I have compiled a list of the 10 best day hikes in the world. Some of these hikes are worth the price of a flight alone, others are near popular destinations and are easily tacked as a day activity. Others may be a little remote and a small investment in a cheap flight to the area may pay dividends for a lifetime of memories.
Glen Nevis, Scotland - Ben Nevis
Accessible from Glen Nevis, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Britain. The 17 km hike is a must for any avid trekker visiting the Highlands. The views from Ben Nevis down to the Glen can be otherworldly, especially on a clear day. The town wrapped by mountain ranges and almost endless shades of green lend themselves to some stunning pictures. If you are particularly adventurous and reach the summit, you can explore the ruins of a 19th-century weather observatory.
Tasmania, Australia - Dove Lake Circuit at Cradle Mountain
Tasmania’s heart-stopping prehistoric landscape is a must-experience trek for any hiker. I can’t express enough how absolutely stunning this 6 km track is. As its name suggests it takes you around Dove Lake, through the Ballroom Forest and under the majestic facade of Cradle Mountain. There are often cheap flights to Launceston, so add it to your list of must-see destinations.
Champadevi, Nepal - Champadevi Hike
Nepal is the crowning glory for many avid hikers. But if Everest is not on your to-do list as yet, the country has countless hikes across many mountain ranges that will calm even the most restless of legs. The Champadevi Hike is a prime example of this. This four-hour trek will take you through the ancient pine forest of the Kathmandu valley up to an elevation of 2285 m. You will be treated to majestic views of many mountain peaks across the valley along with stops at a Hindu and Buddhist temple if you like.
Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand – Kea Point Hike
If the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies have taught us nothing else about the natural beauty of New Zealand, we know it can be the land of epic journeys across stunning landscapes. The catalogue of day hikes in New Zealand is almost endless but very few will be as rewarding as the Kea Point Hike in Mount Cook National park. This 3 km hike treats the adventurous to views of glaciers, waterfalls and the ever-dazzling Muller Lake and the almost unparalleled beauty of the Hooker Valley.
Canggu, Bali - Mount Batur
Near the sleepy Balanise spa village of Canggu is an active volcano called Mount Batur. Hiking to the 1,700-metre summit is a popular activity for those staying in this bohemian enclave conveniently situated between Kuta and Seminyak. To escape the sometimes oppressive Balaniesse humidity, an early morning hike is recommended. Those who do choose to wake early enough to take a sunrise climb to the summit are treated with a magical view of a bright orange and purple sky erupting over Lake Batur below.
Malaga, Spain – Caminito del Rey
Before a major refurbishment in 2016, this 8 km walk between the Spanish towns of Ardales and Álorahe was once considered one of the most perilous hikes in the world. The restoration work done on the century-old trail that hugs the mountainside over dazzling gorges has not only made the trail safe for visitors but has made it a bucket-list-worthy destination for hikers of all stripes.
Yosemite Valley, California - Yosemite Falls Trail
The Yosemite Falls Trail is one of the oldest trails in the park. It offers the best view of Yosemite you can have on foot and leads to the top of Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America.
Alberta, Canada - Indian Ridge
If the Canadian Rockies aren’t on your bucket list, take my foolish advice: grab that journal and put it on there now. One of the best places to experience the majesty of this range is in Jasper National Park and the best trail in the park by far is the 8 km Indian Ridge trail. If you are lucky you may catch sight of marmots, mountain goats or eagles while on the trail.
Golden Gate Highlands, South Africa – Rhebok Hiking trail
South Africa has some of the most diverse landscapes and breathtaking vistas on the continent. Many of South Africa’s best features are embodied in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and the Rhebok trail is the best way to see them. A guide is usually recommended but you will be treated to dazzling views of mountains and ravines.
Hvalfjordur Fjord, Iceland – Glymur Waterfall Trail
Glymur is the second-highest waterfall in Iceland and in a land of many breathtaking natural wonders, it is worth highlighting. This 6.3 km trail will take you over rivers to the top of the falls. This will offer an amazing view of the water cascading down to a vibrant green canyon below.
So there you have it. I hope this gives you the inspiration you need to lace up those boots and get out into the wild.