The Ultimate Trekking Year?
The World's Best Treks by Month
If you had a year to take on the best treks in the World. Where would you go? What would you do? Here is my list of the world's best treks by month. So if you are looking for inspiration for a year or just a month here is a list of the world's best treks by month.
January: Climb Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Kilimanjaro, the world's highest freestanding mountain, the highest peak in Africa and one of the seven summits. Do you need any more excuses to pack your boots? In January the weather is generally dry and views good as it is before the rains. Make no mistake, the summit day will draw on every physical and mental reserve you possess, but watching the African sunrise from the crater rim and reaching Uhuru makes every step worthwhile. Not only will you start the year with a bang but You are guaranteed to work off any festive season excesses in a flash.
February: The Routeburn Track, New Zealand
Voted by numerous polls and experts as the No. 1 most impressive Great Treks The Routeburn Track is a classic and no visit to New Zealand is complete unless you have walked in the Southern Alps. February is one of the warmest, but not necessarily driest months to tackle the Routeburn Track. Go on, escape to the other side of the world today! There is pretty much nobody else that will offer you a self-guided, supported trip along the Great Walks of New Zealand, so incredibly happy to have added The Routeburn Track to our portfolio this year.
March: Everest Base Camp, Nepal
If like me, you dreamed of climbing Everest as a child and have read countless books and articles recounting the drama played out high on the slopes of Mount Everest you won't be able to resist the pull of Everest. If you love the high mountains and dream of great adventures then the trek to Everest Base Camp simply has to be on your to-do list. Spectacular mountain scenery and welcoming local guesthouses run by Sherpa people make this one of my favourite treks. Even writing about it makes me want to rush back to Kathmandu right this minute. Dry warm days, crystal clear mornings and quiet trails mean that March is the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp.
April: The Otter Trail, South Africa
Striding along deserted beaches and swimming rivers as you follow the Southern Coast of South Africa is a walking memory that will stay with you forever. The Otter Trail is South Africa's most famous walk for good reason and due to a strict permit system fills up many months in advance.
If you get in early aim for April, the end of summer is the ideal time to walk the Otter Trail as you won't have to endure the heat of the summer but will enjoy warm water and weather. Availability can be a real problem as spaces on the trail are limited and the hike is very popular with South Africans.
To my knowledge, there are no commercial operators running this trek so you have to book directly with the South African National Parks.
May: The West Highland Way, Scotland
Undoubtedly Scotland's, and arguably the UK's finest long-distance walk, which I have been lucky enough to enjoy on six occasions. The West Highland Way is a unique journey through the Highlands of Scotland that allows you to experience the best of Scotland up close and personal. I have walked the West Highland Way, at least in some part, during every month of the year and although each has its attractions if I was going to plump for one month it would probably have to be May. The weather is generally settled and the midgies are not yet really out in force. Be warned that you will have to book many months in advance. Macs Adventure offers a range of self-guided West Highland Way Holidays.
June: The Inca Trail, Peru
Recently voted, by Macs Adventure customers, as the trek they would most like to do, the Inca Trail is one of those treks most walkers aspire to. Maybe it's the ancient history and mystery of the route but I suspect that none of us can resist the drama of watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu. May to September are the driest months on the Inca Trail and although cold at night the days are dry and warm. By trekking in June, you avoid the busiest holiday months of July and August. Inca Trail Peru is a great non-commercial site with a wealth of information to help you plan your trek and there are numerous commercial operators in Peru and around the world who feature The Inca Trail.
July: Tour du Mont Blanc, The Alps
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a breathtaking 105-mile trek around the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps. Passing through Italy, Switzerland, and France this tough route scores A+ for scenery, challenge and camaraderie. This long-established trek can be as comfortable as you wish. Stay in mountain refuges if you wish or alternatively several companies offer itineraries which include hotel and pension accommodation on most nights. Do yourself a favor and start planning your Tour du Mont Blanc trek today.
August: John Muir Trail, California
Born in Scotland, John Muir, a pioneering conservationist was the driving force behind recognizing the value of Wilderness in the USA. He was a founder of the Sierra Club and his activism helped save Yosemite. The John Muir Trail is a real wilderness trek for hardened hikers. It stretches for 211 miles through the Sierra Nevada, passing through several of the Western United States' best wilderness areas including Yosemite and the Sequoia National Parks. The high passes on the trail can hold now until mid-July so for the best weather and hiking the trail in August should give you the best experience. Make sure you have your permits organized well in advance and be sure to watch out for bears! The Best Hikes website has a comprehensive guide to walking the John Muir Trail.
September: Kungsleden, Sweden
Early September is a great time to experience the Kungsleden Trail, a 275-mile trek in the far North of Sweden. Journeying through the wilderness and tundra of Arctic Sweden you will experience one of Europe's last true wildernesses. The Kungsleden has been listed as one of the "World's Best Hikes" by National Geographic so it is one that is essential to tick off the list! We offer the trip as a 7-night itinerary you will hike between simple and traditional mountain cabins in spectacular settings. You will carry your own pack and a small supply of provisions. The walking is fairly easy, and the path easy to follow, whilst still giving you that true mountain experience.
October: Walking in Tuscany, Italy
The food, wine and refined atmosphere of Tuscany would be the perfect tonic after the wilderness of the past two months. The landscape of Tuscany could never be described as wilderness but the vineyards, olive groves and picturesque hilltop towns are equally beautiful. October is my favorite time for walking in Tuscany. The gentle play of autumn light on auburn vineyards and medieval towns is food for the soul, and that is before you have even started on the food and wine. Why not treat yourself to an indulgent walking holiday in Tuscany?
November: Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Who could not be enthralled by the story of Annapurna by Maurice Hertzog? The gripping tale of the first ascent of Annapurna is the perfect reading material as you follow the Annapurna Circuit. This challenging 16-day trek circles the Annapurna Himal, as you trek through the Himalaya you will be constantly surprised by mountain landscapes and the warmth of the Nepali mountain people. Many consider the Annapurna Circuit to be superior to any trek in the Nepal Himalaya and is a real trekkers trek. Book your Annapurna Trek Today!
December: Torres Del Paine Circuit, Patagonia, Chile
Just the word Patagonia sends a shiver down my neck. The instantly recognizable spires of the Torres Del Paine of one of the mountaineering world's great challenges and dominate sections of the trek. Make no mistake, Patagonia is famous for having some of the worst weather in the world, which is why we recommend you tackle the trek in the summer. Martin Wierzbick's blog about his trek is a great read and his photos are stunning. Enough for one year? I certainly hope so! I am slowly working my way through the list (unfortunately not in a single year), please let me know if you think any treks should be added, omitted or in a different month.
If you have any questions about the route, don't hesitate to contact one of our Destination Specialists, who will be more than happy to help.
This is an updated blog post which was first submitted in 2010