Hiking is unquestionably a great way to explore the world. Not only that, it’s one of the best things you can do for your mind and body. Taking the time to slow down and experience the sights, sounds, and smells around you gives you a greater appreciation of a place. And it certainly brightens any mood. With so much of the world to see, where do you start? We’ve narrowed it down to six of the best hikes in the world. Start exploring.
If you need help packing, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite hiking gear, clothing, and accessories to make your day on the trail the most enjoyable. You can find our full selection here. Please note, as an Amazon Associate, Ker & Downey earns a small commission when you click through and make a purchase.
The Best Hikes in the World
The Narrows in Zion
The Narrows of Zion National Park is one of the park’s most popular hikes. Thanks to social media, it’s also one of the most famous hikes in the world. It’s challenging yet exciting for beginner and intermediate hikers, yet still quite enjoyable. The soaring sandstone walls can reach up to a thousand feet tall with the river just 20-30 feet wide in some places. The slot canyon hike takes you along the banks and in the Virgin River to the narrowest section of Zion Canyon.
Ryten Viewpoint, Lofoten Islands, Norway
It’s all about the views on our next best hike in the world. The six-hour hike to Ryten Viewpoint boasts wide panoramas across the mountains, fjords, and Lofoten’s most stunning sandy beaches set against a backdrop of endless ocean. The Norwegian Tourist Association has rated this hike as ‘medium’, meaning anyone with basic fitness skills can attempt this hike.
The Blue Trail, Cinque Terre, Italy
The Cinque Terre (Five Lands) sit tucked between Genoa and Pisa on six miles of the Italian Riviera. It’s one of the most picturesque stretches in all of Italy. Named for the five colorful and traffic-free fishing villages perched on its cliffside, there are few places in the world as beautiful as Cinque Terre. The Sentiero Azzurro – the “Blue Trail” – strings them all together. The 7.5-mile path is best walked east to west from Riomaggiore to Monterosso.
The Nakasendo Trail, Japan
The Nakasendo Trail is an old mountain route established in the 17th century connecting Tokyo and Kyoto. Feudal lords, samurai, and merchants traveled along the route, staying in post towns along the way. Today, you can follow in their footsteps, staying in local ryokan (traditional inns) and soaking in the hot springs along the way. When you travel with Ker & Downey, we can arrange for you to do just part of the trail (even just one day) depending on your interests.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand
The 12-mile Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the best one-day treks in the world, however it is not for the casual hiker. The trail is steep, the mountainous terrain is rugged, and the weather is unpredictable. This creates a challenging, yet rewarding hike through the stunning scenery of lava flows, an active crater, steam vents, and emerald lakes in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s oldest national park.
Grey Glacier, Torres del Paine, Chile
Torres del Paine is known throughout the world for its beautiful lakes and incredible glaciers. Grey Glacier is undoubtedly one of the highlights on the W Trek in Patagonia. While the W Trek is a multi-day hike, you can actually just do a day hike to see Grey Glacier. It’s rated as hard, so you should be relatively fit for the seven-to-eight hour hike. But the sprawling ice sheet and floating icebergs are worth it. If you aren’t up for a full day of hiking, there’s also an impressive view of Grey Glacier about halfway into the hike.
Explore the Best Hikes in the World with Ker & Downey
Ready to explore the world on foot? Ker & Downey can help. Our team of experts are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you. To include one of the best hikes in the world on your next journey, contact a designer. In the meantime, follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily travel inspiration.