Dangle your feet over a 640m-high sheer precipice – if you dare – and admire the stunning and unobstructed view of Lysefjord from Pulpit Rock. To get to that surreal lookout point, a climb totalling 8km at an elevation gain of 330m must first be overcome. The hilly route – along boardwalks and clambering over granite boulders – is well-trodden and maintained.
1 / 9 Pulpit Rock, Norway – 8kmRead more
2 / 9 Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand – 43kmRead more
Set in a dual UNESCO World Heritage site, this spectacular 43km hike will take you from alpine herb fields and forests to emerald lakes and desert-like plateaux over the course of four days. Admire the country’s rich geological and ancestral past, and look upon the volcanic peaks of Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe – better known as Mount Doom from The Lord of the Rings.
3 / 9 Classic Inca Trail, Peru – 45kmRead more
A typical trek on this mountainous route will take four days, starting at 2,800m and reaching a high point of 4,200m above sea level. Guided tours – assisted by porters – are highly recommended as the trail is limited to 500 hikers a day. The challenging trail consists of steep ascents, as well as countless narrow steps, but the unparalleled view of the Machu Picchu citadel (above) will be worth the strenuous effort.
4 / 9 Everest Base Camp, Nepal – 62kmRead more
This 62km trekking route starts from Lukla, 2,860m above sea level, and passes through the heart of the Khumbu region before reaching Namche Bazaar. Perched at 3,440m, this is where most trekkers will spend a few days acclimatising, before trudging onwards and upwards to smaller villages. The end point after two weeks is Everest Base Camp at 5,380m, replete with colourful prayer flags and standing quietly in the shadow of the imposing 8,848m peak.
5 / 9 Overland Track, Australia – 65kmRead more
This six-day, 65km trek from Cradle Mountain (above) to Lake St Clair is part of the magnificent Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Expect a diverse terrain that runs the gamut from eucalyptus groves and craggy peaks to alpine meadows and glacier-carved valleys. There are also numerous side trips such as a ardous 1,617m climb up Mount Ossa, as well as the 17.5km hike around Lake St Clair which will require another day (as opposed to taking a ferry across to the finish).
6 / 9 Torres del Paine “O” Circuit, Chile – 110kmRead more
The crown jewel of hikes in Patagonia is 110km long and takes about eight to 10 days to complete. Dramatic visuals along the trek include towering 3,000m-tall volcanic peaks, azure lakes, windswept plains and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. There are several starting points, but a popular one is Punta Arenas, also known as the southernmost city in the world.
7 / 9 Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania – 62kmRead more
There are seven established routes used to ascend Africa’s highest peak at 5,895m, and travelling time takes six to 10 days depending on the path taken. For remarkable views that traverse a variety of habitats, choose the Machame or Lemosho route. Treks usually begin with a dense forest of tall trees with moss-covered trunks, move into a wildflower-covered moorland and a highland desert, before culminating in a steep scree climb to the summit.
8 / 9 Mont Du Blanc Trek, France/Italy/Switzerland – 170kmRead more
Travel through three different countries while circling the 4,809m-high Mont Blanc – the highest peak in the Alps. The 10-day, 170km jaunt usually starts and finishes in Chamonix, France, and includes views of pastoral valleys, snow-capped mountain peaks, and ethereal glaciers. A highlight of this route is that it includes civilisation – where hikers can relax in thermal baths, partake in heavenly fondues, and relish bottles of fine European wine.
9 / 9 The Snowman Trek, Bhutan – 322kmRead more
Traversing 11 passes, most of which are higher than 4,800m above sea level, it is only possible to trek this 322km-long route on a guided tour. Taking at least 25 days, this high-altitude hike is not for the faint-hearted. Highlights include the towering peaks of 7,100m-tall Zogophu Gamp, 7,300-m-tall Jejekangphu Gang, and 7,100m-tall Tsenda Kang, as well as a forest of conifers, maple and rhododendron.
This article first appeared on www.silverkris.com.
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