Here are 10 of the most beautiful places in the world, from cascading waterfalls and towering mountains to tropical islands and picturesque cities.
From waterfalls and islands to forests and mountains, our planet has countless natural wonders that can surprise even the most jaded observer. But it’s also just as dazzling as man-made wonders, like picturesque cities and unique architecture.
Our list of the 10 most beautiful places on Earth is subjective, but we think it is eclectic enough to capture the diverse beauty of our planet. If you point a camera at any of the places listed here, you will get a breathtaking view.
MILFORD SOUND, NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand’s South Island has one of the most beautiful fjords in the world. It is located on the island’s southwest coast, known as Milford Sound, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northwest of Queenstown, a resort famous for skiing and outdoor activities.
Milford Sound is the crown jewel of New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, the largest of the island nation’s 14 national parks, according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Starting from a small village, also called Milford Sound, the fjord zigzags through lush green surroundings for about 16 km before opening into the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. Backed by sheer cliffs and high mountain peaks, many of which rise 3,940 feet (1,200 meters), Milford Sound is a unique ecosystem. It is one of the wettest places in the world, with an estimated average annual rainfall of 22 feet (7 m). Mosses, lichens, and ferns thrive in a wet environment and grow profusely. Beech (Nothofagussp.) is an iconic tree of the Southern Hemisphere, ubiquitous, but podocarp (Podocarpus sp. ) or native conifer and other trees such as kahicatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) or white pine are equally abundant. It reaches a height of 196 feet (60 m). But ferns are among Milford Sound’s most common plants. Several fern species live in the environment, including the silver fern (Alsophila Dealbata), one of New Zealand’s most iconic plants.
Like all fjords, Milford Sound was formed as a result of glacial activity over several million years. As glaciers coalesced, the South Island’s Southern Alps made deep cuts in the surrounding landscape, flowing down the mountain range. During warmer periods, the glaciers retreated, giving the fjord its unique geography and configuration.
The whitewashed, blue-capped houses of the Greek village of Fira are typical of many picturesque villages of present-day Greece. But these private homes, along with those of Fira’s sister city of Oia, are impossibly perched on the ridge of a caldera and command bold, panoramic views of the surrounding Aegean Sea.
The caldera is the remnant of the ancient island of Thera, now called Santorini. Located in the Southern Aegean Sea and forming the southernmost of the Cyclades group, Santorini is a volcanic island located 120 miles (200 km) southeast of the Greek mainland. It is famous for its rugged landscape, towering cliffs that showcase different and colorful geological layers, volcanic beaches, romantic sunsets and 360-degree views of the azure Aegean Sea.
Santorini is also famous for the devastating volcanic eruption that occurred at the height of the Minoan civilization 3,600 years ago, according to the World History Encyclopedia. The explosion destroyed most of the island, spewing a huge cloud of ash and debris into the air, creating a water-filled caldera and dividing the island into several separate islands. The explosion also destroyed the ancient village of Akrotiri, the most famous Minoan settlement outside of Crete. First excavated in 1967, now a well-known archaeological site, some have been partially reconstructed but like most of Pompeii, it is still preserved under a thick layer of ash. The site is famous for its well-studied frescoes or murals depicting fishermen, boats, dolphins, and well-groomed high-ranking Minoan women.
Santorini is an important tourist destination and the archaeological site of Akrotiri is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
ISLAND OF SKYE
The Isle of Skye has a long history in songs, stories, novels and poems. Novelist and poet Walter Scott used the picturesque location as the setting for the epic poem “Lord of the Isles”, and Sir Harold Boulton’s romantic ballad “The Skye Boat Song” tells the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s flight from the Scottish mainland to Skye. After his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. It’s unclear where the name Skye came from, but some sources, such as the Scotland Gazetteer, claim it comes from the old Norse word “sky-a” meaning “cloud island”. ,” possibly referring to the fog that often covers the island.
Skye is the largest and northernmost of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, a group of islands located on the country’s west coast. The island is about 80 km wide from east to west and consists of an intricate steppe, blue lakes, windswept coastline, heathlands, stark medieval castles and steep mountains. Its climate is wet, windy, cool and often cloudy. But when the sun comes up, the island sparkles with rainbows, shimmering lakes and some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the British Isles. According to the Lonely Planet travel guide, “In a country renowned for its spectacular scenery, the Isle of Skye takes the top prize”.
North of Portree, the island’s main town, lies a cluster of peak-like rocks known as the Old Man of Storr. Farther north, Kilt Rock, a steep coastal cliff of sedimentary and igneous rocks that attracts a steady stream of tourists, many come to see Mealt Falls, a waterfall that falls 164 feet (50 m) directly into the water. Chief among its jaw-dropping attractions, however, is Spar Cave, a cathedral-like sea cave filled with calcium carbonate formations. It was a major tourist attraction in the Victorian era and continues to attract adventurous hikers. All this can be viewed on the official Isle of Skye tourism site.
“Shan” is Mandarin for “mountain” and hua means “magnificent” or “magnificent”. Huashan, a towering mountain located near the city of Huayin in China’s Shaanxi province, about 74 miles (120 km) east of Xi’an, lives up to its name.
It consists of five separate peaks, the highest of which is South Peak, rising 7,070 feet (2,155 m). According to UNESCO, the mountain consists mainly of Mesozoic era granite uplift as a result of geological faulting over millions of years. This created the steep rock faces that characterize the mountain and descend rapidly into the valley below. The surrounding flora is rich and diverse. Mosses, lichens, and shrubs characterize the lower layer, while several species of pines that cling dangerously to steep cliffs and cliffs form the upper layer.
Taoists, practitioners of the ancient Chinese religion of Taoism, have treasured Huashan for centuries and is considered one of China’s holiest mountains. Various Taoist temples are found on the slopes and peaks of the mountain. The oldest temple, West Peak Shrine, dates back to the 2nd century BC.
The mountain is also an important tourist destination. Many people from all over the world attempt to climb the South Peak, which leads to the top of the mountain, which some call “the world’s most dangerous hike”. The first exit is easy enough; It starts out relatively flat but gradually transitions to stone steps, which then leave a wooden plank that hugs the mountainside with a series of chains for handles. The perilous trail is only about 0.3m wide and is known as a “boardwalk in the sky”.
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is known as the “City of a Hundred Towers”, a name that refers to its famous castles, cathedrals, Gothic and Baroque architecture, and medieval squares and bridges. It is home to 1.3 million people.
The area around Prague is an area known as Bohemia, which was settled for thousands of years first by Paleolithic peoples and much later by the Celts. However, Prague did not gain the foundations of a city until the ninth century AD, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica. During the medieval period, the city grew in size, scope and fame, becoming a city of significant political and cultural influence in the 14th century. In 1348, Holy Roman Emperor IV. Charles founded the Charles University in Prague, the first such learning center in central Europe. And during the late Middle Ages and into the Renaissance Prague played an important role during the Reformation, a period of intense religious fermentation that gave rise to Protestantism. Under the influence of critics of the Catholic Church such as Jan Hus, Prague became a hotbed of opposition to Roman Catholicism.
The Vltava River flows from north to south, passing through the city passing famous landmarks such as the Prague Astronomical Clock, the Vysehrad Museum, and the famous Charles Bridge, a medieval stone bridge that connects Prague’s Old and New Towns and is famous for its Baroque architecture. Statue of famous saints.
Perhaps the most beautiful of Prague’s buildings is Prague Castle, perched on a hill and dominating the city skyline. It was built in the ninth century and expanded in the following centuries. Today, it is the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic.
In 1992, Prague’s historic city center was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The first thing you notice about Iceland’s largest glacial lagoon is the dazzling blue of the water. It has a magical and otherworldly crystal quality. Brilliant white icebergs breaking off from nearby glacier float across the sky like drifting clouds.
Translated as “glacial river lagoon,” Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s deepest lake, plunging 813 feet (248 m) below the surface, according to the Earth Observatory, a NASA-affiliated site. It covers an area of 18 square kilometers and borders the coast, so at high tides the Atlantic Ocean water pours into the lagoon. Jökulsárlón is part of the Vatnajökull National Park, located near the town of Hofn in the southeast of the country. The park takes its name from the Vatnajökull glacier, Iceland’s largest and Europe’s second largest ice cap after the Severny Island ice cap in Novaya Zemlya, Russia.
Jökulsárlón was formed quite recently, between 1934 and 1935, when meltwater from the Vatnajökull glacier flowed into the lagoon, forming a lake. It has been expanding ever since. Today, the expansion of Jökulsárlón is accelerating as a result of climate change.
The lagoon is a major tourist attraction, attracting visitors from all over Europe, Asia, and the United States. They come to see the icebergs, wildlife and spectacular scenery, especially the Vatnajökull glacier, which rises to 910 m and provides a dramatic backdrop to the stunning blue lagoon. Numerous seabirds call the area home, including terns, skuas, seagulls and seagulls, and seals frequent the lagoon.
Jökulsárlón and its surroundings became part of the Vatnajökull National Park in 2008. The park is currently on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Surrounded to the south by the stormy Southern Ocean, the Great Ocean Road is Australia’s most scenic highway. It passes by some of the country’s most spectacular sights and natural landmarks and is on the Australian National Heritage list, a list of places considered to be of outstanding historical, natural and cultural importance to Australia.
The Great Ocean Road runs along the southeast coast from Torquay in the east to Allansford in the west. It spans a length of 151 miles (243 km) and is mostly parallel to the southern edge of the continent, although it occasionally deviates inland and zigzags around a landform or natural formation. The whole route takes about 9.5 hours and tourists usually spend three days making this journey.
The path passes through coastal scenery for most of its length, winding along cliff tops, sweeping beaches and coves, and passing through rainforest and waterfalls. Highlights include the Otway rainforest canopy, which takes visitors high above the canopy of a myrtle beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) forest, and the Grotto, a limestone beach eroded into fantastic shapes and formations. However, perhaps the most eye-catching attraction is a series of limestone sea stacks called the Twelve Apostles. These rock formations were part of the mainland 20 million years ago, but have eroded over time and now form peaks just off the sea.
According to SBS News, an Australian news website, the idea to create the Great Ocean Road arose from a desire to commemorate Australian soldiers who died during the First World War. Construction of the road began in 1918 after a survey team determined the route last year. Many members of the construction crew were soldiers returning from the war and needed work. The road was built piecemeal and completed in 1932.
In 1881, famous British general Charles “Chinese” Gordon thought he had stumbled upon the biblical Garden of Eden – literally. He claimed to be on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, now known as Praslin, in the Republic of Seychelles.
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands about 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa. The islands are the perfect postcard example: Majestic palm trees sway above pristine white beaches and bright turquoise waters.
Most of the islands are granite, but a few islands are also coral atolls, according to One Earth Philanthropy, a nonprofit environmental group. The Aldabra Group of islands includes Aldabra Island, the world’s second largest coral atoll and UNESCO World Heritage Site. This endemic Aldabra giant tortoise (home to Aldabrachelys gigantea), as well as the Galapagos giant tortoise, is an example of island gigantism, an evolutionary process whereby certain island creatures grow to enormous sizes.
Seychelles is an important tourist destination with numerous nature reserves and marine parks.
A cold, windy island chain in the North Pacific Ocean isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking of the most beautiful places in the world. But the Aleutian Islands, located between latitudes 51° and 55° N, are a special place that defies all expectations and assumptions. Although surrounded by strong winds, heavy fog and heavy rains, the islands hold a mystical appeal. A haven for seabirds and marine life, the islands are a wonderland of rugged volcanoes and snowy peaks surrounded by a vast azure ocean.
The Aleuts form the northern extension of the Pacific Ring of Fire and extend from the Alaska Peninsula westward for 1,200 miles (1,900 km) to the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula. The Aleutian is made up of more than 70 islands, including 14 large volcanic islands, 55 smaller islands, and several islets. They are located where the Pacific Plate subducts below the North American Plate and forms an active subduction zone. Here, molten lava rises to the surface, and many of the islands contain active volcanoes. As Live Science previously reported, a group of scientists recently suggested that the Aleutian Islands are interconnected vents of a much larger underwater caldera.
Unalaska is the most well-known island in the chain and the only island with a permanent population. Attu Island, the westernmost of the Aleutian Islands, is a premier destination for birdwatchers with numerous resident and migratory seabirds and numerous nesting sites and colonies. The Island of Attu is also famous for its role in WWII: In May 1943, American and Japanese forces clashed in a bloody month-long battle that resulted in Allied victory and the withdrawal of Japanese forces from the island chain.
Machu Picchu is an ancient city that sits high in the mountains, surrounded by misty cloud tufts. The extreme altitude of the vegetated slopes of the Andes foothills and the surrounding ground lend the air an ethereal quality.
Machu Picchu is located in the Andes mountains of southern Peru, at steep heights above the Urubamba Valley, also called the Sacred Valley. Archaeologists think Machu Picchu was built in the mid-1400s by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the ninth ruler of the Inca. The city was built as a fortress for the Inca royalty and was occupied for nearly a century until it was abandoned during the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. It contains numerous palaces, residences and stone temples, including the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Three Windows, and is surrounded by ingenious stone walls. The nearest modern city is Cuzco, 80 km southeast.
Once abandoned, the fort fell into disuse and was reclaimed by the forest, as thick vegetation covered the area for centuries. Although well known to locals, American explorer Hiram Bingham brought it into international attention in 1911, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Today, Machu Picchu is not only one of the most important archaeological sites in South America, but also an important tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site.