Treks and trails for mere mortals
Alpine peaks, waterfalls, views of the Eiger – they’re all at your doorstep. (David Tomlinson/LPI)
Walking – just simply walking – can be one of the best ways to experience a place. The pace and the perspective mean you see things you would never spot otherwise, from the first glimpse of a breathtaking vista to the discovery of a tiny wildflower. While attempting an epic trail can seem intimidating, there are countless rewarding trails to suit the average traveller with a less than Olympic fitness level.
No need to lug a tent and sleeping bag in your backpack for these walks. Here are 10 great spots to base yourself for comfortable day walks.
Grand Canyon, United States -- A stroll along the rim is spectacular, or you can descend into the canyon for a different perspective.
Aoraki/Mount Cook Village, New Zealand -- Several easy trails depart from the village, including the popular Hooker Valley Track with its amazing views.
Lake District, England - Ramble along hedgerows and among fells where Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth found their inspiration.
Torres del Paine, Chile - It is hard to believe that this rugged landscape offers accessible day walks. Tour companies offer guided walks from a permanent base or you can go at it alone.
Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland - Alpine peaks, waterfalls, views of the Eiger - they are all at your doorstep.
Brecon Beacons, Wales - From waterfalls to Norman Castles, there is something for everyone here. The National Park Authority offers guided walks.
Kakadu National Park, Australia - Short, easy walks take you to Aboriginal rock art sites and amazing views of the Escarpment. Regular ranger talks are a great way to learn about the art and culture.
Taman Negara, Malaysia - You do not have to venture far into the jungle to feel like you have entered another world. For a thrill, organise a night walk - your guide will probably find you a giant scorpion!
Dartmoor, England - Imagine Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's baying hounds pursuing you over the lonely moor - or perhaps not! The National Park Authority offers guided walks.
Sapa, Vietnam - Local guides can introduce you to life among the terraced rice paddies and surrounding villages.
A lot of people find multi-day walks intimidating because of the amount of gear you need. But with services from huts to bag-ferrying, these multi-day hikes are within reach even for the non-hardcore!
Canada - Companies such as Strider Adventures in British Columbia offer multi-day or shorter walks with llamas to carry the gear. Too easy!
Cinque Terre, Italy - Some walk it in a day, but why not take your time? There is a train that can take you back to your starting point.
New Zealand - The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a stunning, easy 3 to 5 day trail with huts provided by the Department of Conservation.
Peru - The Inca Trail is actually not too tough, and the less-crowded Lares Valley trek still enables you to get to Machu Picchu via bus.
Spain - On the Camino de Santiago de Compostela there are services that will schlep your luggage for you over the last 100km. Or you could buy a donkey to carry your stuff.
United Kingdom - Services like Sherpa Van will transport your bags between B&Bs each day on iconic walks including England's coast to coast and Scotland's west Highland way.
Yosemite National Park, United States - A relatively flat stretch of the John Muir trail runs through Tuolumne Meadows; if you want to tackle more, some companies offer guided trips.