Explore

21 Most Rewarding Hikes Around the World — From Stunning Glaciers to Active Volcanoes

Whether you’re into leisurely treks or hardcore hiking, here’s something for your hiking bucket list.

Here at The Travel Intern, we’re big on hiking.In our itineraries, we try to include at least one hike. Whether it’s a two-hour trek in the tropics or an overnight adventure halfway around the world, hikes are something we always look forward to.

P.S. We even managed to climb Everest during circuit breaker — here’s how! 😉

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Matterhorn, Switzerland.

There’s something incredibly invigorating about hiking somewhere new. The excitement of reaching each checkpoint. The solidified friendships as you trudge on as a group. The sheer anticipation of approaching the summit. And, of course, the euphoria as you take in the hard-earned view!

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

At the top of Mount Fuji, one of the most famous hikes around the world!

During this travel lockdown, we’ve definitely missing our usual dose of hiking. So while we wait to travel again, here are 21 awesome hikes around the world!

Note: All distances and durations refer to round-trip hikes unless stated otherwise. Difficulty levels are labelled as Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Beginner hikes are for all fitness levels while intermediate hikes require a good fitness level. For advanced hikes, some pre-trip training in highly recommended.

1) Norway: Trolltunga

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 1,100mDistance: 28kmDuration: 2 days 1 night (10 – 12 hrs)
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

One of the most famous hikes around the world, Trolltunga (or Trolls Tongue) is an adventure worthy of any bucket list. The reward? An awe-inspiring rock formation hovering 700m above Ringedalsvatnet lake — a terrific photo spot!

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Photo credit: Rachel Wong

The route to the cliff is straightforward, with sections of steep and rocky terrain. During summer, the trail is safe to trek on your own. Just follow the red Ts painted on the rocks!

How to get there: Fly to Bergen (BGO). Drive for 1.5hrs to Tørvikbygd ferjekai where you can take a ferry to Jondal ferjekai. From there, it’s a 1hr drive to the first Trolltunga carpark
When to visit: 1 Jun – 30 Sep, 1 Oct – 31 May (guide required)

2) China: Tiger Leaping Gorge

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 2,700mDistance: 26kmDuration: 2 days 1 night
Difficulty: Intermediate

China isn’t well-known around the world for hikes, but Tiger Leaping Gorge proves that it deserves to be! Situated between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain, this gorge is among the world’s deepest.

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

It’s a long hike with several ascents and descents, so a decent fitness level is a must! The steepest part of the trail is the infamous “28 bends” where you’ll ascend 453m in just 2.5km.

Despite being well-known, few tourists take on this hike and instead choose to walk a few hours at the gorge. It’s not an easy hike, but the reward is enormous. Plus, you’ll get the place to yourself, only passing other hikers every few hours!

How to get there: Fly to Kunming (KMG). Tiger Leaping Gorge is located between Lijiang and Shangri-la. A bus ride from Lijiang Ancient Town takes 1.5hrs
When to visit: Oct, Nov and May are the best months to visit. Avoid the rainy season from Jun – Sep

3) New Zealand: Lake Marian

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 695mDistance: 6kmDuration: 3hrs
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

On the leaderboard of best hikes around the world, New Zealand’s trails are definitely contenders. Lake Marian is an alpine lake nestled in a dreamy hanging valley on New Zealand‘s South Island. The first 10 minutes of the hike is easy and especially scenic, with a suspension bridge showcasing views of Marian Falls.

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

After that, it’s a mostly uphill climb on uneven terrain. For a short three-hour round-trip hike, this trail has a high ROI — low effort, huge reward!

How to get there: Fly to Queenstown (ZQN). This hike was part of our road trip route to Milford Sound from Queenstown. Look out for the Marian Corner Turn on the right, about ~87km from Te Anau
When to visit: Year-round

4) Chile: Torres del Paine National Park

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Photo credit: @picaodochileno via Instagram

Max Altitude: 2,884mDistance: VariesDuration: Varies
Difficulty: Varies from Beginner to Advanced

Patagonia is a playground for seasoned hikers and Torres del Paine National Park is the highly coveted swingset. In 2013, it was even voted the eighth wonder of the world! With sparkling turquoise waters, towering glaciers and snow-capped mountains, this national park is 1,814 km² of unspoiled nature.

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Photo credit: @ceska_v_chile via Instagram

While hardcore trekkers take on the O Circuit (105 – 130km, 7 – 9 days) or W Circuit (80km, 3 – 5 days), there are numerous beginner-friendly day hikes available.

Popular day hikes include the Fauna Trail (8km, 3hrs) and Laguna Azul (8km, 3hrs). Don’t worry about missing out on awesome views by opting for a shorter hike. The experience is just as amazing!

How to get there: Fly to Puntas Arenas (PUQ). The national park is a 4.5hr drive from the airport
When to visit: The park can be visited year-round, but the summer months of Nov – Mar is the best time to visit. Many routes are inaccessible during the winter months of Jun – Aug

5) Japan: Mount Fuji

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 3,776mDistance: 18.7kmDuration: 8 – 12hrs
Difficulty: Intermediate

One of the most recognisable hikes around the world, Mount Fuji is the crown jewel of Japan. As Japan’s tallest mountain, you’ll get stunning views of Fuji Five Lakes from the top. The majority of the ascent is rather steep and rocky but overall, the hike is manageable.

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

There are four routes, and the Yoshida Trail is the easiest and most popular. It’s possible to complete the hike within a day, but we recommend resting a few hours at Fujichikan Hut. It’ll help you acclimatise better, plus you can reach the summit at sunrise!

How to get there: Fly to Tokyo (HND). From Haneda Airport, there are direct express buses to Kawaguchiko Station. From there, it’s a 50min bus ride to Subaru 5th Station, where the hike begins
When to visit: Official climbing season is early Jul – mid-Sep

6) Iceland: Vatnajökull Ice Caves

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 2,200mDistance: VariesDuration: 3hrs (Ice cave tour)
Difficulty: Beginner

One of Iceland‘s most photographed spots, Vatnajökull Ice Caves covers a whopping 8% of the country’s total landmass. This epic landscape was the filming location for incredible scenes from Game of Thrones, Interstellar, Batman Begins and more. Definitely one of the coolest hikes around the world!

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

There isn’t a fixed trail, so you’ll need to hire a guide. While the tour’s route is mostly flat, do wear proper shoes as it can get slippery.

How to get there: Fly to Reykjavik (KEF). Pre-book a tour that begins at Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon
When to visit: The caves are only accessible during the winter months of Nov – Mar

7) USA: Zion National Park

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Photo credit: Zion National Park

Max Altitude: 2,660mDistance: VariesDuration: Varies
Difficulty: Varies from Beginner to Intermediate

To those outside America, Zion National Park may not be as familiar as Yosemite. But, this park in Utah is a hiking haven, with orange sandstone cliffs, dramatic canyons and insane views!

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

The Narrows, Zion National Park. Photo credit: Utah.com

There are over 15 day hikes available, from moderate hikes like Canyon Overlook (1.6km, 1hr) to challenging ones like Angels Landing (8.7km, 4hrs) and The Narrows (15.1km, 8hrs). Each trail offers unique views, ensuring a different experience each time you visit!

How to get there: Fly to Las Vegas (LAS). It’s a ~2.5hr drive from the airport
When to visit: Zion National Park is open year-round, 24/7. Spring (Mar – Apr) and Fall (Oct – Nov) are the best times to visit due to more moderate weather

8) Indonesia: Sipiso Piso Waterfall

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 800mDistance: 3kmDuration: 30min
Difficulty: Beginner

Awesome hikes aren’t all halfway around the world. Just a 1.5-hour flight away in Medan, you can climb Sipiso Piso. It roughly translates to “like a knife” and boy is the view looking sharp! Standing at 120m, it’s one of Indonesia‘s tallest waterfalls.

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

While most are content with the view from above, we recommend making the short trek down a series of steps to the base. It’s the only way you’d get a feel of its true scale!

How to get there: Fly to Medan (KNO). The lookout point is a 3.5hr-drive from the airport
When to visit: Year-round

9) Australia: Kalbarri National Park

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Nature’s Window.

Max Altitude: 239mDistance: 8kmDuration: 3 – 4hrs
Difficulty: Intermediate

Kalbarri National Park is a massive 186,000-hectare park in Western Australia. Don’t let its size intimidate you, some of the park’s best views are just a stone’s throw away!

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Photo credit: Western Australia

Just 500m from The Loop carpark lies a stunning sandstone formation, aptly named Nature’s Window. It perfectly frames the winding Murchison River, creating a beautiful photo spot! If you’re looking to explore more of the park, opt for the 8km-long The Loop trail.

How to get there: Fly to Perth (PER). Kalbarri Park is a 6hr 40min drive from Perth
When to visit: The colder months of May – Oct is the best time to visit

10) Norway: Ryten

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 543mDistance: 8.7kmDuration: 3.5hrs
Difficulty: Beginner

Lofoten Islands is an oasis for thrill-seekers and nature-lovers. There’s tons to do here including fishing, surfing and kayaking — the list goes on!

For the ultimate vantage point of the Lofoten Islands, hike up Ryten. At the peak overlooking Kvalvika Beach, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world! It’s a relatively easy hike, and the view-to-effort ratio is substantial.

How to get there: Fly to Tromsø (TOS). Lofoten Islands is a 50min flight (Leknes Airport) from Tromsø
When to visit: The summer months (Jun – Aug) are ideal for outdoor activities. Avoid the winter months (early Dec – early Jan) as the sun doesn’t rise

11) Hawaii: The Kalalau Trail

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Photo credit: Hawaii Guide

Max Altitude: 243mDistance: 6.4km (day hike), 35km (entire trail)Duration: 3hrs (day hike), 2 – 4 days (entire trail)
Difficulty: Varies from Beginner to Advanced

Hawaii is known by many as “paradise on earth”, which makes Kalalau Trail “paradise in paradise”. The trail stretches along the Nāpali Coast from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach, with exhilarating views of steep cliffs and an endless blue ocean.

Most visitors opt for a short day hike from Ke’e Beach to Hanakāpīʻai Beach. It provides a good taste of the entire Kalalau Trail and showcases some of the trail’s best views!

If you have more time to spare, complete the route to Kalalau Beach! Do note that you’ll have to make a reservation in advance to access the Kalalau Trail as there’s a 900pax limit per day. It is, after all, one of the most coveted hikes around the world!

How to get there: Fly to Kauai (LIH). The trail is a 1hr 10min drive (via highway 56) from the airport
When to visit: Year-round

12) Australia: Mount Kosciuszko

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 2,228mDistance: 13km (Thredbo), 22km (Charlotte Pass)Duration: 4 – 5hrs (Thredbo), 9hrs (Charlotte Pass)
Difficulty: Varies from Beginner to Intermediate

Conquer Australia‘s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko! There are two main routes to the peak. The Thredbo route shaves off the steepest portion of the hike, replacing it with a scenic chairlift ride to Kosciuszko walk. From there, you’ll cover the remaining 6.5km on foot.

Alternatively, take a longer route from Charlotte Pass. While the former is more popular, the longer route has unique highlights, including the glacial Blue Lake!

How to get there: Fly to Canberra (CBR). Kosciuszko National Park is a 2.5hr drive from Canberra
When to visit: Dec – Mar is the best time to visit

13) Switzerland: Gornergrat

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 3,089mDistance: VariesDuration: Varies
Difficulty: Varies from Beginner to Intermediate

Matterhorn (aka Toblerone mountain!), is perhaps Switzerland‘s most famous mountain. Hikers from around the world dream of seeing the iconic peak for themselves. And Gornergrat is the best place to view it!

While you can take a 10-hour round-trip hike to Gornergrat from Zermatt, the best way to get there is via the Gornergrat Bahn Railway. The ride is an adventure in itself — you’ll ascend 1,469m in 33 minutes on Europe’s highest open-air funicular railway!

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Sunrise view of the Matterhorn from Riffelsee lake.

Our favourite view of Matterhorn is at Riffelsee lake, a short five-minute hike from Gornergrat station. There are several trails in the area if you’ve time to spare!

How to get there: Fly to Zurich (ZRH). Take the Gornergratbahn (33min) from the Bahnhofplatz Base Station (located near Zermatt train station)
When to visit: Gornergrat is open year-round but the best time to hike is during the summer and autumn months of May – Nov

14) Vietnam: Fansipan

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 3,143mDistance: 11.2km one-way. You can take a cablecar downDuration: 2 days 1 night
Difficulty: Intermediate

Named the “Roof of Indochina” for being the tallest mountain in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Fansipan is a must-see in Sapa. What used to take two days of trekking to get to the top can now be done via a 15-minute cable car ride. But where’s the fun in that?

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

It’s a steep seven-hour trek to the base camp and a two-hour push to the summit the next morning. Don’t worry, you’ll be showered with magnificent views of the Northern Vietnam countryside throughout.

How to get there: Fly to Hanoi (HAN). Take an overnight bus from Hanoi to Sapa
When to visit: The best time to visit is Oct – Apr. Avoid the rainy months of Jun – Sep

15) Australia: Grampians National Park

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Photo credit: Visit Victoria

Max Altitude: 1,167mDistance: VariesDuration: Varies
Difficulty: Varies from Beginner to Intermediate

Australia is known for breathtaking nature spots, yet Grampians National Park still manages to stand out. The Grampians are a family of five incredible sandstone ridges, painting a picture of rugged mountain ranges and cascading waterfalls.

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Check out the iconic MacKenzie Falls, the only waterfall in the Grampians that flows all year round! To the base of the falls, it’s a short 1km hike which includes 296 narrow steps. Another highlight is The Pinnacle Lookout, an easy hike from Wonderland Carpark (2.1km, 1.5hrs).

How to get there: Fly to Melbourne (MEL). It’s a 3hr drive from the airport
When to visit: Year-round

16) Myanmar: Dee Dote Waterfall

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: –Distance: 4kmDuration: 40min
Difficulty: Beginner

Myanmar is mostly known for her rich history and gorgeous temples, so it might surprise you that she’s also an adventurer’s paradise. Case in point: Dee Dote Waterfall.

Its bright blue waters and tranquil surroundings are a slice of paradise, perfect for a relaxing afternoon away from the city. While it’s only a 20-minute walk from the carpark, it can be tricky to find due to the lack of signage. Don’t let this deter you as the falls are worth the trouble!

How to get there: Fly to Mandalay (MDL). The waterfall is a 1hr 15min drive from Mandalay city
When to visit: The dry season from Nov– Feb is the best time to visit

17) India: Kolukkumalai

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 2,170mDistance: 22kmDuration: 14hrs
Difficulty: Varies from Beginner to Intermediate

During our trip to Kerala, one of the highlights was Kolukkumalai, the highest tea plantation in the world!

You can take a 22km round-trip hike to Kolukkumalai Peak from Kurangani Village. Instead, we opted for a bumpy jeep ride up Kolukkumalai and only had to hike for 20 minutes to Lion’s Rock — the perfect spot to enjoy the sunrise!

How to get there: Fly to Kochi (COK). Kolukkumalai is a 1.5hr drive from Munnar or a 5.5hr drive from Kochi
When to visit: Kolukkumalai is nice to visit year-round, but the best time to visit is the winter months of Sep – Mar. Avoid the monsoon season of mid-Jun – early Dec

18) Australia: Royal National Park

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 437mDistance: VariesDuration: Varies
Difficulty: Varies from Beginner to Intermediate

Just an hour away from Sydney lies Royal National Park, a buffet of hiking routes with breathtaking coastal views. Established in 1879, it’s Australia‘s oldest national park!

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Beginners, try the Wattamolla to Eagle Rock trail (8km, 3hrs). Intermediate hikers, opt for the tougher Otford to Figure 8 Pools (12km, 6hrs) route! We chose the former, enjoying views of the famous Curracurrong Falls. It’s also a perfect whale-watching spot from September to November!

How to get there: Fly to Sydney (SYD). Royal National Park is a 1hr drive from Sydney
When to visit: Year-round

19) Switzerland: Pilatus

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 2,118mDistance: VariesDuration: Varies
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Legend says that Pilatus was once home to dragons with healing powers. While you won’t spot any mythical beasts now, the views at the top are still pretty magical.

There are numerous trails from Fräkmüntegg and Alpnachstad. Most people instead opt to reach the peak via cable car or cogwheel train! Once there, there are several hiking trails available. Our pick is the scenic 40-minute hike to Tomlishorn (2.8km), Pilatus’ highest point.

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

How to get there: Fly to Zürich (ZRH). Take the train to Luzern station (50min) and then to Alpnachstad station (20min)
When to visit: May – Oct

20) Indonesia: Mount Batur

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 1,717mDistance: 6.8kmDuration: 4hrs
Difficulty: Beginner

Chilling at Nusa Dua Beach and swinging at Tegallalang Rice Terrace aren’t the only things to do in Bali. Why not spice up your Bali itinerary with a sunrise hike at Mount Batur?

While “active volcano” may sound intimidating, Mount Batur is actually a manageable (and safe!) hike for beginners. At the peak, you’ll enjoy a front-row view of Mount Agung and Mount Abang, two other active volcanoes. Do note that it’s compulsory to climb with a guide for the sunrise hike.

How to get there: Fly to Bali (DPS). Batur is a 2hr drive from Seminyak
When to visit: The dry season from May – Aug is the best time to visit. Avoid the rainy months of Sep – Mar

21) Hong Kong: Suicide Cliff

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Max Altitude: 600mDistance: 5kmDuration: 2hrs
Difficulty: Beginner

Take a break from eating and shopping in Hong Kong and hike up Suicide Cliff. This iconic cliff edge is the perfect addition to your Instagram feed. Plus it only takes an hour to get to from our recommended starting point!

How to get there: Fly to Hong Kong (HKG). From Choi Hung MTR, take bus 91 to Fei Ha Road
When to visit: Year-round

Conquer more hikes around the world

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Like many of my colleagues at The Travel Intern, I’ve always loved the outdoors. As city dwellers, it’s refreshing to escape everyday distractions and just immerse in nature once in a while!

hiking, nature, 21 most rewarding hikes around the world — from stunning glaciers to active volcanoes

Being cooped up at home for the past few months has sparked some serious cabin fever. And for me, hikes are the best cure for it. If you’re itching to go on your next hike, check out our Top 11 Outdoor Activities in Singapore!

In the meantime, here’s some hiking inspiration:– 100 Epic Experiences Around The World — TTI’s Travel Bucket List– Yunnan Nature Bucket List For Outdoor Lovers — Kunming, Lijiang, Dali & Shangri-la
– Ultimate New Zealand Bucket List — 26 Best Things to Do in NZ’s North and South Islands

What are some of your favourite hikes around the world? Let us know in the comments!


For more travel inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Telegram!

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network