Hiking is an opportunity to see the natural world in all its glory, but how do you choose which path to take? There are plenty of options for all ages, budgets, and abilities, after all. This list features six of the best hikes in the world to help you narrow it down, so grab your most comfortable walking shoes and let’s get going.
Inca Trail, Peru
One of the most popular and best-known hikes in the world, the Inca Trail, which is 13,800ft at its highest point, takes you through subtropical forest, jungle, mountains (where you’ll get a stunning view of the Andes) and finishes at the ruins of Machu Picchu — the lost city of the Incas. It’s a challenge, but the pace is steady and your guide will give you ample time to stop and explore. Be sure to book your trek well in advance so you receive your permit.
Distance: 26 miles
Time taken: 4 days
image by JiahuiH via cc
Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand
Take a water taxi to the start of this picturesque hike, which takes you through the Marlborough Sounds, a series of valleys at the north end of the South Island. Watch out for the abundance of native plants and wildlife and enjoy the views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds as you make your way through the forest and along the coastal paths.
Distance: 44 miles
Time taken: 3-5 days, but there are different options for all kinds of abilities, with some hikes only taking a day
Jordan Trail, Jordan
Be prepared for sand as you tackle rocky terrain on your way from Dana to Petra. It’s 1100m at the highest viewpoint, but you’ll be grateful for it, since the breeze makes the hot temperatures more bearable. For the most memorable experience, go in spring or autumn when the weather is milder, and get lost looking at the ancient temples and tombs in Petra. This is one for those who like a bit of history thrown in with their adventures.
Distance: 50 miles
Time taken: 5-9 days
Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy & Switzerland
This route circles western Europe’s highest mountain and goes through three different countries, with beautiful views of the peaks and alpine glaciers, and sightings of marmots, mountain goats, lizards, and snakes. A well-marked walk, the Tour du Mont Blanc has a few steep climbs but no equipment is needed, just sturdy, comfortable walking shoes, and there’s enough there to satisfy both beginners and more experienced hikers. There’s no formal starting point, so you can pick the place which suits you.
Distance: 105 miles
Time taken: 10-11 days
Mountains of the Moon, Uganda
The highest mountain range in Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains, also known as the Mountains of the Moon, stand at over 16,000 feet. You’ll be able to experience an array of natural environments as you take on this challenging hike, so don’t let the frequent downpours put you off — you may even spot elephants. *Be sure your travel insurance covers this level of adventure.
Distance: 38 miles
Time taken: 6-7 miles
The Long Range Traverse, Canada
A fairly straightforward hike, the Long Range Traverse takes you through the mountains, lakes, and tundra of the breathtaking Gros Morne National Park. Keep an eye out for moose, caribou, black bears and beavers, and enjoy the dramatic views over the hills. Be sure to attend a backcountry briefing in order to attain your hiking permit before you set off.
Distance: 25 miles
Time taken: 3-6 days
Where’s your favourite place to hike? Let me know in the comments.
Please follow this link – Walk Among the Waterfalls at Watkins Glen – for an in-depth look at one of the world’s best short scenic hikes.