Polly Nightingale

Most of us like the opportunity to get out and stretch our legs for a while, especially in this fine weather. On my lunchtime amble through the Suffolk countryside I pondered the various walks and hikes available around the globe, in an attempt to achieve some sort of top 5 treks. Here’s what I came up with, but do you agree?

  1. The Inca Trail, Peru. It’s a perennial favourite, of course, and remains extremely popular, so you’ll not find yourself alone admiring the views, but maybe sharing the experience with others is all part of the experience. Anyway, it’s a classic and you’ll see some truly stunning Andean scenery culminating in that first tantalising glimpse of Machu Picchu. If you’re not one for camping, the luxury lodge trek offers greater comfort on an alternative, less used route still ending at Machu Picchu.
    Inca trail, trek to Machu Picchu

    Inca trail, trek to Machu Picchu


  2. The Druk Path Trek, Bhutan. If you like getting off the beaten, this 5-day route in Bhutan may be just your thing. You’ll be walking along a wilderness trail past remote lakes from one valley to another. As well as snowed capped Himalayan peaks, you’ll see some of Bhutan’s best dzongs (mighty fortresses), located in strategic locations guarding the valleys and their settlements. Don’t forget your camera – there will be some superb photo opportunities along the way.


    Prayer flags on footbridge, Bhutan


  3. Walking Safari. Safaris don’t all have to be about big game and scenery, the small things count, too. Zambia is the home of the walking safari and offers unrivalled chances to get close to nature and see the fine details that you’d on a game drive. Without the cocoon of a vehicle you’ll be part of the environment not a mere observer. Discover your inner Ray Mears as you brush up on your bushcraft skills under the expert eye of your guide and protection of an armed ranger.


    Zambia walking safari – South Luangwa


  4. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Though usually termed a climb, this is really more of a trek, not needing special climbing gear, albeit a rather extreme one. If you like a challenge, look no further! And just imagine the thrill of standing atop the highest mountain in Africa. You’ll be in safe hands – some of our guides have summited over 400 times. They’ll encourage and motivate you every step of the way and help you in this ultimate achievement.


    Kilimanjaro lunch break – www.kiliclimbs.com


  5. Trek to Petra, Jordan. Yes, the goal is Petra, but on the way you’ll travel through some unforgettable scenery including vast wadis, lush valleys, deep gorges and dramatic mountain passes. This is remote, rural Jordan and you are following an old Bedouin migration route and may encounter local herdsmen on the way. You’ll have chances to explore ancient Byzantine and Nabatean ruins, little visited by tourists. Finally you’ll enter Little Petra, often overlooked, before arriving at the Monastery of Petra on foot just as did the ancient traders.


    Walking to the Monestary Petra Trek – day 5

Do you have a favourite you’d like to share? Can such experiences be compared and ranked? Although all are different, they are linked in that they all demand effort and reward it with stunning views, discoveries and a sense of achievement which can be addictive. You have been warned!