When you live in a city, you know exactly how it feels to stand in a cramped overcrowded space. The bustling urban life comes with some drawbacks, and being surrounded by an incessant stream of people is definitely one of them. Having to take the metro every day and share an apartment building with loud neighbors can really do a number on your nerves. In order to preserve the inner balance, we have to reward ourselves with treks through airy environments that give us a sense of freedom and space we cannot get in an infrastructurally developed metropolis. If you need to get away from people and decompress for a while, here are five gorgeous places you need to visit before tourists come flooding.
Lake Baikal is known as the world’s largest freshwater lake. With a surface area of 31,722 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 1,632 meters, it’s an impressive location lined with endless shoreline trails and sights to enjoy. Along the 50-kilometer route, you’ll hit the shore and walk inches away from water and climb the 767-meter tall summit of Mount Listvyanka. This part of Russia is one of the least trekked regions on the planet, which makes it excellent for exploring before the lake becomes swamped with tourists. If you have a chance, try to visit it during the winter months. Visiting Baikal over a winter is a real treat since the entire surface freezes over. The ice has a uniquely rich texture filled with cracks and glowing patches, which makes it look like something straight out of a fairytale.
People associate “mountain trekking in Europe” with the Alps, which is really unfair if you stop for a moment to consider everything the Pyrenees mountains have to offer. A natural border between France and Spain, they are hit by the waves of the Atlantic on the one end and the Mediterranean Sea on the other. They stretch for 491 kilometers, with its highest peak, Aneto, reaching 3,404 meters, so there is a lot of ground to cover if you decide to take this trail. The most scenic trail to take is actually the one that stretches from the Atlantic shoreline to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a great undertaking, but the entire mountain is brimming with top-notch lodgings that offer cozy beds and tasty food.
Once again, we have a mesmerizing location overlooked due to its more popular counterpart. Mount Kilimanjaro stands east of Mount Cameroon and it gets so much more attention, but the letter option also offers so many beautiful untrodden trails in untouched nature. Standing at 4,040 meters, Mount Cameroon is West Africa’s highest mountain and the fourth most prominent peak. It is also an active volcano, which adds a dose of excitement to the trekking endeavors. Don’t worry, the volcano is being monitored for more prominent activities and the route itself is not particularly long. Along its 38-kilometer path, it offers the view of the Atlantic on the one side and endless plains of central Africa on the other. It is one of the shorter and less strenuous trails around, so it’s good for a casual vacation.
It appears to be an unreachable place at the end of the world, but the latest New Caledonia holiday packages are “reconnecting” the spot with the rest of the world, so hurry up if you want to trek across it before everyone, including your grandma, does it. This tropical archipelago amounts to 18,576 square kilometers of land area, and if you speak French, it’s easy to get directions and find the most obscure trails. Yes, New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France, even though it is in the middle of the Pacific, 16,136 kilometers away from France. Grande Terre, which is the largest as well as the main island, has a route that begins in the south, at the village of Prony and ends at Dumbea Dam. Along the way, you’ll be able to see amazing white-sand shores, waterfalls and enjoy the sounds of unspoiled nature.
The Australian continent is abundant in wonders to behold, so wherever you decide to go trekking, you are bound to stumble upon something wondrous. Wave Rock is one of such wonders – a three-billion-year old granite outcrop that stands 15 meters high and stretches for 110 meters through the countryside. You can take a four-hour drive from Perth or decide to park in a nearby town of Hyden and take the scenic route. This region of Australia is filled with incredibly diverse terrain – from arid landscapes to rainforests – and taking a chance to soak it all in on-foot should be on your bucket list. Also, take a detour to nearby Mulka’s Caves which contain ancient Aboriginal hand-stencil prints. Just remember to bring the bug spray.
When you consider that the southern island of New Zealand is the largest one in the group, it’s an interesting fact to know it accounts for only a quarter of the population. On the other hand, this fact makes it a perfect candidate for all of you who want to run off the beaten path and into the untamed wilderness. The Angelus Circuit is a trail of your dreams. It begins at Saint Arnaud village, which stands on the edge of Lake Rotoiti and goes on for 39 kilometers, working its way through picture-perfect landscapes of forests, beaches, grand lakes, and mountain ridges. The trail itself is not all that challenging, but there are rentable huts along the way if you think you got into trouble.
With such an immense, empty space that surrounds us and endless routes nobody walks, it’s such a head-scratcher that people decide to live in cramped-up cities. If this is your fate and you are not fortunate enough to be born near one of these unbelievable locations, a pilgrimage through the wilderness is a rite of passage waiting to be explored.