Wednesday, December 11, 2013

11 Spectacular Cliff Paths

Cliff paths are paths that are built along the faces of cliffs and also, often surrounded by local vegetation that growing from the rocks. Walking through these trails, visitors can appreciate broad vistas of natural landscape. This is the reason why many people around the world come to these places to enjoy spectacular views. Enjoy a walk with us, through the most spectacular cliff paths from around the world.

1. Huangshan Paths, China
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Huangshan is a mountain range in southern Anhui province in eastern China. Vegetation on the range is thickest below 1,100 meters (3,600 ft), with trees growing up to the treeline at 1,800 meters (5,900 ft).
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The area is well known for its scenery, sunsets, peculiarly shaped granite peaks, Huangshan Pine trees, and views of the clouds from above. 
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Huangshan is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of China's major tourist destinations.
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There are more than 30 touring paths in total in Huangshan mountains, which are 50 km (31mi) in total lenght and 1-2 meters (3-6ft) wide generally. 
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"Fairytale bridge" from the picture above is part of trail network. From the bridge you will have a breathtaking view of the mountainside that lays beneath, and see how the clouds are touches the mountains.
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The trail in the mountains are stone paved roads, some of them are paved with granite slabs while some are excavated through mountain stones.
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Along the paths, there are also some sightseeing places, bridges and scenic-view pavillons which offer tourists convinience to enjoy the sceneries and take a rest or shelter from rain. [link1link2map]

2. Capri Island Path, Italy
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On the Italian island of Capri, the most beautiful view is found on one of the world's most beautiful footpaths.
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The zigzagging Via Krupp, which was carved into the island's south coast in 1902, reopened recently after being closed for 30 years and restored.
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Start at the top in the lush Gardens of Augustus and snake your way down from an elevation of nearly 400 feet (120m) as you stop to admire the Bay of Marina Piccola and the spire-like Faraglioni Rocks.
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The path is surrounded by bushes of juniper and rosemary. It was conceptualized by Friedrich Krupp the German industrialist, for the easier access to the marinas below. [linkmap]

3. Walkways of the Tianmen Mountain, China
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Tianmen Mountain is a mountain located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in northwestern Hunan Province, China. A cablecar was constructed by the French company Poma from nearby Zhangjiajie railway station to the top of the mountain.
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The path in Tianmenshan National Forest Park is 1.600 meters (5,250ft) long, with an average altitude of 1.400 (4,600ft) meters. Different from other paths, Tianmenshan Guigu Cliff Path is built among cliffs. The karst landforms are startling.
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Tourists can walk on hundreds of metres of these paths built onto the cliff face at the top of the mountain, including sections with glass floors, that were built in 2011. Standing at roughly 4,700 feet (1400m) above sea level, it is one of the world’s highest observation platforms.
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Roughly 200 feet (60m) in length, glass platform braces the cliff face of the Tianmen Mountain, enabling an unobstructed view of the nearby scenery as well as an unusual panorama straight down the cliff.
4700 ft (1400m) high Glass Sky Walk in Tianmen Mountain  link
To walk on it takes some courage and a spirit for adventure. As required by park regulations, tourists to the site have to wear anti-slip shoe covers, which also serve to minimize dust on the acrylic glass planks.
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The walkways are a valuable addition to the attractions of the Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park, which is only 7 miles (11km) from the downtown area of Zhangjiajie, a prefecture-level city most famous for the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in the north. [link1link2map]

4. Path to Gaztelugatxe, Spain
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This beautiful path is located on the island Gaztelugatxe in Spain. Gaztelugatxe is a tiny islet on the coast of Biscay belonging to the municipality of Bermeo, in Basque Country (Spain).
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It is connected to the mainland by a man made bridge. On top of the island stands a hermitage that dates from the 10th century, although certain discoveries indicate that the date might be the 9th century.
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The hermitage is accessed by a narrow path, crossing the solid stone bridge, and going up 237 steps, although other sources cite the number as 229 or 231 steps.
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The best seasons to visit are spring and autumn, in order to enjoy the peace of the setting, as summers are typically crowded. [linkmap]

5. Skellig Michael Path, Ireland
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Skellig Michael is an island (the larger of the two Skellig Islands) in the Atlantic Ocean, 11.6 km (7.2mi) west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. 
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A Christian monastery was founded on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th century, and was continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century. 
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The remains of this monastery, along with most of the island itself, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1996.
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Following the stone steps that winding along the cliff, you can enjoy the unique vegetation and nesting birds in season (thousands of puffins nest from early spring to August). The entire trail has over 600 steps that are older than 1000 years. [linkmap]

6. Donkey Path in Santorini, Greece
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In 1715, the island inhabitants built a rough path into the side of the sheer mountain so they could hike to the summit. Before long, donkeys were enlisted to help carry cargo and passengers to and from the ships and town.
In 1930, the walkway was improved and more donkeys were added to aid in the assent and decent. Finally, in 1979, a cable car was installed to automate the process - but the most fun ride is still by donkey.
The zigzag walkway from sea to city is paved in stone, and because of the many switchbacks, the distance from one end to the other is 1300 meters or 4,265 feet. There are 657 four-inch (10 cm) tall steps on the walkway, and this natural stair-master provides a very good workout on a sunny day. [link, map]

7. Cliff Path at Blue Mountains, Australia
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The Blue Mountains is a mountainous region in New South Wales, Australia. It borders on Sydney's metropolitan area, its foothills starting about 50 kilometres (31mi) west of the state capital.
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Mid Cliff Walk is a path that is carved into the sheer cliff face. Handrails, ladders and airy lookouts provide a birds-eye view over the vast forests of the remote Jamison Valley.
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From this point visitors can observe the vast forest of eucalyptus and the famous Wentworth Falls. The spray from spectacular Wentworth Falls refreshes weary walkers before climbing to this cliff path. [linkmap]

8. Ebenalp Path, Switzerland
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The Ebenalp (1,640 m) is the northernmost summit of the Appenzell Alps. The mountain is a popular hiking destination and has been accessible by cable car from Wasserauen since 1955. Ebenalp attracts up to 200,000 visitors each year.
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One can’t get a much more beautiful view than from this walk from the mountain cable car station to the site of the Aescher mountain restaurant. The path is also a journey back in time with ancient caves along the route. Since the path from the mountain station to the site of restaurant is only 20 minutes, it can be enjoyed by those of all ages.
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During you walking there you’ll see beautiful scenery of the Ebenalp Mountain. Travelling for a few minutes along the rock face brings you to the Aescher mountain restaurant.
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Here you can enjoy a breathtaking views and marvel at the restaurant that has been built directly onto the rock face. [link, map]

9. Jiankou Great Wall, China
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Jiankou is a section of the Great Wall of China. This section is a photographic hotspot due to its unique style, steep mountains and beautiful scenery. 'Jiankou', is translated as 'Arrow Nock' in English, for the shape of the mountain is like an arrow, with the collapsed ridge opening as its arrow nock.
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This section of the Great Wall of China has fallen into disrepair and this, along with its location along a mountain ridge bordered by jagged cliffs and steep drop-offs, makes the Jiankou segment of the Great Wall of China potentially dangerous to climb
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The section is more easily reached from the north side of the wall than from the south. The climb from the north goes up just over 100 meters (330ft) in about a one kilometer (0.6mi) hike, whereas from the south the climb is about 450 meters (1,480ft) up over a horizontal distance of also one kilometer.
image credit flickr user Keith Lommel
Most of the sections of the Great Wall are turned into tourist attractions with souvenir kiosks and touts. Jiankou section has not been restored yet and therefore attracts hikers and other adventurous people. Walking this section requires good fitness and basic climbing skills. 
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The Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China features steep drop-offs on each side. Add that to the pathway's poor condition, and it's easy to see why this is one of the Great Wall's most dangerous areas, but also one of its most picturesque. [linkmap]

10. Cap Carbon Paths, Algeria
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The Carbon Cap is an algerian cape located in Wilaya de Bejaia, north of the port of Bejaia. Precisely, cape is less than 5 kilometers (3.1mi) from the centre of Bejaia city.
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It is equipped with a lighthouse, built at 220 m (720ft) above sea level, making it one of the tallest lighthouses in the Mediterranean Sea.
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Visitors who come to this place can enjoy the long winding trails with great views to the Mediterranean Sea. The trails are mostly carved in rocks of the peninsula.
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The trails are often surrounded by pine and olive trees, and there are also local monkeys which often entertain visitors. [map]

11. Dún Chaoin Path, Ireland
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The parish of Dún Chaoin is at the most westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula in the County of Kerry in the south-west of Ireland. It comprises eleven townlands on the mainland and the Blasket Islands three miles offshore and it is often referred to as "the next parish to America". Dún Chaoin is renowned for its scenery and its surviving Gaelic culture. The spectacular views of the Blasket islands, the rugged cliffs which make up the coastline, the picturesque, narrow, winding pathway leading to the pier and the splendid sunsets are featured in many calendars, postcards and tourist brochures each year.
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Photography shows breathtaking cliff scenery, with a view of the Blasket Islands. This is a famous shot of a flock of sheep making their way up the path. [linkmap]
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  1. highline trail in Glacier National Park

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