There’s something so restorative and relaxing about traveling by foot. You’re forced to slow down and really appreciate the destination around you, and you’ll often times discover places you never would have found on the main roads. Feeling inspired? Here are seven amazing hiking trips you can take this year.
Editor’s Note: COVID-19 restrictions vary by country. Always follow all guidelines and policies at your destination. Check the State Department’s guidelines here and the CDC’s international travel recommendations here.
Exodus Travels: Walking in Madeira
Experience the pleasures of Portugal in an island setting with a visit to Madeira, an archipelago in the Atlantic. Exodus Travels’ Walking in Madeira trip takes place on the main island, which is lined with stunningly scenic paths. You’ll spend five days meandering along rolling paths that pass next to the ocean, through charming fishing villages, and summiting the island’s highest mountain.
This tour puts a focus on the local communities in Madeira, staying in hotels that employ local staff and serve local produce at meals. Exodus Travels encourages travelers to interact with the locals and patronize small businesses, as the route is very rural and the communities are dependent on tourism.
MT Sobek: California John Muir Trail Southbound to Mt. Whitney Trek
Starting in Yosemite National Park and running 215 miles through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, and King’s Canyon National Park before ending at the highest peak in the continental United States, the John Muir Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in America.
Don’t have the time to do the entire trail (or the inclination to carry your camp along the whole way)? MT Sobek’s 17-day tour will take you on a fully supported hike of the southern half of the trail. You’ll start at Florence Lake and trek through the High Sierras before finishing with a summit of Mount Whitney. Along the way, the MT Sobek team will take care of all the “less fun” aspects of a multi-day hike (like the setting up of camp and the cooking).
G Adventures Trekking Mont Blanc
Visit three countries without ever stepping foot on an airplane on G Adventures’ Trekking Mont Blanc tour. This challenging yet rewarding hiking trip covers 78 miles of hiking over 10 days and passes through Switzerland, France, and Italy.
You’ll spend your days in the Alps, enjoying views of glaciers, valleys, and mountains. Nights will be enjoyed in picturesque European villages, where you’ll sleep in comfortable hotels and indulge in the best Italian, French, and Swiss cuisine.
REI Adventures—Texas Hiking Big Bend National Park
Located near the border of Mexico, Texas’ Big Bend National Park is one of the least-visited parks—which means you’re pretty much guaranteed to avoid the crowds here. Enjoy the isolation safely on REI Adventures’ Big Bend guided hiking tour, which features gorgeous jaunts through the Chisos Mountains, along the park’s namesake river, and of course, Texas’ most famous trail: the South Rim Trail.
When you’re not out walking in the wild, you’ll have the chance to visit some of the coolest towns in the state, including Marfa, Fort Davis, Alpine, and Terlingua.
Wildland Trekking Laugavegur to Skogar Backpack
Many tourists speed through Iceland on a breakneck road trip along the Ring Road. For visitors who want to slow down and really soak in Iceland’s unbelievable scenery, there’s Wildland Trekking’s Laugavegur to Skogar backpacking trip. This 9-day tour combines Iceland’s two most iconic trails: the Laugaveugur trail and the Fimmvordurhals mountain pass trail. (Don’t worry, you’ll learn how to pronounce those names on the trip).
The hikes will showcase Iceland’s famous natural beauty, crossing lush hills, black sand deserts, lava fields, and glaciers.
Macs Adventure High Trails of the Julian Alps
Macs Adventure’s High Trails of the Julian Alps tour starts and ends at the storybook Lake Bled. In between, you’ll hike your way from hut to hut through Triglav National Park, the Valley of the Triglav Lakes, and along the shores of Lake Bohinj. Each night, you’ll be rewarded with local Slovenian delicacies like homemade honey brandy or blueberry schnapps.
On this trip, you can go at your own pace, as you’re given an extremely detailed map and guides to direct you each day. Macs Adventure will take care of the rest, transferring your bags between your accommodation.
Austin Adventures: Inca Trail Glamping
If you’ve ever dreamed of hiking the Inca Trail, but weren’t quite sold on the whole camping aspect of the trek, Austin Adventures’ Inca Trail Glamping tour is a good compromise. The trip takes the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but also includes deluxe camping accommodations (and all gear) featuring luxuries like inflatable beds and a portable shower.
In addition to the main Machu Picchu attraction, this trip includes tours of Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
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