This time of year can be somewhat overwhelming, especially for the singles out there! With all the fancy dinner promotions flooding into your inbox and friends boasting about THE MOST ROMANTIC PLANS EVER, it can definitely make a single person want to run to the hills! This year escape the fancy nights in the city for exciting, wild adventures trekking in the mountains. Fall head over hills (!) with travelling again, and have your special moment atop some of the world’s most beautiful hilly regions. Here’s our pick of the best!
Adam’s Peak is a place of myths and legends and one of the holiest sites in Sri Lanka. It’s thought to be embellished with the sacred footprint belonging to either Lord Shiva, Adam or Buddha (depending on religious beliefs) and is known, rather poetically, as the place where butterflies go to die. Climbing the peak begins at midnight to reach the summit before sunrise when the clouds clear to uncover one of the most breathtaking sites you will ever see!
Our other spot of Sri Lanka, the Horton Plains National Park lies between the islands two highest mountains. It covers arid plains and dense forests interspersed with still lakes and cascading waterfalls. The circular hike around the park enables you to take in the natural, untouched landscape before reaching the end of the world! ‘World’s end’ is the penultimate goal when trekking this route. Perched atop the Central Highland Plateau, World’s end is a sheer drop with grasslands, plains and tea estates settled beneath. When you’re up here, above the world, you completely understand where it got its name from!
Nepal is the perfect place to escape to the hills, away from civilisation as we know it. There’s a common misconception about Nepal, that it’s just an extension of India, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Nepal is heaven on a hillside! Trekking the Annapurna circuit takes you through diverse landscapes of soaring snow-capped mountains, tumbling waterfalls and freshwater lakes, with picturesque villages housing friendly tribes dotted along the way. Every turn reveals something new.
Use Pokhara as the base for your Kathmandu escape, it’s breathtaking! Situated on the banks of the beautiful Lake Phewa Ta, Pokhara has the best view of the Himalayan mountains. The perfect place to set up base for the epic trek ahead that awaits. Due to the remote, rural location, Nepal doesn’t get much power, making it the perfect place to escape those smug Instagram photos over Valentines Day! Pokhara strikes the perfect balance between a laid-back haven and an adventurous cove. For adrenaline junkies there’s white-water rafting, paragliding and horse riding to keep you occupied.
The intense, raw beauty of Patagonia is second to none. With its world-famous hiking trails, this is the perfect place to run to the hills! Wandering through the diverse landscape makes you realise just how remarkable this world is. Rambling through alpine forests, wild meadows, perfectly still glassy lakes, jagged mountain passes and glistening glacier fields – you really are out in the wild here!
This type of rugged beauty of sheer cliffs and towering snow-capped peaks as your backdrop makes the entire experience surreal. Spend the days exploring the Torres del Paine National Park spotting the wild Patagonian horses grazing on the grasslands. Discover Los Glaciares National Park, with the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier, edges falling under immense pressure, crashing into the water beneath. No matter where you are from, you will feel no less than worlds away when on a tour in Patagonia!
Nestled in the parameters of the Rila National Park are the Rila Mountains and the highest mountain in the Balkan peaks – one of the best places to escape to the hills! The charming, rural landscape of Bulgaria is like no other. Miles of untouched valleys and blossoming flowers carpeting the meadows with a peppering of cattle grazing on the fields. This classic, almost old-fashioned beauty of Bulgaria’s untouched mountain range, feels like it’s straight out of a scene from the sound of music.
Spend a week trekking the Rila National Park and it’s 7 glacial lakes to the pure sound of trickling water. This epic mountain range is a true escape, easily believable to be worlds away from civilisation. Enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by serrated summits and dark alpine forests, the Rila Mountains towering in the background. And after a full day of heavy trekking, ease those aching muscles in the hottest natural spring in the Balkans. What a break!
If a true adventure in the hills is what you’re looking for, than an adventure you will have! Kilimanjaro is the ultimate goal when it comes to trekking. Towering 5886 meters above sea level, this imposing structure is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. But as they say, it’s not about the destination but the journey along the way. Well, it’s kind of about the destination in this case…
This epic 8 day adventure transcends expectations. Hike over volcanic craters, wander through dense forests and drag yourself through the barren moorlands. There’s loads of opportunities to spot wildlife too – keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Colobus Monkey! Be warned, this is not a walk in the park, but it most definitely is an adventure! Scale the seemingly vertical scree slopes, scramble over the imposing Great Barranco Wall, spend nights sleeping closer to the stars than you thought possible, and see one of the best sunrises of your entire life. Now if that doesn’t sound better than a dinner for two in Jamie’s new restaurant, then I don’t know what to suggest!
Roxy is part of the marketing team for Tucan Travel. She has been travelling solo for years, predominantly around Asia, Indonesia and Europe. You can find her on LinkedIn here.