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Hiking is not just about exploring and getting from one place to another. It’s also seeing beautiful scenery along the way and creating a sense of connection to nature.
If you’re fond of hiking, you may have a bucket list of hikes to conquer. But if you need some inspiration to fuel your dreams, here are some of the best destinations to consider.
From multi-day treks through the Appalachian Trail to a scenic walk along the coastal trails of Crete, here are some of the world’s most scenic places to hike.
The Pennine Way, UK
The Pennine Way is the UK’s most scenic hiking trail. It’s about 270 miles long, taking you towards England’s central mountains. The trek begins at Edale in the Peak District and ends at Kirk Yetholm. Its highest point is 893 meters at the summit of Cross Fell, before passing along a mix of upload moors, majestic mountains, and lush farmlands. It could take approximately three weeks to complete the entire Pennine Way.
The Pennine Way is one of the most challenging national trails in the UK due to its long remote sections along the trail. Yet, you are guaranteed to enjoy spectacular sights along the Pennine Way, which makes the trek more exciting. These include the Kinder Scout, Pen-y-Ghent, High Force, Cross Fell, and more.
The trail will also take you through several national parks and areas of outstanding national beauty, such as the Peak District, North Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, and Northumberland National Park. Thus, you are guaranteed to see gorgeous sceneries and breathtaking views along the way. Most people will split the hike for several days, averaging 20 miles each day, depending on your abilities. Give yourself enough time to explore towns and villages, where you can stop at B&Bs to sleep and eat.
The Lake District, UK
Given its stunning views, the Lake District is a playground for hikers, offering seemingly endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Home to England’s tallest mountain, the best hiking trails in the Lake District will take you to splendid hills, lofty peaks, and breathtaking lakes. You can combine your hiking adventures with relaxation by signing up at one of the excellent yoga retreats in the Lake District, suitable for those hoping to soak up the area’s stunning views whilst unwinding.
If you’re up for some challenge, conquer the Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak. The rugged and steep climb could take around five hours, with a height of 978 meters. There are various routes to take you to the summit, but the most popular trail begins in Wasdale Head, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys. If you prefer a quieter but more challenging trail, take the Corridor Route, which starts at Styhead Tarn, with superb views of the Great End and Broad Crag.
If you prefer leisurely hikes, try the route in Catbells, along the Western Fells. Catbells may be a small peak, but it offers stunning views and a favorite trail of families with kids. The path overlooks the gorgeous views of Derwent Water, one of the Lake District’s most scenic bodies of water.
The Appalachian, United States
Avid hikers looking for a more challenging climb should conquer Appalachian Trail, a 2,000-mile path with stunning nature views and incredible wildlife. It is not for the fainthearted and requires rigorous training, thorough research, and exceptional resilience. But your efforts will be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views on earth, so it’s worth it!
The Appalachian Trail cuts through the heart of Appalachia, taking you through 14 US states, six national parks, and eight national forests. Throughout the entire length, the trail takes hikers through various landscapes, including lush woodlands, dense forests, open farmlands, and alpine peaks.
The Southern Mountains are among those areas you can explore while hiking the Appalachian Trail and are home to the highest peaks on the entire trail. Hikers will trek through Chattahoochee’s beautiful, wooded mountains and Cherokee National Forests. Although the peaks are generally easy to ascend, the terrains are varied. While passing this region, hikers can explore some of the Appalachian Trail’s most scenic areas.
The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Those who will tour the Galapagos Islands can come across some of the world’s most impressive hiking routes. Since the landscape is suitable for trekking and walking, there are many hills and peaks to explore as you visit the many islands that make up the Galapagos.
Santa Cruz Island is the most popular destination in the Galapagos, especially if you come here to hike. The island is famous for its stunning coast, and you can expect to pass along sandy beaches when going around the islands. You will also get the chance to stumble upon various wildlife, such as marine iguanas and giant tortoises. If you want to visit a beach, hike to Tortuga Bay, where you’ll find exotic cactuses and other unique plant species.
You can also hike on San Cristobal Island, famous for its scenic trail taking you to Tijeretas, a viewing deck ideal for bird watching, where you can spot the Great Frigate and different boobies species, including the blue-footed boobies.
Crete may be more famous for its stunning beaches, but the Greek island also offers superb hikes, taking you to ancient churches and beautiful gorges. The walk along Samaria Gorge is the most popular in Crete. It’s a 13-km gorge, considered the world’s narrowest gorges. Some sections are only four meters wide, which makes the hike even more exciting!
For beach lovers, consider hiking along Agiofarango Gorge, which takes you down the gentle slope of a dry riverbed and ends in one of the island’s most isolated beaches. Along the way, you’ll come across soaring rock formations and some secluded coves where you can stop to swim or snorkel. The trail starts in a monastery called Moni Odigitrias, which has an old defensive tower that you can climb to enjoy magnificent views!