Anyone, even those not fond of intense activities, should try hiking at least once. More than its health benefits, hiking gives anyone the chance to be with Mother Nature’s gifts — before they are lost to modernity or climate change. Fulfillment and awe await those who want to try hiking. Long-time trekkers, meanwhile, should go beyond their comfort zones by finishing routes unlike any other.
There are endless hiking opportunities in many countries, an enticing prospect for trekkers who want to test their skills. Sure, hiking is tiring, but nothing will match the satisfaction a tourist will experience after reaching a summit or the end of the trail. Thanks to nature’s wonders, any hike is pure bliss.
Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is Africa's highest mountain; something trekkers should consider if they want to up their hiking game while enjoying the area’s attractions. It is not part of any mountain range, making it the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. It’s a (dormant) volcano of superlatives, and depending on the route, it will take five to 11 days to finish a climb. That means more than a week of jungle views, volcanic formations, snow-capped peaks, varying climates, and endless smiles. Toto said it best: Africa is waiting.
9 Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail passes through 14 states, from Georgia’s Springer Mountain to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It's the world’s longest hiking-only footpath. Simply say, the adventures along the trail are endless, even if trekkers just want to hike sections of it. Tourists who want to hike their days away can enjoy the area’s rich flora and fauna if they decide to explore the whole route for five to seven months. It’s a bucket-list-worthy trail not just because of the number of states that hikers will visit but also of the numerous outdoor experiences trekkers will gain.
8 Tour Du Mont Blanc
Ten days of walking in three countries and reaching 10,000 meters in altitude. That’s Tour du Mont Blanc, one of the most popular trekking routes in Europe. This classic trail is perfect for those who want to experience walking along the Alps of Italy, France, and Switzerland. It’s an easy trek because the peaks are not the destination but the foot of the mountains where the views are equally amazing. This loop trail is nothing short of wonders, courtesy of ridges, meadows, forests, valleys, and stunning mountain passes.
7 Bibbulmun Track
Trekkers who want to enjoy Australia’s nature spots should not miss the long-distance travel along Bibbulmun Track. It’s a darling to trek, rightly so because it traverses the Darling Range. Stretching more than 600 miles, Bibbulmun will let tourists appreciate the rapids of Murray River, dip in the Glen Mervyn Dam, and check out trees only seen in Balingup. They will also enjoy the fine waters of the Donnelly River and rest under the shade of karri forest in Pemberton. Ultimately, they can be one with the diverse landscapes of Northcliffe and Walpole until they reach the shores of Peaceful Bay. What a sight to end a trek.
6 Inca Trail
Peru’s Inca Trail should excite anyone because it ends in the iconic Machu Picchu. The World Heritage Site looks stunning in photos, more so in person and after four days of hiking. The 25-mile trail will take trekkers through the alpine tundra and cloud forest of the Andes. More than a trip with Mother Nature, the hike is also a journey to the past as trekkers check out the Inca ruins. When they reach the citadel of Machu Picchu, they’ll be breathless – not because of the hike but because of the stunning beauty.
5 GR 20
GR 20 is a 112-mile trail that leads trekkers into the heart of Corsica in France. The north-south route is tough because of its rubble tracks, dense forests, steep ascents, gorge crossings, and glacial lakes. Said challenging features make a satisfying journey -- the variety comes with differing beauties. The trek will take 11 to 12 days to finish, and though it’s rugged in some parts, the island’s mesmerizing mountain view offers the needed rest. GR 20 is a solid 100.
4 Routeburn Track
New Zealand is famous for its picturesque mountains, a normal sight along Routeburn Track. It just takes three days to finish this almost 20-mile trail, a tempting option for those who want to get the most out of NZ’s nature spots. There are many ups and downs in life, but the Routeburn Track should be the only one that matters. Why so? It will take hikers up scenic peaks, through lush valleys, along towering falls, then down by crystal-clear lakes. Meandering this trail is indeed a travel goal.
3 Jordan Trail
The Jordan Trail is new (mapped in 2015), but it has already attracted lots of tourists in and out of Jordan. It’s believed that Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed walked along this historic path. If that’s not enough reason to visit this 420-mile trail, these might satisfy tourists: brimming forests, stunning canyons, picture-perfect deserts, and the welcoming Red Sea. All that, plus overnight stays in Bedouin campsites and the presence of friendly camels, make the 40-day journey one for the books – the holy book, that is. The trail, after all, is blessed.
2 West Coast Trail
The 47-mile West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in Canada has been around since the days of the First Nations. Completing the route will take six to eight days or longer since even experienced hikers might need to catch their breaths every once in a while because of the over 100 ladders they need to climb. Wherever hikers start their hike, they will be welcomed by the salty sea breeze as they walk along the beach. They can also rest with the Tsusiat Falls as their companion, energizing for another day of fun-filled hiking.
1 Annapurna Circuit
Those who want to be close to the Himalayas should try the Annapurna Circuit, a quite difficult trail in Nepal. Depending on the trailhead, the journey will take 16 to 20 days (for a total of 170 kilometers to 230 km.) The trek will loop the Annapurna Massif and cross river valleys until it reaches its highest point, the Thorong La, the world’s highest mountain pass. The views of the Himalayas and the edge of the Tibetan plateau will probably entice hikers that the next time they visit Nepal, they’ll be up there on Mount Everest saying they did it.