Nature has the power to recharge our spiritual batteries. The ancient Greeks built healing sanctuaries on mountains and in olive groves. In the 19th century, tubercular writers settled in the Swiss Alps and inadvertently contributed to the notion of alpine tourism.
One of the most recent studies at King's College London in 2018 looked at the effects of being outdoors, seeing trees and sky, and hearing birdsong. The findings showed that short-term exposure to nature had measurable beneficial impacts on mental wellbeing. Beyond the joys of nature, natural landscapes are also places that invite physical exercise. Modern research also repeatedly demonstrates a close parallel between exercise and mental health, since exercise raises serotonin levels and increases body temperature, both of which elevate mood.
Be captivated by the beauty of some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. Glaciers, valleys, wildflowers, lakes, cliffs, waterfalls, seas and majestic mountains… Disconnect from the day to day by exploring our selection of excursions through these dreamy natural landscapes! Here are some spectacular natural landscapes that you can’t miss.
1. Arches National Park in the United States
Arches National Park is a park in the western United States, in the state of Utah. This superb place has the particularity of concentrating many natural rock arches, but also cliffs and mounds formed over time by erosion. Its most famous arch is “Delicate arch”. This sublime wonder of nature, 20 meters high and almost 15 meters wide, with its “natural amphitheater” around and the mountains in the background, offers a breathtaking spectacle at sunset in particular.
2. Arashiyama bamboo forest in Japan
Arashiyama’s bamboo grove is located in northwest Kyoto in Japan. Although quite short (around 500 meters), this walk through the giant bamboos is truly magical and very pleasant. This dense bamboo forest, several tens of meters high and intense green, is a natural landscape not to be missed if you are traveling to Japan. FYI, bamboo represents strength, prosperity, and is reputed to repel the forces of evil, which is why this bamboo plantation is particularly appreciated by the locals. Finally, don’t miss the nearby Tenryu-ji temple and the Iwatayama monkey park.
3. Kruger Park in South Africa
Kruger National Park is undoubtedly one of the most famous nature reserves in Africa. In this zone, which covers approximately 20,000 km2 in the north of South Africa, on the border with Mozambique, live some of the largest mammals on the planet, like those belonging to the famous “Big 5” which designates the most large mammals on the planet: elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, lions and leopards. If you want to go on a safari in South Africa, this park is a safe bet. Whether you decide to take a guided tour or visit the park on your own, there are many opportunities for close encounters with animals at Kruger Park! To give you an idea, the park is inhabited by around 147 species of mammals, 114 of reptiles, 33 of amphibians, 55 of fish and 517 species of birds.
4. The Chocolate Hills in the Philippines
You can contemplate the Chocolate Hills on Bohol Island in the Philippines. These are cone-shaped hills, 30 to 50 meters high, which owe their name to their vegetation which takes a brown tint during the dry season. The chocolate hills form a splendid natural landscape, one of a kind. On Bohol Island, you will also discover superb beaches and an extraordinary endemic animal: the Tarsier of the Philippines.
5. Halong Bay in Vietnam
Hạlong Bay is located in the northeast of Vietnam, around 170 km from Hanoi. It is known for its thousands of islands of different shapes and sizes, made of limestone and covered with tropical forests, which emerge from the sea and stretch for hundreds of kilometers. This place is listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco for its “natural beauty”. Many activities are possible in this area, cruises in a junk or kayak excursions that allow you to navigate between the islands, scuba diving, climbing or hiking in the mountainous national park of Cát Bà in particular.