Hiking is one of the most fulfilling ways to travel. Breathing the fresh air, taking in spectacular scenery and exploring nature using your own two feet is a great way to experience a destination. I wanted to put together a list of the best hikes in the world but to make it work I needed some help!
I’ve asked over 50 top travel bloggers to share their favourite hikes from around the world. They didn’t disappoint! From easy walks to multi-day adventures, they came back with an incredible selection of trails. Part 1 focuses on the best hikes in Europe, Asia and Africa – keep an eye out for Part 2 which will feature the Americas and Oceania. So dust off your hiking shoes and get ready for an adventure!
52 Best Hikes in the World By Travel Bloggers – Part 1: Africa, Asia, Europe
1. Erta Ale Volcano – Ethiopia – by Mike of 197 Travel Stamps
Length: 12km – Duration: 3 hours – Difficulty: Moderate
The crater of Erta Ale volcano in northern Ethiopia holds one of only five lava lakes in the world. Due to the heat in the Danakil Depression, the hike can only be done after sunset and takes around three hours.
Looking down over the rim of the crater into the boiling and bubbling lava was one of my most memorable travel experiences after visiting over 100 countries. Local guides and drivers are necessary to reach the base camp of the volcano and to find the way to the crater in the darkness of the night.
2. Mount Ololokwe – Kenya – by Patrick of German Backpacker
Length: 5.5 km to summit/11km return – Duration: 6-7 hours round trip – Difficulty: Moderate
Hiking Mount Ololokwe in Samburu County is an awesome chance to explore the Kenyan countryside off the typical tourist path. The base of the trail is about 1.5 hours north of Nanyuki and I had to be accompanied by two armed guards to protect me against wild elephants (and hostile tribes…) during the climb. The first 2-3 hours of the hike are quite steep and, therefore, exhausting, but after arriving at the large plateau of the mountain you’ll be rewarded with an incredible view and a lush green landscape. Now, the rest of the trail is relatively flat and from there it’s easy to reach the top! You can camp at the top or get down on the same day, but in this case it’s recommended to stay a night at the lodge at the bottom of the mountain to avoid the journey back to Nanyuki in the dark.
3. Tsitsa Falls – South Africa – by Jessica of Longest Bus Rides
Length: 1.5-3.5 km – Duration: 1-2 hours – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Cave paintings, a massive waterfall, a sometimes steep and muddy adventurous walk along the gorge wall. A few hikes stood out during my month-long solo road trip around South Africa and Lesotho, and Tsitsa Falls is definitely one of them!
From my rondavel at Tsitsa Falls Backpackers, I headed downstream along the path leading over the edge of the gorge. I found ancient San paintings of animals drawn on the orange rock face, hidden by time. Alone, I continued down the steep grass-covered path, arriving behind the wide falls. The mud wanted to suck off my shoes with every step, so I tiptoed barefoot through the puddles.
4. Mount Toubkal – Morocco – by Bilyana of Owl Over the World
Length: Various – Duration: 2-6 days – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Hiking to Mt Toubkal was one of my favourite moments during my 3 weeks Morocco trip itinerary. Although I didn’t make it to the top, the hike was spectacular.
Unfortunately, I was surprised by a bad weather that I was not prepared for and that’s what made me come back to the village and not finish the hike as planned. However, I’m definitely going back to Morocco to conquer Mt Toubkal.
5. Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania – by Jackie of Life of Doing
Length: 37km to 90km – Duration: 5-9 days – Difficulty: Strenuous
Want to hike one of the Seven Summits and the tallest mountain in Africa? Consider the trek on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for your next adventure. All hikers must hire a team, such as guides, cook, and porters, to lead and support the trek. This challenging and strenuous hike takes 5-9 days to complete via 7 possible routes. The distance varies from 23 miles/37km (Umbwe) to 56 miles/90km (Northern Circuit). On Summit Day, hikers start the cold and windy climb at midnight and reach Uhuru Peak (5895 metres/19341 feet) in 6-7 hours. The high altitude and rapid weather changes is challenging for many. However, reaching the top of the mountain, seeing the glaciers and completing one of the toughest hikes is an amazing feeling. Remember to go “pole pole” (“slowly slowly” in Swahili) throughout the journey.
6. Simien Mountains – Ethiopia – by Manouk of Bunch of Backpackers
Length: Various – Duration: 1-4 days – Difficulty: Easy to moderate
The Simien Mountains are located in northern Ethiopia. It is an absolutely majestic place, where hikers can trek past rock pinnacles, waterfalls and gorges. The park is roamed by large groups of gelada monkeys. If you’re lucky, you may spot an Ethiopian wolf or an Ibex. The trekking is fairly easy, but it’s the altitude that causes problems for some travellers as you quickly ascent to 3000+ meters. There are several camps in the park with toilet facilities. You need to bring a local scout (mandatory) to enter the park, which is a way to offer the local families some extra income. It is possible to do a variety of hikes – from day hikes to multi-day treks. Most people do a 3 or 4 day hike, which involves hiking around 4 hours a day.
7. Annapurna Circuit – Nepal – by Natalia of My Trip Hack
Length: 230km-260km (including Tilicho Lake side trek) – Duration: 10-21 days – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
The Annapurna Circuit is one of the most scenic treks in the world – rice fields in Ghermu, monastery roads in Ngawal, snowy peaks at Thorong La, apple gardens in Marpha – there are so many authentic villages on the way and each one has its own specialty! Annapurna Circuit also gives you the chance to experience different climate zones – from tropics at the beginning to the arctic conditions at Thorong la Pass (altitude 5416m).
The Annapurna Circuit was a life-changing experience for me and I highly recommend it to mountain lovers irrespective of your fitness level!
8. Everest Base Camp – Nepal – by Sarah of A Social Nomad
Length: 110km (depending on route) – Duration: 14+ days – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous due to altitude
The standard Everest Base Camp Trek from Lukla (2,800m), the most dangerous airport in the world to Everest Base Camp (5,364m) takes 14+ Days. Add on a route that includes the glorious Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri (5,483m) and you’ll get off the heavily trafficked path. Don’t miss the opportunity to ascend Kala Pattar (5,545m) for stunning views of base camp and Everest.
The hiking isn’t difficult, it’s the altitude that gets you here, so it’s important to build in acclimatisation days – check out the Khumbu Valley with hospitals and schools built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the beautiful monasteries of Tengboche and Pengboche. You’ll walk around 12km a day (more on the walk out, which is easier, as you’re acclimatised and heading down).
9. Mount Rinjani – Indonesia – by Craig of No Real Plan
Duration: 2-4 days – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Hiking Mount Rinjani is simply breathtaking. It is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, and there are stunning views for so much of the hike but especially at the top. At the end of the first day you set up a camp, and then wake up around 2am to trek to the summit, and be at the top for sunrise. No matter what time of year you go, I’d recommend dressing warmly, as I went in July and it was freezing when doing the early morning climb part. The porters carry your tent and food for the duration of the trek, and you’ll be amazed at how many do it flip flops or even bare foot!
Trekking Rinjani is one of my most memorable experiences in Indonesia. It’s not for the feint hearted as so much of the trek is steep, but you’ll be glad you did it when leaving Lombok…even if you are aching for days afterwards!
10. Son Doong Cave – Vietnam – by Mike of Live Travel Teach
Length: 30+ km – Duration: 4-7 days – Difficulty: Strenuous
The hike into Son Doong was an incredible week-long journey through Vietnamese jungles in Phong Nha-ke Bang National Park. With multiple river crossings and all kinds of dangerous obstacles, it’s a good thing you’re only allowed to go with a specially organized tour from Oxalis. The recently discovered World’s Largest Cave is home to two dolines where the ceiling collapsed eons ago allowing green jungle to grow inside the cave and even generate unique cloud formations!
11. Al Kubtha Trail, Petra – Jordan – by Elena of Passion for Hospitality
Duration: 4 hours – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous depending on weather
There are numerous hiking trails in Petra and a day is not enough if you wish to explore many of its wonders. If you decide to cover at least a good part of Petra, plan to spend at least two days in this breathtaking historical city. One of the highlights is the Al Kubtha Trail where you can see the Treasury from above. To get to the Al Kubtha Trail you must pass the Urn Tomb, Silk Tomb, Corinthian Tomb and Palace Tomb after which you will see a sign that says the Al Kubtha Trail. From here be prepared to climb many stairs for at least a good hour or so. You will eventually reach a sign that reads Best View — and you will be left speechless.
12. Dragon’s Back – Hong Kong – by Marianne of Mum On the Move
Length: 8.5km – Duration: 2.5 hours – Difficulty: Moderate
The Dragon’s Back is Hong Kong’s most famous hike. After the initial ascent of around 200m, it is an easy ramble along the undulating spinal ridge of the mountain, which gives the ‘Dragon’s Back’ its name.
The hike is renowned for its amazing views – over beaches and out to sea on one side, and over the mountains to the other. The hike finishes in Big Wave Bay, where you can rehydrate on the beach to the sound of the crashing waves.
13. Mount Pulag – Philippines – by Katherine of Tara Lets Anywhere
Length: Various. The 17km Ambangeg Trail takes a day and is ideal for beginners. The Akiki Trail takes 1-2 days and is for more experienced hikers. Vizcaya Trail is the most challenging – Duration: Various – Difficulty: Strenuous due to technicality of trails and extreme cold temperatures
Mount Pulag is almost synonymous with the words “sea of clouds.” Mountaineers trek to the summit of the highest peak in Luzon, Philippines, to witness this natural phenomenon; when the sun breaks through in the morning and casts glorious rays on a sea of clouds, which surrounds the mountain ridges.
It’s not all about reaching the top though. The trail also offers breathtaking views, including dwarf bamboo landscapes, pine forests and the eerie mossy forest, as well as endless grasslands.
14. Padar, Komodo National Park – Indonesia – by Vicki of Make Time to See the World
Length: few km – Duration: 1 hour – Difficulty: Moderate
Padar is a relatively short hike in Komodo National Park, Indonesia. From bottom to top it is no more than a few km, but it is the heat, lack of shade and loose soil and rocks which make up the path that increase the level of difficulty. It is often done as part of a day trip from Labuan Bajo and most trips spend a couple of hours on the island. The hike up takes around 30-45 minutes if you have a moderate level of fitness, and the views from the top are absolutely incredible. It’s like something out of Jurassic Park!
15. Jirisan National Park – South Korea – by Steph of 1AdventureTraveler
Length: 13 km – Duration: 8 hours – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
The journey starts at Jungsalli Hiking Center through a tranquil forest of vivid colors, on uneven boulders. Hike across bridges, with rest stops at amazing waterfalls, then up steep steps to a stunning view. Lunch at Jangtemok Station with a view to the opening up of the forest. Continue to the summit across fossil imprinted boulders, lined with tall grass blowing in the wind. Next is a photo stop by the stone marker at Mt. Cheonwangbong Peak. Journey down the step stone steps, past Temples and Pagodas, then back to the station. Best time to hike Jirisan is in spring and fall.
16. The Valley of Flowers – India – by Somnath of Travel Crusade
Length: 19 km – Duration: 6-8 hours – Difficulty: Moderate
The Valley of Flowers, India is now one of the top rated UNESCO World Heritage sites and one of the best hiking trails in the world. One needs to trek a total distance of around 19 km to reach the hamlet from Govindghat. The entire route offers magnetising views of the Northern Himalayas and the snow capped mountains.
It’s essential to carry the right equipment for the trek to avoid unnecessary issues during the voyage. It would be good to complete the voyage with a group to avoid risks at higher altitudes and other complications. It takes around 15 km to reach a village of Ghangaria from Govindghat. From there hikers climb a stretch of around 4 km through streams and waterfalls. There are flowers of different varieties across the region with wild and dense forests.
17. Mount Daraitan – Philippines – by Jerny of The Jerny – Travel and Inspirations
Duration: 2.5 – 4 hours to summit – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Mount Daraitan is located in the province of Rizal. Mountaineers and other people say that the difficulty of hiking this mountain is 6/10, and even more difficult when it rained. The best time to climb up this mountain is summer (March-May in the Philippines) early in the morning to witness the sunrise and the mesmerizing sea of clouds as it fades away when the sun is up. What makes this mountain extra special when you are on the summit is that this is the only place you can see the heart-shaped river on the ground. Also, this is where I and my current girlfriend developed our feelings for each other. Maybe because of the heart-shaped river? We don’t know. <3
18. Tollymore Forest Park – Northern Ireland – by Allan of Live Less Ordinary
Length: 5 km – Duration: 1 hour – Difficulty: Easy
Tollymore Forest Park sits beneath the backdrop of Northern Ireland’s Mourne mountains and is famous for its scenic landscapes and numerous filming locations of various scenes from the Game of Thrones which are dotted throughout. There are a range of hiking options signalled by different coloured waymarkers, although the ‘River Trail’ would be the ideal beginner option as it follows the Shimna River through conifer and broadleaf woodlands, while crisscrossing at various bridges and stepping stones along the way. Highlights include The Hermitage & Parnell Bridge.
19. The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye – Scotland – by Anisa of Two Travelling Texans
Length: 4.5 km – Duration: 2 hours – Difficulty: Moderate
The Old Man of Storr is one of the most popular hikes on the Isle of Skye in Scotland because it is incredibly scenic and not too difficult. The ‘Old Man’ is a large pinnacle of rock that gets its name because it looks like a person from a distance. Unfortunately, I had to turn around before I finished the hike because the weather took a turn for the worse. I plan on going back to the Isle of Skye to finish the Old Man of Storr hike. The Old Man of Storr is located north of Portree in the area known as ‘Trotternish’. The hike starts by the main road that runs from Portree to Staffin.
20. The Roman Road, Sardinia – Italy – by Claudia of My Adventures Across the World
Length: 5 km – Duration: 8 hours – Difficulty: Moderate
One of the best hikes in the world is the one that follows the old Roman Road that goes from Porto Pino,about one hour’s drive from Cagliari (Sardinia) all the way to Tuerredda, one of the best beaches on the island. The walk eventually gets to Cala Cipolla and from there it follows a coastal trail all the way to Cala Antoniareddu, Pedra Longa and on to Tuerredda beach. Some parts can be quite technical, but the overall walk is not strenuous. The overall hike takes around 8 hours. As there are no shops or kiosks along the way, it is necessary to carry enough food and drinks for the duration of the hike.
21. Montserrat – Spain – by Jub of Tiki Touring Kiwi
Length: Various – Duration: Saint Jeroni trail takes arouns 2-3 hours – Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Montserrat is a mountain range about one hour from Barcelona, Spain. Rather than one trail, Montserrat is made up of a labyrinth of trails shooting outwards from the village on the mountain range. You could spend 30 minutes hiking to nearby vantage points, or spend all day switching between the different trails as you look for the next epic viewpoint. The walk to Saint Jeroni from the village is the most popular trail and takes a maximum of three hours (easy-moderate). When you reach Saint Jeroni, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views stretching as far as the eye can see.
22. The Pilgrim Path, Mount Brandon – Ireland – by Marie of Adventures in Family Travel
Length: 8km – Duration: 4-6 hours round trip – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Located just 15 minutes from the town of Dingle, it’s the highest peak on the peninsula. The climb is best in the summer months, though accessible year round. The Pilgrim Path is the most popular, deserted even in peak season. It is marked by white crosses, with the peak itself topped by a large cross and the remnants of an old stone building, believed to be the oratory of Saint Brendan. Climb through the clouds accompanied by painted sheep, stumble upon a WWII era plane wreckage, and enjoy being surrounded by breathtaking views of the Atlantic and Ireland’s emerald expanse.
23. Caldera Trail from Fira to Oia, Santorini – Greece – by Helena of Just For One Summer
Length: 10 km – Duration: 2-4 hours – Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Hiking the Caldera Trail from Fira to Oia in Santorini is by far the best way to enjoy the striking beauty of this small volcanic island. It starts in Fira, Santorini’s magnificent clifftop capital, and follows the rim of the caldera through the picturesque villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli. It reaches Oia, one of the most beautiful villages in the Mediterranean, some 10 kilometres later. The hike itself is easy with very little elevation and comfortable paths for the most part. However, it can become quite strenuous during the summer with rising temperatures and little shade along the way.
24 . Camino de Santiago – Spain – by Sam of Alternative Travellers
Length: 800 km – Duration: 30-40 days – Difficulty: Easy to strenuous
The Camino de Santiago is a multi-day, long-distance trail route through northern Spain that ends in the city of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. While the Camino was traditionally a medieval pilgrimage, today people walk it for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for time to reflect, a spiritual reason, or simply wanting to be in the outdoors. There is no definitive start point and many different routes for getting to Santiago, but the most popular route is the French Way, which starts at the French border. People who start here walk around 800 km/500 miles, taking between 30-40 days. Each day is different, with some days being flat and fairly easy, and others being mountainous and more strenuous.
Head to Alternative Travelers’ Camino de Santiago packing list for tips on what to pack for the Camino.
25 . Kjeragbolten – Norway – by Pierre of Anything Under Our Stars
Length: 12 km + 500 m of climbing – Duration: 5-6 hours (without the queue to take photos on the boulder) – Difficulty: Strenuous
One of the most popular hikes in the world is the Kjeragbolten Hike in Norway. Though not for the faint of heart, is a combination of walking and climbing up the mountain of Kjerag. Visitors have the option to hire a guide or go on their own. The mountain, however, has rocks marked with “T” which show trekkers the right way to go. There are also steel chains to hold on to for better leverage in going up. The view on the way up exhibits Norway’s picturesque scenery.Of course the hike wouldn’t be complete without a picture posing on the famous boulder wedged between two rock walls. This adventure is best attempted during the peak of summer in Norway which is June and July.
26 . Calanques National Park – France – by Alexei of Travel Lexx
Length: Various. 11km return trip gives a great overview of the area – Duration: 3-4 hours – Difficulty: Easy to strenuous due to some areas with via ferrata (cables and ladders)
Calanques National Park, situated only a few kilometres from Marseille, is a fantastic way to escape the hustle and bustle of France’s second city. A series of natural inlets flanked by high limestone cliffs are the highlight of this beautiful part of the Mediterranean coast. Hiking is one of the best way to explore the area and there are a number of trails for all abilities. The views of the calanques and the impossibly blue sea from the trails are incredible. If you get tired of walking, it’s possible to hire kayaks to explore the inlets or just jump in for a swim!
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