Some people relax and refresh themselves by strolling or biking in the countryside. But some people don’t find that enough and they prefer something more “wild” and challenging, like hiking. Compared to the comfortable countryside stroll, hiking does sound more daring. It can give you many new views, scenery, and, exciting stories that you can share.
So if you miss being in the wilderness or just absolutely love hiking, here are 10 hiking destinations that you can go and explore. If you’ve always been to lovely places for vacation and you’re feeling adventurous, these destinations are definitely worth to consider.
1. France & Switzerland
France is usually associated with Paris and its Eiffel Tower. Whereas the stereotypical scenery of Switzerland is breadths of green fields and cows grazing peacefully. They’re all beautiful and charming. But there’s something more about these two countries that you might have not discovered yet.
Do you expect mountains, ice, rivers, rocky pathways, and tottering bridges? Look no further than the 168 km trail of GR20 in Corsica. During summer and winter, you can also get to The Haute Route, where you can see the very best areas of The Alps. The route starts in Chamonix, France and ends in Zermatt, Switzerland.
If you’re a beginner, enjoy Grindelwald in Switzerland. With around 290 km of trails, you can pick and choose the best trails for you. Some lasts a day, while the others can last for a week. When you’re done hiking, you can go to main cities like Zurich and Geneva. Think of it as a reward for your arduous journey in the wilderness!
2. Pacific Crest Trail
This trail is one of the big beasts of hiking destinations. It’s around 4000 km long, so it can take months to complete this hiking journey. Nevertheless, it’s going to be worth the time. You get to see another beautiful and eye-opening side of US that you didn’t know exist before.
The journey to conquer Pacific Crest Trail starts with dryness, but it ends with beautiful lush mountains of Manning Provincial Park. Exploring Cascade Volcanoes is within your adventure, and you’ll be climbing 4 km Forester Pass too. You’re going to need good preparation because you won’t see towns, only majestic wilderness areas. Like I said, it’s a big beast.
So this trail is definitely for the experienced hikers. But if you really want to push yourself out of your comfort zone, you can conquer this trail too. Just remember to be greatly prepped. It’s best to begin your journey in April. By then, you might finish by October and avoid snow-covered hikes.
3. Albanian Alps
When you travel to the Balkans, be sure to go to the northern part of the country. There are mountains near Theth, Albania. You can reach the highest peak, Jezerce, from Montenegro as well. If you prefer an easy route, then pick the one that takes you to Valbona.
But, you can take a trail that leads you to a valley with a beautiful tiny glacier. It’s easy at first, then you go upwards slowly and reach a saddle at 1,7 m. It gets more challenging when you’re going higher, and you need to cross loser rocks as well. But once you’re done, you’ll be greeted with great view and a glacier lake.
4. Baltoro Glacier & K2, Pakistan
Ever thought that you can go hiking in Pakistan? Probably not, but you can definitely hike in this country. This is because K2, Earth’s second highest mountain, is located between Pakistan and China. Maybe this trail can be some sort of a warm-up before you want to conquer Everest.
You can hike the mountain’s icy foundations and climb the peak within 15 days. To reach it, you’ll go thorough Paiju at around 6,6 m, Uli Biaho (6,4 m) and Great Trango Tower (6,2 m) before actually reaching K2 at 8,6 m.
You’ll start your journey in Islamabad and stay in Envoy, Shalimar, or Royal Inn. Then, you’ll be flying or driving to Skardu. In Skardu, you’ll ride a Jeep to Askolie, a village where your adventure will begin.
5. Mount Takao, Tokyo
Be honest. Do you instantly think of hiking when you read the word Tokyo? I honestly don’t. But it turns out that there’s a hidden gem of hiking spot that you can visit and forest bathe. Forest bathing is some things that you can do such as guided exercises in the forest. The Japanese believe that it can rejuvenate and relax the body.
If you want lazy strolls, pick Trail 1. But if you’re an avid outdoor-lover and love spending your time being united with nature, you can pick Trail 3. You’ll have a quiet hike through the Katsura woods. For the best panorama, go to this trail in autumn, because the colors of the trees is absolutely stunning.
6. Sham Valley Trek, India
India is beautiful, and it gets even better in the northern part, Ladakh. This region has the most remarkable hiking destinations in the country. The skies are azure blue, the landscapes are breathtaking, and you can even find a hidden Ladakhi village in the high Himalayas.
Finishing this trail require a week or more. But if you’re short on time or if you need baby steps, then you can go to The Sham Valley. Completing this trek only needs around three days. It’s short, but doesn’t mean that you won’t get all the goodness. You can still see impressive sceneries, local village experiences, and a bit of trekking challenges too.
7. Mount Batur, Bali
Yes, aside of its abundant beaches, Bali also has some wilderness that you can enjoy. The best time to hike Mount Batur is when it’s still pitch black at around 2 to 3 am. Why? Because you when you reach the top, you can sit down, relax, feel the wind blowing to your face, and see a great, beautiful sunrise.
Just remember that hiking in the dark is quite dangerous, so be sure to get yourself a trekking guide and headlamps. Also, the weather will be freezing cold at first, so don’t forget to wear some things that can warm you up.
At the top, you can warm yourself with some hot tea and eat boiled eggs which are cooked in the mountain’s hot springs. You can also take your time at the peak. This way, you can have some time alone with the sunrise and surrounding nature. During this time, you may also chat with your local guide to know more about Balinese culture and nature.
8. Long Range Traverse, Canada
Canada has a lot of natural destinations, such as Newfoundland. Here, you can hike through Long Range Traverse. It takes place in the Long Range Mountains that has massive cliffs above the sea. Completing this journey means you have to follow a crest from Western Brook Pond to Gros Morne Mountain.
The 40 km trek is usually done by map and compass. That’s right, there are no trails here. But you’ll go through epic wilderness rife with moose, caribou and all beautiful things provided by mother nature.
Pristine water that sparkles, vast mountains area, untouched granite cliffs, and hidden lakes are the things that you will encounter as you walk along. Just make sure that you have a solid navigation skills. It’s best to go here mid-June until September. Oh, you also need to obtain permits from Parks Canada before starting your hike..
9. Kungsleden, Sweden
When you’re travelling to Sweden, it’s undoubtedly fun to explore all IKEA outlets while trying to pronounce all products correctly and try Swedish meatballs in every restaurants available. But you must remember that like every country in the world, Sweden also offers its stunning nature.
Kungsleden or “The King’s Trail” is 434 km long. You’ll enjoy gorgeous, untouched part of this European country. Start your hike by reaching Abisko, which is located around 25 hours from Malmo and 13 hours from Stockholm. If you visit this place in winter, you can enjoy this place as a ski destination.
10. Island of Kalsoy, Faroe Islands
Visiting North Atlantic? Be sure to go to Islands of Kalsoy. This place is mostly known for its Kallur Lighthouse, which beautifully stands on a steep cliff in Trøllanes village. Take a ferry to get to the island, then drive a car to reach the village.
Be aware that you may encounter thick fog that will hinder your sight. Also, note that this area is really high, so if you have fear of heights, you might want to carefully plan and prepare your hike. It’s best to hike this island in summer with a group. Because if your fear starts to kick in, you have other people that can help you overcome it.
Have you been to some of these places before? Or have you visited them all and you know other hiking trails that we didn’t know? Also, what do you usually prepare and do for your hiking journey? We’d love to know your experience, so don’t hesitate to leave your comments down below.