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Yosemite park ranger leads a hike in the High Sierra.

The best way to explore and get to know a place is by walking around. It gives you a chance to connect with the scenery and the people in a way that driving never could.

Our top walking tour recommendations include options on each continent and give you the best hikes around the globe. Be sure to review the expected activity level, daily distances, altitude and other conditions before committing to a tour. Many offer flexible arrangements with shuttles carrying additional luggage (and you, if necessary).

Walking safaris

While most African wildlife safaris drive around in jeeps, this walking safari in Botswana takes you out of the car and up close with the wildlife. You can choose from single day walks to overnight treks lasting several days through the Okavango region. Peak travel times in Botswana occur from May to September, however summer months are often better times to see wildlife.

Guided mountain hikes

If high altitude walking is your thing, try a guided mountain hike. Park rangers in Yosemite National Park in California, USA lead groups on multi-day hikes through the High Sierra mountain range visiting the historic High Sierra camps. The camps range from 7 to just over 3,000 meters in altitude.

For even higher altitudes, take a walking tour of Bhutan. Hidden in the Himalayas, Bhutan is often called the happiest place on earth. Tours includes visits to monasteries at 4,000 meters in altitude.

Arrive early at these destinations as you acclimate to the altitude. The advantages of a guide for these trips are to help you pace yourself and get the most from these unique destinations.

Desert treks

Running along the sea, next to the United Arab Emirates, Oman is an unexpected treasure for those looking for walking tours. A single trip offers mountains, desert and water in a 12 day itinerary.

Self-guided walks

You can follow in the footsteps of religious pilgrims who have made the same trek for thousands of years. One of the most popular is the Camino de Santiago—the Way of St. James—a pilgrimage to a cathedral in north western Spain. Choose from routes travelling from Portugal, Spain, France or Switzerland. The self-guided walking route from Paris is 1283Km.

If you’re looking for a traditional walk to explore the country-side, try the Nakasendo Way from Kyoto to Tokyo. Originally built in the 8th Century as one of Japan’s first highways, the Nakasendo Way endures as a road through the heart of Japan.

Rambling holidays

Walk through the Andes mountains and across Patagonia and explore glaciers, salt flats, and see wildlife you will only find in South America. Hiking through Patagonia, you’ll find the driest desert in the world, smoking volcanoes, and beautiful lakes. Walking tours average four to six miles per day.

Try a guided or self-guided walking holiday from inn to inn through Australia’s landscapes. Your luggage is transported for you while you walk and enjoy the scenery. Choose from coastal walks or an alpine hike through the Snowy Mountains.

Ice adventures

No list would be complete without a walking tour of Antarctica. Bundle up and travel through Drake Passage to see penguins and icebergs and join the lucky few that have walked on Antarctica.

If your walking trip includes glacier walking, hiking, or other adventure activities get a quote from Cover-More Travel insurance to cover your trip before you go.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Happy Fun Time; cropped from original