Exploring places with stunning views is a priority for most travelers. Who wouldn’t like to enjoy the beauty of an enchanted waterfall or admire the lush green landscapes of some distant land? With that in mind, here are 10 places that should be on your bucket list when you’re looking for true natural wonders.
1. Lago Bled, Eslovenia
If you ask locals where to find the most picturesque place in Slovenia, Lake Bled would win hands down. When you look across a pool of crystal clear water towards the charming little island with an ancient neo-Gothic church in the middle and then towards the Julian Alps, you will understand why.
You can rent a traditional wooden boat called a “pletna” to reach the island or simply relax sitting on the shore of the lake and enjoy its stunning scenery and fairytale atmosphere. The serene beauty of Lake Bled will mesmerize you no matter how you choose to explore it.
2. Parque Nacional de Zhangye Danxia, China
The Zhangye Danxia Formation in China is a natural wonder with hills and cliffs made of vibrantly colored sandstone. Over millions of years, erosion and weathering of mineral deposits helped create this almost otherworldly rainbow landscape. The surreal colors and distinctive shapes of this astonishing geological wonder will surround you as you enter Zhangye Danxia, giving you the feeling of being inside a painting.
3. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia earned a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its picturesque and spectacular series of 16 tufa lakes and caves, connected by tiered waterfalls and surrounded by lush forest.
Walking through the park across a wooden bridge that winds through the forest gives you a beautiful view of pristine nature.
4. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The largest salt desert in the world, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, offers a strangely beautiful landscape that must be seen to be believed. Its salt plains, which span more than 4,000 square miles (12,000 square kilometers), create an optical illusion in which the sky and the ground appear to merge.
When a thin layer of water covers the salt plains, the Salar de Uyuni transforms into a large mirror that reflects the sky, creating an even more impressive and dreamlike atmosphere that will leave you speechless.
5. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Located on the Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher rise more than 700 feet (200 meters) above the Atlantic. As you scan the coastline, you’ll notice the medieval O’Brien’s Tower, which marks the highest point of these impressive sea cliffs and offers the best view of what many insist are the most stunning views in all of Ireland.
6. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States
Although the Grand Canyon spans four states, including Utah, Nevada and Colorado, the most popular and accessible state to appreciate this natural wonder is Arizona, home of Grand Canyon National Park. The canyon, the result of millions of years of erosion, rain, wind, and the mighty Colorado River, stretches an impressive 227 miles (365 km) long and averages more than 10 miles (16 km) wide.
Hiking down into the canyon and spending the night beneath the rim is, without a doubt, the best way to truly appreciate its natural splendor.
7. Cascada Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
Although there are many stunning waterfalls to visit in Iceland, many will agree that Seljalandsfoss tops them all. This powerful waterfall has a cascade that falls 196 feet (60 meters) into a charming meadow. But the most interesting part is the path that goes behind the water wall, allowing you the ability to walk behind it. From there, you can see the falls from a very unique point of view. A word of advice: unless you’re committed to getting wet, be sure to bring a waterproof coat and boots.
8. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto, Japan
The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto is a peaceful and serene place for those who want to escape the noise and chaos of the big city. This natural forest features tall bamboo canes that sway slowly in the wind, creating a relaxing whisper.
As you immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere, time seems to stop and you begin to feel like you are in heaven.
9. Antelope Canyon, Arizona, United States
The otherworldly shapes and vibrant colors make Antelope Canyon a must-see destination for every traveler. Millions of years of flash floods, wind and erosion have shaped the Navajo sandstone into a narrow canyon with gentle, flowing curves. The result is a picturesque wonder that changes every time the sun moves across the sky.
To explore Antelope Canyon, which has only been open to the public since 1997, you will need to book the tour and hire a Navajo guide to experience this hidden gem.
10. The Hypnotic Northern Lights, Various Locations
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are among the most hypnotic and impressive phenomena that nature offers us. When electrically charged particles from the sun impact the Earth’s atmosphere, they collide with each other, giving life to the vibrant dancing lights of the aurora.
The Northern Lights can be seen in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Canada, among other places. Seeing this impressive spectacle is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will leave you in awe!
These 10 amazing landscapes highlight the incredible diversity and beauty that the Earth possesses. So if you’re looking for an experience you’ll never forget, buy your ticket, pack your bags, and get ready to witness these natural wonders firsthand!