7 of the Best Treks in the World

Lifestyle

The best treks in the world have one thing in common – they are stunning, challenging, and, frankly, life-altering. Here, we’ve compiled seven of the best treks in the world, in order of difficulty. Might be time to freshen up your trekking bucket list!

1. Pays Dogon – Mali

The sheer beauty of this site easily justifies the UNESCO World Heritage Title it holds – the Dogon region of Mali is one of Africa’s most stunning landscapes. This trek leads you across the arid plains of the Sahel, through lush green fields and African villages comprising mud huts and locals performing traditional masked dances.

The highlight of this trek, however, has to be the Bandiagara Escarpment – entire towns with mosques carved into cliff faces that provide the most jaw-dropping scenic experiences of Pays Dogon.

  • Distance: 20km
  • Duration: 1 -3 days
  • Optimal time of year to trek: November – January
  • Difficulty: 3/10

2. Salkantay Trek – Peru

Machu Picchu is a world-famous archaeological site in Peru and the best way to get to it is via a 3-4 day trek. The Inca trails take you through rocky, mountain passes and sacred ancient sites, and are often hailed as the best treks in the world. They are certainly rich with historical fascinations and breathtaking scenery.

Whilst the Inca trails are most widely thought of as synonymous with Machu Picchu, however, The Salkantay trek is an often overlooked yet favorite trek among hikers. With the Humantay Blue Lagoon, glass cabanas, and exclusive campsite overlooking the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu itself, this trek is simply magical.

  • Distance: 43km
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Optimal time of year to trek: May to September
  • Difficulty: 5/10

Image via Alpaca Expeditions

3. Laugavegur Trek – Iceland

Extending from Landmannalaugar to Skóga, this 55km Icelandic trail encapsulates the very best of Iceland’s beauty. With hot springs, black sand beaches, and colorful mountains, this trek is quite spectacular.

So magnificent in fact, that supposedly Thor – the Norse God of thunder – created the landscape himself by striking down his hammer. Well, that’s the legend, but when your eyes are upon the breathtaking beauty of the area, you’ll see why.

You’ll also get up close and personal with Eyjafjallajokull – the infamous volcano that wreaked havoc across Europe in 2010. If it were to erupt again, this trail could be lost forever, so best to take it up to the top of your trekking bucket list if you’re going for a full set!

  • Distance: 55km
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Optimal time of year to trek: April – September
  • Difficulty: 6/10

4. Kilimanjaro – Tanzania

Africa’s highest mountain stands at 19,340 ft and is a beast to climb. Kilimanjaro offers up such a rich assortment of experiences – deserts, snowfields, glaciers, and tropical jungles – so it’s imperative to arrive prepared for multiple climates and terrains.

Mount Kilimanjaro is known as a ‘walk-up’ mountain, but don’t underestimate its difficulty – the statistics show that less than 50% of climbers successfully reach the summit.

It’s also a dormant volcano – meaning that scientists believe it will one day erupt again! Its last major eruption was 360,000 years ago though, so it’s obviously in no hurry.

The diversity of the landscape is certainly what makes Kilimanjaro one of the best and most picturesque treks in the world. 

  • Distance: range from 51-72km
  • Duration: 5-8 days
  • Optimal time of year to trek: September – March
  • Difficulty: 7/10

5. Everest Base Camp Trek – Nepal

Nepal is home to the highest peak in the world, so it’s no wonder it is arguably the best destination in the world for trekkers. 

There are many routes to exploring the Himalayas, but the most popular is the Everest Base Camp Trek. The world’s tallest mountain provides endlessly stunning photo opportunities as well as beautiful rainforests, glacial moraines, and an insight into Tibetan culture and Buddhism.

Bronchitis and altitude sickness is common though, and this trek is only suitable for seasoned multi-day hikers

  • Distance: 62km
  • Duration: 15 – 20 days
  • Optimal time of year to trek: August – November
  • Difficulty: 8/10

6. K2 – Pakistan: 9/10

Image via Unsplash.com

K2’s icy peak stands at 8,611m – the second highest peak in the world and is known as the Savage Mountain, owing to the difficulty of its ascent. It is also one of the deadliest and must not be attempted by anyone without superior trekking experience and fitness.

Beginning with traversing along icy rivers, the trek then boldly continues into the guts of the glacier before then leading out to granite pyramidal mountains including Paiju, Uli Biaho, Great Trango Tower, and ultimately, K2.

This trek is not for the faint-hearted.

  • Distance: 90 km
  • Duration: 15 – 22 days
  • Optimal time of year to trek: June – August
  • Difficulty: 9/10

7. The Snowman Trek – Bhutan: 10/10

Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan via Wikipedia

The Snowman Trek is the most difficult trek in the world and is strictly for fit, experienced trekkers only. It is also widely considered to be one of the very best.

With a staggering 11 mountain passes, all uniquely wondrous, The Snowman Trek covers 347km along the Tibet-Bhutan border. Trekkers can experience the stunning views of Buddhist monasteries clinging to cliff sides and outstanding landscapes between passing through secluded villages.

Unfortunately, the government of Bhutan has passed a mandatory tourist tariff of US$200 per day, so it’s an expensive climb.

  • Distance: 328km
  • Duration: 24 days
  • Optimal time of year to trek: October
  • Difficulty: 10/10

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Claire Hastings
Claire Hastings is a design student, wanderer, and a writer. She writes as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.
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