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Travel bucket list ideas:

Last updated: 12 April, 2024

From traversing sand dunes, to walking on glaciers, through canyons, up mountains and along ancient city walls, here’s our round-up of the world’s best walks. Each walk can be tackled in a day or less with a moderate level of fitness and no technical ability.

Table of Contents

Around Lake Buttermere

Buttermere, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience

This 4.5-mile circular walk is arguably the Lake District‘s finest walk. It starts and ends in pretty Buttermere village, and takes in wonderful views of the craggy peaks of Littledale Edge, Dale’s Head and Mellbreak, skirting the shores of the beautiful lake. Ideal if you want to be surrounded by mountain scenery without actually having to do any climbing.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 2 hours

Ben Nevis

Fort William, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience

It might be known affectionately as ‘the Ben’, but don’t think a tramp up the highest mountain in Britain is a walk in the park. Its summit, at 1,344m, can be clad in snow even in summer, but the sense of achievement – and the panoramic views of magnificent Scottish Highlands scenery – are second to none.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | Full day

Brooklyn Bridge

New York, United States of America (USA)

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Bucket List Experience

It’s just a 30-minute (each way) stroll across this cabled suspension bridge to the uber-trendy neighbourhood of Brooklyn – but what a stroll! Dating back to 1883, this charismatic, under-appreciated historic bridge offers up killer views of the Manhattan skyline the entire way. Stop halfway in Brooklyn for some of New York’s best pizza and ice cream.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free | 90 minutes

Dubrovnik’s City Walls

Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

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Bucket List Experience

For dazzling views over Dubrovnik’s old town rooftops and out across the blue of the Adriatic Sea, this 2km stroll around the UNESCO-listed battlements should be on everyone’s bucket list. Among the most well-preserved city fortifications in the world, they date back to the 13th century but were reinforced when the Ottoman Turks threatened in the 15th century.

Best for ages: 8+ | Free | 1 hour

View over a circular valley filled with spiked pillars
Experience

Fairytale Loop

Utah, United States of America (USA)

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Bucket List Experience

What this 55sq mile National Park lacks in size, it makes up for in its distinctive, eye-catching geology. Weathering and erosion of the sedimentary bedrock, has created thousands of ‘hoodoos’ – thin spires of rock – collected around natural amphitheatres. This superb 8-mile, 3-hour hike takes in all the best views.

Best for ages: 13+ | £10

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Fortuna Waterfall

Alajuela Province, Costa Rica

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Bucket List Experience

This near-perfect 1,600m Costa Rican cone, looming over dense cloud forest, is threaded with trails through the lava fields and into the surrounding forest, which teems with wildlife. The short hike to the waterfall near La Fortuna village is scenic, while hot springs offer the perfect post-hike wind-down.

Best for ages: 8+ | Free

Grand Promenade

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience

Only in Athens – an extraordinary 3-kilometre pedestrian promenade, beautifully landscaped and peppered with magnificent antiquities – triumphant arches, ancient amphitheatres, Greek temples, and ‘Socrates’ Prison’. Take a short detour to the top of Filopappou Hill for the best view of Athens.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 3 kilometres

Great Wall of China

Beijing, China

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Bucket List Experience

The iconic Great Wall of China – often cited as the greatest ever man-made construction – snakes along China’s 5,000-mile-long northern boundary and offers a range of historic short walks through grandiose landscapes. The undulating scenery is as inspiring as the defensive ramparts themselves. It’s reachable by a short drive from Beijing.

Best for ages: 8+ | Free

Hike the Samaria Gorge

Crete, Greek Islands, Greece

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Bucket List Experience

One of Europe’s most famous hikes, a 16km trail running through Crete’s most iconic canyon, from the 1200m Omalos plateau down to the Libyan Sea; freshwater springs, abandoned villages, isolated chapels and 450 species of flora and fauna.

Best for ages: 10+ | Free | 1 day

Mount Sinai

Sharm el-Sheik, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

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Bucket List Experience

This 3-mile trail, high on religious significance, starts at the beautiful 6th-century monastery of St Catherine, built to protect the biblical ‘Burning Bush’ where Moses received instructions to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. The summit is where Moses is believed to have received the Ten Commandments. Most tours start in the early hours, to see the sunrise and dramatic colour shifts in the surrounding desert landscapes.

Best for ages: 13+ | £35 | 3-5 hours

Mount Versuvius

Naples, Campania, Italy

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Bucket List Experience

It may look pretty innocuous but Vesuvius, famous, of course, for its destruction of Pompeii, is an active volcano and still commands respect and fear. Now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it’s possible to walk all the way up to the cone for fabulous views of Naples from the top. Along the way, marvel at the wonderfully rich diversity of plants.

Best for ages: 13+ | £8 | 2 hours

Opera House & Botanical Gardens

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Bucket List Experience

A quite breathtaking one- to two-hour scenic walk along Sydney’s achingly-beautiful, sail-filled harbour, passing through the Royal Botanic Gardens, ending at Circular Quay – home of the magnificent Sydney Opera House and the iconic Bridge. Keep your eyes out for colourful, chattering wildlife, including white cockatiels, rosarios and giant fruit bats.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free | 1-2 hours

Positano and Amalfi Coast from Sentiero degli Dei - The Path of the Gods hike, showing rugged cliffs on blue Mediterranean Sea
Experience

Path of the Gods

Campania, Italy

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Bucket List Experience

The Sentiero degli Dei, a 4- to 5-hour hike, lives up to its name as it traverses the Mediterranean’s most spectacular stretch of coastline, south of Naples. This narrow path hugs the precipitous cliffs and slopes of the Lattari Mountains, which plunge straight into the Mediterranean far below.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 2-4 hours

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Pigeon Valley

Goreme, Central Anatolia, Turkey

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Bucket List Experience

Pigeon Valley in central Turkey offers a spectacular walk through Cappadocia’s fantastical, moonlike landscape. The 4km path between Goreme and Uchisar takes you into a wooded chasm with natural arches and tunnels, leading past rock-carved pigeon cotes and through idyllic orchards and vegetable plots.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free | 1-2 hours

Saklikent Gorge

Kalkan, Mediterranean Region, Turkey

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Bucket List Experience

At 300m deep, the Turquoise Coast‘s – if not Turkey’s, most dramatic gorge makes for a wonderful walk and wade along some 4kms of its full 18km extent. At the sheer-sided entrance, where the Dargaz River runs strong, raised walkways lead to the trail where the water in places rises to the chest, with some moderate clambering.

Best for ages: 8+ | £4 | 2 hours

Table Mountain

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

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Bucket List Experience

Cape Town’s iconic flat-topped mountaintop is criss-crossed with trails and jaw-dropping views over a landscape of rugged cliffs, golden beaches and sweeping bays. A more challenging alternative to taking the cable car to the summit, for real adventure enthusiasts, is the 2- to 3-hour hike via the beautiful Platteklip Gorge.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 2-3 hours

The Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park
Experience

The Ahinga Trail

Everglades National Park, Florida, United States of America (USA)

A great way to enjoy the Everglades without much effort – this short, 0.8-mile paved walkway and boardwalk winds through a mix of forest and freshwater sawgrass marsh; expect to see alligators, turtles, anhingas, herons, egrets, and many other birds, especially during the winter. The trail starts at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, about 4 miles from the park entrance.

Best for ages: 6+ | Free | 1 hour

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The Bright Angel Trail
Experience

The Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States of America (USA)

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Bucket List Experience

This 7-mile each-way trail, departing from the Grand Canyon‘s South Rim, is a popular (but long) single-day hike that gets you out into the scenery, down to the canyon floor. There are resthouses and distance markers en-route. Remember – it’s a fairly easy walk down, but harder work to come back up.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 1 day

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The Caldera

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece

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Bucket List Experience

This is one of the most spectacular hikes anywhere in Greece, along the vertiginous footpath that runs all the way from Santorini‘s capital, Fira, to Oia at the island’s northern tip. There are jaw-dropping views across the volcanic archipelago whichever way you look, but none of the camera-wielding crowds.

Best for ages: 16+ | Free | 4-5 hours

The High Line

New York, United States of America (USA)

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Bucket List Experience

Some said genius, others madness. In 2009, the remains of an elevated freight railway line on the West Side were converted into one of the world’s most unusual and interesting parks. Snaking serpent-like north to south, from 29th Street to Gansevoort Street, the 10-25m-wide platform, stocked with native wildflowers next to the old tracks, is already a New York institution.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free | 30 minutes

Na Pali coast, Kauai, Hawaii helicopter aerial view. Nature coastline landscape in Kauai island, Hawaii, USA. Hawaii travel.
Experience

The Kalalau Trail

Kauai, Hawaii, United States of America (USA)

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Bucket List Experience

This heart-stopping trail along the Na Pali Coast of Kauai Island is the US’s wildest hike, an eye-watering scene of rugged valleys, white-sand beaches and waterfalls. For most, it’s 4-miles (one way) to the 300ft-high Hanakapiai Falls. Experienced hikers (with permit) can go 7 miles further to pristine Kalalau Beach to camp overnight.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 3-6 hours

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Person walking down a stream in a high-walled canyon
Experience

The Narrows

Zion National Park, Utah, United States of America (USA)

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Bucket List Experience

This dramatic gorge, with soaring Canyon Walls of up to 1,000 feet, is the narrowest part of Zion Canyon – at places, it’s just 30 feet wide. It’s a pretty 1-mile walk from the start, then a further 5 miles walking in the Virginia River (the most spectacular part).

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 1-8 hours

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The Strip

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America (USA)

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Bucket List Experience

Stretching over four miles, the Strip might well have the densest concentration of flash, whizz, bang sights in the world. Here, the buildings sparkle (so much so, that when flying over Vegas, the city resembles a ball of light in a sea of black). It’s home to some of the world’s biggest hotels, and nearly 200,000 slot machines!

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Uluru Base Walk

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

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Bucket List Experience

Rising up from the silent desert floor, the gargantuan, ochre-hued monolith ‘Uluru’ is both ethereal and mesmerising – its colour changes depending on the season and time of day. The 10km walk around its base gets you close enough to feel it – the thing has presence – and to hear local guides tell the rich, beguiling dreamtime legends that swirl around it.

Best for ages: 8+ | Free | 2-3 hours

York's Roman Walls

York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience

Originally built in the Roman period as a defensive structure, and still encircling the old city today, York’s 4m-high, 3.4km-long city walls are the best-preserved city walls in Britain. Do the walk for glimpses of the city’s rich history, with fortified towers, Roman gateways and evocative views of the medieval rooftops.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free | 2 houra