I used to be a fair weather hiker. I only wanted to hike when I knew it wouldn’t rain or get too cold, when I knew I wouldn’t get too muddy, when I knew I’d be able to get a good view from where I was headed.
All that changed when I started travelling. I realised that if you wait for the perfect hiking conditions, you’ll never go hiking at all. When you’re travelling, you only have a limited time in each place and you have to make that time count.
With a little encouragement to just lace up my walking boots, get over myself and explore, I discovered that hiking is great in all seasons. If I hadn’t just gone for it and hiked whatever the weather, I would’ve missed out on so much.
I’m going to share our favourite hikes from around the world that won’t fail to make you want to go walking.
Indian Nose | Guatemala
Indian Nose is my favourite hike so far. We spent a month living at Lake Atitlan last August and hiked on the weekends. Indian Nose – so called by locals because the peak looks like a nose – is 2100 metres high. I’m proud to say that we walked all the way up from our casita on the lakeside in San Pedro La Laguna and all the way back down again. From the top you can see the glorious expanse of Lake Atitlan.
Marin Headlands | San Francisco
During our recent trip to San Francisco, we hiked across the Golden Gate Bridge and up into the Marin Headlands. This is a great weekend walking holiday from the city and if you’re crazy like us you can walk all the way back right into the city centre too. The hike itself takes you above the Golden Gate Bridge and north into the lush green headlands. There’s a cute hostel down by the lagoon where we stayed for the night, and a beach where you can watch the sunset.
Snowdon | North Wales
On a short Spring road-trip around North Wales with our Angloville friends, we hiked the toughest path up Snowdon. Supposedly the perfect hiking season, Spring actually resulted in us being unable to see through mist and getting caught in a rain shower strong enough to soak us through to the skin. The misty mountain tops seemed just like a scene from Lord of the Rings. Being the ridiculous intrepid explorers that we are, we went off-path on the route back and ended up on a scree slope. Whilst our friend, Ed, an excellent hill runner, bolted down to the lake at the bottom in a couple of seconds, the rest of us were left scrambling for an hour.
Teapot Mountain | Taiwan
Teapot Mountain: sounds like something out of Alice in Wonderland, right? In Taiwan’s Summer heat, you’re almost lightheaded enough to believe it is an hallucinogenic landscape from Lewis Carroll’s world. After pulling yourself up the rocky outcrop with a rope bolted into the mountainside, you can climb inside the teapot and look out over Jinguashi and the Pacific Ocean. If you’re a strong climber, you can haul yourself up a vertical rock face onto the spout and explore further around the rocks. I have really fond memories of this hike because it was a ‘birthday hike’ organised by Luke.
River Yar | Isle of Wight, England
Hiking along the River Yar is easy walking compared to the other three seasonal hikes! The path is flat. It heads out past an old mill house and into woodlands, snaking alongside the river for miles. In the Autumn, the woods are coloured with shades of amber and the light rain makes the area smell fresh and earthy. I was lucky enough to go on this walk a few times now as Luke’s family and their friends often rent out the Old Mill at the start of the walk for group holidays.
Mt. Kościelec | Poland
My first ever hike in ice and snow – and I was as scared as a camel in the Arctic. Trekking up Mt. Kościelec in Poland‘s High Tatras takes a lot of determination. We went in Winter and the route is mostly steep icy slopes interspersed with pockets of soft snow that swallow your feet and ankles during that season. However, when you make it above cloud level, mountain peaks jut out through the wispy cumulus like King’s with their stony crowns. Fortunately, we were Couchsurfing with an amazing couple who shoved us straight in their hot sauna when they saw how red our fingers were we were from the cold.
Find a Hiking Route
Inspired by all these amazing hiking destinations? You can use this handy self-guided walking holiday route finder to find out about awesome hiking routes wherever you are in the world.
Which of our favourite hikes from around the world makes you want to go exploring the most?