The World's 100 Best Walks

William Mackesy is on a long quest to identify the world's 100 best walks. He is hoping to tackle and assess all the walks himself, and has so far done more than 40% of the likely Top 100 (listed on our about page). His planned book on these walks is provisionally titled "Fat Man Walking: a Good Wheeze". But, as he is over 50 and his knees are in decline, he suspects his ambitions may have to be reduced at some point.

Identifying the best walks requires a system as well as stamina: but what are the essential ingredients of a great walk? See our approach and our walks assessment system.

See William's personal favourites walks.

See our all walks list. And see the countries with the highest concentration of great walks

Here is our (currently preliminary) list of the world’s Top 100 walks, created as part of William Mackesy’s research for his planned book on the World’s Best Walks. See our Walks Assessment System.

The Top 100 is a distillation: some walks on our All Walks list have been combined for creating a definitive Top 100 that avoids inappropriate duplication. (See the footnote below for further explanation.)

See below for some "near misses" from the Top 100.

The rating of walks marked * is currently provisional.

The Top 100

Rank  Walk Name Country Region Beauty Natural Interest Human Interest Charisma Negative Points Total
                   
1 Mount Kailash Kora China
Tibet
Tibet 35 16 18 38 (7) 100
2 Inca Trails * Peru
Cuzco/Inca Heartlands Area
Cuzco/Inca Heartlands Area 34 15 18 35 (3) 99
3 Mustang Nepal
Annapurna & Mustang
Annapurna & Mustang 32.5 17 16.5 34 (2) 98
4= Grand Canyon USA
SW: Grand Canyon
SW: Grand Canyon 38 18 5 38 (3) 96
4= The Dolomites Italy
Dolomites
Dolomites 37 17 8 36 (2) 96
6= Garwhal, Kumaon Himalaya * India
NW: Uttarakhand
NW: Uttarakhand 36 17 12 34 (5) 94
6= Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro 37 19 3 37 (2) 94
6= Mt Everest Region * Nepal
Everest Region
Everest Region 38 19 6 38 (7) 94
6= Svaneti Region Georgia
Gt Caucasus, Svaneti
Gt Caucasus, Svaneti 34 17 10 33 (0) 94
6= Tusheti and Khevsureti * Georgia
Gt Caucasus, Tusheti and Khevsureti
Gt Caucasus, Tusheti and Khevsureti 34 15 12 33 (0) 94
11 Petra Area Jordan
Petra
Petra 31.5 15 19 35 (7) 93.5
12= Annapurna Region * Nepal
Annapurna & Mustang
Annapurna & Mustang 36 17 10 37 (7) 93
12= Himalayan Far North * Myanmar
33 16 12 32 (0) 93
12= Kangchenjunga / Singalila India/Nepal
Sikkim / E Nepal
Sikkim / E Nepal 37 17 8 35 (4) 93
12= Manaslu Circuit * Nepal
34 17 12 34 (4) 93
12= Mount Kenya Kenya
Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya 36 19 5 36 (3) 93
17= Mt Meru Tanzania
35.5 20 3 36 (2) 92.5
17= Source of the Ganges and Above India
NW: Uttarakhand/Garwhal
NW: Uttarakhand/Garwhal 35 16.5 12 34 (5) 92.5
19= Cappadocia Turkey
Central Anatolia, Cappadocia
Central Anatolia, Cappadocia 31 17.5 14.5 33 (4) 92
19= Gemmi Pass * Switzerland
Bernese Oberland
Bernese Oberland 34 15 10 33 (0) 92
19= Great Wall China
31 13 18 34 (4) 92
19= Hadrian's Wall Path United Kingdom
England
England 31 14 18 34 (5) 92
19= Khevi, Kazbegi and the Military Highway Georgia
Gt Caucasus, Khevi
Gt Caucasus, Khevi 34 17 8 33 (0) 92
19= Lofoten Islands Norway
35 17 7 33 (0) 92
19= Madeira * Portugal
Madeira
Madeira 34 17 8 33 (0) 92
19= Peaks of the Balkans Trail * Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro
33 15 12 32 (0) 92
19= Q'adisha Valley * Lebanon
31 14.5 16 32.5 (2) 92
19= Torajaland Indonesia
Sulawesi
Sulawesi 31 14 17 31 (1) 92
19= Utah's Canyon Lands USA
South-west
South-west 36 18 4 36 (2) 92
19= Wollo Highlands * Ethiopia
31 14.5 15 31.5 (0) 92
31= Dolpo * Nepal
Dolpo
Dolpo 34 16.5 10 33 (2) 91.5
31= Drakensberg Escarpment South Africa
Drakensberg
Drakensberg 34 17 6 34.5 (0) 91.5
31= Hajar Mountains Oman
31 15.5 13 32 (0) 91.5
31= Mount Athos Greece
31 13.5 15 32 (0) 91.5
31= South East Asian Hill Tribe Walks Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam
30 14.5 16 31 (0) 91.5
31= Taygetus and the Mani Greece
Peloponnese: Taygetus range and the Mani
Peloponnese: Taygetus range and the Mani 31 14.5 14 32 (0) 91.5
37= French Pyrenees France
Pyrenees
Pyrenees 34 17 5 35 (0) 91
37= Jebel Toubkal Area Morocco
High Atlas
High Atlas 33 16 10 32 (0) 91
37= Julian Alps Slovenia
Julian Alps
Julian Alps 34 17 8 32 (0) 91
37= Picos de Europa Spain
Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa 34 17 6 34 (0) 91
37= The Lake District United Kingdom
England, Lake District
England, Lake District 34 16 8 33 (0) 91
37= Tibet's Monastery Koras China
Tibet
Tibet 30 15 18 32 (4) 91
37= Torres del Paine / Fitz Roy Massif * Chile/Argentina
Patagonia
Patagonia 37 18 2 36 (2) 91
37= Transylvania Romania
Transylvania
Transylvania 30 15 15 31 (0) 91
37= Utah's Slot Canyons USA
South-west
South-west 34 18 1 38 (0) 91
46= Huangshan China
Eastern, Anhui
Eastern, Anhui 36 17 12.5 35 (10) 90.5
46= Japan's Pilgrimage Routes Japan
30.5 13 18 31 (2) 90.5
46= The Amalfi Coast * Italy
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast 32 14.5 15 32 (3) 90.5
49= Avenue of the Volcanoes Ecuador
Central Andes
Central Andes 35 19 3 34 (1) 90
49= Corsica Walking France
Corsica
Corsica 33 17 8 32 (0) 90
49= Cotahuasi and Colca Canyons * Peru
South, Arequipa Area
South, Arequipa Area 34 17 8 34 (3) 90
49= Gran Paradiso * Italy
Alps: Gran Paradiso
Alps: Gran Paradiso 35 17 4 34 (0) 90
49= Huayhuash Circuit * Peru
North, Huayhuash
North, Huayhuash 36 15 6 35 (2) 90
49= Jomolhari trek Bhutan
36 17 8 34 (5) 90
49= Markha Valley * India
Ladakh
Ladakh 34 15 10 34 (3) 90
49= Menz-Guassa Conservation Area * Ethiopia
Central
Central 32 16 10 32 (0) 90
49= Mont Blanc Area France
Alps, Mt Blanc Area
Alps, Mt Blanc Area 36 16 6 35 (3) 90
49= Piatra Craiulai National Park * Romania
Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains 32 16 12 30 (0) 90
49= Pindos/Vikos Circuit Greece
32.5 16 8.5 33 (0) 90
49= Royal Trek * Nepal
Annapurna & Mustang Region
Annapurna & Mustang Region 32 14 12 32 (0) 90
49= Spanish Pyrenees Spain
Pyrenees
Pyrenees 34 17 2 37 (0) 90
62= Alpine Pass Route * Switzerland
Alps
Alps 36 16.5 4 34 (1) 89.5
62= Around Lalileba * Ethiopia
Lalileba Area
Lalileba Area 31 13.5 14 31 (0) 89.5
62= Cockpit Country * Jamaica
30 16.5 12 31 (0) 89.5
62= Jasper NP * Canada
Alberta: Jasper NP
Alberta: Jasper NP 36 16.5 2 36 (1) 89.5
62= Matterhorn Circuit * Switzerland
Alps
Alps 34 15 7.5 35 (2) 89.5
62= Zagros Mountains * Iran
Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains 32 14 11.5 32 (0) 89.5
68= Blyde River Canyon * South Africa
Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga 32 18 5 34 (0) 89
68= Camino de Santiago * Spain
31 15 16 31 (4) 89
68= Concordia Trek * Pakistan
39 18 6 38 (12) 89
68= Copper Canyon * Mexico
33 18 5 33 (0) 89
68= Eiger Trail * Switzerland
Alps
Alps 35 16 8 32 (2) 89
68= Monte Rosa Circuit * Switzerland/Italy
Alps
Alps 36 16 6 32 (1) 89
68= Mount Rinjani * Indonesia
Lombok
Lombok 36 19 2 34 (2) 89
68= Northern Limestone Alps Austria
35 17 3 34 (0) 89
68= Otavalo Area * Ecuador
Northern Andes: Otavalo Area
Northern Andes: Otavalo Area 34 17 5 33 (0) 89
68= Simien Mountains Ethiopia
Simien Mts
Simien Mts 34 16 8 33 (2) 89
68= The Cairngorms United Kingdom
Scotland, Cairngorms
Scotland, Cairngorms 33 16 6 34 (0) 89
68= The Cotswolds United Kingdom
England, Cotswolds
England, Cotswolds 30 14 14 31 (0) 89
68= Tongariro Alpine Crossing New Zealand
North Island, Tongariro Area
North Island, Tongariro Area 34 19 2 36 (2) 89
68= Upper Humla Valley Nepal
Western Nepal
Western Nepal 33 15 12 31 (2) 89
82= Altai Mountains Mongolia
33 14.5 8 33 (0) 88.5
82= Ireland's SW Peninsulas Ireland
Kerry/Cork
Kerry/Cork 34 15.5 8 33 (2) 88.5
82= Kunisaki Peninsula * Japan
Kyushu
Kyushu 31 12 15.5 30 (0) 88.5
82= Tash Rabat Kyrgyzstan
33 15 10 31.5 (1) 88.5
82= Walkers Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt) * France/Switzerland
Alps
Alps 35 16.5 5 34 (2) 88.5
87= Assynt Peninsula United Kingdom
Scotland, NW Highlands, Assynt
Scotland, NW Highlands, Assynt 34 18 3 34 (1) 88
87= Burgess Highline Trail * Canada
BC: Yoho
BC: Yoho 34 19 3 32 (0) 88
87= Easter Island * Chile
30 13 12 33 (0) 88
87= Grand Teton National Park * USA
Western: Grand Teton NP
Western: Grand Teton NP 35 17 2 34 (0) 88
87= Great Volcanic Ridge Spain
Canary Islands: La Palma
Canary Islands: La Palma 32 19 3 34 (0) 88
87= Iceberg/Hooker Glacier Lake * New Zealand
South Island, Mount Cook Area
South Island, Mount Cook Area 35 16 5 32 (0) 88
87= Illampu Circuit * Bolivia
36 17 3 34 (2) 88
87= Kullu Valley * India
NW:Himachal Pradesh
NW:Himachal Pradesh 34 16 5 33 (0) 88
87= Las Canadas and El Tiede Spain
Canary Islands: Tenerife
Canary Islands: Tenerife 33 18 3 34 (0) 88
87= Mount Sinai * Egypt
30 14 15 32 (3) 88
87= Odessa Lake * USA
Western/Rocky Mountain NP
Western/Rocky Mountain NP 36 17 2 33 (0) 88
87= Orkney Islands United Kingdom
Scotland, Orkney Islands
Scotland, Orkney Islands 32 17 8 32 (1) 88
87= Overland Track Australia
Tasmania
Tasmania 34 18 3 34 (1) 88
87= Rif Mountains * Morocco
Rif Mountains
Rif Mountains 31.5 15 10 31.5 (0) 88

Near Misses

And here are some superb "near misses" that merit special recognition:

Walk Name Continent Country Beauty Natural Interest Human Interest Charisma Negative Points Total
                 
Chemin St Jacques Europe France 28 15 15 28 (0) 86
Hua Shan Asia China 32 15 14 32 (8) 85
M'goun Massif Africa Morocco 32 15 8 30 (0) 85
Atacama Desert South America Chile 32 18 0 34 (0) 84
Mount Fuji Ascent Asia Japan 30 17 8 34 (5) 84

Footnote:

In the distillation process some walks in the All Walks list have been combined when creating the Top 100 walks

  • Some may be separate sections of one longer trail, so, while perhaps meriting separate listings in the All Walks list, they should be treated as one walk for establshing the Top 100.
  • While individually superb, some are sufficiently similar or close to each other (e.g. similar landscapes in the same mountain chain, similar "slot" canyons in the US, or different walks in the same national park) to make it pointless to include them separately in the Top 100 walks: people would be likely to want to walk one but not both of them, or giving over-similar or neighbouring walks such prominence would reduce the diversity and interest of the list. Further, the inclusion of both walks separately may detract from the estimation of them both as a result of their similarity.

 

 

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