Sri Lanka

10 hikes that will help you reconnect with nature and yourself


There are many hikes around the world that are believed to promote physical, mental or spiritual health. These trips, or in some cases, pilgrimages, took place in Europe, Asia, and even North America, as in the United States. To reconnect with yourself and nature, follow one of these ten peaceful wellness paths found around the world.


10 Boynton Canyon, Sedona, Arizona, USA

This gorgeous trail near Sedona, Arizona is a round-trip that usually takes about 2.5 hours to complete. This is one of the top hikes in Sedona, and it’s fairly flat, making the distance manageable. The trail takes hikers into a box canyon and past the ancient Sinaguan Indian site. As one of the few “vortex spots” in the world, this hike is believed to be therapeutic. The trail is dog friendly as long as the pet is on a leash.

  • distance:
    9.8 km

  • Elevation gain:
    252 meters

  • Difficulty level:
    ease

9 Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka

On the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka, travelers can embark on a spiritual journey to the top of Adam’s Peak. Adam’s Peak is one of the most spiritually significant places in Sri Lanka. Adam’s Peak has a rock with footprints believed by Buddhist tradition to belong to Buddha. The round trip route to Maskeliya, near Nuwara Eliya, is considered difficult due to the large increase in altitude to the summit. The trip takes an average of about 5 hours to complete and is best hiked between January and May.

  • distance:
    8.9 km

  • Elevation gain:
    965 meters

  • Difficulty level:
    hard

Related: Sri Lanka’s Best Kept Secret

8 Gang Rinpoche, Tibet

This point-to-point trail near the Ngari region in Tibet is considered challenging due to its elevation gain and distance. Travelers must first acclimate to the altitude before attempting this trek, which exceeds 5,000 meters above sea level. Mount Kailash is a holy place for Hindus and Buddhists. Hiking around the mountain is considered a sacred ritual that brings good luck to the hiker.

  • distance:
    14 kilometers

  • Elevation gain:
    700 meters

  • Difficulty level:
    hard

7 Inca Trail, Peru

Few places in the world possess the same spiritual energy as Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail that led there. Due to the high altitude, the Inca Trail is a challenging route, requiring hikers to spend a few days in Cusco before setting off so they can acclimate. It traditionally takes 4 days to complete the trek, ending with a stunning view of Machu Picchu.

  • distance:
    40 kilometers

  • Elevation gain:
    1600 meters (approximately)

  • Difficulty level:
    hard

Related: What You Need to Know About Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

6 Kumano Kodo, Japan

Kumano Kodo is a spiritual pilgrimage that is part of Japan’s cultural heritage. Hiking can be done in a variety of ways with different route choices and takes travelers through the small villages and beautiful scenery of the rural Kansai region of Japan. Kumano Kodo hiking is best in October and November, when temperatures are cooler and the leaves are changing color.

  • distance:
    15.4 kilometers (Zhonghechi line)

  • Elevation gain:
    618 meters (Zhonghechi route)

  • Difficulty level:
    ease

5 Camino De Santiago, France and Spain

The Route of Pilgrimage to Santiago is a pilgrimage through Western Europe starting at Port Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Pierre in France, passing through Spain, and ending at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. The trek can be completed in about 28 days and is a formidable undertaking. The duration and challenges of the trek are part of the personal and spiritual journey that takes place on the road. This route takes visitors to the place where St. James is believed to be buried in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which is the main reason why this route has such religious significance.

  • distance:
    838 kilometers

  • Elevation gain:
    17,688 meters

  • difficulty level
    : hard

RELATED: What You Need to Know About the Last Stop on the Camino De Santiago

4 table mountain south africa

Climbing Table Mountain via Indian Venster and Cape Town’s Platteklip Gorge is the adventure of a lifetime. This loop is extremely challenging, requiring steep elevation gains, but can be easily completed in a morning or afternoon. Table Mountain is a flat-topped granite and sandstone peak overlooking Cape Town, and its abundance of quartz is part of what makes it a spiritual place to explore. Quartz is known for its healing properties.

  • distance:
    7.4 km

  • Elevation gain:
    840 meters

  • Difficulty level:
    hard

3 Tiger’s Den Trail, Bhutan

This round-trip route from Bhutan is a magical experience, taking an average of about 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete. Tiger’s Den is Bhutan’s holiest shrine, so it’s worth the high altitude challenge to reach this incredible structure. There is a rest stop halfway where hikers can relax at a cafe before continuing to the shrine.

  • distance:
    6 km

  • Elevation gain:
    594 meters

  • Difficulty level:
    ease

2 Fushimi Inari, Japan

Hike a sacred path through the 30,000 torii gates that wind their way up Mount Inari. Travelers can complete the walking tour around Japan’s iconic Kyoto in less than 1.5 hours (which is also very touristy), and it’s best to do so early in the morning to avoid crowds. This ensures a complete experience embracing the serenity of Japanese nature and the serenity of Fushimi Inari Shrine. Plus, Kyoto itself is one of the best city and country destinations in Japan because it has the best of both worlds.

  • distance:
    4.5 km

  • Elevation gain:
    168 meters

  • Difficulty level:
    simple

1 Angkor Wat Trek, Cambodia

Treks to Angkor Wat in Cambodia take 5 or 8 days and hikers pass through local villages, rice fields and jungles. The long journey ends with a magnificent sunrise over the Khmer architectural wonder of Angkor Wat. The sunrise at Angkor Wat was also considered the best in the world in a 2022 study.

  • distance:
    varies by route

  • Elevation gain:
    varies by route

  • Difficulty level:
    ease



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