Of all the paths in life you take, make sure a few of them are dirt.
—John Muir

From Norway to New Zealand, many of the world’s most transcendent trails follow coastlines, where the interplay of land and water—mountains plunging into waves, serene tropical bays—inspire a special kind of awe in the hiker.

On our coastal hiking adventures, you may find yourself reminded of John Muir’s observation: “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”

nugget Point new Zealand coastal hike

Catlins Coast, New Zealand | View Itinerary

The remote southeast corner of the New Zealand’s South Island offers some of the country’s wildest scenery. Windswept headlands, temperate forests, and sandy bays set the scene for our hiking journey, New Zealand: Off the Beaten Path. On these untamed shores, you’ll find yourself in landscapes reminiscent of the British Isles, but sightings of Hector’s dolphins by day and glow worms by night make this slice of paradise completely unique.

Andoy and Lofoten Norway coastal hike

Norway’s Islands | View Itinerary

In the Lofoten and Vesteralen archipelagos in Norway, colossal granite mountains rise straight out of the ocean. On our Northern Norway and Lofoten Islands trip, we hike along this dramatic coastal terrain, with stunning lake and mountain vistas to one side, and sweeping ocean views on the other. Hiking from Egum to Unstad, we’ll arrive at a tiny hamlet that boast some of the best beaches (and surfing!) in Lofoten.

jurassic coast England coastal hike

Jurassic Coast, England | View Itinerary

Southwest England’s Dorset region is stunning. Waves and tides carve the shoreline and reveal ancient fossils within the rock, just as Michelangelo believed a sculptor merely liberates figures already contained in a block of Carrara marble.  On our Ancient Britain to the Channel Islands adventure, we follow the spectacular South West Coast path, making our way across headlands and dipping into white-sand bays framed by limestone arches and graceful geological formations.

Chiloe Island, Chile | View Itinerary

On Chiloe Island, you can lace myth and legend with your hiking. Visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed wooden churches and head out to “the Dock of Souls” at Punta Pirulil, where an artistic dock alludes to the indigenous Mapuche legend that after death, one is carried across the sea by a boatman. You can take this breezy, otherworldly walk on our Chile from Top to Bottom adventure.

TsiTsikamma South Africa coastal hike

Tsitsikamma Coast, South Africa | View Itinerary

Tsitsikamma, meaning “place of much water,” is a lush and dramatic stretch of coast where towering bluffs fade into tranquil beaches. We hike this stunning area on our Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa trip. The biodiversity is astounding, and depending on the season, we may see humpback, Brydes, and southern right whales from the shoreline.

Raja Ampat coastal hike

Uranie Island, Raja Ampat | View Itinerary

Our adventure in Raja Ampat combines world-class snorkeling with above-water excursions: along with sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, we’ll climb to the top of a remote limestone island for sweeping views of  tranquil Uranie Bay.

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