Best hikes

 

 

A multi-day hike is for many people the highlight of their visit to a particular country. It offers a chance to slow down, soak up the scenery and in most cases get to know at close quarters a little of the local culture and cuisine. So where are the world’s best hikes? Here are six strong candidates among the many that lay claim to this title:

 

Australia - Overland Track

While millions of visitors may flock to Australia’s East Coast relatively few make it down to Tasmania. Yet for unique wildlife, stunning landscapes and outdoor adventure Tassie is hard to beat. The island is criss-crossed with great hiking trails and the most well-known is the Overland Track, taking in some of the island’s most outstanding natural wonders including Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair.  You should allow 7 days for the full hike in order to explore the many side trails leading from the main 65km route.

 

New Zealand – Milford Track

Choosing one hike ahead of others is tough in a country that boasts so many spectacular trails. The best known and most popular is the Milford Track, a 4 day/3 night trek through the South Island’s beautiful Fiordland National Park. There are three conveniently found huts on the trail that provide comfortable overnight accommodation and the finish at the Sound itself is a just reward for the exertion of the hike. Advanced booking to hike the trail is essential.

 

Nepal – Annapurna Circuit

Of all the many Nepalese trails perhaps the Annapurna Circuit is the most attractive option. The route can take up to 3 weeks to complete if taking it gently and with the highest pass on the route at 5416m this is not a trek to be taken lightly. What makes this trail so appealing is the tea houses en route that offer relatively comfortable overnight stops with surprisingly good facilities and hot home-cooked meals. Needless to say the Himalayan scenery is breathtaking.

 

Tanzania – Mount Kilimanjaro

The world’s highest free-standing mountain and one of Africa’s most recognisable symbols, snow-capped Kilimanjaro attracts thousands of eager hikers each year, keen to test their own physical and mental strength in conquering its seen and unseen challenges. If you make it to the 5896m summit you’ll stand as high as you can be anywhere in the world on a hike (without climbing ropes and technical gear).  Most people book their hike before arriving in Africa and there is a wide selection of operators to choose from. It is essential to research the dangers and requirements for hiking Kilimanjaro before you go as it is likely to be one of the most demanding physical and mental feats you will ever attempt.

 

Peru – Inca Trail

Perhaps the world’s best-known trail, this well-worn path takes visitors through spectacular scenery and past several ancient Inca sites before arriving at the celebrated ruins of Machu Picchu. Typically a four day hike that must be booked well in advance, porters can be hired to carry rucksacks and cook meals at the designated campsites.  As a more challenging alternative to the Inca Trail the Salcantay trail crosses the sacred Salcantay mountain before also arriving at Machu Picchu.

 

China – Tiger Leaping Gorge

This well-known hike offers stunning scenery on relatively quiet paths along the upper walls of the Yangtze River gorge. Hiking the High Trail (there is now a road running parallel to the trail closer to the river level) is easy and well signposted. The peaks above the gorge reach heights of almost 6000m while the vertical cliffs tower an incredible 2000m from the floor of the gorge.  Most hikers will take 3-4 days to cover the Tiger Leaping Gorge although there are many different route options varying from 2 to 7 days.