WORLD TOURISM DAY
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”
As outdoor enthusiasts, we always look for the best travel destinations where to relax, enjoy landscapes, hike and trek to discover new stunning places in our Earth.
For the World Tourism Day we prepared a guide with our Team’s 10 favorites mountain destinations to add to your bucket-list!
Here you are our best mountain travel recommendations!
Location: New Zealand
Height: 12,218 feet
In the middle of the Southern Alps that dominate much of the landscape on New Zealand’s Southern Island, Mount Cook is a breathtaking and vast bluff which rises to more than 12,218 feet; it is the tallest mountain in New Zealand and it stands magnificently adorned with snow-capped peaks.
In the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park there are a number of routes and hiking tracks of varying degrees of difficulty which assure splendid views of the mountains and the Tasman Glacier, the largest glacier in the country. Climbing routes are also well-known: Sir Edmund Hillary himself (first climber of the Everest) sharpened his climbing skills on Mount Cook before ever attempting to climb Everest.
Curiosity: The name Mount Cook was given to the peak by European settlers, even if native people had always known it as Aoraki, after a young figure from Maori legend. In a 1998 settlement between the indigenous native people, the Ngai Tahu, and the Crown, it was renamed Aoraki/Mount Cook.
2. MOUNT EVEREST
Location: Nepal, Cina, Tibet
Height: 29,028 feet
The mother of all mountains, Mount Everest rises to more than 29,028 feet, jutting out of the Himalayas, on the Nepal and Tibet borders. Called Chomolungma on the Tibetan side and Sagarmatha in Nepal, the peak was then named Everest after lauded the British Surveyor Sir George Everest.
Even if it is the most attempted mountain peak by almost all experienced and amateur mountaineers, you can experience the magnificence of these mountains by hiking on the Everest Base Camp 10 days-trek, which covers 75-miles and ascends up to 17,600 feet or the shorter and breath-taking trek to Namche Bazaar, a hillside village with fabulous views of Everest.
Curiosity: The first confirmed successful ascent of the mountain was in 1953, when the Nepali-Indian sherpa Tenzing Norway and the New Zealander mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary ascended via the southeast ridge route.
3. MOUNT FUJI
Height: 12,400 feet
Mount Fuji is a massive stratovolcano, composed by three volcanoes stacked on top of each other; still active now, it sits over a junction of three tectonic plates. Considered also sacred in the ancient practice of Shinto, it has an impressive collection of shrines around its base.
It is the tallest Japanese mountain and the most climbed as well: in July and August, thousands of climbers attempt to make the eight-hour ascent up to the mountain but you can also ascend the volcano with several trails you can choose based on the hiking experience and the time at your disposal.
Curiosity: Mount Fuji is notoriously shy and elusive as it is only visible thru the cloud-cover roughly 80 days a year. So if you are planning a visit to see the mountain, monitor the weather forecast when you are in-country.
4. MOUNT KILIMANJARO
Height: 19,340 feet
Also called the “Roof of Africa”, the dormant volcano Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa with his 19,341-feet and part of one of the highest mountain ranges in the world. It is topped with multiple glaciers and a diminishing ice field, despite being located just 190 miles south of the equator.
From January to March and from June to October, you can reach the top of the mountain, by climbing one of the six main routes to the top or by hiking on the Marangu Route: a multi-day challenging trekking which allows to see virtually every climate during the ascent, from tropical to the arctic one.
Curiosity: Even if in the Toto’s hit song “Africa” it is said: “As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti”, the Kilimanjaro can’t be seen from the Serengeti, but from the nearby Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
5. MOUNT DENALI
Height: 20,308 feet
Set at the core of the vast Denali National Park in Alaska, Denali is the highest peak in North America with its 20,308 feet. This is considered one of the most remote and isolated mountains in the world, known for its wildlife, breathtaking mountain peaks and beautiful glacially-fed rivers.
If climbing the mountain is reserved for only experienced, trained and guided climbers, there are also lot of great hiking trails and lookout points with breathtaking views for all travelers to enjoy in the park.
Curiosity: The mountain was once known as Mt McKinley, but after many decades of controversy, in 2016, the peak was officially dubbed Denali, a name long used by native peoples.
Height: 17,060 feet
The Montaña de Siete Colores (“mountain of seven colors”) in the Peruvian Andes near Cusco is also called “Rainbow Mountain” for the layers gradually pushed as a result of a volcanic activity which have unusual pink, blue, green, red and yellow striated hues created by the area’s array of mineral deposits.
Vinicunca’s summit is reachable by a day trip from Cusco or with the most challenging six-day Ausangate trek: the entire route goes over 13,000 feet above sea level, so you may need acclimatization and precautions against the risk of altitude sickness.
Curiosity: Considered sacred since the pre-Inca era, Vinicunca is still revered by the Quechua people who inhabit here today and many make annual pilgrimages during the Snow Star Festival, which is held 60 days after Easter.
7. TORRES DEL PAINE
Height: 8,202 feet
Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is one of the most beautiful and pristine landscapes in the Southern edge of South America, in the Patagonia region: endless pine forests, emerald blue glacial lakes, gigantic glaciers and golden grasslands are framed by the three iconic scraggly granite towers of Torres del Paine.
You can enjoy to explore the park on a day hiking trail or by the iconic “W” Circuit hike: a four-day trek ranging anywhere from 37 to 52 miles which takes you thru some of the most beautiful of the park’s landscapes, surrounded by massive glaciers and the typical Patagonia’s flora and Torres del Paine’s wildlife.
Curiosity: Torres del Paine’s landscapes range from towering rock formations (including the iconic Paine Massif) to expansive fields of green wind-blown grasses meadows, National Geographic called this place “Eden at the End of the World.”
Location: Switzerland, Italy
Height: 14,692 feet
Spanning the border between Switzerland and Italy, the Matterhorn, with its iconic scraggly peak with well-defined pyramid shape, rises 14,692-feet; it has always amazed and left hikers spellbound with its astonishing beauty.
The Hörnli ridge route is the most popular but challenging route for ascend the peak, but there are also miles of hiking trails, climbing routes or alpine and cross-country skiing around the Matterhorn (Cervino). More, take a look over the Alps with the world’s first fully electrified cog and open-air railway up to Gornergrat, which runs at 10,134-feet.
Curiosity: The pyramid shape of the Matterhorn has been also incorporated into the Toblerone chocolate logo and was reproduced in the Matterhorn Bobsleds, a steel roller coaster attraction in Disneyland, California.
Height: 1,519 feet
The strangely conical Kirkjufell mountain, which sits on the Snæfellsnesnes peninsula in the Western part of Iceland, is lush and green in summer months and often covered with ice and snow in the winter. Around it, the small and picturesque Kirkjufellsfoss, are considered among the most beautiful Iceland waterfalls.
You can hike to the top or Kirkjufell with an hour-and-a-half steep hiking trail (with a guided expedition, if you are not a experienced hiker) or you can walk on a trail that loops around the mountain or take a guided horseback ride. In autumn or winter you may have the chance to catch the northern lights dancing over the mountain as well.
Curiosity: The “church mountain” (named for its uncanny resemblance to a church’s steeple) gained its popularity after being featured in the 6th and 7th season of HBO original series Game Of Thrones.
Height: up to 10,967 feet
Part of the Alps mountain range in Europe, the Dolomites in Northern Italy offer rich landscapes and many adventure activities to do, even if they aren’t as tall as you can expect (the tallest peak in the Dolomites is only about 11,000-feet tall).
From long-distance trekking routes (such as Alta Via) to hiking trails of different difficulty (a best recommendation is the easy loop hike around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo), you can also try the Via Ferrata Routes: old WWI routes with steel rungs and ladders which guide you on the exploration of these mountains.
Curiosity: Originally called “Pale Mountains” for the light color of the Dolomite, a mineral mixture of calcium and magnesium they are composed of, in 2009 Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.