Taiwan is a hiker’s paradise. Whether you seek a multi-day epic trek through the island’s highest mountains or an hour-long stroll through soothing woodland, you’ll find a multitude of trails that match your fitness and ambition.
Some of the finest hill-country experiences, however, are only available to those who have their own vehicles. Even then, a day that begins with a long drive up from the lowlands and concludes with an equally long journey back to your accommodation isn’t nearly as much fun as it could be. But with a car and driver at your beck and call – a privilege enjoyed by every Life of Taiwan client – you’ll not only be able to devote your energy to the trail and your surroundings, but also take on some alluring A-to-B hikes.
One of the best of these is not far from Alishan. The Tefuye Historic Trail (top picture) connects an abandoned police station at 2,280m above sea level with a mountain road far from the nearest indigenous village.
Some of those who park at one end hike the entire 6.32 kilometres, then retrace their steps. The scenery is just as invigorating second time around, but your legs may well complain after descending and then climbing 600m elevation. Being delivered to one end of trail, then collected three or four hours’ later at the other, is obviously the ideal.
Half a day is just right for sauntering from the northern base of Lion’s Head Mountain (lower picture) in northwest Taiwan to the opposite side, en route looking in at the various Buddhist temples and retreats that made this area a place of pilgrimage long before it became a magnet for hikers. Some of the shrines date from the late 19th century; in combination with the greenery and rugged topography, all are highly photogenic.
Taroko Gorge is one of Life of Taiwan’s most requested destinations and Lushui Trail is one of the area’s most popular hikes. Very scenic, yet a mere 2 kilometres in length and generally flat, it’s one we often recommend to clients taking our Classic tours. And because they can usually spot Formosan rock macaques – a type of monkey unique to Taiwan – younger travelers also enjoy the experience!