Okay, so you have watched Reece Weatherspoon in Wild and can’t wait to hit the trail!
Or perhaps you are like me and just want to kick off your heels and get your hiking boots on!
Well you have found the right place to get inspired for your next adventure. Kate Torrone, travel editor from lifestyle magazine Indepedent Femme, shares her recommendations on incredible hikes for independent women.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and one of the coveted Seven Summits (highest mountains on each of the seven continents). Standing at 5,895m, Mount Kilimanjaro is the ultimate trekking challenge. You will have to put up with 7 hour days of hiking through tough terrain at high altitude, for at least 6 days in a row!
But there reaching the summit of this great peak is nothing short of amazing! A truly life enhancing experience.
There are 6 routes up Kilimanjaro. We recommend the Machame (7 day version) or Lemosho (8 day option) as they provide the best acclimatisation profiles, and therefore summit success rates are high (around 90%).
To tackle Kilimanjaro you will need to be in fantastic physical shape, but don’t need any technical climbing skills. To find out more check out our Kilimanjaro page.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of those hikes that we think any intrepid traveller needs to do at least once. The trail is super popular as it is the original route used by the Incans to pilgrimage to their holy site, Mach Picchu.
Due to it’s popularity the Peruvian government only allow 500 people onto the trail each day (thats number includes guides and porters, so the actual number is closer to 250 tourists per day). To get a spot on an Inca Trail trek you will need to book with a registered tour operator. Permits are in hot demand and sell out months in advance during the peak season of May through to October. We recommend booking 6 months in advance.
If you fail to secure a permit don’t panic. There are a number of alternative trekking trails to Machu Picchu that are equally as nice as the Inca Trail. Check out the Salkantay route for inspiration.
EBC via Gokyo Lakes
If you are a mountain fanatic then the Himalaya will be your Mecca!
By far the most popular route in the Himalaya is the Everest Base Camp trek. On it you will follow in the footsteps of all the famous mountaineers that have followed the EBC trekking route for the past 60 years as part of their summit bids on Mount Everest.
The standard route takes around 12 days to complete, but if you have a few more days to spare then we highly recommend the Gokyo Lakes variation. This is a clockwise circuit route that takes you via Gokyo before closing the famous Cho La pass and joining up with the classic trail to Everest Base Camp.
Whatever you do make sure you build in enough time to trek to the top of Kala Patthar where you will be greeted with panoromic views of the Solukhumbu region and Mount Everest herself!
Mount Toubkal is the highest peak in North Africa and a famous trek for those who want to experience high altitude but don’t have much time.
The route takes you deep into the High Atlas, a magical area with stunning oasis valleys, Berber villages and cascading deep red mountainscapes. Most tours start in Marrakesh with a transfer to Imlil before the real trekking begins. In total you are looking at 4-5 days in the Atlas before returning to Marrakesh.
The highlights are this trek are staying in local Gites, which are Berber hostels and eating tasty local meals. The hike up Toubkal is challenging but totally doable. Just don’t rush. Make sure you are well acclimatised to avoid the dreaded altitude sickness.
Torres del Paine W and Fitz Roy
Patagonia is probably my favourite trekking destination. The Torres del Paine national park is absolutely magical. The most famous trek is the full circuit, however I high recommend the W trek combined with a transfer to Argentina where you can complete the Fitz Roy trek.
The combination of outstanding mountain scenery, emerald blue lakes and enormous glaciers make this trek a photographers dream.
Make sure that you have done some proper training though, some days involve clocking up some serious mileage!