Summer in the Hills

Summer in the Hills
Laguna Esmeralda in Tierra Del Fuego, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

These offbeat mountain towns provide safe and serene summer holiday options

Siddharth Ganguly
June 03 , 2020
04 Min Read

There’s light at the end of the tunnel as countries around the world prepare to open up their borders and put the ordeal of the coronavirus behind them. Travellers are twitching with anticipation at the prospect of getting their long awaited travel fix, but jumping headfirst into crowds of tourists may not be the wisest idea. Why not ease back into travel with a trip to an offbeat and secluded hill station?

Coroico, Bolivia
 A bike-ride on The Death Road is sure to get the adrenaline pumping
50 kilometres from the capital city of La Paz, Coroico in western Bolivia provides a hillscape holiday that lets you choose your own pace. Once there, travellers may choose to lounge about at the sedate local pace of the town’s main plaza. However, if you’re looking to get your blood pumping, cycling tours on Bolivia’s infamous ‘Death Road’ are a great option, as are trips to the nearby waterfalls and La Senda Verde, an animal shelter where local, vulnerable critters are catered to.

Mestia, Georgia
Ushguli, the highest settlement in Europe
From Mestia, a plethora of serene, natural landscapes are only a trek away. A moderate, 6-hour trek can get you to Chaladi Glacier, or another, shorter trek can take you to the pristine Koruldi Lakes. Or opt for a few-hours’ drive to Ushguli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site widely regarded as the highest settlement in Europe at 2.2 km above sea level. From here, travellers can get rapt in the snowy beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - Ala Archa National Park
The stunning peaks of Ala Archa National Park
The Kyrgyz capital is known for many things, including its nightlife, culture, and cuisine, but the most peaceful and picturesque attraction lies 40 kms south of the city at Ala Archa National Park. Named after the ever-present juniper forests, Ala Archa on the Tien Shan Mountains proved extraordinary views of glaciers and river gorges as well as some challenging trekking trails which reward adventurous travellers with some jaw-dropping viewpoints to truly soak in the natural splendour. 

Nikko, Japan
 Autumn view of Kegon Falls and Chuzenji Lake from the Akechidaira Observation Platform
Japan is often regarded as a bustling metropolitan and cultural hub, but places such as Nikko remind you of its awe-inspiring natural beauty. The sacred mountains are dotted with temples and shrines as well as amazing viewpoints. Akechidaira provides one such point where the sprawling vegetation can be observed from the great height of about 1.5 km above sea-level. Another is the volcanic Lake Chuzenji where each season provides a unique and breathtaking view.

Bohinj, Slovenia
Mount Triglav from the Bohinj Valley

Mountains have never looked better than from Bohinj. Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak in the Julian Alps towers over the valley of Bohinj to provide a truly humbling sight. A traveller can spend an entire trip to secluded Bohinj just admiring the beauty of its alpine meadows, the calm waters of Lake Bohinj, or the green expanses of the Pokljuka Plateau.

Ushuaia, Argentina
The picture-perfect town of Ushuaia

The world’s southernmost city and the gateway to the Antarctic, Ushuaia naturally draws a fair number of tourists. Yet, there’s plenty of scope to get away from it all, be it on a serene walk the Tierra Del Fuego National Park, chock-full of snowy mountains, lakes, and waterfalls, or on a trek around the green waters of Laguna Esmeralda with the option to camp out at night amidst pure peace and tranquility.

Pyin U Lwin, Myanmar
The tranquil botanical gardens in Pyin U Lwin

High up in the Shan mountains lies the colonial town of Pyin U Lwin. Formerly used by the British as a summer capital to beat the severe Burmese heat, the quaint town today houses a botanical garden that now provides a nook of peace and quiet to anyone who chooses to visit. Along with the antiquated, colonial era architecture and lush greenery, this town becomes the perfect location for a relaxing getaway.

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