Here are 5 destinations sure to test your fear of heights.
A fear of heights can be hampering when travelling, especially if your anxiety includes flying. So many great attractions involve climbing natural landmarks or man-made structures to admire the views from above, and often you don’t want to miss out on life-changing experiences just because of your fear.
You could take things slowly, and conquer your fear once step upwards at a time, or you could leap straight in at the deep end and visit some of the most vertigo-inducing destinations in the world. We prefer the latter – once you’ve stared down a 300-meter canyon from a glass-bottomed bridge, nothing will scare you!
We’ve compiled a list of viewing platforms around the world that would incite a fear of heights in anyone – do you dare?
Glass-Bottomed Bridge, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
Opening soon, the longest glass-bottomed bridge in the world is not for the faint of heart. Stretching for 430 meters over a terrifyingly high canyon, the bridge is a feat of engineering and contains no steel or concrete reinforcements. Designed to blend into the clouds rather than being an eyesore amongst the natural environment, the bridge offers stomach-churning views down to the valley 300 meters below – just try to look down at your feet when you’re stood in the middle!
Hundred Dragon Elevator, Wulingyuan, China
If you’re scared of lifts you can conquer two fears at once by taking a ride in the Hundred Dragon Elevator. Featuring glass windows to provide you with views during the minute-and-a-half long journey, the lift is definitely the quickest way to get to the top of the Wuling Mountain Range – but it’s also the scariest. Rising 330 meters, the lift is attached to the side of one of the mountains, offering breath-taking views as it rises to the top.
Grand Canyon Skywalk, Grand Canyon, USA
The Grand Canyon is a spectacular destination and there are plenty of spots to stand precariously close to the edge and feel your legs turn to jelly as you admire the views. For even more of a thrill and a 360 degree view of the canyon, head to the horseshoe-shaped skywalk, where only the glass that you walk on stands between you and the floor of the canyon 600 meters below. If a stroll along the skywalk doesn’t cure your vertigo, nothing will!
Dachstein Stairway to Nothingness, Dachstein Glacier, Austria
There’s ample opportunities to get over your fear of height in the Alps, especially in Dachstein, where there’s something for every level of vertigo. Test your fear by riding the cable car to the top of the mountain or by walking across a staggeringly high suspension bridge, before mustering up enough courage to take on the skywalk. If you’re feeling cocky, why not descend the 14 steps of the recently opened ‘stairway to nothingness’; the nearest you can get to physically walking off a cliff without falling. The stairs descend to a glass platform suspended 400 meters above the ground – not for the faint of heart.
Edgewalk CN Tower, Toronto, Canada
Have you conquered all of the other places on our list and you’re feeling like you could take on any height? Make the ascent to the top of Toronto’s CN tower, 342 meters high, where you can put on a harness and literally lean off the roof. The fact that the glass is only 2.5 inches thick only adds to the terror as you circumnavigate the tower, praying that your harness doesn’t snap. If you find yourself up there, consider yourself cured of any pre-existing vertigo!
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.