When you’re traveling, you often find yourself spending a lot of time sitting down – on buses, trains, planes, and cars and in restaurants, art shows, and more. To get your legs moving, to allow you to see a different side of a destination, and to slow down and take in the world around you, you should take a hike. Three of the best places to visit if you want to get amazing views. Take a look at this list of top hiking destinations in the world.
Related Read: 6 Essential Hiking Tips for Beginners to Hike Smartly
When you’re out in nature, you have the chance to breathe deeply and feel grounded, not to mention take in beautiful views and spot wildlife. Thankfully, when it comes to amazing hikes around the world, you’re spoiled for choice.
In particular, there are many exceptional walks that, while perhaps including a tough climb, also result in spectacular views with photo opportunities you wouldn’t get elsewhere. Read on for some of the most memorable hikes with views you can add to your travel itinerary today – just don’t forget to take your camera with you!
All nature out there knows that going on long hikes to some of the most amazing mountains in the world can easily be one of the most fulfilling activities.
That is because up there, it is only nature, your backpack and you. You are the only one who can take yourself from one spot to the other. And that is extremely empowering. It makes you feel like you are doing this huge challenge without anyone’s help.
Plus, the views and surrounding nature, make it an even better experience.
But there are a few hikes that are more spectacular than others. Below is a list of the top four Hikes Around the World according to my bucket list. Feel free to let me know what your top four are.
You can also take a look at this article to learn more about the essential travel gear for hikers.
If you prefer taking the scenic route on foot, here are the best hikes in the world that will breathless, figuratively, and literally! Traveling is one of those experiences everyone should be a part of once in their lifetime. There are, however, many ways to travel. If you’re one of those travelers that prefer to do it on foot and see nature first hand, then you must make a hiking list.
Best International Hikes
West Highland Way, Scotland
You’ve probably seen some of Scotland’s amazing natural beauty showcased on TV shows and movies, (think “Outlander” or “Braveheart”) but there’s nothing quite like visiting this part of the British Isles yourself. In particular, when it comes to hiking, consider one of the country’s most famous long-distance trails: the West Highland Way.
This popular trek will take you along a route that covers almost 100 miles. It stretches between Fort William and Milngavie. The walk takes, depending on your speed, between five to nine days to complete and is best traversed during the warmer months, from May to October.
Along the West Highland Way you will see constantly changing scenery. There is a mixture of back-and-forth switchbacks, barren moors and Munros that rise up on all sides. One area that truly offers a memorable view is Conic Hill. From here, you’ll see the sparkling waters of Loch Lomond shining down below. This is one of the biggest stretches of water found inland in all of Great Britain. The West Highland Way was the first long-distance walking route founded in Scotland and gives visitors to the nation a wonderful introduction to the fascinating and historic Scottish Highlands.
Also known as The Kings Trail, this path winds its way through Northern Sweden and is an amazing place to walk, especially in the summer months. Although this is a long trek of 275 miles, you will appreciate the scenery along the way.
During the summer, you will be enjoying 24 hours of daylight as the sun only sets as low as the horizon each evening. If you are camping, then the inclusion of an eye mask in your rucksack might be a good idea.
The trail begins in the village of Abisko, and winds its way south to Hemavan. Although you won’t see any snow, you might be lucky enough to see reindeer as you go along. It is the main animal of the local area, and many people herd them across Sweden.
You may also find some huts along the way; you can use these as a shelter from any bad weather or just a resting place for lunch or a nap.
Mount Chirripo Walk, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is well known as a hiking hub and is popular with tourists who are keen to see natural splendor up close. If you want to see a range of landscapes in just one walk, research Costa Rica hotels and then head straight to Chirripo National Park.
This park is located within the Talamanca Mountain range in the south of the country. It encompasses one of the biggest and most diverse ecological zones in all of Costa Rica. During a walk, you have the chance to see cloud forests, glacial lakes, tall pinnacles, the bare Paramo (Moorland) grasslands, old-growth oak tree forests, and more.
No hike is complete without trekking to the top of Mount Chirripo. This is the highest peak not just in Costa Rica but in all of Central America. As such, the views from the top are truly remarkable and encompass the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans. Walks can last for days at a time, depending on how much you want to explore. While you can typically hike here at any time of the year, it is best to avoid the months between September and November when conditions are usually muddy.
Milford Track, New Zealand
New Zealand is another nation that’s famous around the globe for its hiking trails. One of the most iconic is the Milford Track. This epic hike has been thrilling walkers for more than 150 years. It covers over 33 miles in total and takes approximately four days to finish.
As you walk along the route, you will take in picture-perfect alpine and fiord scenery. For example, you’ll see sights like verdant forests, ice-carved valleys, clear lakes, and great gatherings of birch trees.
As you travel along the track, you’ll notice there are raised platforms that extend across the wetlands. This makes walking much more user-friendly. Plus, there is a zigzagging course that covers nine switchbacks to the MacKinnon Pass summit, a spot that reaches about 3,500 feet. You will also walk across the Milford Track’s suspension bridges, which lead hikers to the roaring cascades of Sutherland Falls.
Annapurna Circuit Trek, Nepal
The Annapurna Circuit Trek takes around two full weeks and allows some of the most stunning views of the impressive Annapurna range. Almost anyone can do this hike, you do need to be fit but there is no need to have an athlete status. Almost every day you will hike for 5 to 6 hours, but keep in mind that there are a few more demanding days where you will double that. So it offers a good mix of relaxed days with hard work to keep it interesting.
The route takes you through temples, waterfalls, and monasteries. Because it passes through so many different places it offers the perfect chance to learn more about the local Tibetan-Buddhist culture. Some consider it to be a MUST for hikers, it is almost a chiché for nature lovers.
March and April tend to be the best months to visit. Making this the best time to start considering to book your trip.
Haute Route, France
Translated as ‘High Route,’ this path is one of the shorter ones at just 111 miles. However, what it might lack in length, it certainly makes up for in splendor. Running from the Chamonix Valley in France to Zermatt in Switzerland, you will see some stunning views along the way.
From your path, you will be able to see the magnificent Mont Blanc and the impressive Matterhorn. However, these are not the only sights to see; there are also many miles of beautiful country to admire.
You will also come across many small villages along your journey. Many won’t speak English, so brush up on your French or take a good translation book.
Most Famous Hikes Around the World
Everest Base Camp Trek
This one is located in Nepal and takes anything from 10 to 14 days, depending on the route of your physical condition. This is one of the most famous hikes and passes through Sherpa villages and allows you to have an up-close view of four of the world’s tallest summits. If you are going make sure you visit between March and May for the best weather.
By doing this trek you end up at the main Everest Base Camp from where the highly trained and brave mountaineers set off on their adventure to attempt to reach the Everest summit. you might be able to spend a meal with one of them or at least to do some chatting.
If you’re an intrepid climber and love the outdoors and adventure, then it might have crossed your mind to climb the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest.
Of course, climbing Mount Everest comes with its set of risks, not to mention it costs an average of $45,000.
For those who don’t have the money or the stamina, they can venture on the Everest Base Camp Trek.
This trek starts in Nepal and lasts 16 days while allowing trekkers to enjoy the best of the Himalayas. And reaching heights of 18,193ft, and expanding 70 miles, this trek is not for the faint of heart.
Mont Blank Hike
This tour takes you around the gorgeous Mont blank, not to the summit, and also offers different routes. You get to decide if you want to do this in 6 or 10 days. During that time you will be able to enjoy the pristine alpine regions of France, Italy, and Switzerland while enjoying the views of surrounding mountains and glaciers.
If you have the budget and do the daily hikes in a relatively short amount of time, you also get to experience some of the most elegant and fun huts from the area.
Inca Trail, Peru
The Inca Trail is one of the most iconic treks in the world. Adventurers embark on a four-day trek across 26 miles to reach the breathtaking views of Machu Pichu.
Those who want to take the classic trek start in Cusco, and walk along the trail to Aguas Calientes. Visitors will then continue the trek up the mountains where they will see views of the valley.
Of course, visitors also have the option of taking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
Muliwai Trail, Hawaii
Who says visiting Hawaii is all about laying on the beach relaxing in the sand. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors that require you to be active.
If treks are your thing, then you must do the Muliwai trail. This trek expands for 18 miles and has views of the Waimanu Valleys and also black sand beaches.
And after travelers complete the trek, a relaxing beach will be waiting for them.
Cinque Terre, Italy
If you like the idea of a hike but you’re not really into the wilderness. Then you need to head over to Italy and trek along Cinque Terre.
This trek expands across 7.5 miles along the Western Italian Coast. While on this trek, travelers will pass the beautiful coastal scenery.
Not to mention, they’ll pass through five Italian towns and villages. Where they can stop for a gelato break whenever they need to.
Most travelers start in the town of Corniglia and go from there. The duration of this trek depends on how many times you stop to soak it all in.
Camino de Santiago, Spain
One of the most important Christian pilgrimages in medieval times, the Way of St. James has become a very popular trail for hikers from all over the world. It is a hefty journey that starts from the Pyrenees in France, all the way across the top of Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Even though you are looking at over 500 miles in total, this trail can be very popular, especially in the summer months.
You can get quieter walking off-season, although you may also get the worse weather. One of the novelties of this trail is the Fuente de vino which is a fully functional fountain of wine.
It isn’t the only reason to go, of course; you will also see the great splendor of the Pyrenees and the magnificent beauty along the way that has made this path so popular.
Best Hike for the view
Overland Track, Australia
If you want to head on a hiking adventure down under, why not visit Tasmania.
The Overland Track expands over 50 miles and takes around six days to complete. This trek is an iconic trail in Australia.
During the trek, travelers will pass Lake St. Clair, which is the deepest natural freshwater lake in all of Australia. Also, trekkers will pass Cradle Mountain and forests, lakes, moors, waterfalls, and more iconic landscapes.
The Salkantay Trek Machu Picchu is named after the 6000m Mount Salkantay which rises above the trail as you walk along. While many people might choose the Inca Trail, this one is considered to be a better way to get to Machu Picchu.
It is certainly a trail packed with features and adventure. You can see the Andean Peaks, the base town of Aguas Calientes, and work your way through the subtropical jungle.
It is a 45-mile-long trek, and certainly one you need to be prepared for, but there will be very few experiences like it in the world.
Another one of the top treks in the world has to be Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in the African continent.
Located in Tanzania, this trek has a distance of 35 miles and it takes about 7 days to complete. Once trekkers reach 19,340 feet, they will have a perfect unobstructed view of the stars.
The best time to visit Kilimanjaro is either January, February, or the month of September. Before, climbing Kilimanjaro, travelers should research what to pack for the long trek.
If you live in the U.S., you don’t have to go far to experience one of the most iconic trails in the world. The Appalachian Trail is right in your backyard.
This trek is for those who seek adventure. But keep in mind this trek will also require a lot of planning.
The Appalachian Trail takes hikers from Georgia to Maine and passes through 14 states.
Travelers will spend approximately 5 to 7 months walking this trail, which is 2,180 miles. So if you have the urge to travel through 14 states on foot, the Appalachian Trail awaits.
Fitz Roy Trek, Argentina
Fitz Roy Trek makes the list because it takes travelers up close to Glaciers, beaches, plains, waterfalls, and the Fitz Roy Massif.
The trek also takes hikers through Los Glaciares National Park. This national park is the size of the state of Delaware.
The Best time to embark on this trail is between February to March. This trail is not as intimidating as others that expand across many states.
Fitz Roy Trek is 36-miles long and takes between 4 to 7 days to complete.
Pacific Crest Trail, West Coast
If you complete the east coast and you still want more, why not take over the west coast of the United States.
The Pacific Crest Trail takes hikers on a 2,650-mile trek. It crosses the states of California, Oregon, and Washington.
Travelers also pass through 7 national parks and mixed challenging terrains. This trail takes approximately 6 to 7 months to complete.
Due to the time, it takes to complete this trial, the best time to go is April to October.
West Coast Trail, Canada
It doesn’t take a travel expert to know that Canada has some of the most beautiful natural sites. If you want to experience Canada’s beautiful landscapes, The West Coast Trail allows travelers to do so.
The West Coast Trail has a history of its own. It was created in 1907 to help save shipwreck survivors.
This trek is 47 miles long and it begins on Vancouver Island, but you don’t have to start there. There are many ways to experience this trail but must begin at Pacheena Bay Trailhead.
Now, let’s go back to Europe. This Italian hike might be on the shorter side with its 120 kilometers but it has a lot to offer. I’ve seen it in important hiker’s publications as one of the top most beautiful hikes.
It takes you through rugged terrain, around huge cliffs, forests, pastures, and even stunning alpine lakes.
Sentiero Azzurro, Italy
Sentiero Azzurro in Italy is also known as ‘The Blue Trail,’ this short path can be completed in just one day as it is only 7.5 miles in length, and can be managed by people of all ages. It makes it a great trail for family hikes and boasts some stunning scenery as well.
The trail links five villages of Cinque Terre and is an extremely picturesque walk. Some of the routes runs along the rocky coastline and pass through vineyards and lovely little villages.
The sights are amazing and will keep the interest of your children as well as you
Step on One of These Best Hikes in the World
There you have it, 10 of the best hikes in the world you won’t want to miss. Whether you want to spend months on the road, or you want to complete in only a few hours, there’s something for everyone.
If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more climbing tips, check out this section of our blog.
So which one are you going to pick for your next international hiking adventure?