Uncertain times may be particularly anxiety-ridden for many of us, which makes it an especially important period to look after your mental health.
It also makes little, relaxing activities all the more crucial, and we have the perfect activity for you. Even if you’re bound to your desk or home, you can escape and take a mental vacation with some images of the world’s most stunning, undisturbed destinations - which certainly gives us a new sense of appreciation for the Earth and it’s natural landscapes.
From regal waterfalls, pastoral landscapes, natural landmarks and enigmatic landscapes, here are the images that have soothed our senses and uplifted our moods.
East Hokkaido, Japan
Located at the base of the Nemuro peninsula is east Hokkaido and Lake Furen. The vast, bucolic landscape is home to a range of undisturbed wildlife, from tufted puffin, to the Ezo Brown bear, in gentle lowlands set against a backdrop of mountain ranges, the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Okhotsk. A walk across the beautiful and gentle East Hokkaido takes from three to four hours, and a great introduction to the Japanese archipelago, from wetland nature reserves, to landscapes formed by volcanoes.
Sabi Sands Reserve, South Africa
There is no better place on earth to game watch than in South Africa, and Sabi Sands is home to many African wildlife, from the likes of elephants, lions to cheetahs. Its' group of private game reserves, such as Singita Boulder’s Lodge, offer an unbeatable front-row seat to 45,000 acres of untouched wilderness.
Dazzling fjords, vertiginous Andean peaks cover some of Chile’s best known region - Patagonia. The sparsely populated region is an outdoorsman's playground, consisting of various activities from skiing, whitewater rafting and trekking, all under a backdrop of Andean mountains. And to the north, lies San Rafael Lagoon National Park, voted the fifth most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic. It holds impressive ice fields, termed the Grey Glacier, which spans roughly 350km and an average height of 40 meters.
The world’s most Northern capital, Iceland, is home to some of the world’s most diverse landscapes. From the Blue Lagoon to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, there is a new wonder to discover at every turn. One of the many stunning landscapes include Dettifoss, the largest waterfall which is reputed to be the most powerful in all of Europe. Set amidst rocky surrounds with sheer drops on either side, there is perhaps no more fitting backdrop for the Earth’s magnificent power. Check out places such as Siglo Hotel, which is built into Siglufjord, a charming small town around a small boat marina.
Like a scene out of a sci-fi movie, Socotra is a small island located in the Indian Ocean, and part of Yemen. It’s historical and biological isolation over the years has resulted in an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, with studies showing that a third of these plant species are not found anywhere else. One of which is the dragon’s blood tree, a strange-looking umbrella shaped tree only found in this part of the world. Interestingly, it produces red sap and was used as the medicine and dye of the ancients. This diversity, combined with the immense beauty of its mountainous landscape, pristine beaches and underwater life, makes it a much sought after eco-tourist destination.