Throwing a pack on your back with all the supplies you need to survive for a few days to a couple of weeks in the wilderness is one of those experiences that connects us with the natural world around us and equally gives us ‘breathing time’ away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life most people experience in a city. Every country has hiking or trekking options, so wherever you choose to travel to, you will be guaranteed somewhere you can walk from A to B, often with stunning surroundings as your backdrop.
Whether it’s pitching the tent you carried, staying in a remote hut, teahouse or refuge, or sleeping under the stars, there’s something especially revitalising about getting away and travelling on a trail under your own energy to attain a goal. It’s an activity that can be as mellow or as extreme as you want, from short hikes taking a couple of hours to full blown multi day trekking marathons. And the great thing is its super social, and is best enjoyed with a friend or two, a group, family members, or new found acquaintances.
The other great thing about hiking and trekking is that you can combine it as part of a broader trip to a destination – either for an adventure focused trip, or even as a short break away from a work trip or other commitments. Whether it’s trekking an iconic trail in the Himalayas, hiking a circuit in North America, tramping in remote New Zealand, following the GR20 in France, chasing the Inca trail, or anything in between, let us show you some of the best ways to get out in nature and enjoy the world around us!
exploreGO Top Experiences
- Hiking the ‘W’ or ‘O’ circuit at Torres del Paine National Park - Patagonia, Chile
- Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
- Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
- Traversing the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, USA (or the Pacific Crest Trail)
- Hiking the GR20 in France (or any of the GR trails)
- Exploring the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike, USA
- Tramping the Milford Track or Routeburn Track in New Zealand
- The spectacular Tour du Mont Blanc
- Achieve the Klungsleden or ‘Kings Trail’ around northern Sweden
- Complete one of the toughest trails around, the 25-day Snowman Trek in Bhutan
- Completing the Yosemite Grand Traverse
- Completing the 470 mile Scottish National Trail
- Hike to the summit of Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft) – the highest peak on the African Continent
- Laugavegurinn/Fimmvörðuháls Pass in Iceland
- Hiking the high altitude Mountains of the Moon in the Ruwenzori Range, Uganda
- Exploring the Tonquin Valley in Alberta, Canada
- Completing the Huemul Circuit adjacent to the Southern Patagonian Icefield, Argentina
Best time to travel
Central Europe – June to September (June to August most popular).
New Zealand – November to March (January and February most popular).
Nepal – March to May and September to November.
Patagonia – November to March (January/February most popular).
Scandinavia – June to September.
Peru – Winter (May – September) is the driest season and therefore the best time of year to travel, especially if you are planning to visit the Cusco area or trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Canada - June to mid-September.
Kilimanjaro - January-March (generally colder) and June-October. January-March is generally colder.
Appalachian Trail - Beginning in Georgia anytime from late-March to mid-April. Southbound hikers generally begin late May to mid-June.
Yosemite – June to October. Fall is a good time to visit with the crowds thinning out dramatically after Labor Day, and daytime temperatures start to cool down. As a result, September is one of the best months for hiking and rock climbing in Yosemite Valley.
Uganda – Uganda has two rainy seasons; the short season starts from October to November and the long rainy season starts from mid-March to the end of May. With the best months to visit Uganda being from May to September and December (the busiest month) to February.
Iceland - Midnight sun and warmer temperatures make summer the best season to visit Iceland. Hikers will want to consider July and August as the best time to visit Iceland whereas February, March, September and October are typically the best time to visit Iceland for the Northern Lights.
Scotland - In general the best times for hiking/walking would be mid May through late June/early July and September. In the height of summer - late July/August - you will find more crowds, probably more rain, more midges, and more expensive airfares.
exploreGO Top Tips:
- Because hiking and trekking are seasonal and can be weather dependent, spend considerable time doing research into where to go when, and talk with guiding companies or outdoor organisations to find out about local conditions in the time you want to hike. Having a good map/compass/GPS and knowledge of how to use it are important.
- Sort the logistics of gear, equipment, food and access well before arrival. Some destinations you would think have gear and lightweight food for trekking/hiking. Often this can be limited, or very expensive – particularly in less well known areas.
- Have a good read through blogs of those who have completed the trail or route recently. There are also some great apps that allow for detailed descriptions of the route including mapping, and some of these work really well offline as well, so you don’t necessarily need cell coverage – have a look at: Spyglass (complete GPS toolkit and AR features), Maps.me (for awesome offline navigation and travel), GAIA GPS (for equally good offline navigation) and Avanet for snow and weather conditions.
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