a rocky cliff with trees and a body of water

It turns out, life above the clouds is magical…

If there are cars, there are people. If there are busses – there are more. With tourism numbers skyrocketing all around the globe, there’s only one way to see the very best stuff: the hard way. Whether you’re into staying fit while traveling or not, these hiking trails from the most popular destinations around the world offer more incredible views per square inch than just about anywhere else. You can just consider the workout to get there as an added bonus.

a landscape of a city and mountainsLion’s Head, Cape Town

Most people associate Cape Town with Table Mountain, and while that’s a lovely hike, with the option to cable car in either direction, Lion’s Head is less touristy. In fact, it’s almost always  the suggestion offered by active locals. The screw top style path wraps around the mountain offering spectacular views in every 360° direction, including Table Mountain, Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles. There’s no need for a guide and a taxi or Uber to the start of the trail is easy.

a landscape with mountains and waterQueenstown Hill, New Zealand

If you’re in New Zealand, you shouldn’t leave without doing at least one hike. Especially on the South Island, you’ll find some of the best and most rugged scenery anywhere. This 2-3 hour hike is reachable by a short, albeit steep 5 minute walk from the centre of Queenstown and is far less crowded than some of the other more popular trails in the area. At the top you’ll be treated to this incredible panoramic view (above) and an extremely peaceful setting. If you feel like carrying a little extra, you’d be hard pressed to plan a better picnic spot.

a path leading to the oceanSentiero Degli Dei, Amalfi Coast

When it’s known as ‘The Path of the Gods’, your expectations should be understandably high. In this case, you won’t be disappointed.  The views are best described as quite literally breathtaking with steep views of the Amalfi Coast and Capri which just might make your toes curl if you get too close. The hike doesn’t require any skill and will take about three hours, depending on how often you have to stop for pictures. Probably, often.

a power lines on a hillRunyon Canyon, Los Angeles

If you’re after those iconic sunset views over Los Angeles that rope people in from around just like in the movies, then this is your spot. Runyon Canyon is easy to get to, fun, friendly and doable for all athletic levels. You can even start at the top, if prefer! You’ll enjoy people watching, celeb spotting, friendly dogs and crazy fitness gurus, all while enjoying the multi million dollar views. Head up for sunrise or sunset for the perfect photo opportunities.

a pile of rocks with a view of a valley and a riverBorger Dalr, U.K.

There’s more to the UK than just London, you know? This beautiful, easily doable walk is in the Lake District and is full of natural beauty and picturesque charming villages worth exploring, like something out of the movie “The Holiday”. Views from Castle Crag will offer endless, uninhibited views over Borrowdale and the area is perfect for a night or two in a B&B. Just be sure to check the weather before heading out, it’s England.

a landscape with clouds and mountainsMount Batur, Bali

The dreamy destination of Bali is not just endless infinity pools, sunshine and exotic food, although all these are great. But, the sunrise hike up Mount Batur is definitely worthy of the 2.30am start. There are guides at the bottom ready to take you up and you will need to focus and watch your stepping as the climb will all happen in the dark – but the struggle is completely worth it to see the gorgeous views and one of a kind sunrise from the top.

Geirangerfjord in a riverFjord, Norway

You cant go wrong when discovering the Fjords of Norway, the incredible scenery will literally blow your mind. There are many hikes of varying lengths that are suitable for all levels and whichever you choose, you’ll be more than satisfied. With the mountains, national parks and views overlooking the narrow waters below – the one thing you definitely won’t want to forget is your camera!

a landscaped garden with Doi Inthanon and a pond

Doi Inthanon, Thailand

A trek up Thailand’s highest mountain is definitely worth a day trip from Chiang Mai. You will need to hire a guide to take you up the trail, but it will absolutely be worthwhile once you see the views from the top and spectacular scenery along the way, as well as providing some useful information. The trail is closed during the rainy season, so be sure to check before you go if you want this to be on your itinerary.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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