How many of us have ever been left literally breathless in front of a spectacle of nature, a particularly scenic landscape, a movie sunset, or free animals in our territory? Nature offers incredible spectacles and there are specific places on the Earth that strike with their pure, uncontaminated, and enchanting environment.
Around the globe, several other locations offer the viewer an unforgettable show, the beauty of which can’t be caught entirely on a photograph. To give you an idea of where you can find these nature shows, we’ve put together the 20 most beautiful landscapes in the world. Some or all of them will make you want to pack your suitcase and go right now!
20. Ha Long Bay – Vietnam
Imposing limestone pillars and small islets topped by forests rise over the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Ha Long literally means “where the dragon descends into the sea”. The legend says that this seascape was created by a large mountain dragon who approached the coast and created valleys and crevasses by waving its tail. Once the dragon disappeared into the sea, water filled the area leaving only the limestone pillars visible. The geological explanation, on the other hand, speaks of the simple phenomenon of karst erosion, but this doesn’t detract from the poetic beauty of this splendid landscape.
Info for visiting it: Gulf of Tonkin, 3 hours from the capital Hanoi to boarding in Halong City
19. Na Pali Coast – Kauai, Hawaii
The Na Pali Coast is one of those places that can be considered a real food for the soul. Famous Kauai is truly impressive with its emerald green pinnacles that go on for 17 miles along the coast. Located in the northern area of Kauai, the Na Pali Coast offers panoramic views of the vast Pacific Ocean, green velvet cliffs, and waterfalls that plummet into deep, narrow valleys. The rugged terrain has remained virtually unchanged for centuries, ever since the first settlements flourished in these valleys.
Type: Coastal landscape
Info for visiting it: Possibility of mini-cruises, trekking, panoramic flights, directly from the town of Kauai
18. Wulingyuan – China
It is a spectacular area that covers over 26,000 hectares in the Chinese province of Hunan. The site is made up of more than 3,000 narrow and pointed sandstone pillars, most of which exceed 200m in height. The peaks also form many unusual ravines and gorges crossed by streams, natural pools, and waterfalls. The water also dug around 40 caves and formed two large natural bridges. The landscape, with its striking beauty, is known not only for being one of the most beautiful in the world but also for being home to some endangered animal and plant species.
Type: Mountain landscape, canyons, nature reserves
Info for visiting it: Departures every 10 minutes by bus from Zhangjiajie station. Arrival in 40 minutes. Eco bus tour, tourist train, cable cars
17. Pamukkale – Turkey
The flowing of the calcite-rich waters, which flow from some springs present on an almost 200 meters high cliff overlooking the plain, have created an unreal landscape in Pamukkale (literally “cotton castle”). This landscape is composed of forests, waterfalls. petrified minerals, and a series of natural pools. At the end of the 2nd century BC, the dynasty of the Attalides, the kings of Pergamum, established the Hierapolis spa here. The ruins of the baths, some temples, and other monuments dating back to the ancient Greek era are still present at the site.
Type: Natural pools, spas, mountain landscape
Info for visiting it: From the city of Denizli by bus, train, or dolmus in 40 minutes
16. Lake Louise – Canada
Lake Louise is what makes Banff National Park such a phenomenal and world-famous location. The natural landscape is majestic and hard to describe with words worth enough. The area is made up of the lake with its beyond-belief turquoise waters surrounded by a real amphitheater of mountains.
Type: Land landscape
Info for visiting it: The town of Banff is about 120 km from Calgary airport. From Banff, buses connect Lake Louis in approximately 40 minutes.
15. The Fields of Moravia – Czech Republic
This landscape of rolling fields tells the agricultural history of Moravia, a region of the Czech Republic that is known for its folk traditions, distinctive architecture, and landscapes. Observing these fields, one is almost hypnotized by their natural beauty, with colors changing according to the crops and the time of the year, thus creating harmonious contrasts.
Type: Country landscape
Info for visiting it: From the Moravian capital, Brno, you can reach the villages of Lednice, Valtice, and Mikulov to admire the landscapes.
14. Mount Bromo – Java Island, Indonesia
Mount Bromo, which reaches 2,329 m in height, is Indonesia’s most iconic and most hiked mountain. It’s still an active volcano, which actually lacks the entire upper part, swept away by the various eruptions. White sulfurous smoke continuously comes out of the crater. An excursion to this location will undoubtedly provide you with the thrills of fear as Mount Bromo is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world!
Nonetheless, the climb to the volcano is short and easy and, once you reach the top, it’s possible to enjoy a breathtaking and ethereal landscape, especially during the sunrise.
Type: Volcanic landscape
Info for visiting it: From Yogyakarta by bus, possibility to teach the viewpoints and craters by jeep (the last stretch of 20 minutes must be done on foot)
13. Isle of Skye – Scotland, UK
The Isle of Skye (An T-Eilean Sgiathanach in Gaelic) takes its name from the Old Norse “sky-a”, which means “cloud island” – a Viking reference to the mists that often envelop its shores. It is Scotland’s second-largest island, a 50-mile long mosaic of velvet moors, lagged mountains, sparkling lochs, and high sea cliffs. The breathtaking scenery is the main attraction, but when the fog falls vanishes, you can also visit the castles, museums, the welcoming restaurants, the dozens of art galleries, and craft shops.
Type: Insular, coastal landscape
Info for visiting it: From Glasgow to Mallaig by train, then ferry; or, by bus from Glasgow to the bridge connecting to the mainland: or train Edinburg – Inverness – Kyle of Lochalsh, and crossing the bridge.
12. Grand Canyon – Arizona, USA
Located in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is worldwide known for its size and magnificent landscape made up of a myriad of colors and shapes, Over 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and 1 mile deep, the walls of this canyon contain layers of rock that reveal the timeline of Earth’s history.
Inhabited since the origins of humanity it houses archeological finds of civilizations that date back to about 12,000 years ago and up to the 1800s. The environment of the Grand Canyon has been under the protection of the government of the United States since 1893 and, to this day, it’s considered a national monument.
Type: Rock desert, canyon
Info for visiting it: From the main cities and airports (Las Vegas and Phoenix) it’s about 5 hours by car. There are connections to the domestic Flagstaff and Page airports, which are approximately 1 hour away.
11. Okavango Delta – Botswana, Africa
Considered to be one of nature’s masterpieces, the Okavango Delta offers its visitors an insight into the true wildlife of Africa. A World Heritage Site, this vast and virtually untouched area consists of freshwater wetlands right in the heart of the dry Kalahari region of Botswana. Here, you can find a great variety of wildlife within a setting of dazzling natural beauty. Home to large numbers of elephants, buffaloes, lions, hippos, giraffes, and zebras, as well as many species of antelope, it’s also a paradise for the most feared predators. Yes, despite its wild nature, the Okavango Delta is surprisingly accessible and it’s possible to visit it up close due to the safaris that are organized either on foot, by mokoro (a typical canoe), or by boat.
Type: River landscape, nature reserve, a wildlife oasis
Info for visiting it: There’s an airport in Maun. But, it’s possible to organize a flight to Johannesburg, which is more frequent and cheaper, and then a half-day transfer to Maun (a stone’s throw from the Okavango Delta).
10. Kolukkumalai – India
Is there a better place to sip a refreshing cup of tea than in the hills of Kolukkumalai, the home to the tallest tea plantations in the world? The answer lies in the delight of the drink, with its special flavor and freshness which are obtained as a result of the high altitude of the crops. In addition to enjoying the natural landscape, it’s possible to visit the old tea factory and buy different varieties, such as Orange Pekoe and Flowery Orange Pekoe.
Kolukkumalai is about 7,900 feet above sea level. From there, you can also admire the distant plain located in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. As the fog rises, the distant hills almost seem to slide in and out of the haze, thus creating a captivating sight.
Type: Rural, mountain landscape
Info for visiting it: The closest airports to Munnar are Cochin (74 km ) and Madurai (120 km). From Munnar, by jeep is around 40 km.
9. Milford Sound – New Zealand
Located on the west coast of the South Island, Milford Sound is a fusion of spectacular natural features. Described by Rudyard Kipling as “the 8th wonder of the world“, Milford Sound is a fjord sculpted by glaciers during the ice ages. The scenery is breathtaking no matter the weather! The cliffs of the fjord rise vertically from the dark waters, the mountain peaks seem to scrape the sky, and the falls cascade downwards from a height greater than 1,000 meters. When it rains, which happens often, the falls increase their range with a magnificent effect.
Type: Fjord, cliffs
Info for visiting it: It’s located in Fiordland Park, 5 hours by bus from Queenstown. It can be visited by boat.
8. Namib Desert – Namibia, Angola and South African Republic
This extremely dry ecoregion includes sand dunes, gravel plains, and rugged mountains. It’s the oldest desert in the world, existing for at least 55 million years, and hosts an area completely without surface water, yet divided in two by several dry river beds.
It’s a difficult but fascinating environment, especially when there are thick mists along the coast, the lifeblood of the desert, as they provide enough moisture for the survival of a few animal and plant species that have adapted to the climate.
Type: Sandy desert
Info for visiting it: Flight to Johannesburg, transfer to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. From Windhoek, multi-day excursions are organized which include the desert.
7. Alabaster Coast – France
The Alabaster Coast stretches for 130 kilometers with magnificent, white cliffs lined with pebble beaches. The vertiginously high plaster stacks reach 120 meters in height. The Grande Randonnée trail runs along the top of these sheer cliffs and offers an exceptional view to the hikers who decide to venture on this route, which includes stopping points with unusually fascinating scenery, such as Etretat, Fécamp, and Dieppe.
Type: Coastal landscape, cliffs
Info for visiting it: It’s located in the village of Caux, Upper Normandy. The nearest airport is Le Havre. Paris is about 2.5 hours away by car.
6. Palawan Island – Philippines
The Philippines is a highly underrated destination for those looking for a tropical climate vacation and this island proves it. Palawan is a hidden piece of paradise that was recently named the most beautiful island in the world by some travel sites.
Its blue waters mix with the emerald green of the vegetation. The mountains seem inscrutable due to the dense jungle that seems to arise directly from the sea.
Type: Insular, marine landscape
Info for visiting it: Flight to Manila or Puerto Princesa. From there, travel in Jeepney (modified and very colorful jeeps).
5. Iguazu Falls – Argentina and Brazil
Often chosen as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, Iguazu Falls are undoubtedly the most visited place and one of the most impressive natural attractions in Argentina and the world. Located in the Iguazú National Park, about 20 km from Puerto Iguazú, in the north of the province of Misiones in Argentina, the falls are shared with the territory of Brazil. The Iguazú River originates in the state of Paraná in Brazil and, after having crossed 1,200 km across a plateau where it receives numerous tributaries, it reaches a series of faults that force it to make a jump of 80 meters into the canyon called Devil’s Throat. There, the water produces a thundering sound and then flows into the waters of the Paranà.
A legend tells of a large snake called ” Boi” who lived in the river. To calm her ferocity, the aborigines used to sacrifice a woman in her honor every year. But, once, a brave Guaranì aboriginal stole the chosen woman and saved her from the terrible rite. The snake Boi was furious, bent her body, and divided the river through the falls, separating the two fugitives forever.
Info for visiting it: Located around 12 hours from the capital. There are internal flights and Port Iguazù has an airport.
4. Benagil Caves – Portugal
The Benagil Caves are a real gem of the entire Algarve coast. They are located 150 meters east of the small beach of Benagil in the homonymous village. The sea cave has two magnificent entrances, a huge collapsed roof, a secluded sandy beach, and a circular inner cave. This place is truly worth a visit by anyone with a particular interest in the wonders of nature.
Type: Cave, beach, seascape
Info for visiting it: Benagil can be reached by bus from the main nearby cities. It is approximately 6 hours from the capital Lisbon and Sevilla, Spain.
3. Galápagos Islands – Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands show the lucky ones that visit them a different vision of life. Here live some unique creatures and human beings are considered paparazzi, even a bit annoying. These islands are not the Bahamas and are not typical tropical paradises, in fact, most of the islands lack vegetation and some look more like the Moon than Hawaii. This group of volcanic islands and its fragile ecosystem have taken on the almost mythological status of a showcase of biodiversity. You don’t need to be an evolutionary biologist or ornithologist to appreciate one of the few places left on the planet where the human footprint is minimized.
Type: Cave, beach, seascape
Info for visiting: By plane to Ecuador, Quito, or Guayaquil airport (about 16 hours). From there, flight to the Galapagos, Baltra, or San Cristobal airport (approximately 2.5 hours).
2. Uyuni Salt Flat – Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni is an expanse of 3,800 square miles of salt, the largest salt flat in the world. The cracks in the ground form an endless sheet of hexagonal tiles dotted with salt pyramids. Despite desert drought and extremely low night temperatures, this landscape is not devoid of life: pink flamingos, ancient cacti, and rare hummingbirds all live in the Uyuni Salt Flat.
During the rainy season, the salt desert transforms into a huge, shallow salt lake that can be traveled, both, by boat and by four-wheeled vehicles. During this time, the shallow salt lake perfectly reflects the sky, creating bizarre illusions of infinity.
Type: Salt desert
Info for visiting it: By plane to Bolivia, to La Paz, and from there to Uyuni by bus (10 hours) or by plane. Jeep excursions are organized.
1. Cappadocia – Turkey
As if taken from a fairytale place and positioned on the plains of Anatolia, Cappadocia is a geological oddity made up of honeycomb hills and towering stones of unearthly beauty. The fantastic topography is combined with the human history of the place. In fact, people there have long used the soft stone of the region to create underground shelters, leaving the countryside strewn with a fascinating architecture composed of hundreds of caves.
Would you like to come here for excursions, for the history of the place, or for the thrill of turning yourself into a primitive man for a night? No matter the reason, a visit to this panorama reminiscent of the lunar surface will stay in your memories forever.
Its rippling rocks, in a palette of colors, ranging from sandy orange to cream, are an epiphany worthy of the best psychedelic dreams.
Type: Mountain, hilly landscape
Info for visiting it: From Istanbul, you can reach Göreme by bus (10 hours, about €30) or by internal flight to Kayseri and, from there, a private transfer or bus to Göreme.