Here are a few of Hong Kong's best hikes - and excellent eateries to fuel up before and after the journey. Cheung Chau (3km/1.5 hours) This fishing isle has many people but no vehicles, making for a safe family walk. Arriving by ferry from Central, turn right from the pier onto the busy waterfront. U Can Cook on Praya Street (2981 6533) serves filling Western fare to start the day: pasta, soups and baked potatoes. The island's Hung Shing temple, built in 1813, looks out over a tree-shaded plaza. Behind it are the ruins of a Qing-dynasty hospital. At the top of School Road, pass through iron gates into the gardens of the Kwan Kung Pavilion, dedicated to the red-faced god of war. Follow Peak Road and Fa Peng Road to the sands of Afternoon Beach, popular for windsurfing. Follow the coastal path past a bronze-age rock carving to the longer beach of Tung Wan. You can cut across from here back to the pier. There are plenty of seafood restaurants on Cheung Chau, but for something different, the Japanese-run Hometown Teahouse (2981 5038) is popular for its sushi, red bean buns and tea sets. Sai Kung (6km/3 hours) The long-distance trails across the hills of Sai Kung are sun-baked in the summer. Beat the heat by following this forest hike instead. Start at Colour Brown (2791 7128) in Sai Kung's old town for coffee and croissants, or Classified (2529 3454) on Sha Tsui Path for eggs Benedict. Take bus 94, or a green taxi, to Pak Tam Chung in the country park. A bridge leads over the river to the Sheung Yiu folk museum - a walled village which now houses an exhibition of rural life. Turn uphill into the woods as you pass the village to join the Sheung Yiu Country Trail, a level track that offers lovely views of Port Shelter and its many islands. You can cool your feet in streams along the way. The trail exits near the dam of High Island Reservoir; turn left to return to Pak Tam Chung. For lunch try Hebe One O One (2335 5515), which has a terrace overlooking Hebe Haven, for oysters, mussels or seared tuna salad. The Dragon's Back (8km/2.5 hours) This easily accessible walk on Hong Kong Island is a weekend favourite; quick to get to and suitable for families. Take bus 9 from Shau Kei Wan MTR bound for Shek O; tell the driver you want to go to Big Wave Bay. Bring a packed breakfast and eat it on the beach, or order a hot bowl of noodles and fried eggs at the Big Wave Bay Caf? (2809 4933) just back from the surf. Your walk starts at the back of the village. Hong Kong Trail signs point upwards into the forest. After a short climb, you join a level paved road which bears left to meet an earthen path again. You're shaded by trees until the path makes a quick ascent to the Dragon's Back ridge, and from this airy section there are fine views over Shek O and the South China Sea. As you descend to Shek O Road, look across Tai Tam Bay to Stanley. Staying on the near side of the road, take the bus back down into Shek O. Refresh with mint lemonade at Shining Stone (2809 2227). Specialities include salmon lasagne and home-made rosemary bread. Lamma Island (5km/2 hours) The path from one side of Lamma Island to the other is often too crowded for comfort. This alternative route crosses less-visited parts of the island. Take the ferry from Central to Yung Shue Wan and fortify yourself at the Bookworm Cafe (2982 4838) with a fruit bowl or free-range eggs on toast. Return to the pier and take the steps uphill beside the post office. It's easy to follow the coast north, shaded by bamboo and banana trees all the way. The path dips down to a quiet beach and climbs again to a viewpoint overlooking the Western Harbour. Soon you enter the scattered village of Pak Kok; then, shortly afterwards, a tiny hamlet with its own jetty. Follow the path ahead through long grass to join a paved track that leads to the shore; this spot has expansive views of Hong Kong Island across the channel. This wide road, which carries no traffic, was built by Hongkong Electric in the 1970s. The cables that supply all of Hong Kong Island's electricity pass beneath your feet. Follow the road uphill. The Lamma wind turbine appears on your left, and from the bank on your right, you have birds-eye views of Yung Shue Wan. On its descent, the road forks - take either way down; they both meet the busy path which runs between Yung Shue Wan and the beach at Hung Shing Yeh. Back on the village's main street, head to Green Cottage (2982 6934) for organic wholewheat pizza, artichoke salad or mushroom pat? at a terrace table overlooking the harbour. Lantau Island (11km/5 hours) Hong Kong's largest island is a place of mountains and monasteries. This challenging hike crosses Lantau Peak, Hong Kong's second highest. From Central, take the ferry to Mui Wo, also known as Silvermine Bay. Fuel up at either China Bear (2984 7360) on the waterfront next to McDonalds or the smaller Caffe Paradiso (2984 0498) nearby; both do a full English breakfast. Take any bus and alight at Nam Shan, a few stops up the hill, marked by a wooden Lantau Trail archway. Follow the signs to the Tree Walk. Past the helipad with views over Mui Wo and down stone steps there's a crossroads where you must turn left, then right, to join the South Lantau Country Trail. Don't go straight ahead or you will be climbing Sunset Peak. The trail is a natural path of earth, stones, roots and leaves. It emerges from the forest with rewarding views of Sunset Peak, its rocky outcrops, and the bay of Pui O, backed by green hills. It's a fairly level walk to Pak Kung Au, the highest point on Tung Chung Road. Cross the road to follow the trail up and over Lantau Peak - a great vantage point for surveying the whole island. Be warned, though, the descent is steep. Feel virtuous by finishing with a cheap and healthy vegetarian lunch at Po Lin Monastery's restaurant (2985 4736). Buses run back to Mui Wo or Tung Chung.