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Discover the 10 Most Mountainous Countries in the World

Every single country on this planet we call Earth is unique in every way, from the people who call that country home to the landscapes. Every time we flip the page on a geography book or a travel magazine, we are reminded how Earth is so diverse, interesting, and wildly mindblowing. Some countries have sceneries that look like they would be from another planet. Some countries are flat and there are mountainous countries.

Let’s explore the 10 most mountainous countries in the world, in this case, the countries that are covered in the most mountains. We’ll make sure to give you the details on their topography and other fun facts.

1. Bhutan

Punakha Dzong Monastery, Bhutan
Bhutan has a population of over 750,000 and is known as the “Land of Thunder Dragon.”©Khanthachai C/Shutterstock.com

The most mountainous country in the world is Bhutan. A whopping 98.8% of the country is splattered in mountains. The country is located in the Eastern Himalayas and it’s landlocked between Tibet and India.

Although Bhutan is extremely mountainous, there are deep valleys in between those mountains, as well as several rivers interconnecting the entire country. The elevation in Bhutan goes from 660 feet above sea level to a whopping 23,000 feet.

Bhutan is also a very biodiverse country. Animals calling the country home include the golden langur, the Bengal tiger, the Himalayan black bear, and the red panda.

2. Tajikistan

Nurek Dam
Tajikistan’s capital is called Dushanbe, and the country has a population of 9.75 million.

A total of 93% of Tajikistan is covered in mountains. The country is another landlocked country and the smallest one in terms of area in the region of Central Asia. The mountains that mostly cover the country are the Pamir Mountains and most of the country is about 9,800 feet above sea level.

The northern part of the country is the Fergana Valley which is of lower elevation, as well as the river valleys in the southern part of the country. The nation’s climate is a mixture of several climates, depending on the area you are in, and includes continental, semiarid, and subtropical. 

3. Kyrgyzstan

Horses grazing at the Traditional Yurt camp at the Son Kul lake plateau in Kyrgyztan
With a population of 6.6 million, Kyrgyzstan’s capital is called Bishkek.©frankix/iStock via Getty Images

Kyrgyzstan is another landlocked country in Central Asia, which borders Tajikistan, but also China, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. This country tops the list in being most above sea level, and in fact, the rivers in the country drain into closed systems that do not reach a sea or ocean.

A total of 90% of the country is covered in mountains and the country is called the “Switzerland of Central Asia.” The rest of the country’s land is intertwined with valleys, which is where much of the agriculture is located since the mountains are difficult for farming. Kyrgyzstan is rich in natural resources that include rare earth metals and gold.

4. Lesotho

View over Maseru, the capital of Lesotho.
King Letsie III is the monarch of Lesotho and he has ruled since 1996.©sfriessner/Shutterstock.com

The only country in Africa on this list, Lesotho is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa. About 80% of its land is at least 5,900 feet above sea level. The country is surrounded by South Africa, which is one of three countries in the world surrounded by another country (Vatican City and San Marino are the other two, surrounded by Italy).

The elevation in Lesotho makes it cooler than its counterpart nations in the southern part of the continent. Lesotho is quite biodiverse with over 300 bird species in the country and 60 mammal species.

5. Montenegro

Black Lake
Montenegro has a population of 619,211 and its capital is called Podgorica.©Andrii Lutsyk/Shutterstock.com

The first of three countries in Europe on this list is Montenegro. Located in the Balkans region of Southern Europe, about 89% of Montenegro is covered in mountains. The mountainous region of the country is concentrated on the east side, whereas the western part by the Mediterranean is of lower elevation.

The mountains in Montenegro are about 6,600 feet above sea level. Montenegro is considered a hotspot in biodiversity, containing the most wildlife in all of Europe, with tens of thousands of species of insects and thousands of species of plants. 

6. Armenia

The mountainous country of Armenia
The mountainous country of Armenia has a population of 2.7 million and its capital is Yerevan.©iStock.com/JossK

It seems to be a trend for this list to contain landlocked countries. Armenia is another one and it is in the South Caucasus region, located in Western Asia. The country borders Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran to the south.

Armenia is a mix of forests and steppes throughout its terrain. The mountainous region has several rivers and its upper limit is 13,419 feet above sea level and its lowest point is 1,280 feet, making it one of the most elevated countries in the world.

7. North Macedonia

Attractive spring view of popular tourist destination - Matka Canyon. Wonderful morning scene of North Macedonia, Europe. Traveling concept background.
North Macedonia is home to one of the oldest churches in the world.©Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com

Another landlocked country on this list is North Macedonia with its two mountain ranges. The Sar Mountains are in the northwestern portion of the country and the Osogovo-Belasica mountain range is located in the northeastern part of the country near the border with Bulgaria.

The country has a continental climate in the north, but more Mediterranean in the south. North Macedonia is home to an abundance of wildlife including the Eurasian lynx, wild boars, deer, and bears. 

8. Switzerland

Switzerland has the highest peaks in Europe and about 7,000 lakes.©ansharphoto/Shutterstock.com

Bordering Italy, Germany, France, Liechtenstein, and Austria, Switzerland is a landlocked country located in Central Europe. It is a mountainous country with 83% of its land covered in mountainous terrain.

Switzerland also has a temperate climate. The most famous mountain in Switzerland is the Matterhorn, which its peak stands at 14,692 feet. The animals that live in the mountains include the ibex, mountain goats, and others.

9. Lebanon

Tannourine Cedars Forest Reserve, Lebanon
France controlled Lebanon for many years, which is why many Lebanese people speak French.©JossK/iStock via Getty Images

Lebanon is located in the Middle East and borders the Mediterranean Sea to the west. The coastal region of the country is more plain, but as you go more inland, the country becomes much more mountainous.

The country’s highest peak, Mount Lebanon, sits at 10,131 feet above sea level. Lebanon has a Mediterranean climate and the country as a whole receives very little rainfall throughout the year.

10. Nepal

Mount Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse at sunset, from Gokyo Ri, Nepal Himalaya
The currency of Nepal is called the Nepalese Rupee.©Martin Gillespie/Shutterstock.com

Nepal rounds out the 10 most mountainous countries in the world and for good reason. The country is home to the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest.

Nepal is a small rectangular country located in South Asia, bordering India and China. The Himalayas cover most of the country, but it’s the Lower Himalayan Range that is most diverse with hills, valleys, and plains. Nepal, although it’s a tiny country, is home to a broad diversity of wildlife and plants. Nepal is home to 4% of the world’s mammal species and nearly 9% of the world’s bird species.


And there you have it, these are the 10 most mountainous countries in the world. If you get the chance to visit these countries, not only will you need to adapt to the high elevation, but you will also see a landscape like no other, witnessing high, rolling hills and mountains, intertwined with the low valleys.

Mountains make modern engineering and traveling more difficult, but that’s the beauty of Planet Earth. We humans are borrowing this planet and putting manmade touches on it, but at the end of the day, this planet is not ours.

10 Most Mountainous Countries in the World

RankCountryPercent Covered in Mountains
7North Macedonia85.5

Source: A-Z Animals