Across Land & Sea Travel Blog

The best hikes around the world: five of our favourites

Wherever we are in the world, we love exploring by foot. And if there's a volcano to climb, a mountain ridge to navigate or a chilly peak to summit - even better! 

For every hike we've included in this list, we crossed off ten, but these remaining five represent some of the most rewarding and beautiful challenges we've had the pleasure of experiencing in the past few years.

Quilotoa Loop, Ecuador

This hike has it all: idyllic countryside, glorious mountain views, quaint villages and a deep, turquoise lake as the main event. River crossings, encounters with livestock and dizzying heights of up to 3800 metres make this trek as varied as it is challenging.

Dog on the Quilotoa Loop, between Chugchilan and Quilotoa

You will be tired, but thankfully there are some amazing places to stay along the loop. One place even has a spa – and there’s nothing quite like soothing sore muscles than by soaking in a hot tub.

Although you can take a day trip to Quilotoa Lake, the hike makes the view all the more rewarding. We opted for a three-day hike from Sigchos to Quilotoa, although you can skip the first day and start the hike from Isinlivi, or extend your route to some towns further afield.

Take a look at our complete guide to hiking the loop to help you plan your adventure!

*If you're wondering why we don't have many pictures of the lake itself, it's because we were pretty unlucky with the weather and the fog made it difficult to see, let alone capture in a photograph... 

Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

Changing ecosystems and a dazzling sunrise made up for the sheer pain (just look at Rachel's face...) we experienced during and after our two-day climb of Mount Kinabalu.

At 4,095metres, this is not for the faint-hearted, and Rachel experienced serious attitude sickness at the summit in the early hours. This is just one of the things you should be aware of before you attempt the climb.

Despite this, it remains one of our fondest memories of our trip to Malaysia and Borneo and we think it's a pretty impressive achievement!

Mount Kinablu sunrise

Nevada Falls hike, Yosemite National Park, California

Part of the Half Dome climb, the Mist trail is a beautiful hike passing two of the most impressive waterfalls we’ve ever seen.

The track is aptly named – the paths are frequently shrouded in spray from the pounding waterfall that crashes into the rocks below.

Vernal Falls, Mist Trail

It’s incredibly popular and the trails get busy, but don’t let that put you off. It’s quintessentially Yosemite and you have the option of taking part of the alternative John Muir trail back to the start.

Visit the National Park Service website for more information.

Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

Karijini National Park, Western Australia

This whole darn national park is featured in this list because we couldn't decide on our favourite hike!

From the spider walk of Hancock Gorge, the rock climb down to a breathtaking amphitheatre in Joffre Gorge, to hiking Mount Bruce and finding the mythical beauty of Fern Pool, Karijini might just be the ultimate adventurous adult’s playground.

It's not the easiest place to get to (it's 16 hours driving time from Perth...) but it's well worth it! 

Mount Bruce, Karijini

Chalets de Sales, Samoëns, France

The best thing about this hike is that we stumbled across it by accident.

Expect to walk through pine forests, cross green pastures and rocky tracks and spot marmots, chamois and other wild Alpine mammals. At every turn there is a new waterfall or a different mind-blowing vista. Near the top is an abandoned village that marks the end of the trail – for us, at least. We hope to return and find out where it gets to one day!

The French Alps boasts glorious mountains and there are so many hiking trails that we can understand why this has not been ‘discovered’ yet. You can check out some more of our favourites

Chalet de Sales hike, near Samoens, French Alps
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