Your travelling experiences are incomplete if you never went on a trek. Treks bring you closer to wilderness. On treks you probably won’t find any restaurant, bars, cafes or even a public toilet. But you are sure going to encounter all the beauty of nature, landscapes, and picturesque scenes. Trekking will put your limits to test, and push you beyond the boundaries. You will be at a war with rawness of nature both physically and mentally. But boy, the experience is worth it.
People often say that to go on a trek, you need to have clean pair of lungs, strong legs, and brave heart. But believe me you are going to need more than that, or you won’t survive for a day. We have created a packing list that will gear you for the go.
Read about it here. (Ultimate packing list for Treks)
Now the list of Top treks in the world.
Everest Base Camp (EBC) –
What could be better to start the list with greatest heights of thrill.Post this trek, you can brag about getting to the base of World’s highest peak.
Also popularly dubbed as “The Steps to Heaven”, is for sure angelic. Though there is a risk of altitude sickness and bronchitis, which could for sure ruin your good travel mood. The scenes on way are breathtaking and could keep you gazing at them.
The myths are it is difficult, but in real it’s only walking up and down the hill with your backpack. If you travel with tour groups, the porters will carry the load for you. Even small commodities can get expensive as you go up, so don’t underestimate your spends.
Don’t worry there is wifi up there, but at a cost. The start point of the Everest Base Camp trek is Lukla, which ends at Kala Patthar at camp by passing through Khumbu Valley. The peak season for the trek remains to be February to May.
A trek to Everest Base camp will expose you to beautiful forests, Sherpa Villages, glacial moraines, and foothills. The trek will also give you a hang of Sherpa Culture, their spiritual connection with the mountains, and Buddhist culture. It is a paradise for Photographer inside you.
Inca Trail, Peru –
One of the most travelled routes in World is truly a mesmerizing experience. It’s beautiful and on your way you will encounter snowcapped Andies, tropical jungles, ancient Tambo ruins, rocky paths, and mountain passes. There are also many camp sites along the way that you will love.
Over 250 species of orchids have been counted in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, along with numerous rare birds. The trial leads from the sacred valley to entering through Sun gate and getting the first glimpse of the ancient forgotten city of Machu Picchu.
To tackle environmental issues Peruvian Government has limited the number of people on trail each day to 500, out of which 200 are trekkers, while rest are porters and guides. So before a visit do advance booking. The trail is closed every February for cleaning.
The best time to go for Inca Trail is May to September. The trail usually wraps in 4 to 5 days. To go on Inca Trail it is mandatory by the local government to be accompanies by a Guide. Once you book your trail with a tour company, make sure to check their day to day itinerary.
The best route covers the important Inca archaeological sites of Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, WiayWayna and Machu Picchu. There is a network of 40,000 kilometers of route connecting to Machu Picchu, and many tour operators might mislead you from other routes.
The Haute Route, France-Switzerland –
It is the Mercedes of the trekking World. The trek includes sights of world’s most famous peaks such as Mont Blanc, and the Matterhorn. The trek starts from the Chamonix valley in France through the southern Valais to Zermatt in Switzerland.
The trek exposes you to the most scenic country side accessible in Alps. The trek on an average takes 12 days to complete. The trek makes you cross several high passes. Enroute you will find altogether different world of glaciers, snowcapped peaks, green alpine valleys with flower covered meadows and picture book villages.
A little of knowledge of French will help when you will cross French villages. The early season from June to mid-July is the quietest and most beautiful, but old snow can trouble you on way.
You will get lots of cheese in local villages, and local Swiss dishes are must try. It is highly recommended to pack light while on trek due to long trekking routes. On way you can find accommodation in classical mountain Swiss huts, which is a great experience of mingling with locals. In a nutshell the overall experience is very humbling and the contrasts along the way of trek are unique.
Routeburn Track, New Zealand –
Arguably the best trek in New Zealand that will take you on a ride of Natural Beauty and picturesque scenes. Based from the New Zealand’s Southern Alps, this trek will take you through two national parks Fiordland and Mt Aspiring. It runs between Hollyford and Dart Valleys.
It makes you experience the never seen before views from Harris Saddle and atop Conical Hill. On one side there will be breaking waves and sturdy mountains on the other. There will be serene lakes and loud waterfalls. This trek too is distinguished by its variety of landscapes it passes through.
On an average the trek could be completed in 3 days. Best time for this trek is October to April. There are number of huts and campsites along the track, but ensure you have booked them in advance. The track is also home to various species of bird. This trek gives you a complete dose of nature, which makes it irresistible.
The Snowman Trek, Bhutan –
This is not your everyday dare. This trek is not for the faint hearted. Trust me! This trek will make your lungs work like a V2 engine, when you will cross 11 passes at over 14,000 feet along the Tibet-Bhutan Border. But rewards are memories of lifetime, as you will come across Buddhist Monasteries clinging to the sides of cliff, and secluded villages.
It is a long trek that could take 24 days of your time. The best time for the trek is October. It is not to discourage you from taking up this trek, but it is meant for a bit experienced trekkers. On this trek, you will have commitments to walk around 6 to 8 hours a day up and down the hill.
On this trek, you will ample time to dive deep in to Bhutan’s culture. You will have spectacular mountain views of Jumolhari, Jichu Drake, Masangang, Tiger Mountain, Gangkar Puensum and many other peaks.
On this trek you will glide past blue pine, juniper and rhododendron forests, and look for the famous Himalayan blue sheep, bearded vultures and Himalayan griffons flying overhead.Recently Bhutan also has put up a mandatory minimum tourist tariff of US$200/day. But returns are for life long.
The Camino de Santiago, Spain –
Also popularly known as St. James Trail, is an extremely popular Christian pilgrimage ever since middle Ages. People follow this route for religious and trekking purposes. More than 200,000 pilgrims walk the Camino every year.
The best time to trek the Camino is between spring and autumn, though people flock in all around the year. Though the route is meant to be walked alone, but it has become more ofa social affair. People walk with friends, families and partners.
Post completion of this route you receive ‘Compostela’ for your efforts, which is a certificate from the pilgrim’s office in Santiago de Compostela. So apart from enthralling experience, and vivid memories you also earn credits for this trek.
The trail stretches from the Pyrenees in France, and finishes in Santiago de Compostela, a distance of about 500 miles. Along the route, you will cross ‘fuente de vino’ which is a fountain of wine, probably to ensure your spirits don’t dampen.
It’s a ride across Spanish countryside, vineyards, Hundred year old towns, green valleys, and dense woods. It is must do trek, especially if you are beginner.
Pays Dogon, Mali –
Set in the Out backs of Africa, this trek is based out of Dogon region of Mali. The trek is spanned across lush green onion fields, dusty arid plains of Sahel, and through African Villages where locals live in mud huts, perform masked stilted dances and exhibit a unique unchanged culture of their own.
Another important highlight of the Trek is Bandiagara Escarpment and its abandoned cliff dwellings. The escarpment is approximately 500m high and stretches across 150km of cliffs.
The trek can last for 2 to 3 days. The best time for trekking the Pays Dogon is November to January. It is also been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its natural beauty and cultural significance.
Top attractions of trek at the pinnacles of cliffs areTellem Houses in shape of caves. It might be a remote area, but has camping facilities and hotels available in main villages. Food available in the area is mainly made from millet.
During your visit to the villages you will see carved doors and windows, which is a local skill. The hospitality of locals is undeniably warm. Last words: This time for Africa!