The 10 best treks in the world

Ask experienced hikers for the best trek in the world and each will give you a different answer. But among the heated debates, there are a couple of trails that always tend to crop up.

These 10 treks are amongst the best on the planet; all of them require a sturdy pair of lungs, fit legs and a good amount of preparation. But the reward is an experience that lasts a lifetime.

GR20, France

This demanding 15-day (168km, 104mi) slog through Corsica is legendary for the diversity of landscapes it traverses.

There are forests, granite moonscapes, windswept craters, glacial lakes, torrents, peat bogs, maquis, snow-capped peaks, plains and névés (stretches of ice formed from snow).

But it doesn’t come easy: the path is rocky and sometimes steep, and includes rickety bridges and slippery rock faces – all part of the fun. Created in 1972, the GR20 links Calenzana with Conca.

Inca Trail, Peru

The 33km (20 mile) ancient trail was laid by the Incas and brought to mainstream attention by Hiram Bingham when he 'discovered' it in 1911. Daily hikers were restricted to just 200 in 2018.

The result is a more tranquil experience for those fortunate enough to get permits, and increased protection for the archaeological site, which was suffering under the strain of its popularity.

Hikers should still take extra care to make sustainable choices when visiting.

The trail starts from the Sacred Valley. Views of mountains and high cloud forest combine as you walk from one ruin to the next, all building up to the first sighting of the iconic stone settlement.

Pays Dogon, Mali

‘The land of the Dogon people’ is one of Africa’s most breathtaking regions. A trek can last between 2-10 days, taking in the cliffs of the Bandiagara escarpment inlaid with old abandoned dwellings.

The Dogon are known for their masked stilt dancers, intricately carved doors and pueblo-like dwellings built into the side of the escarpment.

Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Reaching a height of 5,545m (18,193ft) at Kala Pattar, this 2-3 week trek is popular, thanks to its scenery and romanticism; successful trekkers stand at the base of the world's highest mountain.

The trail threads between small, characterful mountain villages en route to the famous campground and is trafficked by Sherpa people of the Solu Khumbu.

The heights are literally dizzying until you acclimatise to the altitude, and the continuous cutting across valleys has its ups and downs. Be warned: prime trekking season brings crowds.