Hiking Silhouette by Hillary Fox

Not that long after you’re born, you start to put one foot in front of the other. Walking. Such a simple movement, which comes so naturally to most of us (luckily). But besides getting us from A to B, it also provides a host of health benefits.

Walking for at least 150 minutes with a moderate intensity or 75 minutes with vigorous intensity per week is the recommended minimum for adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, walking for at least 150 minutes with a moderate intensity or 75 minutes with vigorous intensity per week is the recommended minimum for adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Following these guidelines can also decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

 Seems like a good enough argument to go for a daily stroll at least!

If walking is already part of your daily routine why not take it to the next level and go hiking? 

Hiking provides additional health benefits - being out in nature is widely known to reduce anxiety and stress and helps improve your mood and mental well-being. The best part: hiking doesn’t have to be a secluded activity, in the middle of a forest or national park. 

Most cities actually offer great trails that let hiking-newbies experience the best of all worlds: a nature experience, the buzz of city life as well as health benefits. 

Maybe give hiking a chance on your next vacation? Airbnb Experiences, a category the sharing economy platform introduced in 2016, offers a variety of options to suit anyone from experienced hiking enthusiasts to newbies looking to hit the beginner trails.

With these hikes booked through Airbnb you’ll have the additional benefit of a knowledgeable local guide showing you the way and guiding you through your authentic experience.

Beat the trails in Barcelona.

Hike like a local with Rhys, a nature enthusiast, originally from Cornwall in the United Kingdom. He’s made Barcelona his home and has spent the last five years learning the intricacies of routes and trails in the city’s “beautiful natural spots”.

Fascinated by the many urban and countryside hikes that are not too well known among tourists, Rhys takes guests on an easy and relaxed trek to the top of "Tibidabo" mountain (a name F.R.I.E.N.D.S. enthusiasts may know well). Once there, you’ll pause for a pleasant picnic of a variety of local delicacies, including cheeses, cured meats, fish, olives and other local surprises – a “real taste of local life” straight from the farmer's market.

Length of tour: Six hours.

Difficulty: Easy/moderate and relaxed.

Traipse in Cape Town.

Lion’s Head is known for being one of the most beautiful scenic hikes in South Africa. And while it may also be among the most accessible, it’s best done with a guide who knows the ropes (and the ladders and chains that guide you along the route).

Airbnb Experience host Thami is an avid hiker and active individual who will show you the best viewpoints (though they’re all quite spectacular), and the secret spots known to few tourists. He’ll also provide you with water, energy bars, and stories along the way. A perfect day out in the Mother City!

Length of tour: Three and a half hours.

Difficulty: Moderate. Multiple routes – your route will be decided on the day, depending on the overall fitness level of the group.

Saunter in Surrey.

If your favourite scenes in Downton Abbey were of characters strolling along the rolling lawns discussing family dramas, then this stunning peak hike is the one for you. 

Your host John has explored the paths and tracks for more than 35 years, making him expertly equipped to guide you through this designated "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty". 

John is passionate about local history and will regale you with details on historical landmarks such as Reigate Fort, the Inglis Memorial, the site of the American WWII B17 plane crash and memorial at Reigate Hill, the Manor House at Gatton Park, and more. 

You’ll also be able to enjoy tea and treats at a local tea room and visit an old country pub for a pint of beer on the site of the hunting lodge of King Henry VIII.

Length of tour: Four and a half hours.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate.