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The best walking and hiking holidays for your bucket list

Getting up close and personal with your holiday destination is best achieved by hitting the pavement, so expect to see more travellers off the beaten (walking) track in 2018.

Wellness holidays are on everyone's minds as we approach 2018. While some hotels and tour companies are tapping into the trend via yoga retreats or day spas, adventure seekers are keen to get their fill on foot.

According to travel booking website, Booking.com, 56 per cent of travellers are looking for walking and hiking holidays in 2018, leading them to some of the most rugged and exciting destinations in the world.

If you're considering heading off into the wilderness to discover the great outdoors or if you just want a holiday packed with perfect photo opportunities, these destinations are worthy of your bucket list next year.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Walking or hiking around Tasmania's Cradle Mountain is great for all experience levels, offering both easy and difficult walks ranging from less than an hour (Cradle Valley waterfall walk) to six days (Overland Track). This one is a must for wildlife lovers, who can also visit a Tasmanian devil sanctuary or maybe spot a platypus or echidna.

El Calafate and the Perito Moreno glacier, Argentina

You can do everything from multi-day to half-day tours in this region, but the highlight is the Perito Moreno glacier. The two-hour walk across the top of this slow-moving ice shelf will appeal to adventure seekers keen to get close to this alien-like environment.

Tongariro Crossing,  New Zealand

This high-altitude 19.4 km hike is everything a traveller to New Zealand's south island could dream of. It showcases the gorgeous Lord of the Rings-like scenery people have come to expect of NZ, plus the added beauty of volcanic craters. The emerald lakes will leave you speechless.

Cammino di san Tommaso, Italy

The pilgrimage of Saint Thomas takes you through some of the lesser-known medieval towns in central Italy. Stretching 350 km from Rome to Ortona, this walk - or popular cycling route - is a big committment, akin to Spain's more famous Camino de Santiago. The Cammino di San Tommaso came to many peoples' attention last year after the Dora Sarchese winery out of Ortona installed a free wine fountain

Glencoe Lochan Trails, Scotland

There is no end to the hikes and walks you can do across the stunning and dramatic Scottish highlands. The Glencoe trails are simple bushwalks, easy for people of all ages and abilities. However, experienced hikers may want to conquer the nearby Ben Nevis - Britain's highest mountain. Take a guide with you (human, electronic or book!) to capitalise on the rich history of the area.

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