In today’s world people try to escape the cities and the noise, go back into the bosoms of nature for peace or satisfaction. Here are some of the most enthralling, self-guided and must-do treks around the world.
1. Everest Base Camp, Nepal
The trek to the top of the world is reputed to be one of the toughest. From Lukla (2,860m) to the base camp (5,360m), the 8-day trek is a challenge even for the strongest. Altitude sickness is serious threat and time should be taken for acclimatisation. But the end result is simply like a dream.
2. Trans-Zanskar, India
This 350-km route requires much technical knowledge and fitness on the part of the trekker. Located in northern most regions of India among the Karakorum’s, the 17-day trek is above 5,000m for most of the route. It requires careful planning and government permission. The best time to visit is from July to August.
3. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
This route in the Himalayas goes around the foot of the Annapurna mountain range. Fitness is required to complete the difficult Eastern portions of the trail, while the western part of it is relatively smooth and easy. They are divided by the ‘Thorung La’ pass at 5,416m. The best time to visit the 260-km trail is March to May & October to November.
4. Kungsleden, Sweden
The King’s Trail’ is a 270-mile (440-km) long route through the arctic regions in the country’s north. Through forests and valleys, the route is a balance of slopes and plains. But completing the entire length requires time. Normally a 50-mile hike of the northern part of it is advisable. The trail runs through four national parks and a reserve.
5. Santa Cruz Trail, Peru
This is a typical mountain hike with gentle slopes. But the up-and-down trek through two passes makes the 50-km trail difficult and challenging. High up the Andes, it can snow at any time throughout the year. But it is not heavy during summers from May to September.
6. South-West Coast Track, Tasmania
Said to be the most difficult trek in ‘Down Under’. The 155-km trail through the swamps and rainforests requires 10-14 days of slogging in the mud. This region sees some of the heaviest rainfall in the island. December to March is the best time to visit this place, while winter only makes it more difficult to travel in such wet conditions. Choice is yours?
7. GR20, Corsica
‘Grande Randonnee’ or Great Trek runs through the length of the interior of the island. It is arguably the most difficult trail in Europe, running for 200-km north to south. The Northern part is more rugged and difficult. The trail is open all year, but it becomes more dangerous in winters from November to May. Then it can be crossed only by those with experience and a guide.
8. Torres Del Paine, Chile
The wild Patagonian plains can be unforgiving, but there are now dedicated trek routes criss-crossing the plains. The 63-mile route can prove a challenge to even the seasoned. The strong and chilly wind makes it even more difficult. The sight of the ‘Torres’ or stone towers and the glaciers is worth the effort.
9. Naukluft Trail, Namibia
This 120-km trail is situated in the Namib Naukluft Park, among the arid and dry plateau. The trail is considered to be one of the most difficult in Africa. Trekkers have to use their water sparingly. The trail is usable only from March to October as it gets too hot in summers. There are shelters along the trail, but be careful of the snakes and Scorpions.
10. Pyrenees Haute Route
This famous route passes through the Pyrenees along the border of France and Spain. The path is steep and rocky. It is a very strenuous trek and requires the trekker to carry all his personal gear. This 5-8 day trek offers the wilderness of Europe. Untouched and undisturbed, waiting only for you.