For those who like to spend their holidays in close communion with nature and to escape into their solitude at least for once in their lives, there is no better place than the foot of a glorious mountain. “Walk ten thousand miles, read ten thousand books” goes the wise aphorism by a famous Chinese scholar-wanderer, and rightly so. In that sense, trekking, in particular, is even more relevant to our times for giving us a rare opportunity of being one with precious wilderness.
1. The Nepal Himalaya
Image: On the go Travel
You can say I’m biased for having this in #1 but thats okay . No other region on earth has mountains more massive than the Nepal Himalayas. Home to 8 of the 14 peaks over 8000 meters includingMt Everest, the highest peak on earth, Nepal is quite simply the trekking capital of the world. As the entire northern region of Nepal is covered with these enormous peaks, trekking is more a part of life than a recreational activity and a trail emerges virtually anywhere you go. Of the several renowned treks offered in this section of the Himalayas, the most popular ones are the EverestBase Camp and the Annapurna Base Camp treks which take you to the base of Mt Everest and Mt Annapurna, the first and the tenth highest peaks on earth.
2. Bhutan (The Snowman Trek)
It is a month long trek of epic proportions that takes you acros Bhutan’s pristine mountains amidst some of the most unparalleled views you’ll experience in your life. You will cross numerous high passes, with an average height of around 16000 ft, feasting on the majestic snow covered peaks and turquoise lakes that are hom to several species of wildlife like the extremely elusive snow leopard, blue sheep and yaks to name a few. It also gives you an opportunity to witness the culture of Bhutan, an ancient kingdom where man lives in eternal harmony with nature.
If you want to do this trek, contact a local company and they will take care of everything, although bear in mind that traveling in Bhutan is fairly more expensive than in most other countries insouth Asia due to its exorbitant royalty.
3. Sierra Nevada, USA (The John Muir Trail)
The Sierra Nevada mountain range lies in California and Nevada inthe United States. The wilderness in this area has been preserve by the King’s Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, from where the hikers can obtain their permits to explore this massive region of endless natural splendor. Among the most popular trailsin this area is the John Muir Trail, named after the famous naturalist John Muir who was a pioneer in nature conservation. This trail starts in the Yosemite National Park, and continues 215 milesthrough the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’sCanyon National Park, and ends at the highest peak in continentalUnited States, Mount Whitney at 14,496 ft. Although it is a long trek, it can be divided into several smaller hikes.
4. Peru (The Inca Trail)
Peru was home to the Incas, an ancient race of South Americans whose contributions to the civilization of that region can still befound in the well preserved ruins of cities and monuments from that era. Probably the most famous trek in South America, Peru’s Inca Trail starts from the Sacred Valley to take you through the ancient sites and rocky paths to the world renowned archaeological site at Machu Picchu. It is a 3 to 4 day trek of moderate difficulty with spectacular views of snow-tipped mountains and high cloud forests, a perfect combination of jaw-dropping sceneries and ancient history.
5. Patagonia (Chile & Argentina)
The Patagonian region at the southern tip of South America is a land of exceptional beauty. The main highlights of this region areCalafate and El Chaltén in Los Glaciares National Park, as well as Tierra del Fuego National Park in Ushuaia. These trips offer the most unrivalled mountain scenery in South America and also provide an opportunity to experience the culture of the native South Americans. Lake Argentino, El Chalten and the Fitzroy Mountain are a few of the attractions that any traveler cannot afford to miss in this part of the world.
6. The Alps (France and Switzerland)
The picture perfect mountains of the Alps hardly need any introduction. It is one of the most celebrated regions for mountain tourism across the globe which receives trekkers all year round. There are several ways to experience this gorgeous mountain range butsurely the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route provides the best of the region. Taking a little over 12 days, this route leads from Chamonix in France through the southern Valais to Zermatt in Switzerland and traverses some of the highest and most spectacular sections of the Alps.
7. New Zealand (Routeburn and Milford Tracks)
The landscape that inspired Peter Jackson’s visually engaging Lord of the Rings series is definitely worth a visit in your lifetime. With a unique topography unlike any other place on earth, New Zealand has several world class treks to offer. Most notably, theRouteburn and Milford Tracks are the major highlights of trekkingin New Zealand. Starting at Queenstown, the Routeburn Track passes through the Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks across stunningly beautiful peaks, pristine lakes and cascading waterfalls.Milford Track on the other hand was once considered the finest walk in the world. But, no matter which trek you choose, New Zealand will never cease to inspire and amaze trekkers from across the world.