Best hikes around the world

By Carlota Nelson | 10:30

The idea of walking through the countryside solely for pleasure began in the 18th-century. The say this activity arose because of a changing attitude towards the landscape and nature linked with the Romantic Movement that began in Europe at that time. The romantics had a strong belief and interest in the importance of nature and the effects it had upon the artists. Before that, walking generally meant poverty or vagrancy.

Today, hiking has become an activity practiced by people from all over the world. Expert climbers, mountaineers and those, who like the Romantics, find pleasure in walking thru and amongst nature.  You can hike almost everywhere. No need to climb Mount Everest to enjoy a walk in the woods, but there are certain places that truly stand out in terms of beauty and views. We´ve done our research, talked to the experts and seen the maps and pictures. Here are some of the best hiking trails in the world.

National Geographic contributor, Peter Potterfield, professional hiker and author of best selling books such as Classic Hikes of the World, places the following trail as one of the best in the planet. You´ll need 3 to 5 days to accomplish this one that takes you from Abisko Mountain Station to the Saami Village of Nikkaluokta in Sweden, in the Arctic Circle.  The trail has cosy huts placed a day apart from each other, guaranteeing you´ll have shelter if bad weather should arise.

The Grand Canyon is definitely at the top of the list of the best hiking paths in the world. This trail is 44 miles along one of the worlds´ most amazing marvels. Indulge in the beauty of the multi-coloured rims, the plateau and the immense snake-like river. The trail has plenty of drinking water available and campgrounds.

The Choro Inca Trail in Bolivia is one of the most popular treks in the world. With easy access from La Paz, this trail is a 4-day hike beginning in the Andes and journeying over a 15,000-foot pass. It´s the same trail the Incas used. The Yunga Valley, stunning views, ancient Inca paths, semi tropical rainforest and beautiful ruins are some of the highlights.

Mont Blanc. This is not as hard as some may think. To survive this 5 to 7 day hike, you won´t even need to bring along a tent or food. There are plenty of tiny hospitable villages along the trail. The highlight of this course is being able to walk across three countries: Switzerland, Italy and France and some of the most dramatic glaciers in Europe. If you´d rather camp, there are plenty of mountain refuges and huts.

If you want to discover Kauai´s dramatic coastline and enjoy the secret Kalalau Beach, hiking the 17 km Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast is the only way to go. The trail, located in the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii, begins in the north and takes approximately 2 days to complete. If you´re an experienced hiker, you could do it in a day. Camping is available in the Hanakoa Valley and Kalalau Beach. A great way to end the day!

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Also called the world´s tallest walkable mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro does not require professional hiking skills to get to Africa´s highest peak. The highlight is walking through 5 different climates. Make sure to pack light but bring a variety of clothes. The best option is to book it with an experienced guide.

There are many other paths and trails in the world that are just as breathtaking as these. To name just two more, there is Mount Kailash Pilgrimage in Tibet and the Sentiero Azzuro in Cinque Terre, Italy.  Before you go, be a true mountaineer and prepare to hike in style by reading the Ten Essentials, written by the Mountaineer Club in the 30´s.  


Photo Credits: Fran Kovalchek, Stig NygaardReurinkjan



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