For some reason, mountains seem to call to us with a different kind of magic than any other landmark in the world. There's something about the magnificence and grandeur in the presence of these stone giants, as well as the knowing their history far exceeds anything else on earth, as they were the first things to be created. Mountain ranges have a habit of making us feel small in the best way possible and remind us that no matter what, there's always something even more beautiful worth looking forward to.
In a literal sense, mountains are landmarks, home to species that have learned to adapt to higher elevations, and, for some people, are designated places to climb in order to get a better view of the world. For those who don't find the allure in climbing mountains, though, are there any that can be seen from below while offering views just as good as from the top? The answer is yes.
Kirkjufell Mountain, Iceland
As far as Iceland mountains go, Kirkjufell is absolutely iconic. This narrow, pointed mountain is so famous for its appearance that it even scored a spot in HBO's Game of Thrones, which drew even more attention to its steep peaks.
While this mountain can be climbed if accompanied by an experienced professional, there's no need to even go that far in order to see it in all its glory. In fact, visitors can choose to hike to its base or go to the mountain on horseback for a true Icelandic experience. Seeing this mountain from below - and the waterfall near it that shares the same name - is a worthy trip.
Castle Mountain, Canada
Canada's Castle Mountain is so popular thanks to the fact that it can be found in Banff National Park, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. As part of the Canadian Rockies, this mountain does not disappoint, and it's the unique shape that gives it both its name as well as its reputation.
It's easily spotted due to the nature of its peaks, which form a shape that could easily be mistaken for a castle or fortress in the distance. The base of this mountain, which sits just above a lake, also looks like a foundation from afar, which only serves to confuse the eyes even more!
Maroon Bells, Colorado
The best way to see Maroon Bells (both the mountains and the lake at its base) is by taking the Maroon Bells bus as it's often very crowded during the summer months. What's so mesmerizing about this mountain, aside from its unique shape, is the perfect reflection of its peaks in the lake below.
The base of the mountain is dotted with bright yellow flowers and, when seen from the ground, the entire picture is like something out of a painting. The view from the bottom is arguably better than the views from the top, in this case.
The Dolomites, Italy
Italy's Dolomites mountain range has long been hailed as one of the best and most historic peaks in Europe, aside from the Swiss Alps. The views of the Dolomites can be seen from many places and it's pretty easy to find overnight accommodations that provide views of them, as well.
What adds to this landscape are the green pastures and wildflower-dotted meadows that surround these often snow-capped mountain peaks, which are enchanting all on their own without even breaking a sweat to get better views.
Aoraki (Mount Cook), New Zealand
With Aoraki/Mount Cook being the highest summit in the country, it makes sense that more people would want to get views from below as opposed to hiking its rugged glacial terrain.
This mountain can be found in the national park that shares its name, though, and there are plenty of hikes that provide breathtaking views of this mountain along with its smaller sister mountains, of which there are 19 in total. Hikers can also see the park's glaciers and lakes, all of which set the tone for this stunning flora and fauna.
Table Mountain, South Africa
Table Mountain is one of the Seven Wonders of the World which means it's high on the destination list for those planning to visit South Africa. It's also estimated to be one of the oldest mountains in the world, making it even more of a bucket list destination, although it's the unique summit - if it can be called that - of the mountain that makes it so incredible to see in person.
The mountain is home to Table Mountain National Park where hikers can traverse more than 350 trails to get to the top or simply admire its unique structure and shape from its oceanside base.