What’s the most exciting part of travelling? If you picked food, culture, and people, ding ding ding, you’re correct! But inexplicably, you missed one answer, which is the staircases.
Yes, we agree that being excited about the prospect of climbing hundreds (or thousands) of stairs while your thighs burn with the fury of a thousand suns does seem odd, but once you’ve seen these epic staircases, not being excited would be odd.
SAGRADA FAMILIA, SPAIN – AROUND 400 STEPS
Having entered construction in 1882 and still being around a decade away from 100 percent completion, you’d hope all the hard work that’s gone into this building will be worth it. Thankfully, it will be. The spiral stairwell is narrow, steep, and nauseating to look down, but it’s a worthwhile trek to see a structure that’s both new and historic.
HAIKU STAIRS, HAWAII – 3,922 STEPS
Work on these stairs first began in 1942 when the US Navy opted to set up a radio facility high up on the peaks of O’ahu and needed an “easy” path to the summit. Initially, the staircase was just a ladder, but it was eventually replaced with wooden steps and then metal steps for tourists. Following a death on the trail in 2012, the Haiku Stairs were closed to the public and are to this day.
STEPWELLS, INDIA – VARYING NUMBER OF STEPS
The once thousands of stepwells in northern India are proof that something as simple as a well can be truly breathtaking. The stepwells existed as a means to provide townspeople with water and refuge from the heat, and some many have fallen into disrepair, many still stand.
SAN JUAN DE GAZTELUGATZE, SPAIN – 237 STEPS
This islet on the northern coast of Spain is connected to the mainland by nothing but a man-made bridge. The path leads to a hermitage that dates back to the 10th century, not to mention a stunning view of the shoreline and the Bay of Biscay.
FLØRLI STAIRS, NORWAY – 4,444 STEPS
The Flørli Stairs primarily exist as a passage to the area’s power station, but we doubt that’s on most people’s lists of must-visit attractions. Rather, you’ll want to climb these stairs (maybe not all of them) to get a stunning view of the pristine waters and cliffs of Lysefjord.
TIANMEN MOUNTAIN STAIRS, CHINA – 999 STEPS
Located in China’s southeastern province of Hunan, these stairs are a walk to a heavenly sight, leading to a hole of sorts in the rock face that offers stunning views of the mountainous range that the is Tianmen National Park.
HALF DOME, USA – OVER 500 STEPS
Technically, this one isn’t so much a staircase as it is a cable climb, but we won’t tell if you won’t. Despite being an insane looking ascent, 50,000 people make the climb every year, so it’s clearly not impossible.