As we enter a new year, many intrepid adventurers will be thinking about their ideal trekking destinations. Whether your New Year’s resolutions include taking on a trekking challenge, or you are trying to shake off the January blues with dreams of hiking in far-flung locations, 360 Expeditions is here with some well-timed inspiration and five unmissable trekking holidays.
We’ve tried to keep them accessible and well-suited to hikers of all abilities, and the list contains a diverse range of destinations, so there should be something for every type of trekker. Our list begins with a North African journey through the sublime Atlas mountains…
- Toubkal (Atlas Mountains)
At the heart of North Africa’s highest mountain range sits Toubkal, its tallest peak. At 4,167 metres, it is an iconic summit that offers trekkers something entirely different from your typical European fare. Home to the nomadic Berber people, the Atlas Mountains run through the centre of Morocco, separating its Atlantic coastline from the Sahara Desert. An area of beautiful untouched wilderness, breathtaking vistas and enchanting mountain landscapes.
The 360 Expeditions Toubkal Trek unfolds over six memorable days and begins in the bustling imperial city of Marrakech. After driving out to Imlil, our starting point in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, we head up into the Azzaden Valley, passing high mountain highlights like Tizi n’Mzik and the Ighouliden waterfalls. We then climb up and out of the valley via the Aguelzim mountain pass at 3,600 metres and rest at the Refuge du Toubkal before tackling Toubkal itself. Having reached the summit, we descend back to Imlil via Aremd Village.
- Ordesa & Gavarnie Trek (Pyrenees)
The first of our Pyrenean selections, the Ordesa and Gavarnie trek packs an awful lot into a fantastic five-day route. From ridge-line scrambles and unique ledge walks along gorgeous canyons to lunar-like landscapes and thundering waterfalls, the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is astoundingly varied and one of our favourite mountain playgrounds.
The 360 Expeditions Ordesa & Gavarnie Trek features many of the region’s most iconic landmarks, linking them together with lesser-known trails and quiet mountain tracks, so you experience the spellbinding peace and solitude of the Pyrenees first-hand. It takes you across high plateaus, into the glorious Ordesa Canyon and around the Cirque de Gavarnie, passing narrow gorges, razor-sharp crests and picturesque hilltop villages along the way. Combined with the abundance of mountain wildlife you will encounter, the phenomenal scenery ensures this is a trek that will live long in the memory.
- Sinai Summit-to-Sea Desert Trek
The Sinai is one of the most captivating and fascinating desert regions on the planet. Blending unforgettable natural landscapes with an engrossing human history, the Sinai is a continental crossroads – a land bridge between Africa and Asia. As such, it has witnessed untold battles, crusades and civilisational clashes, and holds special significance for three of the world’s largest religions.
With this in mind, the trek starts at Mt Sinai itself. The Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths believe this is the site at which God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses, enshrining early morality in stone. A fairly easy climb, the summit reaches 2,285 metres and offers spectacular views of the surrounding desert landscape. On the 360 Expeditions Sinai Summit-to-Sea Desert Trek, the journey continues to the double canyon of Wadi Arada and the El Guna Plateau, where a night beneath the impressive, untainted sky awaits. Further on, a series of oases offer respite from the unrelentingly arid surroundings and you will hop between them in the traditional Bedouin manner, exploring canyons along the way. Surreal rock formations, soaring dunes and the coastal mountain ranges lead us to the Red Sea and the end of the trip.
- Colombia Lost City Trek
A little further afield than the rest of the destinations on this list, Colombia remains accessible and relatively affordable to travel to. And it is home to some incredible trekking. The Lost City – La Ciudad Perdida for all you Spanish speakers out there – is a fantastic example of the type of hiking on offer. Combining Caribbean coastline, equatorial jungle trekking, indigenous communities and an archaeological wonder, this trek is ideal for would-be explorers looking to experience a true South American adventure. From washing beneath thundering waterfalls and wading through rivers to falling asleep in your hammock at the end of the day, this is an authentic jungle trek in every respect.
The 360 Expeditions Colombia Lost City Trek lasts 12 days and begins with the Cerro Kennedy Trek, which will take us up to 3,100 metres and the snow-capped peak of Cerro Kennedy. Then it is time to head out on the four-day Lost City trek, half of which is dedicated to the approach and the other half to exploring the city. Along the way, there will be plenty of time to enjoy refreshing waterfall dips, seek out the exotic wildlife and get to know the region’s remarkable myths, history and communities.
- The Thousand Lakes Trek (Pyrenees)
Straddling the French-Spanish border and stretching for more than 400 km, from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees are one of Europe’s most beloved mountain ranges. While there are several exceptional national parks to explore in the Pyrenees, the Parc National d’Aigüestortes i Sant Maurici in Catalonia is one of the most impressive, fitting a bewildering array of peaks, ravines, waterfalls and canyons into 141 km² of Pyrenean perfection.
The Thousand Lakes Trek arguably offers the best insight into the Pyrenees’ sheer natural beauty. The 360 Expeditions version of this trek is a six-day affair that departs from the Val d’Aran and climbs up through Alpine meadows and boulder-strewn landscapes to meet the Haute Route Pyrenees (HRP). From there, it is on to the Cirque de Colomers, Col de Colomers and Pico Montardo, where the striking view extends to the Pyrenees’ tallest mountain, Pico Aneto. The descent takes us through Cirque de Travessani and includes the iconic Seven Lake Walk, where the brave can take a plunge in the icy waters.
- Jordan Desert Trek to Petra
Carved from sandstone cliff sides in the 3rd century BC, Petra is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of the ancients. Sculpted by the Nabataean people and home to palaces, temples, stables and theatres, this impressive city is Jordan’s most visited landmark and was recently voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. A major trading hub in its heyday, Petra is the embodiment of the region’s rich history and cultural import.
And what better way to visit the ancient city than by embracing its creators’ nomadic traditions and trekking from Mansura? The 360 Expeditions Jordan Desert Trek takes ten days (including travel time) and sees you pass through lush canyons, bone-dry wadis, stretches of sandy desert and rocky plateaus known locally as hamadas. At night, we sleep in Bedouin tents and cook by the campfire, the star-studded sky spread above us. While the trek ends in Petra, there is still time for a day on the Dead Sea, where a luxury spa awaits you.
Trekking holidays with 360 Expeditions
If you are already planning your 2024 adventures and want to learn more about any of the trek’s included in our list, head to the relevant trek page on the 360 Expeditions site. On each page, you will find a full itinerary, answers to frequently asked questions and plenty of photos from previous trips. If you have any further enquiries, please reach out to the 360 team. We will be more than happy to share our trekking expertise.