7 Spectacular Hill Stations Around The World To Visit This Summer

There’s nothing quite like an escape to a breezy hill station for a dreamy summer vacation with family, friends, or significant other. We present some of the most scenic settings across the world for a memorable getaway amidst fresh air and engaging experiences.


Hill station in Switzerland
The sun-kissed Bernese Alps form a picturesque backdrop for the charming Swiss village of Grindelwald.

Embraced by the gorgeous Bernese Alps, this skier’s paradise is enthralling in the summer, as well! With its mesmerising scenery and a range of outdoor activities, the charming village is an ideal destination for families and couples. Begin your exploration with a quaint, cogwheel train journey up to Schynige Platte, set more than 6,000 feet above sea level. Home to a restaurant and a beautiful alpine garden, this absolutely stunning destination offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. It’s a sight to behold! Go hiking or pose for fun pictures within the giant wooden frames set up around the area. Instagram calling!

For an adrenaline-fuelled outing with kids, head to Grindelwald-First, a mountain with an adventure zone. Feel the whoosh of alpine winds as you swing down the 800-metre-long First Flieger zipline. Or try the First Glider to fly like an eagle at 72 kilometres per hour. For a gentler ride, explore the slopes on trottibikes (cycling scooters). And when you’re done, settle in at the cosy GrindelLounge & Deko for
decadent Swiss hot chocolate!

Don’t miss: The Jungfraujoch or the ‘Top of Europe’, a glacial seat between the Jung frau and Mönch mountains


Hill station in Vietnam
Bird’s-eye view of cascading rice terraces in Sa Pa, Vietnam.

Nestled in the folds of the Hoàng Liên mountain range, the misty environs of this little, colonialera town reflect nature’s colourful splendour. Azure gushing rivers and emerald-hued terraced rice fields dotted by tribal folk dressed in ethnic finery will have you reaching for the camera at every turn.

For the finest views of this hill station, take the 15-minute cable car ride up to the summit of the mighty Mount Fansipan. One of the best ways to explore this lush area, with views of cloud-covered peaks, is on a hike with a local guide. The Sapa Khai Hmong Treks company is a good option for a tour, and includes a traditional meal of spring rolls and stir-fried dishes. A treat in every sense!

To savour a unique taste of local life, head to Cat Cat village, a three kilometre walk from Sa Pa. Brimming with shops and stalls selling an array of handicrafts, embroidered cloths, traditional jewellery, regional wines, and more, this open-air markettown is a great place to pick up some special souvenirs. Pebbled streets, flowing streams, a striking waterfall, and gigantic waterwheels add to the scenic charm.

Don’t miss: Biking tours in the mountains for all age groups, with Vietnam Cycling.


Hill stations in Bhutan
The holy Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched on a cliff face in Paro, Bhutan.

Spread along the shimmering Paro Chhu River, amidst towering, pine covered slopes and rhododendron blooms, this picturesque destination is, arguably, Bhutan’s most beautiful town. Its verdant natural vistas are punctuated by indigenous houses, ancient monasteries, and monks in burgundy-hued robes.

It’s biggest draw is, undoubtedly, Paro Taktsang, known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery. This architectural wonder, believed to be the erstwhile meditation spot of Guru Padmasambhava, the nation’s patron saint, is located on a steep cliff face, at a height of 9,678-feet! While the trek up to this exquisite site is challenging, there are rest stops along the way. And there is the option of hiring a pony up till a certain section of the trail. Stop by the Taktsang Cafeteria en route for refreshments and photos. The otherworldly views from here are,
however, worth every step!

Don’t miss: Tshering Farmhouse for a traditional Bhutanese hot-stone bath, and the momos at Mountain Café.


People soak in the sun amid historic buildings at the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru.

Capital of the ancient Inca empire and gateway to the mighty citadel of Machu Picchu, this historic city boasts an intensely unique character of its own. And the best place to start is at its beautiful main square, Plaza de Armas; the beating heart of the city, it holds within it a striking amalgamation of Inca and colonial architecture, including the Cathedral and the Coricancha temple. Streets lined with artistic cafés, lively bars and restaurants, and a variety of shops, provide ideal relaxing stops for families and couples. Be sure to visit at night, when it’s all lit up and buzzing!

Foodie families looking for some amazing fare will enjoy the sensory spectacle at the bustling San Pedro Market with its fruit, vegetable, and meat stalls operated by locals in vibrant, traditional attire. The delicious empanadas (fried pastry with filling), deep-fried pork, and fresh fruit juices are a must-try here.

And if you’re a history-loving couple, you must visit the Museo Machu Picchu to learn about American explorer Hiram Bingham III’s discovery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Don’t miss: Cuy, a local speciality of fried guinea pig served with potatoes at Cuyeria Sabor Moqueguano.


More than 800,000 hand-mounted crystals at the stunning Crystal Cloud installation at Swarovski Crystal Worlds, Innsbruck, Austria.

With the rugged Nordkette Range as a breathtaking backdrop, this pretty city offers plenty of European charm, history, and fun. For your first stop, head to the famous Golden Roof, an oriel in the Old Town. Built more than 500 years ago, this striking bay window features 2,657 gilded copper shingles and stunningly intricate frescoes! Next, visit the lavish Imperial Palace— boasting stately rooms with golden chandeliers, this royal home is truly remarkable. Its Empress Elizabeth Apartment is a must-see for its 18th-century furnishings and artwork. A short shuttle ride away, Swarovski Crystal Worlds is a magical place that has something for everyone! Marvel at ‘The Giant’, a fountain with the face of a fantastical beast, set amidst a garden of crystal artwork. While you enjoy the exhibits, let your kids loose at Playtower—a multi-level area where they can climb and slide with gusto!

Don’t miss: The Tyrolean Evening Show with music, dance, and yodelling.


The Habba Khatoon peak sits gracefully in the verdant GurezValley, Kashmir.

A little explored corner of Kashmir, this pristine piece of heaven is framed by snow-covered mountains and known for its bucolic villages and rolling green meadows. Getting here is an adventure in itself, as you drive up to the hair-raising Razdan Pass, perched at an elevation of 11,672 feet above sea level!

One of the main attractions here is the Kishanganga River, meandering gently though the valley. Its tranquil banks make for a delightful family picnic spot, and its azure waters, teeming with trout, are perfect for a fishing session.

The valley is home to the DardShin mountain tribe—a people known for their unique customs, language, and dress. And it’s common for villagers to sing folk ballads of legendary Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon, who lends her name to a peak here. Imagine revelling in this setting with your partner as soft singing wafts through the air—a romantic summer escape for sure!

Don’t miss: The Log Hut Café for coffee, qawah, and sandwiches.


Visitors taking in the breathtaking view at Mammoth Lakes, California, USA.

With surreal natural beauty and 300 days of sunshine, this Eastern Sierra mountain town epitomises the great American outdoors. The astounding Devils Postpile, a volcanic formation featuring thousands of hexagonal basalt columns, is a must-visit. The best way to get here is on a shuttle bus from the Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge area. From the park’s trailhead, it’s a 1.6 kilometre round-trip hike to the columns. For added adventure, walk a further four kilometres to the surreal Rainbow Falls. It’ll be worth it!

Love biking trips with the family? Well, then pedal up Minaret Road to Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge and then ahead to Minaret Vista for some absolutely fantastic views and spectacular photo-ops.

If water is your calling, then Lake Mary here is great for boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding. You can even treat the kids to a camping adventure at the nearby
Coldwater Campground. S’mores anyone?

Don’t miss: The many art and music events held at The Village, Mammoth’s premier event destination.

Related: 3 Outdoor Activities You Need To Experience During The Summers In Switzerland