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Top 10 hiking destinations in the world

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See the world’s most dramatic landscapes, from Inca lost cities to sacred Uluru and the Swiss Alps, on foot. You’ll know where to book your base camp hotel with this guide to the top 10 hiking destinations in the world.

Valleys in the Bernese Alps

Lace up your hiking boots in the 1,000m village of Grindelwald, an idyllic Alpine base beneath the snow-capped summits of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. The Bernese Oberland landscape rolls below with meadows, little hamlets and forested valleys.

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Hidden forts over Lake Garda

Mediterranean climes reach Italy’s Dolomites around glorious Lake Garda. Amble past olive groves and lemon trees on Trentino ridges, just north of Lake Garda. The landscape is dotted with forts and wartime tunnels, like Mount Brione’s 19th-century defences and Tagliata del Ponale underground fort.

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A rainforest climb from Kinabalu

Make Kota Kinabalu your base camp for sunrise hikes to Sabah’s Mount Kinabalu peak in Malaysia. Climb the manageable 4,000m Low Peak past rare orchids and ferns for views stretching over Borneo’s rainforest. Refuel at the Laban Rata hut at 3,300m with tea and a warm shower before your last haul to the summit.

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The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Walk through Peruvian jungle passes on an Andes trail hike to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. Meet hummingbirds and condors as you pass hot springs and glacial lakes on the way to the pre-Columbian gatehouses and ceremonial platforms.

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Yellowstone trails from Jackson Hole

Stay in Jackson Hole for 1,300 miles of Yellowstone Park hiking routes at your feet. Choose a day-long walk past huge, preserved trees in the Fossil Forest. Try the steep, one-hour Uncle Tom's Trail over waterfall walkways through the rugged Yellowstone canyon.

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A South Island trail from Moteuka

Tramp the Abel Tasman Coast Track on New Zealand’s South Island for views of granite cliffs and golden beaches. Prepare provisions for your hike in Motueka, one of the nearest towns. The relaxed 52km trail, which takes three to five days, spans bays and crosses estuaries at low tide.

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A cliff top walk from Tenby

Join Wales’s coastal gem, the Pembrokeshire Path at Tenby. Follow the pilgrimage footsteps of Celtic saints and spot porpoises and dolphins from the peninsula cliff tops. Look out over the uninhabited isles of Stokholm and Skomer and smugglers’ caves on the sandy beaches.

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Uluru at sunset

Hike the marked tracks around the foot of Uluru, or Ayers Rock, in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Follow the trail to the sheltered Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewpoint to see the sacred Aboriginal arkose sandstone outcrop change color at sunset. 

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Trans Canada from Victoria

Start the Trans Canada Trail at westernmost Victoria, at the Galloping Goose Trail along a disused railway. Hike over crisp pine needles through Douglas-fir forests, or stop for a scenic, swamp-side picnic break at Thetis Lakes. 

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The Annapurna circuit from Pokhara

Start your Himalayan hike in lakeside Pokhara, with its dramatic panoramas of Annapurna and ‘Fishtail’ Machhapuchhare peaks. Descend through deep gorges and pause in Buddhist villages en route to the 5,400m summit of Thorung La. This teahouse trek goes past lodges for refreshments every three hours. 

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