Lauren Jones ticks off 10 of the world’s best walking trails.

1 The Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Patagonia's Torres del Paine National Park features the kind of views that will leave you awestruck while you hike: mountains, forests, the Grey Glacier, clear blue lakes and great open plains. The "O Circuit" is a gruelling 10-day trek that showcases the best the park has to offer. Other shorter options include the "W circuit" - a popular multi-day hike that takes in most of the highlights in the park over five days. Keep an eye out for pumas; they can be found in the region and are most active early morning or at sunset, and if you're very lucky you may just spot one.
When to go: October to April.

2 Tour du Mt Blanc, Europe

Starting in Chamonix, France, this 167km hike takes you through Italy and Switzerland before looping back to the start point. The full track can be completed in 10 days, but take your time and enjoy this spectacular region. Circling around Mt Blanc and its mountain range, you'll pass through villages where you can indulge in all the best things these European countries have to offer - wine, cheese and bread - then walk it all off the next day. There are accommodation options along the way, so you don't need to rough it in a tent, and there are plenty of guided tours available too.
When to go: Mid-June to early September.

3 Laugavegurinn Trail, Iceland

This 80km trail takes in mountain passes, waterfalls, glaciers and volcanoes and - although the world has come to believe differently thanks to Sir Peter Jackson - the valley of Thorsmork is said to have inspired much of Tolkein's descriptions of Middle Earth. Trek this route over four days, with the option to add on an extra 25km walk to the stunning 60m-high Skogafoss waterfall at the end. Huts are available but be sure to book well ahead of time, otherwise you'll need to bring a tent.
When to go: Huts are available late June to early-September.

4 Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada


This trek is great for natural navigators and is one of the few hikes that requires you to pass a navigation test beforehand. Once successful you are free to navigate your way through the Long Range Mountains and over the top of the Gros Morne Fiords by yourself but remember, there are no trail markers along the way. There are however plenty of moose, caribou and black bears. If you are directionally-challenged, guided tours are available.
When to go: July to mid-October,

5 Inca Trail and Anascocha Trek, Peru

The Inca Train is possibly one of the most famous treks in the world . . . which also makes it one of the most crowded. It is a route worthy of any bucket list, of course and you can choose from a number of trails that run through beautiful mountains, right up in the clouds with ancient Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels along the path, before reaching the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. If you prefer a trail less-travelled, try the Ancaschocha Trek. It's more strenuous but, according to Erik Weihenmayer - the first and only blind person to summit Mt Everest - it's more rewarding. The trail doesn't end at Machu Pichu but you can take a short bus and train ride to get there to top off your adventure.
When to go: May to September.

6 Cinque Terre, Italy

Providing a different kind of picturesque beauty, the Cinque Terre links five coastal Italian villages - Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso - with colourful villas perched precariously along the cliffs in front of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. A Unesco World Heritage site since 1997, the villages date back as far as AD643 so as well as the pretty houses and laneways, you'll find ancient castles, churches and clifftop sanctuaries. Since the devastating flash floods of 2011, some routes remain closed to visitors. For a short stay, try the Sentiero Azzurro route, also known as the Blue Path, which will take around five hours to complete, or the Sentiero Rosso - a nine to 12-hour hike for experienced walkers. Accommodation in the villages is expensive and books up quickly, so plan well in advance.
When to go: May to October.

7 Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, Tasmania

One of the Great Walks of Tasmania, this four-day guided hike takes in the dramatic coastline of Mt William National Park. You'll see beautiful beaches, secluded coves, kayak the Ansons River and hopefully spot platypus, wombats and Tasmanian Devils along the way. Accommodation is in the Forester Beach Camp and the luxury Bay of Fires Lodge so you'll enjoy pampering as well as fresh air and exercise.
When to go: November to April.

8 Pacific Crest Trail

This one was made world famous thanks to Wild, the Reese Witherspoon movie based on Cheryl Strayed's autobiographical book. The full trail takes in three US states - from the Mexican border in California, up through Oregon and Washington - for more than 4200 km, across the Sierra and Cascade ranges and seven national parks. But it's no walk in the park - watch or read Wild before you decide to take on this one as you may change your mind.
When to go: April to October.

9 Dana to Petra, Jordan

The trek from Dana to Petra is dubbed the best hike to do in the Middle East. Hiking through desert, over high ridges and through gorges, this hike passes through diverse climate zones and ecosystems, mountains and canyons, ending in the ancient city of Petra. Best tackled as part of a tour group, depending on your fitness the walk can take anywhere from three to 10 days.
When to go: March to May, or September to November.

10 Te Araroa Trail

Of course, we had to include something from our own backyard, and why pick just one of New Zealand's great walks when they are now linked together in the Te Araroa Trail? Spanning more than 3000km, Te Araroa runs from Cape Reinga to Bluff and comprises 160 tracks, including the Queen Charlotte and the Tongariro Crossing. If you don't have four to five months available to tackle it all in one go, plenty of the tracks can be walked as standalone day walks or multi-day hikes.
When to go: For the full trail, start at Cape Reinga in October and work your way down the country.