Top 5 Cities Surrounded by Nature
The best of both worlds…that’s what you get when you visit one of these beautiful cities. Outdoor enthusiasts (and those just in need of a little nature therapy) will love the happy and healthy balance these places provide. Whether located among mountains, beside the sea, or just a hop, skip, and jump away from beaches, lakes, and other natural areas, these are five gems you don’t want to miss.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver has acquired quite the reputation these days, in the best way possible. It’s even been called the cool North American sibling. Everywhere you look in this sophisticated city, you’ll see water or mountains…or both. You’ll find ski slopes just 30 minutes from downtown and beaches filled with sunbathers in the summer. Rainforests and gorgeous foliage also make Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world. As you can imagine, outdoor adventures are never too far—whether you want to explore Whistler, the Canadian Rockies, Victoria, or Vancouver Island nearby.
Iceland is filled with magical, otherworldly landscapes that’ll make you wonder if you’ve just stepped into a fantasy novel. And the entry to this enthralling country is Reykjavik. Once you arrive there, you can access countless natural wonders like canyons, glaciers, volcanos, lava fields, waterfalls, freshwater springs, dramatic coastlines, black-sand beaches, fjords, and geothermal lagoons. Maybe you’ll see the Northern Lights or go whale watching in this whale-watching capital of Europe. Spy some puffins in the summer. Trek through nature reserves. No matter where you look, there’s something striking to be amazed by here.
Auckland, New Zealand
It’s no surprise that Auckland has been rated the third most livable city in the world, with its mix of urban adventures and natural wonders. In this metropolis, everything is within a half hour of gorgeous beaches, islands, and hiking trails. Its sunny climate doesn’t hurt either. You can immerse yourself in this stunning natural playground by exploring lush rainforests that plummet downhill to meet the sea on black-sand beaches. Or get lost in nearby vineyards, country gardens, pristine forests, and calm bays. For an amazing view of the city and harbor—or a perfect picnic spot—check out one of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones.
Rich in architecture and culture, Willemstad—the capital of Curaçao—is a UNESCO World Heritage harbor city. This bustling town is the gateway to 38 beaches in Curaçao, as well as coral reefs teeming with marine life that draws people from all over to snorkel and dive in its waters. The best part? Its stunning, secluded beaches are still considered off-the-radar. Interestingly enough, the majority of the island is actually wild and undeveloped, and lined with desert-like cacti. Rocky terrains and dramatic cliffs? They have that, too. Less than an hour drive from the city is Christoffel Park, the largest national park and wildlife preserve in Curaçao, which is worth checking out.
In Singapore, you don’t need to leave the city to appreciate nature. According to the Environmental Performance Index, a sustainability study by Yale University and the United Nations, Singapore happens to be the greenest city in Asia. Visitors are often shocked by just how green the island really is despite its high population density. But this is exactly why Singapore is committed to being a green city. Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew dreamed that it would someday be known as the “City in a Garden.” You’ll notice many green buildings around the city, but one initiative that really stands out is the Gardens by the Bay, which consists of vertical gardens (up to 164 feet high!) that fill its Supertree Grove.
If you’re craving your own dose of nature on your next city getaway, contact a Liberty Travel consultant today. We’ll plan everything for you, including an itinerary that checks all the boxes on your wish list.