6 Scenic Hikes Around the World That Won't Take All Day

by Katie McElveen

6 Scenic Hikes Around the World That Won't Take All Day

by Katie McElveen

These six hikes pack everything you want from an outdoor excursion — Insta-worthy views, exercise, and adventure — into a morning or afternoon. Even better? They’re all free and require little to no planning: just grab your hiking shoes and go!

These six hikes pack everything you want from an outdoor excursion — Insta-worthy views, exercise, and adventure — into a morning or afternoon. Even better? They’re all free and require little to no planning: just grab your hiking shoes and go!

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Hiking in Bergen, Norway / Matthew Andersen/iStock
Lake Lugano
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Lake Lugano, Switzerland

After admiring picturesque views of the Alps, Lake Lugano, and sweet Swiss villages from the top of Monte Bre, hike through the woods to Gandria (a 16th-century fishing village) for lunch. To get back to Lugano, stroll along the lake path to Grotto Elvezia, where you can either catch a ferry or keep walking.

After admiring picturesque views of the Alps, Lake Lugano, and sweet Swiss villages from the top of Monte Bre, hike through the woods to Gandria (a 16th-century fishing village) for lunch. To get back to Lugano, stroll along the lake path to Grotto Elvezia, where you can either catch a ferry or keep walking.

Lake Como, Italy
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Lake Como, Italy

Look up. See the tiny white structure perched at the top of the mountain? That’s the 400-year old Church of San Martino, and, remarkably, you can hike there in an hour. Along the way, as you gasp for breath, pause to take in the stunning scenery. On the way down, stop for a drink or break at one of the tiny villages along the way.

Look up. See the tiny white structure perched at the top of the mountain? That’s the 400-year old Church of San Martino, and, remarkably, you can hike there in an hour. Along the way, as you gasp for breath, pause to take in the stunning scenery. On the way down, stop for a drink or break at one of the tiny villages along the way.

Jobson Cove Beach, Bermuda
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Bermuda

With pink-sand beaches, shady forests, dramatic rocky coves, and bright turquoise bays, the Bermuda Railway Trail National Park attracts hikers, cyclists, and joggers alike. Simply follow the “Old Rattle and Shake” railroad trail, which ran from 1931 to 1948. Today, 18 of its 22 miles are accessible to the public.

With pink-sand beaches, shady forests, dramatic rocky coves, and bright turquoise bays, the Bermuda Railway Trail National Park attracts hikers, cyclists, and joggers alike. Simply follow the “Old Rattle and Shake” railroad trail, which ran from 1931 to 1948. Today, 18 of its 22 miles are accessible to the public.

St. John, USVI
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St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands National Park covers two-thirds of St. John, and is threaded with a network of 20 hiking trails that range from easy strolls to serious slogs over rock-strewn mountains. We recommend the Lind Point Trails, which make for a good workout and, thanks to the shade, it’s pleasant to hike at any time of day. Tip: Wear clothing you can swim in: many of the trails lead to pristine beaches.

Virgin Islands National Park covers two-thirds of St. John, and is threaded with a network of 20 hiking trails that range from easy strolls to serious slogs over rock-strewn mountains. We recommend the Lind Point Trails, which make for a good workout and, thanks to the shade, it’s pleasant to hike at any time of day. Tip: Wear clothing you can swim in: many of the trails lead to pristine beaches.

Hiking path in Bergen, Norway
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Bergen, Norway

The trail begins in the center of Bergen and ends at the top of Mount Floyen. As you continue to make your way up the trail, you’ll feel as though you’re miles from civilization. At the top, you’ll find a café, a cool mountain lake, a forest filled with wooden trolls, and a secondary trail that leads down the back of the mountain.

The trail begins in the center of Bergen and ends at the top of Mount Floyen. As you continue to make your way up the trail, you’ll feel as though you’re miles from civilization. At the top, you’ll find a café, a cool mountain lake, a forest filled with wooden trolls, and a secondary trail that leads down the back of the mountain.

Morteratsch Glacier
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Pontresina, Switzerland

Get to Morteratsch Glacier as fast as you can; according to signposts along the trail, the giant ice field is receding at a rate of nearly 100 feet per year. Although the trail is fairly flat, you’ll need to hop rocks in the freezing river to reach the actual glacier. You’ll also be treated to sweeping 360-degree views of the picturesque surroundings. 

Get to Morteratsch Glacier as fast as you can; according to signposts along the trail, the giant ice field is receding at a rate of nearly 100 feet per year. Although the trail is fairly flat, you’ll need to hop rocks in the freezing river to reach the actual glacier. You’ll also be treated to sweeping 360-degree views of the picturesque surroundings. 

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