Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea
This 60-mile trail through the Owen Stanley mountain range was a battleground between Australian and Japanese forces in the second world war. It is now a rough track through tropical jungle and remote villages, from Owers Corner to Kokoda (or vice versa). The highest point is Mount Bellamy (2,250m).
Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
These huge peaks and crags in northern Ethiopia are home to the walia ibex and gelada baboon. Trekking is difficult due to altitude – over 3,000m – and temperature, which can fluctuate 20C in one day. Start in Debarq, hire an armed scout (obligatory) and a guide (optional) and camp or stay in a lodge (simiens.com).
• More information at guyshachar.com
Old Elephant Trail, Thailand
A 19th-century trade route between Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai, along the Thai-Burma border, was abandoned in the 1950s. It is now a challenging trek over mountain ridges and through dense forests. The pass over Doi Yao has views into Burma.
• Eight days from £1,190pp, including camping, hotel and meals, excluding flights; first departure 4 November, worldexpeditions.com
Waitukubuli Trail, Dominica
The first long-distance trail in the Caribbean runs across Dominica from Scotts Head to Cabrits (114 miles). The mountainous interior is carpeted with rainforest and punctuated by waterfalls, gorges and sulphurous springs.
• waitukubulitrail.com has tips on planning an independent hiking holiday
El Hierro, Canary Islands
The smallest and least-visited of the Canary Islands is criss-crossed with extremely steep trails through laurel forests, vineyards and lava fields. The highest point, Malpaso, is less than three miles from the north and south coasts but has far-reaching views.
• More information for independent travellers at walkingworld.com
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010