Most Scenic Walks in the World

There are many reasons why taking a walking vacation is an ideal summer holiday. The days are longer, and the mild nights permit both walking at night and camping. From trails between cities and villages to mountain paths, there are so many scenic walks to choose from.

Whatever level of activity and setting you’re looking for, the perfect trail exists for you. You don’t need to be an expert hiker to take on some of these paths. All you need are sturdy walking shoes and a sense of adventure.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next holiday, check out some of these scenic walks.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

The Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) is a famous pilgrimage route that has been in use since 812 AD. Traditionally, the pilgrim would start in their home and proceed to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Nowadays, the start of the 491-mile journey is the town of Saint Jean Pied de Port in France.

You can walk any portion of this route. But if you want to be considered for the Compostela certificate that tells everyone you completed the pilgrimage, you have to either walk the whole route or the last 62 miles from the town of Sarria.

Inca Trail, Peru

Another trail that started its life as a pilgrimage route is the Inca Trail, which winds its way from the city of Cusco to the sacred site of Macchu Picchu.

If you want to complete the full route, you’ll need to register with the Peruvian government well in advance. That’s because the government only issues 200 permits per day.

If you don’t feel like a five-day hike, take the shorter option. This one- to two-day hike allows you to walk through the famous Sun Gate. Just make sure that you’re acclimatized to the altitude before you attempt this. One point on the trail peaks at 13,860 feet above sea level.

The Great Wall of China

If you’re interested in marveling at amazing feats of engineering as well as natural beauty, then the Great Wall of China is the right trail for you. Although many sections are too overgrown to pass through, the wall stretches for over 5,500 miles.

If you want to hike the Great Wall of China, there are several sections, like Jiankou, Gubeikou, and Jinshanling, that are more popular with hikers than tourists. You can even camp in one of the old watchtowers. Just make sure to bring a sleeping bag.

Meteora, Greece

Meteora is the name given to the clifftop monasteries that dot the landscape of Thessaly, just beyond the town of Kalambaka. Built by monks in the 11th century, these ancient structures have been used as religious retreats for more than 15 centuries.

Although only six out of the 24 monasteries are still active, the rest are open for architectural tours. The hike up to Meteora takes about 4.5 hours. If you don’t want to go alone, there are many local companies that can guide you.

Hadrian’s Wall, England

People in England and across Britain love their long-distance walks. Much of the countryside is rolling hills, which allows for amazing views over long distances and relatively easy walks.

One incredible sight that’s located in the north of England is the Hadrian’s Wall trail. It’s an 84-mile stretch of low wall constructed by Emperor Hadrian beginning in 122 AD. The path runs from Bowness-on-Solway in the west to Newcastle and Wallsend in the east.

Most people complete the trail in six to seven days. However, if you’re interested in exploring Roman ruins and local sites along the way, you should plan for a longer hike.

GR20, Corsica

The GR20 is an amazing trail that stretches from the top to the bottom of Corsica, a Mediterranean island whose most famous inhabitant is Napoleon Bonaparte. The GR20 stretches for 112 miles from Calenzana in the north to Conza in the south.

The average trekker takes about 12 days to complete this challenging hike. Although if you really hustled, you could probably make it from end-to-end in less than a week. The way through the island is rocky. Fortunately, there are mountain huts called refugios scattered along the trail. At these huts, you can fuel up on delicious, homecooked food and buy snacks for the road.

Lycian Way, Turkey

Many people who travel to Turkey only get a sense of city life. They hit up Istanbul and maybe Antalya before heading home.

Hiking the Lycian Way will introduce you to Turkey’s countryside and coastline, which are gorgeously scenic. The trail begins in Fethiye and ends 316 miles later in a small town southwest of Antalya. Using the trail and camping along the way is free. However, you’ll have to pay admission to several tourist attractions along the way if you want to look around.

Make sure to bring your own water as many sections of the trail are completely deserted for miles.

Table Mountain, South Africa

Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most visible landmark and the city’s pride and joy. Not only are the views from the top absolutely incredible, but the pristine wildlife that you’ll see along the way make it a bucket list hike for many people.

There are several different paths that you can take to the top. Some are less steep but offer inferior views, while others are scenic but are much more challenging. You can also ascend via Kloof Corner, which will give you a chance to do some basic rock climbing. All the approaches take less than a day to complete.

Cinque Terre, Italy

One of the most incredible walks in the world is Cinque Terre Trail #2. It’s a relatively easy walking path that connects five gorgeous Italian towns perched along the coast.

The route is only seven miles long, so it’s an easy day hike. Some people choose to stretch it out over a few days, so they can really take their time in each place.

If you want a more challenging hike, there are a few other routes in Cinque Terre. However, if you just want a few hours of pleasant walking so you can work off your pasta, Trail #2 is the one for you.

Milford Track, New Zealand

New Zealand’s Milford Track is known as “the finest walk in the world” for well over 100 years. It stretches for 33 miles from Queenstown to Te Anau on New Zealand’s South Island. As part of these 33 miles, it passes through fjords, mountain passes, and other remarkable natural landmarks.

The trail is well-provisioned. In fact, there are three huts built by the Department of Conservation to house hikers. However, camping is not permitted.

Laugavegur, Iceland

Iceland has one of the most striking landscapes in the world. If you want to experience the majesty of the country away from crowds of summer tourists, head to the Laugavegur hiking trail. This 34-mile trail stretches across rainbow-colored hills, volcanic rock, and ice caves.

The trail is only accessible for two to three months of the year from June to September. Plus, you’ll need to book your huts before you go. Therefore, you should make sure to plan well ahead of time.

West Highland Way, Scotland

The West Highland Way stretches through a large portion of southern Scotland. From Glasgow all the way up to Fort William, this route spans 96 miles.

Usually, the trail is hiked from south to north, which would put you in a great place to enjoy the nearby islands of Mull, Oban, and Skye. Along the way, you’ll pass through the wild, rolling hills of Scotland and experience the awe-inspiring feeling of passing between mountains and through jaw-droppingly beautiful glens.

Forewarning, this is not a hike for beginners. Especially towards the end of the hike, the elevation gets intense.

Aleksandra Suzi / Shutterstock



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