Some of my favorite destinations have been in the mountains, whether in Torres del Paine in Patagonia or the Rockies. For the New Year, I challenge you to cross off some adventure travel from your bucket list. In order to inspire you with three destinations that are currently on my bucket list, I asked a peer travel writer and adventure lover, Cheryl Staunton to discuss the world’s prettiest mountain destinations.
Go ahead Cheryl! Inspire some bucket list adventure travel in 2015!
World’s Prettiest Mountain Destinations
Clear air, stunning views, outdoor activities, the sense of being away from the daily grind – there are many reasons why people are drawn to visiting mountains. If you like the sense of drama that a mountain destination entails then the following are some of the prettiest mountain destinations in the world that are worth your time to visit. (Sunrise over Smokey Mountains seen above)
The Smoky Mountains
This mountain destination in Tennessee is also known as the Great Smokies, and the mountains form part of what is an international biosphere reserve. The Smoky Mountains are characterized by beautiful old growth forest and are home to the densest population of black bears in the eastern part of the US. There is, as you would expect, a real sense of the wild about this region. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park opened in 1934, is popular with the outdoor traveler, and activities in the region include whitewater rafting, river tubing, and some skiing in wintertime.
Located in the Canadian Rockies in the province of Alberta, Lake Louise is a stunning location and home to one of the grand railway hotels of Canada, Fairmont’s Chateau Lake Louise. The lake itself is famous for its stunning emerald color, formed from the rock flour carried by glacial melt-water into the lake. Nearby Banff National Park includes Fairview Mountain, providing some of the best vistas of the region yet remaining a relatively modest climb for hikers. If luxury accommodation in a stunning setting is your thing, the Chateau Lake Louise will duly oblige.
If you are truly serious about exploring mountain destinations then a trip to the Alps has to be on your list, and visiting St. Moritz, Switzerland’s famous ski resort, would be a good choice. The Piz Bernina, the highest summit in the eastern Alps, is located a few miles from the town. St. Moritz itself draws in the international jet set and is an expensive destination, but it is worth a visit, even if it is only to experience the plentiful sunshine, owing to its elevation in the Swiss Alps of 1,856 meters. In summer time, popular activities include sailing, horse riding and golf.
If you are going into the mountains, prepare well for your trip. Wear appropriate footwear, especially if you are hiking, and even if it is summer, bring some warmer clothes with you as the temperatures at elevated heights are, of course, cooler. Each location will have its own safety recommendations and it is best to follow these to the letter because you do not want to have an accident, least of all in the mountains where access to the emergency services can be difficult.
To conclude, a visit to a mountain destination is a must-do if you are seeking stunning scenery and fresh air, as well as access to a range of outdoor activities, but make sure you wear suitable clothing and follow the safety advice provided locally so that your trip is a safe and enjoyable one.
**Post written by Cheryl Staunton who is a freelance writer currently based in the UK, and specialising in writing for the web. Her primary interests are everything Adrenaline-fuelled.