For outdoor lovers, going on long hikes is one of the best parts of travel. While you can find beautiful walks all over the planet, some places are a cut above the rest, offering mesmerising views for those travelling on two feet. These best hiking destinations take the prize and attract millions of avid trekkers each year.
Land of soaring peaks, colossal glaciers, and bluer-than-blue lakes, Patagonia is hiker heaven in South America. Spanning across Argentina and Chile, this jaw-dropping part of the world is where nature takes over and there are incredible views at every turn.
Among the best hikes in Patagonia are the Fitz Roy Trek, which takes you through the massive Los Glaciares National Park, and Torres del Paine’s W Circuit. While these are the big hitters, there are thousands of walks across Patagonia that will suit any skill and experience.
Home to Mount Everest, the planet’s tallest mountain and unimaginable goal for most avid hikers, Nepalwill always find itself on lists of the world’s best hiking destinations. While the large majority of us will never summit Everest itself, there are hikes all over Nepal that are more suitable (and budget-friendly!) for everyday hikers.
Fly into Kathmandu and head into the hills to complete the Annapurna Circuit, walk across Langtang, or settle on making it to Everest Basecamp, a popular hike for those who know they won’t be able to complete the entire thing. With so many mountains, you could spend a lifetime walking in Nepal.
From the Pacific Crest to the Appalachian Trail, the USA is full of gorgeous long-distance hikes. This country is diverse in its landscape, with a dry arid south but a rainy north dense with forest, meaning there’s something for every taste here.
There are top hikes in every state, but many dedicated hikers will fly to LA to go trekking in California for all its national parks – don’t miss Yosemite – and or to nearby Arizona for some walks through its mighty canyons. That said, the sky really is the limit for hiking in the USA.
Slap bang in the middle of Europe and home to beautiful mountain ranges, Austria’s hiking opportunities are endless. In winter this is a popular skiing destination, but when summer comes the snow melts to reveal thousands of walking trail across the hills.
Travel to Innsbruck in the country’s far west to hike through Tyrol, one of the most popular parts of Austria for walking. There are short or long distance hikes here, including high alpine walks or more easy strolls that you can complete with the family. In total, Tyrol is home to 24,000km of marked trails in total, so it’s fair to say you’ll have plenty of choice!
5. New Zealand
New Zealand is paradise for outdoor lovers and among the any activities you can do here is, of course, hiking. There are hikes across New Zealand’s North and South Islands, from coastal ambles to crossing mountain passes. Rest assured all are accompanied by spectacular views and natural settings.
Lord of the Rings fans will want to hear to Tongariro National Park to walk among the dramatic landscape to feel like you’re in the movie. Fiordland National Park will also connect you with some incredible scenery, specifically the Kepler Track which takes around four days to complete.