It seems like all hikers have certain places on their bucket lists. Nepal, Peru, Iceland. These are all really great hiking destinations, and they deserve their spot as the some of the best hiking destinations in the world. But, there are a whole bunch of lesser-known, off the beaten path hiking destinations.
If you choose to visit one of these lesser known hiking destinations, you will be rewarded with amazing views with fewer crowds!
When people think of hiking in the Alps, their minds usually turn to Austria, Switzerland or Italy. But the Julian Alps in Slovenia are absolutely equally as stunning. While Slovenia is technically part of the Balkans, historically it has significant ties to Austria. So a trip to Slovenia will offer amazing hiking opportunities as well as a diverse cultural experience!
For the most spectacular hikes in Slovenia, be sure to look into some of the great hut-to-hut trekking in Triglav national park. If you want something that has more of a cultural aspect to it, then you are looking for the Juliana Trail. Slovenia is a small country, if you have plenty of time, it is great to add it to a Balkan Roadtrip so you an experience more of this underrated region of Europe!
Ecuador is a small country that has some big neighbors. When people think of hiking in South America, their minds usually start in Peru, Chile or Argentina. But, Ecuador is also an Andean country, so it shares similar quality of hiking but with far fewer visitors.
Everyone with some knowledge of mountains will recognize the name Cotopaxi, but there is way more to Ecuador than just volcanoes. Some of the most spectacular hikes include Cajas National Park and the Quilotoa Loop. If you are looking for more great suggestions to add to your Ecuador Itinerary, be sure to check out this list of the 5 best backpacking trips in Ecuador as well as a few suggestions for 1, 2 and 4 week trekking itineraries.
People don’t usually think of the Middle East as a hiking destination, but they should! The region is characterized by the desert environment, which makes it something unique. Jordan stands out amongst its neighbors for hiking due to the new Jordan Trail that has been introduced.
The whole Jordan Trail is a 400 mile hiking route from the far north of the country all the way down to Red Sea. Along the way it passes by some of the country’s most iconic landmarks such as Petra and Wadi Rum.
Of course, 400 miles is a long walk, so it is possible to add just certain sections into your itinerary. The Dana to Petra section of the trail is particularly famous and would only take 3 or 4 days of your Jordan itinerary!
Africa is a huge continent. Despite this, when people go on hiking holidays in Africa, the mostly travel to the same places: South Africa and Kilimanjaro. But, there are other destinations on the African continent that offer up some world-class hiking, and Namibia should be at the top of that list!
The most famous hike in the country is the Fish River Canyon trek. A 4-5 day hike through the second largest canyon in the world. But, there are also some other great hiking destinations such as Sossuvlei and Damaraland. To top it off, Namibia is an excellent African country to visit for the intrepid independent traveler. If you are willing, it is a great country for a self drive adventure.
No matter what style of travel you prefer, there are great hiking opportunities for any Namibia itinerary!
Bolivia is a seriously underrated country in South America. It is called the Tibet of the Americas and that is for a good reason! The country is one giant high altitude plateau interspersed with some of the most amazing natural locations on earth!
Besides the particularly famous places like Salar de Uyuni, Lake Titicaca, and the most dangerous road in the world, Bolivia also has some spectacular mountains. The Cordillera Real are some of the most spectacular peaks on the globe, with Huayna Potosi being the crown jewel of the range.
This is just a list to give you some ideas for hiking holidays that are lesser known gems. Of course, there is great hiking in all corners of the world! If you are looking for some lesser known gems closer to home, there are still some off the beaten path hiking destinations even in the USA.