North America has an abundance of incredible hiking trails—namely the Triple Crown. Between the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, and Continental Divide Trails—as well as their offshoots—there are plenty of trips to be found at home.
However, there are also some amazing treks abroad that are off of the beaten track. Instead of doing the Machu Picchu Trek or following some of the Kilimanjaro trails, consider checking out one of these destinations instead.
Camino de Santiago
Known in English as the Way of St. James, this hike is a traditional pilgrimage historically led from the westernmost point in Spain on the Atlantic coast, through the countryside, and to Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral, located in northwestern Spain, houses a shrine to St. James. However, in modern day, a number of different routes are accessible. Hikers can register as pilgrims and receive a pseudo-passport that gives access to accommodations and a certificate upon completion of the pilgrimage with a passport stamped at each stop along the route.
The Basho Wayfarer
This week-long walk in northern Japan follows in the footsteps of famed wandering poet named Basho. He told the tales of his travels on this path in an epic series of haikus entitled Narrow Road to the Deep North. Tourists and hikers travel from Sendai—once the home of a samurai stronghold—through a ruined fortress and a series of temples before arriving at a lush forest, and ending at a temple called Yamadera. There are plenty of hot springs and accommodations.
Te Araroa is a 3,000km-long trek across the entirety of New Zealand. It weaves its way through the ring of fire where travelers will see “beaches, volcanoes, mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys”—according to the trail website—and connects with towns and cities as well as the wilderness. There are opportunities to be hosted by locals and experience local cultures and cuisines.