Over the past five decades, UK-based Cicerone Press has established itself as the gold standard for hiking guidebooks.
I bought my first Cicerone guide in the mid-90’s, and since that time if I’ve been planning a walking trip in Britain or continental Europe, there’s a good chance I utilised one of their books.
Apart from hiking, Cicerone also publish cycling and mountaineering guides, and in recent times have begun to expand their coverage beyond Europe, and now increasingly feature other areas around the world such as the USA, the Himalaya, Andes and Atlas mountains.
I’m just back from Nepal, my first trip since 2014 where I hiked Langtang.
Around 9,000 people diedduring the Nepalearthquake of 25 April 2015.
One tiny village in the Langtang Valley accounted for 243 of them: 175 villagers, 27 local tourism staff (guides and porters), and 41 foreign trekkers.
Yet in the 2018-19 fiscal year, a record 21,945 tourists (16,386 foreigners and 5,559 Nepalis) visited Langtang National Park.
So far as I could see, Nepal trails are busier than ever. And easier than ever as you could connect to the internet almost everywhere with a Nepal Telecom (Namaste) SIM card in my mobile phone. I didn’t once have to pay for electricity in the mountains.
The big 3 trekking areas for those who want to hike independently are
The Inca Trail is one of the world’s best hikes. But this is one of many problems which makes us prefer the Salkantay Trek to Aguas Calientes followed by a visit to Machu Picchu. Salkantay can be done independently carrying your own backpack. For the Inca Trail you must be guided.