Whether you’re planning your next vacation or just like to see pictures of beautiful landscapes, here are 8 of the most beautiful places in the world that you may not have heard of before!
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It, Home to endless lava fields, glaciers, waterfalls, and hot springs that help Iceland attract 2.2 million visitors each year and earn it a spot on Forbes’ list of cleanest countries. Plus, its capital city of Reykjavik is a visually pleasing blend of sleek modern architecture, old wooden houses, and active volcanoes that produce epic eruptions on occasion. For example, you might be walking around town when BAM!—an ash cloud fills your lungs as a nearby mountain spews out steam. Yup, cool stuff. Oh, and there are also plenty of geysers here too; Geysir, one of the country’s most famous attractions (it gave us geysers in English), still lets off some impressive plumes after all these years.
2. Sedona, Arizona
The red rock buttes that are so characteristic of Sedona and other parts of northern Arizona will leave you breathless. Located within a two-hour drive from Flagstaff, Sedona is just about as far away from crowded theme parks as you can get. Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking or just hanging out at one of Sedona’s many resorts, it’s worth your time to see what makes it so special.
Take a tour: You can always rent a car and drive on your own, but guided tours allow you to hear about great stops along the way and learn about local history, which helps give context to how unique these natural features are. In addition, a knowledgeable guide can help you learn where not to go — especially important when walking off-trail or into areas where rocks are more likely to slide. You might even spot some desert wildlife like bighorn sheep if you keep an eye peeled while hiking or biking.
Stay overnight: Many guided tours last all day long, but if you want to make sure you have enough time for activities beyond looking around, consider booking an overnight stay with your tour guide. There are hotels in town to suit all budgets.
See Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: Less than 15 minutes from downtown Sedona, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a huge draw as well. It offers great views of both sunrise and sunset during warmer months — when thunderstorms roll through mid-afternoon, you may be able to catch their reflection between the cliffs of two canyons. Either way, it’s spectacularly beautiful. Camping is available right at the park itself; otherwise, there are tons of hotels within 30 minutes in nearby towns like Cottonwood and Strawberry.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is one of nature’s greatest wonders. In fact, it’s so overwhelming that you can actually get vertigo looking down into its immensity. So how big is it? A mile deep and 18 miles across, it’s about 277 miles long and between four and 18 miles wide. The canyon was carved out by a flood over 17 million years ago from the Colorado River, which runs along its base at an elevation of around 1,200 feet (370 meters). During a trip to the Grand Canyon, you might spot deer, prairie dogs, or coyotes along with one of its more than 100 the; keep your eye out for bighorn sheep on Mather Point or watch for migrating birds during the seasons of fall. With so much beauty packed into such a small space, every moment spent it is absolutely breathtaking.
Ain’t no mountain high enough: Nothing beats feeling dwarfed by one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations—and if we do say so ourselves, America’s Rocky Mountains live up to their reputation as majestic and awe-inspiring peaks. This iconic range stretches throughout 11 states including Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado—and boasts some truly stunning scenery year-round with dramatic snow-covered mountains during winter and lush green rolling hills During the summer season. Sure, you can hop on a ski lift or hike a trail without even leaving your home state—but there’s nothing quite like experiencing nature on an epic scale out west. The view from atop Mount Evans near Denver is also a popular day trip; at 14,264 feet (4347 meters), it’s the highest paved road in North America that’s open year-round.
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4. Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River, Arizona
Everyone has heard of Monument Valley, but lesser-known Horseshoe Bend maybe even more impressive. The Colorado River makes a loop here, creating a bend that’s perfect for posing before you hike up to the nearby Garden of Gods. Don’t miss hiking down into and around Nankoweap Canyon with its gorgeous rock formations and natural arches. This secluded area is usually overlooked by tourists—and for good reason. It can be brutal to access via a 6-mile trail that gains nearly 1,000 feet of elevation (bring lots of water), but it’s well worth it if you have time to spare. If not, make sure to stop at other overlooks along with your drive-through Page or even hit up Horseshoe Bend near Lake Powell on your way back from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It really is an amazing place on Earth. With cliff walls standing nearly 800 feet tall, there are few places as awe-inspiring as Antelope Canyon (Navajo: Tsé bighánílíní (rock drainages)). In Arizona’s northeastern corner, carved primarily by rainwater rushing across Navajo sandstone over millions of years, these stunning subterranean slot canyons come in two colors: white when dry and peach/gold when wet. How do you get a photo like that? Walk about half a mile into Upper Antelope Canyon where flashlights are forbidden. Or avoid crowds altogether and head straight to Lower Antelope where tours last just 15 minutes.
5. Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Hawaii
Lanikai Beach on Oahu is famous for being one of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches. The water and sand are crystal clear, and it’s perfect for swimming or sunbathing. It’s also a favorite destination for surfers who visit Oahu. Also, Lanikai Beach is just minutes away from some of Hawaii’s best hiking trails where you can have an incredible view over nearby Kailua Bay. The hike itself is fairly easy to do, but there are also luxury tents that you can rent at Lanikai beach if you want more amenities than what nature provides! This beach offers amazing views and even better Instagram-worthy photos!
6. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
seafoamThis breathtaking natural reserve is a must-see for anyone traveling to Chile. With a prime location on Lake General Carrera, and snowcapped mountains all around, Torres del Paine National Park is one of South America’s most majestic destinations. You can hike or kayak to get a full view of Lago Grey or take in glacier views with an easy boat ride across Lago Pehoe to La Paloma campsite. Let Glacier Explorers show you how it’s done when they lead you through their excursions throughout Torres del Paine National Park! Stay at La Fragata Hotel which has a beautiful balcony where you can watch as icebergs drift down from glaciers surrounding your room. It even features floor-to-ceiling windows that are built into cliffs that drop steeply to emerald waters below. Explore Chilean Patagonia from Puerto Natales and book your trip now with Glacier Explorers! Book Your Journey Today HERE
7. Alnwick Gardens
The Alnwick Gardens, located in Northumberland, England, are a UNESCO world heritage site and include gardens designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The Alnwick Garden is open to visitors all year long, but on weekdays you’ll find it much less crowded than on a weekend. Some of its most popular features include a rhododendron grove, fountains, and greenhouses that showcase tropical plants from across the globe. Whether you’re into gardening or just enjoying the beautiful scenery, a visit to these stunning gardens is sure to be worth your time. They were voted England’s favorite garden by UK members of the Royal Horticultural Society. And, with over 11 hectares (27 acres) to explore, there is plenty of space for you to take in each of these unique attractions at your own pace. The Queen Mother was so taken with them she lent her name to one of their flowerbeds! Book Your Journey Today HERE
8. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Known as Croatia’s Little Switzerland, Plitvice Lakes National Park is located near Zagreb and is only an hour away from Dubrovnik. It boasts 16 crystal-clear lakes connected by waterfalls, underground caves, and pathways. The waterfalls are created by rainwater mixing with various minerals as it flows over travertine deposits on its way down to lower areas. During a visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park, you can hike along its many trails or explore one of its caves. Be sure to take a guided tour of the area during your stay.
Some things you might want to know before visiting: what should I wear? (According to locals, the dress code for Plitvice is that there really isn’t one). What is the price range? (A park entrance fee must be paid before entering). Is there Wi-Fi access? (No. Visitors must disconnect from modern life so they can fully enjoy their experience). If a city stopover will be part of your trip, why not stay overnight at the nearby Hotel Korana? Located close to Lake Korana (one of four lakes that make up Plitvice Lakes), you’ll have full access to all-natural wonders offered at Hotel Korana as well as stunning views of nature’s masterpiece right outside your window!
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