Hiking or Trekking is an activity that can be done by almost anyone, of any age, and of any fitness ability. And when exploring a new town, region, or country, joining a hiking or trekking tour is a unique way to really experience a new landscape, away from buzzy tourist attractions.

Treks or hikes can last anywhere from one day to several months, depending on the trail! Typically, multi-day hikes or treks will include accommodation by camping or at rural lodging. Sometimes you will have a guide, whereas others may be self-guided (meaning a company helps with some of the logistics like your luggage and accommodation, but you do the hiking on your own).

The world is full of hikes and treks that fill history books and inspire exploration. No matter where you want to travel, there are hikes to enjoy. Grab your boots and trail mix, and get ready to go!

You don't have to travel far to find scenic hiking trails, with some of the most beautiful hikes to be found in your own neck of the woods, though you can certainly use hiking as a great reason to visit the other side of the world!

North America

  • Best time to go: Varied. April/May and September/October tend to be the best months for most hikes. Desert hikes are better avoided in the summer months; winter conditions in colder areas may be especially challenging as well.
  • Highlights: Great Smokey Mountain National Park, the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, 500 mile wilderness in Maine

Canada, Mexico, and the United States all have fantastic hiking trails for travelers to explore. From multi-months treks along the Pacific Coast or Appalachian trails to shorter hikes everywhere from outside Vancouver to the Smokeys, there's something to meet every traveler's level.


  • Best time to go: Although you can hike in here at any point in the year, you will encounter snow in remote areaand fast changing weather in winter in New Zealand. Go between December and March for longer, brighter days.
  • Highlights: New Zealand

Oceania is known for impressive natural backdrops for many different adventure sports, but hiking in New Zealand may be one of the highlights. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered one of New Zealand's best one-day hikes, the Paekakariki escarpment coastal walkway is just north of Wellington, and the Twilight-Te Werahi Loop at New Zealand's most northern point are others worth the trek.


  • Best time to go: May to September, when you can escape the summer heat by heading into the mountains
  • Highlights: Hiking the Amalfi Coast in Italy, ancient pilgrim trails

Europe is a hiking and trekking hotspot, with famous trails such as the Camino de Santiago in Spain, endless options in the Alps throughout Switzerland, France, Germany & Italy, and a wealth of coastal routes promising breathtaking views.

Trekking might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Italy, but the rocky mountains and scenic coastlines make for some of the most beautiful hikes in the world- and a current highlight. Hiking can be combined with sightseeing on the Amalfi Coast or the Italian Riviera, where easily accessible pathways link seaside towns.

Italy's mountainous north is home to more challenging hikes, and the mountains draw hikers all summer long for the fresh, cool air. Ex-World War I battle sites are now adventure playgrounds, and mountain restaurants, known as Malaga, provide cool beer and hot pasta for path-weary hikers.

What to Look For In a Hiking or Trekking Tour

For most travelers who choose to go hiking or trekking, you already have a destination in mind when you start to plan your trip. The destination you choose will greatly determine the amenities and options available to you in the tour providers of that area.

nerally, you should pay attention to certified tour operators who have been guiding hikes or supporting hikers for several seasons. It should be obvious which resources and gear they provide and the trails should be obvious from any website materials you read. Additionally, reviews from past tour guests can be helpful in illuminating these parts of the tour.

Packing Tips & Gear Rental

Hiking and trekking doesn’t require too much specialist equipment, but it does still require gear. When packing your day pack, always consider the type of terrain you will be covering, likely and potential weather conditions, how remote you will be, and the length of your hike.

Having proper footwear is important. Choose trail runners or hiking boots. Regular running shoes are often OK on less challenging hikes.

Clothing should be lightweight and fast drying. Choose synthetic, light-weight wool or fleece fabrics instead of cotton. Whatever the season you may also need wind and rainproof layers, such as a jacket and over trousers, a warm hat, and gloves, or a sunhat and sunscreen.

Carry a small first aid kit to tend to blisters, insect bites, and rolled ankles or sprains. Other useful ‘just in case’ items include an emergency blanket and a whistle.

On most wilderness hikes you will not be able to purchase food or water. Carry enough water to keep you hydrated and enough lightweight high-energy food to last the entire hike, such as dried fruit and nuts or trail mix, sandwiches, and cereal bars.

Extra gear, such as trekking poles, is optional.

Hiking Etiquette

Most hiking etiquette is focused on preserving the natural environment and allowing users, both human and wild, to coexist on the trail.

Leave no trace: follow this mantra to leave zero impact on the environment. Stay on marked trails, pack out all rubbish, don’t pick plants, and don’t disturb the wildlife. If you are trekking with a guide, they will help encourage good hiking behaviors.

Hiking is not a hugely risky activity, though there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

First, know the trail and its conditions to the best of your ability -- do research on the trails you'll be walking, and follow the instructions from your guide if you have one.

Next, be prepared. Typically hiking and trekking will take you into rural areas where you may not be able to get food or water easily. Bring your own, and bring more than you think you'll need.

If you are doing a self-guided hike, it is advisable to hike with a buddy or group. Some exceptions may be on very popular trails like the Camino de Santiago in Spain or the Pacific Crest Trail in the United States; these trails are well-trodden and you will likely encounter other hikers or trekkers on a regular basis during the day.

Hiking and Trekking Trips Abroad

Displaying 1 - 15 of 486 programs
1 new reviews
Intro Travel
Thai Intro - Group Tour of Thailand with INTRO Travel
9.85 •34 reviews

Thai Intro is the most amazing way to experience Thailand! With either...

1 new reviews
Bamboo - Everest Base Camp Fundraising Trek
9.25 •4 reviews

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Our Everest Base Camp...

1 new reviews
Sustainable Action Costa Rica
Costa Rica
10 •4 reviews

Program Fee: $2,195 Dates: March 13-21, 2021 (more dates to come!) The...

1 new reviews
Trek Epic
Trekking and Personal Development for Emerging Adults
Multiple Countries
9.78 •9 reviews

As a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to cancel...

1 new reviews
14 Day Northern Thailand Adventure
9.7 •44 reviews

An amazing 14 day experience starting in Bangkok and ending in the...

1 new reviews
17 Day Vietnam Explorer
9.38 •47 reviews

Become a Vietnam Explorer as we travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to...

1 new reviews
New York Times Student Journeys
Iceland: Energy and Climate Change at the Arctic Circle
10 •2 reviews

Explore energy and climate change in Iceland, a country with a dynamic...

1 new reviews
21 Day Northern Thailand & Beaches
10 •4 reviews

An incredible 21-day experience covering all the best bits of an...

1 new reviews
Ultimate Travel
10 Day Ultimate Bali Tour with Ultimate Travel
9.36 •11 reviews

Explore the best of Bali on our 10 day / 9 night Ultimate Bali tour...

1 new reviews
Loop Abroad
South Africa Adventure Bonus Week
South Africa
10 •2 reviews

This one-week program pairs perfectly with our South Africa Veterinary...

1 new reviews
Ultimate Travel
Ultimate Thailand: 11 Day Trip
9.17 •6 reviews

Our amazing 11 day itinerary is the ultimate start to your trip in...

1 new reviews
The Tarzan Way
4 Day Life in a Pahadi Village, Starting from $235
9.8 •5 reviews

Join us for a week to experience a lifestyle we all have seen on big...

1 new review
Ultimate Travel
Ultimate Vietnam
10 •1 review

If you have a sense for adventure, are curious to learn about new...

1 new reviews
Smart Trip Europe
Day Trip to Cinque Terre
10 •4 reviews

Have you ever visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Well, now you have...

1 new reviews
Smart Trip Europe
Amalfi Coast Weekend Trip
10 •4 reviews

Explore the pearl of Italy - Amalfi Coast! Start your adventure by...

What People Are Saying

I had a life changing experience with Alpine Adventure Clube. In fact, during corresponding time, I was well informed about my da-to-day schedule in Nepal. The director, Binod, received me from the...

flapping prayers flas on the Gorge

I did this trip while I was studying abroad and it was one of my favorite things I did! The staff were amazing and traveling with them was so easy! Smart Trip provided everything from transportation...

View from Anacapri

Trek Epic was recommended to me by a past trekker, fellow co-worker, and friend. The best advocate you can find for Trek Epic is someone who has done it! My experience was more than I could have ever...

Civita, a crumbling city in Italy. Unbelievably cool.

Related Tours & Trips Articles