The most spectacular valleys in the world

By Stef Zisovska
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Our planet’s nature is abundant in mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, waterfalls, streams, and valleys. Valleys are some of the most attractive natural features and can be found within mountain ranges, along seashores, between forests, or hidden among hundred-year-old trees. All around the world, there are spectacular valleys that you can visit. Depending on where you live or how far you are prepared to travel to see some of these gifts from Mother Nature, here are some of the most beautiful valleys on our planet. Enjoy!

Waipio Valley, Hawaii

Waterfalls at the back of Waipio Valley – Author: Paul Hirst – CC BY-SA 2.5

Waipio means curved water in the Hawaiian language. The valley is located on the Big Island in Hawaii, and in the past was known as the Valley of Kings. The section of the Waipio Valley at sea level is almost 2,000 feet lower than all of the surrounding landscapes. This makes the valley look like an evergreen cradle, protected by hills. Waipio Valley offers great outdoor fun for everybody. Surfing fans can head to the black sand beach that lines the valley and enjoy the enormous waves. For the hiking enthusiasts, there are a couple of trails only accessible by foot from where you can see the spectacular beauty of this Hawaiian paradise.

Khumbu Valley, Nepal

Khumbila, with an overview over Khumjung and Kunde villages, and Mount Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam peaks in the background – Author: Moralist – CC BY-SA 3.0

Khumbu Valley is a popular part of northeast Nepal where the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, is rising 29,029 feet from the bottom of the valley. Khumbu is often mentioned as one of the best travel regions in the world in various documentaries and travel magazines. The valley includes villages, a bazaar, and a Buddhist Monastery that you can visit.

Douro Valley, Portugal

The grapevine terraces in the Douro Valley – Author: Bruno Rodrigues – CC BY-SA 3.0

Douro Valley is located in the northeast region of Portugal, and it got its name from the largest river that flows through the valley. The valley is world-known for its vine terraces and some of the best wine that’s produced.

Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Kaghan is a popular tourist destination because of its dramatic mountain scenery – Author: Skazimr – CC BY-SA 3.0

The Kaghan Valley is mostly visited by local tourists who come to enjoy the fresh alpine air and admire the spectacular views of the valley that extends 96 miles.

Thórsmörk, Iceland

Útigönguhöfði, seen from Þórsmörk – Author: David Karnå – CC-BY 3.0

Thórsmörk Valley is named for the Norse god Thor. It’s a region in southern Iceland formed by glaciers millions of years ago, spreading its barren beauty between rivers Krossa, Markarfijot, and Pronga. The area is the most visited hiking destination in Iceland where you can walk for hours among loose rocks and feel like you are on a different planet. If you ever visit Iceland, consider joining some of the many available hiking and trekking excursions. You can choose from five-hour glacier hikes up to five-day treks that will help you explore the entire region.

Napa Valley, California

Fall in Napa Valley – Author: Brocken Inaglory – CC BY-SA 3.0

Napa Valley is located in the northern part of California, and it’s one of the most popular wine regions in the country. If you want to taste the top-quality wines produced in Napa Valley, then take a road trip and explore the endless vineyards of California.

Danum Valley, Borneo

Footbridge to the tropical rainforest in Danum Valley – Author: Rob and Stephanie Levy – CC-BY 2.0

Danum Valley is a part of a conservation area abundant in endemic flora and fauna species. If you ever visit, there is a possibility that you will see East Sumatran rhinos, Bornean orangutans, gibbons, clouded leopards, and about 300 bird species. The conservation area doesn’t have traces of human settlement, which means that activities like hunting and logging are not possible there. All flora and fauna life is protected and living within the rhythm of their natural habitat.

Jiuzhaigou Valley, China

Five Flower Lake has a bottom that is crisscrossed by ancient fallen tree trunks – Chensiyuan – CC BY-SA 4.0

The southwestern part of China is the home to the Jiuzhaigou Valley, one of the most magical and most beautiful national park in the country. The area has countless lakes, waterfalls, and forests connected by endless miles of trails. People from all over the country visit the park every day, especially to see its main features such as Five Flower Lake, Tiger Lake, Mirror Lake, Panda Lake, Rhinoceros Lake, and the Pearl Shoal Waterfall. You can adjust your visit to the park dependent on your availability. Guided daily hikes are the most popular ones among the visitors, but there are also people who choose to set up camp for a couple of days and experience the real spirit of the Jiuzhaigou Valley.

Valle de la Luna, Chile

Amphitheater, Valle de la Luna, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile – Author: Diego Delso – CC BY-SA 4.0

Valle de la Luna or the Moon’s Valley is a part of the Atacama Desert. The landscape contains sand dunes in different shapes and sizes and a lot of rock formations carved by the strong winds. Looking from above the Valle de la Luna landscape is like looking at the moon’s landscape, and that’s how it received its name. The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on our planet, and it has some parts that haven’t had rain for a couple hundred years. In this harsh environment, there is not much life that can thrive.

All of the above-mentioned valleys are spectacular in their own way. Be unique, and travel somewhere where nobody else would go. Good luck!

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