Ancient paths, pilgrimage routes, inn-to-inn trails, and cross-country journeys have inspired travelers and explorers for eons. Following courses that have been carved out across dramatic landscapes, you too can experience the thrill of the journey and the many rewards of making it to the end. In fact, we've also been inspired by one of our guests who explained her passion for loop treks, which enable her to go full circle back to the start, but with a new perspective. On our best hikes of a lifetime list, we’ve picked many timeless endeavors, plus a new trip to watch for 2018. How many have you done?
Recently shown in all its glory on the big screen in Everest, base camp is a place of wonder—even if you’re not heading to the top—and the journey through the Himalayan landscape to get there is nothing short of a true quest.
There are few treks as satisfying to serious hikers as England’s classic 192-mile “Coast-to-Coast” trail. Beginning at the Irish Sea and ending at the North Sea, you’ll cross the dramatic landscapes of the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and North Yorkshire Moors. Read more from the guides here.
This trek to the “roof of Africa” combines smart scheduling with spectacular beauty. Beginning in the rainforest at 6,400 feet, you’ll climb through magnificent alpine scenery, gazing at the mountain’s southern glaciers from the hauntingly beautiful Great Barranco Valley, before making our summit bid. Check out our Kilimanjaro webinar here.
For over a thousand years, the faithful have made the journey across northern Spain to the shrine of St. James the Great in Santiago de Compostela. Known as the Camino de Santiago, this epic pilgrimage is an unforgettable adventure.
5. The John Muir Trail
Tracing the spine of the Sierra Nevada, the long-distance John Muir Trail is nearly as celebrated at the naturalist himself! Take the strenuous version northbound to Yosemite National Park or go for an ultimate challenge, and head southbound to Mount Whitney.
With its near-vertical spires soaring high above the plains, Chile’s Torres del Paine massif is a scenic marvel, a place where every serious mountain lover must go. On the famous “W” route, you’ll hike deep into the remote wilderness of southern Chile.
Make the classic 4-day hike on the famous Inca Trail—one of the world’s greatest and most memorable treks! To reserve your trail permit for 2017 be sure to book before the end of December 2017.
This memorable trek is one of our few ultimate challenges. Set in the magical kingdom of Bhutan, you’ll immerse yourself in Buddhist culture by visiting its famous dzongs (citadels) and monasteries, like the “Tiger’s Nest” and “The Temple of the White Dove.”
Even die-hard fans of the Himalaya concede the extraordinary beauty of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world. Challenging? Yes, but a fantastic, bucket-list triumph for those whose hearts lie at the planet’s most impressive heights.
Having led trips to the Alps for over four decades has given us more than our fair share of bias, but the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of our favorite itineraries. Trek the classic 10-day circuit of the Mont Blanc massif—a “must-do” for every hiker!
This trip includes some of the most incredible day hikes in Patagonia. Take a path through the Ascenio Valley to the majestic slopes below Torres del Paine, hike beneath the jagged Cuernos del Paine massif, and take the cirque of the French Valley—all spectacular feats!
12. Walking Japan
On the age-old Nakasendo trail, you’ll walk on undulating forested paths through the misty landscapes of the Kiso Valley, and enjoy the serenity of the route as it weaves its way beside rice fields and through pretty villages.
Join expert MTS guide Erik Perez for an unforgettable adventure from Bilbao to Barcelona, through Arago?n and Catalonia. Hike through the dramatic landscapes of the Pyrenees, including Ordesa National Park, known as the "Spanish Grand Canyon."
Tsum, the hidden valley, is a unique Himalayan sanctuary located in the northern Gorkha which lies in north-central Nepal. Starting from Arkhet, you’ll hike all the way up to Mu Gomba (11,000'), one of the oldest monasteries in the valley.
Experience the raw wildness of the Outer Hebrides and the gorgeous, windswept terrain of Cairngorms National Park on this exclusive itinerary full of heart-pumping hikes. Find yourself amid Scotland’s wildest, most beautiful and most far-flung corners.
Our popular Inn-to-Inn itinerary, following the Salkantay route, lets you experience Peru’s most famous sites and was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler’s “Tours of a Lifetime.” Enjoy the challenge of a high-altitude trek with the comfort of well-appointed lodges.
This adventure in Portugal includes an enchanting day hike through an ancient land of charming stone villages, including the medieval mountain-top village of Monsanto. Rocky cliffs and labyrinthine streets, flower-covered houses and panoramic views make this journey a guest favorite.
Explore the diverse landscapes of Jeinimeni National Reserve and Patagonia National Park, home to a major, bi-national conservation project—an exclusive MTS trip. See our video here!
Journey through six countries, from Slovenia to Albania on this once-in-a-lifetime 128-mile trek in the Western Balkans. See why Outside magazine hailed the Via Dinarica “the best new trail in the world” as you cross fairytale meadows and pristine rivers, and summit some of the Balkan's highest peaks.
20. Hiking in Iran's Alborz Mountains - NEW for 2018!
Join us on an exploratory adventure through breathtaking, contrasting landscapes and cultures of Iran's southern and northern Alborz Mountains. Visit numerous UNESCO-listed sites, from terraced Masuleh village to the magnificent St. Stepanos Monastery to the soaring Dome of Soltaniyeh.