These mountain towns and cities are so filled to the brim with adventurous, high-adrenaline activities, you’ll seriously consider moving there.
1. Wanaka, New Zealand
The view across Lake Wanaka
Situated on a crystal blue lake calling to be kayaked, swam or supped and a backdrop of mountains riddled with world class hiking, Wanaka is surrounded by adventure.
The fun doesn’t stop in the winter either, with world-class skiing at two resorts. There’s also a dedicated cross country ski area and the buzzing, high-adrenaline town of Queenstown is just an hour away.
2. Chamonix, France
The Chamonix Valley | Chamonix.com
Sitting in the shadow of the mighty Mont Blanc, Chamonix has long lured mountain lovers to its streets with some of the best and most challenging alpinism on its doorstep. In winter, skiing takes over and the best riders in the world flock to the steep and snowy ski areas that flank the town.
3. Boulder, USA
Boulder is situated in the foothills of the Rockies|Bouldercoloradousa.com
This Colorado town sits at 1,650m above sea level at the base of the Rocky Mountains. It’s the gateway to endless hiking and biking options in the Rockies, as well as skiing at Eldora Mountain Resort, a 45 minute drive away, and almost endless options beyond.
4. Innsbruck, Austria
Mountain biking on the Nordkette, above Innsbruck |bause.at
Self-dubbed the “Capital of the Alps”, Innsbruck doubles as a ski resort, with the Nordkette Cable Car zooming straight up from the city to the mountains behind it and dozens more local resorts within a 45-minute drive.
In summer there’s hiking, climbing, mountain biking and via ferrata to get stuck into, and you can cool off by taking a dip in one of the Tyrol’s many mountain lakes.
5. Vancouver, Canada
The Vancouver skyline, complete with mountains |©Albert Normandin
Few cities can boast world class mountain biking within their limits, but Vancouver’s North Shore has just that. Come winter, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour also offer up skiing, with North America’s biggest resort, Whistler, just a two hour drive away.
6. Fort William, UK
The view towards Ben Nevis, Fort William and Loch Linnhe.|VisitBritain / Joe Cornish
The so-called “Outdoor Capital” of the UK has a lot to offer, with excellent hiking and climbing options on Ben Nevis and the many other nearby Munros. Nevis Range resort offers year round fun in the form of skiing and mountain biking, and its lochside locations means watersports aplenty.
7. Arequipa, Peru
Arequipa’s Ele Misti volcano, fit for hiking and mountain biking |Flickr.com / bostik_
Sat in the shadow of monstrous volcanoes including El Misti and Chachani, this South American city is the perfect springboard for high altitude climbing. The volcanoes are also home downhill mountain biking, with over 2000m of vertical to play on. Whitewater rafting is big here too, with Cotahuasi Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world, nearby.