Strapping on a rucksack and setting out under your own devices isn’t for everyone, but if you want to eschew the package tour and set itineraries in favor of freedom, the world’s backpacking trips offer tremendous appeal. With backpacking you’re in control of when you go, where you go, how you get there and how long you spend in each destination. There’s a special camaraderie among backpackers like no other group of travelers, even if you’re going solo. With backpacking trips like these, who can argue it’s not a fabulous way to travel?
1. Tour Du Mont Blanc – France, Italy and Switzerland
Looping Mont Blanc in Western Europe is one of the most breathtaking backpacking trips in the world. Taking you through the gorgeous countries of France, Italy and Switzerland, you will sweep through mountain passes and across enormous glaciers over the dilly-dally course of seven to ten days or the speedskating course of three. At 104 miles, this famed course walks its hikers through the Alps, circling its highest peak, Mont Blanc, which stands at 15,781 feet. Dipping down often into valleys, the trail at times follows tightly along rock cliff faces and opens up wide in wildflower meadows, climbing highest in Fenêtre d'Arpette in Switzerland and Col des Fours in France. The best thing about this hike is that all along the way, there are plenty of villages and rest stops offering fare of some of the world’s most delicious cuisines.