It’s time to brave the altitude sickness, get your walking sticks out and set off on an epic trekking adventure. From trails with steep, rocky stairways that aren’t for the faint hearted, to picturesque walks you can do at a more leisurely pace, sometimes there’s nothing better than a lung expanding, leg stretching walk. We’ve teamed up with Adventure Alternative to bring your 5 IDEAL walks and treks around the world.
THE NARROWS (ZION NATIONAL PARK) – UTAH
Mind blowingly, jaw-droppingly, loin stirringly beautiful are only some of the words we can think of to describe this amazing gorge. As the name suggests, The Narrows is the narrowest section of the Zion Canyon in Zion National Park Utah and is one of America’s great natural wonders. Hiking between steep canyon walls that are a thousand feet tall, through parts of the canyon that are only 25 feet wide is an exhilarating experience.
The Virgin River flows through the bottom of the canyon which means wading (or even swimming) is a given. You’ll enjoy getting wet in the summer months as the cool water offers some sweet relief from the heat. The best thing about this walk is that if can be as short or as long as you’d like. You can walk the trail in an hour, or if you fancy a challenge go on a 10 mile all-day hike – the choice is yours.
LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS – UK
Walking from the bottom of Cornwall to the top of Scotland sounds like a long way, and it is. This walk across the entire length of the country is the longest one you can do (without doubling back on yourself that is). One of the best, and perhaps hardest, things about this ‘end to end’ walk is that you have to make all the decisions for yourself – there’s no set trail. Any route will take you through the beautiful British countryside and onto the serene views of the Scottish Highlands, but which way you go is completely up to you. Be warned, this walk takes a lot of planning and can take up to three months (or more) depending on your pace.
IHLARA VALLEY, CAPPADOCIA – TURKEY
This is a 15km trek through the red-walled gorge that lies between Ihlara village and Selime. Formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago, it’s one of those rare regions of the planet that seems completely untouched by the modern world. Exploring the surreal landforms of this valley, with churches carved into its walls will blow your mind – it’s thought that it once had more than four thousand dwellings and over one hundred churches.
This is a leisurely trail, so take time to appreciate the chirping birds, the beautiful foliage, poplar and pistachio trees and the sound of the rushing river that runs through it. Stop for lunch at one of the cabanas by the Melendiz River and make sure you check out the interior of Agacalti Kilise (Church under the Tree).
OL DOINYO LENGAI, TANZANIA
Fancy tackling a volcano with a constantly changing summit? Otherwise known as the ‘Mountain of God’ in Massai language, Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only active volcano in Tanzania. With no shade on the mountain, this is a very demanding trek, best done early in the day or by moonlight to avoid the scorching sun. There are also steep furrows and gullies aplenty to tackle. The climb can be made in half a day, but is usually combined with a longer trek. At the summit there are two craters to explore and the views over the Great Rift Valley are phenomenal. We recommend the longer trek which will take you through traditional Massai villages and past the flamingo friendly Lake Natron. Here thousands of birds congregate in a wonderfully flamboyant flurry of pink – a sight you will never forget.
INCA TRAIL, PERU
This walk’s a breathtaker that’s for sure, and we’re not just talking about the view. Walking the ancient Inca Trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The four day trek will take you past jaw dropping scenery, ruins that reveal the hidden secrets of the Inca people and over sub-tropical terrain. This trail isn’t for the last minute traveller and needs to be booked well in advance. In order to preserve the trail, the Peruvian authorities have capped the number of people allowed to trek it to 500 per day, including the tour guide and porters. So make sure you plan your trip in advance if you want to get the llama selfie you’ve alway dreamed of.