top 10 coastal hikes worldwide?

by site editor Rick McCharles

updated April 2016

But what are the best coastal hikes anywhere?

Top-10#1) West Coast Trail, BC Canada
#2) Otter Trail, South Africa
#3) Abel Tasman Track, New Zealand
#4) Lost Coast Trail, California
#5) Thorsborne Trail, Australia
#7) Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii
#8) Pembrokeshire Coast Path, U.K. 
#9) South Coast Track, Tasmania
10) Great Ocean Walk, Australia

Leave a comment if you have more to add to this list.

Canada’s West Coast Trail is so popular that many other alternatives have been developed nearby:

What about Canada’s east coast?

I’ve still yet to hike all of the Shipwreck Coast Trail (Rialto Beach to Shi Shi Beach) in Washington State.

Hiking is so popular and so well developed in the U.K. that there are many alternatives to the Pembrokeshire:

  • South West Coast Path
  • Cleveland Way
  • Norfolk Coast Path
  • Fife Coastal Path
  • Arran Coastal Way
  • Ayrshire Coastal Path
  • Anglesey Coastal Path
  • Causeway Coast Way
  • Lecale Way

In Italy there are some classic short walks suggested by Andrea:

Other recommended in the past:

Australia must have more coastal hiking than any nation in the world. There are many good candidates including:

Personally, I liked the Queen Charlotte Track in New Zealand even better than the Abel Tasman.

And the Fisherman’s Trail, Rota Vicentina, Portugal is high on my personal life list.

Waterloo Bay Beach, Australia


23 Replies to “top 10 coastal hikes worldwide?”

  1. Lycian way, Turkey:

    Great Ocean Walk, Australia:

    Easter Island coast:
    my own trip report on walking the south coast from Anakena back to Hanga Roa (along paved roads, and passing the best statues):
    & walking the other way along the north coast from Anakena back to Hanga Roa (unpaved – ‘possibly the best pacific island hike’)

  2. Great topic Rick,
    Have done all the Great Ocean Walk (about 120km from home) It is a great walk and very under utilised for the amount of facilities and infrastructure that has been spend on it!

    Another one that is near by (and have done sections ) is the Great South West Walk – from our blog:

    The 250km long Great South West Walk provides a fascinating variety of scenery and wildlife in the southwest of Victoria. The track winds inland from the town of Portland and reaches Nelson via the Cobboboonee Forest and Glenelg River. From there, it returns along the beaches and rugged capes to complete the loop. As it is cleverly promoted, it is a “Symphony in Four Movements”

    There are 4 different posts about it here:

    Another ripper is in Western Australia – the Bibbulman Track.

    Another blurb from Our Hiking Blog:

    The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, stretching nearly 1000kms (620 miles) from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills to Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. It goes through the heart of the scenic South West and traverses some of the most beautiful bush, forests and beaches that Australia can offer.

    This link: takes you to the post about the southern section that is primarily coastal. I have not done it but it is high on the bucket list.

    Finally, one we have done (and it nearly killed us!) The South Coast Track in southern Tasmania (World Heritage, minimal facilities, mud, and more mud and isolation.)

    There are a stack of posts on the blog about it (including an aborted trip we made last year)

    Thanks again for a terrific topic

  3. How about another top 10 list:

    Top 10 Dayhikes (under 20 miles) in the World!

    Zion Canyon Narrows, Half Dome via Mist Trail, etc.

  4. An incredible day hike on Crete is the 16 km Samaria Gorge hike that winds its way down a very steep-sided gorge to the Mediterranean, dropping 1250 m in the process. Walking through the flatter, more open areas in the gorge assault the senses with sun and the scent of the massive amounts of thyme and oregano growing there. Pretty sweet.

  5. Hi,

    Nice list !

    You already mentioned it shortly, but for me the South Coast Track in Tasmania should be added to the list. I’ve just completed it over the Easter in 7 days.

    What an incredibly rugged mudpool of a walk ! Beautiful though and very ‘wilderness’.

    A nice aspect is that you fly to the trailhead in a small plane before walking out to the other trailhead where you can get picked up by a coach 85km/53miles later. There are no huts or whatsoever along the track, so you have to carry a tent all the time. You take your water from streams, it’s mostly safe to drink (but brownish). Also, there are three species of venomous snakes active in the area, but they tend to stay away from humans; I didn’t encounter any. I did encounter other wildlife, such as pademelons (marsupial, small version of a kangaroo), possum, quoll.

    Fantastic !

    1. Thanks Eelco. I’ll add the South Coast Track to the top 10.

      Actually, I tried and failed on the SCT myself years ago. Too much mud. But I did love the section I managed to cover.

  6. AUSTRALIA: Eden to Malacoota or Thorsborne Trail not the Great Ocean Walk. South Coast Track in Tasmania is ok but too busy.

  7. The Lycian Way in Turkey is one of the best coastal walks. Not only is the water gorgeous and the terrain ever changing but the historical landmarks that you see along it go back centuries and span many different cultures. Roman architecture, Lycian rock tombs, ancient castles, and ghost towns from previous times are just a sample of what spans the trail.

      1. I see you also did the JMT, it’s on my to-do list along with the ECT in Newfoundland. Nice stuff, this is the third time I have been drawn to your blogs recently.

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