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30 Of The World’s Most Breathtaking Hiking Trails You Must Visit

30 Of The World’s Most Breathtaking Hiking Trails You Must Visit

Hikers brave the harshest climates, the highest peaks and most forbidding terrains to experience the Earth like no others possible could. Whether they are traversing canyons, climbing mountains or crossing moors, hikers know what it is to have adventure.

Below are 30 fantastic hiking trails that will challenge, beguile and enthuse even the most novice hikers!

1. The Narrows, USA

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    Carved throughout millennia by the Virgin River, The Narrows in Zion National Park provide breathtaking scenery throughout it’s 26km (16 miles). More than half of this hike takes place in the river, including some areas in which you may need to swim, but it can be completed in just one day and you can dry off at one of the twelve camping grounds throughout the park.

    How to get there: This hike through the Virgin River actually starts at The Chamberlain Ranch found about 20 miles from Zion National Park’s East Entrance. For detailed directions and maps, download Zion Adventure’s brochure.

    2. Pays Dogon, Mali

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      Without a doubt, Pays Dogon is one of Africa’s most scenic places which is why so many hikers choose to hike through the breathtaking landscape, which can take up to ten days. Known as ‘the land of the Dogon people’ hikers visit ancient cliff dwellings and Dogon villages as they traverse the peeks.

      How to get there: To get anywhere in Dogon Country, it is essential that you hire a driver or a car, which you will then have to drive to the one of the hiking start villages Kani-Kombolé, Djiguibombo, Endé, Dourou or Sanga. For a better idea of Dogon Country, check out this interactive map.

      3. The Haute Route, France & Switzerland

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        Starting in Chamonix, France and ending in Zermatt, Switzerland visitors to The Haute Route will experience the very best areas of The Alps available to hikers. Although there are varying routes between summer and winter, either hike will take around two weeks to complete and is only for the fitter hikers among us.

        How to get there: Book a hotel in or near Chamonix, France and ensure you are booked on a trip with a guide who will lead the hike. Your guide, and possibly your hotel as well, will provide you with all the extra information you will need.

        4. GR20, France

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          Remaining in France, the GR20 trail in Corsica is a legendary hike spanning 168km (104 miles). Built in 1972, this trek will direct you through Calenzana, Balagne and ends in Conca, north of Porto Vecchio. On your way you can expect rickety bridges, mountains, ice, rivers, forests, bogs and an experience like no other.

          How to get there: Calenzana is situated near Calvi, which is easy to travel to from the Saint Catherine airport or local ferries. To travel from Calvi to Calenzana simply take a bus!

          5. Inca Trail, Peru

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            At 33km (20 miles) this trail may seem tame in comparison to those listed above, but you can’t blame to ancient Incas for not meeting our modern day hiking demands. On this trek you will walk through The Sacred Valley of Machu Picchu an ancient wonder of the world like no other on Earth.

            How to get there: Access to the Inca Trail is strictly controlled so it is essential that you book with a tour guide months in advance. When the time comes for you to travel to Peru, fly to Cuzco and then catch a train to either Aguas Calientes, the prime access point to Machu Picchu where many choose to stay overnight or go straight to Ollantaytambo in The Sacred Valley. Your tour guide will most likely be in contact with your throughout your travels and ensure you find the actual trail.

            6. Everest Base Camp, Nepal

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              The first of our intense mountain climbs, Nepal’s Everest Base Camp reaches dizzying heights of 5,545m (18,193ft) at Kala Pattar and takes three weeks to complete. Accompanied by Sherpa people of the Solu Khumbu you will be expected to traverse valleys and mountains in order to bask in the unique and beautiful scenery.

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              How to get there: If you are planning to begin your trek from Nepal, fly from Kathmandu to Lukla Airport which is close to Sagarmatha National Park. If you have booked a guide, they will most likely accompany you from the airport.

              7. Indian Himalayas, India

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                Far less popular than The Alps or Everest, The Indian Himalayas’ trail in Himachal Pradesh is a hike for true adventurers. This remote trek will see you travel for 24 days from Spiti to Ladakh, teetering on cliff edges and reaching dizzying heights.

                How to get there: There are 12 districts in Himachal Pradesh, and you are aiming for Spiti in Lahaul and Spiti. To get there most people enter through Manali, which you can reach via plane from Delhi or train, towards Rohtang Pass using the eastbound rounds that lead to Kaza. There are bus services that start in Manali, or you can drive which will take about eight to ten hours.

                8. Overland Track, Australia

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                  Situated in Tasmania, The Overland Track is 80km (50 miles) long and takes about six days to complete. Whilst trekking between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair – Australia’s deepest natural freshwater lake – you will see mountains, lakes, moors, forests, waterfalls and Mt Ossa.

                  How to get there: By the far the easiest to get to so far, all you need to do is get to the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre where buses will transport you to the start of the track. Both Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair are within up to four hours travelling distance from many main towns like Davenport, Burnie and Launceston.

                  9. Routeburn Track, New Zealand

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                    On New Zealand’s South Island there is the far less demanding Routeburn Track, which stretches over 32km (20 miles) and takes just three days to complete. Found at foot of The Southern Alps, the most difficult element of this hike will be getting a spot on the team as numbers are extremely limited.

                    How to get there: Many hikers choose to depart from Queenstown and begin the walk from the Routeburn Shelter. Queenstown is accessible via plane, bus and car.

                    10. Baltoro Glacier & K2, Pakistan

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                      You may have heard of the world’s second-highest mountain K2 previously, but did you know you can actually hike along it’s icy foundations and climb it’s peak? This 15 day hike will take you through and over Paiju (6,610m, 21,686ft), Uli Biaho (6,417m, 21,053ft), Great Trango Tower (6,286m, 20,623ft) and finally K2 (8,611m, 28,251ft).

                      How to get there: As with most things in Pakistan, you must begin in Islamabad. It is recommended that hikers stay in Envoy, Shalimar or Royal Inn but of course the ultimate choice is up to you.

                      You will then fly or drive to Skardu, where you will be driven in a Jeep to Askolie, the last village on route, where your trek will finally begin.

                      11. Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand

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                        Also known as ‘The New Zealand Great Walk‘, this trek takes place on the northern island of New Zealand and will take you four days to complete the 49km (31 miles) circuit around Mount Ngauruhoe.

                        How to get there: Many people choose to begin from the village of Whakapapa where the Department of Conservation asks that you leave your vehicle and instead take a $15 shuttle. There is an air field at the base of Whakapapa, which you can fly into from Aukland.

                        12. Fitz Roy Trek, Argentina

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                          Mount Fitz Roy can be concurred using various routes, with the average hike measuring around 64km (40 miles). Each route ensures glorious views of Patagonia that cannot be experienced unless you take this trip on Fitz!

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                          How to get there: There are numerous treks that you can partake in here, so before you set off make sure you’ve decided on a route. You will need to travel to El Chalten, the gateway to Mt. Fitz Roy, which is reachable by bus from either El Calafate or San Carlos de Bariloche.

                          You can reach either of these places by plane, however El Calafate is by far the easiest of the two.

                          13. Cinque Terre, Italy

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                            At just 12km (7.5 miles), this trek is more like taking a walk along the stunning Western Italian Coast. You will traverse this beautiful scenery and travel through five Italian towns, so if you’re looking to experience some extraordinary culture, this is the hike for you.

                            How to get there: You can reach Cinque Terre via plane, train or car but you will have to walk or catch a train to the first village Corniglia to begin your trek.

                            14. Santa Cruz Trek, Peru

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                              Out shined only by the Inca Trail, The Santa Cruz Trek is one of Peru’s most popular walks. Over four days you can expect to see rivers, lakes and mountains that would otherwise go unseen by human eyes.

                              How to get there: It is best to hire a guide for this trek as travelling independently can limit your experience. As this trek begins in Huaraz, which is situated in Cordillera Blanca’s Huascarán National Park, you will need to take a coach from Lima (Movil Tours, Ormeño, Cruz del Sur and CIAL are the most frequently used companies).

                              15. Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile

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                                Ten days, 83km (52 miles) and immense scenery: that’s what you can expect from Chile’s number one hiking destination. Traverse the Torres del Paine mountain range and experience the real wonder of the South American continent.

                                How to get there: Having flown into El Calafate, you must take a six hour bus journey to the town of Puerto Natales to catch another two hour bus to the Torres Del Paine National Park. There will be many guides available to take you on this hike at the National Park, or you can book in advance.

                                16. Desert Trek to Petra, Jordan

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                                  High up on bucket lists around the globe, The Kingdom of Petra is a destination most of us would like to see. But the real question is: how are you planning to get there? Do you take the boring, air-conditioned coach or the awesome 7 day, 80km (50 miles) hike across the desert? Tough decision.

                                  How to get there: First of all you must fly to Amman,  Jordan where you will catch a bus to Madaba where you will meet your tour group. You will be escorted via coach to Dana where your hike will begin.

                                  17. Kungsleden, Sweden

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                                    Otherwise known as ‘The King’s Trail‘, this hike spans an incredible 434km (270 miles) of untouched European country, and in the winter it becomes a ski trail.

                                    How to get there: To begin this hike you must first reach Abisko, which is about 25 hours from Malmo and 13 hours from Stockholm. There are also daily trains from both Lulea and Gallivare, which are both reachable by air.

                                    18. West Coast Trail, Canada

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                                      Situated on Vancouver Island, this 75km (47 miles) long trail along the southwestern coast was originally carved in 1907 to help locals save shipwreck survivors. Now it’s primary use is allowing hikers to experience the real, coastal wilderness of Canada.

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                                      How to get there: You can begin The West Cost Trail from many starting points, easiest of which is Pacheena Bay Trailhead, which can be reached by plane and ferry.

                                      19. Sarek National Park, Sweden

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                                        Famous for it’s 1,220 square kilometres (760 square miles) of untouched terrain, Sweden’s Sarek National Park is the perfect place to go hiking and exploring at your own pace and using your own route.

                                        How to get there: Situated in the extreme north of Sweden, Sarek National Park actually shares a border with Kungsleden and can be reached using a similar route.

                                        20. Muliwai Trail, Hawaii

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                                          Image Credit: Unreal Hawaii

                                          Regarded as the most rigorous hike in Hawaii, the 28km (18 miles) Muliwai trail will see you pass through the Waipi’o and Waimanu Valleys, as well as a black sand beach.

                                          How to get there: To begin this trek you will need to reach the city of Honoka’a which is relatively close to Hilo International Airport. From the airport you can catch a bus or rent a car to reach Honoka’a, which will take just over one hour.

                                          21. Croagh Patrick, Ireland

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                                            At just 4km (3 miles), this Irish hike is an easy walk for beginners who want to see the beauty of the world that can only be experienced through hiking, but don’t want to die in the process. Croagh Patrick should take you about four and a half hours, and offers incredible views of beautiful Ireland.

                                            How to get there: Croagh Patrick can be found in County Mayo’s Westport, which is very easy to travel to by catching a train from Dublin.

                                            22. Grindelwald, Switzerland

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                                              Although it’s largely considered as a tourist destination, Grindelwald actually offers prime hiking for beginners! There are around 290 km (180 miles) of trails that you can pick and choose from, some lasting a day and others a week, so this is the perfect destination for some light adventure.

                                              How to get there: Many travellers simply catch a train or drive from Interlaken which accessible through numerous main Swiss cities including Zurich and Geneva, although in summer you can even hike there.

                                              23. Appalachian Trail, USA

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                                                Spanning 3540km (2,200 miles) and 14 states, the Appalachian hike will truly test your trekking skills like no other American trail. If you’re looking to up your game significantly then this is the trek for you. The great part though, is that you can brave the entire length of the trail or choose chunks to explore more easily.

                                                How to get there: The majority of visitors arrive via car as there are numerous, cast parking lots. If you wish to trek from North to South you’ll want to head for Baxter State Park.

                                                24. Zillertal Alps, Austria

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                                                  As you may imagine, the Austrian Alps offer numerous hiking trails for everyone and at varying levels of expertise. Arguably the most popular of the Austrian Alp walks is the Berliner Höhenweg, which should take you about seven days to complete.

                                                  How to get there: If you are planning to traverse the Berliner Höhenweg, you will need to get to Innsburg which is easy to get to via train, plane or car.

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                                                  25. North Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa

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                                                    Regarded by many enthusiastic hikers, explorers and survivalists as one of the best hiking trails on Earth, this  64km (40 miles) walk sits between The Kingdom of Lesotho and South Africa, offering unique views of the African landscape.

                                                    How to get there: Most people begin their trek at The Sentinel and work their way south because this is the easiest place to get to. You can travel by car along the N3 highway, fly into Durban Airport and catch the Baz Bus.

                                                    26. Cape Wrath Trail, Scotland

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                                                      Perhaps the hardest trek the United Kingdom has to offer, the hiking trail across Cape Wrath will take even an experienced hiker twenty days to complete as it spans 321km (200 miles).

                                                      How to get there: Beginning at Fort William, this trail is quite easy to get to using coach services or trains available from numerous cities including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

                                                      27. Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

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                                                        Filled with more hiking paths than roads, The Simien Mountains National Park has a vast array of hiking trails available for all levels of hikers.

                                                        How to get there: Located in the Semien (North) Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, The Semien Mountains are accessible via air or their a vast number of bus routes from all over Ethiopia,  including Addis Ababa or Bahir Dar.

                                                        28. Polar Route, Greenland

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                                                          Otherwise referred to as The Arctic Circle Trail, this 160km (100 miles) long hike will take you from Kangerlussuaq to one of the most remote places of Earth Sisimiut via the world’s second largest glacier.

                                                          How to get there: As you may imagine, The Polar Route is a little tricky to reach. However, Kangerlussuaq Airport can be reached by planes scheduled by Air Greenland, which usually depart from New York.

                                                          29. Kalalau Trail, Hawaii

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                                                            Although it is only 35km (22 miles) long, this trail along the Na Pali Coast in Kaua’i has been known to be as dangerous as it is spectacular. So, book with care!

                                                            How to get there: The island of Kaua’i can be reached via plane and the starting point Ke’e Beach is easily reached on foot, using public transport or by taxi.

                                                            30. Cordillera Apolobamba, Bolivia

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                                                              Rarely braved and barely conquered, the Cordillera Apolobamba is 104km (65 miles) long and takes around five days to complete. Situated close to the Peruvian border, this Bolivian masterpiece offers spectacular views and a unique experience.

                                                              How to get there: Bolivia’s capital city La Paz is accessible through many airports, from here you can arrange transport to Pelechuco which is situated right in the centre of the Cordillera Apolobamba mountain range.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Beamer Trail via flickr.com

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                                                              Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                                                              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                              In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                                              Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                                              Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                                              Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                                              Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                                              The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                                              There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                                              How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                                              According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                                              Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                                              Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                                              The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                                              Listen carefully:

                                                              We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                                              The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                                              Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                                              8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                                              There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                                              Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                                              1. Pray Daily

                                                              You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                                              When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                                              Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                                              Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                                              2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                                              A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                                              By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                                              Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                                              If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                                              This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                                              How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                                              3. Smile Often

                                                              Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                                              Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                                              Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                                              The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                                              4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                                              A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                                              When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                                              Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                                              Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                                              5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                                              I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                                              Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                                              What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                                              6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                                              God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                                              I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                                              I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                                              7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                                              You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                                              How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                                              First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                                              If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                                              If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                                              If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                                              Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                                              8. Go Exercise

                                                              Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                                              The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                                              You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                                              12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                              It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                                              It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                                              Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                                              More Resources About Mindfulness

                                                              Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

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