15 of the best new walks that you might not have thought to try

King Charles III England Coast Path

England

In 2022 the Government announced that this 2,700 mile (4,345km) circumnavigation of the country will be fully walkable by the end of 2024. Fingers crossed! But there are plenty of sections to try already, including the new West Sussex stretch, opened in late 2023. It runs 44 miles (71km) from West Wittering’s dunes to Shoreham-by-Sea. En route it takes in sea-breezy promenades, bucket’n’spade Bognor Regis, pretty Pagham and Medmerry wetlands, a brilliant place to spot birds. nationaltrail.co.uk/england-coast-path

Pekoe Trail

Sri Lanka

This 186 mile (300km), 22-stage trail – Sri Lanka’s first long-distance route – has been years in development. Its aim is to link Kandy with the tea country town of Nuwara Eliya, support remote communities and promote cultural heritage. Some stages opened in 2023 – including Stage 1, from Hanthana to Galaha, which passes one of Sri Lanka’s oldest tea plantations. More are set to launch imminently, and tour operators such as Audley are starting to offer guided walks on some sections as part of tailor-made itineraries. thepekoetrailsrilanka.com, audleytravel.com/sri-lanka

The Pekoe Trail, Sri Lanka Image supplied by Chloe Schultz
The Pekoe Trail in Sri Lanka will take your breath away (Photo: Chloe Schultz )

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track

New Zealand

This three-day, 38 mile (61km) loop wends through a little-tramped chunk of South Island’s wild Fiordland. Slated to open in October, it will be New Zealand’s 11th official Great Walk. Like the other 10, it will offer superb scenery: cliffs and beaches (where dolphins might be spotted), native forest, panoramic ridges, impressive old viaducts. Unlike them, there are options to upgrade the experience, with private rooms, hot showers and even jet-boat and helicopter transfers. humpridgetrack.co.nz

Via dell’Amore

Italy

Ah, splendido! The Way of Love, the iconic cliff-hugging route linking Riomaggiore and Manarola – two of the Cinque Terre’s five knock-out coastal villages – is finally reopening following a lengthy restoration. A 160m section had a trial relaunch in 2023; it was accessible only 9am-7pm, by pre-booked guided tour at a cost of €5 (£4.30). The aim is to reduce over-tourism and better educate visitors about this Unesco-listed coast. The full trail (around 0.65 miles/1km) is set to reopen in July. parconazionale5terre.it

The stunning Riomaggiore on Italy’s coast (Photo: Romain Oudot / 500px/Getty)

Cyinzobe Trail

Rwanda

Last July, Nyungwe National Park – which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year – launched this 15.5 mile (25km) adventure through a wildlife-rich tract of the Albertine Rift mountains. The three-day experience includes guides, meals, nights camped out in wooden cabins and an immersion in one of Africa’s oldest rainforests. Walk via swamps, bogs, enormous old trees and some of the park’s residents, which include duiker antelopes, nocturnal civets, colobus and L’Hoest’s monkeys and eastern chimpanzees. insidenyungwenationalpark.com

Highland Escape

Fiji

Talanoa Treks is Fiji’s only dedicated hiking company, run as a social enterprise in partnership with the communities its hikes visit. In summer 2023, Talanoa launched this two-night, 10-mile (16km) trip into the heart of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. It showcases the archipelago beyond its beaches, via rugged peaks, rich forest and refreshing rivers (there is always time for a swim). Guiding, food and simple accommodation are provided by local villages, which helps to support rural livelihoods. talanoa-treks-fiji.com/highland-escape

This picture was taken in summer season.
Enjoy a trek in Nepal (Photo: Pachanatt Ounpitipong/Getty/Moment RF)

Annapurna North Base Camp

Nepal

A 10-mile (16km) trail to the foot of Annapurna I has opened, following the route of the 1950 French expedition, the first to summit the world’s 10th-highest mountain. The trail fell into disuse and has been made accessible again only thanks to a long, local campaign. The three-day trek heads up the Miristi Khola Canyon to the French Base Camp; a further 6km leads to Advance Base Camp (at an altitude of 4,305m). Steve Berry, managing director of Mountain Kingdoms – the only UK company currently offering the trek – compares it to hiking the Annapurna Sanctuary 50 years ago. mountainkingdoms.com

Barranco do Demo Walkway

Portugal

Short but mighty, this walkway – inaugurated last October – is only around half a mile long (800m) but opens up exceptional views of the Barranco do Demo, aka the “Grand Canyon of Alferce”. It comprises a gorge-side boardwalk and dramatic suspension bridge high above the river. It forms part of a longer, 3.75 mile (6km) route in the Algarve’s Monchique hills, connecting Alferce village to the remains of a hill-top Islamic fort built in the ninth century. visitalgarve.pt/en

Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way

Ireland & Wales

Stretching 100 on-land miles (160km) – with an Irish Sea crossing, from Rosslare to Fishguard, in the middle – this route is the new Camino of Ireland and Wales. It follows the journey made by St Aidan in the sixth century, when he travelled from Ferns in Wexford to meet his teacher, St David, in South Wales. Full waymarking should be in place this year. And guided walks are already available on the Welsh leg, which traces the wonderful Pembrokeshire coast via hermit cells, Neolithic tombs and St Patrick’s Chapel. wexfordpembrokeshirepilgrimway.org

Snowies Alpine Walk

Australia

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is developing more than 460 miles (740km) of new walk and cycle tracks across New South Wales. This includes the Snowies Alpine Walk, a four-day, 34 mile (55km) hike across Kosciuszko National Park hoping to rival Tasmania’s famous Overland Track. The route encompasses high plains, snow gums, native wildlife and the 2,228m summit of Australia’s highest peak. Three stages, from Guthega to Perisher, are open, including a suspension bridge over the Snowy River. The final stage, to Bullocks Flat, will be finished this year. nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

Walking path to Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 metres) which is the highest mountain in Australia. Located in the Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains. A metal elevated walkway was built to protect the environment. It is the easiest of the Seven Summits to climb
The walking path to Mount Kosciuszko which is the highest mountain in Australia (Photo: Andrew Merry/Getty/Moment RF)

Touch & Hear Vilnius

Lithuania

This new trail around the Lithuanian capital is less than a mile (1.1km) but could change your entire perspective. Taking around 90 minutes, it is led by an audioguide (free to download) and designed specifically for people with visual impairments, opening up the city’s Old Town in new ways. The guide includes clear, safe directions, enhanced soundscapes and stories, and instructions to engage the senses, from feeling the cobbles underfoot to touching sculptures and listening to acoustic changes around the medieval buildings. neakivaizdinisvilnius.lt/en

Onguma Trails

Namibia

New from July, immersive walking experiences will launch at Onguma, a privately owned game reserve on the eastern fringe of Etosha National Park. Guests will walk 8-10km a day, starting from one of Onguma’s five lodges (which range from low-key to luxe), and spending two nights in the wilderness in tented “glamps” with expert guides. It will be a thrilling way to explore the reserve’s salt pans and mopane woodland, perhaps encountering free-roaming antelopes, elephants, cheetahs and black rhinos too. guma.com

Medjugorje is a small locality in Citluk Municipality, today part of Herzegovina-Narenta Canton, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Medjugorje in Citluk Municipality, today part of Herzegovina-Narenta Cantonn(Photo: serfeo/Getty/iStockphoto /Sergio Feola)

Camino Dubrovnik Medjugorje

Croatia & Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia is a long way from Santiago de Compostela, but pilgrims have been walking from here to there since the 13th century. The Croatian Confraternity of St James has been restoring medieval routes, and by late 2023 the Brač, Korčula, Gorski Kotar and south Istria stages were complete. By May 2024, another 91-mile (147km) camino should be ready, linking the monastery of St Jakov in Dubrovnik to Medjugorje’s St Jakov Church, Bosnia and Herzegovina, an unofficial pilgrimage place since the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared here in 1981. caminocroatia.com

Cieza and Chicharra Greenways

Spain

The Spanish network of Vías Verdes grows from strength to strength. More than 2,050 miles (3,300km) of hike and bike trails have now been created from the country’s abandoned railways, including seven new ones in 2023. Two of the latest were in the south-eastern province of Murcia. The Cieza Flowering Greenway (6 miles/9.8km) and linked Chicharra Greenway (8.5 miles/13.7km) opened in July and October respectively but will be best walked in February and March, when the peach trees of the surrounding Ricote Valley burst into bloom. viasverdes.com

Adirondack Rail Trail

US

Progress on the Great American Rail Trail continues apace – just over half of this Washington, DC to Washington State cross-country epic is complete. But there are smaller projects to look out for too. For instance, work on New York State’s 34 mile (55km) Adirondack Rail Trail has begun, with two sections due to open in 2024. Repurposing the old New York Central line, it will ultimately provide a link between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. railstotrails.org/greatamericanrailtrail, adirondackrailtrail.org