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The World’s 13 Best Hiking Tours

Hiking tours are a great way to relax for stressed lawyers and LawFuel Travel has just unravelled 7 of the best … anywhere.

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1.  The Amalfi coast

amalfiA self-guided Amalfi coast tour sees walkers hike this outstanding example of a Mediterranean land- and seascape, a beautiful and beguiling area with both precipitous crags and picturesque town.  Running from Amalfi to Sorrento, taking in the mountaintop Ravello and also Praiano, Positano and the Sentiero degli Dei, or the “path of the gods”.

You may walk the whole route without using a single bus or taxi if you wish. Highlights include the gardens of the Villa Cimbrone, castle Torre dello Ziro overlooking both Amalfi and Atrani, the Marina di Furore “fiord” and the uninhabited monastery, San Domenico. There is the option to spend a day in Positano and the Sorrento Peninsula, which is home to three beaches: Ieranto, Marina del Cantone and Recommone. If you wish you can also extend your stay a few nights to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Capri or Naples — all possible from the Amalfi Coast gateway of Sorrento.

 2.  Haidrian’s Wall

haidrianEnterprising Roman emperor Hadrian ordered a wall to be constructed across the width of England in AD122, from Wallsend (east) to Bowness-on-Sea (west) in Cumbria, creating a heavily fortified barrier between England and the north. Today, with the help of zealous conservation, most of the wall still exists, and walkers are welcome to trek the length of it, enjoying the spectacular views across the craggy countryside.

3.  Great Wall of China

Great-Wall-of-ChinaOne of the world’s greatest feats of engineering, the ancient Great Wall of China was constructed to protect the Chinese empire and its vast lands. Following the wall’s undulating path up hills and down valleys makes for a thrilling walk, and you can pick and choose which sections you’d like to tackle.

4.  Cinque Terre, Italy

cinque-terre-day-trip-from-milan-in-milan-141763We’re back in Italy.  This is another walk that competes with the Amalfi hike, providing visits to the lovely Italian villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso (the so-called “Five Lands”) are linked by a gentle coastal path. Apart from Corniglia, which peers over a cliff, the villages tumble down attractively towards the blue sea.

You have to pay a fee to walk between the villages, but it’s definitely worth it – and you’ll have certainly earned an ice-cold Peroni by the end of the day.

5.  The Rivers and chateaux of the Loire

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Château de Chenonceau

Exploring and walking or cycling around the chateaux of the Loire is one of life’s joys.  The walks can be taken away from the main routes with several operators providing excellent opportunities to vary both the route and the places to visit en route.

For instance, a guided tour can start from Chaumont and follow the River Cher to Montrichard, Chenonceau and Montlouis.  In doing so there are the vineyards and fields and a viewing of some of the best Chateaus in France, including the landscaped gardens at Chateau de Chaumont, as well as seeing the underground town at Caves des Roches and the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci at Chateau d’Amboise.

6.  Grand Canyon Walk

grand canyon

There are few views anywhere in the world as spectacular as those obtained around the Grand Canyon.

Remembering this is a round trip it does require some effort to avoid exhaustion before ascending the canyon back to the rim – hence a decent level of fitness and training.  Taking a good supply of water is also essential.

 

The hike starts with a tough downhill walk, making the Grand Canyon walk something different from many others.  The hike runs west from a viewpoint at Pike Creek for around 8 miles of paved road and then 7 miles of unpaved area to Hermit’s Rest.  A good place to begin is Mather Point at the south entrance.  Wherever you start, this is a hike like no other and will repay you with a lifetime memory.

7.  Crete Coast and Mountains

This is a 10 – 12-day Crete’s Coast and Mountains hike that makes its way  around western Crete, passing through Aiolos, homeland of the god of the winds, the pirate country of Gramvoussa, and Elafonisi, land of the Cyclops.

There is also a self-guided walk that takes in the monastery in Chryssoskalitissa, as well as a beach at Elafonisi and the gorges of Paleochora.  What will you see, apartfrom some magnificent country, buildings and villages?  You may see  griffin vultures that nest on the slopes of Mount Prophet Ilias and the option to spend a full day relaxing in Souyia, a small seaside village. But there are other highlights too such as visiting the ancient ruins of Lissos, the city of Chania and the Irini Gorge which has only recently been opened up for exploration, and rivals the more famous Samaria Gorge.

 

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 Aiolos

 

8.  Costa Rica on foot

costarica

Costa Rica has always offered some fabulous and dramatic walks and the new 15-day “Volcanoes and Tropical Forests” trip walk takes in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua and provides the chance to see howler monkeys, toucans and humming birds.

The tour includes a variety of walks in Braulio Carrillo National Park, La Selva Biological Station’s rainforest and Cerro Chato in Arenal Volcano National Park, as well as providing walks through cloudforest to San Ramon Waterfall and through Rincon de la Vieja National Park to the Blue Lagoon Waterfall.  To add some additional variety, as if the drama and sight of the walks are not enough, they also provide a ferry to Isla Ometepe and a horse-drawn carriage ride through Granada, which adds something different.  There is also a walking tour of Mombacho Volcano and a hike on El Hoyo. There is also a visit to thermal baths and a chance to see .

 

9. The Swiss Alps

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Grindelwald Village in Berner Oberland

The Swiss Alps are always a hot favorite and one of the most beautiful parts of the planet to visit, particularly for those seeking relaxation and beautiful walking tours.  Among the walks on offer for those who shop around are eight day walks from Sherpa Expeditions, which include high walks and glacier exploration.

This is self-guided and includes visits to hamlets on the Reichenbech River as well as visits to Schwarzwaldalp, the Brünig Pass, a walk  through the forest and pastures at Kleine Scheidegg for views of the Eiger and Jungfrau.  There are ample opportunities to stop and take in the meadows, the mountains, the limestone crags and the Bernese Oberland Massif, not to mention James Bond’s Piz Gloria and the Reichenback Falls, among other attractions.

 

10.  Trails of the Garden Route

gardenrouteThis is a new tour in South Africa that includes  some of the best coastal trails, forest and sights in South Africa.

A 16 day adventure it includes a hike up Table Mountain as well as a game drive to the Addo Elephant National Park, which is also South Africa’s largest park for lions and Black rhinos, among other animals.

The trip (which is run by Exodus.co.uk) includes optional free days to go to the beach or boating, or shopping in Cape town.  However it also includes key visits to the wonderful wineries  in Stellenbosch and Franschoek.  For those interested in seeing sharks and/or whales there is also the “Whale Trail” if you wish.

11.  The Milford Track

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Milford Track, New Zealand

Sometimes regarded as the best walk in the world the Milford Track traverses the heart of New Zealand’s spectacular fiord country, following a route first pioneered in 1888.

The five day (4 night) walk takes in a track that entices everyone from the most experienced hikers to those seeking greater comfort in their travels, it displays magnificent vistas, steep canyons and the World Heritage area taking walkers close to bird life and native forest and rivers.  Frequently wet in a particularly damp part of New Zealand, the walk is nevertheless one that rewards walkers with thrilling experiences in just about any weather.

Walkers are restricted to around 90 per day.

12.  Inca Trail, Peru

machu

This classic trail is famous worldwide and serious trekkers may take four or five days to accomplish the walk through the Andes from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.  It can be done in a couple of days however by abbreviating the walk.  The ancient trail is 33 kms and was laid down by the Incas and is walked by thousands every year, winding up and down and around mountains through spectacular country.

Viewing the snow-capped mountains and cloud forest, as well as walking along cliffs, this is South America’s most famous trail – the ideal getaway walk for the fit lawyer and his or her partners.   Altitude sickness can be an issue and some acclimatization at Cusco is suggested.

13.  The Narrows, Utah

zion-park-explore-narrows

This is a 26 km walk following the Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah – a spectacular walk with half of the walk spent wading and even swimming in the river, which often spans from canyon wall to canyon wall.

It can however be covered in a day, although more time is suggested in order to enjoy the natural springs and the hanging gardens.  This is for the more adventurous, but is easily handled by those who may not be at peak fitness.

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