Best Places to Hike Around the World
No matter where you plan on traveling, you're bound to find some perfect places to get reacquainted with your hiking boots. If you're stuck for ideas about where to hike, look no further than these best places.
Cinque Terre, Italy
One of Italy's most popular hiking routes is the delightfully scenic coastal region of Cinque Terre. This adored national park rests on Italy's northwest coast, home to five seaside villages – each more picturesque than the last. These villages alone would be reason enough to visit, but they're also joined together by hiking tracks, so you can experience the spectacular coast in between.
The villages of Levanto and Portovenere at each end are natural starting points for the route. Because each village is also connected by a local train, you can easily craft a custom itinerary, staying where you want and walking as much as is comfortable. While rain is a bit more likely at this time of year, the upside is that you'll be sharing Cinque Terre with far fewer tourists than the overstuffed summer season. Worth it!
Nakasendo Way, Japan
Hiking may not be the first thing you think of when you think of Japan, but it's hardly surprising that this fascinating country has hidden depths. One of Japan's best hikes is the Nakasendo Way, an ancient path that linked Kyoto and Tokyo during Japan's feudal period. This historic route has been skillfully preserved so that visitors can follow in the footsteps of shoguns, visit authentic post towns and stay overnight in traditional guesthouses.
The village of Magome in the Kiso Valley is a great place to start the Nakasendo Way. Choices vary from a simple day hike like the 8 km walk to Tsumago, to the complete 5-day hike. What makes it one of the best places to walk in the spring months is that it coincides with Japan’s cherry blossom season. Who doesn't want to see cherry blossoms, burst with color, as they walk along an ancient road?
Zion National Park, USA
There's no shortage of national parks and hiking havens in the USA, but Zion National Park in Utah has to be one of the most popular. Tucked away in the southern part of the state, the national park features the jaw-dropping Zion Canyon, home to cliffs, waterfalls and chasms alike. You want epic scenery on a good hike, and Zion National Park has that in spades.
One of the most popular routes in Zion is the precarious Angel's Landing hike, a real challenge for those afraid of heights. And those looking for a challenge should consider the tougher trail to Observation Point, which dwarfs Angel's Landing. The temperature can fluctuate throughout the day, and you’ll get to see rivers with higher water levels as spring starts to take hold.
Cradle Mountain, Australia
Australia's southern island of Tasmania is finally getting its time in the limelight. With its vast stretches of national park, it’s an obvious choice for people seeking nature. No place on the island is more popular than Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. Covering a large pocket of Tasmania, Cradle Mountain is crisscrossed by hiking trails of all lengths and difficulties, so there's bound to be something for everyone.
The most likely trail is the circuit loop around Dove Lake, with wonderful views of Cradle Mountain's iconic double-pronged peak. Adventurous hikers should consider multi-day overland trails that let them uncover all that the park has to offer – maybe even some of the park's furry residents – from pademelon wallabies to wombats. April and May are ideal for visiting Cradle Mountain, falling at the tail-end of the region's high season before things start to get cold.
Lycian Way, Turkey
Although Turkey's Mediterranean coast is best known for its beaches and idyllic cruises, it also features an ancient trail, known as the Lycian Way. This series of footpaths owes its heritage to the Romans, and it has it all – coastal and mountain scenery, beaches and ancient tombs. The entire trail stretches from the town of Ölüdeniz to the city of Antalya, and it can take as long as a month to complete.
A more reasonable approach might be to sail or drive along the coast, and do day-hikes to explore different stretches of the Roman way. A particularly scenic day might include a hike from the village of Faralya, overlooking beautiful Butterfly Valley, to the bohemian beach of Kabak, and back.
Staying Safe While Hiking
It's always smart to make sure you're properly prepared before taking off on a hike. Wear sensible clothing and bring any gear you might need, not to mention plenty of food and water. Check with local authorities for the latest news and updates on the area, and inform someone about your plans in case things go wrong.
About David Johnston:
David is an avid traveler from Australia who has spent the last three years exploring as much of Europe as he can. He has a passion for trying to find the lesser-seen, quieter pockets of the world, fostering a love of photography along the way. From hiking in the outdoors, to exploring medieval towns, his travels have taken him to some fascinating places well off the beaten path. You can follow his travels on his blog Travelsewhere and on Facebook.
Image credit: Shutterstock
All content provided in this blog is supplied by David Johnston and is for informational purposes only. Barclays makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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