On every avid traveler’s bucket list, there’s bound to be a plethora of eclectic adventures that they’re desperate to embark on. One of the most popular categories that feature on many people’s travel bucket lists is to experience a truly remarkable walking adventure.
While it might not be deemed as adrenaline-fuelled or intrepid as other bucket list ideas such as bungee jumping, scuba diving, and sky diving, walking experiences can leave a long-lasting effect on many travelers.
If you’re looking for the best walking experiences of a lifetime, check out the extensive travel guide below.
The Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is one of the most popular pilgrimages to embark on in the world. You’ll wander through beatific towns and villages in both Spain and France, as well as enjoy the freedom that the 800-km trek provides.
There are numerous different routes you can take, but all will leave you feeling utterly free, spiritual, and connected with nature and the world around you. Walking the Camino de Santiago is a remarkably freeing experience and journey of self-discovery.
You’re sure to have the most incredible experience exploring the Spanish coast, savoring the selection of seafood en route, as well as learning more about the different cultures that you’ll stumble upon along the way.
The Cinque Terre, Italy
The Cinque Terre is a captivating combination of 5 ancient seaside villages on the Italian Riviera coastline. The five towns offer a stunning collection of postcard-perfect houses, abundant vineyards, plentiful trattorias that offer seafood specialty dishes, as well as harbors that are teeming with fishing boats.
As for the Cinque Terre, there are numerous paths you can take to walk along with the seaside towns, and which one you choose depends on the kind of walking experience you’re after. Journey across the slopes of the Riviera di Levante, admire the beatific hotels and apartment cottages in Portofino, and enjoy a refreshing glass of homemade Italian wine in Vernazza.
These five coastal towns are nothing short of incredible and your walking experience through each of them is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Scotland and the Scottish Highlands
Scotland is home to 29 ‘Great Trails’ but arguably, the most amazing ones are the Scottish Highlands routes.
The West Highland Way is a 96-mile stretch that takes you all the way from Milngavie to Fort William. Along this hike, you’ll experience some of Scotland’s greatest architectural sights, world-famous lochs, and spectacular camping sites.
You’ll explore the likes of Mugdock Country Park, Scotland’s world-famous Loch Lomond, as well as Glen Falloch, Glencoe, and Devil’s Staircase. If you’re new to exploring the Scottish Highlands and are unsure where to begin your journey, the West Highland Way is a great place to start.
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains reside along the Tennessee and North Carolina border in the south-eastern region of the United States.
They form part of the Appalachian Mountains and have long been regarded as one of the most mesmerizing walking experiences in the US. The total area of the Great Smoky Mountains spans 500,000 acres, making it one of the largest wilderness areas in the whole the United States. However, you can only explore 1,448 km of its walking trails.
The Smokies (as they’re often referred to) are home to over 130 species of trees, 200 varieties of birds, and 1,500 species of plants and flowers. If you’re looking for a place to be at one with nature on your hiking trail, then the Great Smoky Mountains are sure to be a winner.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru is a walking experience that’s on almost every traveler’s bucket list. Machu Picchu is one of the most famous archaeological ruins in the world and it’s not hard to see why over 1.2 million people make the arduous trek every year.
Cited as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, a hike to Machu Picchu will be an otherworldly experience that you’ll never forget. Not only will you get to marvel at the wondrous ancient city that the Inca created, but you’ll also get to see many incredible structures inside the Citadel including the Temple of the Sun and the Astronomical Observatory.
Conclusion – Walking Experiences of a Lifetime
Whether you’re looking to be transported back in time when hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, become one with nature when you traverse through the Great Smoky Mountains or you opt for a more enlightening experience across the Scottish Highlands, these walking experiences will be remembered forever.
They’ll provide you with a sense of self, as well as show you the most untouched and remarkable aspects of beauty in the world. The Scottish Highlands are sure to be one of the most unforgettable walking experiences of your life.