What on earth is it that attracts people to a mountain? Surely, some people are fascinated by the wilderness, and the beauty of untouched nature. Others may enjoy activities in the great outdoors in an environment that is not neatly organized in straight lines and squares. Then there are travelers who stay on roads but want to stop every 300 meters to take another selfie against a majestic scenery in the background. Whatever it is, we have a ranking of the world’s best mountains for you to choose your next travel destination.
Here is the ranking compiled by Blacks mountain clothing and gear company for the 16 best mountain destinations:
- The Pyrenees (France, Andorra, Spain)
- Atlas Mountains (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia)
- Andes (South America)
- The Alps (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Switzerland)
- Himalayas (Nepal, Tibet/China, Bhutan, India, Pakistan)
- Rocky Mountains (Canada, USA)
- Carpathian Mountains (Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania)
- Blue Ridge Mountains (USA)
- Caucasus Mountains (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia)
- Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia)
- Massif Central (France)
- Superstition Mountains (USA)
- Blue Mountains (Australia)
- Harz (Germany)
- Schwarzwald (Black Forest, Germany)
- Ural Mountains (Russia)
Every traveler has his or her own opinion what is the best mountain in the world, and why. Yet, the Blacks team that put together the ranking has selected factors that measure the popularity, climate and services available in each destination. The ranking is based on an index that takes into account the following items:
- The number of peaks
- Average temperature
- Amount of precipitation
- Number of internet searches for the destination
- Number of Instagram posts
- Average hotel prices.
Not all mountains that have been ranked by Blacks fit into the high mountain or even medium high mountain category. In Germany, Harz and Black Forest are beautiful, green, hilly regions with plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails. Massif Central in France is a plain in an altitude below 1000 meters with spectacular canyons and peaks of ancient volcanoes. These regions are still worth visiting and exploring – only without the high altitude experience.
The Pyrenees happens to be my favorite mountain range as well, so I’ll try and highlight a few reasons why. It is easy to access from France (for instance, from Riviera) and from Spain (for instance, from Catalonia or Valencia). Once you have reached The Pyrenees, you can choose to travel along valleys or ascend to high ground. The lowest mountains are near the Atlantic Ocean and near the Mediterranean Sea. All over the range, the landscape is dramatic, varying from cliffs and peaks to lakes and river canyons. Because of the landscape, the natural environment is largely untouched by human. Some unique species have survived in the Pyrenees because of this as well. Thanks to numerous ski stations, roads are quite good and small villages can provide services for travelers.
Here are a few practical tips from our team members for planning a visit to the Pyrenees.
- Summer. The northern side of the mountains in France is greener and not as hot/warm as the southern side in Spain. Andorra’s capital is located in a valley at about 1000 meters with warm days and nice, cool nights. Mountain roads tend to be in better condition in France than in Spain, but main roads are good and nice to drive even with a large motorhome in all three countries. Cyclists are everywhere, especially on famous climbs used by the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana races. Hikers follow marked trails that cows, sheep and horses like to use as well. In August, hotels and camping sites can be fully booked, so plan accordingly.
- Winter. Ski stations open usually in December and close in March, naturally depending on the weather. There are plenty of ski stations in all three countries. New Year and Christmas are the busy periods in ski centers and hotels as French and Spanish families crowd the slopes.
- Spring and autumn. Varying weather and temperatures leave almost the entire mountain range to you. Hiking is a good choice during spring and autumn.
El Mundo reported.