Fast can be great, but it isn’t always best. Sometimes taking life at a slower pace, gives you more chance to enjoy it. That’s why trekking holidays have been so popular for so long. Here are three of the best.
Although there are plenty of exotic and exciting treks all over the world, some of the best are closer to home. The West Highland Way is a 100 mile trek from Milngavie to Fort William and takes in moorland, woodland, hills and mountains. It’s perfectly possible to walk the West Highland Way on your own, but many people enjoy doing it as part of a group, which can help keep you motivated when the going gets tough. You do need to be reasonably fit to enjoy this trek.
The Inca Trail (Peru)
This is one of the world’s classic treks and with good reason. The scenery is simply breathtaking. There are variations on the trip, which runs from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, (the nearest town to the legendary Inca city of Machu Picchu); however the classic one is a distance of some 50 miles. Although this is relatively short, people considering it need to remember two key points. Firstly this trail is at very high elevation. Most travellers spend at least a day in Cusco to acclimatize. Secondly, this trail is very steep. Many travellers underestimate how challenging it is. There are plenty of people walk the trail each year and thoroughly enjoy it; however there are also semi-frequent occasions when travellers have to be taken back to Cusco by helicopter, due to having over-stretched themselves. In short, this is a superb trek, but if you are in any doubt as to your ability to cope with it, there’s a train goes to Aguas Calientes, which is also an outstanding trip. In fact, many travellers walk the Inca Trail from Cusco and get the train back from Aguas Calientes to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Narrows (U.S.A.)
This route is also demanding, since it is literally through a river, which means walking along a slippery surface (the base of the river is covered with rocks, which are full of algae). Trekkers also need to be prepared for the occasional short swim. The reward for this effort is to take in the unique geology of the canyon walls on either side of the river. Essentially the river has formed a path through rock and it’s continual flow keeps carving new shapes into the soft rock. The scenery is, literally, like nowhere else on earth.
Whatever trek you choose, good preparation is essential. You need to by physically fit enough to cope with the route and you also need to take the right equipment for the terrain and the time of year. Affordable travel insurance is a must-have, even if trekking in the UK, since household insurance policies are unlikely to cover all your potential needs.