This is a guest article contributed by Rebecca of RoughDraft.
Whether you are planning a holiday escape with your friends or you want to have a memorable solo experience, if you are a nature lover, a hiking trip is a fantastic idea.
If you are an experienced hiker, you already know how to prepare for such an adventure, but newbies should take a little extra time to get ready and to pack for this type of excursion.
What does this mean? The first thing to consider is to get in shape. You need to focus on your cardiovascular fitness and make sure your back is strong enough to carry your adventure pack. Before your ultimate hiking trip, make sure you enjoy a few practice hikes closer to home and whilst you’re at it, don’t forget about your mental preparation. Find the reason you want to do this and begin thinking about your goals a few months before your trip. When the time comes, pack as light as possible because you will generally be carrying your belongings for the duration of these hikes. Going on a world trip? See our packing list.
Now, that you are ready for your adventure, continue reading and find out more about the ultimate hiking trips around the world.
El Camino de Santiago, Spain
Days: 30-35 | Difficulty: Long & Hard
Known for being one of the most popular Christian pilgrimages in the Middle Ages, El Camino de Santiago is a fantastic idea for all kinds of hikers no matter their reason for walking it. Whether you are a religious or a spiritual pilgrim, you plan to test your physical abilities, or you want to hike El Camino for fun, its many paths welcome you with mesmerizing landscapes and incredible experiences, as well as the promise to offer you a spiritual growth you can’t anywhere else.
If you decide to walk the Camino Frances, the most popular route of the Camino de Santiago and start at St. Jean Pied de Port in France, it should take you about 30 to 35 days. Though you don’t have to be an athlete to complete it, walking El Camino Frances is long and hard so you will need a reasonable level of fitness.
Inca Trail, Peru
Days: 4 | Difficulty: Moderate to Easy
If exploring South America by foot is one of your dreams, you should start with hiking the incredible Inca Trail. Probably one of the most famous hikes in the world, the mesmerizing Inca Trail gives you the chance to adventure yourself in 26 miles of breath-taking mountain scenery, jungle landscapes, and ruins that end with a memorable visit of Machu Picchu. The hike is moderate to easy, and you will need around 4 days to arrive to your destination.
Ayrshire Coastal Path, Scotland
Days: 6-10 | Difficulty: Difficult
Declared one of Scotland’s Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Ayrshire Coastal Path is a must if you plan to hike your way around Europe. Besides offering amazing landscapes and the chance to discover interesting historical sites, this charming trail is a great choice for adventurous hikers with good fitness levels, who can walk along cliff-tops and over rough rocky shores. Keep in mind that this hike is difficult and to enjoy the whole route, you will need to walk between six and ten days.
The Torres del Paine W Circuit, Patagonia
Days: 4-5 | Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
If Patagonia is on your must-visit list, hiking the route that follows the letter “W” through the beautiful Torres del Paine National Park should not be missed. The unbelievable scenery of fairy-tale lakes, volcanic peaks and imposing glaciers will instantly make you fall in love with Patagonia. And if you want to have the whole park for yourself, adventure into hiking this remarkable trail during winter. The experience promises to be so amazing it will feel unreal. The W Trek is a moderately difficult hike, but get ready for around four to five days of hiking.
Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
Days: 9 – 10 | Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult (high altitude)
Famous for being one of the most incredible treks in the world, the Everest Base Camp Trek should have a special place on your list, especially if you always dreamt of catching a glimpse of the highest summit on Earth. The best time to do the hike is from March to May and September to December, and the highlights of this experience will be visiting the ancient Tengboche and Thami monasteries and getting to know the Sherpa people.
Though it might sound scary, hiking the Everest Base Camp Trek is not “as difficult” as one may assume, however it is a far stretch from easy. Be ready for about nine days of high altitude trekking until you reach the camp.
Croagh Patrick, Ireland
Days: 3 Hours | Difficulty: Easy
If you’re still a hiking newbie, but you want to have an unforgettable outdoor experience, consider adding Croagh Patrick to your list. Not only is this one of the most climbed mountains in Ireland, being an important Christian pilgrimage, but it is also considered the best day hikes in the world. Climbing Croagh Patrick is quite easy, and it takes only around three hours.
To avoid bad weather, it is best hiked between April and October. Prepare to be amazed by the views of Clews Bay and the landscapes surrounding the town of Westport.
Tour du Mont Blanc, France/ Italy/ and Switzerland
Days: 9-11 | Difficulty: Difficult
For the more experienced hikers, Tour du Mont Blanc is not only a great challenge but also a chance to explore three countries and their variety of lovely terrain during one adventure. Besides fascinating glaciers, meadows, and woodlands, the Tour du Mont Blanc is known for the diversity of wild animals you can see on your way. Get ready to meet some energetic, wild alpine goats, cute marmots, and plenty more. Do keep in mind that it will take you around nine to eleven days to complete the hike and it has a high difficulty level.
Days: 5-9 | Difficulty: Difficult (high altitude)
If you are eager to enjoy the most spectacular views above the clouds, hiking Kilimanjaro and reaching Africa’s highest peak must be on your bucket list. The best time to enjoy this adventure is in January, February, or September and due to the high altitude (19,340 feet), it is recommended to have some training before undetaking this hike.
There are many climbing routes, and the majority of less experienced hikers prefer travelling with a guided tour to make sure they end up admiring the best views. Though not the hardest in the world, Kilimanjaro is an extreme altitude mountain trek, so it won’t be easy. Prepare for five to nine days of adventure, depending on the chosen route.
Days: 30 | Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
With an astonishing Arctic landscape, Kungsleden, or “The King’s Trail,” is waiting for passionate hikers from August to early September. During this time you can admire the big glaciers, open tundra, and of course, Mount Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest peak. The trail is actually 275-mile traverse, but you can always enjoy a shorter hike that also promises bewildering Arctic scenery. If you want to complete the whole trail, make sure you are ready for 30 days of moderate to difficult hike.
Cinque Terre National Park, Italy
Days: 6 Hours | Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Romantic hikers who want to enjoy “Bella Italia” must add the Ligurian coast in Cinque Terre National Park on their bucket list. With spectacular views of the rocky coastline and five charming little Italian towns, Cinque Terre promises to offer adventurous an unforgettable experience. Not only is this a hike that will instantly touch your heart and amaze your eyes, but it is also doable for hikers of all fitness levels. You can walk the entire route in about six hours. Perfect for a day adventure!
These are our ten ultimate hiking trips around the world, but as you can imagine, there are many more trails that are waiting to be discovered by your wandering feet. All you have to do is properly prepare yourself, pack your bags, and just go. Have fun!
Rebecca is a translator, an interpreter and a digital nomad, living her best life while traveling the world and breaking out of her shell. Her ultimate dream is to visit every country in the world, and she has so far been to 49. When not writing or trying to find the perfect cappuccino, she tries to blog at RoughDraft. Once a social media addict, she now has a very rarely used Twitter account.