For those that find their home in the great outdoors, hiking can be quite the cathartic sport. Whether through flower clad valleys in spring or across snow-crusted slopes in winter, hiking remains a perennial sport. Hiking trails generally come in many forms, from intense 30 day walks to short day hikes. An ideal hike should meet the hiker’s physical capacities and come with excellent views.
Here are some of the best hikes in the world to choose your next adventure:
El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Spain: When people talk about the ‘Camino de Santiago’, they talk about one of the many routes that takes one to Santiago the Compostela, the holy city in far northwest Spain. Believed to hold the remains of the martyr Saint James, the hike to Santiago was one of the most popularly walked pilgrim routes in the early centuries. Today, it is regarded as one of the best hikes in the world. There are several routes that take one to Santiago- the Camino Frances, Camino Ingles, Camino del Norte and Camino Portugues being some of the few. The hike itself is fairly easy though long, and can take between 10-30 days depending on the route and rest stops.
The Basho Wayfarer, Japan: The Basho Wayfarer hike follows the route of the famed Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, who described his travels in his Oku-no-hosomichi. Although the poet took his walk more than 300 years ago, the hiking route remains one of the most beautiful ones in all of the world. The trail starts as Sendai and meanders across fortress ruins, beautiful forests and Japanese temples as it moves forward. Although the road is largely undulating, some sections are somewhat steep and require a bit of climbing. It might take about 5-6 days to complete the hike, depending on the amount of walking each day.
Dragon’s Back, Hong Kong: Regarded as one of Hong Kong’s best urban hikes, the Dragon’s Back trail sits on a mountain ridge by the shore. The rustic dirt path takes one through untampered foliage, with several viewpoints riddled along its length. One can catch great views of the coastline along the hike, and even catch a glimpse of the surrounding islands on a clear day. At the end of the trail sits the Big Wave Bay Beach, where hikers can take a quick dip. Head over to the Thrillophilia reviews section for further details on Dragon’s Back!
Valley of Flowers trek, India: One of the oldest trails in India, the Valley of Flowers trek is renowned for its beauty. Carpeted with blue, violet and yellow flowers across its stretch, this World Heritage Site invites hikers from around the world. The route travels across the Valley of Flowers national park, and is only about 10 kilometers long in length. The difficulty is deemed to be moderate, and is best tried by seasoned trekkers. Learn more about the Valley of Flowers trek in the Trustpilot reviews section.
West Coast Trail, Vancouver Island: Nestled along the shores of Vancouver Island, this backcountry hike is well suited for adventurers looking for a taste of wildlife exploration. The route travels through beach and forest trails, and can often be rather challenging. Combining views to the shore and the rich jungles alike, the West Coast Trail stands out for its unique sightings. Wildlife adds another dimension to the hike, with frequent sightings of little animals and birds.
Lares Trek and Royal Inca Trail, Peru: For those interested in history, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu should be at the very top of their hiking list. The trail makes its way through some of Peru’s most renowned historical regions, such as Machu Picchu, Pisco and Sacsayhuaman. The three day long hike also takes one through local villages, where those interested in exploring the culture of the city can choose to stay back and explore further.
The Pennine Way, UK: Also known as the National Trail, the Pennine Way is the United Kingdom’s famed long distance walking route. Although the Pennine Way can prove to be quite a challenging walk, it is also one of the most satisfying hikes. The route rises and falls gently, crossing little hills and villages as it moves forward. The trail also crosses three separate national parks. The trail starts from Edale and ends at Kirk, and can take between 15-25 days to complete.
Appalachian Trail, United States: The longest hike-specific footpath in the world, the Appalachian trail stretches between Maine and Georgia. The trail is popular among thru-hikers as well as day hikers- which is, one can either choose to walk all of it in one stretch, or explore only a certain section of it. Travelling through untamed wilderness, the route can be quite beautiful. The hike is best taken during summer, between the months of March and September.
Tergo La Trek, Bhutan: One of Bhutan’s lesser known hikes, the Tergo La Trek can be quite a demanding one. Crossing farmlands and mountain ridges, the undulating terrain of Tergo La Trek is best suited for seasoned terrains. One also comes across a number of little Bhutanese villages en route, making it a popular culture tour as well. The route, however, is blessed with some of the best sights, with its seclusion adding to the mystic charm of the place.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: For wildlife enthusiasts, Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest presents a unique gorilla trekking opportunity. The hike here takes one through the tropical forests of Uganda and Rwanda to spot gorillas in their natural habitat. The trails are fairly easy, and only takes a day to complete.