Travelling abroad? Take time out of the usual tourist schedule and go hiking on one of these trails that are great for the family!
We’re so glad we live in a green city like Singapore, with tons of parks and trees all around. But, wouldn’t it be nice to take the kids out on a family hike every once in a while without having to battle the humidity, mosquitoes and heat (we bet the family will certainly like it a lot more!)? Luckily for you, there are some great destinations around the world that offer just that. Plus, getting the kids outdoors and enjoying the fresh air is healthy and good for the soul. Not only are we reducing screen time, but we also get to experience the beauty of nature and the environment. So if you’re looking for family-friendly hikes around the world, take a peek at our recommendations down below – just don’t forget the water, snacks and sunscreen, wherever you choose!
1. The Vineyards of Lavaux, Switzerland
We know what you’re thinking: how is hiking the Vineyards of Lavaux family-friendly? Well, for one, the views are simply unbe-leaf-able (see picture above), especially in autumn when the leaves turn gold and the weather’s cool. Not only will you get a fantastic view of Lake Geneva, the vineyards, the Alps and picturesque villages, but parents – if you plan it right – you’ll also get to enjoy tasting wine from the wineries that dot the landscape, if you choose to. It’s also extremely easy for the kids to hike because there are paved paths and benches to rest along the trail – just be sure to wear comfy shoes to prevent blisters!
How to get there: The Vineyards of Lavaux – start from Ouchy in Lausanne to Chateau de Chillon Castle or vice-versa, with the option for shorter hikes.
2. Komodo and Rinca Island, Indonesia
There’s no need to venture too far to enjoy a family-friendly hike with the kiddos! Komodo and Rinca Island in south-east Indonesia are home to the magnificent Komodo dragons, and numerous trails that are great for families with small children. Plus, you’re sure to enjoy the picturesque view of the islands, bays and sea. You might even find some other wildlife, like Timor deer and wild pigs, too.
How to get there: Fly to Labuan Bajo airport before taking a chartered boat ride to the islands.
3. Yosemite National Park, USA
Heading to California to see Mickey and all his friends? Well, be sure to head to Yosemite National Park and marvel at its larger-than-life, sheer rock faces and tall sequoia and redwood trees. Though most of its hiking trails are strenuous, that shouldn’t deter you from visiting this park with young ‘uns, tweens and teens. Bring the fam to the kid-friendly, one-mile-long Lower Yosemite Falls trail, which leads you to the base of the Lower Yosemite Falls. Psst… it’s best to hike the trail during spring and early summer – you’ll get to see the power of its waterfall at full force. A sight to behold! You could even make this a stopover on a family road trip…
How to get there: Fly to San Francisco International Airport, and drive to Yosemite National Park.
4. Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile
Warning: severe wanderlust ahead! Torres Del Paine National Park isn’t the easiest of places to get to – it’s literally located on the other side of the world, at the tip of the South American continent, and will require multiple flights and bus rides. But we can assure you, it’s definitely worth taking the family to. Located in Chile’s Patagonian region, the park is known for its breathtaking landscapes and wildlife that draws thousands of hikers and climbing enthusiasts. The young ‘uns will certainly be amused by the penguins, cowboy horses and llamas that roam its lands, and will love the great expanse of the outdoors. We can’t wait to go!
How to get there: Fly to the Argentine capital before taking a flight to El Calafete. Then, drive or hop on a bus to Puerto Natales.
5. The Sacred Valley, Peru
Want to hike Machu Picchu but worried your kids aren’t able to hand the multi-day trek? Opt to visit The Sacred Valley instead! Situated in-between Cusco and Machu Picchu, The Sacred Valley was once the heart of the Incan empire and is still an agricultural source to Peruvians today. There are tons of fun activities to do, like visiting archaeological ruins, learning traditions from local villagers and of course, hiking. Go on a fun trek with llamas with the Llama Pack Project where the kids can learn all about these awesome animals, before taking a nice, leisurely stroll with them up a zig-zag trail. How fun!
How to get there: Fly to Cusco, before taking a bus to Pisac.
6. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
If dramatic towering cliffs overlooking the ocean is your thing, then head over to Giant’s Causeway for a family-friendly hike. There are four kid-friendly trails to choose from where the kids can walk in the footsteps of giants. Our pick? Start off with the green trail, where you’ll get a terrific view of the Causeway stones, chimney tops and on a good day, Scotland! Then follow along towards Portcoon Cave where you might just spot some dolphins and porpoises swimming around the little bay. You’ll want to follow the signs for the yellow trail, till you finally reach Hamilton’s Seat for a majestic view of the coast. Psst, the green trail is not only kid-friendly but buggy-friendly, too!
How to get there: From Belfast, drive or take a bus to Bushmills, before hopping on the Giant’s Causeway park and ride service.
7. Finger Hill, Hong Kong
Thinking of taking the kids to Hong Kong Disneyland next year? Add this trail to your itinerary! Located in Peng Chau, the trail at Finger Hill is a sight to behold. Not only will you get panoramic views of the tugboats in the waters of Tung Wan, Tsing Ma bridge (fun fact: the bridge is the 14th longest suspension bridge in the world) and perhaps our favourite sight of all: Hong Kong Disneyland! Plus, you’ll also get to hike through the lush forest, too. Don’t forget the camera!
How to get there: Finger Hill – take the ferry to Peng Chau ferry terminal, and follow the signs for the trail.
8. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
If you love walking in the Cameron Highlands, then you’ll love exploring its network of trails – including some family-friendly hikes – through the jungle and mountains around the area! There are 14 trails of various difficulties, and it’s recommended to get a guide to assist you in navigating through the thick jungle. But you’ll be rewarded with waterfalls and scenic views along the way. Be sure to wear appropriate attire for this one!
How to get there: Fly or take the train to Ipoh, before driving up the mountainous road up to Cameron Highlands
Have fun hiking!