What greater joy and challenge can there be, if not a long-distance trek? So pack your trekking gears, put on those trekking boots, and get ready to spend your holidays camping with mother nature! We have for you 9 of the best treks in the world and all of them are no walks in the park. While they surely require a sturdy pair of lungs, fit legs and a good amount of preparation, the reward is an experience that lasts a lifetime.
1Camino de Santiago, Spain
Distance: 780 km
Known as the Way of Saint James in English, Camino de Santiago is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching from the Pyrenees in France, across the top of Spain and finishing in Santiago de Compostela, a distance of about 500 miles. Discover the longest pilgrimage route in Europe which is also partly dotted with monasteries, cathedrals, and churches. However, keep in mind that this trek can get crowded during the summer months (depending on the route you pick), so if you’re looking for solitude, try going in the off-season.
2Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Distance: 62 km
Want to stand at the base of the world’s highest mountain and scream at the top of your lungs? Well, you can. At this trek which is cosily nestled in the lap of Everest, originates from Kathmandu and takes around 2 weeks to complete. Reaching a height of 5,545m (18,193ft) at Kala Pattar, this trek is extremely popular, all thanks to the spectacular close-up views of the Himalayas. The trail takes you through small, picturesque mountain villages en route to the famous campground and is trafficked by Sherpa people of the Solu Khumbu. You also get an opportunity to be up close and personal with the oldest Buddhist Monasteries.
But remember, climbing the mountain itself is extremely difficult, and Nepal has strict guidelines for those wanting to obtain a climbing permit.
Also Read: My Journey to Mount Everest Base Camp
3W Trek in Torres del Paine, Chile
Distance: 100 km
This visually stunning 100km long trek offers best of Torres del Paine such as Grey Glacier, French Valley, and the base of the granite towers that give the park its name. In full, it can either be a four or five-day trail or it can also be broken up into day hikes. Pick the best option according to your skill level and enjoy this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The “W” circuit is counted among the world’s top trails and takes you through glacial lagoons, next to towering glaciers, up to panoramic mountain views, and of course, to the Torres del Paine viewpoint.
4The Haute Route, France- Switzerland
This brilliant trekking trail is known to be the Mercedes of the trekking world and it takes about 12 days to complete. The trail’s name Haute Route means “high route,” and it offers you to gaze upon some of the world’s most famous peaks, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. This stunner begins at Chamonix in France through the southern Valais into Zermatt in Switzerland, therefore crossing some of the highest and most scenic country accessible to walkers anywhere in the Alps.
5Overland Track, Australia
The overland trek through the Tasmanian wilderness snakes its way between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair, the well-defined path and passes Dolerite Mountains, extensive forests and moorlands. The trail takes five to six days to complete but as beautiful columns carved by ancient glaciers dot the trail, along with three waterfalls, so for those of you who want more can take numerous sidewalks leading to waterfalls, valleys and more summits.
6Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Distance: 160-230 km
This ancient trade route is one of the most stunning and the most challenging treks in Nepal. This 160-km+ trail encircles the Annapurna mountain area, giving hikers a taste of the vivid Himalayan mountains and takes about 15 to 25 days to complete depending on your speed. The highlights include reaching an altitude of almost 18,000 feet at Thorung La summit pass, watching the sunrise over towering peaks at Poon Hill and exploring the quaint Buddhist monasteries and temples.
7Pays Dogon, Mali
Distance: 20 km
Also known as ‘The land of the Dogon people’, Pays Dogon in Mali is unlike your usual trekking destinations. The trek trail is set in the plains of West Africa, passing through the majestic Bandiagara Escarpment and abandoned cliff dwellings (very similar looking to Mesa Verde). It can take anywhere between two and 10 days to complete the trek. Enjoy the natural beauty of Dogon villages that dot the cliffs and are an extraordinary highlight of the journey.
8Inca Trail, Peru
Distance: 43 km
One of the most travelled routes of the world is the Inca Trail which leads to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Stretching for 43 km in the Andes Mountains; this short trek was built by the Inca civilization over a century ago and offers a mix of everything: ranging from the snow-capped Andes to the luscious tropical jungle and finally the view of the erstwhile affluent Peruvian city when you stand at the majestic Sun Gate.
Keep in mind that due to its high popularity, daily hikers on the trail have been restricted to just 400 in 2019 in 3 shifts of visiting hours. So book fast!
9Routeburn Track, New Zealand
Distance: 32 km
With soaring mountain peaks, huge valleys, waterfalls and jewel-like lakes, Routeburn track offers stunning subalpine scenery of New Zealand’s South Island. The route winds through the part of New Zealand that has been shaped by successive glaciations into fjords, rocky coasts, towering cliffs, lakes and waterfalls. This nearly 20-mile trek links the Mount Aspiring National Park with Fiordland National Park. This alpine adventure of New Zeeland treats you with the sight of wild birds; as well as breathtaking views of mountain peaks, lakes, waterfalls and rivers.
Explore the remarkable beauty of Mother Nature at the best treks around the world mentioned above and do let us know about your experiences in the comment section!