Our free time is precious, so choosing your next travel destination is important business. It’s exciting, of course, but challenging as well, with so many amazing places to visit and so little time to do so.

For adventurous souls who find joy in the great outdoors, nature can be a wonderful guide in selecting your next getaway. From majestic mountain ranges to picturesque beaches, picking the perfect vacation based on the great outdoors is a great way to guarantee excitement and adventure.

So whether you want to climb the highest peaks in South America, explore deep forests in Central Europe, or sail from Florida to beautiful beach destinations, here are a few thoughts on how to let nature shape your travel choices.

1. The call of the peaks
Image by Ramon Fuchs.

The grandeur of towering mountain peaks and cold, crisp air is a huge draw for the most adventurous travellers among us. Mountain destinations abound, from the picture-postcard beauty of the Swiss Alps and the rugged magnificence of the Rockies to the stunning vistas of the Himalayas.

Whether you’re seeking the brutal challenge of conquering the highest and most difficult summits in the world or looking for remote serenity in a mountain lodge, these regions offer a wonderful way to shape your travels.

2. Seaside beauty
Image by Alessandro Russo.

Vacations guided by nature don’t have to be adrenaline-fuelled adventures or gruelling outdoorsy challenges. Beach destinations from the Seychelles to the Amalfi Coast offer peace, luxury, and relaxation to the soundtrack of waves on the shore and the wind in swaying palm trees.

Whether you want to soak up the sun on a lounger all day long, stroll along the beach with the sand between your toes, or dive beneath the waves on a scuba diving expedition, seaside destinations offer a glorious blend of tranquillity and excitement.

3. Open skies and arid perfection
Image by Jason Hawke.

Choosing to visit a desert’s bleak expanse might seem odd, but the vast skies and otherworldly perfection of desert landscapes make for an intriguing and unique vacation.

From the Sahara’s vast, ever-changing dunes to Monument Valley’s incredible rock formations, a desert vacation offers something unique and different, with a stark beauty almost impossible to replicate.

4. Rolling hills and quaint villages
Image by Johny Goerend.

Not all nature-guided escapes have to be extreme, either. For some, the rural charm of the rolling hills, picturesque meadows, and quaint villages of the countryside is the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Taking things slowly and exploring the hill towns of Tuscany, the rustic beauty of the Cotswolds, or the subtle yet stunning attraction of the lavender fields of Provence is an underrated experience. Whether exploring vineyards and olive groves or cycling through winding country lanes, a laid-back countryside getaway is a delightful way to spend a vacation.

5. Nature’s sculptures
Image by David Lartey.

Nature can be creative when it puts its mind to it, and canyons represent the artistry and imagination of geology. From the Grand Canyon in the US to Fish River Canyon in Namibia, exploring the mind-blowing structures and sculptures caused by nothing more than water erosion is an incredible focus for a vacation.

Whether you hike through narrow slot sand canyons in Dubai or marvel at the vast expanse of river canyons like Sumidero in Mexico, these destinations appeal to anyone looking for a dose of stunning natural beauty.

Whether it is the thrill of scaling the highest summit or the serenity that comes from relaxing on a beach, being guided by the beauty of nature when putting together your travel plans guarantees an incredible adventure.