The Magnificent Seven: the world's greatest treks

Whether you’re exploring unsullied wildernesses, getting among beautiful landscapes or spending time with remote communities, trekking unlocks destinations in a unique way, making walkers truly a part of a place, and helping give a rich appreciation of both local cultures and scenery.

Peregrine started in Nepal, and we started on foot. Three decades on, our trekking trips explore some of the world’s great wild places. We asked our trekking expert Lou Day to give us a run through some of her top trips on foot.

Kamchatka Volcano Trek

“Russia’s luminous, far-flung peninsula of peaks is one of the least terrestrial parts of the planet, a land of fire and ice that truly earns the description ‘elemental’: fumaroling chain of peaks, bubbling mud pools and hot springs, lava flows, glaciers and rich sea-life. Walking gets you right into the action: atop Avacha, for example, gives you blow-you-away mountain grandeur – think volcanic plumes nearby; a parade of jagged, raw mountains in white and purple; and the seething Pacific far beneath.”

Salkantay Trek and the Inca Trail, Peru

“The classic Inca trail with a great big cherry on top, and a walk that the National Geographic named as one of the world’s greatest. It’s a trek that adds a whole new dimension to Peru’s classic Inca trail, with the three extra days trekking getting you among remote reaches of the Sacred Valley’s fortress of peaks, with tougher climbs, higher altitudes and more stupendous views. And of course your endpoint is Machu Picchu, arguably the finest final moment of any walk.”

Simien Mountain Trek, Ethiopia

“It may lack the instant recognition of, say, a Kilimanjaro climb, but for serious trekkers Ethiopia is a destination of great allure – and particularly the UNESCO-listed Simien Mountains. This is a movie-star mountain range, reminiscent of South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains, with huge crinkled folds of rock blanketed in shades of green, gold and brown. There are 25 peaks here over 4,000 metres, with Ras Dashen topping out at 4,543 metres, and varied trails lead from the high plateau through small villages, alongside deep valleys, sharp precipices and past pinnacles.”

The Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea

“Iconically tough, trekking the Kokoda Track is emotionally challenging as well – you’re stepping through history in PNG’s Owen Stanley Range, with Second World War battle sites peppering the trail. But it may be the physical demands that provide the most powerful memories. Hilly and hot, slippery and root-strewn, the trail across PNG’s backbone is as formidable as it is beautiful, the many panoramic viewpoints over the lush mountains providing both spectacular reasons to halt and much-needed rest stops.”

Tour du Mont Blanc

“This classic trek spans three countries and distils what’s so special about on-foot exploration in Europe into a week of walking: the mixture of the rugged and cultured; landscapes that move from looming glaciers to peaceful pastured valleys; trails that vary from riverside rambles to high cols. Byron wrote that the area was ‘the paradise of wilderness ‘ – see the Trient Glacier and walk over the Grand Col de Ferret, gaze upon glassy Lac Blanc and move through fields of wildflowers and it’s difficult to disagree.”

Bhutan Sacred Summit Trek

“Home to what is commonly regarded as the world’s toughest trek – the Lunana Snowman Trek – and Gangkhar Puensum, earth’s highest unclimbed peak, Bhutan is a mecca for trekkers looking for seldom-trodden challenges. The sacred summit trek explores the Chomolhari Range on the Tibetan border. After negotiating wildlife-rich forest, above the tree-line is a wonderland of glacial lakes, pyramidal summits clad with glaciers, scree slopes and passes with unsurpassable Himalaya views.”

The Larapinta Trail, Australia

“The red centre’s great trek follows the West Macdonnell Ranges, a beautiful meeting of two ridges, where ghost gums rise from scorched earth, chasms and gorges of smoothed purple walls offer shady cool, while icy waterholes and night skies of a million stars woo all who walk here. Larapinta’s wonderful finale: a sunrise ascent of Mount Sonder, to witness the desert bloom into its morning colour of burnt umber.”

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