These 3 epic walking destinations around the globe are ready to take you on SOM adventure. From stepping into ancient footprints in Italy to exploring the progression from past to present in Japan to climbing the geological wonders carved millions of years ago in Utah, time machines may be fantasy, but there are plenty of walking vacations to transport your steps through history.
Amalfi Coast, Italy- 31 miles (50km)
For many, Italy holds a top spot on their list of dream vacations, and the Amalfi Coast along the Gulf of Salemo is one of the country's most popular walking destinations. With a combination of stone stairways etched into seaside mountains to “ancient mule paths connecting romantic fishing villages, it comes as no surprise that the ‘Costiera Amalfitana’ has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO” (macsadventure.com).
Amongst its many walking paths, like the Monte Molare hike that takes you high above the Amalfi Peninsula for views of Vesuvius Volcano and the city of Naples, the Amalfi Coast’s Path of the Gods, or “Sentiero degli Dei,” is its most popular, well-known trail. “Named after the Roman Temples that once stood there, this 5.2km route starts in Bomerano and takes you along the side of the Lattari mountains to Nocelle” (italy4real.com).
Lemon groves and tucked away villages scatter the landscape along this 2-3 hour hike. “The route is famous for its stunning views of the Sorrentine Peninsula and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The craggy Peninsula covered in vibrant vegetation juts out into the sea has been noted as one of the most picturesque sights in Italy” (italy4real.com)
Nakasendo Way, Japan- 332 miles (534 km)
Similar to the well-traveled paths along the Amalfi Coast, Nakasendo Way is a hike steeped in history and tradition that transports travelers through a passage of time and terrain along its ancient highway.
Nakasendo translates to “the road through the mountains,” and beginning in Kyoto, “one of Japan’s ancient capitals and to this day the cultural epicentre of the nation,” (walkjapan.com) hikers will enjoy the countryside within the heart of Japan’s Central Alps seeing farmhouses, traditional inns, homes, and architecture along the way. “Now largely forgotten and quiet, the road provides a pleasant trail through scenic countryside and also the history of Japan” (walkjapan.com).
What separates Nakasendo Way from the Amalfi Coast is its gradual progression into the present. Travelers journey along a timeline of Japan, beginning in the open space calm of a 17th century environment and slowly moving into the modern day as they reach the end marker in the bustling capital of Tokyo.
Walking destinations can drop you into nature or send you into the past, but the chance to watch the evolution of a landscape from farmhouse to skyscraper with every step is a hiking experience that sets Nakasendo Way apart.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah- 56 miles (145km)
While the previous two adventures feature towns, villages, and cities throughout history, Bryce Canyon National Park is a walking experience through the rocky hues of a natural landscape.
With dozens of trails to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous, there is a path for everyone to explore the star attraction of Bryce National Park: the Hoodoos.
“Hoodoos formed over thousands of years by the same processes that form the features of surrounding parks. Water, ice (at varying intervals) and gravity are the forces that form Bryce Canyon. These three erosive forces coupled with the differential erosion of the four rock types of the Claron Formation produced a different morphology than that of other parks.” (desertusa.com)
These towering structures seem to be balanced by magic, creating unique vistas at any time of day. In addition to the hoodoos, archways and canyons, over 175 different species of birds frequent the area, providing ample opportunity for bird watching.
Find Your Escape
Escape is where walks take us–away from the noise and rushing of everyday routines and into a steady pace of collective clarity. Whether a path transports you to another time, surrounds you with wildlife, or wraps you under a forest canopy, the restorative effects found in a walk, no matter its distance, will last long after its over.
No matter where your feet take you, at home or abroad, trails etch our world in opportunities for adventure.
Share Your Adventure
Have you been on an epic adventure or have a trail we should feature on our next list? We will highlight a new set of three walking destinations in future blogs, so share your stories and pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org and they might feature in our next collection.