1 SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS, UK
Arguably the most famous of all the world's highlands destinations, this
region has few people but much natural beauty, from lochs and valleys, to mountains and castles. The region not only boasts Loch Ness and its infamous monster, but also Britain's largest National Park (the Cairngorms) and Britain's highest peak (Ben Nevis). You'll also find stunning coastline and remote islands. Fort William has been dubbed the outdoor capital of the UK, with mountain biking, fishing, golf, sea kayaking, white-water rafting and gorge walking all on offer.
2 SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, AUSTRALIA
In New South Wales, this collection of small towns is famous for its cool climate and great wine. Visit Berrima for its historic buildings, Bowral for its boutiques, restaurants and gardens, Robertson for its treetop canopy walkway, and Joadja —a ghost town abandoned in the early 1900s. Events include the Brigadoon festival, celebrating Scottish Highlands culture, and Tulip Time, a flower festival celebrating the blooming of 100,000 tulips planted in Bowral's Corbett Gardens.
3 ETHIOPIAN HIGHLANDS, ETHIOPIA
You might never have thought about it as a tourist destination, but Ethiopia is on many a travel trends hit-list this year and it's worth considering foratrip of a lifetime. The country's highlands region is known as "the Roof of Africa", with most of its surface rising above 1500m. Ras Dashan, the highest peak in the country,reaches 4550m. You'll find the Semien and Bale Mountains national parks here, as well as Lake Tana — the source of the Blue Nile. Visit Lalibela, one of Ethiopia's holiest cities, to see a collection of monolithic rock-hewn churches that date as far back as the 7th century.
4 CAMERON HIGHLANDS, MALAYSIA
With a temperate climate that seldom reaches more than 30C, the Cameron Highlands are a popular getaway for Malaysians trying to escape the sweltering humidity of the cities and lowlands. Developed during the British Colonial period, the region still has a certain English village charm, and while that's probably not what you're visiting Malaysia for, there are plenty of attractions making the area worth a visit, including tea plantations, temples and trekking.