5 epic hiking adventures to escape winter
Explore a lost world in Vietnam
Son Doong is the world’s largest cave and feels like a lost kingdom – fewer people have descended inside than have stood atop Everest. Hiking tours are now beginning to visit and, while it’s not for beginners or those scared of heights, for true explorers it’s the Holy Grail. The best guides start from Dong Hoi, Quang Binh where the Sun Spa Resort lets you mix sunbathing and watersports with this hike of a lifetime.
Walk Australia’s epic coastline
Shipwrecks, penguins and towering rock formations to your left, the Otway National Park to your right. This 100km stretch of Victoria is the Great Ocean Walk. Spend seven leisurely days completing it or pick a section. You’ll take in rocky seashores, deserted beaches and epic cliff-top views. This part of Australia is also known for its food and wine, so be bushman by day, bon viveur by night. Drift off to the sounds of waves at the Great Ocean Road Resort Whitecrest in Apollo Bay.
Hike a volcano in Hawaii
The orange glow on the horizon? That’s lava. Flowing from the active volcano you’re going to hike. A good tale to tell, but designated routes keep you safe on Kilauea – one of Hawaii’s youngest volcanoes at a chipper 100,000 years old. Beginners can explore still-steaming lava fields in a day, experts can take a looping path through Big Island’s volcanic range. Be sure to look down, you might spot the gleam of the two pools at the Cliffs At Princeville – perfect for cooling off afterwards.
Explore the canyons of Oman
Did you know Oman has a grand canyon, the second deepest in the world after its American cousin? One of the most spectacular hikes in the Wadi Nakhr canyon is the Balcony Walk. As the name suggests, the path is narrow at points and perhaps not ideal if you suffer from vertigo. Alternatively, at 6,500 feet above sea level, the Alila Jabal Akhdar hotel lets you admire Oman’s incredible scenery without leaving your daybed.
Trek a quieter trail in Peru
The Salkantay Trek boasts all the grandeur of the Inca Trail – the towering Andes, crystal-clear lakes and hot springs on the way to Machu Picchu – but without the crowds. Go with a guide to find hidden Inca villages and spot wildlife. Afterwards, ease your muscles in Inkaterra Machu Picchu’s spa or by its roaring fires. It’s 30 minutes from the ancient Inca citadel, surrounded by lush Peruvian forest.