Get ready for epic hikes as Highlander launches multi-day hiking experiences in November…

In the UAE, popular hikes like Wadi Showka tend to be one-day adventures. But there are a plethora of amazing nature excursions in and around the UAE, scattered across our surrounding mountains and wadis, that could be explored for days.

Ready to make that a reality is Highlander adventure. The brand was created in Croatia in 2017 with the intention of producing premium hiking experiences for nature lovers around the world and, from November, will be operating in Ras Al Khaimah. Pegged as a long-distance hiking event, Highlander is the only certified international hiking association in the world, inviting

participants to hike 100/50/25 km long trails for up to five days. But you don’t need to be a pro to join – Highlander is for anyone with an adequate level of fitness, passion and endurance.

Highlander55

When: November 18 to 20

The inaugural Highlander event takes place in RAK in November covering 51km through the ancient yet picturesque mountain terrain over the three days. The trails have been carefully designed by some of the country’s most accomplished mountaineers, to make this Highlander event a trip of a lifetime. For those who are not ready for the full three-day hike, there is the option of the Highlander Experience, which is 30km over two days. In addition to the hikes, both experiences offer yoga, plus Leave No Trace and travel talks in the evenings.

The route

The hike begins at the Wadi Ghalilah Dam, through the rocky wadi bed before the notoriously challenging, albeit immensely rewarding, climb of Stairway To Heaven, right to the summit. After this huge accomplishment on day one, you will camp under the stars at the UAE’s highest spot, Camp 1770, named so after its height above sea level. Here you can catch up with fellow trekkers, exchange stories and tales around camp fires and enjoy the most spectacular sunset.

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The following days will have you winding down along the ridge on the western side of the mountain, with breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs to one side and the glistening coast on the other. You will discover unbeaten paths that have never been experienced before and pass picturesque mountain villages where time has stood still and you can observe the ancient civilisation.

Things to consider before joining

To participate in Highlander55 or the Highlander Experience, there are a few requirements to consider beforehand. All hikers must bring – and carry – their own equipment such as sleeping bags, tents, stoves and cutlery. Nine meals and water will be provided over three days, but you need to bring your own snacks. There are daily checkpoints that must be reached, with time limits to adhere to, and although this is not a race, you will need to collect the checkpoint stamps in order to receive your completion certification and badge. As Highlander is dedicated to the preservation of nature and sustainability, littering and fire lighting are strictly forbidden.

Prices

HIGHLANDER55: Early Bird Dhs985 [SOLD OUT]; Regular Dhs1,185

HIGHLANDER Experience: Regular Dhs645

To find out more, and register for Highlander events in Ras Al Khaimah, visit highlanderadventure.com

Words: Abigail Gilbert
Images: Abigail Gilbert/Supplied