Best Hikes Around the World: Trails That Will Make Your Heart Skip a Beat 🌍💖


Are you ready to elevate your hiking game and explore some of the most breathtaking trails our planet has to offer? From the rugged peaks of the Himalayas to the lush landscapes of South America, we’re about to embark on a global trekking adventure that will have your Instagram feed looking like a National Geographic cover. So, pack your backpack, grab your best walking sticks (or selfie sticks, we don’t judge), and let’s hit the trails on some of the best hikes around the world!

Best Hikes Around the World: The Tour du Mont Blanc is a testament to Europe's natural beauty, cultural diversity, and the unifying power of adventure.
Embrace the Adventure: The Tour du Mont Blanc offers intrepid hikers an unparalleled journey across the scenic landscapes of France, Italy, and Switzerland, showcasing the diversity and beauty of the Alps.

The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal: A High-Altitude Himalayan Odyssey

Nestled in the majestic Himalayas, the Annapurna Circuit isn’t just a trek; it’s a rite of passage for any self-respecting hiker. This high-altitude odyssey takes you through a world where the air is crisp, the landscapes are jaw-dropping, and yaks might become your new best friends. 🐂💨

The Journey Begins

Your adventure starts in the bustling city of Kathmandu, where the only thing higher than the mountains might be the stacks of delicious momos you’ll encounter. After a scenic drive to Besisahar, you’ll officially step onto the trail that will become your home for the next 12 to 21 days, depending on your pace and penchant for detours.

The Trail Unfolds

As you ascend from lush subtropical forests into alpine woodlands, each turn of the trail offers a new panorama more spectacular than the last. The path weaves through traditional villages where you’ll be greeted with warm smiles and possibly the most photogenic goats you’ll ever meet. 🐐✨

Best Hikes Around the World: The Annapurna Circuit
Nature’s Grandeur Unveiled: From lush rhododendron forests to arid high mountain passes, the Annapurna Circuit showcases the stunning ecological diversity that makes it a pinnacle experience for global trekkers

The Challenge: Thorong La Pass

The crown jewel of the trek is the Thorong La Pass. Sitting at a breathtaking 5,416 meters, this is where you’ll prove your mettle. Crossing it is a test of endurance, willpower, and how well you’ve acclimatized to laughing in the face of thin air. The reward? A sense of accomplishment and views that make you wonder if you’ve accidentally walked into a high-definition nature documentary.

The Descent and Beyond

What goes up must come down, and as you descend towards Jomsom, the landscape shifts yet again, offering a stark beauty that’s dramatically different from the lushness of the lower altitudes. Soak in the hot springs at Tatopani, a natural spa treatment for your weary muscles, before making your way to the picturesque Ghorepani and Poon Hill, where a sunrise view over the Annapurnas awaits, turning the sky into a canvas of fiery colors.

The Annapurna Circuit
A Journey Through the Clouds: The Annapurna Circuit beckons with its high-altitude trails, offering hikers a breathtaking passage through some of the world’s most awe-inspiring mountain vistas.

Itinerary Example

  • Day 1-5: Kathmandu to Pokhara (preparation and acclimatization)
  • Day 6-12: Trek from Besisahar to Thorong La Pass, immersing yourself in the changing landscapes and vibrant local cultures.
  • Day 13-18: Descend to Jomsom, then head to Tatopani and Ghorepani for some soothing hot springs and breathtaking sunrise views over Poon Hill.
  • Day 19-21: Return to Pokhara and then Kathmandu, your heart and camera full of unforgettable memories.

Why It’s Worth It

The Annapurna Circuit is more than a trek; it’s an adventure that tests your limits and expands your worldview. You’ll come back with more than just incredible photos; you’ll have stories of resilience, breathtaking beauty, and the simple yet profound joys of a cup of tea shared with new friends in the shadow of the Himalayas. Ready to lace up your boots and embark on this high-altitude Himalayan odyssey? The mountains are calling! 🏔️💕

Best Hikes Around the World: The Annapurna Circuit tests your limits
Cultural Trek at the Top of the World: As you navigate the diverse landscapes of the Annapurna Circuit, you’re also invited to immerse yourself in the rich cultures and traditions of Nepal’s mountain communities.

The Overland Track, Tasmania: An Untamed Wilderness Walk

Tasmania’s Overland Track is the stuff of wilderness dreams, where ancient forests, alpine moors, and pristine lakes converge in a symphony of natural wonders. This 65-kilometer trek through the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is an immersive journey that promises solitude, breathtaking scenery, and maybe a curious wombat or two. 🌿🐾

Embarking on the Adventure

Starting at the iconic Cradle Mountain and ending at the serene Lake St. Clair, the Overland Track is a well-defined path that invites hikers to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with the raw beauty of nature. The journey typically takes 6 to 7 days, offering a perfect blend of challenge and reward.

What You’ll Encounter

As you traverse this untamed wilderness, each step introduces you to landscapes that seem untouched by time. The towering peaks of Cradle Mountain loom as silent sentinels, while the tranquil waters of Dove Lake mirror the sky. Rainforests filled with ancient myrtle and sassafras trees whisper stories of the past, and open moors paint the horizon with a palette of greens and browns that change with the passing of clouds.

Best Hikes Around the World: Cradle Mountain
Into the Wilderness Heart: Cradle Mountain beckons hikers with its rugged peaks and serene lakes, offering a quintessential Tasmanian adventure through the pristine landscapes of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

The Challenges and Charms

Crossing rivers and navigating through valleys, you’ll find the physical challenges of the Overland Track are matched by its spiritual rewards. The climb up to Marion’s Lookout is a test of endurance, but the panoramic views at the summit are your just reward. At night, camp under a blanket of stars so vast it redefines your place in the universe.

Side Trips and Serendipity

The beauty of the Overland Track lies not just in its path but in the detours along the way. Side trips to waterfalls like Crater and Hartnett offer a refreshing respite, while the climb to Mount Ossa presents an opportunity to stand atop Tasmania’s highest peak. These moments of serendipity add layers to your adventure, each one a story waiting to be told.

Marion's Lookout
Gateway to Panoramic Splendor: Marion’s Lookout is a jewel in the crown of Tasmania’s hiking trails, offering sweeping views of Cradle Mountain and the surrounding wilderness that captivate the heart of every explorer.

Itinerary Example

  • Day 1: Start at Cradle Mountain, trek to Waterfall Valley Hut.
  • Day 2-3: Continue through Barn Bluff to Pine Forest Moor Hut, taking in the expansive views and rugged terrain.
  • Day 4: Journey towards Pelion Hut, with optional climbs to surrounding peaks.
  • Day 5-6: Traverse the moors to Windermere Hut and finally to Lake St. Clair, where a ferry can whisk you away to civilization.

Why It’s Worth It

The Overland Track is an invitation to experience wilderness in its purest form. It’s a chance to test your limits against the elements and emerge with a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Whether you’re spotting a shy platypus at dusk or listening to the eerie call of the currawong, this trek is a reminder of the wild’s timeless allure. Are you ready to answer the call of Tasmania’s wild heart? 🌲🚶‍♂️✨

Best Hikes Around the World: The Overland Track
A Symphony of Nature: Trekking the Overland Track is like walking through a live orchestra of natural wonders, where each step reveals a new harmony of waterfalls, mountain peaks, and wildlife encounters.

The Pacific Crest Trail, USA: A Coast-to-Coast Epic

Spanning over 2,650 miles from the sun-drenched borders of Mexico to the cool, verdant reaches of Canada, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is not just a hike; it’s a pilgrimage for the soul, stretching across three states and countless ecosystems. It’s where you’ll find yourself in the silent company of towering trees, expansive deserts, and the kind of panoramic mountain vistas that make you question whether you’re still on planet Earth. 🌎🚶‍♂️

Embarking on the Adventure

Your journey on the PCT begins with a decision: to thru-hike or not to thru-hike? Covering the entire trail in a single season is a monumental task, typically taking between four to six months. But fear not, weekend warriors and section hikers, for the PCT is also yours to explore at a pace that suits you, offering a variety of landscapes that change with the seasons and your stride.

Best Hikes Around the World: The Pacific Crest Trail
A Hiker’s Odyssey: Spanning over 2,650 miles, the Pacific Crest Trail is a testament to the adventurous spirit, presenting an epic journey through scenic wilderness areas, national parks, and a mosaic of ecosystems that inspire awe and introspection in equal measure.

A Trail of Diversity

From the arid climes of the Mojave Desert to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the volcanic fields of Oregon, the PCT is a masterclass in natural diversity. Each section of the trail offers its own unique challenges and rewards. You’ll traverse the infamous John Muir Trail, stand in awe at the base of Mt. Whitney, and navigate the deep forests of Washington, where the green is so vivid it seems to glow.

The Ultimate Test: The High Sierra

The High Sierra section is where hikers find their mettle tested against some of the most breathtaking and challenging terrains the PCT has to offer. Here, you’ll face high passes, deep snow, and the kind of silence that sings to the adventurous spirit. It’s also where you’ll find the camaraderie of the trail at its strongest, as hikers band together to tackle the elements and share in the joy of a well-earned view.

The High Sierra
Elevate Your Senses in the High Sierra: Journey through the High Sierra and find yourself amidst ancient sequoias, wildflower-strewn meadows, and awe-inspiring mountain vistas that promise an unforgettable adventure above the world.

Itinerary Variations

  • Thru-Hike: A 4-6 month commitment, starting in late April or early May to avoid the heaviest snows in the Sierra and reach Canada before the autumn snows.
  • Section Hike: Pick and choose your sections based on the time you have. A popular choice is the 2-3 week journey through the John Muir Trail portion of the PCT, offering some of the trail’s most iconic landscapes.
  • Weekend Warriors: Even a weekend on the PCT is transformative. Consider shorter sections like the 42-mile Timberline Trail around Oregon’s Mt. Hood for a taste of the trail’s majesty.

Why It’s Worth It

Hiking the PCT is an exercise in self-discovery, a way to connect with nature on a profound level, and a journey that challenges the body while soothing the soul. Whether you’re a thru-hiker conquering the entire trail or a day hiker soaking in the splendor of a single section, the PCT offers a world of adventure, solitude, and unparalleled beauty. Ready to step into the wild? The Pacific Crest Trail beckons. 🌲👣

Best Hikes Around the World: The High Sierra
A Hiker’s Paradise Found: The High Sierra, with its rugged landscapes and serene wilderness, stands as a testament to the enduring allure of nature, inviting adventurers to explore its hidden valleys and snow-capped peaks in search of solitude and splendor.

The Camino de Santiago, Spain: A Pilgrimage of Spirit and Scenery

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is not just a hike; it’s a journey of the soul across the breathtaking landscapes of Spain. This network of ancient pilgrim routes ends at the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. But let’s be real, the journey itself is where the magic happens. 🌟👣

The Route(s) to Enlightenment

Yes, routes, with an „s“ because the Camino isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Whether you start from France on the popular Camino Francés, from Portugal on the Camino Portugués, or any other route, each path offers its unique blend of natural beauty, historical sites, and culinary delights. Prepare to have your senses (and possibly your feet) overwhelmed in the best possible way.

Best Hikes Around the World: Camino de Santiago
Footsteps Through Time: Each step along the Camino de Santiago is a step through centuries of history, where medieval towns, ancient bridges, and stunning cathedrals tell the tales of pilgrims past

The Daily Grind… or Divine?

Each day on the Camino brings its own set of challenges and rewards. You’ll walk through picturesque villages, over rolling hills, and past vineyards that beg you to stop and taste the local wine—purely for spiritual reasons, of course. 🍷🙏 The real challenge? Not stopping at every charming café for a café con leche.

The Pilgrims‘ Progress

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Camino is the camaraderie among pilgrims. You’ll meet fellow travelers from around the globe, each with their own stories and reasons for undertaking the journey. Sharing experiences and encouragement, you’ll form bonds that can last a lifetime, proving that sometimes, it’s the people who make the place.

Meet fellow travelers from around the globe on the Camino de Santiago
Unity in Diversity: The Camino de Santiago brings together hikers from all corners of the globe, creating a mosaic of cultures, languages, and stories, united by the shared goal of reaching Santiago de Compostela.

Itinerary Example

  • Week 1: Start your pilgrimage on the Camino Francés from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, and make your way to Pamplona, famous for its running of the bulls. Enjoy the Basque Country’s stunning landscapes and delicious cuisine.
  • Week 2-3: Continue through the wine region of La Rioja, then on to the historic city of Burgos. As you walk through the Meseta, the spiritual heart of the Camino, let the vast open spaces inspire deep reflection.
  • Week 4: Enter Galicia through the mountainous O Cebreiro, enjoying the lush greenery and Celtic influence. The final push to Santiago de Compostela is filled with anticipation and perhaps a bit of melancholy as your journey nears its end.
  • Arrival in Santiago: The moment you’ve been walking towards. Entering the Plaza del Obradoiro and seeing the cathedral is an emotional climax. Whether you’re religious or not, attending the Pilgrim’s Mass is a powerful experience, especially if you witness the swinging of the famous Botafumeiro.

Why It’s Worth It

The Camino de Santiago is more than a hike; it’s a spiritual journey that invites introspection and offers healing. Along the way, the blend of stunning scenery, historical richness, and personal encounters creates a profound experience. It’s a pilgrimage of spirit and scenery, leaving you with a deeper connection to yourself and the world. So, grab your walking stick and let the yellow arrows guide you on an unforgettable adventure. Buen Camino! 🌍💖

Best Hikes Around the World: The Camino de Santiago invites introspection and offers healing.
A Pilgrimage of Soul and Scenery: The Camino de Santiago winds through the picturesque landscapes of Spain, offering a journey that nourishes the spirit and dazzles the senses with its rich history and vibrant culture.

The Inca Trail, Peru: A Path to the Past

Embark on a journey where each step takes you deeper into history, leading you through the heart of the ancient Inca Empire to the mystical Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is not just a hike; it’s a time machine crafted in stone, winding through the majestic Andes and unveiling secrets of the past. 🍃🕰️

The Adventure Awaits

Your trek begins in the Sacred Valley, where modern hustle fades, and ancient rhythms take over. From Cusco, the historical capital of the Inca Empire, you’ll head to the trail’s starting point, plunging into a world where the air is tinged with mystery and the mountains whisper tales of yore.

Best Hikes Around the World: Sacred Valley, Peru
Cultural Immersion Amidst Andean Splendor: The Sacred Valley invites hikers to immerse themselves in the vibrant traditions and communities of the Andes, offering a unique blend of outdoor adventure and cultural enrichment against the backdrop of Peru’s stunning mountainous terrain.

Through the Clouds to History

The trail challenges you with its steep ascents and descents, but each breath of thin air and each strenuous step are rewarded with unparalleled views and a closer connection to the Incan spirit. You’ll pass through cloud forests, alongside fast-flowing rivers, and by ancient ruins that serve as silent guardians of history.

The Sun Gate: A Grand Entrance

After days of trekking, the final morning brings a crescendo of emotion and anticipation. You’ll wake before dawn, muscles aching but spirits soaring, to make the final ascent to the Sun Gate. As the sun rises, it bathes Machu Picchu in golden light, revealing the iconic ruins in all their glory—a moment that captures the essence of exploration and discovery.

Sun Gate, Peru
A Rewarding Finale: After traversing the Inca Trail’s challenging paths, the sight from the Sun Gate is a breathtaking reward, presenting a panoramic view of Machu Picchu nestled among the Andean peaks.

Itinerary Example

  • Day 1: From Cusco to the Kilometer 82 marker, then trek to the first campsite. Marvel at the ruins of Llactapata.
  • Day 2: Ascend to the highest point of the trail at Dead Woman’s Pass, then descend to the campsite near Pacaymayo.
  • Day 3: Journey through Runkurakay and the stunning ruins of Sayacmarca, finally reaching the beautiful Wiñay Wayna.
  • Day 4: An early start leads you to the Sun Gate, where Machu Picchu awaits in its timeless majesty. Explore the ancient city and let the moment etch itself into your memory.

Why It’s Worth It

The Inca Trail offers more than just a physical challenge; it’s a pilgrimage that connects you to the heart and soul of Incan culture. Each ruin along the path tells a story, every landscape is a painting come to life, and Machu Picchu is the masterpiece at the journey’s end. Walking this ancient path, you’re not just a visitor; you’re part of the continuum of history, experiencing the wonders of a civilization that, though vanished, speaks to us through its enduring legacy. Ready to take a step back in time? The path to the past awaits. 🌄✨

Best Hikes Around the World: The Inca Trail
A Trek to Remember: The Inca Trail combines the thrill of exploration with the reverence of history, leading hikers through a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and architectural marvels, culminating in the unforgettable sight of Machu Picchu at dawn

The Tour du Mont Blanc, Europe: A Triple-Country Trek

Why visit one country when you can hike through three? The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is not just a hike; it’s a multi-national marathon of stunning vistas, cozy mountain huts, and culinary delights that could make even the most seasoned traveler’s heart skip a beat. 🏔️🇫🇷🇨🇭🇮🇹

A Hiker’s Dream

Starting in the charming town of Chamonix, France, the TMB stretches approximately 170 kilometers (about 105 miles) and takes you on a grand tour of Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak. This trek is a feast for the senses, offering panoramic views of glaciers, verdant valleys, and craggy peaks that look like they’ve been lifted straight from a postcard.

Best Hikes Around the World: Chamonix
Gateway to the Peaks: Chamonix, nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, serves as the starting point for some of the world’s most exhilarating hikes, where every trail promises a new adventure amid the high alpine glory.

Through Three Countries

What sets the TMB apart is its international flavor. From the chic alpine resorts of France, you’ll hike into Italy, where the aroma of espresso and pizza might just tempt you off the trail. Then, as you cross into Switzerland, you’re greeted by idyllic landscapes that seem to whisper tales of folklore and legend. Each country adds its own unique spice to the journey, making for an unforgettable trekking experience.

The Highs and Lows

The TMB is as challenging as it is beautiful, with several passes to conquer, including the famous Col du Bonhomme and Col de la Seigne. These high points offer not only a test of endurance but also unparalleled views that serve as a reward for your efforts. At night, refuges dotting the trail provide a warm bed and a hearty meal, ensuring you’re rested and ready for each day’s adventure.

Col du Bonhomme
Where Nature’s Majesty Unfolds: Trekking through Col du Bonhomme reveals a world where sky-high peaks meet lush valleys, encapsulating the essence of high-altitude adventure in the heart of Europe

Itinerary Example

  • Day 1-3: Start in Chamonix, France, and trek towards Les Contamines, enjoying the stunning Alpine scenery.
  • Day 4-6: Enter Italy near Courmayeur, indulging in Italian cuisine and the dramatic Italian side of Mont Blanc.
  • Day 7-9: Cross into Switzerland, hiking through charming villages and lush landscapes, before completing the loop back to Chamonix.

Why It’s Worth It

The Tour du Mont Blanc is a testament to Europe’s natural beauty, cultural diversity, and the unifying power of adventure. It’s a journey that challenges you physically but rewards you with moments of pure alpine bliss, international camaraderie, and the chance to experience the essence of three distinct European countries, all united by a single trail. Lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure (and maybe some stretchy pants for all the delicious food), and get ready for the trek of a lifetime. 🚶‍♂️🍕🧀🏔️

Best Hikes Around the World: The Tour du Mont Blanc
Where Every Turn is a Postcard: On the Tour du Mont Blanc, each step reveals panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, verdant valleys, and crystal-clear lakes, offering a visual feast that embodies the spirit of European hiking at its best.

From the dizzying heights of Nepal to the historic paths of Peru, and the picturesque trails of Europe, the best hikes around the world offer something for every type of adventurer. Whether you’re looking to test your limits or simply soak in some of the planet’s most stunning landscapes, these trails are your ticket to an unforgettable adventure. So, what are you waiting for? The world is vast, beautiful, and ready to be explored – one step at a time!

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