If you enjoy hiking, or just the idea of it, cliff paths are a beautiful and safe way to get the most out of one of nature's extreme gifts. Come with us on a walk through some of the world's most spectacular cliff paths!
1. Huangshan Paths, China
Huangshan is a mountain range in the southern Anhui province of China. The area is renowned for its lush green scenery, golden sunsets, uniquely-shaped granite peaks, fragrant pine trees and all around stunning views.
The Huangshan has been the frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literatures, and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of China's major tourist destinations.
There are over 30 touring paths throughout the Huangshan Mountains, which total about 50 km (31 mi) in length and are a width of about 1-2 meters (3-6 ft.).
The "Fairytale Bridge" is part of trail network. From it, you have breathtaking views of the mountainside and the opportunity to see the clouds touch the mountain top.
Most of the trails are stone paved roads, some with granite and others with slabs, part of the mountain's own geology.
2. Capri Island Path, Italy
On the pristine Mediterranean island of Capri lies one of the most beautiful ocean cliffs in Europe.
The Via Krupp, as it's called, was carved into the southern coast of the island in 1902, and was recently reopened after being closed for 30 years of restoration.
The trail begins at the top in the lush Gardens of Augustus (the island was a favorite vacation spot of the Roman emperor). Then you snake your way down to admire the Bay of Marina Piccola, along the gorgeous Faraglioni rocks.
The path was designed by the German industrialist Friedrich Krupp for easier access to the marinas below.
3. Walkways of Tianmen Mountain, China
Another of China's magnificent cliff pathways, these walkways are located on Tianmen Mountain in Tianmen National Park in the Hunan Province. A cable car was constructed to bring visitors from the nearby railway station in Zhangjiajie to the top of the mountain.
The path is about 1,600 meters (5,250 ft.) long and averages at an altitude of 1,400 meters (4,600 ft.). Unlike other paths, this path is built entirely in the cliffs, with hardly any walking on land.
Sections of the trail have glass floors so those curious to see the world below them can have a look. At about 1,400 meters (4,700 ft.) above sea level, the trail hosts one of the world's highest observation points.
For your safety on the trail, the park authorities require visitors to wear anti-slip shoe covers to minimize the chance of accidents.
4. Path to Gaztelugatxe, Spain
Located on the island of Gaztelugatxe in Spain, traveling this path will give you a full view of Basque Country beauty.
The path is connected to the mainland by a man-made bridge. On top of the island is a hermitage that dates back to the 10th century. The hermitage can be accessed by a narrow path and by the bridge.
The best seasons to traverse this path are spring and autumn, as the summers are typically crowded along the path.
5. Skellig Michael Path, Ireland
Skellig Michael is an island in County Kerry, Ireland that houses geological wonders and miles of green pasture.
A Christian monastery was founded on the island between the 6th and 8th centuries, and was continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century.
The remains of the monastery, as well as most of the island, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
By following the stone steps that wind along the island's cliffs (most likely built by the monks), you can enjoy the island's green vegetation and unique birds to the fullest. Puffins, for example, nest there from early spring until August.
6. Donkey Path, Santorini, Greece
Santorini is one of the more popular islands of Greece, with millions of tourists visiting each year to enjoy the ocean scenery and laid-back Greek lifestyle.
In 1715, the inhabitants of the island built a rough path on the side of the island's mountain so that they could hike to the summit. Soon, donkeys were enlisted to carry their cargo from the ships at port to the town at the mountain's summit.
In 1979, a cable car was installed, but donkeys continue to traverse the path today. The walkway is paved in stone, and due it's many switchbacks, the distance from beginning to end is about 1,300 meters (4,265 ft.).
7. Cliff Path at Blue Mountains, Australia
The Blue Mountains are located in New South Wales, Australia, bordering the bustling city of Sydney at a distance of about 31 miles (50 km.).
The cliff path of the mountain range called the Mid Cliff Walk was carved into the face of the cliff. It includes handrails, ladders and gorgeous lookouts that provide a birds-eye view over the forests, the remote Jamison Valley and the Wentworth Falls.
8. Edenalp Path, Switzerland
The northernmost summit of the Appenzell Alps, the Ebenalp is a popular hiking destination that is also accessible by cable car from the town of Wasserauen. The site attracts up to 200,000 visitors a year.
As you walk from the cable car to the Aescher Mountain restaurant, you will be stunned by the gorgeous views. The path takes you through ancient caves on the way, and can be completed in just 20 minutes.
9. Jiankou Great Wall, China
Jiankou is a section of the famous Great Wall of China which happens to be one of the most popular among travelers and photographers alike.
Jiankou has unique steep mountains and insanely beautiful scenery. 'Jiankou' means 'Arrow Nock' in English, called this name because the mountain is shaped like an arrow.
The climb, however, could be dangerous because this section has fallen into disrepair, leaving the path filled with jagged cliffs and steep drop-offs.
While other parts of the wall have been turned into tourist attractions, the Jiankou section has been left largely untouched and therefore usually attracts the more adventurous types.
10. Cap Carbon Paths, Algeria
An Algerian cape located in Wilaya de Bejaia, the Cap Carbon paths are only 5 km. (3.1 mi.) from Bejaia's city center.
The path is equipped with a lighthouse, built at 220 m (720 ft.) above sea level, making it one of the tallest in the Mediterranean. The trails are long and winding with great views of the sea, carved into the rocks of the peninsula.
The trails are surrounded with pine and olive trees and are inhabited by local monkeys that like to entertain visitors.
11. Dun Chaoin Path, Ireland
On the most westernly tip of the Dingle Peninsula in southwest Ireland, lies Dun Chaoin. The township is renowned for its scenery and Gaelic culture. With fantastic views of the Blasket Islands, the spot is a particular popular destination for photographers and nature-lovers alike.
In this beautiful shot, sheep traverse their way down one of Dun Chaoin's winding pathways.