Himalayas means “abode of snow” in Indian Sanskrit. The most famous mountain range in the world covers approximately 2400 kilometers. The Greater Himalayas, Lesser Himalayas, and Outer Himalayas – pass through parts of Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, and Bhutan. While mostly known for the perennially ice-battered peaks of Mount Everest, the Himalayas actually nurses a diverse range of cold and temperate climates hosting an array of natural landscapes, and you can have a luxury vacation adventure by exploring new places and fascinating cultures.

A luxury Aman Resort in Himalaya – Book a stay at a Bhutanese Amankora, one of the several lodges scattered across the country’s valleys. The Amankora Paro nestled among a thick pine forest in Balakha Village is one of the many luxury lodges across Bhutan which offers comfortable accommodation strategically close to must-visit cultural heritage locations. Aman Resorts are among the most luxurious 5 star resorts in the world, we have visited Aman in Courchevel France, and Amangani at Jackson Hole Wyoming. After you’re done appreciating Amankora’s traditional Bhutanese architecture, take a trek to Tiger’s Nest monastery, grab some lunch at the farmhouse near Kyichu Lhakhang Temple, or rest your weary bones at the spa’s outdoor hot-stone bath.

Rishikesh is a city that’s right beside the sacred Ganges River. It’s home to the alcohol-free vegetarian enclave of Swarg Ashram and a large population of both locals and tourists looking for spiritual enlightenment. Locals also offer white water rafting tours down parts of the Ganges, and the large footbridge in town sometimes accommodates bungee jumpers.

The Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand are both national parks that are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its endemic alpine flowers and intensely rich variety of flora are strewn across its green valleys, framed by forested and grassy mountains capped by snow. The perfect place to take a good long hike.

Hop on a Yak and go on a Himalayan safari at Ladakh. Mounting a yak is the perfect way to explore some of the most untamed regions of the Himalayan Mountains. Ladakh yak safari tours will take you through glacial mountain lakes, gurgling streams, perilous steppes, and enough breathtaking views of the Great Himalayan range to last you a lifetime.

For climbers the Himalayas is the Holy Grail. Mount Everest is the tallest peak in the world as well as the mountain for which the Himalayas is most famous for. The only way to climb this 8,848-meter, 29,028′ peak is if you’re at your absolute physical peak, and willing to risk life and limb in order to reach the notoriously dangerous top. That being said, climbing Everest does cost a small fortune. In a feature by Lottoland on ‘The Cost of Completing Your Bucket List”, the article details how climbing Everest will cost the average climber $50,000, with some trips going for as much as $85,000. If you do plan on climbing the highest peak on earth, be warned that new rules mean that you must have already summited a 7,000-meter, 22,965′ peak. The good news for those who haven’t is that there are plenty of other climbs for all skill levels, with the Island Peak trek ideal for those who want a challenge, but are not experienced climbers.

For a mountain vacation with winter and summer sports, Zermatt Switzerland is home to the Matterhorn and an amazing Alps destinations. For an alpine retreat that’s closer to home, check out our feature on Big Sky resort in Montana. While you don’t need to go far to explore the most gorgeous mountains in the world, there’s nothing that compares to the perennial beauty of the Himalayas.

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