Hiking is an activity that allows individuals to explore the natural beauty of the world while challenging their physical endurance and mental fortitude. For those with a passion for adventure and a love for the great outdoors, there are countless hiking destinations across the globe that offer breathtaking views and unique experiences. In this article, we will delve into six must-see hiking destinations abroad that are sure to inspire and excite avid hikers and nature enthusiasts alike.
1. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
One of the most iconic hiking routes in the world, the Inca Trail leads to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. This four-day trek covers approximately 26 miles (42 kilometers) and takes hikers through stunning Andean scenery, including cloud forests, alpine tundra, and a series of Incan ruins. The trail culminates at the Sun Gate, where hikers are rewarded with a panoramic view of Machu Picchu at sunrise. Due to its popularity and to protect the trail, permits are limited, so planning in advance is crucial.
2. The Tour du Mont Blanc, Europe
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a multi-day hike that traverses through three countries: France, Italy, and Switzerland. Covering a distance of about 170 kilometers (105 miles), this hike circles the Mont Blanc massif and offers hikers a chance to experience the diverse cultures and landscapes of the Alps. The trek typically takes 7 to 10 days to complete and is known for its picturesque villages, alpine meadows, and dramatic mountain vistas. Accommodations along the route range from mountain huts to comfortable inns, providing a variety of options for rest and recovery.
3. The Milford Track, New Zealand
New Zealand’s Milford Track is often described as “the finest walk in the world.” This 53-kilometer (33-mile) hike takes you through the heart of Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over the course of four days, hikers encounter pristine lakes, sky-scraping mountain peaks, and cascading waterfalls. The Milford Track is a highly regulated trail, with a limited number of hikers allowed to start the trek each day, ensuring a serene and unspoiled experience.
4. The Overland Track, Australia
Australia’s Overland Track is a premier alpine hike in the island state of Tasmania. Spanning about 65 kilometers (40 miles), this six-day trek takes hikers through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, featuring diverse landscapes from dense rainforests to alpine plateaus. The route includes the chance to summit Mount Ossa, Tasmania’s highest peak, and offers encounters with unique wildlife such as the Tasmanian devil. The Overland Track is best experienced during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, from October to May.
5. The Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
The Everest Base Camp Trek is a bucket-list journey for many hikers, offering the chance to walk in the footsteps of legendary mountaineers. This two-week hike in the Himalayas takes you to the base camp of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. Along the way, hikers pass through Sherpa villages, monasteries, and the Sagarmatha National Park, with its unique flora and fauna. The trek’s highest point is Kala Patthar, from which climbers can enjoy a spectacular view of Everest. The journey requires acclimatization to high altitude but is achievable for those with a good level of fitness.
6. The GR20, Corsica
The GR20 in Corsica is often cited as one of Europe’s toughest long-distance hikes. This 180-kilometer (112-mile) trail bisects the island from north to south, taking approximately 15 days to complete. The GR20 offers a variety of terrain, from rocky paths and forest trails to snowy peaks and glacial lakes. The hike is physically demanding and requires good preparation, but it rewards hikers with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and Corsican landscape.
In conclusion, these six must-see hiking destinations provide a glimpse into the diverse and awe-inspiring terrains that our planet has to offer. Each trail presents its own set of challenges and rewards, inviting hikers to push their limits and immerse themselves in the natural world. Whether you are a seasoned trekker or a casual hiker looking to embark on a new adventure, these destinations abroad promise unforgettable experiences and the opportunity to explore the world on foot.