If you like to go for a walk in the mountains, surely you are familiar with the GR route, which consist of two lines (one red and one white) that indicate that you are traveling on an approved path that exceeds the 50 kilometers and in which security, signaling, information and maintenance are guaranteed. In Spain there are more than 200 GR routes that are maintained by the Spanish Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing, and those are actually are part of the Network of European Long Distance Trails.
Walks in the mountains have inspired great geniuses and philosophers such as Henry David Thoreau. In addition, taking a walk in the open air has many benefits: it helps to release stress and anxiety, it allows you to enjoy nature by knowing new places. It is very rewarding to be able to go far simply by walking, without the need for any type of vehicle.
Many hikers start out with day trips. However, sometimes a single day falls short, especially if we have to get back to where we started. Therefore, if you have several days off, it is highly recommended to embark on an adventure and take a longer route. For this, it is necessary to plan the trip well and choose starting and ending points that are well connected with public transport. You also have to think about the nights: a comfortable option is to go to a town every day and sleep there, which allows you to walk with less load in your backpack. However, the thrill of camping in the middle of nature and waking up in a silent and lonely landscape is more than attractive. To do that, you should pack up the tent, sleeping bag and so forth, also be sure to learn about the regulations for free camping or spending the night in the places where you plan to stop.
In Spain there are many GR trails scattered throughout the country and a lot of information on the internet and in specialized guides to prepare your trip. However, if you want to see the world and reach more distant places, here we leave you an aperitif with some of the most famous, beautiful and recommended hiking routes in the world.
Torres del Paine W Trek – Chile
This is one of the most famous hiking routes in the world, which runs through some of the highlights of Torres del Paine National Park, in Chilean Patagonia. The trekking here takes a distance of 72 kilometers in 4-5 days route. The path is signposted but requires some preparation to do it without any problems.
Milford Track – New Zealand
This trail, one of the most beautiful in the world according to experienced travelers, is located in the heart of the so-called “New Zealand Alps”. It consists of 53 kilometers of route through fjords, alpine landscapes, suspension bridges, valleys and lakes. It also allows you to see the Sutherlands, with the highest waterfall in New Zealand.
Laugavegur Route – Iceland
This path is located in the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar, in Iceland, and runs 55 kilometers through this unforgettable island full of volcanoes and glaciers.
Camino de Santiago – Spain
This pilgrimage route of religious origin has become a popular hiking destination, visited by people from all over the world. The road is marked with yellow arrows and there are shelters and all kinds of services on the route. Although it is advisable to train before doing it, its low difficulty and the charm of the towns and landscapes that it crosses are some of its greatest attractions.
Annapurna – Nepal
The trekking in the Annapurna is highly recommended to explore the mountain range of the Himalayas without having a physical preparation. The entire circuit requires between 14 and 25 days and runs through the valleys of the Gandaki River and the Marshyangdi River and the route is well signposted and adequate.
Copper Canyon – Mexico
This area of canyons in the Mexican state of Chihuahua can be seen through several hiking trails. One of them, 61 kilometers long, goes from the village of Divisadero to Pamachi.
The Inca Trail – Peru
The Inca Trail is the path that allows access on foot to the ruins of the city of Machu Picchu, an impressive culmination of this 43-kilometer walk that allows you to follow the steps that the Incas walked almost 600 years ago through dense cloud forests.
Simien Mountains – Ethiopia
We are talking about an extensive mountain range in Ethiopia in which there are mountains more than 4,000 meters high above sea level. Most routes start in Debarek.
West Highland Way – UK
The West Highland Way takes us to the Scottish Highlands on a road of more than 150 kilometers that connects Glasgow and Fort William. The entire route can be completed around 8-10 days, but the good public transport connection along the route allows the hiking trip to be adapted to the availability or taste of each one.
Silk Road – Various Countries
We are talking about a legendary road through which the caravans that traded products and served as a connection between East and West. This mythical route is actually a whole network of roads that connect various countries: Mongolia, China, Turkey, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan … The landscapes range from huge deserts to soaring and snowy peaks through some of the most fascinating and unknown territories on the planet. This path is only suitable for the more experienced people, although there are also many specialized travel companies that offer guided tours.
Yoshida Trail – Japan
The Yoshida trail is one of the four routes that lead to the top of Mount Fuji, the highest peak in Japan. It is a very safe path and hosts several mountain shelters.
Lycian Way – Turkey
This is Turkey’s first long-distance hiking trail, devised by an English woman who fell in love with the place while working in Istanbul. It is about 500 kilometers route through the Teke peninsula. In addition to its characteristic Mediterranean landscapes, the route is perfect for history lovers and you will discover numerous remains of Roman, Byzantine and Greek ruins, as well as the typical mortuary monuments of the Lycians.
Uran Chirripo Loop – Costa Rica
Reaching the top of Chirripo, the highest peak in Costa Rica, will reward you with exceptional views of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. This uphill route also passes through the Uran hill, and since the path is relatively untouched, it is necessary to do it with a guide.
GR 20 – Corsica
This long-distance trail allows you to cross the island of Corsica from end to end through its mountains. It is one of the most beautiful crossings in Europe, but also one of the hardest: 180 kilometers that accumulate more than 22,000 meters of unevenness.
Northern Drakensberg Route – South Africa
The Drakensberg Mountains (which means ‘Dragon Mountains’) are the highest in South Africa, and they are the second largest waterfall in the world, with a height of 948 meters. The entire route is 64 kilometers long.
Cinque Terre – Italy
The Cinque Terre complex encompasses five beautiful villages in the Italian region of Liguria, all of them connected by an extensive network of trails of generally low difficulty that allow you to discover the beautiful landscapes of this coast.
Heysen Trail – Australia
This route covers some of the most impressive landscapes in the south of the Australian continent through 1,200 kilometers. Keep in mind that this hiking trail is generally closed during the fire season.
Pacific Crest Trail – United States
What better way to get to know the United States in depth than on foot. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a long-duration route that runs through the country from Mexico to Canada. More than 4,000 kilometers to discover a great variety of landscapes: forests, mountains, national parks and even a desert. The tour crosses the states of California, Oregon and Washington.