World's top 10 easy mountains to climb for beginners

You won't need any special equipment or skills (other than fitness) to reach these peaks.

MOUNT KOSCIUSZKO, AUSTRALIA

It's a rare thing to be able to scale the tallest peak on a continent with no mountaineering or climbing experience. Enter Mount Kosciuszko, mainland Australia's not-exactly-gargantuan high-point, the sort of mountain that would be classified as a lump were it somewhere like Switzerland. This is a climb for true beginners: a chairlift from Thredbo can get you part way up, which means the gentle wander to the 2228 metre peak can be done in a four-hour round trip.

See nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

HALF DOME, US

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Here's more of a challenge. Set within climber paradise in Yosemite National Park, Half Dome is an impressive granite peak that tops out at 2694 metres. There's no specialist equipment required to reach that summit; however, you will need a good level of fitness and some hiking experience. This is an almost 27-kilometre round trip with plenty of challenging vertical – though the stunning views of forests, lakes and waterfalls will distract from the effort.

See nps.gov

BEN MACDUI, SCOTLAND

Plenty of hikers come to Scotland keen to "bag a Munro" – that is, climb a mountain more than 3000 feet (914 metres) high – and Ben Macdui is one of the most spectacular. This 1309 metre peak is the second highest in the UK, and it's in the heart of the Cairngorms, a stunningly beautiful area of white-topped peaks and green valleys. It's wild territory where the weather can close in quickly, but still, this 17-kilometre hike is achievable for most.

See walkhighlands.co.uk

MOUNT MERU, TANZANIA

Plenty of inexperienced tourists try, and fail, to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak. It's a relatively gentle climb, but the almost 6000 metres of elevation tends to halt the plans of the unprepared. An easier climb – and one that's great preparation for Kilimanjaro – is Mount Meru, a 4566 metre peak that's the fifth highest in Africa. Not only is the scenery here lovely, but there's also the chance to spot giraffe and water buffalo.

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See tanzaniatourism.go.tz

MOUNT FUJI, JAPAN

Mt.Fuji from Asagiri-Kougen,Shizuoka Prefecture,Japan str23-trav10mountains
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Few mountains are as instantly recognisable as Japan's Mount Fuji, so elegant is its volcanic silhouette rising almost 4000 metres above the Tokyo skyline. This is one of the most climbed mountains in the world, with no technical terrain to concern yourself with, so you certainly won't be alone as you rise early in the morning from your hut and attempt to hit the summit for dawn. Incredible.

See jnto.org.au

TOFANA DI ROZES, ITALY

several young mountain climbers on very exposed Via Ferrata in Alta Badia in the Italian Dolomites str23-trav10mountains
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Want to feel like a hardcore climber without the danger? This is the mountain for you. Ascending to the top of Tofana di Rozes in northern Italy takes about five hours, and four of those are spent clinging to iron rungs and ladders above dizzying drops on a via ferrata (iron path). Climbers here are tethered at all times to a thick wire anchored to the mountain; it's safe, but it's still hard work, and mildly terrifying.

See summitpost.org

PIKES PEAK, US

There's good news and bad news at Pikes Peak, a genuine Colorado "fourteener" – that is, a mountain above 14,000 feet, or 4267 metres. First, the bad news: this is a proper hike. The Barr Trail is almost 22-kilometres long and climbs 2250 vertical metres. The good news, however, is that there's no technical terrain to tackle, and Pikes Peak is accessible by road, which means you can have someone pick you up from the summit.

See pikes-peak.com

VILLARRICA, CHILE

Climbing a live volcano sounds purely the domain of the experienced or the insane; however, in central Chile, it's on offer to pretty much everyone. Villarrica is a one of the most active volcanoes in South America, an almost-3000 metre peak that rises above gorgeous Lake District scenery. Though you'll need a guide, as well as crampons and ice-axes, this is a straightforward climb that can be done in a six- to seven-hour round trip.

See chile.travel

MOUNT TOUBKAL, MOROCCO

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Summiting the highest mountain in North Africa sounds impressive, and it's true that you'll feel a real sense of achievement at the top of the 4167 metre Mount Toubkal. But that doesn't make this a particularly challenging or intimidating mountain. There's some loose rock to deal with, and reasonable altitude. Mostly, however, the climb is memorable for the Berber villages you pass through, and the spectacular views.

See visitmorocco.com

MOUNT YASUR, VANUATU

The eruption of the volcano Yasur on Tanna Island, Vanuatu str23-trav10mountains
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Strap yourself in for one of the easiest ascents of your life. Mount Yasur, on Tanna Island in Vanuatu, is a live volcano that's a mere 361 metres high, and has a road that leads to a carpark about a 10-minute walk from the caldera. What's the point then? Just wait for the fireworks show at the top: this is a seriously active volcano, and you'll see jets of lava flying into the air from far below.

See vanuatu.travel

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