The best day hikes in the world [2023]

Are you an avid hiker? I’ve compiled a list of the best day hikes in the world, based on my personal experience and recommended by you.

Hiking is one of the best ways you can explore a different countries landscape and take in the natural beauty however, not everyone has the time, energy, or physique to complete multi day hikes going through rough terrain.

So, in today’s post I wanted to share some of the best day hikes from around the globe, which as the name suggests can all be completed within a single day!

Perfect for those looking to explore the natural landscape but still want to be back in time for bed wherever you are in the world!

utah hiking

Image from Pixabay


Best day hikes in the world [continued]


  • The Narrows- Utah USA
  • Tongaririo Alpine Crossing- New Zealand
  • Ragia Forest- Kenya
  • Emerald Triangle- Canada
  • Fimmvorduhals- Iceland
  • Croagh Patrick- Ireland
  • Cinque Terre- Italy
  • Pasochoa Volcano- Ecuador


1. The Narrows, USA

Time: 4-5 hours

Distance: 10 miles (when turning back at Big Spring)

Elevation: n/a

The Narrows one day hike in Zion National Park, Utah USA is one of the most unique hikes you can experience in north America, with stunning rock formations and a trail that actually goes through (yes through!) a river this is definitely one of the most unforgettable one day hikes. It is advisable to hire some of the special water proof shoes available in many of the outlets just outside the park entrance for a small fee.  

new zealand hiking

Image from Pixabay


Best day hikes in the world [continued]

2. Tongaririo Alpine Crossing, New Zealand

Time: 6-8 hours

Distance: 12 miles

Elevation: 1900m

Regarded as the best one day hike in New Zealand and among the best in the world the Tongaririo Alpine Crossing is a must-do bucket list hike. Taking you across an active volcanic landscape it offers amazing views and scenery of the surrounding geological landforms. It is however, not for the faint hearted and the weather and conditions can be unpredictable, so preparation is needed before setting off.


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3. Ragia Forest, Kenya

Time: 6-8 hours

Distance: 12 miles

Elevation: 2519m

Ragia forest is a definite hike off the beaten track! It takes you from the Samsumura dam into the bamboo forests via elephant trails which lead further down the valley to a cascading waterfall and the famous Mau mau caves. This hike is perfect for those looking for a little adventure into the wilderness!  

canada hiking

Image from Pixabay


Best day hikes in the world [continued]

4. Emerald Triangle, Canada

Time: 8 hours

Distance: 12 miles

Elevation: 880m

The emerald triangle hike is perfect for exploring Yoho National Park and enjoying the beauty of Emerald Lake. This hike takes you around the side of the lake before climbing upwards across the mountains where you can enjoy spectacular views and even catch a glimpse of the many mountain goats that live up there. 


5. Fimmvorduhals, Iceland

Time: 8-10 hours

Distance: 16 miles

Elevation: 1,280m

This magical hike will take you past 26 waterfalls, several snowfields and even a glacier or too as you enjoy the stunning surroundings of Iceland. I advise you plan in advance for this hike, by packing plenty of waterproofs as the weather can change quickly and you don’t want to get stuck in the rain and fog! This hike is not for those in a rush, you should plan for at least 8 hours walking, but its advisable that you book a return bus for 10 hours after you start as nobody wants to spend the end of the hike rushing back for a bus!


6. Croagh Patrick, Ireland

Time: 3-4 hours

Distance: 4.22 miles

Elevation: 764m

The hike up Croagh Patrick is definitely one for the history enthusiasts! It is considered Ireland’s holiest hike, with the route believed to have been a pilgrimage trail dating as early as 3000 BC. However, the mountain actually got its name from St Patrick who is said to have spent 40 days fasting at the top of the mountain! This hike is one of the easier day hikes included on my list with a relatively well defined path to follow; however, there are a few trickier areas towards the summit you should watch out for.  

Italy hiking

Image from Pixabay

7. Cinque Terre, Italy

Time: 5-6 hours

Distance: 7 miles

Elevation: n/a

Cinque Terre is a group of 5 towns located in a UNESCO world heritage site it is possible to hike the whole distance connecting all the towns in 5 hours making it a great day out for exploring the wonderful architecture and landscape! In order to hike the distance, you do need to purchase a pass, which gives you access to all the trails and costs around 8 euros. The good thing about this day hike is that each section between the towns is also accessible via the trainline so if you want to take a break at any point or shorten your hike it is easy to do so without having to retrace steps or miss out sections.


8. Pasochoa Volcano, Ecuador

Time: 5-6 hours

Distance: 4 miles

Elevation: 4000+m

The Pasochoa volcano hike is certainly not for the faint hearted, this gorgeous hike will take you past the stunning cloud forests home to over 60 bird species as well as giving you an amazing view of the famous Cotopaxi Volcano. This hike does involve high altitude climbing and so you should make sure you have taken the correct precautions and are physically fit for the climb; however, it is a great access hike giving the views of Cotopaxi without having to endure higher altitudes or tougher hiking conditions.


If you on a bigger trip exploring more of Europe check out my guides to France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom.


My Travel Tips and Recommendations


To book flights, I always use flight search engine Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals. 


For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb.

Travel Insurance

Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. 

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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

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Sophie X

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