When, like me, you love exploring the world on foot, you are always looking for new places to go. Last year I explored the Dolomites in Italy and I was blown away by the stunning scenery. So you will find it in the list below as it is a must-go-to area for walkers. Along with it, here are 19 other places to travel to if you like hiking.
Portugal - Azores
The remote archipelago of the Azores, situated in the middle of the Atlantic, is a wonderful playground of volcanic origin. Crater lakes, caverns and thermal springs dot the islands, while the craggy coastline hides picturesque fishing villages. Adventure activities such as hiking and canyoning are the order of the day. Whales are numerous in the many marine reserves while on land a network of natural parks and biospheres protect the unspoiled environment.
Norway - the Fjords
One of the most spectacularly beautiful countries in the world, Norway also has some fantastic hiking. As you hike up steep mountains to the tune of cascading waterfalls, deep fjords run off into the distance while glaciers spread out before you in this, one of the most tranquil places on earth.
Montenegro - Via Dinarica
The mountains encircling Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro offer some of the most remote and wild scenery. Picturesque mountain villages are inhabited by agricultural communities, where farming practices and traditional shepherd life have been preserved for generations. We enjoy breathtaking views as we cross remote borders with time to soak up the traditional shepherd mountain life along the way. With a slew of awards - Via Dinarica was National Geographic Traveller's "Best of the World" destination for 2017 - this is guaranteed to amaze and challenge the keen trekker.
Romania - travel back in time
Whether you come to hike the spectacular peaks of the Făgăraş mountains, walk the dense forests of the rolling Bucovina hills or explore the Carpathians in search of wildlife you will be sure to enjoy the first-class hiking trails Romania has to offer. Witness farmers cutting grass by scythe, walk through hamlets forgotten by time and enjoy some spectacular views. Romania is certain to impress even the most spoiled hiker. Contact us about trips
Spain, Portugal & France - Camino
If you are drawn to a meaningful trip, then one of the many Camino trails may be for you. We help you book accommodation and luggage transfers and give you clear route notes and maps. This is purposeful walking but without the stress of staying in hostels.
Italy - Dolomites
As mentioned in the introduction, we were blown away by the beauty of the Dolomites.
Craggy peaks towering up to the sky, where wooden farmhouses dot the orchard-clad valleys, where hiking trails lead you from mountain huts to spa resorts to glorious vista. These are the Dolomites, part Austrian, part Italian, with a culture all its own.
Switzerland - the Bernese Oberland
Located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, where the great arc of the Alps culminates in some of its highest and most spectacular peaks, Kandersteg is a walker's paradise. This area epitomises the 'chocolate-box' Alps: lush green meadows bright with wildflowers, against a backdrop of rugged, wild mountains, topped with glistening glaciers. We stay at the charming Hotel Alfa Soleil, owned by the Seiler family, and discover the best of the region offers, including towering cliffs, a hidden valley headed by a glacier, a sheer gorge carved out by glacial meltwaters and more.
Peru - this is NOT the Inca Trail
Escape the crowds on a challenging, unusual trek through Peru’s mountainous region to the lost city of Choquequirao. This varied trek is constantly moving up and down the climatic zones, leading you up steep paths through dense cloud forest, over spectacular scenic passes and along ancient Inca paths to the Vilcabamba’s best kept secret: the lost Inca city of Choquequirao. Machu Picchu may draw the crowds, but Choquequirao will awe you in its secluded splendour. If you like being off the beaten path, are intrigued by rich history and crave dramatic landscapes dominated by lofty, snow-capped peaks, this is the trek for you.
Canada - East Coast Trail
If you want to stay closer to home, Newfoundland's East Coast Trail is made for you. Ranked the world's top coastal destination in 2016 by National Geographic you will enjoy ocean splendours while traversing towering cliffs and headlands, sea stacks, coves, and deep fjords. Along the way, enjoy picturesque bay-side communities, abandoned settlements and ecological reserves. There is a real possibility of whale, puffins, moose, or iceberg sightings while on the trail; but encounters with genuine, story-telling local hosts are guaranteed!
USA - Yellowstone
Explore Yellowstone, the world’s first National Park, known for geothermal wonders and home to countless bears, bison, elk and wolves. Explore the park with a range of specialist guides including a wildlife and wolf tracking guide to learn about these extraordinary animals. Your local geology guide will help you discover geothermal features; geysers including Old Faithful bubbling mud pools and bright multi-coloured hot springs.
Cuba, a country where the clock has stood still for 60 years, where road-side billboards declare "Socialism or Death" and where commercialism is still refreshingly absent. A land proud of its heritage where people greet you warmly on every corner. The country offers plenty of hiking. Viñales with its limestone cliffs, Topes de Collantes with its waterfalls and the soaring Sierra Maestra are but some of the most scenic areas. Getting out on foot is a great way to meet the local farmers.
Reconnect with nature on hikes through wooded forests and past glaciers, wander the ramparts of ancient fortresses and visit age-old churches. Hike in the Svaneti region, a remote and alluring land of snow-capped mountains, where you'll discover medieval tower-houses and a fascinating local dialect.
Armenia - Transcaucasian trail
Follow the spectacular Transcaucasian trail through the stunning mountain ranges of Armenia on this world-class, long-distance hike that traverses one of the most biologically and culturally diverse regions in the world – and few have had the chance to explore. Feast your eyes upon the dramatic gorges and rocky canyons of the Vayots Dzor province, witness beautiful Armenian architecture at the UNESCO listed Noravank Monastery and indulge in a delicious drop or two as you navigate your way through one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Hike through the impressive scenery of the Great Caucasus and join the community of international hikers helping to put this intriguing region on the map.
Jordan - red canyon country
Trek through deep canyons and ancient wadis, along the sandstone escarpments of the high deserts, stumble upon forgotten archaeological sites, and count the millions of stars at night. Hiking in Jordan is trekking at its finest.
Next, walk the desert floor at Petra to see all the different sites. But spend a little longer and wander up and down half-forgotten staircases to the High Place of Sacrifice. Sit down and watch the magical sunset over the red-sandstone cliffs and canyons.
Nepal - Everest, Annapurna and places far and wide
Between the soaring peaks of the Himalaya and the steamy expanses of India, Nepal is a nirvana for hikers, trekkers and lovers of mountains. Some of the world's best and most iconic trails lead you to Everest Basecamp, around the Annapurnas and beyond. Trekking is the main reason travellers come to Nepal. Hike through green valleys, forests and villages and gaze up at stunning mountains in the Annapurnas, walk along babbling rivers in Langtang, marvel at high Alpine scenery in the Everest area or climb the snowy Thorung La Pass on the Annapurna Circuit.
Bhutan - unspoiled nature
Himalayan peaks rising above deep ravines cloaked in untouched forest. Most multi-day treks in Bhutan reach high altitudes. But the rewards are great, as you trek through rhododendron forests and alpine meadows set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, while getting a true cultural immersion. Some of the more famous treks are the Laya to Gasa and Jhomolhari treks (rated challenging), Chomolhari Base Camp Trek (rated moderate) and the Snowman Trek (Entry Level Mountaineering). One trek within the abilities of most people is the Druk Path trek, leading from Paro to Thimpu.
Sri Lanka - sacred peaks and sprawling vistas
Sri Lanka, the Pearl of the Orient offers walks among tea plantations and waterfalls to rainforest-covered peaks. Adam's Peak has attracted pilgrims for more than 1000 years. Join them and climb the steep trails at night aided by the lights of thousands of lights, to see the sun rise over the hills below. Or take an early morning hike past lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens and quiet shrines and up the steep staircases leading to the top of Sigiriya. Or how about World's View? The choices are endless!
Japan - timeless backroads
Fly over Japan and you will see that the entire archipelago is mountainous except for a narrow strip of coastal shelf, a few broad inland basins and some river valleys. Those flatter lands are where the bulk of the population lives. The mountains are surprisingly unpopulated and territory that Japanese hold sacred. Hike with us through places of natural beauty and hinterland sites of deep significance and experience temple gardens, peerless Buddhist arts and architecture and the bohemian street culture of the ancient capital.
New Zealand epitomises contrasting scenery and culture and is an ideal country for adventure travel. Explore both islands as you weave your way through New Zealand on our active trip, visiting all the main highlights and many off-the-beaten-track attractions. Maximise your time in out of the way places and yet still marvel at the iconic destinations. Enjoy true wilderness campsites followed by comfortable lodges. Trek through Jurassic-like rainforest, hike along a glacier, climb up volcanic peaks and enjoy fish and chips on the beach. It is this mix which makes New Zealand extraordinary - it is majestic but down to earth, otherworldly yet reassuringly familiar. A range of activities and glacier walking complement the hikes superbly and keep this tour as diverse and exciting as the landscapes travelled!
Towering cliffs, imposing natural amphitheatres and thundering waterfalls make the Drakensberg in South Africa a range unique in the world. Ancient Bushmen rock art and some spectacular vistas and hiking trails make this an area not to be missed by anyone with more than a passing interest in South Africa. Then there are the Garden Route's forest-clad hills rolling down to a spectacular coastline with trails running through jaw-dropping scenery, foot safaris in the Kruger area and climbing Table Mountain - what are you waiting for?