The UAE's highest peak has been named the best destination for hikers in the UAE. Part of the Hajar mountain range, Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah was picked as the top choice from among 20 hiking routes in the country, in a new list compiled by UK retailer SportsShoes.com.
"With an elevation of 1,934 metres, Jebel Jais takes around five to 10 hours round trip to climb the 30 kilometre round route. The famous Stairway to Heaven route is commonly done with the assistance of a guide, due to it being a particularly tricky route," the report said.
Scroll through the gallery below for pictures of Highlander55, a multi-day trek across Jebel Jais, and other Ras Al Khaimah mountain adventures:
Sharjah's Fossil Rock came in second, with Wadi Shawka, also in Ras Al Khaimah, rounding up the top three.
Other trails that made it to the Top 10 include Wadi Naqab and Wadi Ghalilah in Ras Al Khaimah, Wadi Tayyibah and Wadi Madha in Fujairah, Mleiha in Sharjah, Hatta trails in Dubai and Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, which was recently named one of the most picturesque road trip routes in the world.
Below are the top 10 best hiking destinations in the UAE:
- Jebel Jais
- Fossil Rock
- Wadi Shawka
- Wadi Naqab
- Jebel Hafeet Al Ain
- Wadi Ghalilah
- Wadi Tayyibah
- Hatta Trails
- Wadi Madha
The list released by SportsShoes also named the world's best destinations for a hiking holiday, with Spain as the most popular, followed closely by Japan and England.
Compiled by analysing Google searches of more than 500 hiking routes, along with walking and hiking holidays in more than 100 countries, the data was then combined with the number of Instagram hashtags for each to arrive at the final list.
Spain topped the list as the best hiking holiday destination "offering shimmering coastal paths, rugged mountain ranges and an ideal climate for hiking", the company said.
There were 170,830 annual searches and 3,100 hashtags associated with a hiking adventure there.
"Sacred pilgrimage Camino de Santiago is the best hiking route in Spain. The full route takes over a month to complete and has been traversed for hundreds of years by travellers from all over the world," the study said. "Caminito del Rey is the second most popular Spanish hike, and although much shorter than Camino de Santiago, coming in at just 7km, this steep trek is a bucket list item for adrenaline seeking hikers. The third best Spanish hike is the Cami de Ronda, a trail which hugs the rugged Costa Brava coastline, and offers different sections for those of any hiking level."
Japan also ranked high "for its stunning range of snow-topped mountain climbs, lush green forest paths and cultural offering".
"Unesco World Heritage Site Yakushima comes in as the best hiking destination, surrounded by lush tropical forests. For those keen to take in architecture during their climb, the Daibutsu Hike, which comes in second, allows hikers to explore atmospheric temples and beautiful shrines along the way.
"Coming in third, The Seven Waterfalls of Kawazu can be viewed on a stunning trail which winds its way through the forest for about one kilometre, and offers a hot spring resort at the base for travellers to relax and unwind post-hike," according to the SportsShoes.
England, third on the list, had more than 124,000 searches and 1,600 hashtags for hiking holidays, followed by Scotland. Australia comes in fifth place, with more than 20,000 searches and 54,155 hashtags.
Below are top 10 best hiking holiday destinations in the world:
- Northern Ireland