Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or countryside stroller, the world has some simply stunning hikes and walks in the great outdoors just waiting to be conquered. From Peru to Bulgaria, Nepal to New Zealand, there are a whole host of countries out there with some truly breathtaking views and landscapes. Make this the year you witness some spectacular scenery, put the technology down and marvel at our phenomenal planet. A hiking holiday is the perfect chance to recharge and reboot, as well as give you the opportunity to enjoy what mother nature has blessed us with! Check out our top 10 picks below for the ultimate hiking adventure!
The Inca Trail – Peru
We know, how original! The Inca Trail is one of the most well known and well traversed treks in the world and welcomes eager visitors from all over, travelling to Peru to take on the challenge. The Inca Trail is well deserving on any hiking list and is one of the most popular treks in South America. Following in the footsteps of a great lost civilisation, keen hikers can witness ruins, beautiful scenery and of course the cherry on the top, Machu Picchu. While the trek takes 3 full days, the experience of camping along the way in the footsteps of ancient civilisations is an incredible experience in itself.
Laguna de los Tres – Patagonia
The trek to Laguna de los Tres is one of the most astounding hikes in Patagonia, with views of Mount Fitz Roy along the way. The total trek takes around 8 hours with various highlights en-route, and can be completed by anyone with a decent fitness level and altitude here is generally not an issue. Starting near El Chalten, after one hour trekking this route you will arrive at the famous “Mirador Fitz Roy” which will give you one of the first glimpses of this barren and serene mountain. The final stretch is by far the hardest, following steep terrain over huge rocks to the lagoon. But persevere and you will soon find yourself standing before one of the most breathtaking views in the world!
The Lost City Trek – Colombia (La Ciudad Perdida)
Channel your inner explorer as you set off into the tropical jungles of Colombia in search of the Lost City. The trek can take anywhere from 4 to 6 days and covers an impressive distance of around 75 kilometres, but you’ll be rewarded with the ancient ruins of an indigenous city known as Teyuna. Not for the faint of heart, the journey is very demanding and you will be battling the hot tropical temperatures of Colombia, however with breathtaking scenery along the way, it’s definitely worth the trek!
The Annapurna Foothills – Nepal
Nepal is known as one of the best hiking destinations in the world, and with good reason. From snow capped mountain vistas to subtropical jungle, the scenery here is second to none and provides some of the most breathtaking sights in the world. The Annapurna circuit is a popular route for those who don’t wish to take on the mighty Mount Everest, yet still want to trek in the Nepal Himalaya. You don’t need to be an experienced trekker, however you will need a decent level of fitness to fully enjoy it.
Rila Mountains – Bulgaria
The spectacular Rila mountains are nestled in Rila National Park, a paradise for hikers in Europe. These mountains are the highest in the Balkans and offer a lush, rural landscape. Rila National Park is beautifully scattered with glacial lakes and natural hot springs around the base of the mountains, and is home to abundant amounts of flora and fauna. Some of the most beautiful include the Rila Cowslip and Lady’s Mantle, both of which are Balkan endemic species. Hiking in the Rila National Park is a fantastic experience that offers unique European beauty. Overlooking the Seven Rila Lakes, you’ll feel like you just stepped right into a postcard!
Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro ticks a lot of boxes. Tallest mountain in Africa? Check. Highest freestanding mountain in the world? Check. Offers drastically ever changing scenery? Check! Located in the heart of Tanzania, it’s a popular trek for both expect climbers and hiking novices, all you need is a good level of fitness. With various routes to ascend the mountain, all with something a little different to offer, there are plenty of options to choose from, and scaling Kilimanjaro requires no equipment or technical skills. All you need is your own two feet, possibly some walking poles and a good sense of adventure!
Trolltunga – Norway
Who wouldn’t want to hike somewhere which translates as the trolls tongue? This postcard perfect location is a popular hike in Norway, offering some of the most spectacular views of the fjords below. While the hike is quite demanding it is not technical and can be done in one day. Situated around 1000 metres above sea level, the hike takes you through high mountain terrain and showcases the stark natural beauty of Norway.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing – New Zealand
New Zealand is a nature lover’s paradise, an adventure seekers dream and countryside enthusiasts playground all rolled into one heart-stopping, beautiful country. While New Zealand is home to various hiking trails and mountains, the Tongariro is undoubtedly one of the most popular. The crossing takes you over volcanic terrain around Mount Tongariro, passing along the base of Mount Ngauruhoe. Stunning emerald green lakes can be seen along the way and on a clear day you can see far into the distance – showcasing the stunning landscape of this corner of New Zealand.
Everest Base Camp – Nepal
Mount Everest, the mother of all mountains, is the highest in the world. Only the ultimate adventurers aim for the top however it is widely expensive and quite dangerous. The second best option is to trek to Everest Base Camp, a popular option for adventure seekers who want a taste of Everest. The best months when you can trek are either October and November or April and May, as this is when the weather is most favourable. The Base Camp is located at 17600 feet, well below the peak which sits at 29,000 feet. It’s also the highest point you can reach using only your feet, as after this ropes and ice picks are needed. The trek offers some spectacular views along the way and the sense of achievement when you reach the end point is second to none!
Cocora Valley – Colombia
Located in the lush coffee region of Colombia, Cocora Valley offers a very accessible hiking experience which even a complete novice can tackle. Unlike a lot of other mountainous treks, this hiking route is beautifully green and offers a surreal landscape of the tall wax palms that line the valley. Passing farmland, cloud forest and jungle, the best experience to undertake is the five hour route which you can do either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
If you need further inspiration, read our blog on why a hiking holiday should be your next adventure! Tucan Travel have a range of group tours that offer some fantastic hikes in some beautiful destinations – all you need to do is decide which one you want to conquer first!
Emma is on the marketing team at Tucan Travel. She has travelled solo and on group tours through Europe, Southeast Asia and New Zealand.