If you’re a traveler, you know that the world has plenty of jaw-dropping destinations to keep you inspired and filled with wanderlust. Whether you want to see breathtaking mountain ranges, sparkling emerald lakes, thundering waterfalls or dreamy ancient towns perched on high cliffs, there’s something for every taste.
It’s no wonder that these destinations make it to our list of the most beautiful places in the world! These awe-inspiring sights will leave you speechless with their beauty and mystery.
1. The Namib Desert
The Namib Desert is the oldest and driest of all the deserts in Africa. It is a sea of sand that extends from south-western Namibia across southern Angola and northern South Africa. It is known for its sand dunes and breathtaking scenery.
The desert is home to a diverse flora that includes more than 3,500 species, half of which are endemic. It is a harsh ecosystem that has endured arid conditions for over 55 million years.
There are six vegetational regions in the desert: coastal, Outer Namib, Inner Namib, sand dunes, steppes and river valleys. The coast is primarily made up of succulent plants that use moisture from morning fogs, while the steppes, sand dunes and rocky desert areas are almost completely dry.
Animals like oryx, springbok, cheetah and hyenas that have adapted to these harsh conditions can be found in the desert. A Namibian desert safari can be a great way to see some of these animals in their natural habitats.
The Namib Desert is an extremely important conservation area. Its biodiversity is protected through a local conservancy movement that gives communities the rights and responsibility to manage their land, wildlife and resources. This movement also ensures that any profits are invested back into the community.
2. The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, and it attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year. Here are some tips for making the most of your visit:
When to go: If you’re looking for a quieter experience, consider visiting the lagoon in the offseason (June through August). These months tend to be more peaceful and less crowded than other times of the year.
What to do: The best way to get to the Blue Lagoon is by bus or car. You can also take a tour to the lagoon with your hotel.
How big is the lagoon: The Blue Lagoon is a large geothermal lagoon, which is a great place to soak away your stress and enjoy the beauty of nature. Its water comes from a nearby power plant that heats the ground to 200 degrees Celsius. The water then flows into the lagoon.
It can be a little smelly: The water is full of sulfur, which is released as the steam rises from the hot spring. You’ll be able to smell it for a while, but it will fade in time.
If you’re planning to stay in the area, there are several hotels located in close proximity to the Blue Lagoon. Some of these hotels offer spa facilities and other luxuries that will help you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
You’ll be able to find a number of dining options at the Blue Lagoon, too. From the scenic Lava Restaurant to the cozy Salthusid, you can enjoy a meal that is inspired by the surrounding environment.
Pamukkale is a stunningly beautiful place that has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey. It’s home to a series of terraced hot water pools called travertines that are made of sedimentary rock deposited by natural mineral waters.
These terraces are a result of hot springs dissolving calcium carbonate. When the calcium dissolved, it ran down the side of the hill and then cooled to give the travertines their iconic white color.
As a result, the travertines are very slippery if you don’t wear good shoes. That’s why you want to dress in layers and bring a backpack for your shoes.
If you want to see the travertines without crowds, visit at sunrise or sunset. These times are less crowded and you can get fantastic views of the sky reflecting on the untouched pools.
But if you are looking for the best scenery, go during the summer. The weather can be incredibly hot and you might even get snow, which is amazing if you like that kind of thing.
Regardless of the time you decide to visit, the travertines are definitely worth seeing for yourself! And if you have a little extra time, you can also visit the nearby ancient city of Hierapolis. The ancient city is a stunningly beautiful place to explore and a must-see during your trip. The ruins are impressive and you can also take a tour of the site to learn more about the history behind it.
A vast untamed region of granite mountains, koppies and open plains, Damaraland is one of Namibia’s most stunning natural attractions. Among its top attractions are the haunting Skeleton Coast and the terracotta-coloured desert mountains of Palmwag.
Damaraland is a great destination for adventurers, with a range of exciting 4×4 trails and caving experiences. You can also try horse-riding and plant and animal safaris. It is home to a wide variety of desert-adapted wildlife, including black rhino and elephant, which eke out a living in this harsh environment.
In the heart of this incredibly beautiful area is Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain range and one of its most spectacular geological sites. The Spitzkoppe is another popular climb and the area is also home to an incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein, which is renowned for its exceptional Bushmen engravings.
Twyfelfontein’s rocky walls are covered with rock art from the Late Stone Age, with some of the etchings dating back 6,000 years. Professional guides lead tours to some of these sites, where visitors can learn about the lives of the early tribes that settled here.
Aside from its incredible rock formations, Damaraland is also famous for its petrified forests, which were formed millions of years ago and offer a haunting landscape of gigantic fossilised trees. You can even take a helicopter tour over these magnificent vistas! Other must-visit sights include the organ pipes and Vingerklip.
5. The World’s Largest Waterfall
Waterfalls are among nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. These spectacular natural wonders can come in all shapes and sizes, from the gently babbling trickles to the raging torrents that tumbling over the top of mountains.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or an avid photographer, there’s nothing quite like watching a waterfall in all its glory. It’s the reason why many people travel to see these natural beauty spots, capturing a wide array of breathtaking photos that can be shared on Instagram and other social media platforms.
But the most beautiful falls on Earth aren’t found on land, but beneath the ocean. These undersea waterfalls, also known as cataracts, can occur when cold and warm waters collide amid dramatic sub-sea topography.
As a result, the denser cold water sinks below the warmer water, forming an underwater waterfall. The mighty Denmark Strait cataract in the Atlantic Ocean, for example, is a truly mind-boggling undersea waterfall that’s over 100 miles wide and can carry around 175 million cubic feet of water per second.
While you won’t be able to visit the Denmark Strait cataract anytime soon, there are plenty of other waterfalls that are as awe-inspiring and stunningly powerful. Among them are Victoria Falls, which flows into a gorge 108 meters deep, and Iguazu Falls, which divides a river between Argentina and Brazil. These are some of the best places to visit if you want to capture the world’s largest waterfalls on camera!
6. Bora Bora
Bora Bora is a French Polynesian island that’s best known for its gorgeous turquoise lagoon, soft, white stretches of beach and luxurious resorts. While it’s undoubtedly a place to lay back and enjoy some luxury, it also offers plenty of adventure and cultural activities for those who want to get outside and explore.
Situated in the Society Islands of French Polynesia, this stunning island is home to a spectacular volcano and a huge, clear lagoon that’s filled with fascinating marine life. Snorkelling and scuba diving are popular, while you can also go on a jet ski tour and take in the incredible views from above the water.
The island is divided into 3 main areas: Vaitape on the main island, Matira on the southern tip of the main island and a cluster of outlying atolls called Motus. The majority of accommodations are based in these 3 locations so you won’t have to travel too far to find a beach or a resort.
If you want to explore the island, it’s definitely worth renting a bike. The 20km-long coastal road is flat between Vaitape (the only town) and Matira, making it a fun way to see the sights of Bora Bora.