The Most Scenic Hikes Around the World • The Blonde Abroad


scenic hikes around the world

Hiking is one of the best ways to not only get some serious exercise but it’s also one of the best ways to see the world and all its many natural wonders. But there are soooo many hikes and so many gorgeous sceneries.

How do you even decide where you start? Well, locally is a good option, but if you’re wanting to add a little outdoor exploration into your next adventure—

think about adding one of these scenic treks to your agenda!

Kauai, Hawaii

Hawaii

Hawaii is brimming with incredible hikes, so you truly can’t go wrong! While the above photo was taken from a helicopter above Kauai—just look at all those summits to ascend!

If you’re looking for a specific hike, Waimea Canyon on Kauai is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. The rich, earthy walls are of the canyon are dotted with waterfalls and most of the time you’ll even catch a few rainbows.

Yosemite, California

Yosemite, California

Yosemite will always hold a special place in my heart as it’s one of the MOST gorgeous national parks in California (we definitely got lucky with all the gorgeous scenery—hence why we need to protect it).

There’s a reason why it was one of the first declared national parks in the U.S.—from ancient sequoia trees as far as the eye can see to colossal granite cliffs, it should definitely be added to your list.

The Narrows, Utah

The Narrows, Utah

Carved by the Virgin River, the Narrows in Zion National Park in Utah offers 16 miles of unparalleled beauty. More than half of the hike takes place in the water, including areas where you’ll have to swim (pretty epic, right?). Despite this, you can finish in one day and find a home in one of the 12 camping grounds throughout the park!

Banff, Canada

Banff, Canada

Banff has it all: breathtaking scenery, turquoise waters, panoramic peaks, and wildflowers that dance in the breeze. In these peaks, there are endless trails, just waiting to be hiked.

Whether you’re looking for an easy hike to an incredible vista or a strenuous trek in the trees, there are plenty of options. Make sure not to miss Lake Louise!

Inca Trail, Peru

Inca Trail, Peru

The classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is by far the most famous hike in South America. The 26-mile hike connects archeological sites like Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyuptamarca, Wiñaywayna, and of course, Machu Picchu.

During the trek, you will ascend over 13,000 feet so be aware of the altitude (altitude sickness is real and rough!). However, after experiencing majestic mountains, dreamy cloud forests, and dense jungle, it’s definitely worth it!

 

Fitz Roy Trek, Argentina

Fitz Roy Trek, Argentina

The Fitz Roy Trek is located in the Andes Mountains between Argentina and Chile, and it’s one of the most exhilarating hikes on the planet. Dotted with emerald green forests, crystal clear lakes, and icy glaciers, Patagonia is a serious kaleidoscope of scenery.

Torres Del Paine Circuit, Chile

Torres Del Paine Circuit, Chile

Considered to be some of the world’s best trekking routes, the Torres Del Paine Circuit in Chile will have you falling head over heels for Patagonia.

There are a few different routes you can follow and while you can take a guided tour, you can save yourself a whole lot of money and hike by yourself.

The two most popular routes are the W route and the O route. The W trek is 35 miles and the O trek is 80 miles. Regardless of which one you choose, they’re both considered moderately difficult and have incredible views.

Iceland

Iceland

Like Hawaii, Iceland has too many hikes to name off! There are some short guided glacier walks, but there are also a ton of big hiking trails for you to conquer.

I went glacier hiking and ice climbing—it was my first time doing anything that required ice axes and crampons—and I have to admit I was a little intimidated by all the metal and spikes. But it was so worth it!

Fun Fact: The particular glacier I climbed was a “crawling” glacier, meaning it’s constantly moving. It grows and shrinks every day changing the ice formation. If you were to visit in the winter and come back in the spring, it might look completely different!

Trolltunga, Norway

Trolltunga, Norway

Want to experience lakes sequestered away in snow-capped mountains and rocks that make for some seriously cool photos? Then the Trolltunga hike in Norway is for you!

Altogether the hike is 17.5 miles (in and out) and can be considered to be pretty difficult. Depending on your speed, it will likely take you 10-12 hours so plan on it being a day trip.

If you’re visiting between June 15th and September 15th, you don’t need a guide with you but if you plan a trip at any other time, you will have to hike with a guide due to icy weather.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Camino de Santiago, otherwise known as The Way of St. James, is a famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

There are many routes that span across different countries that will lead to the path. Networks have been forged by travelers over the centuries and this route was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages.

Path of the Gods, Italy

Path of the Gods, Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast is arguably the most beautiful parts of Italy and what better way to see it than by foot?

The Sentiero degli Dei aka the Path of the Gods is a 4-mile hike between the small villages of Bomerano and Nocelle. The hike is of moderate difficulty and offers some breathtaking views of the sea and coastal towns that sit below.

Bonus: After you finish the hike you can find local places to sip on limoncello or you know…indulge in gallons of gelato! (You did go for a hike, after all.)

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been (and that’s saying a lot).

The group of 5 towns perched on a dramatic coastline is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason! The towns are postcard-worthy, with brightly colored buildings seemingly stacked on top of one another.

While you can visit the towns by bus or train, hiking is a great way to soak in all that Cinque Terre has to offer. There is a long trail that connects Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare. Some portions are flat and very easy to walk while others have you climbing up and over hillsides.

Overall, it takes about 5 hours to hike the entire distance (not counting all of the exploring you’re going to want to do in each town).

Petra, Jordan

Trek to Petra, Jordan

The biggest and most dramatic way to enter Petra is to embark on the 5-7 day trek from the Dana Nature Reserve.

During your trip, expect to hike about 11 miles a day on rugged trails for a total of over 50 miles. Because Petra is a desert, it’s best to avoid the trek during the summer months. If you don’t want to overheat, visit from March to May or October to November. Keep in mind that there are gate fees and you should plan to pay about $70 a day.

Ancient Wonders Photography Tour

I love this trek to Petra so much that I include it on my TBA Escapes Jordan tour!

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Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa

What would an epic hiking list be without Mt. Kilimanjaro?

It’s Africa’s highest peak and there are 6 different routes you can take, each varying in difficulty and length. Just keep in mind that the shortest route is still 32 miles! It’s definitely a hike you’ll want to train for but it’s a hike you should experience at least once in your life. There’s nothing more spectacular than the view above the clouds.

Mountains of the Moon, Uganda

Mountains of the Moon, Rwenzori Range, Uganda

The Rwenzori Mountains are Africa’s best-kept secret.

Rarely visited (we’re talking only about 1,000 hikers a year!), the Mountains of the Moon are home to Africa’s permanent ice and tropical rainforest. Although the highest peak (Margherita) isn’t as high as Kilimanjaro, there are a lot more peaks. In fact, there are at least 6 significant peaks that sit at over 4,000 m (almost 2.5 miles!).

The minute you hit the snow and the glaciers, you instantly forget that you’re in Africa. Just be sure to bundle up.

The Otter Trail, South Africa

The Otter Trail, South Africa

If you’ve been following my blog during my adventures through South Africa, then you might have noticed how much I love the Garden Route! The 300 km (186 miles) stretch is home to unlimited choices when it comes to walking and hiking trails. From family-friendly options to challenging multi-day hikes, you have a wide variety to choose from.

Along the Garden Route is a super famous hike, known as “The Otter Trail,” which is one you definitely don’t want to miss. Cape Town has tons of hiking in general—make sure to make a stop (or several) along the Garden Route and North Drakensberg Traverse.

Along the route, you might see coastal and bush views, streams running through forests, and plenty of wildlife.

Mt. Huashan, China

Mt. Huashan, China

Located in Xi’an, China, Mt. Huashan is a notoriously dangerous hike to summit…but that didn’t stop me from doing it! For centuries, the mountain has been a point of pilgrimage, and today it’s known for its iconic hikes.

So, why is it such a dangerous hike? Well, the infamous Plankwalk in the Sky happens to be one of the deadliest trails known to man—hikers make their way through narrow walkways and crumbling staircases up nearly 7,000 feet.

You are fitted with a safety harness and two carabiners that clip onto a safety wire, but it is quite narrow and those heights are almost paralyzing! 

Kings Canyon, Northern Territory

Kings Canyon, Northern Territory

While Kings Canyon is often overlooked by its more famous neighbor, Uluru, but if you’re venturing through the  Australian Outback, it’s definitely worth the visit!  This scenic landscape is replete with rugged ranges, ancient sandstone walls, and brilliant gorges, all within the Watarrka National Park.

Bay of Fires, Tasmania

Bay of Fires, Tasmania

So if trekking through snow isn’t really your thing—I don’t blame you. I like my sunshine too. If you’re looking for a little sun and coastal views, consider the Bay of Fires in Tasmania, Australia!

The hike typically takes about 4 days, however, you can take breaks and go swimming, boating, kayaking, or fishing in the turquoise waters. For some, this “hike” is more of a coastal walk, but those views can’t be beaten.

If you’re making the visit out to Tasmania, make sure to check out Freycinet National Park for a bunch of gorgeous trails!

What hikes have you been on with views for days and days? I’d love to hear your favorite(s) in the comments below!





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