The World’s Best Hiking Destinations
While travelers have many modes of transport at their disposal, the best way to experience a destination is often simply on foot. More and more travelers are seeking out trekking holidays as a way to enjoy a more authentic and rewarding travel experience.
Not only do hiking holidays provide you with the opportunity to explore some truly remarkable places that are often only accessible by foot, but they also allow you to feel a sense of personal accomplishment. The world’s most famous hiking routes allow you to witness famous archaeological sites and natural wonders, encounter rare wildlife, summit mountains, and explore villages and fascinating cultures.
From hikes that take several weeks to easier-to-tackle day-hikes, there are treks to suit nearly anyone and any fitness level. And treks offered through adventure holidays with KE Adventure ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while also encouraging responsible tourism so as to protect destinations for generations to come.
Knowledgeable guides can help lead the way and sherpas or porters offer support. The only thing left for you to do is decide where you want to hike and join other like-minded travelers from around the world.
To inspire you further, here are some of the world’s top hiking destinations and their popular treks that continue to lure travelers every year.
A trip to Tanzania offers the chance to tackle one of the world’s Seven Summits. Standing just shy of 5,900m, Mount Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak is known as the Roof of Africa and summiting this mountain is often a top bucket list item for adventure travelers. Climbers as young as 7, as well as people in their 80s have managed to summit Kilimanjaro.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is not technical and therefore tens of thousands attempt the climb every year. There are more than a half dozen routes to the summit, and although the climb may not be technical, altitude sickness is common and therefore choosing a longer route like the Lemosho Route may allow you a better chance of acclimatizing and summiting. The Machame Route is another very popular route.
Of course hiking in Tanzania isn’t limited to just Kilimanjaro. If you’re not quite up to the Kili challenge, then you can try climbing nearby Mount Meru which offers a 3 to 4 day trek and the opportunity to spot a wide range of iconic African wildlife at its base.
There are also Serengeti walking safaris, climbing the active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, trekking through the Usambara Mountains, and the chance to encounter wild chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains or Gombe National Park.
Heading across the Atlantic to South America, you’ll find abundant hiking experiences in Peru. The majority of trekkers are eager to take on the 4-5 day hike along the Inca Trail that leads to Machu Picchu. You will make your way through cloud forests and alpine tundra, stopping to admire other archaeological sites along the way.
Those looking for an alternative to the popular and touristy Machu Picchu can instead look to the strenuous 4-5 day trek to the Lost City of Choquequirao Inca ruins. A much smaller hike but one that is exceptionally scenic is the 6-hour Laguna 69 trek found in Huascaran National Park.
Other notable hikes will allow you to witness Lake Titicaca and the Uros Floating Islands, Rainbow Mountain, and Colca Canyon which is one of the deepest canyons in the world. Another epic trek to consider is the Cordillera Huayhuash.
Heading back across the Atlantic again and into Europe, Spain is home to the world famous Camino de Santiago. Also known as the Way of St James, this Christian pilgrimage route dates back centuries and leads to the Santiago de Compostela in Galicia where it is said Saint James the Great is buried.
There are multiple routes and starting points for the Camino de Santiago, the Camino Frances being the choice route of over half the travellers choosing to experience the walk. While it may be an 800km journey in its entirety that takes over a month to complete, you can choose to begin the pilgrimage at a number of alternate points such as Sarria that will condense the journey to around just a week
Each route is different and offers its own unique stories and scenery. However, whichever route you choose, you are bound to meet numerous other walkers that contribute to the experience being truly memorable.
Another popular hiking destination in Spain is the Pyrenees, where you can hike the Chemin de la Liberte or Pico Sobarcal Trail. Costa Blanca also offers incredible hiking along the Mediterranean coastline or if you have nerves of steel you can tackle the 8km aerial walkway known as Caminito del Rey.
Once known as one of the most dangerous walkways in the world, the Caminito del Rey has you walking 100 metres up along a sheer cliff face. The pathway which had become too dangerous was closed to the public and only just recently reopened in 2015 after repairs were made to make it safe once again.
The Canary Islands are another hiking paradise where you can challenge yourself to climb Mount Teide on Tenerife which is Spain’s highest point.
Staying in Europe, Italy also offers hiking with exceptional views. A good place to start is Cinque Terre National Park where travelers from around the world flock to walk the Sentiero Azzurro or “Azure Trail”.
The 11-kilometer trail connects the five beautiful villages of the Cinque Terra and can be achieved in a single day, running from Monterossa to Riomaggiore. The trail takes you along the cliffsides that overlook the Mediterranean Sea.
Then there are the Dolomites where you can take in the glorious lakes and forests via hiking circuits like Tre Cime di Lavaredo. There are also plenty of walking routes through Tuscany such as the Renaissance Ring around Florence and the Chianti Trail taking you through rural Tuscany.
Find more great hiking on the islands such as the Selvaggio Blu Trail of Sardinia or climbing the active volcano Mount Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands.
Heading east to Asia you of course have Nepal and the world’s tallest peak. While you may not have the funds or dedication needed to summit Everest, many come to reach Everest Base Camp which takes just shy of two weeks to complete and allows you to take in incredible views along with sites like Namchee Bazaar and Tengboche Monastery.
You can also try summiting Island Peak or Mera Peak as an alternative to Everest since these both can be achieved without having had prior mountaineering experience.
Then there is the long-distance Annapurna Circuit Trail which can take over two weeks to finish but allows you to take in views of many of the world’s tallest mountains. A condensed version of this hike that focuses on many of the highlights of the full circuit trail is the 3-5 day the Annapurna Panorama Trek.
Lastly, we take you to Central America where Costa Rica offers abundant trekking through a wide range of ecosystems where wildlife is abundant. Explore old lava fields along the Las Coladas Trail in Arenal Volcano National Park or take in one of the country’s many famous waterfall hikes like Rio Celeste.
While the hike to Rio Celeste Waterfall may be rather short, you can extend the trek to include Laguna Azul and the tenideros which will allow you to make a full day of the area. If you want to explore Costa Rica’s truly rugged side and are up for a bit of a challenging walk, try hiking the Pico Blanco por Ventoleras near Santa Ana.
There are also numerous trails within Poás Volcano National Park including The Botos Trail and Escalonia Cloud Forest Trail where you have a great chance of spotting wildlife. Another hotspot for hiking in search of wildlife is within the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
These are just a sampling of the countries that offer exceptional hiking opportunities. We haven’t even touched on New Zealand with its famous Milford Track, Europe’s Tour du Mont Blanc, or the countless hiking trails within the U.S. National Park System such as the Appalachian Trail.