Best Multi Day Hikes Around the World: 5 Great Walks

Nothing beats multi day hikes. Bill Bryson summed it up best in ‘A Walk in the Woods,’ after hiking the Appalachian Trail:

“Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot. A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the very limits of conception. The world, you realize, is enormous in a way that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know. Planetary scale is your little secret”

Bill Bryson

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There’s something magical about the rhythm of wake, walk, sleep (repeat). From my home state of Western Australia to Europe, SE Asia and South America, read on for 5 amazing multi day hikes I’ve completed so far, including 1 bonus, my longest trek to date!

Here are my 5 favourite multi day hikes:

Multi Day Hikes in South America

5. Torres del Paine ‘W’ Trek

Day 5 TDP Fee Atlas Introspective

Location: Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia, South America.

Distance: Approx 75 km / 46.5 miles (dependent on itinerary)

Time: 4-6 days

Difficulty: Moderate. Some scrambling up rocky inclines but no rock climbing.

Highlights: Cordillera del Paine, Glacier Grey, Valle Frances, Torres del Paine.

The W trek is one of two multi day hikes I completed on a trip to South America. The W trek in Chilean Patagonia is typically completed in 5 days at a pace of approximately 20km per day. Accommodation options include free or fee-paying campsites and hostels or refugio’s dotted throughout the park. Tours are available but this is a straightforward hike and is well signposted. Competent hikers can easily complete the hike without a guide. Basic food is available at the refugio’s, but is quite expensive. Absolutely no camp fires outside of designated camp fire areas.

Want to find out more? Plan your itinerary!

4. The Inca Trail (Camino Inca)

Location: Peru, South America

Distance: 43km / 26 miles

Time: 4 Days

F MP Atlas Introspective

Difficulty: Moderate. The highest peak is 4200m above sea level and hikers may experience altitude sickness. Day 2 & 3 involves steady uphill climbs on uneven terrain.

Highlights: Machu Picchu

Of my top 5 multi day hikes, the Inca Trail is the only trek that must be completed with a guide. Book early as there are limits to the amount of people who can trek per day & operators book out months in advance. I can highly recommend Peru Treks, they were amazing & advocate for sustainable tourism and porter welfare.

UPDATE: since I completed the hike, numerous tour operators have popped up with a variation of the name ‘Peru Treks’ & the website I booked through is no longer registered. When booking your tour, prioritise tour operators that pay their guides and porters a living wage. Other tour companies offering multi day hikes based in Cusco and the Inca Trail that come highly recommended include, Apu’s Peru, Llama Path & Quechua’s Expeditions.

Facilities on the trail are basic. Hikers typically camp with 2 people per tent and squat toilets are located throughout the trail in varied states of cleanliness.

Porters are available and I encourage hikers to use them. Not only does it provide work for the locals but the altitude adds an extra layer of complexity to the trek. It can be difficult to anticipate how you will cope with the altitude, and shouldn’t be underestimated. Drinks and snacks are available for sale throughout the trek and the tour group arranges the main meals. It’s essential that you spend a minimum of 4 days in Cusco prior to hiking the Inca Trail to allow your body to adjust to the altitude. Read on to find out more about hiking the Inca trail.

As a rule, I don’t travel without travel insurance. When completing multi day hikes overseas, ensure that your travel insurance policy covers you for adventure activities.

3. Cinque Terre

Location: Italian Riviera, Italy

Distance: 10 mile stretch of coastline, each village is approximately 2 hours apart

Time: 3-4 days

cinque terre compress Atlas Introspective

Difficulty: Basic fitness. Lots of uphill/ downhill climbs. Option to take the train on the return journey if needed.

Highlights: UNESCO World Heritage listed ‘Five Lands’. The 5 villages that make up Cinque Terre:  Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Book accommodation in one of the five villages and spend the days hiking through vineyards and terraced farmland overlooking the Liguarian Ocean. Stop for lunch in one of the villages and then head home for siesta. A train connects the villages for those wanting to skip the return hike. Some of the most incredible food you can imagine for multi day hikes is found in Cinque Terre: hearty Italian meals with local wine and gelato for dessert! Cinque Terra is a great getaway for hikers who enjoy creature comforts like fine dining, local wines and a hotel room at the end of a long day.

2. Sapa Village Hills Trek

Location: Sapa, North-West Vietnam

Fiona hiking Atlas Introspective

Distance: dependent upon itinerary

Time: approx 2-3 days

Difficulty: Basic fitness. Beware of fast flowing water during river crossings.

Highlights: Village homestay

Hire a local guide and experience some of the local culture. Tour guides are typically women of the Hmong tribe and often include a village homestay. Get to know some locals and learn about the culture of the rural hillside villages.

Multi Day Hikes: Western Australia

1. Stirling Range Ridge Walk

Location: Stirling Range National Park, Great Southern Region of Western Australia

Distance: 23km / 14 miles

Time: 3 days

Ellen Peak Atlas Introspective

Difficulty: Moderate. Some scrambling up rocky inclines, but no rock climbing. Knowledge of basic navigation is essential as this is not a well-marked trail. This is not a managed trail and there are no facilities available (ie toilets or water source).

Highlights: Bluff Knoll

Multi day hikes are best completed in their purest form: no managed route, camping ground or toilet facilities. Bring everything you need and leave nothing behind but your foot prints. Spend 3 days on the Stirling Range Ridge and experience 3 days in remote in Western Australia.

Don’t have time to complete the Ridge Walk? Bluff Knoll is a half day trek and is one of the highest peaks in Western Australia. During Winter, lucky hikers may catch a glimpse of snow on Bluff Knoll, the only place in WA that experiences alpine conditions.

Multi Day Hikes: UPDATE

multi day hikes

Since originally writing this post, I have completed another amazing multi day hike in Western Australia, the Cape to Cape. The Cape to Cape is a 135km trek along coastal Western Australia, book-ended by two iconic lighthouses at Cape Naturaliste in Dunsborough & Cape Leeuwin in Augusta.

The Cape to Cape has been my longest multi day hike to date, and took us 6 long days. Each day we covered up to 30+km and the trail includes some long beach sections.

Multi Day hikes: leave no trace

What are your favourite multi day hikes? Happy Trails!