Holidays that spell ‘nature’ are gaining popularity, with travelers seeking destinations that are intrinsically oriented towards environment conservation
Reconnect with nature on your next holiday to experience mental and physical gratification that only nature can prescribe with its scenic bounty. Take time to soak in the beauty that nature has carved out to appease all your senses and, perhaps, appreciate the essence of William Henry Davies’ poem ‘Leisure’:
What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs and stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass, where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight, streams full of stars, like skies at night…
If you are a nature lover, you need no ruse to shake off the daily monotony and wander off to a nature retreat; but if you have a busy schedule, with ‘no time to stand and stare’, and require that little prod in the right direction, check the list of destinations below, sourced from TripsToDiscover.
Aurora Borealis, that spectacular show of colourful natural light, is what you get if you travel to Finland. You could catch aurora sightings from Oulanka National Park during its special season which falls in October and November as well as March and April. There is a glow of silence in Finland that will captivate you immediately, whether you are traversing through the 20,000-island Finnish archipelago, walking along the rocky beaches, exploring the national parks and the wilderness areas or hiking it up.
This is the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’ and perfectly fits into any nature lover’s agenda. Its lush landscape includes volcanic hot springs, natural mud baths, rivers and waterfalls and pristine rainforest. You could find opportunities for whale watching and visit a leatherback, hawksbill and green turtle sanctuary. Divers could indulge their fancy, as the sheer underwater drop-offs around Dominica create deep, sheltered bays along the western coastline.
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park, located in Newfoundland, is a picture of striking natural beauty. The park, a part of the Long Range Mountains, stretches across nearly 700 square miles. It is encircled by tiny seaside communities and features dense forests, freshwater fjords, dramatic cliffs and picturesque shorelines, which stand in stark contrast to the barren lowlands, bogs and moose. You also get your fill of the jaw-dropping sight of Tablelands, a mountain of flat-topped rock.
The Baths on Virgin Gorda
Located in British Virgin Islands, the Virgin Gorda is a nature capsule, with its famous Baths providing the magical lure. The Baths are made up of giant granite boulders that form sheltered sea pools. It is a perfect destination for travelers who are lured by water bodies – whether it is The Baths, the Devil’s Bay or The North Sound. There are opportunities for hiking as well at the Gorda Peak National Park.
The Matterhorn, or the ‘Mountain of Mountains’ in Zermatt is Switzerland’s most famous peak, stretching up to 15,000 foot like a pyramid. It is a towering beauty that overlooks the picturesque village of Zermatt, which has also earned repute as a car-free zone. You could, of course, get to the top by riding a cable car that leads all the way to the summit.
Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan has been described as the most beautiful lake in the world. Situated in the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre mountain range, it is surrounded by three volcanoes and has a tranquil ambience around it, which is accentuated by the inspiring backdrop. There are options for hiking, kayaking and biking.
Durmitor National Park
The Durmitor National Park in Montenegro is home to nearly 50 peaks that tower over 6,500 feet. It presents a dramatic landscape that has been carved from limestone by ice and water over the years. Its magnificent vistas open up to three canyons, including the Tara River, which is home to the deepest gorge in Europe. There is also an ice cave that you could visit.
Palau is a small collection of islands in the western Pacific Ocean with some of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the world. The islands are mostly uninhabited and are also home to the first shark sanctuary in the world.