Have you been looking for a bucket list of the best hikes in the world? Well, you’ve found it. We have rustled up and list of the top hikes that will take you around the world to almost every continent. From South America to Asia and Europe and from the Himalayas to the Alps.
Some of the most beautiful scenery and peaceful places in the world can only be reached on foot. Each hike featured has something special to it, whether it’s amazing views, powerful waterfalls, or the awesome cultural experiences that go along with it.
The Half Dome hike is one of the toughest hikes in Yosemite National Park but the rewards sure are worth it for the stunning views you get over the landscape.
You’ll need a permit to climb this granite rock as overcrowding is an issue, so apply early. Only 225 are allotted per day.
The hike starts at the Merced River and since it takes about 12 hours you should be there at sunrise. From there it is a climb up the stone steps, past Vernal and Nevada Falls.
After this, you’re above the tree line using handrails and cables to get to the summit. It’s a tough hike and not for the faint-hearted.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia
This is a tough route taking 17 days and with a huge but gradual altitude change, so it’s not for the faint-hearted. It is, however, full of some of the most amazing scenery the world has to offer, plus it’s a cultural trip too.
It’s a loop hike that takes you up to the Everest Basecamp, through villages, via local tea stops, the ancient Tengboche monastery, and amazing views of Ama Dablam, the 22,000 ft peak.
Once at basecamp, you’ll come down via the Cho La Pass which will show you the Gokyo Lakes which are crystal blue, and the six highest freshwater lakes in the world. You can also opt to summit Gokyo Ri to take a sneak peek at Mt Everest.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a loop hike that takes you around Mont Blanc, the Alps’ and Europes’ highest mountain.
You can start the hike from multiple places, stay in mountain huts, camp, or even a luxury hotel. There is also plenty of options to hop on some public transport if something goes wrong or you just fancy a break.
By completing the loop, you’ll have walked through Italy, France, and Switzerland y the end of the 11 days, taken in some amazing views of valleys, peaks, and rivers, plus a lot of different cultures.
Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ via Flickr
The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim hike is a one-way affair that as you might have guessed takes you from one side of the canyon, through it, and up the other.
The hike takes you through multiple layers of rock, millions of years of history, and once you’re down there an awe-inspiring feeling of actually being in the canyon that most visitors never get to experience.
It’s not the toughest hike but you do have to deal with a 5840-foot descent on one end and then a 4460-foot ascent on the other.
Another one of the best hikes in the world is the Lares Trek in Peru. It’s another tough hike that takes multiple days but it is the best dip into the Andean culture you’re ever going to get.
The Lares Trail follows a similar route to the Inca Trail but a little higher in altitude. On the way, you’ll see traditional Andean life happening around you from farming to hearing llamas colorful clothing. Plus you’ll also walk through traditional villages along the way.
The hike takes you over the 14,435-foot Ipsaycocha Pass and down into Ollantaytambo town where you can catch a train to your next destination.
The old Christian pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela was first done by Alfonso II of Asturias but his route was a little longer than the one above.
This hike has you hiking across Spain for 5 days and along the way, you’ll see stunning scenery, stay in remote Spanish villages each night, and it’s certainly one of the best ways to see a side of Spain you wouldn’t otherwise.
The trail is open all year round but does get a little busy when the usual pilgrimaged starts. But you can find cheap hostels and places to stay along the way that are there just for the pilgrims.
The Inca Trail was the route used by the Incas 600 odd years ago on their pilgrimage to Machu Pichu.
This 24-mile point-to-point hike will have you wandering through beautiful ancient archaeological sites, across the Peruvian countryside, around mountains, and through jungles.
The views along the way are second to none and ending at Machu Pichu couldn’t be a better treat.
It’s a tough hike covering some steep passes. The altitude does get to you so it’s best to stay at the starting point for a few nights before beginning the hike.
The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is not for the faint-hearted. The days are long and tiring and the rewards are worth it, but you’ll probably want to do some training beforehand.
The hike starts in the jungle and see’s you climb above the tree line all the way up to 17700 feet. From the highest point and along the journey, you’ll be able to see a dazzling panorama of the Himalayas.
If you summit Poon Hill along the way, you’ll be rewarded with a view of 8 of the highest peaks in the world.
It’s a popular route and a tough one but set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet.
Photo credit: Takashi Muramatsu via Flickr
Being the world’s highest free-standing mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro is on every hiker’s bucket list. The views from the top, usually seen at sunrise, are second to none as they roam across the surrounding savannahs for miles and miles.
The 45-mile hike is tough but most do complete it. The route is well marked, the summit is not too strenuous, but the altitude is tricky. The hike takes 6 days up and down to give your body time to adjust to the ever-thinning air.
Photo credit: Douglas Scortegagna via Flickr
Deep in the southern Andes lies Patagonia’s W Circuit, one of the best hikes in the world.
This hike is no joke and should only be attempted by serious adventures who are quite fit or have done pre-hike training.
The hike takes around 4-5 days and you’ll cover 43 miles with close to 9000 feet of elevation change. There are campsites along the way and you’ll need to carry all your gear.
The scenery is second to none as is marked by the famous jagged rock towers, crystal blue rivers, and turquoise glacial lakes.
The weather can change a lot though, so be ready for anything.
Photo credit: Mike Norton via Flickr
One of the most beautiful and relaxing day hikes in the world is along Italy’s coastline in the Cinque Terre National Park.
It’s a relaxing 9 miles hike that follows the azure blue Mediterranean sea all the way down it. You can stop for lunch and espressos along the way, take a refreshing dip in the sea, and end the hike with w delicious beer while the sun goes down.
It’s a point-to-point hike so depending on where you’re staying you’ll want to plan your transportation well. There are numerous buses and trains you can take so it’s pretty easy.
Photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via Flickr
The Bright Angel Trail has you following a well-maintained trail that takes down the rim of the Grand Canyon and down to the Colorado River where you camp for the night before following the route back home.
Make sure to reserve your campsite or you can also stay at Phantom Ranch Lodge if you want a bit of luxury.
The trail is rated hard but manageable for most if you have some fitness. The scenery and views along the way are nothing but magical and it’s a two-day hike everyone should do at some point in their life.
The Milford Track on New Zealand’s south island is an alpine hike of note.
Over 5-6 days the 37-mile track will take you through some of the most impressive scenery New Zealand has to offer. Along the way, you’ll pass a multitude of crystal clear lakes and rivers as well as some stunning waterfalls including Sutherland Falls, the highest in the country.
Accommodation along the way needs to be booked well in advance and you have the option to stay in basic mountain huts or luxury lodges.
Be warned, the area can be very wet so take a good raincoat.
Photo credit: Wallace Howe via Flickr
The West Coast Trail has you following British Columbia’s coastline in Canada. The route skirts along the edge of the Pacific Rim National Park with lush forests on one side and the shimmering blue ocean on the other.
You’re likely to see beautiful beaches, rivers, and even spot a whale or two while you spend the 7 days walking this trail.
It’s by no means an easy hike and requires climbing ladders, wading through rivers, and climbing some steep stretches.
The weather is very changeable from sunshine to wind and fog. You’ll also need to book a ticket for the trail in advance.
The Samariá Gorge Trail is found on the Greek Island of Crete and takes you through almost every type of landscape Greece has to offer.
You’ll start high in the pine forests and then follow the gorge and stream down all the way to the Libyan Sea. Along the way, you’ll pass a narrow gap where the 300-meter walls of the gorge are only separated by a gap of a few meters.
The trail is relaxed and downhill all the way making it great for families and you can have a refreshing swim and lunch at the ending.
Photo credit: KrisNM via Flickr
The Angels Landing Trail is an easy hike when it comes to physical exertion, but the trail does offer other challenges.
You’ll be walking alongside steep cliffs and you’re going to have to fight and tiny fear of heights you might have.
The hike takes you through Zion National Park and only takes half a day but you’ll get to see some amazing rock formations along the way as well as stunning views.
Photo credit: Joxean Koret via Flickr
The Chogoria to Lenana Peak hike on Mt Kenya is one for the adventure books. You’ll start just above the tree line and wander past zebra, buffalo, and more wildlife as you go.
On the route, you can camp by lakes full of trout, catch and eat them for dinner, and as you slowly move up the mountain, begin staying in alone huts before you summit Lenana at sunrise.
The natural surroundings are magical and you get some incredible views over the Kenyan savannahs as you go. You must take a guide with you for this hike as the trail is not marked.
Photo credit: Robin Wallace via Flickr
The Fisherfield Six Loop in North West Scotland has you hiking around the most remote part of the country and includes 6 of the countries most remote mountains (hence the name).
This is not a hike for anyone who doesn’t want adventure. Wading through rivers and bogs, scrambling up screes, and traversing ridges and boulders will be a daily occurrence on this 2-3 day hike.
The views are stunning, but the weather can change in minutes so be prepared for wind and rain.
Image courtesy of: Wikimedia
The Three Capes Track has you hiking around the southern peninsular of the Tasman National Park.
Over 2-3 days you’ll cover 28 miles with the ocean on one side and the forests on the other. The route is full of wildflowers, incredible ocean views, and a coastline littered with seals, dolphins, and whales.
Along the way, you’ll climb huge columns that fall into the sea and stay at luxury mountain huts equipped with beds, yoga mats, board games, and more.
The Lycian Way is a huge 272-mile long hike along Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline that takes a month to complete.
Luckily, you don’t have to do the whole route if you don’t want to and can pick and choose your starting and ending point.
The hike takes you back in time as you follow stone paths or roads around the Tekke Peninsular and through ancient villages, ruins, and tombs. Plus you’ll follow the sea so a refreshing evening swim is always on the cards.
Accommodation and delicious food are available along the way, bar a mounting section that requires 3 nights of camping.
Photo credit: Better Tourism Africa via Flickr
The Whale Trail is found East of Cape Town and follows the coastline of De Hoop Nature Reserve.
It’s the best hike in the world for whale watching and is said to be the best whale-watching experience that you can have outside of a boat.
There are a few different route options and you can do the whole thing in 2-3 days staying at cabins each night.
The views of the ocean and whale are second to none and you get white sand beaches, coves, with snorkeling and swimming options as you go.
Photo credit: Evan Forester via Flickr
The Kepler Track is a man-made track found on New Zealand’s South Island and starts just outside of the town of Te Anau.
It’s a loop trail with boardwalks over bogs that takes you winding through the Fiordland National Park and takes around 4 days to complete.
You’ll be stunned by the amazing scenery this hike has to offer with fjords, lakes, mountains, and rivers. Along the way are lovely mountain cabins to stay at but make sure to book way in advance for October-to-April when the weather is best.
Image courtesy of: Wikimedia
The Fishermans Trail runs all the way from Lisbon to the southern Algarve following Portugal’s Atlantic coastline as it goes.
The section from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe to particularly beautiful as it includes two of the Alaragve’s loveliest towns, white sand beaches, a large river, valleys, and of course the wild Atlantic.
Along the way, you’ll see stunning views, access coves, and beaches out of reach of cars, and you can have a delightful dinner at the end while watching the sun fall into the sea.