The hippie trail (also the overland) is the name given to the overland journey taken by members of the hippie subculture and others from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s between Europe and South Asia, mainly through Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Nepal. The hippie trail was a form of alternative tourism, and one of the key elements was travelling as cheaply as possible, mainly to extend the length of time away from home. The term "hippie" became current in the mid-to-late 1960s; "beatnik" was the previous term from the later 1950s.
In every major stop of the hippie trail, there were hotels, restaurants and cafés for Westerners, who networked with each other as they travelled east and west. The hippies tended to interact more with the local population than traditional sightseers did.
The hippie trail largely ended in the late 1970s after the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan closed the route to Western travelers.