Mount Vesuvius – Italy
You may at times see me on a high mountain of the world, or trekking for days on end, but I assure you that some of my greatest memories and fondest climbs have been lower heights. It’s the country, the sights variety, the experience and sense of achievement that makes a venture upwards exhilarating and makes all the effort worthwhile.
I have a huge bucket list that is full of summits that on paper and statistically seem small and unworthy but each one for me will be a dream and a goal to savor. If you have ever wanted to get to a magnificent peak for the feeling of a lifetime but are nowhere near wanting to climb tens of thousands of feet here are a few examples around the world that all standards can enjoy, some you can do without walking, to take in a whole new view on your stay in a foreign land.
Mount Vesuvius – Italy
Very well known, famous for one of its eruptions that buried Pompeii into the history books in 79 AD. This Volcano stands at 1277 meters (4190 feet) and proudly sits looking over the bay of Naples. A perfect days excursion from the bustle of Naples or Sorrento. You can take the day to hike up from the lower areas or you can even get a bus/taxi to the upper car park that leaves just the 500 m steep climb to the top. Once there though you can look back in awe over the bay and even look deep into the huge active crater itself!
Ben Nevis – Scotland, UK
The highest mountain in the UK, deep in the romantic setting of the Scottish Highlands. A climb I love to do again and again. If you happen to visit the Highlands why not put this on the to do list? With a full summers day you can slowly walk up the totally non technical Pony Track from Glen Nevis. Well worth every step to look out at the views from the top of Britain.
Mauna Kea – Hawaii
The worlds tallest mountain! (from it’s base under the sea level to the top) and all on the beautiful Hawaii. If you are feeling energetic you can take the 6 mile path to the top which is 4,205 m (13,796 ft) above sea level. However, for those in a rush to look down over the island from above the clouds you can drive to within 100 m of the summit. (Be careful though, that is a high altitude to gain so fast)
Table Mountain – South Africa
Towering around Cape Town this magnificent flat topped mountain is a must to get to the summit of when visiting. There is no excuse, you have the choice of hiking there or even a cable car that will leisurely take you all the way. From there you can stand in amazement looking over the city, Table Bay and beyond.
Mt Teide – Tenerife, Spain
Yes, the beaches and coastal resorts on Tenerife are very popular but it is also home to the highest point of Spain. Tenerife was created by volcanoes, why even the famous black sand on many of its beaches is a result of volcanic activity. So, whilst spending time there why not take a break from lounging and or partying for one day and take a look at this high peak (3718 m/12,198 ft). In the sprawling National Park you can even take a cable car to near the top of this active volcano (again be careful of rising so high so fast). If even better you like to hike up, (you need to buy a permit locally), the moonlike terrain and the views over the Canarys can make it a great days toil.
Mt Scenery – Netherlands
Yes you read that right, Netherlands. Next time you are in the Caribbean, visit the island of Saba. This little island is home to the beautiful little volcano, Mt Scenery, with its trail to the top covered in rainforest, tropical flowers and mahogany trees. In 2010 this place so far away from the low lying European land of the Netherlands became officially part of the Netherlands proper. Therefore raising its highest point from 322.7 m (1,059 ft) to a height of 877 m (2877 ft)
Of course there are many many hundreds of mountains and hills of this world that are just a days walk to the top, these are just a few that can wet the appetite. I hope to tread many myself, see you at the top!