These trekking trips are not for the faint-hearted nor for the narrow-minded. A great trail is bound to make you look at more than the map and these eight carefully chosen paths are sure to do just that. With their scenic, unparalleled beauty, adventure travel involving these treks are not only meant to give you a fitter pair of lungs but to be, in the purest sense of the word, life-changing.

Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy and Switzerland

There’s a reason why the Tour du Mont Blanc captivates around 20,00 climbers each year. Not only are you promised absolutely stunning views but the trail is generously marked and accommodated, which makes it the ideal path for those enthusiastic but less experienced trekkers that wish to get started without missing out. The tour circles the Mont Blanc massif and passes through parts of France, Switzerland, Italy which offers an exceptional, custom made route to experience it all, from colorful culture to gorgeous views and amazing culinary feats… travel to new heights without even leaving the path!

Mont Blanc in Europe

Photo: Hans-Jürgen Schmidt via Pixabay

Croagh Patrick, Ireland

If you are looking for trekking trips full of heart and symbolic significance, then you and Croagh Patrick’s trail may be meant to be. This gorgeous trail is perhaps the closest trekking can get to taking on a fairytale-worthy quest from the King and Queen.  After all,  Saint Patrick is said to have fasted atop the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. Walking up Croagh Patrick is almost therapeutic; its peaceful ambience and the impactful view of this Olympus-looking mountain looming over it all explains its popularity with adventure travel lovers, which has remained unchanged for thousands of years.

Croagh Patrick, Ireland

Sheep at Croagh Patrick. Photo: Panpan Lin via Flickr

Simien Mountains Traverse, Ethiopia

If you are one that thrives when you travel to rare locations and unparalleled sights, then Africa might be the place to be at. The Simien Mountains in Ethiopia arguably form the most beautiful landscape in Africa. Their solemn-looking peaks, ever-green valleys, and spectacular wildlife make this place uniquely gorgeous. It’s no wonder that it the Simien National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978, making it one of the first sites to be recognized as naturally and culturally irreplaceable for humankind.

The Simien Mountains offer a vast variety of different trekking trips, and they all participate in the breathtaking beauty of the Simien Mountain range. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot insanely rare creatures such as the caracal (a feline that bears a striking resemblance to a puma,) or a gelada, also known as ‘bleeding-heart-monkey’ because of the striking red skin adorning its chest.

Simien Mountains, Ethiopia

Simien Mountains. Photo: Rod Waddington via Wikimedia Commons

Grosse Scheidegg, Switzerland

If you are a Sherlock Holmes’ fan odds are you are going to absolutely love this route. The Grosse Scheidegg is actually a mountain pass in the breathtaking Alpine Pass that runs through the Reichenbach stream which is fed by the world-famous Reichenbach Fall, the place where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle melodramatically staged Holmes’ feigned death.

When you travel here, take the Reichenbach Funicular to get a better view at the site of everyone’s favorite Victorian detective. If you’re not a Holmes fan, I can guarantee you will still be enamoured by the gorgeous flower-deep fields and unreal green pastures on the trek. (Plus, the trek has reportedly excellent signs across the route which can’t hurt!)

Grosse Scheidegg, Switzerland

Grosse Scheidegg. Photo: Tinelot Wittermans via Wikimedia Commons

Inca Trail, Peru

The Inca Trail is often said to be one of the best trekking trips in the world. It starts from Chillca and takes a mist-laden route to Machu Picchu, The Lost City of the Incas. With its unforgettable combination of mysticism, scenic beauty and historic landmarks the Inca Trail somehow has it all for travel lovers. Peru’s long rainy season allows for flora to grow exuberantly, to the point of gifting you with the sight of 90 different species of orchids! If you’re planning a trip to this magical corner of South America then take into account that you need to spend at least two days acclimatising; it’s all smooth sailing from there.

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Photo via Pixabay

El Camino de Santiago, Spain

El Camino de Santiago (also known as the Pilgrimage of Compostela,) is one of those unmissable trekking trips that must be experienced in one’s lifetime. It has been in my personal bucket-list for ages and it cannot be fully chalked up to the fact that Santiago’s Old Town it’s a UNESCO World Heritage city.

It’s well-deserved popularity can be traced back to the Middle Ages and with sights such as the Burgos Cathedral of Santa Maria, who can possibly argue against it? There are multiple routes you can follow to get to Compostela. You can take the French Way, The Portuguese Way or the Northern Way (which starts up in the Basque Country,) but I would recommend the Original Way any day. The original way starts up in Oviedo, respecting the traditional route that has been walked for thousands of years. Regardless of what route you choose to travel on, the way to Compostela offers an unmistakable rugged peacefulness and hospitality; even if the hostels near you are full of pilgrims you are sure to find a good-hearted samaritan among the local villagers and/or monasteries.

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela via Pixabay

Kungsleden, Northern Sweden

Kungsleden is literally translated to ‘King’s Trail.’ With a name like that, it’s already a win-win. This gorgeous trail, which takes you through Abisco and Hemavan, allows you to fully explore Northern Sweden’s flower-covered paths (if you choose to travel here and hike during summer,) and gives you a front seat view to  many of the most gorgeous sights in Sweden. You are bound to encounter quaint little farming villages and chimney-warmed lodges on your trail. If you choose to travel during winter then you are in for epic adventure: the trail doubles as an excellent skiing path!

Kungsleden, Northern Sweden

Kungsleden via Pixabay

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh, India

At the end of this trail the magical kingdom of Ladakh awaits! Pastures so soft that they seem hand-painted and quaint little mountain villages are sure to enchant you into delighting in every step of your trek. The Markha Valley Trek runs parallel to the Himalayas; there is little else that can be as beautiful as taking notice of beauty-laden monasteries in the far off distance . You might also be lucky enough to spot a nomadic family herding their yaks on emerald-green valleys! It’s a dream travel adventure.

Markha Valley, India

Markha Valley. Photo: Balachandran C via Wikimedia Commons

Love these trekking trips? They certainly are experiences of a lifetime.

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