Meet: Queenstown, New Zealand
Return: Nelson, New Zealand
Itinerary: Click photo for details
Hiking level: Moderate; 4-7 miles daily

With its golden castaway beaches, dense manuka rainforest, emerald hills, tranquil river valleys, and windswept headlands, New Zealand is a land of astounding contrasts. Due to its geographical isolation, its evolution has been unique, leading to a singular ecosystem of flightless birds, distinctive trees, glowing insects, and strange ferns. In this unparalleled landscape, you’ll walk along colossal mountain glaciers, explore rushing gorges, and browse in quaint frontier towns. On the untamed West Coast, you’ll stroll through estuaries, bogs, and wetland forest on a track that passes remnants of the island’s past—an old log tramway and whitebaiters’ huts. Amble along sections of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and discover the legacy of Maori settlers, who searched the island for precious pounamu—green nephrite jade. Tread through forests of shivering silver birches as you gaze up at snowcapped peaks. Throughout your journey, you’ll witness unforgettable vistas as you savor an extraordinary destination hidden in one of the most remote corners of the Earth.

Meet: Como, Italy
Return: Lake Garda, Italy
Itinerary: Click photo for details
Activity level: This multi-activity trip requires a decent level of fitness, as you will be doing some kayaking, cycling and a fair amount of walking. Some of the treks involve steep hills and steps that you'll need to be able to climb, although sometimes there are easier, alternative routes you can take. Daily walking times vary between three and six hours.

Pamper the appetite and treat the senses on this exquisite journey through Italy’s Lake District and the staggering peaks of Switzerland’s St. Moritz. Stroll the forested paths around Lakes Como and Garda, unwind through the Dolomite highlands and just keep whetting and sating that appetite with classic Italian delicacies. Ferry to and fro between lake villages and villas that keep getting prettier, and clamber about the crumbling ruins of medieval castles. Idyllic in setting, laid-back in lifestyle, and a gastronomist’s delight, this jaunt through one of Europe’s most charming nooks shouldn’t disappoint. And if it does, take the issue up with one of the local residents – like Sting or George Clooney.

Meet: Kathmandu, Nepal
Return: Kathmandu, Nepal
Itinerary: Click on photo for details
Hiking level: Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy it, as most activities will be challenging.

From ancient kingdoms to majestic mountain vistas, trek through the breathtaking Himalayan landscape of the Annapurna Ranges. Pass awe-inspiring glaciers, stay on the banks of pristine rivers, cross mountain pastures, dip into natural hot springs and encounter mule trains carrying supplies to remote villages. Rest and revive in cosy mountain teahouses and meet friendly locals along the way. Time spent in Kathmandu and Pokhara completes the adventure with insights into Nepali culture and tradition.

Meet: Lugo, Spain
Return: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Hiking level: Moderate

If you’re looking to conduct your own pilgrimage, along a route filled with the beautiful countryside and rustic villages of Northern Spain, start here, at the Camino de Santiago. In this eight-day trip, you’ll complete the last 100km of the pilgrimage route to Santiago and receive a "compostela" certificate when you’re finished to prove your accomplishment. Refuel with tasty Spanish food and take the time to stop and smell the flowers - it’s active but at a slower, more picturesque pace.

Meet:  Beijing, China
Return: Beijing, China
Itinerary: Click photo for details
Hiking level: A few high-altitude hikes

Centuries after its construction, China’s Great Wall remains one of humankind’s engineering marvels. At over 21,000km (13,048 mi) in length, the Wall is a trip in and of itself. You won’t tackle the whole thing on this ten-day trek, but you’ll return home with a deeper understanding of the life that goes on around and upon it. The Beijing-to-Beijing route will take you to small villages that have stood for centuries in the shadow of this massive tribute to human will and introduce you to the cuisine, culture and history that make this one of China’s most captivating attractions. The Wall’s been standing for centuries. Isn’t it about time you turned up?