24 May 24

World’s best walks and hikes for 2025

Sam McCrow Camino European Alps Japan Slovenia United Kingdom Via Francigena

When it comes to hiking the world, we’ve got so many choices! You can immerse yourself in nature, take on a physical challenge or recharge on a wellness journey. Then there’s walks for history lovers, nature lovers, foodies and even those seeking charming villages to explore. Our tops picks for 2025 include trips to take if you’re on a budget and where to head if you’re taking the family. Whether you’ve got 4 days or 6 weeks we’d love to tempt you on to the trails! Go self guided and walk with confidence using our unique navigation app or elevate your experience with a local expert guide. Whichever walk you choose, we can give you great advice and help you get walking fit for the adventure of a lifetime!

1. Best walk for culture
CAMINO DE SANTIAGO – SPAIN’S ANCIENT PILGRIMAGE TRAIL

Why? There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Spain’s vibrant culture and grand history than by walking the Camino. On this unique and timeless experience you’ll meet pilgrims from every corner of the world and enjoy the extraordinary (and famous) camaraderie. Listed as a World Heritage site, this ancient trail is a treasure trove of historical sites, religious art, monuments, churches, cathedrals, and fascinating festivals, rituals and traditions. If you don’t have time for the full pilgrimage, you can walk or cycle a part of it and take a train or bus if you need to. Let us help you plan the perfect pilgrimage.
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Need to know

Location: Northern Spain
Duration: 41 days
Distance: 800km
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Best time to walk: April to June and September to October
You may also like: Japan’s Koyasan & Kumano Kodo; Spain’s Camino del Norte

2. Best walk for a nature immersion
JAPAN’S SACRED KUMANO KODO – STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

Why? Walking the sacred World Heritage Kumano Kodo trail feels like stepping into an enchanted kingdom. The shrines, mist, forested mountains, tranquil valleys and magnificent waterfalls create an entrancing hike and provide an awe-inspiring nature experience for hikers. As you journey along the ancient cobbled paths and staircases, you’ll pass intricate moss-covered stone statues, 800-year-old cedar trees and mountain-top villages. The seasonal contrasts of spring cherry blossoms and rich autumn foliage inject wonderful colour and magic along the route. Keep your eyes peeled for an interesting variety of creatures. You can’t help but feel the mystical energy and will return rejuvenated and reinvigorated.
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Location: Japan (Kii Peninsula)
Duration: 7 days
Distance: 68km
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Challenging to strenuous
Best time to walk: April until November
You may also like: Queen Charlotte & Abel Tasman Tracks; Western Australia’s Cape to Cape Track

3. Best walk for a physical challenge
MONT BLANC CIRCUIT – EUROPE’S CLASSIC MOUNTAIN WALK

Why? The memories of a walk on the Tour du Mont Blanc will stay with you forever! This trek is demanding and incredibly rewarding. You’ll climb six passes, traverse around huge glaciers and hike through spectacular alpine scenery. The first day of trekking, above Chamonix, involves some steep climbing and ladders to ascend to the Grand Balcon. Every step of the way offers jaw-dropping scenery and no two days are alike. No technical mountaineering skills are required and you’ll be accompanied by one of our expert International Mountain Leaders. If you’re not quite up for the full adventure, we also offer an 8-day Highlights Trip.
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Location: France, Italy and Switzerland
Duration: 13 days
Distance: 170km
Type: Guided
Difficulty: Strenuous
Best time to walk: Mid-June to mid-September
You may also like: Dolomites Circular Trek; England’s South West Coast Path

4. Best walk for history
HADRIAN’S WALL PATH – FOLLOW 2000 YEARS OF HISTORY

Why? UNESCO world heritage listed Hadrian’s Wall was built 2000 ago and is the best-preserved and largest surviving outpost of the Roman Empire. The path that follows the wall is one of Britain’s most loved, long-distance hikes. The museums and interpretive sites along the way emphasise the incredible complexity, engineering, vision and sheer will-power of the Roman Empire in preventing the northern tribes from invading England. You’ll pass through an endless array of gorgeous scenery from the Northumberland National Park to picturesque county Cumbria and the Solway Coast ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.
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Need to know

Location: Northern England
Duration: 10 days
Distance: 135km
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Moderate
Best time to walk: April to October
You may also like: Le Puy Camino (France); South West Coast Path (Padstow to St Ives)

5. Best walk for foodies
LUCCA TO SIENA (TUSCANY) – A CULINARY JOURNEY

Why? This region is culinary heaven. Get swept away by the romance of Tuscany and bring a large appetite! Situated in the beating agricultural heart of Italy, Tuscany is home to the ancient Via Francigena pilgrim trail (Italian Camino, Via Romea) and is a paradise of fresh produce. Relax on a vine-shaded bench with a picnic lunch of cheese, salami and olives, then reward yourself in the evening with Chianti, the most famous Tuscan wine, or a Negroni, one of Italy’s most stylish cocktails. Tuscany’s gastronomic delights include the region’s rare white truffles (‘white gold’); a yearly festival is held to honour the delicacy in the hill town of San Miniato. Tuscan olive oil is special too; top-tier olives are pressed in both Lucca and Siena.
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Need to know

Location: Tuscany (Italy)
Duration: 9 days
Distance: 97km
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Best time to walk: Late April to June and September to October
You may also like: St Jean Pied de Port to Logrono; Kumano Kodo Trail

6. Best walk for coastal scenery
MICHINOKU COASTAL TRAIL – JAPAN’S NEWEST HIKE

Why? This long-distance hiking trail on the north-eastern Pacific coastline of Japan’s stunning and remote Tōhoku region offers spectacular coastal scenery, along with the freshest seafood, oceanside accommodation, the region’s unique culture, and memorable encounters with warm-hearted locals eager to share their stories. The Michinoku Coastal Trail is one of the most diverse and immersive trails you’ll find in Japan and destined to become as iconic as the famed Kumano Kodo. Highlights include the sea caves and dramatic rocks of the Kitayamazaki Cliffs and Jodogahama Beach, known for its mesmerising cobalt blue waters and distinct hexagonal rock formations.
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Need to know

Location: Tokoku, Japan
Duration: 8 days
Distance: 235km
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Challenging to strenuous
Best time to walk: March to June & September to November
You may also like: Santander to Gijon (Camino del Norte); Porto to Baiona (Portuguese Camino)

7. Best walks to meet local people
SLOVENIA’S JULIAN ALPS & COAST – TRADITIONAL MOUNTAIN CULTURE

Why? Throughout your time in Slovenia you’ll have many memorable encounters with local people, ensuring an authenticity that is often so lacking in the age of mass tourism. On one day you’ll stay in a wonderful log cabin nestled beneath Jalovec Peak, where you’ll be warmly welcomed by your hosts and served a traditional homemade dinner. On another you’ll meet passionate local producers, one of whom will share his age-old secretes for winemaking and prepare you a home-cooked lunch. Traditional mountain culture (and even beekeeping!) survives and thrives here. The locals love to be outdoors and truly practice and value sustainability. Our local guide will connect you with the most wonderful people and give you the best experience and insights. Pint-sized Slovenia is laidback and easy to get to, and all our walking adventures start in the charming capital Ljubljana. 
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Need to know

Location: Northwest Slovenia and Adriatic Coast
Duration: 8 days
Distance: 98km
Type: Guided
Difficulty: Challenging to strenuous
Best time to walk: Mid-May to July & September to mid-October
You may also like: Arran Coastal Way (Scotland), Nakasendo Way (Japan)

8. Best walk for wellness
NAKASENDO WAY HIGHLIGHTS – WITH SHIMO-SUWA ONSEN

Why? This short and tranquil hike offers a great introduction to walking in Japan and the opportunity to relax and indulge in the hot spring district of Shimo-Suwa. You’ll follow in the footsteps of the Shogun on the ancient paved paths known as ishidatami. Along the way you’ll pass hidden waterfalls, walk through stunning cedar and cypress forests and discover numerous wayside temples and shrines. Enjoy the wonderful well-preserved ancient villages of Nakatsugawa, Magome, Tsumago, Kiso-Fukushima and Narai; stay overnight in traditional Japanese-style accommodation; and taste the local delights of the Kiso Valley and Gifu Prefecture. This is an exceptional trip that will leave you feeling inspired, energised and rejuvenated. Every act is from the heart and you will be exceedingly well-looked after.
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Need to know

Location: Kiso Valley, Japan
Duration: 6 days
Distance: 43km
Type: Guided
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Best time to walk: March to May & September to November
You may also like: Japan’s Kiso Valley Highlights; Swiss Rail & Hike

9. Best walk for picturesque villages
LE-PUY-EN-VELAY TO CAHORS – LES PLUS BEAUX VILLAGES

Why? Le Puy Camino is a cherished route that is characterised by les plus beaux villages de France (‘the most beautiful villages of France’). These lively flower-bedecked villages ooze history in their medieval cobbled streets and picturesque squares. There’s fabulous treasures and religious masterpieces, magnificently preserved houses and centuries-old arched bridges. The impressive cathedrals and abbeys are a sight to behold, and myths and legends abound. The ‘most beautiful’ label is awarded to only a select few French villages that meet a mountain of criteria. Food and wine are exceptional highlights of this trip and memorable accommodation is a hallmark of our trips. We’ve hand selected the most beautiful, unique and character-filled properties on the trail and in the surrounding villages.
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Need to know

Location: Southwest France
Duration: 20 days
Distance: 350km
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Best time to walk: April to July & September to October
You may also like: England’s Cotswold Way; Cornwall’s Cornish Camino

10. Best walk for national parks
COAST TO COAST PATH – WALK ENGLAND’S WILD SIDE

Why? Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Path meanders through three of England’s most beautiful national parks: the world-famous Lake District, the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales and the exquisite North Yorkshire Moors. It’s an epic walking adventure that passes by stunning lakes, over rugged mountains, moors and dales and through charming rural villages. Along the way, you’ll savour majestic mountain top views, stunning fells and dales and the most glorious tarns and becks in northern England. Our innovative part-guided walk offers the best of both worlds. A qualified mountain guide will accompany you through the mountain sections as far as Keld and thereafter your group will then be self-guided for the easier second half.
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Need to know

Location: Northern England
Duration: 20 days
Distance: 303km
Type:
Part guided
Difficulty: Challenging to strenuous
Best time to walk: April to October
You may also like: Triglav Hut-to-Hut Hike; Abel Tasman Coastal Track

11. Best walk for day trips
SWISS RAIL & HIKE – MAJESTIC MOUNTAIN GETAWAY

Why? This trip caters to every Swiss hiker’s dream – choose lower altitude walks or high mountain trails and surround yourself with a symphony of cowbells, the sweet scent of wildflowers and the crisp mountain air. You’ll love our flexible walking options and distances. Experience the iconic Matterhorn and Eiger mountains up close, stay in the alpine meccas of Zermatt and Lauterbrunnen and ride the Glacier Express – the most scenic train journey in the world! The towns and villages in the Swiss Alps are great places to relax. Taste traditional fondues and mouthwatering mountain cuisine, or sip a cocktail or two on a sun terrace while soaking up the stunning mountain scenery.
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Need to know

Location: Switzerland
Duration: 8 days
Distance: Varies
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Best time to walk: June to September
You may also like: Grampians Peaks Trail

12. Best walk if you’re on a budget
PORTO TO SANTIAGO: THE ESSENTIALS TRIP

Why? With overnight stays in modest, well-located hotels you can experience a seaside slice of the Portuguese Coastal Camino on a budget. This trip begins in the vibrant riverside city of Porto and traverses the Atlantic Coast of northern Portugal before heading inland and continuing through Galicia (Spain) to the legendary city of Santiago de Compostela. It’s a slightly faster paced itinerary than our regular trips and includes all the wonderful things that make this quieter Camino so alluring, including absolutely delicious food! Try the salted cod, grilled sardines, succulent oysters and of course the irresistible pastéis de nata (custard tarts).

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Need to know

Location: Northern Portugal and Galicia (Spain)
Duration: 15 days
Distance: 273km
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Moderate
Best time to walk: April–June & September–October
You may also like: Sarria to Santiago Essentials; Porto to Santiago by Mountain Bike

13. Best walk for families
NZ’s ABEL TASMAN COASTAL TRACK – A POPULAR WALK FOR ALL AGES

Why? The best family holidays with teenagers often involve a good dose of outdoor nature. With exceptionally well-maintained trails, easy access, and the absence of dangerous wildlife (no snakes!) New Zealand’s Abel Tasman Track is hands down one of the best destinations on the planet. The walking is not too difficult and the cosy lodges are a big part of the holiday and lots of fun. The only time you’ll see your teens on the phone is when they are snapping away at the unbelievable scenery. With abundant marine life, beach swimming and great food, it’s a winner. And its proximity to Australia means the airfares won’t blow the budget.
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Need to know

Location: South Island
Duration: 4 days
Distance: 40km
Type: Self guided
Difficulty: Moderate
Best time to walk: Year-round
You may also like: Queen Charlotte Track

Samantha McCrow

Written By

Samantha McCrow

Sam is an seasoned hiker and travel writer with 20+ years experience as a content and marketing specialist. She started out as a commissioning editor for Lonely Planet guidebooks and now regularly shares stories and insights about the world's most iconic and rewarding hiking trails.

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