Nature: 6 Great highlands

Last modified 01.04.2022 | Published 10.11.2014Bolivia, China, Mongolia, Norway, Peru, Portugal, United Kingdom, World abstracts

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Some mountain plateaus or plains are more adventurous than the average. My examples of 6 great highlands are from different parts of the world.


This post is part of a series portraying the classic Elements of Nature: Earth, Fire, Water, Air. Highlands are examples of the first element, Earth.


1. Roof of the World (Tibet, China)

This is the largest and highest mountain plateau in the world, averaging 5,000 metres in altitude. It is surrounded by higher mountain ranges in all directions, the most famous being the Himalayas in the south.


China - Tibet - The bus out of Tibet to Golmud, at an altitude of 5000 metres

My bus out of Tibet at an altitude of 5000 metres


2. Altiplano (Peru and Bolivia)

This high plain is part of the Andes mountain range in South America and is in fact the widest part of it. The Altiplano stretches from southern Peru across Bolivia and ends in northern Argentina and Chile. The average altitude is 3,658 metres.


Peru - Puno - Sillustani

The flat plain outside of Puno in southern Peru


3. Scottish and English highlands

Many would consider the Scottish Highlands, or simply the Highlands, the very meaning of the term highland. In fact there are several of the kind throughout the world. Because I failed to get a decent photo on my visit to Scotland I am graciously extending these highlands south to the north of England in order to present this wonderful view from Yorkshire. The highest peak in Great Britain is Ben Nevis, at 1,344 m.


England - Yorkshire Dales

The moors and dales of Yorkshire


4. Madeira’s plateau of Paul da Serra

The volcanic island of Madeira in the Atlantic is a remarkable place on Earth, for a number of reasons. One of them is this arid, flat plateau some 1,300-1,500 metres above sea level.


Portugal - Madeira - Paul da Cerra

Paul da Cerra on Madeira


5. Mongolia

This landlocked country in North-East Asia consists of deserts and steppes, but also some forests and high mountains. The altitude varies, the average is 1,580 metres above sea level.


Mongolia - Gorkhi Terelj

The Gorkhi Terelj National Park


6. Hardangervidda (Norway)

This is the largest mountain plateau in Europe, with an average altitude of 1,100 m. The landscape is barren moorland with a number of lakes and streams. The western part, where this picture was taken is more rocky compared to the eastern ranges.


Telemark - Vinje - Haukeliseter

Mountain mirrored in a lake on Hardangervidda


Further reading

Missing anything? For sure, I’ve had to skip some of my images related to this subject and refrained from mentioning some of my visits. Feel free to search this website for more. In addition, you are surely missing famous places or your own favourites. Chances are I haven’t been there, and I only include my own images and visits in this series.


All articles in this series

(1) Introduction

(2-7) Element: Earth

(2) Great Caves

(3) Strange Rock Formations

(4) Dramatic Cliffs

(5) Amazing Mountain Views

(6) Great Highlands

(7) Dry Deserts

(8) Element: Fire

(8) Active Volcanoes

(9-14) Element: Water

(9) Dramatic waterfalls

(10) Fascinating Beaches

(11) Mighty rivers

(12) Picturesque Lakes

(13) Important Straits

(14) Snow and ice

(15) Element: Air