For the avid hiker, there are some trails that must be experienced firsthand. While travel may not be possible at the moment, experiencing the outdoors on a more local scale has never been more appealing. From leisurely, grassy paths to mountainous terrain to desert canyons, there are enchanting and challenging hikes to be found the world over. We’ve sourced six homes that all have one thing in common: their proximity to some of the world’s most notable hikes.
The Matterhorn, Switzerland
The village of Zermatt in front of the Matterhorn, photo courtesy of Bernsten / Shutterstock Inc
Few peaks are as iconic as Switzerland’s Matterhorn, where 248 miles of hiking trails wind through symmetrical snowy mountain peaks and idyllic grassy knolls. With varying degrees of difficulty—from guided tours for beginners to challenging routes for the seasoned hiker—the trails over the Matterhorn draw visitors from around the world. The closest town to the mountain is Zermatt, where romantic ski chalets and comfortable restaurants provide the backdrop for vacationers looking to experience the alpine setting.
Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland | Sven Dutoit, Cardis Immobilier Sotheby’s International Realty
Located in the Petit Village area of town—just steps from the hiking trails—this chalet is a choice spot for hikers looking to wind down after a long day. Reclaimed wood interiors, contemporary furnishings, and natural fabrics act as a luxurious extension of the outdoors. With the space for 14 guests and unparalleled views of the Matterhorn, the chalet is the perfect place to unwind and relax.
The Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites in summer, photo courtesy of Dan Breckwoldt / Shutterstock Inc
The Dolomites in northeastern Italy, known by locals as the “Pale Mountains,” are a hiker’s paradise. With their significant elevation changes, the mountains are home to a range of hiking trails to appeal to all skill levels, from leisurely, flat walks to more challenging routes. Whether you’re looking for a multi-day excursion or a day hike, summer in the Dolomites means hiking among lush countrysides, crystalline lakes, and some of the most breathtaking wilderness on earth.
Bolzano, Italy | Mattia Covacich, Italy Sotheby’s International Realty
Characterized by charming buildings, luxury hotels, and astonishing sunsets, San Cassiano is an appealing mountain village from which to begin your Dolomites adventure. Those with an affinity for both nature and contemporary design will appreciate this centrally located development, where multiple penthouses and apartments provide space to gather after a day in the mountains. The sleek built-ins and emphasis on natural materials—not to mention the personal spas included in some of the penthouses—ensure a serene setting for weary hikers.
Pico Ruivo, Portugal
Trail from Pico Ruivo, photo courtesy of Marina Kryuchina / Shutterstock Inc
Madeira, the volcanic island off the coast of Portugal, is home to hundreds of hiking trails and winding paths. The route from Pico de Arieiro to Pico Ruivo is one of the more challenging hikes, where nearly 7.5 miles of rough terrain lead from the island’s third-highest peak to its highest. Due to the elevation, weather conditions can change quickly, but the feeling of being above the clouds and taking in the surrounding view more than makes up for it.
Maderia, Portugal | Lina Ramos, Portugal Sotheby’s International Realty
Within driving distance of the trails, this contemporary villa in Funchal, the largest city on the island, boasts breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and sea. Large windows let in an abundance of natural light, while modern amenities like a gym and games room provide guests with post-hike entertainment. The real showstopper here is the turquoise-hued swimming pool, seemingly dissolving into the ocean in the horizon.
Runyon Canyon, California
Aerial view of Los Angeles from Runyon Canyon park, photo courtesy of oneinchpunch / Shutterstock Inc
A favorite spot for Angelenos, Runyon Canyon Park is a moderately challenging hiking destination for those looking to escape the city for a spell. Whether you opt for the 1.9-mile, 2.65-mile, or 3.9-mile loop, the trails through the hilly brushland are dog-friendly and provide hikers with a birds-eye view of Hollywood below. The park tends to be busy, so hikers should keep in mind safe distancing protocols to ensure everyone can continue to enjoy the views.
Los Angeles, California | Patricia Ruben, Sotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage
The best of both worlds, this home is just minutes from both Runyon Canyon and the Sunset Strip. The gated estate offers six bedrooms and a guest house, while the airy white interiors and welcoming outside spaces are a respite from busy city life.
Sunrise on Camelback Mountain, photo courtesy of Jeremy Janus / Shutterstock Inc
The desert landscape meets the sky in Arizona’s Camelback Mountain, a picturesque hiking destination not far from Pheonix’s city center. With an elevation of 2,704 feet, Camelback Mountain features two hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty: Echo Canyon and Cholla. Dotted with desert flora, cacti, and palo verde, the region is uniquely enchanting—especially once the sun begins to set.
Scottsdale, Arizona | Kathleen Benoit, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty
Ideal for those who visit the desert and never want to leave, this home in nearby Scottsdale takes full advantage of the dramatic sunsets. Earthy palettes, expansive windows, and a spacious pool and patio area ensure you never miss a moment of the natural splendor, while the proximity to the Desert Mountain Club provides additional recreational activities close at hand.
The Grouse Grind, Canada
Foggy forest trail at The Grouse Grind, photo courtesy of Lijuan Guo / Shutterstock Inc
Vancouverites are known for their affinity for the outdoors, and it’s no wonder when there are numerous hiking spots right in their backyard. One of the best-known routes is the Grouse Grind, aptly named for both the Grouse Mountain on which it winds as well as its intense vertical incline and endless stairs. The experienced hiker will spend roughly an hour and a half traversing the Grind, while more novice hikers might find it takes them closer to two hours to make it to the top.
West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Monica Soprovich, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
This nearby property in West Vancouver allows for devout hikers to incorporate the Grind into their regular fitness routine. Decant a bottle of wine to enjoy on the large patio, recline in the hot tub, or enjoy the close proximity to the beach and marina. The home’s open floor plan and thoughtfully designed interiors strike a balance between luxurious living and outdoor enjoyment.
For the outdoor enthusiast, one of the most important parts of buying a home is finding one that allows for easy access to nature. These six homes fit the bill for the hiker at heart.
Whether you’re looking for your next adventure or a calm respite, choose from among these hike-adjacent escapes and you’ll never be far from nature.
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