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Best Places to Hike: The Top 10 Around the World

One of the best ways to see the world is by looking down from above, and these high-altitude destinations give access to some of the most jaw-dropping vantage points on Earth. In addition to breathtaking natural vistas and challenging terrain, all of these routes offer stylish lodges that provide a pampering home base and fascinating cultural excursions that can be combined with outdoor activities to create a robust itinerary. For adventurous and in-the-know travelers looking for walks filled with wonder, these are Indagare’s top recommendations for the best places to hike.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a hiking trip to one of these destinations. Our travel specialists can match you with the right experience, based on your interests and ability.

Italian Dolomites

In the Dolomites, an abundance of hiking, rock climbing and via ferrata routes all reveal sweeping views of the mountains and surrounding valleys. For prime access to the Alta Badia region, which is best during the summer months, Indagare recommends staying at Rosa Alpina, where your days can be spent exploring with the guidance of the property’s local mountaineers and indulging in one of the hotel’s four restaurants, including the two-Michelin-starred St. Hubertus.

In Indagare’s Words: “There is a reason that many of the best free climbers in the world are based in Italy’s Dolomites: the rose-colored, jagged mountains are surrounded by crystal lakes, and you can hike to log cabins for incredible meals prepared from local ingredients by families who have lived in the region for generations.”
~ Indagare’s Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley

Related: Insider Journey: Hiking in the Dolomites

American West

In the warmer months, ski destinations like Aspen and Telluride offer picture-perfect hiking trails through dramatic wilderness. Active travelers can also experience the region to its fullest with a road trip between multiple national parks. Here, Indagare can arrange a variety of special experiences to enhance your hiking excursions, including a two-night stay in a house boat on Lake Powell, hot air ballooning and sunset picnics complete with Champagne at a secret lookout point.

In Indagare’s Words: “Hiking in the West reminds you how truly beautiful America is. Up in the mountains, everything is so peaceful and quiet. All you can hear is the rush of a nearby creek and the birds moving through the pine trees. The air is crisp and clean, and it really brings you back to your center.”
~
 Indagare’s Elizabeth Harvey

In Indagare’s Words: The American West is so easy to overlook, since it’s in our own backyard. But the landscapes there are just as challenging and just as beautiful as any other natural destination, and there’s simply no better way to see those alien features than by hiking through them.”
~ Indagare’s Colin Heinrich

Related: Indagare Matchmaker: American West Hotels

Bhutan

Many of Bhutan’s key sites are only accessible after a rewarding hike, including the two-hour trek to the iconic Tiger’s Nest temple built into the edge of a mountain, as well as the hike up to the 16th-century monastery Gangtey Goemba and the trails through beautiful terraced farmland in the Punakha Valley. After a morning of exercise, Indagare can arrange special cultural experiences, such as a guided visit to the workshops of sacred incense makers—or return to one of our favorite lodges for an outdoor hot stone bath and massage.

In Indagare’s Words: “Bhutan truly feels like a magical kingdom, and there is no better way to explore its beauty than on foot, hiking through rice fields to monasteries, by fields of wildflowers or up to Tiger’s Nest, the cliff-clinging temple. The range of landscapes and the deeply spiritual people who inhabit them deserve to be met at a slow and steady pace.”
~ Indagare’s Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley

Related: Finding Serenity in Bhutan

Switzerland

The Engadin Valley is home to countless picturesque hikes, including the 8,000-foot-tall Muottas Muragl, which offers blanket-covered benches and inspirational quotes on plaques along the way. Zermatt and its neighboring villages also feature more than 200 miles of scenic trails. In addition to guided and solo hiking excursions, Indagare can arrange paragliding, biking and summer skiing on the Klein Matterhorn, which is open year-round—then, head to Zurich or Geneva for a few days of cultural touring.  

In Indagare’s Words: “Switzerland’s landscapes often feel otherworldly, given the combination of green grass, alpine lakes and magnificent vistas. I especially loved trekking from Interlaken to Harderkulm and soaking in the views from Two Lakes Bridge. A steep hike, with a well-deserved payoff.”
~ Indagare’s Avery Carmichael

Related: What’s New: Stylish Ski Escapes

Nepal

– Nikki Erlick on August 20, 2018

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