A lot of people love to walk. We do it not just a means to get from point A to point B but we walk as a form of recreation, exercise, and relaxation.
We came up with a short list of the most unique and beautiful walking paths that you can go to in different parts of the globe.
Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia)
This UNESCO World Heritage site was once a battle field when Croatia was still fighting for its independence. It is a forestland with quite a number of waterfalls and 16 radiant lakes. The glow of the lakes come from the dissolved limestone deposited through its 10,000 years of history.
Nature lovers will enjoy the network of wooden boardwalks which cross through the waters. The tourism office designed the “H” itinerary of the walk and you will need about 5 hours to complete the enchanting walking path and seeing all of its wonderful features.
The Lower Lakes forms over a canyon of limestone while the Upper Lakes are amid a thick flora of fir and beech. Most tourists are attracted by the thunderous sound made by the Veliki Slap with its waters coming from 230 feet above. This falls is part of the Lower Lakes.
Ifugao Rice Terraces (Philippines)
The Ifugao Rice Terraces can be found on the northern portion of the archipelago of the Philippines. It is considered as among the wonders of the world. The rice terraces stretches from the province of Ifugao, Mountain Province, Benguet, Apayao, and Kalinga – all considered as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rice terraces were made by the ancestors of the Batad Tribe, said to the oldest group mountain tribe in the region. It is believed that most of the Ifugao Rice Terraces have been made using their bare hands and some primitive tools about 2000 years ago.
Walking on the paths of the rice terraces is like a walk up the stairways of heaven. The site is now under the list of endangered UNESCO sites because of tourism in the area. The one in Batad is among the most preserved area of the terraces. Other famous sites are the ones in Bangaan, Mayoyao, Nagadacan, and Hungduan.
Great Wall (China)
The Great Wall of China dates back to the Ming Dynasty. Sadly some portions of the 4,200 mile wall are poorly preserved. About 30% of it has vanished. You can go to the Great Wall can be done with a day trip arrangement from Beijing. A walking tour can take you from the tourist-crowded Badaling portion, complete with shops and museums, to the dilapidated parts which do not have anything to give you but a great view.
For the more adventurous ones, you can arrange for a 5-hour trek of the Great Wall from Jinshanling to Simatai. You will traverse the serpentine path and see ramparts and watchtowers with very rich history. Walking along the Great Wall is not a brisk in the park but you might find yourself scrambling or crawling at times on rubbles, stones steps, and small holes. The lush green you will see makes it all worth it.
Island of Madeira (Portugal)
Around 600 miles off Lisbon, the Madeira island is famous for some walking trails not for anyone with fear of heights. The island also has network of irrigation stretching for about 1,000 miles and this is lined with narrow but leveled walking paths.
Walking at these paths in Madeira will take you through claustrophobia inducing tunnels and will make you pray as you cling to anything you can hold on to when you walk on the edges of cliffs.
There are also walking paths big enough to be enjoyed by families. If you are coming with your loved ones, you can check out the Levada dos Balcoes which start at the Ribeiro Frio and end at a very high jagged peaks. There is also another trek to Portello taking you through thick greens and wild orchids. Negev (Israel) The Negev is a triangular piece of land known as a region where Old Testament characters like Abraham and his people wandered. There is a network of dry beds of streams known as wadis which you can follow to explore the arid landscape. The site of desert flowers is wonderful after the rains but it can also get ugly since the areas are also prone to flash floods.
The walking paths are named. There is the Wadi of the Tree where a lone tree of acacia provides a resting shade and serves as mark to the start of the path. The Wadi of Gevanim is what they call the sandstone colored paths. The spring near Ardon Wadi is an oasis for animals like the ibex. An ancient motel made of stone serving the Spice Route of the old Nabatean is another site to behold.
A walk through the region of Cappadocia in Turkey is more like of a surreal trek. It is like walking amid chimneys of fairies or more like putting yourself in a painting of Salvador Dali. Tourists will most like have a smile on their faces when they walk through the valley of monoliths. The shapes of the rocks can range from mushroom, umbrella like, or more into a PG rated phallic similarity.
Walking into some of these columns will reveal hand carved churches, pigeon coops, bee hives and even houses. There is one famous site you should not miss – the Love and Honey Valleys considered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Westmann Islands (Iceland)
The island of Heimaey is the only part of Westmann Islands with human settlements. It is quite a walk since the island boasts of its volcanic origin in all possible ways possible.
There is a 4-mile path that you can take along the west side of the island. The trek will kick off near a golf course with lava fields serving as its boundaries. The view is purely magnificent as you will see the blue waters, farmlands, and streams of black lava. Along the way, you will see puffin birds, oystercatchers, and guillemot.
As you reach the southern tip of the island, you will see a weather station which has recordesd gusts as strong as 110 knots.
The defensive walls around the city are the most defining feature of Dubrovnik. A walk atop these fortress walls gives you a different perspective of this part of Croatia.
Make sure to rent an audio guide near the Pile Gate of the wall so you will be properly guided and not be distracted with the crowd. The audio guide will give you a good historical background of the place and explain to you the architectural details of the wall.
Some parts of the wall maybe as high as 80 feet. Some maybe as narrow as two feet. It will be clear to you why this bastion was not penetrated when you see the fortresses and towers. The southeastern portion of the wall is considered to be the strongest of the structure and was used protect the people during the Croatian War.