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From sprawling, snow-capped mountains to crystal-clear lakes, we are blessed to live on a planet with so much beauty and awe.
And while whittling down these incredible sights to double digits is no mean feat, we believe these 30 of the most beautiful places in the world are worthy of any wanderlust lovers’ must-see list. Get ready to pick your jaw off the floor!
Most Beautiful Places in the World
1 – Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona, USA
Arizona’s Antelope Canyon’s breathtaking rock formations make you feel as though you’re stepping through an alien world!
The canyon is split into two sections, the Upper (Crack) and Lower (Corkscrew). Both can be explored with guided tours.
These magnificent canyons are the result of sandstone erosion. The smooth, sweeping rocks have been created by thousands of years of fast-moving rivers.
Light breaking through the cracks dazzles your eyes. And the deep colors are straight from an artist’s palette.
A phenomenal feat of nature, and no doubt one of the world’s most beautiful places.
2 – Ice Cave, Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska, USA
Caves are always wondrous places. But the ice caves of Mendenhall Glacier are truly a sight to behold.
Stretching twelve miles through the frozen Alaskan terrain, you’ll need to canoe or kayak your way to reach the glorious blue ice caves.
There’s also plenty of frozen beauty to see for those who’d rather explore the hollowed glacier on foot.
The best time to visit is from July to September. During these months, you’ll be able to take a guided tour through this magical landscape.
3 – Banff National Park, Canada
Canada’s oldest national park, Banff National Park, shows off some of the country’s most spectacular mountains, forests, and lakes.
Luscious green pine forests lay at the foot of the rugged Alberta Rocky Mountains, jagged along the horizon line.
There are also several lakes within the park. Moraine Lake, Lake Minnewanka, and Lake Louise are just three of many beautiful bodies of water.
The Valley of the Ten Peaks is the park’s crown jewel. All the peaks were named by Samuel Allen, one of the area’s first explorers.
4 – Ik-Kil Cenote near Chichen Itza, Mexico
Ik-Kil Cenote is one of Mexico’s most beautiful places and has intriguing historical significance.
Cenotes are formed when limestone collapses, exposing caves and groundwater lakes several feet below.
Ik-Kil’s blue waters, hanging vines, and beams of light make it feel like something out of an Indiana Jones movie!
It is believed the ancient Mayans would sacrifice people into the cenotes, as offerings to their God. Archeologists have even found teeth and jewelry on the lake floors.
Ik-Kil Cenote is intricate, awe-inspiring, and utterly beautiful. For any adrenaline seekers, it’s a must-visit place.
5 – Rainbow Mountain (Montana de Siete Colores), Vinicunca, Cusco Region, Peru
Peru’s Rainbow Mountain is yet another example of the mystic power of Mother Nature.
The mountain’s seven colors all come from different types of rock. Thousands of years of mineral deposits have squished the bands of colored rock together.
The result has created a fabulous spectacle of a rainbow-like effect, streaking along the ridges of the mountains.
From ambling hikes to helicopter rides, there are so many ways to see this beautiful place.
August is a perfect time to visit Rainbow Mountain. It really does have to be seen to be believed.
6 – Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
Bolivia is home to the world’s largest salt flats, covering an epic 10,000 square kilometers of land.
The result of lakes evaporating over many millions of years has left tonnes of pearly white crystallized salt, stretching over vast distances.
Uyuni Salt Flats are an astronomer’s paradise. The ultra-flat land and clear skies make for some dazzling nighttime stargazing.
From quad bikes and buggies to good old hiking, there are so many ways to see and enjoy this beautiful place.
7 – Iguazu Waterfalls, Foz Do Iguazu, Brazil
The border between Brazil and Argentina is home to the largest waterfall in the world, Iguazu Falls.
Latin American folklore says the falls were created by an enraged God, whose bride-to-be ran off with another lover.
For nearly two miles, staircase waterfalls thunder into the Iguazu river below. Arched rainbows from light hitting the mist are a common sight.
Both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a New7Wonder of Nature, Iguazu Falls show both the jaw-dropping beauty and immense power of nature.
8 – Machu Picchu, Peru
To be declared one of the New7Wonders of the World is a feat that should not be taken lightly.
All you have to do is take one step into this ancient Mayan citadel, and instantly you’re overcome with the awe of this beautiful place.
Believed to have been built for the Inca emperor Pachacuti in the 15th century, it was abandoned by the Mayans during the Spanish invasion.
Machu Picchu’s intricate passages and mystical mountainous backdrop make it a truly magical place to visit.
It’s one of the world’s most beautiful places and goes to the top of most people’s bucket lists.
9 – Marble Caves in Patagonia, Chile
Nestled amid the snow-covered peaks of the Patagonian landscape lie the blue waters of General Carrera Lake.
Over thousands of years, wild winds have whipped up the lake’s waters. These waters have crashed into the marble stone at the base of the peaks.
As a result, a psychedelic-like labyrinth of caves and tunnels has been chiseled out of the marble.
The Chilean Marble Caves are a wonder to behold. With a guided tour, you can hike or kayak your way through the swirling, colorful structures.
As if Patagonia itself wasn’t dazzling enough, the Marble Caves are a must-visit place in this wild and rugged region.
10 – Provence Lavender Fields in Valensole, France
Every summer, the fields of the French region Provence play host to a spectacular bloom of beauty and color.
From the end of June to the start of August, fields across this region are vibrant with rich lavender.
The fields stretch for miles. Dotted between are many quaint little French villages and farms.
Once August arrives, the harvest begins. So you only have a several-week window to witness Provence turn into one of the most beautiful places in the world.
11 – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Ready for some Balkans beauty? Plitvice Lakes National Park is rife with luscious forests and shimmering lakes, open to visitors all year round.
Within moments, it’s clear to see why this park was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In total, sixteen lakes and two magnificent waterfalls are dotted amid an area covering nearly 74,000 acres of Croatian and Bosnian splendor.
While Croatia’s coastline is no doubt beautiful, one of its oldest national parks very much steals the limelight.
12 – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina‘s stunning landscape has remained largely undiscovered outside of Europe. Mostar, its fifth-largest city, is the perfect example of Bosnian beauty.
Stari Most, the Old Bridge, is one of the country’s iconic landmarks. It bridges the tranquil waters of the Neretva River.
Mostar is named after the medieval bridgekeepers who guarded the entrance to the city in medieval times.
The city is full of wonderful architecture. Its Ottoman-era mosques and Italian and French-influenced buildings form a unique blend of architecture.
Surrounding this cozy little city are acres of luscious green forests and sprawling mountains. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.
13 – Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands
From the end of March to mid-May is the perfect time to visit the Netherlands.
The tulip bloom is an utterly magical spectacle. And Keukenhof Gardens, west of Amsterdam, is at the center of it all.
Thousands upon thousands of tulips bloom during this time. Their rainbow colors can be seen across fields and parks.
It’s a rainbow road of wonder. The bloom is celebrated with festivals, parades, and plenty of Dutch charisma.
14 – Seven Sisters Chalk Cliffs, England, UK
Britain’s coastline is wild and wonderous wherever you go. But the Seven Sisters are truly a sight to behold.
Here, the headlands are made of chalk. Over thousands of years, these headlands have been slowly eroded by the lashing waves of the sea.
This has created a magnificent spectacle of rugged, white cliffs, topped with rich green fields, zigzagging along the English channel.
Known collectively as the ‘White Cliffs of Dover’, seven of the cliffs in this area have been named, hence the ‘Seven Sisters’.
Viewing the cliffs from the cozy Coastguard Cottages is the perfect way to take in the beauty.
Related: Most Beautiful Cities to Visit in the UK
15 – Azores, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Portugal
Some 850 miles west of Portugal, dotted amid the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean, lie the volcanic islands of the Azores.
An autonomous region of Portugal, these nine islands are home to a spectacular cluster of crystal lakes, lush forests, and sprawling mountains.
Sete Cidades Lake, a Portuguese Wonder, is a joy to behold. Pooled in the crater of a dormant volcano, from above it looks like a bowl of green and blue soup.
The Azores Islands are paradise in the summer months. And because they were inhabited by different groups over centuries, each island has a very unique culture and language.
A magical place to visit and one of the world’s most beautiful places.
16 – Alto Douro, Portugal
Wine lovers rejoice! The beautiful region of Alto Douro is where some of Portugal’s most delicious port and non-fortified wines come from.
Wine has been produced in this now UNESCO World Heritage site for over 2000 years. Vineyards can be found across acres of the stunning Portuguese countryside.
Snaking through the region is the River Douro. Luscious valleys, intricate terraces, and white-stone villages define this picturesque landscape.
The views from the hills will take your breath away. Alto Douro is a truly beautiful place, rich in history and home to some truly remarkable wine.
Related: Best Things to Do in Porto
17 – Tunnel of Love, Klevan, Ukraine
Ukraine’s magical Tunnel of Love is one of the country’s most Instagrammable tourist spots.
Just over three miles of railway line, linking Klevan to Orzhiv, have been engulfed by vibrant green trees and wild plants.
Incredibly, the line is still operational. A plywood company uses it to transport wood by special trains, back and forth.
Couples from all over the world take the walk along the line through this enchanted little tunnel.
18 – Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one of Earth’s most well-known geothermal spas and truly unique to experience.
What makes the Blue Lagoon so alluring is its striking milky blue color. This color comes from the water’s high silica content.
Amid icy cold air temperatures, the soothing hot water is perfect for bathing, swimming, and relaxing.
Beyond the mist, you’re treated to a glorious view of snow-capped mountains and Iceland’s rugged landscape.
The Blue Lagoon, without a doubt, is one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations.
19 – Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish. No other name could describe this natural delight in the River Menderes valley so well.
The smooth, curved terraces are the result of limestone deposits from the gushing waters that come from the hot springs.
This process, over thousands of years, has created a truly unique landscape. The reflection of the pearly white limestone in the shimmering waters is quite the spectacle.
The ancient city of Hierapolis was built atop of the springs. Abandoned in the 14th century, its ruins remain a fascinating tourist attraction.
Undoubtedly, the best way to admire the beauty of and awe of Pamukkale is from the skies via hot air balloon.
20 – Navagio Beach, Zakynthos Island, Greece
With its golden sands and crystal blue waters, the Greek island of Zakynthos is a paradise island in its own right.
Head north to find Navagio Beach, the jewel in the crown of Zakynthos’ coastline.
Also known as Smugger’s Cove, in 1980 a Greek cargo ship ran aground on the beach. Amazingly, it remains buried there to this day.
The rugged, white rocks, sparkling waters, and secluded beach make this a haven for holidaymakers and honeymooners alike.
Navagio really does have to be seen to be believed. It’s straight off the back of a postcard and of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
21 – Petra, Jordan
Petra was once a thriving kingdom of the Nabataeans people, thousands of years ago.
This breathtaking feat of architecture was carved into the stone of a basin in the Arabah valley, making its existence all the more remarkable.
After falling to the Romans, the city was eventually abandoned. It was only recently rediscovered in 1812, after centuries of lying dormant.
Known as the ‘Rose City’ because of the red rock in which it’s carved, Petra today is one of the New7Wonders of the World and is visited by people from across the globe.
Mind-blowing to behold and utterly unique, it is a place rich with history and rife with beauty.
22 – Namib Desert, Namibia
Meaning ‘vast place’, the Namib Desert stretches along 1200 miles of breathtaking African coastline.
The Namib’s sands are a spectrum of colors, ranging from deep pink to bright orange. The strong winds carve hypnotic weaves and patterns into the dunes.
Bar a handful of indigenous people, the desert is almost exclusively uninhabited by people.
But it’s home to a fascinating array of animals, plants, and natural anomalies.
These include the Sossusvlei dry lake and the eerie ‘Moon Landscape’ region, among many others.
For the intrepid explorer, there’s so much to discover in this truly beautiful place.
23 – Lake Hillier, Western Australia
Like a watermelon margarita in the cocktail glass of the Australian coastline, Lake Hillier is quite the sight.
This saline lake gets its striking pink color from the algae in the water. Saline lakes have much higher salt and mineral contents than normal lakes.
Lake Hillier is stroked by sandy shores and surrounded by miles of luscious eucalyptus forests.
Incredibly, with approval from the Australian Environment Conservation, you can legally swim in the lake.
However, due to the lake’s isolated location, it’s very difficult to reach. The best way is to fly over the lake and see it from above, in all its awe.
24 – Tianmen Mountain, China
China’s Tianmen Mountain is regularly described as one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Shrouded in mist and covered in rich, green vegetation, adrenaline-seekers will love this magnificent place and all its natural features.
One of the best ways to experience the mountain is via the walkway that hangs from the side of its steep cliffs.
A large segment of this walkway has a glass floor, so you can see the massive drop below your feet! Not for the faint-hearted.
The 99 Bends, Heaven’s Door, and the world’s longest cable car ride all make visiting Tianmen Mountain an experience you’ll never forget.
25 – Halong Bay, Vietnam, Southeast Asia
A proud member of the New7Wonders of Nature, Halong Bay is 600 square miles of gorgeous waters and Vietnamese beauty.
Its name means ‘descending dragon’, and the bay is home to some 2000 limestone islands.
Home to many species of exotic marine life, the best way to experience Halong Bay is by boat.
Sailing between the islets and snorkeling among the marine life will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
26 – The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove of Kyoto, Japan
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the true gems of Kyoto. Standing amid the towering bamboo trees makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new world.
You can wander for hours through this stunning forest, along many meandering pathways.
And it’s not just the forest’s beauty that you can enjoy. The wonderful acoustics of the forest are considered part of the country’s soundscape.
Its mesmerizing shapes, colors, and awe make it one of the most beautiful places in the world.
27 – James Bond Island on Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
Known as Khao Phing Kan in Thailand, this secluded island was made world-famous by 1974’s James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’.
Meaning ‘hills leaning against each other’, Kaho Phing Kan has golden sands, crystal waters, and vibrant forests.
Khao Ta Pu is its iconic rock, jutting out from the water like a cone that has been wedged into the sands beneath the surface.
The island’s shallow, warm waters are home to many beautiful and colorful marine species. It’s very much a snorkeler’s heaven.
Khao Phing Kan sparkles with beauty. It’s a must-visit place you’ll never forget!
28 – Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
Smack in the middle of the vastness of the South Pacific Ocean you’ll uncover Bora-Bora, a tiny region of French Polynesia.
This paradise island is adored by so many that visit. It’s a hugely popular honeymoon destination for those who can afford it, and for good reason.
Its baby blues water sparkle against the sun. Its ivory white beaches gaze out at the ocean. And its tropical forests fill its tiny twelve-square mile area.
Bora-Bora’s bungalows that sit over the water have been featured in so many travel shows.
The island is not only one of the world’s most beautiful places, it’s a true bucket list experience. A must-see in your lifetime.
29 – Pink Beach, Komodo, Indonesia
Komodo is a magical place. It has luscious green peaks and rainbow-colored coral reefs, and it is home to the world’s biggest lizard: the Komodo dragon.
But Komodo’s Pink beach, on the east of the island, very much steals the show.
Tiny microscopic organisms, known as Foraminifera, collectively form a type of red sand. This mixes with the white sand, creating a deep pink color.
The Pink beach is lapped by crystal clear waters, rife with coral and sea life. It is one of only seven pink beaches in the entire world.
Komodo is only accessible by boat. The Pink beach is a common stop on many of the Komodo tours and is a sheer joy to behold.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Komodo Island
30 – Great Barrier Reef, Australia
A magical underwater world, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef on Earth.
Visible from space, the reef is made up of billions of tiny coral polyps. This has created an ecosystem full of beautiful shapes and vibrant colors.
The reef is home to thousands of species of marine life. Snorkeling and diving give you a pulsating encounter with chaos and harmony.
The subject of countless nature documentaries, the Great Barrier Reef rounds off our most beautiful places in the world to visit.
Summary of the Most Beautiful Places in the World
Wow! Sometimes, we forget how wondrous our world is. Forgotten cities chiseled into cliff faces. Colorful caves that look like alien planets. We’ve seen so much beauty.
Get your pen and start scribbling away on your travel bucket list. These 30 of the most beautiful places in the world will stay with you for a lifetime.
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