Hiking and trekking can be an amazing way to explore the planet. Not only can our journeys take us far and wide, introducing us to new cultures and exotic experiences, they can also be incredibly invigorating and life-affirming. From rugged mountain ranges to ancient forests and fiery volcanoes, there are some incredible trekking and hiking destinations around the world that one should make sure to experience. Here, we will list some of the very best.

Nepal 

Heading to the majestic Himalayan mountains of Nepal is an absolute must for any keen trekker or hiker. From the easy trails of the Annapurna region to the more challenging and remote altitudes of the Everest Base Camp trek, Nepal is an exciting and fulfilling destination for anyone seeking an adventurous journey. Along the way, you will be able to soak up the picturesque views of pristine mountain lakes, snow-draped alpine slopes, and high passes. Thanks to its diverse trails (and backpacker-friendly prices!), Nepal is a paradise for hikers and trekkers, and definitely deserves its place at the top of the list.

The Inca Trail, Peru 

The classic four-day trekking route along Peru’s famous Inca Trail is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Along the way, one can discover a hidden world of fascinating Inca ruins, lush cloud forests, and ancient paths, before reaching the iconic destination of Machu Picchu and its incredible mountaintop views. From wandering through the striking and spiritual ruins at Wayllabamba to getting your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the Inti Punku ‘sun gate’, the Inca Trail really is an unforgettable experience.

New Zealand 

A trekking and hiking paradise, New Zealand offers one of the most varied natural landscapes in the world. Taking on the incredible Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a must for any keen hiker – a unique journey through three active volcanic peaks, ancient lava flows, and breathtaking views. From the rolling hills of the North Island to the soaring peaks and majestic valleys of the South Island, New Zealand offers some of the world’s greatest treks and hikes. And, if you are still looking for more adventure, then there are plenty of Heli-hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking opportunities as well.

Patagonia, Chile and Argentina 

The vast and diverse landscapes between Chile and Argentina make Patagonia one of the finest trekking and hiking destinations on the planet. From the Matrei and O’Higgins National Parks in Chile to the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre peaks in Argentina, Patagonia has got it all. Beyond the incredible treks and hikes, this region also offers stunning waterfalls, stunning alpine lakes, glaciers, towering peaks and ruggedly stunning landscapes – all in huge, sprawling spaces. An incredible destination for any explorer, Patagonia will surely stay with you for many years to come.

The Pacific Crest Trail, United States 

A true classic, the Pacific Crest Trail (or PCT) is an epic 2,650 mile hiking trail that stretches from the U.S.–Mexico border in California, to the U.S.–Canada border in Washington. Taking in a variety of gorgeous terrain, including Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges, vast deserts, and pristine forests, the PCT can take between four and six months to complete. Whether you attempt the full trail or just parts of it, the Pacific Crest Trail will always offer an unforgettable experience.

Grander Tour de Monte Rosa, Switzerland 

Taking in some of the most impressive peaks in the Alps, the Grander Tour de Monte Rosa is one of the most iconic and rewarding hikes in the world. With its panoramic views of the iconic Matterhorn, and its challenging terrain, this trek is a must for any serious trekker and hiker. Winding through Italy, Switzerland, and France, the tour can take between 10-12 days and provide an unforgettable journey as one passes glaciers, mountain passes and Bernese Oberland peaks.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania 

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most iconic hikes in the world and one that should absolutely be experienced by any intrepid traveler. On the 16-day trek to the summit and back, one is able to explore the various national parks, lush rainforests, and alpine meadows on the slopes of the mountain. As one gets closer to the peak, the landscape will be dominated by scree, rugged outcrops, and the ice-clad slopes of the majestic summit. Reaching the peak at an altitude of 5,895m and gazing out to the views in every direction is a truly unbeatable and incredibly rewarding experience.

The Appalachian Trail, United States 

Stretching from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine, the Appalachian Trail (or AT) is a truly epic 3,500km (2,200 mile) journey through the forests, mountain ridges, and meadows of the Eastern United States. With its incredible variety of landscapes and wildlife, the AT is an incredible hiking challenge and an unforgettable experience. Although it is said to take around six months to complete the full journey, there are many shorter treks and routes available, making the AT accessible to most intrepid travelers.

Whether you want a short weekend hike or a full-on challenge of walking 2,000, 3,000 or even 4,000 miles, there are some truly incredible trekking and hiking opportunities all around the world. These brilliant options include classic treks, some of the most iconic peak summits and luxurious destinations – places that will offer an unforgettable experience that will live long in your memory. So, get out there, explore, and enjoy the joy of venturing into the great outdoors.