If swimming with sharks, snorkeling or skydiving doesn’t quite satisfy your taste for adventure, perhaps a few hikes through the toughest terrains on Earth will? From Italy, to Petra, to Uganda, we’ve braved steep new heights to bring you this list of the best hikes in the world.
Get you BUCKiTDREAM planner out and add these bad boys in, and you’ll never be bored again. So, lace up your boots, fill your water bottle and stretch out those legs, we’re about to hit up the top seven hikes in the world!
Circle the Roof of Europe on the Tour du Mont Blanc (Europe) The ever-changing surroundings of the Tour du Mont Blanc are what make this hike particularly stunning. One second you’ll be surrounded by lush floral meadows, the next minute you’re faced with harsh, sheer behemoths of exposed rock.
Circumnavigating Mont Blanc – the highest peak in Western Europe – brings you on a journey through France, Italy, and Switzerland, so the chance to stop and sample some divine local cuisine should be taken at every opportunity.
Thanks to the plentiful huts dotted along the route, you can comfortably complete this hike without the need to bring a heavy tent or camping gear. Technically, you can complete the hike in just three days, but we’d suggest taking your sweet time to enjoy a few luxuries along the way.
Follow Kungsleden into the Heart of the Arctic Circle (Sweden) Nestled deep within the dark vastness of the Arctic Circle lies Sweden’s famous Kungsleden trail. Kungsleden – a.k.a. the King’s Trail – is a monstrous 275-mile hike that will take you through the heart of the tundra and out the other side, crossing past the behemoth peak of Mount Kebnekaise, Sweden’s tallest mountain.
Like on the Tour du Mont Blanc, Kungsleden is generously dotted with huts along its route. These huts act as a cozy sleeping spot, as well as a sometimes necessary refuge from the hostile weather that can take hold of the trail.
Agoraphobic BUCKiTDREAMERs should steer clear of this hike, as the vast emptiness of Kungsleden could prove too much for them. For those up to the challenge, you’ll be generously rewarded with sheer, crystal glaciers, expansive birch forests and raging rivers.
Befriend the Locals in the Mountains of the Moon (Africa) Straddling the border between Uganda and the Congo, the Mountains of the Moon hike in the Rwenzori mountain range is a must-conquer for any BUCKiTDREAMin’ hiker. Hiking all 38 miles of its breadth will take you about a week, and will bring you through some of Africa’s most breathtaking scenery.
The highest point on the circuit is a whopping 14,344 feet high and will give you stunning views of the Congo Basin. While you could do this hike on your own, we suggest you hire a local guide to take you instead. They’re pretty cheap and could save you a lot of time in case you get lost.
Navigate the Wilderness on the Long Range Traverse (Canada) You’ll need more than a pair of hiking boots and a bit of luck for this one, BUCKiTDREAMER. While the Long Range Traverse does have stunning views and soothing surrounding, what it does not have is a delineated trail.
To tackle this trail, you’ll need a good map and a trustworthy compass. Though this can put some people off, the payoff here is miles and miles of genuine, unsullied peace. Every corner leading you to Gros Morne’s staggering 2,644-foot peak brings you new treasures, be those secret lakes, crystal fjords or sheer cliff towers. Any earthly worry you had when you started off at Western Brook Pond you’ll soon find to have dripped away on this blissful hike.
You must have a permit to complete the Long Range Traverse, which can be easily acquired through the Parks Canada website.
Go the Long Way Around on the Te Araroa Trail (New Zealand) Linking 2,000 miles of breathtaking coastline and dizzying mountain peaks, the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand is not one for the lazy BUCKiTDREAMER.
Maori for ‘the long pathway’, the Te Araroa trail will have you crossing national parks, winding through farmlands and circumventing volcanoes before you reach your destination. The hiking route is split into 160 different trails to make it more manageable. If you feel like conquering the entirety of the hike, be wary – it’ll take you about five months to complete.
Take the Ancient Trails to Petra (Jordan) The payoff that meets you at the end of the trek from Dana Reserve to the Jordanian city of Petra is without a doubt the most jaw dropping on our list. Turning around a sharp corner at the top of an ancient staircase, you’re met with the stunning façade of Al Deir, Petra’s famous Monastery, carved into the sheer, rust colored rock face.
The hike is best done through Adventure Jordan, the travel company responsible for carving out its route. En route to the magical ancient city, you’ll traverse Bedouin migration routes, goat shepherds’ trails and ancient hunters’ routes, all the while being blown away by the stark richness of the Jordanian countryside.
Tackle the Behemoth at Everest Base Camp (Nepal) Rather than risking life and limb trying to reach the summit of the tallest mountain in the world, how about taking a plane ride to the picturesque village of Lukla and trekking 40 miles to Everest Base Camp instead? You’ll still get to see the wonder and majesty of the region, and most importantly, you’ll get to take the all-important picture with the base camp sign, insinuating to your more gullible friends that you’re about to embark on the most perilous hike of all.
Although you can go back the way you came, try the road less traveled and head up and over the Cho La Pass to be greeted by the awe-inspiring beauty of Nepal’s Gokyo Valley. Your weary feet may not thank you for the detour but your eyes certainly will.
Now that you’ve finally gotten the chance to put your feet up, how about a change of pace to rest those weary bones? Add 8 of the Most Epic Places in the World to Do Yoga to your post-hike bucket list, and enjoy the relaxing wind-down.