Few things are more invigorating than exploring unchartered territories, flying to mesmerising, new places or tackling roaring rapids with little more than a paddle and a bucketful of courage… Add to the mix, the money-savvy, life-changing experience of backpacking and it becomes pure travel magic!
The Lycian Way, Turkey
Bringing together a mix of cultures (and two continents), Turkey is one of the most interesting and exotic places to visit… period. But, happily, it’s also a unique place to backpack around!
Undoubtedly one of the most incredible backpacking experiences for travellers in Turkey is hiking The Lycian Way, a 540-km-long footpath, which spans from Ölüdeniz to Geyikbay?r?.
This hiking route can be challenging – but if you are fit, healthy and eager, it shouldn’t pose too much of an issue if you do your research. Best of all, considering that the full route takes about a month to cover, you can choose how far you want to go.
As you navigate across breathtaking mountains, edge dreamy coasts and wander through secret valleys, you will fall in love with Turkey.
Where to stay: You can generally enjoy great camping or soaking up the country’s atmosphere by staying over in a pension or more affordable hotel.
Exploring Comino, Gozo and Malta
Ah, marvellous Malta… It has got to be one of the most underrated travel destinations and countries around. With azure waters, stunning old architecture and new and exciting places to explore, this Southern European island country – which possesses three primary parts in Malta, Comino and Gozo respectively – offers the best mix of sun, culture and year-round attractions.
It’s also an ideal destination for short European backpacking adventures – without being tired and well-trodden! If history is your thing, head to the capital city, Valletta and trek in the footsteps of Knights of St John. In Gozo, enjoy a CitySightseeing bus tour, ferry ride or fun with Gozo Segway Tours. And, you can even sneak in a little island hopping in gorgeous Comino, home to the famous Blue Lagoon!
Where to stay: If you want comfy accommodation without breaking the bank, hostels, or resorts are probably your best bets. Valletta is arguably the most expensive place to try find accommodation in, so search in other cities and towns, like Sliema or Saint Julians, to save!
Immerse Yourself in The Philippines
The Philippines is finally garnering the attention – and recognition – this beautiful country in Southeast Asia deserves. And with over 7000 islands in The Philippines, travellers are well and truly spoilt for choice!
Aside from the excellent, varied Asian cuisine, unique terrains, magical forests, breathtaking coves and spectacular waterfalls, The Philippines has so much to offer backpackers.
Whether you wish to hike in the mountains, explore lush forests or just swim and snorkel in crystal waters, The Philippines is one of the best places in Asia to do all that – and so much more!
Places like Palawan (ideal for blissful diving and island hopping), Bohol Province (two words: Chocolate Hills) and Cebu (which offers the Kabutongan Waterfall Trek) are unmissable, each bringing something new to the (travel) party!
Where to stay: Opt for any of the budget-friendly backpacker hotels or more affordable holiday resorts.
Unearth the Wonders of Iceland
If travel has a catchword at present, it has got to be: Iceland… Whether you visit it to re-enact some of Game of Thrones most iconic scenes (this really is the land of ice and fire, after all!); to walk along the black sand beach of Reynisfjara; or soak your travel-loving bones in a hot spring in true, Instagram-worthy style… Iceland has something for every traveller (and budget) to enjoy!
Some of the unmissable attractions and things to do in Iceland include the following:
- navigating Ring Road, one of Iceland’s national roads (it runs around the island, connecting the country’s most populated areas);
- tackling the incredible Laugavegur Trail;
- exploring the small, yet charming city of Reykjavik;
- or simply heading to Vik, where the sands are black and mysterious. (As a bonus, you can also see Iceland’s most beloved bird, the puffin, around here.)
Whatever you choose to do – and wherever you go – Iceland is sure to fill up your memory banks, as you keep craving more of this magical Nordic island country.
Where to stay: Camping, hostels and couchsurfing are arguably the best and most affordable accommodation options in Iceland. Locals are friendly so couchsurfing is definitely a fun idea when backpacking in Iceland!
Travel about Sunny South Africa
If ever there was a country of contrasts – particularly in terms of beauty, culture and scenery – it has to be South Africa. Each town, city and province is as different and uniquely enchanting as the last.
And no matter whether you choose to backpack from coast to coast (like Durban to Cape Town, as an example), meander around the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, adventure in the stunning Garden Route or simply hike your way around SA, you are in for an amazing time!
Some of the notable treks include the Wild Coast Hike (Eastern Cape), Otter Trail (Western Cape), Amphitheatre Hike (KwaZulu-Natal) and Hennops Trail (Gauteng) to name but a few.
But, in between all your avid exploring, remember to enjoy some of the free city tours, galleries and museums; incredible wildlife and game parks; and ever-changing landscapes (blessed with real, breathtaking African sunrises and sunsets) that this gorgeous African country has to offer!
Where to stay: South Africa has some excellent backpackers, lodges, hostels and quaint cottages and camping spots to enjoy so any of these make for good options – it just depends on seasonal availability and of course, your budget.
Conclusion: These are five of the most incredible destinations for memorable backpacking… and with good reason! Which is first on your travel itinerary?