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The top 8 hidden gem mountain getaways

For real escapism, standing atop a mountain surrounded by silence bar the whistling of the wind is where it’s at. But since so many people seek out such seclusion, you’re unlikely to find it in popular mountain ranges such as the Alps or Himalayas.

Instead, head to lesser-known high-up hideaways to revel in the serenity and unspoiled views. If you need some assistance in pinpointing the world’s wildest mountainous destinations, Booking.com used its internal data to do so for you*.

Kazbegi, Georgia

Kazbegi, Georgia

Kazbegi, Georgia

Kazbegi is almost unreal. It’s a tiny hilltop village surrounded by soaring Caucasus mountains, now officially called Stepantsminda but still known by its former name. The silhouette of its church is framed by rocky, imposingly huge mountains including the snowy peak of dormant volcano, Mt Kazbek. Spectacularly beautiful but off the beaten track, Kazbegi has so far managed to fly under the mainstream tourist radar. Meaning you’ll be able to enjoy the mountaineering and hiking trails of its national park landscape in seclusion. For a striking drive, take the popular Georgian Military Highway, the road joining Georgian capital, Tblisi, with Kazbegi.

Zuberec, Slovakia

Zuberec, Slovakia

Zuberec, Slovakia

Made up of weather-beaten wooden cabins and wildflower meadows, the village of Zuberec is an unassuming place. At the foothills of the Tatras, it’s excellent for hiking in summer. You can take off on a challenging trek up the mountain ridge past waterfalls and rocky terrain or go for a gentle hike around the Tatras’ mountain lakes. In winter, visitors are attracted for cross-country skiing.

Assergi, Italy

Assergi, Italy

Assergi, Italy

High up in the Apennine foothills, hemmed in by medieval walls and with only five hundred inhabitants, Assergi is a pretty, historical relic. It’s also a paradigm of rural Italy, with its cobbled streets and simple stone houses topped with terracotta tiles. The scenery offers all the verdant greens, dainty flowers and mountain streams of the Alps but with a rugged twist. And fewer tourists.

Nallathanniya, Sri Lanka

Nallathanniya, Sri Lanka

Nallathanniya, Sri Lanka

For most, the village of Nallathanniya is the starting point for climbing Adam’s Peak. This conical mountain covered in dark green forest is often shrouded in tropical mist, creating mind-blowing sunrise scenes. This is best seen from the summit, also where a rock formation of sacred significance for Buddhists, Hindus and Christians is believed to be Buddha’s, Shiva’s or Adam’s footprint respectively.

Huángshān, China

Huángshān, China

Huángshān, China

Huángshān is a mountain range in eastern china named after China’s ‘Yellow Emperor’. Jagged, peculiarly-shaped rock formations jut up out of the mist to create a landscape that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Gudvangen, Norway

Gudvangen, Norway

Gudvangen, Norway

To get a sense of the mighty power and pristine beauty of nature, a trip to see Norway’s fjords and mountains up close will impress. Jurassic-like peaks loom overhead, casting shadows on the deep blue lakes, fed by countless waterfalls. Taking a cruise down the fjords is unmissable.

Mount Shasta, USA

Mount Shasta, USA

Mount Shasta, USA

Though it may get less airtime than the Rockies, the Cascade Range contains some majestic mountains and scenery. Notably, Mount Shasta, a potentially active volcano in California. It’s become a focal point for mystics, gurus, sages and the spiritually curious thanks to its reported magnetic energies. And its steep slopes rising nearly 10,000 feet above the surrounding landscape are a sight to behold.

Underberg, South Africa

Underberg, South Africa

Underberg, South Africa

This small, traditional farming town of dusty roads and family-run stores sits in the foothills of the Drakensberg, a mighty geological cliff-like formation running along the south of the African continent. Underberg is perfectly placed to embark on the spectacular climb to the top of nerby Rhino’s Peak. It also presents the opportunity for biking, horseriding and river-tubing if you’re looking for more adrenalin-fuelled ways to appreciate the glorious mountainous terrain.

*The data analysts at Booking.com looked at customer endorsements for ‘mountains’, selecting the highest-rated destinations. Then Booking.com compiled a list from these destinations of lesser-known ranges based on wider research.