The planet we live on is one of the many things we should not take for granted. And what better way to appreciate it than traversing some of the best hiking trails in the world?
For one, hiking allows you to explore many places and build meaningful relationships. Second, trekking comes with many health benefits. Third, it enables you to commune with Mother Nature.
So, if you are looking for a place where you can sink your hiking poles into, here are our 12 recommendations:
When you think of the best hiking trails globally, you have to start with the superlatives in each continent.
For example, hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, is a bucket list moment. That’s because it’s the highest mountain in the entirety of the continent.
However, its size isn’t the only thing noteworthy about it. The landscape around Mount Kilimanjaro is gorgeous and a feast for the eyes as well, which is why many hikers attempt this hike each year. It also helps that, out of the peaks in the list of the highest mountains per continent, Mount Kilimanjaro is the easiest to hike and isn’t as tricky.
Still, be careful as it’s still not a walk in the park.
Inca Trail, Peru
Machu Picchu in Peru is an iconic sight that’s been the subject of many postcards, and for a good reason.
It’s an excellent testament to the ingenuity and greatness of ancient civilizations. It’s a historical souvenir left behind by generations way before we came to be.
With that said, one of the excellent ways to reach Machu Picchu is by hiking the Inca Trail.
The Inca Trail is around 42 km or 26 miles, so it’s not exactly the shortest hike out there. However, most walks going through the Inca Trail seek to go into Machu Picchu in the early mornings.
Once sunrise comes and Machu Picchu peeks over the horizon, you’ll see just why it’s such a great hiking trail to try for yourself.
Mount Toubkal, Morocco
There are many hiking trails worth exploring in North Africa. But if you want a bucket-list-worthy one, then we go back to the highest peak there, which is Mount Toubkal.
Mount Toubkal is North Africa’s highest peak, and to hike there, you’re going to need a certain level of fitness and a good guide team with you.
You don’t need any technical knowledge to get to the top, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to hike.
One thing that’s unique to the hike up Mount Toubkal is that you get to interact with the culture of the local people. They are many indigenous groups in North Africa known for their interesting culture and lifestyle.
Kalalau Trail, United States
For experienced hikers who are also adrenaline junkies looking for more thrill, the Kalalau Trail in Hawaii is exciting. The hike itself isn’t anything too crazy as it’s about 22 miles in length for a roundtrip. However, it’s not the length of the walk that makes it an exciting hiking trail.
The Kalalau Trail is infamous for being an isolated trail that not even cell service can reach. Aside from that, this trail hugs the coastline. At one point, it feels like you’re embracing the coastline, too, because of how steep, narrow, and crumbly the track can be.
The footing of the trail is treacherous, so don’t take on this trail if you don’t know or are not prepared for the risks that come with it.
Milford Track, New Zealand
New Zealand is a top destination for many hikers worldwide, given its many well-preserved natural goals.
New Zealand has committed to the care and maintenance of many hiking trails, and they even have something called the Great Walks of New Zealand. Therefore, if you’re going to look for the best hiking trails in the world in New Zealand, you start with the Great Walks.
Within those Great Walks, the best trail would be the Milford Track which takes you through New Zealand’s full natural glory. You’ll encounter many waterfalls, gorgeous alpine lakes, rolling meadows, and majestic mountain peaks along the way.
Everest Base Camp, Nepal
You can’t talk about the best hiking trails in the world without ever mentioning the incomparable Mount Everest. However, hiking Everest has never been the easiest thing. Otherwise, every Joe Schmoe who has ever walked would be able to proclaim conquering Mount Everest proudly.
Instead of hiking the peak of Mount Everest, you can instead try the Everest Base Camp Trek, which is a journey that takes you to the base of Mount Everest. There you’ll see many Sherpa villages, and you’ll be able to see Everest and many tall peaks along the way.
It’s still a worthwhile experience even though you don’t get to the top of Mount Everest. You’re still going to have sights that you can’t keep your eyes off of as well as a culture that’s foreign but still warm to you.
Banff Highline Trail, Canada
The Rocky Mountains in Canada are a sight that has inspired many adventurers, so it makes sense that you should include these in your bucket list.
The Banff Highline Trail will get you through the gorgeous Canadian Rockies of all the hiking trails there. You’ll be able to admire the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains, look upon many of the glacial lakes in the area, as well as see the verdant forests around you.
The entirety of the hike should take you a little more than a week or so, especially if you take your time to admire the scenery around you, which you should.
The Great Ocean Walk, Australia
If you’re listing down some of the best hiking trails in the world, you should include at least one coastal walk. You can discover one of the stunning coastal hikes in the world is in Australia, and it holds the ever-appropriate name of the Great Ocean Walk.
The Great Ocean Walk in Australia is a one-way hike about 100 km or a little over 62 miles in length, and it takes a little over a week to finish. It hugs the southwestern coast of Australia and goes through many of the country’s natural sceneries and historical spots.
Aside from that, you can encounter a diverse group of wildlife that Australia is known to have, along with an equally diverse environment. This coastal walk will get you through beaches, cliffside views, eucalyptus forests, and many more.
Trek to Petra, Jordan
Petra, Jordan is a beautiful historical city in the Middle East. Many historic and ancient cities in the world are worth going to, but what makes Petra stand out is that the hike to it takes you to gorges.
The blush-colored rocks are carved into buildings that serve as the city of Petra, garnering the name Red Rose City.
The Jordan Trail to Petra is a great hiking trail leading to the Red Rose City of Jordan. That’s because it helps support the local nomadic community of the Bedouins. You can even get a small glimpse of what the culture of the Bedouins is like.
Lycian Way, Turkey
If you’re looking for long-distance walks, then the Lycian Way in Turkey is one of the best hiking trails in the world for that. Interestingly, the Lycian Way is that this long-distance hike is a relatively recent development. It only really opened to walkers in the early 2000s.
This trail is mostly a coastal hike as it rides along the coast of the ancient kingdom of Lycia, but it also goes through many old trails, villages, and more. With a refreshing Mediterranean view right by your side for most of the time, you can also get to more rural towns in Turkey.
Puez-Odle Altopiano, Italy
The Puez-Odle Altopiano hike in Italy is all about fantastic views of the famous Dolomites in the region. It would be even better if you hike here during the summer to see the sprinkling of the wildflowers local to the area. Before you even start the hike, you already get a fantastic view, so you don’t even have to accomplish the trek to enjoy Puez-Odle Altopiano.
Tour du Mont Blanc, Europe
Nothing sounds more like a bucket list trip than saying that you continuously hiked through three countries. And that’s what the Tour du Mont Blanc will give you.
Tour du Mont Blanc spans three different European countries: France, Switzerland, and Italy. The entirety of it will take you around two weeks to pass through the 170-km or 106-mile trail.
This trail takes you through an alpine environment, specifically the area around Mont Blanc. Mind you, this is the highest mountain in the European Alps.
Over to You
All the trails in this list are worth adding to your travel bucket list. After all, each can provide a unique trekking experience for you.
You only live once, as they say. So, use this opportunity to traverse the best hiking trails in the world! That way, you can explore the best natural sceneries that the world can offer.