Seven Must-See Mountain Towns Outside the U.S.

There is some­thing to be said about the pris­tine beau­ty of the majes­tic moun­tains. Fresh air, pure land­scapes, and untouched peaks. Trav­el­ers and locals alike have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to wake up each morn­ing, stim­u­lat­ed with a breath of fresh air while spend­ing time in these pret­ty moun­tain towns. Get your out­door legs ready for some of the best hik­ing, ski­ing, and bik­ing on earth.

Whistler BC

Whistler, British Colum­bia, Canada
Home to the Whistler and Black­comb Moun­tain Twin Peaks, Whistler is a Euro­pean-inspired town sur­round­ed by some of the best views in Cana­da. The Peak 2 Peak Gon­do­la is a 2.73 mile-long ride up to some of the areas best hik­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, and ski­ing trails. From the top, vis­i­tors catch a birds-eye view of the town and near panoram­ic views of the sur­round­ing region. Keep an eye on those bears; scat on the ground is a sign that a bear could still be in the area.


 

Banff_Canada

Banff, Alber­ta, Canada
Say “Good Morn­ing” to some of the most spec­tac­u­lar Cana­di­an Rocky peaks. Although it may rain, snow, sleet and be sun­ny all in one day, Banff is a year-round out­door play­ground. For a reflec­tive, yet mem­o­rable, pho­to­graph, vis­it the pop­u­lar Lake Louise or Moraine Lake. Wild­flower sea­son makes this a top-notch moun­tain town and brings out the beau­ty of Banff.


 

Queenstown_New_Zealand

Queen­stown, New Zealand
The adven­tur­ous Queen­stown sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and sur­round­ed by the Remark­ables Range. This risk-tak­ing town fea­tures the cra­zi­est activ­i­ties: extreme bungee jump­ing, zorb­ing, canyoneer­ing, and moun­tain bik­ing and hik­ing. Hike the Ben Lomond trail or hitch a ride on the gon­do­la for a mag­nif­i­cent bird’s eye view of the town.


 

Wengen Switzerland

Wen­gen, Switzerland
This small, 1,000-resident town sits aside the Monch and Jungfrau moun­tains. This famous ski-town floods each Jan­u­ary with tourists to watch pro skiers take on the 3,363-foot ver­ti­cal drop, Lauber­horn. There’s one catch — no cars allowed car-free mean­ing vis­i­tors must take a train into town.


 

Lake Bled Slovenia

Bled, Slove­nia
Noth­ing is more beau­ti­ful than a cas­tle sit­ting amidst a pool of water, sur­round­ed by snow-capped moun­tains. This fairy-tale pic­ture is known as Bled. This is the most beau­ti­ful view of the frost­ed Julien Alps. Hike to the thou­sand-year-old Bled cas­tle and keep warm with your liq­uid long-johns thanks to the castle’s wine cel­lar. If you’re look­ing to bulk up your arms, row to the tiny Bled Island to find more stun­ning and reflec­tive views. 


 

Lijang China

Lijiang, Chi­na
Fea­tured on the Amaz­ing Race, the town fea­tures a beau­ty of its own, a blend of Ancient Chi­na and nature. In the dis­tance looms the Jade Drag­on Snow Moun­tain, which is a short dri­ve or cable car ride toward the peak. Cafés, shops, and restau­rants flood the alleys of Old Town, which wel­comes tourists and locals alike.


 

Everest_Base_Camp

Ever­est Base Camp, Tibet
Con­sid­ered the high­est moun­tain “town,” the base camp offers a sight that only a hand­ful of the world’s pop­u­la­tion will ever expe­ri­ence. Those with enough sta­mi­na find the trip worth the hike or dri­ve while chat­ting with climbers and Sher­pas. Be sure to try the sweet milk tea, it tastes deli­cious and keeps your body warm.