Hiking is a great way to get exercise, but it can also be an amazing way to see the world. Here are 5 places where hiking, culture, and beautiful landscapes all come together.
1. Cinque Terre- Italy
If you are looking for a less strenuous hike with plenty of amazing views and still
want to take in Italian culture, hike Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast in the Italian Riviera and is made up of 5 villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. You can hike between all five villages at your own pace with mountains on one side and the sea on the other. Taking the coast trail takes about five hours at a continuous pace. There is a more difficult trail that goes along the ridge if you are looking for something more challenging. Be sure to bring a bathing suit on this hike because you will most definitely get tempted by the sea. Don’t worry about getting tired either! Trains and ferry service connect all the villages as well!
2. Mont Blanc – France, Italy, & Switzerland
This European hike takes you through three countries and all throughout the Alps. This hikes takes you on a two week circle and has huts to stay in at night. Valleys, meadows, glaciers, and the white peaks on the mountains provide excellent views. This hike is best done during the summer so you can have good weather and this hike has very easy stretches and very difficult areas. Plus since you are going through three different counties, you get to take in three different cultures.
3. Tongariro Northern Circuit – New Zealand
New Zealand is a beautiful country and there are plenty of reasons to go there, but the Tongariro Northern Circuit is another reason! This hike takes you around one of the three volcanoes on the North Island: Mt. Ngauruhoe, which Is featured in Lord of the Rings. This hiking loop is about 19 miles long and your see a variety of landscapes like forest land, desert, and grassy areas. On top of all that, you also get to see Red Crater and Emerald Lakes. Plan for about 3-4 days to walk the trail and do it in the summer when it is well marked.
4. John Muir Trail – California, USA
Beginning in Yosemite National Park and continuing on 215 miles through Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’s Canyon National Park, and ending at Mount Whitney. This is the perfect trail if you are a nature lover this is the hiking trail for you. It’s best to hike this trail in August or September so you can avoid snow and to do the whole trail takes about 30 days. For a more practical hike to this trail in one week sections and do one each summer! This is a moderate to strenuous hike so it is not recommended for beginners. This trail does require a trail permit and you will need to protect your food from bears.
5. Inca Trail – Peru
Often rated in the top 5 hikes in the world, the Inca Trail takes you through the Andes Mountains to Machu Picchu. This four day hike can be done if you are in decent shape and it is wise to take a couple breaks to adjust to the altitude. The landscape is amazing combining nature with the historic ruins of the Incas. Time this hike right and you can end up at Machu Picchu for sunrise ( the best time). Go from April to October and use an authorized guide. We also recommend getting good boots as some of the terrain can be hard on the feet and ankles.
For hiking in general, having the right gear including packs and boots, will make your experience much more enjoyable. Check out our selection on or website or in our store. Fore more info on how to choose the right gear check out our other posts, Choosing the Best Hiking Pack and How to Choose the Best Hiking Boots