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 35 16 18 38 (7) 100
2= Inca Trails * Peru Cuzco/Inca Heartlands Area 34 15 17 35 (3) 98
2= Mustang Nepal 32.5 17 16.5 34 (2) 98
4= Petra Area Jordan Petra 32 16 19 36 (7) 96
4= The Dolomites Italy Dolomites 37 17 8 36 (2) 96
6 Torajaland Indonesia Sulawesi 31 14 17 33 (0) 95
7= Drakensberg Escarpment South Africa Drakensberg 35 17 6 36 (0) 94
7= Garwhal, Kumaon Himalaya * India NW: Uttaranchal/Garwhal 36 17 12 34 (5) 94
7= Source of the Ganges and Above India Uttaranchal 36 17 12 34 (5) 94
10= Cappadocia Turkey Cappadocia 31 17.5 16 33 (4) 93.5
10= Hajar Mountains Oman 31 16 14 32.5 (0) 93.5
12= Annapurna Region * Nepal Annapurna Region 36 17 10 37 (7) 93
12= Grand Canyon USA SW: Grand Canyon 34 20 2 38 (1) 93
12= Mt Everest Region * Nepal Everest Region 38 19 5 38 (7) 93
12= Torres del Paine / Fitz Roy Massif * Chile/Argentina Patagonia 37 18 2 36 (0) 93
12= Wollo Highlands Ethiopia 31 15 15 32 (0) 93
17 Q'adisha Valley * Lebanon 31 14.5 16 33 (2) 92.5
18= Accursed Mountains (Albanian Alps) * Albania 33 15 12 32 (0) 92
18= Gemmi Pass * Switzerland 34 15 10 33 (0) 92
18= Great Wall China 31 13 18 34 (4) 92
18= Himalayan Far North * Myanmar 32 16 12 32 (0) 92
18= Mount Athos Greece 31 14 15 32 (0) 92
18= Mount Kenya Kenya Mount Kenya 35 19 5 36 (3) 92
18= Mt Meru Tanzania 35 20 3 36 (2) 92
18= South East Asian Hill Tribe Walks Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam 30 15 16 31 (0) 92
18= Taygetus and the Mani Greece Peloponnese: Taygetus range and the Mani 31 15 14 32 (0) 92
27= Eastern Hajar Mountains * Oman Eastern Hajar Mountains 32 17 10 32 (0) 91
27= Gavarnie-Ordesa Circuit France/Spain Pyrenees 34 17 5 35 (0) 91
27= Jebel Toubkal Area Morocco High Atlas 33 16 10 32 (0) 91
27= Julian Alps Slovenia Julian Alps 34 17 8 32 (0) 91
27= Lofoten Islands Norway 35 16 7 33 (0) 91
27= Manaslu Circuit * Nepal 36 16 10 35 (6) 91
27= Picos de Europa Spain Picos de Europa 34 17 6 34 (0) 91
27= The Caucasus * Georgia Caucasus Mountains 34 15 10 32 (0) 91
27= Tibet's Monastery Koras China Tibet 30 15 18 32 (4) 91
36= Coast to Coast, Lake District UK England, Lake District 33 15.5 9 33 (0) 90.5
36= Hadrian's Wall Path UK England 30.5 14 17 34 (5) 90.5
36= Huangshan China Eastern 36 17 12.5 35 (10) 90.5
36= Japan's Pilgrimage Routes * Japan 30.5 13 18 31 (2) 90.5
36= Lake District UK England, Lake District 33 15.5 9 33 (0) 90.5
36= Piatra Craiulai National Park * Romania Carpathian Mountains 32 16 12.5 30 (0) 90.5
36= The Amalfi Coast * Italy Amalfi Coast 32 14.5 15 32 (3) 90.5
43= Avenue of the Volcanoes * Ecuador Central Andes 35 19 3 34 (1) 90
43= Copper Canyon * Mexico 33 18 5 34 (0) 90
43= Corsica (GR20 and others) * France Corsica 33 17 8 32 (0) 90
43= Cotahuasi and Colca Canyons * Peru 34 17 8 34 (3) 90
43= Gran Paradiso * Italy Alps: Gran Paradiso 35 17 4 34 (0) 90
43= Illampu Circuit * Bolivia 36 17 3 34 (0) 90
43= Jomolhari trek Bhutan 36 17 8 34 (5) 90
43= Kangchenjunga / Singalila * India Sikkim and nearby 37 17 6 35 (5) 90
43= Markha Valley * India Ladakh 34 15 10 34 (3) 90
43= Mont Blanc Area France Alps 36 16 6 35 (3) 90
43= Nanda Devi Area * India NW: Uttaranchal/Garwhal 35 16 8 34 (3) 90
43= Pindos/Vikos Circuit Greece 32.5 16 8.5 33 (0) 90
43= Reunion Island * France Indian Ocean 32 18 6 34 (0) 90
43= Royal Trek * Nepal Annapurna Region 32 14 12 32 (0) 90
57= Alpine Pass Route * Switzerland 36 16.5 4 34 (1) 89.5
57= Cockpit Country * Jamaica 30 16.5 12 31 (0) 89.5
57= Matterhorn Circuit * Switzerland 34 15 7.5 35 (2) 89.5
60= Assynt Peninsula UK Scotland, Northern Highlands/Assynt 35 18 3 34 (1) 89
60= Blyde River Canyon * South Africa 32 18 5 34 (0) 89
60= Cadair Idris UK Wales, Snowdonia 31 15 12 31 (0) 89
60= Cairngorms UK Scotland, Cairngorms 33 16 6 34 (0) 89
60= Camino de Santiago * Spain 31 15 16 31 (4) 89
60= Dachstein * Austria The Dachstein 35 17 3 34 (0) 89
60= Dogon Country * Mali 31 14 14 30 (0) 89
60= Eiger Trail * Switzerland 35 16 8 32 (2) 89
60= French Pyrenees France Pyrenees 36 16 4 33 (0) 89
60= Galapagos Islands Ecuador Galapagos Islands 34 20 2 34 (1) 89
60= Kunisaki Peninsula * Japan Kyushu 31 12 16 30 (0) 89
60= Monte Rosa Circuit * Switzerland/Italy Alps 36 16 6 32 (1) 89
60= Mount Rinjani * Indonesia Lombok 36 19 2 34 (2) 89
60= Otavalo Area * Ecuador Northern Andes: Otavalo Area 34 17 5 33 (0) 89
60= Simien Mountains * Ethiopia 34 16 8 33 (2) 89
60= Spanish Pyrenees Spain Pyrenees 36 16 4 33 (0) 89
60= The Arsenale to the Salute, Venice Italy 34 5 20 36 (6) 89
60= Tongariro Alpine Crossing New Zealand North Island 34 19 2 36 (2) 89
60= Upper Humla Valley Nepal 33 15 12 31 (2) 89
79= Altai Mountains Mongolia 33 14.5 8 33 (0) 88.5
79= Fiji Mountain Walk * Fiji 31.5 15 10 32 (0) 88.5
79= Stubai Hohenweg * Austria 35 15.5 4 34 (0) 88.5
79= Tash Rabat Kyrgyzstan 33 15 10 31.5 (1) 88.5
79= Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia Northern Territory 32 16.5 14 34 (8) 88.5
79= Walkers Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt) * France/Switzerland 35 16.5 5 34 (2) 88.5
85= Around Yangshuo, Guilin China 31 17 12 33 (5) 88
85= Burgess Highline Trail * Canada BC/Yoho 34 19 3 32 (0) 88
85= Canyonlands National Park * USA SW: Canyonlands NP 35 17 0 36 (0) 88
85= Cinque Terre * Italy 32 14 12 32 (2) 88
85= Easter Island * Chile 30 13 12 33 (0) 88
85= Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming * USA Western: Grand Teton NP 35 17 2 34 (0) 88
85= Great Gable UK England, Lake District 32.5 15.5 10 30 (0) 88
85= Great Volcanic Ridge Spain Canary Islands: La Palma 32 19 3 34 (0) 88
85= Haraz Mountains * Yemen 30 14 12 32 (0) 88
85= Iceberg/Hooker Glacier Lake * New Zealand South Island 35 16 5 32 (0) 88
85= Las Canadas and El Tiede Spain Canary Islands: Tenerife 33 18 3 34 (0) 88
85= Malta Coastal walk * Malta 33 13 17 32 (7) 88
85= Meteora Greece 32 16 16 34 (10) 88
85= Mount Sinai * Egypt 30 14 15 32 (3) 88
85= Odessa Lake * USA Western/Rocky Mountain NP 36 17 2 33 (0) 88
85= Orkney Islands UK Scotland, Orkney Islands 32 17 8 32 (1) 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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