Active adventure yacht charters: remote hiking places across the globe

Published 03 August 2023

Be active on your next adventure yacht charter and discover the world’s most scenic trails and landscapes with the Burgess guide to the world’s most remote hiking destinations accessible by yacht.

A luxury yacht charter doesn’t necessarily mean taking a vacation spent lounging around on the sun deck of a yacht, with the maximum exertion you make being a gentle stroll along the beachfront promenade. Instead, some charter guests think of the yacht they charter as a floating luxury hotel and use it for whatever purpose they wish – either by experiencing the best of both worlds via a combination of adventure and relaxation, or by opting for a full on, adrenaline packed adventure.

Embrace the fresh air and breathtaking views

Firstly let’s deal with the obvious – a yacht is the perfect venue for indulging in your favourite watersports –  whether it’s scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, or even e-foiling –  you can do what you already know of course, but on the right charter you can also experiment with a few new activities you haven’t tried on some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. But if this sounds too 'yachty', then what about hiking through the pine forests of Denmark, parasailing above the Norwegian fjords, or perhaps kayaking on the inland lakes close by the coast of the Pacific Northwest?

Whether in Europe, the Americas or far beyond, a superyacht adventure awaits those looking for comfort but also wanting to venture beyond their comfort zone. Here we look at the best places to explore on foot while on an adventure charter.  

Norway: Jotunheimen National Park   

Admire the blue glacier Lake Gjende along the Besseggen Ridge

Best discovered by yacht, the Norwegian Fjordlands offer some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. With thousands upon thousands of miles of coastline, almost 50 national parks, and some of northern Europe’s tallest mountains, it’s hardly surprising that the outdoor lifestyle is an integral part of the Norwegian lifestyle. What better way to discover the stunning scenery (other than by yacht of course), than on your own two feet.

Whether you want to simply to enjoy the fresh air, track diverse birdlife, or enjoy spectacular views, there is a hiking trail to suit every fitness level. For the avid hiker, the Jotunheimen National Park is home to the country’s tallest mountains and has plenty of trails, the most famous of which is Besseggen. Rated as one of the top 20 hikes in the world by National Geographic, the Besseggen trail runs along a stunning granite ridge with the cobalt-blue Bessvatnet lake on one side and the green-coloured Gjene lake on the other.  

  • Best for: Breathtaking views  
  • Difficulty rating: Experienced hikers 
  • Elevation: 900m   
  • Time: Six to eight hours roundtrip 
  • Best time: Mid-June to mid-October  
  • Starting point: Fly to Bergen, then sail north to Sognefjord and cruise up to Skjolden or Årdalstangen. Car to Memurubu.  
Indulge in the peaceful silence and stunning scenery 

For those looking for an easier hike, Northern Norway’s Lofoten islands are known for their mountains which have hiking trails for all abilities. Reinebringen offers a spectacular summit view without the altitude, and, thanks to the stone-built stairs, is relatively easy terrain but remains a fitness challenge.  

  • Best for: Summit views 
  • Difficulty rating:  Challenging  
  • Elevation: 510m  
  • Time: Three hours  
  • Best time: May to September  
  • Starting point: Cruise north to the Lofoten Islands and the island of Flakstadøya. From here, disembark in the fishing village of Reine to access the Reinebringen hiking trail. 

Italy: Dolomite Mountains  

Stop and smell the fragrant lavender as you hike up the Dolomite Mountains 

Italy’s Dolomite mountains may be best known for their winter offerings, but the summer season also promises a variety of activities for hikers, climbers and mountain bikers alike. Tie in an adventurous yacht charter through the Adriatic, perhaps from Venice down to Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast with a few days ashore exploring the stunning Dolomites. This beautiful landscape of evergreen forests and flower-speckled meadows has been designated a World Heritage Site thanks to the stunning scenery and topography. There are plenty of scenic trails to choose from, ranging from family-friendly shorter routes to more challenging circuits suitable only for the fittest charterer.

The views from the top are like no other

The most popular trails are the vertiginous ‘Alte Vie’ (literally highways) which cut through the mountain range from the three peaks of Lavaredo down to Lake Braies. The Alta Via 1 (also known as the Dolomite High Route 1) is the easiest and most popular of the high routes, however, it does take an average of eight days. For those looking for just one-or two-days hiking to break up or book end a yacht charter, why not try the first stage from Lago di Braies to Rigugio Biella, and then on to Rifugio Fanes on day two. 

  • Best for: Alpine landscape  
  • Difficulty rating: Mid to challenging with some narrow and exposed paths – considered to be the shortest and easiest is the Alta Via 1 path.  
  • Elevation: 929m  
  • Time: Four to five hours  
  • Best time: Mid-June to mid-September  
  • Starting point: From Venice drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo and then on to the trailhead at Lago di Braies. The first stage of the Alta Via 1 path starts at the alpine lake Lago di Braies and finishes at Rifugio Biella. 

Greece: Samaria Gorge, Crete 

The trail exhibits various terrains as it runs under the White Mountains down to the Libyan Sea

The rugged White Mountains (Lefka Ori) of Crete offer some of the most striking and diverse scenery in the Mediterranean and are easy to access by yacht. The mountains are home to the Samaria Gorge – an iconic hiking area so rich with wildlife and plant life that it is a UNESCO-protected Biosphere Reserve.  The gorge is formed by a 10-mile canyon that runs from beneath the White Mountains all the way down to the Libyan Sea.

Be observant as Samaria Gorge is known to be rich with wildlife 

The canyon winds its way through forests of pine and cypress trees, with freshwater springs for bathing as well as abandoned villages along the way. Between the two points are 10 miles of descending trail that gradually decreases in gradient as it goes. At its narrowest, the Samaria Gorge is just three metres wide where it is known as 'The Gates', and up to 150m at its widest point. The downhill hike starts at Xyloskalo (Omalos Plateau) and descends past sheer rock walls, down through the pine forests and ends on the beach of Agia Roumeli.  

  • Best for: Flora and fauna  
  • Difficulty rating: Moderate 
  • Elevation: 1,250m 
  • Time: Six to seven hours  
  • Best time: May to October  
  • Starting point: While cruising the Ionian Islands, step ashore on the large island of Crete and take a car to Xyloskalo, the trailhead for the Samaria Gorge.  

Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park 

Home to the most stunning waterfalls and scenery, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a hike of leisure 

While cruising the glittering Adriatic coastline, why not drop anchor and head inland to explore the dramatic landscapes that make Croatia one of the most appealing charter destinations in the Mediterranean. The country is home to eight national parks, including the Mljet, Brijuni and Kornati National Parks, all three of them amongst the most popular cruising spots in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, there is more to Croatia than simply its coastline. The interior is also dotted with geological and natural wonders, including lakes and waterfalls. 

Go for a slow paddle down the turquoise lake as you admire the vibrant foliage 

The Plitvice National Park is a couple of hours inland from Split but well worth the drive for its magical landscape. The UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site is full of hiking paths that traverse its beautiful lakes, of which there are 16. Deep in the forest, the lakes are on different heights and flow into each other to create cascades and waterfalls of varying blue hues. All the lakes and waterfalls can be accessed by various trails, ranging from two or three hours up to eight, with distances of between two miles to over 12 miles.   

  • Best for: Waterfalls and lakes  
  • Difficulty rating: Easy 
  • Elevation: Ranging from 121m to 1,270m 
  • Time: Two to eight hours  
  • Best time: April to September  
  • Starting point: While cruising the Dalmatian Coastline, berth your yacht in Split and drive to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. There are two entrances to the park, but entrance one, further north, is the recommended starting point for the best views of the lakes and waterfalls as you walk towards them. 

Turkey: Lycian Way 

Take a moment and take a deep breath; listen to the gentle gusts of wind and the chirping birds

Winding its way above the Mediterranean, the Lycian Way follows the traces of the ancient trade routes of the Lycians along Turkey’s coast. The route connects 18 ancient cities between Fethiye and Antalya, and it is possible to hike along many sections of its 300 miles. The first stage begins in Fethiye, one of Turkey’s most popular charter destinations. At just over eight miles, the first half takes walkers to an altitude of over 730m and rewards them with magnificent views of Ölüdeniz turquoise lagoon.

The ruins of the old Roman Delikkemer aqueduct bridge 

The latter stages then take in several pretty villages before ending in the village of Faralya just above the protected nature reserve of Butterfly Valley. For experienced hikers there is also a small path that leads down into the valley. For those looking to explore further, the following section of The Lycian Way offers UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient ruins along its 10-mile stretch from Pydnai to Xanthos. 

  • Best for: Dramatic vistas  
  • Difficulty rating: Easy 
  • Elevation: 730m  
  • Time: Five hours  
  • Best time: April to June/ September and October  
  • Starting point: Fethiye  

Spain: Camino de Santiago  

Hike to visit the Baroque Church located along the Camino de Santiago trail 

Bursting with culture, historic cities along and fine cuisine, the Camino de Santiago comprises a complex number of pilgrim’s routes which all converge on the holy city of Santiago de Compostela. Often referred to as the Way of St James, to walk the Camino is a homage to St James, who was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. The actual number of pilgrim routes here are almost infinite, but there are a variety of more official and better travelled routes, including the popular Camino Frances, the challenging coastal Camino del Norte, and the more off-the-beaten path of Camino Invierno, or winter way.

Milestone marker of Finisterre Cape outside the village's lighthouse 

All the routes are spread across vast miles, so unless you have weeks to spare then opting for a section is the only way to achieve your own distilled version of the pilgrimage. Whatever your chosen section, you can trek through the French Pyrenees, explore medieval towns or head through valleys and mountain ranges to eventually join the Camino Primitivo in the Melide River Valley.  

  • Best for: Dramatic vistas  
  • Difficulty rating: Varied  
  • Elevation: Varied  
  • Time: Approx 10 – 13 miles a day; length of route 480 miles  
  • Best time: April to October  
  • Starting point: Varied 

Pacific Northwest:  Juneau

The Juneau trail is a thing of beauty. Indulge in the vibrant colours of the flowers and the picturesque mountainscape 

The coastline between Vancouver Island and Alaska’s state capital Juneau is widely regarded as one of the most awe-inspiring in the world. The waters here provide a wide spectrum of adventurous activities from whale watching, kayaking, diving and fishing as well as incredible scenery. Step ashore from your yacht here and easily explore a rugged landscape that ranges from alpine forests and lofty mountains to glacial meadows with rivers that brim with wildlife, including 'running' salmon (and the bears that fish them).

From Arctic tundra to glaciers and mountains, America’s Last Frontier offers the yacht charterer exceptional hiking opportunities. Some coastal areas will have relatively low tree lines, allowing for alpine hiking without gaining too much elevation, while easy day hikes on well-prepared trails also allow for every kind of hiker, regardless of fitness levels, to enjoy the stunning landscape.  

Alaskan bears are a common sight along this trail; you might be lucky to see them catching salmon

While cruising up the coastline, first drop anchor in Juneau and step ashore to discover the Mendenhall Glacier, which is practically in Juneau’s backyard. The trailhead of the West Glacier Trail is an easy walk and begins softly with just 75m of elevation before hikers are rewarded with views of the glacier and lake at its base. Following the West Glacier Trail path, through forests and across bare rock, the Juneau hike finishes at the edge of the glacier before circling back (3.4 miles one way).  

  • Best for: Scenery   
  • Difficulty rating: Moderate  
  • Elevation: 171m 
  • Time: Four to six hours round trip   
  • Best time: Mid-May to September 
  • Starting point: Disembark in Juneau and drive the short distance to Mendenhall. 

Get ready to embark on your next adventure yacht charter with Burgess. Set a course for adventure on board a luxury yacht charter with Burgess. Enquire now.

To find out more about Burgess’ yachts for sale and yachts for charter, please contact a Burgess broker. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our offices directly: London, Monaco, New York, Miami, Singapore or all other locations.

- Yachts, prices and availability are correct at the time of publication.

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