The cold and harsh land of the Nords is stricken with fear of dragons and civil war. But it is also home to a great many breathtaking places that any adventurer would want to visit. Here are the ten most beautiful locations in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This list is ranked in no particular order.
Falkreath and the wilderness that surrounds it
The rural town of Falkreath is known for its big cemetery and most establishments in this place are named after the topic of death. It’s a quiet town and the dead do not bother the living, so it’s quite peaceful.
Falkreath Hold is covered in tall pine trees and can be a perilous area for the unprepared. The thick pine forest surrounding Falkreath is wondrously breathtaking. Among all the shrubs and trees and bushes, you can find beautiful locations, marked or unmarked. The peaceful nature of this Hold has made this area a favorite of players. You can also build your own manor in this lush woodland, known as Lakeview Manor.
Along with Lake Honrich of The Rift, Lake Ilinalta is one of the biggest inland reservoirs in Skyrim. This lake is very noticeable due to its size and how beautiful the surrounding wilderness is. Lake Ilinalta is located in the Falkreath Hold and it is the source of the White River. That’s the river that runs along Riverwood. It’s especially beautiful and serene in the evening because you can see the sun setting over the horizon. If you don’t mind swimming, you can find small islands in the lake that may or may not hold loot.
Whiterun and its outskirts
Whiterun is definitely one of the most liked cities in Skyrim, if not the most liked. This is the first major city the player comes across, and it certainly leaves an impression. In Whiterun, there’s everything a city-dweller needs.
Architecturally, the whole city is so beautiful. Notice how the roofs of the buildings have a dragon figure. There’s a backstory to that; in ancient times, the Dragon Numinex suffered defeat at the mighty hands of the Olaf One-Eye who was the Jarl of Whiterun at the time. He captured the dragon and imprisoned him within Whiterun’s reach. That’s how Dragonsreach got its name. The ambitious and authoritative Olaf rose to power as the High King of Skyrim because he proved his strength by bringing a dragon to submission.
The outskirts of the city are just as breathtaking. The vast plains house many farms and the Honningbrew Meadery. At night, the plains of Whiterun are even more gorgeous because of the Aurora in the night sky. It’s relatively safe too, because of the guards that patrol the locale.
Blackreach, which is known as Fal’Zhardum Din in the Dwemer language, is one of the most unique locations in the game. It’s a huge underground cavern that used to be a vast city of the Dwemer. The giant glowing mushrooms produce the signature blue lighting of Blackreach.
Unlike the previous entries though, this is a dangerous place and it will prove to be hazardous to an inexperienced or underlevelled player. It’s an intriguing location, lore-wise. Explore this gorgeous place well, and you’ll uncover information about the ancient Dwemer civilization and fight various unique foes, including bosses.
College of Winterhold
The College of Winterhold suffers great disdain from the town of Winterhold, who believes that their magic caused part of the city to be destroyed. Despite that, you can join this guild of spellbinders and sorcerers. The questline is quite interesting as well, and you’ll meet many interesting figures.
The architecture of the College is so extraordinarily beautiful. It stands out from a distance and is located in such a great area. Like the exteriors, the interiors are also quite beautiful. The huge library will prove quite useful to a scholarly Dragonborn.
Skytemple Ruins are Nordic ruins located on the same hold as our previous entry. This cold place has a few skeletons waiting to target any adventurer who turns up. One of the best things about this place is the magnificent view of the College it offers.
Lore-wise, there aren’t many interesting details about Skytemple, but in any case, it’s a scenic place. You can also fight a Draugr boss here and find loot that might be worth your time. But the main reason why I think it’s such a nice place is its cold and misty atmosphere.
This small community on one side of the Karth River took upon the name of the iconic bridge that connects the riverbanks. In the middle of this titular bridge, there’s the signature statue of a Dragon that gave the bridge and the settlement its name. You can also see the city of Solitude standing tall on the horizon if you gaze at the river mouth. It’s a calm and quiet place.
High Hrothgar is where the enigmatic sages known as the Greybeards reside. This location is a major one so if you followed through with the story you must already have visited this place. It’s a peaceful and calm place. And as Jarl Balgruuf puts it, it’s also very disconnected from any other events that take place in the province. This is also the highest point in Skyrim and you might be able to glance at the beauty of the province if not for the thick mist that shrouds the mountaintop.
In Whiterun, you will see the dying Gildergreen tree and if you inquire about it from Danica Pure-Spring she will give you “The Blessings of Nature” quest. This quest leads you to the gorgeous Eldergleam Sanctuary. The Eldergleam is the parent tree of the Gildergreen and after you complete the quest, the Gildergreen will look good as new. What’s so beautiful about the sanctuary is how sunlight falls upon the tree that stands. It’s like a spotlight shining on an important character.
Arguably, Markarth has the most impressive architecture out of all the major cities in Skyrim. This city was built on top of a Dwemer city, which you can access underneath Markarth. Like in all major cities, you can own a house here, and in my opinion, it looks better than most other player homes because of the design and architecture. There are ways to reach high places in the city. The view of The Reach from such places is breathtaking. However, despite the city’s beauty, this is one of the most corrupt places in Skyrim. The history of Markarth is also quite interesting and bloody. There are a number of quests set here and if you explore and pay attention, you will uncover lots of interesting information.
To be fair, the whole region of The Reach is rich in architecture and unique. If you don’t mind the corruption and conspiracies surrounding this region, it’s such a beautiful and gorgeous area.