The Prettiest Hikes for Beginners

By Jessica Russo


Admit it - you're not exactly a professional hiker. Sure, you like to be active and you have a thirst for adventure, but you're nowhere near ready to scale mountains or trek to a snowy peak. Congratulations, you're just like the rest of us.

Of course, everybody wants show-stopping photos, especially when visiting destinations known for their unbelievable landscapes. These "do-able" trails are hiking boot-worthy, but are short and sweet enough for even the least-experienced hikers. Grab a bottle of water, charge your camera, and get exploring! Ain't no mountain high enough for you.


Italy: Cinque Terre

The candy-colored, old-world villages of Cinque Terre are filled with adorable shops, authentic restaurants, and happy locals. Since cars are not allowed on the streets, you have two options: take the train or hike! The trails between the towns of Cinque Terre offer absolutely breathtaking views of the bright blue water, brightly-colored homes, and the greenery of mountain-side vineyards and olive groves. Tiny fishing villages connected by paths of pure nature? Yes, please. These hikes range from easy walks to moderate hikes (stone steps and uneven surfaces).
For more info on trails, hours, and possible closures, click here!


South Africa: Lion's head

Get ready to feel on top of the world! Whether it's to see the purple haze of sunrise, the bright light of day, or the pinks and oranges of sunset, hiking Lion's Head in Cape Town is always a good idea. About 3/4 of this hike is easy - I'm talking straight uphill walking and stone stepping. The last quarter, however, is a bit more intense. If you're not a fan of mountain-side chain ladders, you don't need to make it all the way to the top for amazing views. You'll be wide-eyed the entire way! One little pro-tip: it gets very dark at night, so be sure to be timely if you're hiking to see the sunset. If you're feeling extra adventurous, and aren't afraid of the dark, look into a full moon hike!


Ireland: Gleninchaquin, County Kerry

They don't call it "kerry" green for nothin'! Take a nature walk through lush grasses and rolling hills at this picture-perfect park. You might even catch yourself thinking: this is exactly how I pictured the Irish countryside. Spot peaceful waterfalls and wave hello to sheep and other wildlife!


Iceland: Sólheimajökull Glacier Walk

This 3-hour walk may be "easy," but its scenery is absolutely impossible to forget. Wear warm clothing, rent some ice gear, and feel like a true explorer! Discover this true winter wonderland of ice, ridges, and deep crevasses on this breathtaking glacier adventure! Don't worry about technical requirements or any of that; guides will be there to help you.


Chile: Torres del Paine

While hiking up to the peaks is a trek for very experienced hikers, Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia is filled with easier trails. Walk your way through unbeatable scenery and out-of-this world nature. Easy enough to take pictures as you go? You betcha'.


Croatia: Plitvice Lakes - Trails A, B, E, F

This heavenly national park boasts crystal clear turquoise lakes, countless waterfalls, and lush vegetation. Walk through dreamlike nature on these easy-to-walk wooden trails and take tons of photos along the way! Go ahead, soak up the beauty and make your friends jealous!


Switzerland: Jaunbach Gorge

Enjoy a nature-filled hike along Lake Montsalvens and through the Jaunbach Gorge. You can even see Gruyeres Castle from afar! Cross a bridge that stands above a fjord-like inlet, see trickling waterfalls, and gaze at amazing rock formations. Follow wooden walkways and tunnels through this stunning landscape, and after about 3 hours, you'll find yourself in a medieval town known for its delicious cheese! The perfect post-hike snack? I think so.


France: The Gentle Nature Walk at the Cirque de Gavarnie

Ahhh, the Pyrenees Mountains - what a sight! Feast your eyes on spectacular cliffs, snow-capped mountains, and emerald greenery. Walk local trails and immerse yourself in the magic of France's natural beauty! Your camera will get a workout, but you can feel free to mosey about leisurely.

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