28 Beautiful and Best Hikes in the World

28 Beautiful and Best Hikes in the World

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Throughout our many adventures around the globe, we have had the privilege of participating in some of the best hikes in the world. We’ve been lucky to have hiked, trekked, and visited 120 countries on all seven continents. Multi-day hikes can be life-changing and whenever we strap on a pair of hiking boots, we feel disconnected from the hustle and bustle of life and at one with Mother Nature. If you are planning to add a bit of adventure to your travels, make sure to include one of these hikes. We’re listing everything from multi-day treks to short day hikes around the planet to suit anyone’s needs.

The Best Hiking Trails in the World

best hikes in the world dave and deb in switzerland

From the windswept vistas of the Andes to the lush green corridors of the Himalayas, from the scorched deserts of Africa to the icy realms of Antarctica, trekking routes challenge our physical limits, captivate our senses, and offer a gateway to cultures and landscapes often untouched by the modern world.

Welcome to a voyage across the best treks in the world – where every step is a story, every breath is an experience, and every destination is a revelation. Are you ready to traverse the globe? Let’s begin, one trail at a time.

1. Mount Everest Base Camp Trek – Nepal

best treks in the world everest base camp

Nothing has ever compared to trekking to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world. In our opinion, it is the best trek in the world.

The trek to base camp takes 12-day round trip through the Himalayan mountain range.

What makes this trek difficult is the number of days spent at a sustained high altitude. Once you land in Lukla and climb for a day, the rest of the trip is over 4000 meters.

But it if you take it slow and steady, this is a trip that is worth every heaving breath. The trek is awe-inspiring as you walk through high passes, surrounded by the highest peaks on earth.

Duration: 12 Days
Highlights Include – Villages, scenes of highest mountains, Sherpa Memorials, tea houses, base camp
Best Time to Trek – Feb – May (we trekked Feb and there were few crowds) and Nov – Dec
Suggested Tour Company – Simrik Real Nepal
Read our complete guide to Everest Base Camp

2. Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania

best treks in the world mount kilimanjaro

Reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro was one of the greatest achievements we’ve ever accomplished.

We took the Machame Route aka the Whiskey Route to Uhuru Peak in Tanzania. What makes this trek so unique is how many ecosystems the trail passes through.

It begins in a tropical rainforest of Tanzania and then moves through farmland, forests, moorlands, a mountain desert, and a freezing summit climbing zone.

Seeing massive cacti line the route made for spectacular scenery.

Duration: 7 Days
Highlights Include – changing scenery, moorlands
Best Time to Trek – It’s possible to climb Kilimanjaro any time of year, but the two main seasons are Jan – March and June – Oct. We climbed the first week of March and it was great conditions.
Suggested Tour Company – Kessey Brothers

3. Laya Trek – Bhutan

best hikes in the world laya trek bhutan

Trekking in Bhutan was a dream come true. Surrounded by the Himalayas in a country that few people travel to was one of the most memorable experiences we’ve ever had.

The Trek to Laya is one of the more popular routes in Bhutan, but that doesn’t mean it is busy. There is a $250 daily tourism fee to enter the country, keeping crowds to a minimum.

The trek runs along the Tibetan border crossing rivers, high passes and through villages. It ends at the village of Laya. write a paragraph about the Laugavegur Trek in Iceland and include the Duration Highlights Include Best Time to Trek in point form at the bottom

Duration: 4 Days
Highlights Include – Villages, scenes of highest mountains, Sherpa
Best Time to Trek – April – June and Sept – Nov. We trekked in Sept and it was wet, but the Highland festival was going on and it’s amazing.
Suggested Tour Company – Simrik Real Nepal , or Gray Langur to coincide with festival.

Read More About our Trek to Laya here

4. Inca Trail – Peru

best hiking trails in the world inca trail
The views are stunning on the Bhutan Trek to Laya

While the Inca Trail is so overly popular it turns people off, it would be criminal not to include it. Many people say it is the best trek in the world!

This trek follows the ancient trade routes of the Incas from Cusco to the lost city of Machu Picchu. Read more about it at All You Need to Know to Be Prepared for a Machu Picchu Hike.

What more could you ask for in an adventure? There are several other treks around the Sacred Valley, so if you can’t book a slot on this heavily backlogged trail, check out some other hikes as well.

Duration: 3 Days
Highlights Include – Inca Ruins, Machu Picchu, views of the Andes.
Best Time to Trek – April to October is high season, March is a good time to avoid the crowds.
Suggested Tour Company – Get Your Guide

5. Torres del Paine National Park – Chile

best hikes in the world torres del paine chile

Patagonia in South America is one of the premier destinations on earth for avid trekkers. And Torres del Pain is one of the top hiking routes in the area. This multiday hike requires trekkers to carry tents, food and camping equipment.

Here you’ll see monstrous glaciers, situated between snowy peaks and teal blue lagoon reflecting mountains. Read more:

Duration: 5 Days
Highlights Include – glaciers and icebergs, wildlife and
Best Time to Trek – June – August

Read about the entire experience here.

6. Jyrgalan Valley – Kyrzgkstan

best treks in the world Kyrzgkstan Jyrgalan

This hike to the Boz Uchuch Lakes in Kyrgzgkstan’s Jyrgalan Valley region is one of the premier treks in the country.

It takes trekkers over to Boz Uchuk Pass to the Glacier lakes. We did this trek on horseback, but it is also very popular for hikers.

Duration: 4 Days
Highlights Include – wild horses roaming the valleys, high mountain passes, stunning views.
Best Time to Trek – June – August
Suggested Tour Company – Book at The Alakol Guesthouse in Jyrgalan

7. Great Ocean Walk – Australia

best hikes in the world great ocean walk

Most people have heard of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria Australia. It is a beautiful drive that ends at the picturesque Twelve Apostles. But if you really want to see the extraordinary coast, the Great Ocean Walk is the thing to do.

This multi-day hike takes trekkers along on a 56 km trek on the rugged Victoria coast.

After each day of hiking along beaches, through forests and wooden walkways, we were picked up and taken back to our luxury lodge where we were fed gourmet meals and soaked our feet in hot soapy baths.

The next morning we were dropped off at the point where we ended the day before to continue our walk to the twelve apostles.

Duration: 4 Days
Highlights Include -luxury accommodation, 5-star food, secluded beaches, kangaroos and wildlife, Twelve Apostles.
Best Time to Trek – Any time of year – we hiked in January and it was fantastic
Suggested Tour Company –  Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk

8. el Camino de Santiago – Spain

best treks in the world el camino

The Route of Saint James also known as the el Camino de Santiago is a rite of passage for serious trekkers and has been a Pilgrimage since the 9th century.

There are eight different starting points that can take you from France, Spain or Portugal to Santiago de Compostela where the trek ends.

We’ve done many hikes throughout the Pyrenees, but we have yet to put them together to trek the Camino de Santiago. But it is high on our list! Soon, very soon!

Duration: 1 week to 35 days Days
Highlights Include – Striking views of the Pyrenees through historic villages, monasteries and vineyards
Best Time to Trek – April – October. July & August are high season, May and Sept are recommended.
GetYourGuide offers a 7-day hike along a stretch of the French Way.

Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim

Best Day Trips from Las Vegas Grand Canyon South Rim

If you are looking to take the adventure up a notch at the Grand Canyon, the Rim to Rim hike gores from the South Kaibab Trail to the North Kaibab Trail on the North Rim. (or vice versa). The hike is challenging, covering about 24 miles (depending on the route taken) and involves a total elevation change of around 10,000 feet.

The trailhead is located at Yaki Point which you can reach by shuttle bus. The Rim to Rim hike is typically done as an overnight backpacking trip, with hikers camping at either the Bright Angel Campground or the Cottonwood Campground. Hikers must obtain a backcountry permit from the park before starting the hike which you can obtain from the National Park Service website. Read more at:27 Best Things to Do at The Grand Canyon in 2023

10. Mount Kinabalu – Malaysian Borneo

great hikes of the world mount kinabalu

It’s one of the premiere climbs in South East Asia and Mount Kinabalu is a great introduction to trekking. We have it on our greatest treks on earth list because it was the very first trek we ever did in 2003!

Just visiting Borneo is an adventure to itself let along climbing Malaysia’s highest peak.

Duration: 2 Days
Highlights Include – amazing summit view.
Best Time to Trek –
Suggested Tour Company – We booked our trek at the park headquarters.

11. John Muir Trail – United States

best treks in the world john muir

The John Muir Trail is one of the most popular hikes in America. It runs 221-miles through California’s Sierra Nevada.

The trail takes you through lush valleys, creaks, and alpine vistas. There are six mountain passes with one reaching 14,000 feet.

Most of the trail is steadily over 10,000 feet making it quite the accomplishment. For full details read: How to Hike the John Muir Trail

12. Routeburn Track – New Zealand

best treks in the world routeburn

The hardest part of the Routeburn on New Zealand’s South Island is getting a slot on the trail. It’s a popular trek. There are campsites and lodges on the hike that must be booked in advance.

Luckily we were traveling with the Flying Kiwi and everyone who wanted to do the Routeburn had it set up in advance. The bus dropped everyone off on the Te Anau side and met up a couple of days later in Queenstown.

Located in Fiordland National Park on the South Island of New Zealand The Routeburn Track is New Zealand’s most renowned trek.

The highest point take you up 1,255 metres above sea level for beautiful views.

Duration: 2 Days
Highlights Include – mountain peaks, waterfalls and beautiful lakes.
Best Time to Trek – Any time of year.
Suggested Tour Company – Flying Kiwi

Another great day trek in New Zealand is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It is beautiful. Read all About it here:

13. Angels Landing Zion National Park

best hikes in zion natoinal park utah Angels Landing

This is one of the favorite hikes in Zion National Park in Utah and is iconic for many reasons. If you’re looking for about a dozen trails rolled into one then Angels Landing is one of the best hikes for you.

For the first part, you get to visit what is called Refrigerator Canyon, aptly called so due to the cool night temperatures you experience there. After there you will go up a bunch of switchbacks called Walter’s Wiggles, which is a rather cute name for a set of switchbacks that require a lot more than cute wiggles to get past. 

You end up at Scout’s Lookout to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Angels Landing – this is where you stop and turn around if you’re not a major thrill seeker. Read more: 15 Best Hikes In Arches National Park In 2023

If you’re into an adventure, you can keep going to the top of Angels Landing where you’ll climb a narrow ridge with the assistance of chains. As of April 1, 2022 everyone needs a permit to hike the Angels Landing trail. You must book it in advance here.

Length of Hike: 5.5 Miles
Difficulty: Difficult
Shuttle Stop: Zion #6

14. Adam’s Peak – Sri Lanka

best treks in the world adams peak

Adam’s Peak is a spiritual pilgrimage in Sri Lanka that lasts a mere 24 hours. It is believed that Adam first stepped foot on Earth when he was cast down from heaven. Read about our on Adam’s Peak here

Sri Lanka’s holiest place attracts pilgrims each year to climb its 5200 steps. Starting in the middle of the night, it is the perfect time to make it to the top for sunrise.

Duration: 2 Days
Highlights Include – an amazing cultural experience, glorious sunrise, shops and temples along the route.
Best Time to Trek – any time of year, but the pilgrimage is from December to May
Suggested Tour Company – No company is needed.

15. Sapa – Vietnam

best treks in the world sapa

Getting off the beaten path of Sapa in Vietnam feels like you are walking through a National Geographic spread. Rice terraces filled with water drop down steep mountains.

Choose a tourist company that will take you deep into the mountains along the Chinese border that books a homestay with families living in the mountains of Sapa.

Duration: 4 Days
Highlights Include – tea terraces, small villages, cultural experiences
Best Time to Trek – year-round

16. Pukaskwa National Park – Canada

best treks in the world pukaskwa

Not many people have heard of the Pukaskwa Coastal Trail in Ontario, Canada. It is often overshadowed by the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island or The East Coast Trail, but this trail along Lake Superior is a tough one.

The trip can be an out and back, or you can take a boat out to North Swallow to 60 km up the trail. The trek back along the rolling coast.

You must carry all food and drink in and out with you so if you don’t have experience, be sure to hire a guide. Read more about our Pukaskwa Hike

Duration: 6 Days
Highlights Include – Wild remote trail, wildlife, Lake Superior Shore
Best Time to Trek – It is open May – Sept but for drier weather we suggest, June – August
Suggested Tour Company – Naturally Superior Adventures

17. Mount Fuji – Japan

best treks in the world mount fuji

Japan’s highest mountain is an exciting trek. Otherwise known as Fuji-san, it is an active volcano that is regarded as one of Japan’s three sacred peaks and iconic sites.

Standing at 3,776 meters ( 12,388 feet) high, it is a steep slope to climb, but even beginners can do it. 300,000 people (including some inexperienced hikers I know) climb Mount Fuji every year, so don’t worry if you’re not a frequent hiker.

Sadly, so many people are climbing Mount Fuji that it is in danger of losing its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Read the complete guide here.

Duration: 2 Days
Highlights Include – beautiful sunrise above the clouds of Japan, warm mountain huts.
Best Time to Trek – Open to hikers from July 1 to early September, the best time to climb is from the end of July to late August

18. Gunung Batur – Bali

best treks in the world gunung batar

Another great day hike is up the active volcano on the paradise island of Bali.

This trek was our very first volcano hike and it was spectacular. Trekking around a crater’s edge is the adventure of a lifetime and seeing steam spew from an active volcano gives a rush like you’ve never experienced.

Be sure to stay on top of warnings and hire a reputable tour company, after what happened in New Zealand, we don’t recommend hiking active volcanoes.

Duration: 1 Day
Highlights Include – witness an active volcano
Best Time to Trek – Any time of year

19. Cinque Terre – Italy

best treks in the world cinque terre

The Five Villages Hike (Cinque Terre) on the coast of Italy is a beautiful trek along the Italian Riviera.

If you’ve never trekked before and are looking to get your feet wet, this is a short 1 day hike taking you through beautiful scenery. You can even indulge in delicious food and wine along the way. Read more: Hiking in Cinque Terre – Complete Guide to Italy’s 5 Villages

Duration: 1 Day
Highlights Include – picturesque villages, beaches, wine, olives, lemons and Italian hospitality
Best Time to Trek – You can hike anytime of year. Summer is the hottest, but we suggest shoulder season Spring/Fall to avoid the high tourist season.
Where to Stay: Where to stay in Cinque Terre, Italy: The Best Towns And Villages

20. Annapurna Circuit

best treks in the world annapurna

Immediately after trekking to Everest Base Camp, we made our way to Pokhora to take on the Annapurna Circuit trek.

Little did we know we’d be trekked out by this point and we never did get around to hiking into the Himalayas once again. We always regret being so lazy, but we did do some trekking in to the surrounding mountains.

Annapurna is more widely trekked than the Everest Base Camp Trek and has been the top trekking route in Nepal for decades. Read more: Top 13 Best Treks in Nepal to Help you Choose The Right Trek for you

Duration: 16 – 20 Days
Highlights Include – Villages, scenes of the highest mountains, Sherpa Memorials, tea houses, base camp
Best Time to Trek – Nov – Dec, and Feb to April
Suggested Tour Company – Simrik Real Nepal

21. Sunshine Coast Trail – Canada

best treks in the world sunshine coast

This hut to hut trail spans 180 km along the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. The huts are free to stay in and it’s Canada’s longest hut to hut trail.

Sarah Point where you can take a water taxi with the great people of Terracentric Adventures in Lund. Located at the northern tip of Desolation Sound and continues to Salterly Bay.

You don’t have to do the entire route, you can choose shorter day hikes like we did but if you do the entire route, you’ll have the privilege of seeing some of Canada’s most beautiful scenery for a solid two weeks.

Duration: 2 weeks
Highlights Include – Tin Hat Mountain, inland lakes, Powell River,
Best Time to Trek –
Suggested Tour Company – Terracentric Adventures and multi-day hikes.

If you are on the West Coast of Canada, an iconic Canadian Trek is the West Coast Trail.

22. Headhunter’s Trial and Pinnacles – Borneo

best hikes in the world head hunters trail

Hiking along the headhunter’s trail of Borneo is like something out of a movie.

We had to take a small twin-engine airplane to Gunung Mulu National Park. We then secured our hiking permits to the Pinnacles were to set off by boat, and river crossings before reaching base camp.

The next day it was a rugged steep climb up to the most interesting view we have ever seen in our lives.

Pinnacles, a stone forest jutting 45 metres out of the earth, in razor-sharp Read all about our trek at the Pinnacles of Borneo

Duration: 3 Days
Highlights Include – Pinnacles, Gunung Mulu National Park, Bat Cave
Best Time to Trek – the dry season is the suggested time to trek, but we went in January during the rainy season (When they say to avoid) and it was spectacular.
Suggested Tour Company – Park Headquarters

23. Trolltunga Hike – Norway

Trolltunga Fjord
Taking a shot of the Magnificent Fjord photo by Trolltunga by Chee Zhiquan

Tucked away in the heart of Norway’s rugged landscape is the iconic Trolltunga or “Troll’s Tongue,” a spectacular cliff jutting out about 700 meters above Lake Ringedalsvatnet. This hike is not for the faint-hearted but promises awe-inspiring views that encapsulate the raw beauty of Norwegian nature. Read all about Chee’s Trollunga Hike here.

The trek itself covers approximately 28 kilometers (round trip) and demands a good level of fitness, as you navigate steep ascents, rocky terrains, and the ever-changing whims of mountain weather. Along the way, you’re treated to panoramic vistas of glaciers, fjords, and alpine lakes. But the crowning glory is standing at the edge of Trolltunga, where one can truly grasp the majesty of the Norwegian highlands, an experience that remains etched in memory long after the journey ends.

Duration: Approximately 10-12 hours round trip.
Highlights Include: Panoramic views of Lake Ringedalsvatnet, the dramatic cliff of Trolltunga, surrounding glaciers, fjords, and alpine scenery.
Best Time to Trek: Mid-June to early September, when the trail is mostly free of snow and conditions are safer for hikers.

24. Snowman Trek – Bhutan

best treks in the world snowman trek

It was during our Laya trek, that we passed the entrance to the Snowman Trek in Bhutan. We haven’t done this trek, but our friend Beth at Wanderlust and Lipstick has done it a couple of times! The Snowman trek is considered the hardest trek in the world as it spends 25 days at sustained high altitudes.

We didn’t have the time, nor the money to take part in a 25-day trek in Bhutan, but it is on many people’s bucket lists. Our guide Sangay told us all about it as he leads the Snowman Trek every year!

Duration: 25 Days
Highlights Include – World’s highest mountain passes, views of the Himalayas.
Best Time to Trek – June – October

25. Laugavegur Trek in Iceland

best treks in the world iceland

The Laugavegur Trek in Iceland is among the most celebrated hiking routes in the world, offering a magnificent array of geological wonders and breathtaking landscapes. Spanning approximately 55 kilometers, this trek weaves its way through an incredible tapestry of rhyolite mountains, hot springs, glaciers, geothermal valleys, and vast lava fields. How Much Does An Iceland Trip Cost: Detailed Budget Breakdown

Hikers will encounter vivid hues of red, yellow, and blue in the mountains, the steaming vents of Landmannalaugar, the pristine waters of Lake Álftavatn, and the expansive views from Emstrur. The ever-changing terrain and the spectrum of colors offered by the Laugavegur Trek present a unique adventure that appeals to trekkers globally.

Duration: Approximately 4-6 days
Highlights Include Rhyolite mountains, hot springs, Landmannalaugar geothermal area, Lake Álftavatn, lava fields, and vast landscapes.
Best Time to Trek: Mid-June to September.

26. Kungsleden Trek

The Kungsleden Trek, often dubbed the “King’s Trail,” stands as one of Sweden’s most iconic long-distance hiking paths. Nestled in the heart of Swedish Lapland, this trail spans roughly 440 kilometers, meandering through pristine wilderness, dense birch forests, glacial valleys, and alpine tundras. As trekkers journey along the trail, they’re greeted with awe-inspiring sights such as the dramatic peaks of the Sarek National Park and the serene vistas of Lake Alesjaure. Traditional wooden huts scattered throughout the trail offer hikers an authentic Swedish experience, providing shelter and moments of camaraderie in the heart of nature.

Duration: Approximately 3-5 weeks for the entire trail, though many choose to hike shorter sections.
Highlights Include: Swedish Lapland wilderness, birch forests, Sarek National Park, alpine tundras, and Lake Alesjaure.
Best Time to Trek: Late June to September.

27. Haute Route

best treks in the world haute route

The Haute Route, a revered trek spanning from Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland, presents one of the most exquisite high-altitude trails in the Alps. Traversing approximately 180 kilometers, this iconic route offers an immersive experience through the heart of Europe, showcasing a captivating panorama of glaciers, verdant valleys, and some of the highest peaks in the region, including the majestic Matterhorn.

As hikers journey through this alpine wonderland, they will cross multiple mountain passes, navigate through charming Swiss villages, and have the opportunity to rest in mountain huts that dot the landscape, providing both shelter and unparalleled views.

Another great multiday hike in the Area is the Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland.

Duration: Approximately 10-14 days.
Highlights Include: Panoramic views of iconic peaks like the Matterhorn, traversing through high mountain passes, charming Alpine villages, and the mesmerizing landscapes of the European Alps.
Best Time to Trek: Mid-July to Mid-September.

28. Appalachian Trail

best treks in the world Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail, often simply referred to as the AT, is a legendary long-distance hiking trail that stretches over 2,190 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, crossing 14 U.S. states. Renowned as one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, the AT offers a diverse range of experiences, from the dense forests of the Smoky Mountains to the panoramic views atop New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Trekkers will encounter a rich tapestry of biodiversity, numerous historical landmarks, and a myriad of terrains as they navigate this iconic path. The camaraderie among hikers and the sense of accomplishment upon completing sections, or the entire trail, are hallmarks of the AT experience.

If you want to tackle another epic hike in America, you may want to consider the Pacific Crest Trail spanning from the Mexico Border to the Canadian Border. 24 Best Hikes in the USA to Add to Your Bucket list

Duration: Typically 5-7 months for a thru-hike.
Highlights Include: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah National Park, the White Mountains, and the breathtaking vistas from peaks such as Clingmans Dome and McAfee Knob.
Best Time to Trek: For northbound hikers, starting in late April to early May is ideal. For southbound hikers, starting in June to mid-July is recommended.

The best hikes in the world are not just mere walks through nature; they are profound journeys that transform us, that speak to our souls, and reconnect us to the earth’s ancient rhythms. They challenge our physical limits, but more importantly, they expand our horizons. On these trails, every step becomes an intimate conversation with nature, where the soft whisper of the wind or the distant roar of a waterfall becomes a language we learn to understand.

In a world increasingly dominated by technology and rapid urbanization, these treks are sanctuaries of authenticity, unspoiled by the march of time. They are a testament to nature’s unparalleled beauty and power, waiting to be explored, revered, and, above all, respected. So what are you waiting for? Get outside and start hiking these great trails today!

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