Travel is a beautiful thing, and one of the all-time most popular pastimes in modern society. We love a good vacation, whether we’re relaxing after a busy time at work or setting out to discover the new, the old, the unique and the beautiful. But a trap that many Americans fall into is the destination of choice; the UK is the single most popular intercontinental destination for US citizens, while tropical countries hosting resort cities built specifically for vacationing rank similarly high. Despite their popularity, the best vacations are made of something more – of discovery, of exploration, of finding things off the beaten path.
This is where exploring new locations on foot can make for unforgettable vacations. Not only do you get to avoid the over-tourism of popular resort destinations, but you get to choose your own path – whether taking advantage of walking tours to see places around the world from a new angle, or choosing a city and venturing out beyond its limits yourself. For your inspiration, here are five wonderful walking trips from around the world.
Bulgaria is not a common name on many Americans’ travel shortlists, but it is home to many areas of outstanding natural beauty, most famous of all being the Rila mountains. A walking trips could take you across the seven Rila lakes, interconnected glacial lakes set in a mountainous backdrop and the perfect place for a couple days of hiking.
For another taste of glacial water in a hiking trip, look no further than Norway. This unique Northern European landscape offers fjords and glaciers galore; the seven-mile hike across Romsdalseggen Ridge can be done in a day, and offers formidable views of the rocky landscape and fjords from on high – an unforgettable experience.
The Jordan Trail is a world-famous hiking destination for amateurs and seasoned hikers alike. The 400-mile, 40-day trail runs the length of Jordan, from top to bottom, taking in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the famous carved city of Petra and ending at the shores of the Red Sea. The trip is for everyone, but the distance not for the faint of heart. Still, the Jordan Trail precedes itself for a reason, and offers an excellent opportunity to get close to ancient history.
The Peaks of the Balkans is one of the most recently-established trails in the world, spanning 125 miles and three countries. As the name would suggest, the trail is a mountainous round trip, taking in the ominously named Accursed Mountains of Albania – though the sights the trail affords could not be further from the title. Discover rural villages, arresting views and monuments to recent history.
Last on the list – but certainly not least – lies South Korea’s Jeju Olle Trail, a hiking trail which traces the circumference of Jeju Island off of South Korea’s south-west coast. The trail is over 260 miles in length, and split into a series of numbered sub-routes, meaning you can take in different parts of the trail at your leisure.