These 6 incredible hikes will take your breath away. It did to me and I could still remember how these hikes changed me as a traveler. I was never a fan of hiking, especially when the scorching sun is unforgivable. But I learned to adapt to harsh weather conditions and make sure I wear appropriate clothes.
Nature is therapeutic. In fact, in Canada, doctors can now prescribe trips to National Parks to enjoy nature. And what better way to enjoy nature than go on a hike? It doesn’t matter how long or how physically-demanding it is. A walk in the woods or enjoying silence by the lake is a break from the topsy-turvy world out there. Of course, for the adventurous and physically-fit souls, the mountains, the cliffs, the deep oceans, and other natural wonders are waiting.
Let me show you these 6 amazing hikes that really blew me away.
1. Hiking The Great Wall of China
While I was living in Beijing for 5 years, I had opportunities to climb and hike the Great Wall of China so many times. I even attended the first ever electronic dance rave held at the Jinshanling part of the Great Wall. It was chaos but fun!
I hiked from Jinshanling to Sematai parts of the Wall both as a solo traveler and with a group of friends. This is a 10-km hike on the wall itself. That time, back in 2005-2010, most parts of the Great Wall were untouched. There were parts where we had to climb on all fours. It was exhausting but that feeling of hiking on one the world’s grandest and ancient structures was unbelievably satisfying.
2. Hiking Mt. Sinai in Egypt
Mt. Sinai is also called as “Moses Mountain” because as the Christians would say, “This is where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.” But, I must warn you – the hike was of difficult level. We started the hike at 2:00 in the morning when it was still totally pitch black. Thirty minutes into our ascent, million of stars shone bright like a diamond in the sky. They were our guiding lights on our dark trails. Of course, we were still advised to use our flash lights. We didn’t see much of the trail and the dangers on all four directions. The bedouin guide clearly emphasized to stay/follow the group.
The only way to hike Mt Sinai is with a tour group. The travel agent picked me up at my hotel in Dahab at 9:00 PM and then traveled to the base of the mountain. We were introduced to another guide who was a member of the Bedouin tribe. We climbed/hiked for 3 hours – and a few minutes after arriving at the summit, the sunrise greeted us, as if excited to welcome us with its golden rays.
3. Hiking Through the Villages in Cinque Terre (Italy)
If you have a whole day to spare when visiting Cinque Terre, then, you’ve got to hike these colorful villages along the coast. This is an ultimate dream for hikers who want to rest in quaint villages with cafes nestled on cliffs, overlooking the ocean. Cinque Terre means five villages in Italian. These villages are: Riomaggiorre, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernaza, and Monterosso.
I didn’t hike all of them because I didn’t have too much time. I only did the 3 villages on a solo hike! I met a few hikers along the way, but mostly locals and backpackers. I spent 2 hours in each village, either exploring the narrow streets or sitting by the coast/beach. Be in Manarola to watch the breathtaking sunset from one of the bars/cafes on the edge of the cliff.
4. Hiking the Pidurangala Rock in Sri Lanka
When you are in Sigiraya in Sri Lanka, you’ll find two massive rocks that you must climb if you have more time here. The first one is Sigiraya Rock which is very historical and you will find ancient ruins on the flat summit. The “Other Rock” is the Pidurangala Rock which is less touristy because tour agencies don’t bring their tourists here. Both giant rocks are opposite from each other and are in the middle of a lush jungle.
The hike was about 30 minutes for me. It was pretty easy but the last 5 minutes before I reached the summit had me on all fours. I had to step on and hold on to rocks that were scalding due to hot weather. My croc slippers didn’t help either. :)) The views of the jungle from up there was an experience like no other.
5. Hiking Padar Island in Indonesia
Padar island in Indonesia will never fail to amaze you. The 30-minute hike to the summit was easy and the incredible views await adventurous soles. Your tired feet will surely thank you for bringing them up there! If you don’t like long hikes, then, this is for you!
The only way to reach the island is by joining a boat tour from Labuan Bajo. The boat tour takes 3 days but it’s all worth it, believe me. There is a one-day fast tour but you don’t wanna be in a place with limited time, right?
6. Hiking The Grand Canyon in the USA
The Grand Canyon is not just an incredible natural wonder but also an ultimate dream for hikers. With easy trails along and down into the canyon, you won’t know where to start. If you have limited time here, you’ve got to plan which trail to go to watch the sunrise or sunset. You don’t wanna miss it – it’s a calming experience to witness the golden hours yourself.
Click here for some easy hiking I’d recommend to beginner hikers and to hikers who complain a lot. LOL…