Trekking

From a couple of days among the hill tribes of Vietnam to weeks in Nepal’s furthest reaches; a timeless classic like Peru’s Inca Trail or a pioneering hike such as around Kamchatka’s volcanoes: for me, trekking sums up what adventure travel is all about – unique experiences that immerse you amidst incredible landscapes and cultures. I’ve trekked in Nepal many times and it remains a favourite. Whether you head east or west from the capital Kathmandu, out to the Everest Range or Annapurna, you’re quickly trekking among beautiful hills and valleys with a backdrop of the world’s most spectacular mountain scenery, an endless chain of grey-black slopes leading to glacier-clad saw-toothed mountains, nature’s greatest sculptures. It’s that mix of landscapes and terrain which I think makes trekking so special. A winding path through a beech and pine grove; a snack-stop by a rushing stream; then onwards and upwards, along steepening, frozen slopes to wild, wind-whipped high passes and pristine glacial lakes – moving through such changes and seeing remote corners all on your own steam is by turns exhausting and peaceful, but always hugely rewarding. Peru is a superstar among trekking destinations. The Northern Cordillera are the world’s highest tropical mountains, a perfect range of snow-shrouded peaks where treks mix challenging high passes with verdant valleys. Further south though is the country’s big draw: the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. One of the world’s great walks, the Inca Trail may be famous but it’s not to be taken lightly. The path snakes among some of the Andes most abrupt, most spectacular scenery, by turns stark and lush. To experience sunrise at the Sun Gate, your first view of the iconic ruins four days after setting off – unforgettable. And Africa’s not just all about safari. Morocco’s tawny Atlas, the green folds of Ethiopia’s Simien or South Africa’s rugged Drakensberg – from north to south, the continent has variety and beauty in its mountain ranges. And then there’s the continent’s highpoint: Mount Kilimanjaro. A week or so here tested my legs, lungs and willing, but was undoubtedly worth every moment, my feet transporting me through diverse scenery to Africa’s snow-capped summit, the top of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. There are icons of the trekking world that are still on my to-do list – not least one around Mont Blanc and Papua New Guinea’s Kokoda Track. The two probably couldn’t be more different in terms of terrain, but that’s what so great about trekking – strapping on your boots and stepping onto the trail is the perfect way to get close-ups of the isolated and the out-of-the-way, the rugged and the beautiful.

Our Favourite Trips