2020 was, understandably, a terrible year for travelers globally. Far from traveling abroad, most of us couldn’t even travel to our nearest grocery stores to get the essentials. However, as vaccinations are underway globally, most countries have opened their doors for global travelers. So, if you’ve been stuck at home, planning to make up for all the time lost, now is the perfect opportunity. Different locations globally have different things to offer, but nothing can beat the utter relaxation that comes from heading to a nature retreat.
After a year of being locked indoors, most of us crave feeling connected with the great outdoors again. The benefits of spending time in nature aren’t just conjecture but are backed up by years of scientific research. Being associated with nature in any form, be it in a sandy beach with sapphire-colored waters or in a stark, towering mountain range, can undoubtedly refresh your mind unlike anything else.
Below, we’ve listed some of the best travel destinations that nature lovers will love to explore.
1. The Great Smoky Mountains, USA
If you’re looking to head to a majestic, towering mountain range, you don’t need to look too far from home. The Great Smoky Mountains are easily one of the most spectacular mountain ranges globally, with wondrous biodiversity and breathtaking beauty. Straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee border, these are ancient mountains that have stood the test of time and will continue to do so for centuries to come. Some trees in the old-growth forest on the ridges of the mountains are hundreds of years old and are a part of history.
You can stay at numerous locations during your visit to the Smoky Mountains, with Pigeon Forge being the most popular. Instead of staying in a hotel, opt to stay in a picturesque cabin that is perfect for any nature lover. Located in the most scenic locations, cabins in Pigeon Forge overlook the grand mountain range and the deep, green forests. Each cabin is well-equipped with all the latest amenities. Besides, the cottages come in all sizes to accommodate groups or couples. So, if you want a luxurious nature getaway, staying in the best cabins in Pigeon Forge is the best option.
2. Lapland, Northern Finland
Nature getaways aren’t just limited to immersing yourself in lush, green forests. A trip to a magical arctic region with pure white snow shows you another equally beautiful side of nature. The breathtaking landscape in Northern Finland looks like a picture from a storybook, with endless ridges coated with powdery white snow. The region seems to follow rules of its own, with magical seasons and polar nights.
Lapland is also the best place to view the breathtaking beauty of the Aurora Borealis, which cast their mottled hues over the night sky. For an adventure that allows you to make the most of this winter wonderland, book your stay in an igloo, and enjoy your holiday amidst a breathtaking, rugged landscape. Besides, you can go for scenic hikes, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. Undoubtedly, it is a place that can cast a spell on adults and children alike.
3. Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
When talking about travel destinations for nature lovers, no list would be complete without a beach destination. However, this destination has something much different to offer you from a regular beach. Although there are various places to visit in Iceland, it is best to explore Reynisfjara, near Vík í Mýrdal. It is a stunning place of mind-boggling beauty. On the southern coast, this is a black sand beach, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. If you’ve been a fan of the sensational ‘Game of Thrones, you’ll recognize the inky black beach immediately.
You’ll be welcomed to the beach by the sounds of the roaring Atlantic waves crashing against the towering basalt rock formations known as Reynisdrangar rising from the sea. The unique lava formations and white, foamy waters make this place truly a marvel of nature. If you want to witness the majesty of nature, there can be no better place than the fishing town of Vik and its surrounding beaches.
4. Sossusvlei, Namibia
When you think of the desert, do you envision stark, sprawling dunes stretching out as far as the eye can see? The desert can be a brutal place if you aren’t prepared to respect and admire the infinite beauty and power of dunes collected for millions of years. The Sossusvlei desert in Namibia is no different and is one of the most spectacular destinations worldwide. Described as the ‘land that time forgot,’ Sossusvlei is genuinely a place that transcends time with its breathtaking, eternal beauty. It is a landscape that has stood the test of time for over 55 million years and continues to enthrall countless travelers with its kaleidoscopic beauty.
One of the best ways to take in the magnetic beauty of this area is to hop into a hot air balloon and have a panoramic view of one of the coldest places on Earth. Gazing at the amber, dusty golden dunes stretching out can be an incredibly humbling experience. The mesmerizing sight can give you a newfound appreciation for nature.
5. Bardenas Reales, Spain
The Bardenas Reales in Spain is yet another landscape sculpted by the time itself. It is a region of badlands stretching up to thousands of acres. This biosphere reserve looks almost lunar, with its steep slopes, ravines, and summits. Over time, the land has been sculpted into strange formations which are incredibly eye-catching.
Furthermore, the area has a wealth of biodiversity, with an abundance of birds of prey. You can also find various plants in the area, although the landscape is generally arid. Water and wind have eroded the landscape to such an extent that the scenery seems alien and is truly a marvel of nature. If you want to experience a unique area, there can be no place better than the Bardenas Reales. It shows you the majesty of nature when left untouched.
A trip to any of these scenic locations can enthrall your senses and leave you in awe of the beauty and power of nature. Each destination shows you a unique side of nature, with some locations being more serene and others being stark. Nevertheless, each destination has in common that they are all stunning and awe-inspiring and a must-visit for any nature enthusiast.