Active adventures are calling. Follow these useful tips when it comes to finding (and trekking) the world’s most scenic walking destinations
Planning a walking holiday for 2024? There’s still plenty of time to plan your trip for the height of the season, no matter where you’re headed next.
From the dense, verdant valleys of the Lake District National Park to the ancient walls of Machu Picchu, there are a few destinations on every walker’s wish list. Knowing which one to visit next can be a tricky process, so a little bit of guidance could help you more than you’d expect.
Why choose somewhere new for your walking holiday?
From towering mountain tops to the rolling green hills and suburban fields, exploring on foot gives you a rich and immersive experience that you simply can’t achieve with any other form of exercise. The wide-ranging benefits of walking for health are well known, but on a deeper level, walking can shift your perspective.
Walking is the most fundamental form of exploration, giving you opportunities to discover more about yourself, local cultures, and the stories behind each destination you pass through.
Before you go: Our essential kit list for any walking adventure
Your final kit list will depend on the weather conditions and type of terrain you should expect to encounter on your trip. However, there are a few crucial items that no walking holiday would be complete – or comfortable – without. These include:
- The right footwear: On any walk, footwear can make or break the experience. If you’re going on a hiking trip or walking holiday, a durable pair of walking boots will keep you moving effortlessly across technical terrain. With a pair that fits properly, you’ll be less likely to experience any pain or develop blisters.
- A layering system: If you’re out hiking through mountainous regions at altitude, you should expect sudden and unpredictable temperature changes. To help prepare you and your body for this, you should be sure to wear layers. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer before building up according to the temperature. For extremely cold conditions, an insulated jacket will be the best choice for your outer layer.
- Your own rucksack: Don’t be tempted to hire a rucksack once you arrive. It’s very important that you choose your own rucksack prior to departing, preferably visiting a professional outdoor shop to get one that fits you just right. When your bag fits you correctly, you’ll have a much more comfortable time out on the trails.
Our top 3 destinations for hiking holidays
- The Inca Trail, Peru
This ancient route leads you through diverse ecosystems and a setting steeped in history. High-altitude passes and dense, dewy forests merge into a dreamlike setting, giving this route a deserving spot at the top of our list.
It’s one of the classics, but you shouldn’t underestimate this route. You should expect to be walking over four days and remember that having a guide with you is mandatory. The ethereal Machu Picchu awaits you.
- Cinque Terre, Italy
Meander through the Italian Riviera as you traverse the quaint and colourful villages of Cinque Terre. This esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Site invites you to view breathtaking views of the Ligurian Sea, with warmth and sunshine guaranteed through most of the year.
This coastline is still incredibly well connected with towns, villages and picturesque communes. If you’d rather sleep on a comfortable bed at night and indulge in local delicacies, this could be the perfect choice for your next walking holiday.
- Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Every explorer needs to visit Africa at least once in their lifetime. If you’re heading to the mother continent for your next walking adventure, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania should be at the top of your list.
It’s not for the faint-hearted, with expeditions typically lasting between six and nine days. The summit rests at 5,895m above sea level, so you’ll need to be able to handle altitude too. Whichever route you take, some of the most inspiring landscapes in the world await you