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Re: Finding Hikes and Backpacking Routes Abroad

Hi All - I love to travel and explore internationally. Typically my trips have been to cities, but I am now wanting to shift into having an outdoor adventure focus.

Looking for a few good resources and/or advice on how to find good hikes, backpacking routes, guided outdoor adventure stuff, etc. internationally.  

Thanks in advance!

5 Replies

Great idea! I've done some of that, and been thrilled with the outcomes. 

One of my tricks is to search companies that lead active international trips. REI. G Adventures, etc. I'm a do-it-yourself kind of traveler, but I get good ideas from what they are planning. 

I've also done a lot of Google searches for hiking/backpacking in various countries or parts of the world. 

And I have spent a lot of time thinking about what *I* am looking for. Day tripping or backpacking? DIY or with a group? High elevation or low? Hot or cold? Cultural experiences? Long or short? Comfortable or rugged? Good with multiple levels of ability, or not? Carry your own stuff or not?

My international bucket list includes:

  • Nepal tea house trekking (I've actually done it twice, but I *highly* recommend it
  • Iceland (driving the ring road and/or just taking bigger hikes)
  • Kilimanjaro
  • Pervian Andies trekking - Machu Picchu or alternatives
  • European hikes (a friend of mine has gone on a bunch of self-guided hikes using this company )
  • New Zealand - I found this site helpful: 
  • Pategonia, especially Fitz Roy. 
  • Antarctica (not really a big hiking trip, but sure an outdoor adventure!)

There are *tons* of others. 

I also subscribe to several travel sites (my favorite is ). One day they had an article about trekking in the Everest region - and it caught my eye and my interest. So ask your friends, and keep your eyes open. The right thing will walk past 🙂

Good ideas @islandinthemist, especially looking at guided trips for itineraries and good routes to link many sites together.  I am a do it yourself type, but it is nice to get tips and routes from professionals.  Lonely Planet has a few useful regional trekking guides I have found helpful (Patagonia, Himalaya, New Zealand, Banff etc.).
I also enjoy history and culture, and have really enjoyed time in the Carpathian mountains, jungles of Laos, Andes/Patagonia, Amdo (Tibet), hiking to temples in China and more.  Understanding the history and culture can go a long way to have a more intense experience.  while you surrender autonomy for guided tours, you often access terrain and people that you can't really do alone.


How about a Camino in Spain. There are “self-guided” tours, but having used a company for our first Camino from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela for our first camino four years ago I do not believe that is necessary, and is much more expensive than booking the same hotels yourself. There are also albergues (shared rooms) along many of the routes which can make a Camino much less expensive. There are Caminos that can take 6-8 weeks to walk and others less than a week, some are very flat and other have many ups and downs and ups. Many of the caminos include cities on the way for exploring and rest. Last year we walked the Camino de la Costa (Portugues) from AGuarda in Galicia to Santiago de Compostela (SdC),and saw not more than a handfull of pilgrims. (That could have been because we walked in Dec.) We have also walked the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to SdC, spectacular views along the Hospitales stage especially the wild horses. Last month we walked from Irun to Vitoria-Gasteiz via the San Adrian Tunnel and along the Roman road afterwards. Buen Camino. Ultreia!

I totally agree with the prior posting. For anyone wanting to take a hike abroad, or for that matter, just an enjoyable hike, consider the Camino. As the individual stated, given the various trails there is something for everyone. I have hiked much of the Camino Frances and am considering one of the Portuguese routes. As an individual around 70 - I found that I could easily adjust the route and the level of rigor to my preferences and abilities.  There is a tremendous infrastructure here which accommodates hikers including luggage transfer and a variety of hotel/inn/albergue options.  Don't worry about going alone, within a day or two of hiking, you will soon have several new friends which you can share a beer or dinner with along the way. -- Barry from Ohio.


I've used apps like AllTrails and they occasionally have data on international routes.

My best advice would be to ask locals if you can (could include hotel concierge, airbnb hosts, etc.). Do that well in advance though and while you're planning, for your own safety! I'm always hesitant to let people I don't know know what unfamiliar ground I'll be stomping around. I usually ask for a list. 

Anyone who has actually done a route will be 100x more valuable than relying on random info you might find which could be outdated, subjective, or (my least favorite) marketing.