakes Trail System, which comprises an additional 6 branch trails, 29 loop trails, and various spurs, offering some 1000 total miles of hiking options from Allegany State Park in the east to the Catskill Park in the west. For part of the way, it’s also the official route of the North Country Scenic Trail that will eventually extend over 4500 miles across seven states.

 

Along the FLT, you’ll have access to some of central New York’s most beautiful state parks, including the rolling hills of Allegany, as well as the “Grand Canyon of the East” (Letchworth), the 19 cascading waterfalls of Watkins Glen, the gorges and waterfalls of the visit-worthy town of Ithaca (home to Cornell University and a surprising amount of culture) and various others.

 

Run by volunteers and located about equally on public and private land, the FLT is free to use. Camping is allowed anywhere in the state forests, though state parks may require you to stay in designated camping areas. You’ll also find bivouacs and lean-tos along the way, as listed on the FLT website. As with any major hike in this region, make sure to bring a bear bag for food storage and tick spray and removal tools, and to familiarize yourself with noxious plants such as poison ivy, giant hogweed and stinging nettle.

 

Oh, and if you ever hike the whole trail, make sure to get recognized with and “End-to-End” patch from the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. You’ll be in the rarified company of only about 500 people.

Ciudad Perdida, Colombia

Contributed by Daniel and Ilona from Top Travel Sights

Ciudad Perdida
Ciudad Perdida (Photo Caption: Top Travel Sights)

One of the best hikes you can do is the hike to the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) in Northern Colombia. The trek takes you to the ruins of a long-lost civilization, hidden deep in the jungle, and you will come past waterfalls, indigenous villages and stunning scenery along the way.

If you want to hike to the Ciudad Perdida, you need to join an organized trek. To protect the ruins and the jungle, the government limits the number of people who can do the expedition, but don’t worry. You can find licensed tour operators in Santa Marta, and they will help you plan your trip.

After setting out from Santa Marta, you trek through the jungle for two days before reaching the Lost City. The trail winds through the mountains and crosses multiple rivers. Humidity and heat turn this trip into a challenging hike, but the views you get to enjoy along the way make it well worth it.

After two days, you then arrive in Paraiso, the campsite that serves as a basecamp for the Ciudad Perdida. From here, you need to climb 1,200 steps, and then you will finally reach the Lost City! Congratulations! Take your time to explore the terraces and buildings and enjoy the view before going back down again.

As the hike brings you through the mountains, make sure to pack light. The less you take, the easier you’ll find it to climb up and down those hills. Plus, in such a warm climate you don’t need many clothes. One set of comfortable clothes for the evening and one set of hiking clothes is enough.

The best time to hike to the Ciudad Perdida is from October to April, during the dry season. You might experience some rain, but for the most part, the weather will be dry. Plus, with the rivers more shallow, the river crossings will be much easier at this time of the year.

Fira to Oia Clifftop Walk,
Santorini

Contributed by Monique from Trip Anthropologist

Fira To Oia Hike
Fira To Oia Hike (Photo Credit: Trip Anthropologist)

The most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea is Santorini. It was formed when the Theran volcano erupted over 3500 years ago and it created a dramatic cliff edge that drops into the volcanic caldera. The volcano itself lies just off the coast of Santorini.

 

The island itself is only a few kilometers wide and 18 kilometers in length. One of the most spectacular hikes in the world is the Fira to Oia Clifftop Walk. It follows the caldera cliff edge from the two main towns of Fira (Thira) to Oia.

 

The hike follows the sea path past cave homes, sea captain’s mansions and luxury villas. It passes Santorini’s famous blue domes churches and Skaros Rock. Across the spine of the island, the hiking trail looks over the caldera on one side, and the eastern beaches on the other.

 

Wildflowers line the route and churches decorated with lockets and bells mark your way. Finally, the trail descends into Oia, one of the most beautiful sites in Greece. The tiny church at the summit is a great shortstop before you bound down the rough-hewn steps to join the outskirts of Oia.

 

The trail takes 4-5 hours to walk and it is not for the mobility impaired. The steepest section can be avoided and it is possible to join the main road around the island rather than continue the entire length of the hiking trail.

 

The trial is very crowded in summer. It is perfect in March, April, October and November. People of all ages make the hike but there are no shops or restrooms on the way, so pack a picnic and water and wear sturdy shoes as there is a one slippery section.

I promise you that this hike will be the highlight of your trip to Santorini!

 

Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek

Contributed by Campbell and Alya from Stingynomads

Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek (Photo Credit: Stingy Nomads)

 

The trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) in Nepal is one of the best known hiking routes in the world. Mount Everest in Nepal is the highest mountain in the world at an altitude of 8848m. Climbing Mount Everest is only attempted by the best mountaineers with months of preparation. Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 5600 metres is where the climb starts.

Trekking to EBC is a strenuous, popular trek and reaching base camp is a significant accomplishment. The trail to EBC starts from the mountain village Lukla and it takes about 12 days to trek the 120 km to Everest Base Camp and back. The trail leads through spectacular mountain scenery; fascinating Sherpa culture and you will experience true Nepalese hospitality.

Most trekkers reach Lukla with a flight from Kathmandu, this is where the adventure starts, flying close to the mountains and landing in what is seen as one of the most dangerous runways in the world. The Everest Base Camp trek is a tea house trek, there are many small villages in the mountains with plenty of small local guest houses known as tea houses. Staying in a tea house is very cheap at two or three dollars per night for a room, but you have to eat there. This is great since you do not have to carry a tent, food or cooking gear.

The trek can be done independently since the route is easy to follow, there is no technical climbing and food and shelter is available. There are many companies offering guided hikes on this route and doing the hike with a private guide and porter is also easy to arrange in Kathmandu or Lukla.

Altitude sickness is a serious risk on the trek, thus good acclimatization is a must here. The EBC is an exciting adventure for hiking and outdoor lovers.

The Narrows
at Zion National Park

Contributed by Ale from Sea Salt & Fog

The narrows at Zion National Park
The narrows at Zion National Park (Photo Credit: Sea Salt & Fog)

The Narrows at Zion National Park is perhaps one of the best hikes in the USA. The hike encompasses the narrowest part of Zion canyon. The route will take directly through the river, which can make the hike difficult. However, you’ll be rewarded with colorful canyon walls stretching up to a thousand feet in the air above you. It’s truly an experience like no other.

 

There are two routes to hike The Narrows: from the top down and from the bottom up. The top down hike is about sixteen miles one way, requires a permit, and often, overnight camping. It’s a strenuous hike, and not for beginners. 

 

The bottom up route is far more accessible, and popular. While this whole route is ten miles round trip, you can hike only a little bit of it and still have a great time. While most people turn around a few miles in, at the junction of Orderville Canyon, the real beauty begins right after here when you enter wall street. In wall street, you’re in the narrowest part of the canyon! We’re talking about the river being only about twenty feet wide, and the canyon walls extending up a thousand feet. It truly is incredible! 

 

Hiking The Narrows is one of the most popular things to do at Zion, with crowds peaking in the late springs and summer months. For slightly thinner crowds, try visiting in the early fall. The water will be colder, but the weather is perfect. 

 

When we hiked The Narrows, we took one of the first shuttles and didn’t have to share the hike with a ton of people. On the way back, however, the midday crowds were huge. I definitely recommend getting here as early as possible. 

While hiking The Narrows is incredible, this isn’t an easy hike. You need to bring or rent the right gear, and be ready to get wet. Knowing your limits and when to turn around is key here, but the hike is absolutely worth it. 

Mount Hallasan
in Jeju Island

Contributed by Mike and Katie from The Hollapinos

Mount Hallasan in Jeju Island
Mount Hallasan in Jeju Island (Photo Credit: The Hollapinos)

Mount Hallasan is a dormant volcano located at the heart of Jeju Island. Standing 1950 MASL (Metres Above Sea Level), Mount Hallasan is the highest peak in South Korea. The volcano and its surroundings are within the Hallasan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best places to see the autumn foliage in South Korea hence fall is one of the best times to go hiking. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow that you don’t need to hire a guide. Entrance is free of charge and opens all year round but camping is not allowed.

 

Hiking Mount Hallasan may vary from easy to moderate depending on the trail that you will choose. There are 4 hiking courses in the Hallasan National Park but only the Gwaneumsa Trail and the Seongpanak Trail can take you to the summit. The Gwaneumsa Trail is shorter and scenic but steep that’s why this is highly preferred when descending from the summit. On the other hand, the Seongpanak Trail is the longer but the gentlest hiking course. It is highly preferred when ascending to the summit. But of course, you can ascend via the Gwaneumsa Trail and descend via the Seongpanak Trail like us for more challenge.

 

The Hallasan National Park is home to thousands of species of plants and animals. You will also enjoy a scenic view of hillsides of flowers, jagged mountains, and razor-sharp cliffs while hiking in this densely wooded national park and if you are lucky, you might spot a deer! At the summit, you will be able to view the crater of Mount Hallasan.  

If you will start your hike via the Gwaneumsa Trail, you can ride a bus from Jeju City to Sancheondan then ride a taxi to the jump-off point. Or if you will start your hike via the Seongpanak Trail, you can ride a bus up to the jump-off point. Toilets and resting areas are available at the shelters. Food and water are not available within the park so make sure to pack them before going to the jump-off point. Start your hike early as you need to pass the shelter by noon or you will not be allowed to proceed to the summit. 

 

Ice Chapel in
Berchtesgaden National Park,
Germany

Contributed by Mel from TravelingMel

Ice chapel in Berchtesgaden National Park
Ice chapel in Berchtesgaden National Park (Photo Credit TravelingMel)

Berchtesgaden National Park (Nationalparkverwaltung Berchtesgaden) is the only alpine National Park in Germany. It’s located in Bavaria near the border with Austria. If you’ve seen the Sound of Music, you’ve seen this part of Bavaria when the Von Trapp Family skips through the hills as they flee the Nazis.

 

There are many trails in the park. Hiking to the Ice Chapel in Berchtesgaden National Park (Eiskapelle) is a relatively easy walk with a high payoff. We hiked in winter on a trail of packed snow, but the trail is open year round. 

 

To start, take the ferry across Königsee — the cleanest lake in Germany. It’s a beautiful lake and the centerpiece of the National Park. The ferry ride is an experience in itself. There is a tour guide talking about the area (in German) and someone plays the flugelhorn. The ferry leaves you at  St. Bartholomä where the trail begins. 

 

Follow the signs to the Eiskapelle, starting on a wide, flat path. You’ll cross a bridge, pass a small chapel, and wind up the hill to a boulder field. Across this boulder field is the Ice Chapel — a huge ice cave that forms as water runs under a snow pack. The Ice Chapel changes from year to year depending on amount of snowfall and temperatures, but it is always captivating. The round trip mileage is six kilometers. 

 

The scalloped, blue cave sits below Mount Watzmann, a dramatic alpine peak.

On your return to the ferry, explore the area around St. Bartholomä, including the church. And don’t miss the smoked trout with bread and beer at the small restaurant called “Fischerei St. Bartholomä.”

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