10 Most Beautiful Valleys in the World
To understand why Lauterbrunnen is popularly considered the most beautiful valley in the world, one only needs to spend a few days here. This trough valley in the shadow of the Swiss Alps gets it name ‘Lauter Brunnen’ (‘many fountains’ in English) from the 72 gorgeous waterfalls found here. The green alpine meadows and towering mountains here prompted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to write his famous poem, Spirit Song Over The Waters. Lauterbrunnen is a favorite with adventure sports enthusiasts and skydiving in this valley is a popular activity. Do not miss the Trümmelbach Falls in the Black Monk mountain which is accessible only on clear summer days.
The “most beautiful valley in Australia”, Kangaroo Valley is on every nature lover’s bucket list. The brilliantly sparkling brooks, the green pastures, the verdant rainforests and the abundance of flora and fauna are only some of the reasons everyone wants to escape to this valley on the banks of the Kangaroo River in New South Wales. Its proximity to both Sydney and Canberra makes it an ideal holiday destination and a nature retreat. Surrounded by such natural bounty, it is easy to understand why the Australian Aboriginal Wodi Wodi tribe chose the Kangaroo Valley to be their home.
“Gar Firdaus Ruhe Zamin Ast, Hamin Asto Hamin Asto Hamin Asto” (If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here)
It is with these lines that a famous poet described the spectacular beauty and serenity of the Kashmir Valley in India. Despite being the center of an ongoing border dispute between India and Pakistan, the beauty and splendor of this Himalayan valley attract thousands of visitors each year. The sprawling meadows and a multitude of flowers, the great lakes, and the meandering rivers in summer and snowy skiing tracks in winter are some of Kashmir’s greatest attractions.
Guarded by towering granite cliffs, the Yosemite Valley presents a sharp contrast. Carpeted by a thick pine forest, the Yosemite valley is part of the Yosemite National Park. The western Sierra Nevada of Northern California casts a shadow over this valley and offers hikers and trekkers some breathtaking views. The Merced River and a number of streams crisscross the valley and the waterfalls are simply spectacular. Do not miss out the Yosemite Falls – the highest waterfall in the continent. The hiking trails of the valley offer great opportunities to the adventure enthusiast.
Of all the valleys on this list, the Harau Valley of West Sumatra in Indonesia is possibly the least famous. And it is for this reason that this stunningly beautiful valley remains pristine, untouched in great measure. The quaint little villages in the valley live in perfect harmony with nature. Lush green paddy fields stretch as far as the eye can reach in one direction, and on the other craggy outcrops invite the climber. The six waterfalls – Sarasah Aka Barayun, Sarasah Harau, Sarasah Aia Luluih, Sarasah Bunta, Sarasah Murai and Sarasah Aia Angek – add to be beauty and mystique of the valley.
The Romsdalen valley of Norway presents a breathtaking sight. Tall, towering mountains on both sides and the Rauma River cutting through a deep gorge. This rocky valley is a favorite with rock climbers and mountaineers. Not only are the views stunning, the Trollveggen rock face stands tall at 1000 meters – Europe’s highest vertical and, possibly, toughest climb. If you are not much of a climber, Romsdal still has much to offer. Soak your feet in the Rauma and drink in all the splendid views that this valley has to offer.
Valley of The Ten Peaks
The reflection of the Ten Peaks in the waters of Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks is a sight that is simply beyond imagination. The valley is one of the most beautiful in the world. The trek from Lake Moraine to Lake Eiffel, the upper end of the valley offers the most panoramic vistas in this part of the world. The ten peaks – Mount Fay, Mount Little, Mount Bowlen, Mount Tonsa, Mount Perren, Mount Allen, Mount Tuzo, Deltaform Mountain, Neptuak Mountain, and Wenkchemna Peak – tower high like sentinels guarding a treasured valley.
According to Buddhist folklore, the Barun Valley at the base of Mt Makalu, is one of the 7 places where life is likely to survive in case of a cataclysm. A visit to the valley will reveal the reason. The Barun Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Asia and in the world. The verdant green slopes are home to gushing waterfalls, colorful flowers and rare species of birds and animals. Views of some of the highest peaks in the world complete the sense of serenity in the valley.
Jiuzhaigou roughly translates into Chinese for “Nine Village Valley”. The valley is part of the Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park located in the Min Shan mountains. Apart from the spectacular views, the valley is a treasure trove of exotic flora and fauna. The valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a World Biosphere Reserve. The valley is an ornithologist’s dream come true, with over 220 species of birds and home to some exotic animals such as the giant panda and the Sichuan golden monkey. The 9 villages in the valley have maintained their rich Tibetan culture and legacy.
Stretching all the way from Florence to Siena, the Chianti valley forms the heart of picturesque Tuscany. Home to vineyards that produce some of the most famous wines in Italy (Chianti Classico wines), the valley offers great views of rolling green fields and gentle valleys. Greve, Radda, Gaiole, Castellina, Castelnuovo Berardenga, and Impruneta are the communes best known in the Chianti Valley that attract tourists with their warmth. The valley has much to offer by way of food and wine, culture, and natural beauty. The wine tradition in the valley dates back to the 13th century.