Wadi Rum best hikes in the world

Walk the World: 20 of the best hikes and climbs in the world

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Walk the World

Do you get a real thrill from lacing up your hiking shoes on your travels and conquering an epic trek, hike, or mountain under the steam of your own two feet? Do you love nothing more than finding your own way to a far-reaching view that makes you feel teeny-tiny?  This list is for you. Because, sometimes letting our magnificent world make you feel small is a good thing!

Below are 20 ultimate hikes around our wonderful world that deserve a place on your bucket list (if they haven’t got one already!) 

Lace up, dig deep and let’s go…

1. Inca Trail, Peru 

Inca trail Peru Hikes and Walks of the world

This is one of the most famous hikes in the world for good reason. The Inca Trail is an active adventure sure to light a fire of adrenaline in your belly. If you choose to tackle the full four-day hike, you’ll be led along ancient pathways deep into the lush Peruvian countryside as you climb through the clouds ever higher into the Andes mountains. Waiting for you at the end though, is perhaps the greatest reward of any hike on earth: the iconic wonder of the world  – Machu Picchu.  

If a multi-day hike is a little much for you, don’t worry! There are shorter, more accessible options on offer. Opt to hop on the train to the ‘Km 104’ station and enjoy a four-hour trek up through the Sun Gate to the stunning ancient civilization of Machu Picchu. You’ll still get your fix of the awe-inspiring scenery this amazing part of the world is known for.  

Take me there


2. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania 

Kilimanjaro hikes and walks of the world

Mount Kilimanjaro is a seriously impressive mountain. And it makes for a seriously impressive hiking achievement to add to your logbook! A trek to the top (5,895m above sea level!), doesn’t involve any advanced climbing abilities, but the high altitude and steep climbs make this a challenge not to be sniffed at! To allow time to acclimatize to the altitude, you’ll need around 6-8 nights on the mountain (the more the better for success rates!). Accommodation en route is basic, consisting mainly of tented rooms with varying levels of facilities. There are no permanent camps on the route, so all of your supplies will be carried up and down by porters. If you’re not one to enjoy getting up amongst nature and enjoy roughing it a little, this might not be your cup of tea! 

Find out more


3. W Circuit, Torres Del Paine NP, Chile 

Torres Del Paine hikes and walks of the world

The ‘W Circuit’ in Torres Del Paine national park is frequently considered to be one of the most spectacular hikes in the world. Rugged snowy peaks, bright blue alpine lakes, staggering rock formations and far-reaching wilderness wherever you look – it’s magic. The hike follows a ‘W’ shaped route (did you guess?!) and will take either 5 or 7 days, with around 8 hours of hiking per day (depending on how often you stop to take snaps of the truly breathtaking surroundings). 

There are countless highlights including the Towers’ Base viewpoint, the retreating Grey Glacier and the French Valley. You’re guaranteed a hike that disconnects you from the hustle and bustle of daily life and fully immerses you in the boundless beauty of Chilean Patagonia. 

While you don’t need to be a pro-hiker to complete the W Circuit, a good level of fitness and preparation is required to get the most out of the experience! This really is the trek of a lifetime. 

Take me there


4. The Milford Track, New Zealand 

Milford Track New Zealand hikes and climbs of the world

The Milford Track was once declared ‘the finest walk in the world’ (in the London Spectator more than 100 years ago actually!) and it really is picture-postcard perfect the whole way around the 58km trail. You’ll walk across suspension bridges, traverse mountain passes at the base of towering icy peaks and the tallest waterfall in New Zealand; Sutherland Falls.  

Find out more about New Zealand’s Fiordland


5. Half Dome, Yosemite, California 

Half Dome Yosemite hikes and climbs of the world

The Half Dome in California’s Yosemite national park is a true icon of a rock formation. As you hike into the wilderness, prepare yourself for an exceptional challenge. This 14-16 mile round trip is not for the unfit or the unprepared! It’s a serious challenge both physically and mentally and – although the panoramic views and sense of achievement will be worth it for sure – it shouldn’t be attempted willy-nilly!  

The cable section is by far the most infamous. The cables are restrung along the rockface every year and allow climbers to reach the summit without any climbing gear. To add to the challenge, there are black bears often seen in the area, so be sure to keep any food well wrapped up and stored away, or you might gain an uninvited hiking buddy!

Most climbers take between 10 and 12 hours to complete the hike – you’ll have earned yourself a strong beverage after that undertaking!  No best world hikes list would be complete without this mammoth climb. 

Find out more


6. Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand 

Tongariro Crossing New Zealand Hikes and climbs of the world

It should come as no surprise that multiple New Zealand hikes feature on this list. It really is the most beautiful country to explore on foot – a true hiker’s dream. This one-day walk, often heralded as the best day-hike in New Zealand, takes you on an adventure across volcanic and otherwordly terrain. You’ll pass steaming vents, bubbling lava flows, emerald green lakes and even an active volcano. A good level of fitness is required to tackle the 19km route and it takes most hikers around 8 hours (and countless photographs) to complete.  

Challenge yourself on this New Zealand Adrenaline Rush holiday


7. Robberg Peninsula, South Africa 

Robberg Peninsula South Africa best hikes in the world

This South Africa hiking route has a lot of beauty tucked up its rugged sleeve. With the path hugging the picturesque cliffside and leading you alongside endless views of the sparkling Atlantic (and a seal colony!), it’s truly beautiful. Only a short drive from the Garden Route’s Plettenberg Bay, it makes for the perfect active addition to any adventure along the Garden Route. There are three different hikes you can choose from (from just a brief 30-minute stroll, to a 5-hour hike, there’s something for every fitness level!)  

Psst… keep your eyes on the surf! Hikers often spot Great White Sharks and all manner of other marine animals from the trail.  

Take me there


8. Mount Fuji, Japan 

Mount Fuji Japan best hikes in the world

Mount Fuji is as elusive as it is iconic. There’s never any guarantee of actually seeing the shy mountain, but opting to make the climb guarantees you’ll experience it! Mount Fuji is open to hikers between early July and early September and there are four different trails up to choose from. It’s not a hugely challenging mountain to climb, but you’ll still need a good level of fitness to tackle it. If you’re up for a serious adventure (and reward), hike up through the night to enjoy the sunrise from the peak. It’ll be a view of Japan and a moment you won’t forget in a hurry – more than worth the hideously early wake-up call!  

Find out more


9. Fitz Roy Trek, Argentina 

Fitz Roy Argentina best hikes in the world

The logo for the Patagonia clothing brand is actually the outline of the Fitz Roy mountain range in Patagonian Argentina – that’s how iconic this hike is! Climbing Mount Fitz Roy itself is a huge challenge and one that would take some seriously impressive mountaineering skills. However, the day-hike is much more achievable (although still very steep in parts!) Even during the grueling climbs though, the sheer beauty of the scenery that surrounds you is sure to distract you from any burning calves or blistered feet!  

Find out more about the Fitz Roy Trek


10. Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa 

Drakensberg Mountains South Africa best hikes in the world

The Drakensberg Mountains, (that translate to ‘Dragon’s Mountain’), are spawling and stunning every way you look. Covering an impressive 1000km, there are countless different routes that you can take to explore this magnificent area of South Africa. Whether you’re after a gentle amble, a multi-day hike or a challenging mountain climb, there’s something for you. You’ll follow tracks carved through lush green forests, you’ll teeter along cliff tops and be dwarfed by the dramatic mountains towering above you. If chasing waterfalls TLC style is your thing, you’re in luck here. The Drakensberg Mountains are home to the plummeting Tugela Falls – the second-highest waterfall in the world. 

Go hiking in the Drakensberg


11. Mount Toubkal, Morocco 

Mount Toubkal Morocco Best hikes in the world

Mount Toubkal, known locally as ‘Jebel Toubkal’, is the highest peak in North Africa. Climbing this impressive peak in the Atlas Mountains will take two days to allow for acclimatisation to the reduced oxygen levels! Reaching the summit of Jebel Toubkal will see you hiking amidst stunning mountain landscapes in the beautifully warm sunshine, all punctuated with the delicious flavours of Moroccan cuisine at your rest stops.  

You’ll need a fairly good level of fitness, but for a mountain climb (and for the level of achievement you’ll get at the top), it’s not too taxing.  

Find out more about this three-day Jebel Toubkal ascent


12. Lipton’s Seat, Sri Lanka 

Liptons Seat Sri Lanka best hikes in the world

If you’re visiting the emerald tea hills of Sri Lanka, the Lipton’s Seat hike is an absolute must. Tea lovers amongst you (everyone really!) will recognise the name almost instantly. This stunning area just outside of the town of Haputale is where Sir Lipton of Lipton’s tea bought a plantation to grow his tea. He focused on affordability and it wasn’t long before his tea became a huge hit across the world. Whether you take a tuk-tuk to the top or choose to hike up yourself, aim to make it to the viewpoint for sunrise. The sight of the sun rising over the tea hills, burning off the atmospheric mist over the emerald tea leaves is magic. And walking back down past the tea-pickers in their array of multi-coloured saris makes for a truly memorable and authentic experience.  

Enjoy this and so much more on this Active Sri Lanka itinerary


13. Sapa, Vietnam  

Sapa vietnam best hikes in the world

The stunning area of Sapa in northern Vietnam is poised on the side of a mountain in the Hoàng Liên Son mountain range and overlooks the valley below. The valley floor is a carpet of green or yellow (depending on the time of year), and the views are nothing short of mesmerising. A trek with a Hmong guide is as authentic an experience you can have here. You’ll be invited into a local home and have the opportunity to taste the delicious local food and learn about what life in the rice terraces is like.

Explore Sapa and Vietnam’s Northwest


14. Quadisha Valley hike, Lebanon 

Qadisha Valley Lebanon best hikes in the world

Lebanon might not be top of your hiking wishlist, but the spectacular scenery and boundless nature of the Qadisha Valley is well worth a visit! This area is home to the first Christian monasteries of Lebanon and you can visit Hawqa monastery (which is still inhabited today) and Deir Qannoubine, the oldest monastery in Lebanon on your hike. Factor in a stop to refuel with a spot of delicious Lebanese mezze at a local restaurant too. Many have beautiful views over the sweeping valley so you can fully immerse yourself in your destination whilst you dine. The food here is just so delicious, you’ll be signing up for a cooking class after you try it!  

Take me there


15. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda 

Bwindi Uganda best hikes in the world

A hike through Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has more up its sleeve than a panoramic view at the end. A trek here gives you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come face to face, eye to eye, with a mountain gorilla. If that’s not worthy of a best world hikes list, we don’t know what is. 

Befriend the gorillas in Uganda


16. Wadi Rum, Jordan 

Wadi Rum best hikes in the world

If you’re looking to channel your inner Lawrence of Arabia and be engulfed in the history and scenery of the Wadi Rum, then a guided hike with jeep support through this incredible desert is the hiking adventure for you. The hike includes plenty of rest stops under the shade of local Bedouin tents where you’ll be offered more fresh mint tea than you can drink. You’ll visit natural and famous landmarks including canyons and the Burdah Rock Bridge and see evidence of those who’ve passed this way before in rock inscriptions dating back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. It was here that Lawrence of Arabia fashioned his unique desert fighting force and there are numerous sites associated with his exploits. But, more than anything else Wadi Rum offers the chance to enjoy the silence and majesty of one of the world’s great landscapes. A round-up of the world’s best hikes wouldn’t be complete without it. 

Go trekking in the Wadi Rum desert


17. Walking safari in Africa 

Walking safari Africa best hikes in the world

It’s rare to see a holiday bucket-list without the words ‘safari’ glaring at you from somewhere on it. (Usually near the top!) But, there’s a way to upgrade the traditional Big 5 safari experience to one that gets you even closer to the action. Few of the best world hikes compare to walking in the footsteps of lions, or viewing a troop of elephants drinking from a waterhole not too far away whilst you’re on your own two feet. You’ll feel even more humbled by the vastness of the African plains and even more in awe of the wildlife that call them home. You’ll be walking with a trained guide of course, so panic-noteth! 

Explore more: Kruger bush walks 


18. Japan – Nakasendo Way 

Nakasendo Way Japan best hikes in the world

A hike along the Nakasendo Way really is a hike to the heart of Japan. Winding through the ancient Kiso Valley, the trail is the old route that used to connect Tokyo to Kyoto back in the Edo period. Whether you have one day to spare or five, there will be a section of the Nakasendo Way perfect for you. Rest your weary limbs in the natural hot waters of a hot-spring ryokan, explore the beautifully preserved ancient post towns and hike up stunningly rural pathways. There are also companies who offer luggage forewarding too, so you don’t have to channel your inner camel enroute.  

Find out more


19. The Balcony Walk, Oman 

Balcony Walk Oman Best hikes in the world

Jebal Shams and the Wadi Ghul, nicknamed Oman’s Grand Canyon, is the place to go for a hiking adventure in the country. Wadi Ghul canyon is 500m deep and is found to the side of Jebel Shams, the highest of the mountains in the Hajar range. The balcony walk leads you along the canyon’s edge (which can feel a little pulse-racing at times!) The hike is around 4km in length and although the route is a little rugged, it’s fairly easy to follow without getting lost! This is a treat of a hike with staggering views every moment from start to finish. There are no cafes or rest stops or anything enroute though, this is a proper back-to-nature hike. So, be sure to bring everything you need with you (and take it when you leave!)

Find out more

 20. Hike the Waterberg Plateau, Namibia  

Waterburg Plateau Namibia Best hikes in the world

There are plenty of hiking options in this stunning part of Namibia. Pick your route and make your way up the craggy sloping edges of the plateau. When you make it to the top, it will all be worth it when you admire the far-reaching views over the vast Kalahari Plains below.  

Take me there


Our team of friendly travel experts love nothing more than planning a holiday completely tailored to what YOU love to do. So, do make sure you let us know if tackling some of the world’s best hikes or taking on a challenge would be a welcome addition to your holiday plans. We’re here to make it happen! Drop us an email today or call on 01242 253 073 to chat to one of the team.



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