Want to escape from the city bustle and immerse yourself in nature for the weekend? Look no further than nearby mountains with stunning scenery and fresh air.
Here are some of the amazing hiking destinations, and start planning your weekend getaway!
Zijin Mountain 紫金山
Called Zijin Mountain (Purple Mountain) or Zhongshan Mountain (钟山), it's located in the eastern suburb of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, about 300 kilometers northwest of Shanghai.
It gets its name because of the stunning views of purple and golden clouds that appear to surround its peak at dawn and dusk, created by sunlight shining on the mountain's purple shale.
The mountain covers 31 square kilometers and its highest peak stands at 448.9 meters.
Once a key landmark for the city's defense, the forested slopes now hide temples, mausoleums and observatories. Scenic spots include the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum (中山陵), Mingxiao Mausoleum (明孝陵) , Xuanwu Lake(玄武湖), Linggu Temple (灵谷寺), Open-air Music Hall (音乐台), among others.
If you go:
Admission: 100 yuan (US$13.8) for the package ticket; 10-70 yuan for each scenic spot
How to get there: Take a high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Nanjing South Railway Station (南京南站). Transfer to Metro Line 3 and then to Metro Line 2. Get off at the Zhongling Street Station (钟灵街站).
Tianmu Mountain 天目山
Tianmu Mountain lies within the borders of Lin'an City (临安), Zhejiang Province, about 270 kilometers southwest of Shanghai.
Reaching an elevation of 1,506 meters, it has eastern and western peaks, each topped with a permanent pond. Tianmu Mountain gets its name from the two eye-like ponds.
It is regarded as a "seed bank of plant species," boasting awe-inspiring sights such as rare forests of large cedars and a wild ginkgo tree called the "living fossil" surviving more than 12,000 years.
It is also a vital habitat for rare and endangered birds.
If you go:
Admission: 136 yuan
How to get there: Take a high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station (杭州东站). Transfer to a shuttle bus heading to the Tianmu Mountain.
Mogan Mountain 莫干山
Mogan Mountain is 60 kilometers north of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, approximately 200 kilometers west of Shanghai.
The highest peak is 724 meters above sea level. You can hike to the top along a paved path. The lush pine and bamboo forests, as well as natural rock formations, are loved by hikers.
You can also hike to a waterfall and pond called the Sword Pond (剑池), the Weird Rock Corner (怪石角) or temporary lodging of Chairman Mao (毛主席下榻处).
There are also European- and American-style villas and houses left by missionaries and other foreigners. Most of them were built in the early 20th century. Some have been turned into guesthouses.
Mogan Mountain is lovely to visit year-round, but it makes for an excellent escape from Shanghai especially during summer months when temperatures in the mountains are significantly lower than the scorching city.
If you go:
Admission: 120 yuan
How to get there: Take a high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Deqing Raillway Station (德清站). Transfer to the Y1 Line heading to the Mogan Mountain tourist center.
Yellow Mountain 黄山
Yellow Mountain, in Anhui Province, is about 410 kilometers southwest of Shanghai and one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.
It is renowned for its magnificent natural scenery, which includes massive granite boulders, ancient pine trees, seas of clouds, natural stone pillars, waterfalls and hot springs.
The most famous pine tree "Guest-Greeting Pine" (迎客松), stretching out about 10 meters from the sheer cliffs, appears to be greeting anyone who arrives.
The area features numerous imposing peaks, with the highest peak being Lianhua Peak (莲花峰), reaching up to 1,864 meters.
The mystique of Yellow Mountain beckons hikers. There are numerous trails and thousands of concrete stairs and steps to climb, providing a challenging experience. You can also take the cable car up the mountain but not all the way to the peak.
If you go:
Admission: 190 yuan
How to get there: Take a high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Station to Huangshan North Railway Station (黄山北站). Transfer to a tour bus heading to the Yellow Mountain transfer center.
Yandang Mountain 雁荡山
Situated about 400 kilometers south of Shanghai, Yandang Mountain in Zhejiang Province is one of the 10 famous mountains in China.
With an altitude of 1,057 meters, it is a typical ancient volcano of the Cretaceous period, which began 120 million years ago.
The mountain range covers an area of approximately 450 square kilometers and is composed of eight scenic areas, each with unique natural features and cultural significance.
The most famous are the Lingfeng Peak (灵峰), Lingyan Rock (灵岩) and Dalongqiu Waterfall (大龙湫瀑布), known as the "three perfections on Yandang Mountain."
If you go:
Admission: 15-50 yuan for each scenic area
How to get there: Take a high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Station to YanDang Mountain Railway Station (雁荡山站). Transfer to a tour bus heading to the Yandang Mountain tourist center.
Jiuhua Mountain 九华山
Jiuhua Mountain is located in Chizhou City (池州), Anhui Province, about 450 kilometers west of Shanghai.
There are a total of 99 peaks, such as Shiwang Peak (十王峰), Tiantai Peak (天台峰), Tianzhu Peak (天柱峰), Lianhua Peak (莲花峰), among others. Shiwang Peak is the highest peak at an altitude of 1,342 meters.
It also boasts various natural wonders, including magnificent waterfalls, deep pools, ancient caves and overhanging cliffs.
Tiantai scenic area is the essence of Jiuhua Mountain, where the wonderful scenery of Jiuhua Mountain is concentrated. From the top of Tiantai Peak, you can gaze in awe at the stunning sunrise and sea of clouds, as well as enjoy sweeping views of other peaks.
If you go:
Admission: 160 yuan
How to get there: Take a high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station or Shanghai Railway Station to Chizhou Railway Station (池州站). Transfer to a shuttle bus heading to the Jiuhua Mountain tourist center.
Huaguo Mountain 花果山
Huaguo (flower and fruit) Mountain is located in Lianyungang City (连云港), about 500 kilometers north of Shanghai.
Known as the real place that inspired the novel "Journey to the West" and the birthplace of the Monkey King, Huaguo Mountain is famous within China and afar.
There are several natural scenic spots that inspired the story. Water Curtain Cave (水帘洞) and Monkey King's shelter cave are the most distinctive and representative.
Yunu Ridge (玉女峰) in the area is the highest peak throughout Jiangsu Province, standing tall at an altitude of 624.4 meters.
While exploring the mountain, it's quite possible to chance upon monkeys. These wild monkeys enjoy harmonious coexistence with visitors and add to the excitement of the journey.
If you go:
Admission: 85 yuan
How to get there: Take a high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Lianyungang Railway Station (连云港站). Transfer to the tour bus Line 1 heading to the Huaguo Mountain.