Survey reveals the world's top 20 hiking trails
Discover the best rated walking routes according to Instagram data – and find out if your top trail is in the list
New research has revealed the top 20 most beautiful hiking spots worldwide. The survey includes some obvious hotspots, as well as a few surprises.
The list has been compiled by assessing data on a popular social media. Analysts, on behalf of outdoor sports and outdoor footwear brand Zalando, set out to discover the world's most photographed hiking trails on Instagram.
They assessed almost five million Instagram hashtags from the world’s most famous hiking trails to find out how many images were associated with a route. This figure was then divided by the number of miles the hike covers to find which one had the most photos taken per mile.
Top of the list is Peru’s Inca Trail, which had 9255 photos per mile. In second place is the popular European pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago in Spain (3,979).
The third spot goes to a route in Argentina, the Refugio Frey via Cerro Catedral (2,030).
America’s iconic Appalachian Trail, where a four year old became one of three million walkers annually, sits at 13th in the top 20 most beautiful hiking spots list.
Meanwhile, seven of the hotspots trails are found in the UK, with the famous Scottish long-distance trail, the West Highland Way in top place and sixth overall. The West Highland Way had 1180 photos per mile, which is more than twice the amount for Tour du Mont Blanc in the French Alps.
Survey reveals: top 20 hiking spots
The data from Instagram reveals the top 20 hiking routes in the world:
1. Inca Trail, Peru
2. Camino de Santiago, Spain
3. Refugio Frey and Cerro Catedral, Argentina
4. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
5. Eiger Trail, Switzerland
6. West Highland Way, UK
7. El Camino del Rey, Spain
8. GR 20, France
9. West Coast Trail Vancouver Island, Canada
10. South Downs Way, UK
11. Tour du Mount Blanc, France
12. Thames Path, UK
13. Appalachian Trail, USA
14. Indus Valley, India
15. Fife Coastal Path, UK
16. Cleveland Way, UK
17. South West Coast Path, UK
18. Cotswold Way, UK
19. The Lycian Way, Turkey
20. Via Francigena, Italy.
Which hiking trail would you vote as the best in the world?
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.
By Cat Ellis