Whether you’re a long-distance walker or a casual rambler, the best hiking trails in the world are an incredible way to experience a variety of landscapes. Nothing beats the feeling of a hike through beautiful natural scenery. To reconnect with nature, and with yourself, the simple act of walking appeals to many travellers. From soaring mountain trails to coastal strolls, discover our list of the most spectacular hikes in the world, sure to have you lacing up your walking boots in preparation!
Caminito del Rey, Spain
Nestled in the heart of Andalusia, the Caminito del Rey was once known as the ‘most hazardous footpath in the world’. Clinging to the cliffsides of the Guadalhorce Gorge, the Caminito del Rey has been safely restored. Nowadays, it’s considered one of the best hiking trails in the world! Famed for its incredible panoramic views and rich birdlife, the most popular route is just 7.7 kilometres in length. Taking approximately 3-4 hours to complete, the route weaves through landscapes of dramatic gorges, valleys and cliffs. Crossing hanging walkways and bridges, up to 100 metres above the ground, hikers agree this is one of the most exciting routes in the world!
Inca Trail, Peru
One of the most famous hikes in the world, the Inca Trail is the ultimate backpacker experience! Usually consisting of a three-day hike, the Inca Trail terminates at the legendary Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. At 26 miles long, the route contains a number of steep inclines and challenging terrain. Parts of the trail date back to the days of the Inca Empire, when the mountain pathways were created to connect different Andean settlements. A journey of discovery, the Inca trail passes through rich landscapes of cloud forests, mountain peaks and centuries-old ruins. Undoubtedly one of the best hiking trails in the world, it encompasses the ‘best of Peru’ in one, rewarding trek.
Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Not for the inexperienced or faint of heart, the Annapurna Circuit is a 17-day, high-altitude journey of over 200-kilometres. Passing through the snow-capped mountain ranges of central Nepal, it is considered the best long-distance trek in the world! Starting in the tropical climate of the lowlands, the trail winds its way through villages and valleys before ascending into the mountains. In fact, the highest point of 5,394 meters comes at the Thorung Pass. Surrounded by some of the tallest mountains on earth, this bucket-list hike requires good physical fitness and stamina. Of course, it’s worth it to experience breathtaking landscapes and untouched nature!
W. Circuit, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
A more accessible trek, the W. Circuit is the most famous walking route in the magnificent Torres del Paine National Park. The route, which can be completed in anywhere from 4 to 6 days, weaves through the majestic landscapes of Chilean Patagonia. From the iconic granite peaks of the ‘three towers’ to glacial lakes and diverse wildlife, there’s no surprise that Torres del Paine is home to some of the best hiking trails in the world. Furthermore, shorter 1-day routes are available.
Dingle Way, Ireland
Snaking along the coastline of the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, the Dingle Way is a long-distance walking route. Best undertaken in the more predictable weather of the summer months, the Dingle Way starts and finishes in the city of Tralee. Of course, you’re not required to undertake the entire route of 179-kilometres. But, you’ll be rewarded with incredible scenery of crashing Atlantic Waves, rolling farmland and golden beaches if you do! Furthermore, the majority of the route consists of easy to moderate terrain. Although, keep in mind that the climb across Mount Brandon can be quite challenging in poor weather.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
For wildlife lovers, the misty cloud forests of Monteverde offer some of the best hiking trails in the world! Home to well-marked trails, this cloud forest reserve showcases the tropical flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Visitors can choose from a variety of trails of varying lengths. Alternatively, why not combine several trails for a full day of nature exploration? The most popular sights within the reserve are the Sendero Nuboso, La Ventana, the suspension bridge, and the waterfall. These are all included on the classic loop tour. For rare and wonderful plant species and the chance to spot sloths and quetzals up close, Monteverde’s lush cloud forest is surely one of the best hikes in the world!
Grand Canyon, Bright Angel Trail, United States
A bucket-list adventure, this popular hike leads walkers deep into the fabled Grand Canyon to discover its otherworldly landscapes and unique fauna. In fact, the elevation loss is 1335 metres at its deepest point. Beginning at the South Rim, the 25-kilometre trail usually takes between 5 and 6 hours to complete. Furthermore, it is an out and back route, not a circular loop. Most people undertake the route in a day, but the option to explore the canyon further is a temptation for some. Of course, these travellers can opt for the more challenging ‘Rim to Rim’ route.
So, are you ready to get your walking boots on? Embrace nature and add an unforgettable hiking experience to your next getaway. Discover our latest trips on our official website: