Macau is fast becoming a city on the radar of people in all four corners of the world. It is full of history, culture and magical scenery, which can be explored properly on one of the city’s many hiking trails that are available to adventurous types. Although Macau is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, with over 650,000 people living within just 11.8 square miles, there are ample opportunities to leave the masses behind and escape into the city’s tranquil forestry.
If someone were to invite you on a trip to Macau, you’d no doubt be thinking you’d need to sharpen up your card game skills before visiting the city that is known for overtaking Las Vegas as the casino capital of the world. But we’re here to prove that beyond the glitz and glamour, there is a beautiful side to Macau if you’re prepared to don those hiking boots and get walking. Let’s take a look at some of the city’s most popular hiking trails, particularly on the southern half of the island.
The Coloane Trail: 5 miles of great adventures
The stunning Coloane Hiking Trail spans a total of 8,100 metres and is the longest hiking trail on the island. Its trail circles the hills of Coloane, with spectacular cityscape views of Macau, as well as the nearby Cotai Strip. Alto de Coloane is Macau’s highest hill and is home to a famous cliff-edge rock formation, called ‘Lonesome Rock’. What’s great about the Coloane Trail is that you can leave and re-join the trail at various points along the way, allowing you to explore nearby villages such as Coloane itself, as well as the black sand beach of Hac-Sa.
The Small Taipa 2000 Circuit: A good starting point for beginner hikers
If you are unfamiliar with hiking or just starting out, the Small Taipa 2000 Circuit is a good taster session. This relatively new trail was made during the turn of the Millennium to coincide with the city’s return to Chinese control. Begin the trail near the Pou Tai Monastery before working your way along meandering pathways and lush vegetation. The Northern Peak Pavilion is the best spot for scenery lovers, with more fantastic sights of the Macau and Cotai City.
The Grand Taipa Hiking Trail: Trek to the highest point in Macau
The Grand Taipa Hiking Trail is a more adventurous hike than the Small Taipa 2000 Circuit. Taipa Island is home to Macau Tower and some of the area’s most popular casino resorts, such as The Venetian. Nevertheless, its hiking trails are some of the best kept secrets in the vicinity. This 4,000-metre walk takes you through Grand Taipa Natural Park, with gorgeous wildlife and flowers to see en-route. The trail also makes for a perfect picnic break at the Jardin de Cameleiras, with stunning aquatic flowers and many different species of camellia flowers to discover. It’s a refreshing alternative to the helter-skelter lifestyle of the city.
The Seac Min Pun Ancient Path: One of Macau’s oldest trails
History lovers will get a lot out of venturing along the Seac Min Pun Ancient Path, one of the most historic trails of Coloane. These paths used to be trodden by the locals to travel across the city to exchange goods with other merchants. It was the bloodline of the city’s economy. Today, the walkways are much safer and flatter and there are plenty of features to discover along the way, including the Little Butterfly Valley and the stunning Sunset Mountains.
These are four of the most popular hiking trails in Macau that rank up there with some of the best hiking opportunities in the world; with challenging terrain and breath-taking views. Once you’ve discovered these walks, you’ll understand what we mean when we say Macau is such a multi-faceted place – a city where east meets west. After exploring the city’s casinos and malls, there is nothing more revitalising and enriching than a walk into the hills.