In one of our previous blogs, we came up with a short list of the most fascinating places to visit in the world, featuring surreal destinations the likes of Great Blue Hole in Belize to the Pyramids of Giza, the Stonehenge in England, and the salt flats in Bolivia.
If you have already crossed off those destinations from your bucket list, don’t fret, because there are more to add. Our world is truly blessed with inexplicably beautiful places that you can easily travel to, from ancient ruins to otherworldly landscapes. Here are 20 surreal places you’d want to add to your must-visit list.
If cave hotels, ancient ruins, monasteries, and underground cities are your thing, you’ll never go wrong with Cappadocia in Turkey. Cappadocia’s honeycombed landscape looks like it was lifted from a fairytale, complete with magical fairy chimneys that will remind you of giant mushrooms.
Located in Central Myanmar, the ancient city Bagan has thousands of ornate temples for you to explore. At sunrise or sunset, these temples are bathed in orange glow, exuding a sense of calm that warms your soul.
El Nido, Philippines
One of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world, El Nido, in the Philippines, is an oasis teeming with secluded beaches, unique karst formations, mesmerizing lagoons, and inviting waters that provide a safe haven for endangered marine animals.
Keukenhof, The Netherlands
Located in the Netherlands, the Keukenhof – also called the Garden of Europe – is one of the most beautiful flower gardens in the world. A visit to the gardens, surrounded by tulips and other flowers in bloom, is an experience like no other.
Fly Geyser, United States
Known as one of the most otherworldly attractions in the world, the Fly Geyser in Nevada is a man-made geothermal geyser. It was formed when a man-made well began spewing boiling water into the air, causing calcium carbonate deposits to gather and grow around the geyser. Aside from the fact that it ejects water several feet up in the air, what makes the Fly Geyser more beautiful is its rich, vibrant colours, thanks to the heat-resistant algae that feed on the geyser’s boiling water.
Cinque Terre, Italy
A place that’s definitely begging to be Instagrammed is Cinque Terre, a string of coastal villages on the Italian Riviera. All of the five Cinque Terre villages feature gravity-defying colourful houses and vineyards set on the edge of steep cliffs, overlooking the sea beneath.
Spotted Lake, Canada
One of the lakes in British Columbia’s desert, the Spotted Lake is a small lake that contains copious amounts of minerals, including calcium, magnesium sulphate, and sodium sulphate. During the hot months, much of the water evaporates, leaving behind the minerals that lend the lake its surreal “spotty” appearance.
Uluru or the Ayers Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another surreal destination you should add to your bucket list. Located more then 335 kilometres from Alice Springs, the gigantic crimson sandstone monolith is one of Australia’s landmark attractions and is of great cultural importance to Aboriginal Australians.
Valley of Fire State Park, United States
The Valley of Fire State Park, the oldest and largest state park in Nevada, is one of the most surreal places you can visit on earth. Featuring a rugged landscape punctuated by otherworldly red sandstone formations and ancient Native American stone art, the park provides visitors an epic adventure that’s definitely one for the books.
Pinnacles Desert, Australia
A surreal destination when visiting Australia is the Pinnacles Desert. Located in the idyllic Nambung National Park, the Pinnacles Desert is comprised of a sprawling expanse of golden sand dunes and thousands of towering limestone spires. This eerie, moon-like landscape is a major travel drawcard in the Land Down Under.
Machu Picchu, Peru
An ancient citadel built high up in the mountains of Peru, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that draws hordes of tourists to Peru annually. The most outstanding work of the Incas, Machu Picchu is a destination that intrigues as much as it inspires.
Grand Canyon, United States
An attraction of unparalleled geological and historical significance, the Grand Canyon draws millions of tourists to Arizona, USA each year. Boasting one of the world’s most dramatic landscapes, the Grand Canyon is recognised as one of the world’s best natural wonders.
Once a trading hub for an ancient nomadic tribe, Petra is a walled city set in the middle of a rugged desert environment. Carved into the rose-coloured sandstone cliffs of Ma’an, Petra is Jordan’s top attraction. This magnificent travel destination is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was used as a filming location for films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
One of the most surreal places known to man is the World Heritage-listed seascape of Halong Bay. Teeming with exquisite karst pillars, caves, and picturesque islets, Halong Bay is travel destination you can’t afford to miss.
One of Turkey’s prized gems, Pamukkale is must-do attraction when visiting Turkey. Pamukkale is popular for its sparkling white travertine cascading with warm, mineral-rich spring water. The sight of its gorgeous thermal pools will definitely take your breath away.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Nothing is more representative of Cambodia’s rich history and culture than Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious structure. Located in Siem Reap, the stunning temple complex is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.
The Wave, United States
Arizona is home to many amazing travel destinations and The Wave in Northern Arizona should be in every serious traveller’s must-visit list. The Wave’s twisted rock formations, over 190 million years old, are actually sand dunes that have calcified and turned to rock. This geological marvel is one of the most sought after hiking destinations in the world but only 20 visitors can access it per day.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
Situated in Hunan Province, China, the Zhanghjiajie National Forest Park is one of the most otherworldly destinations you can add to your must-visit list this year. Filled with towering rock pillars surrounded by lush greenery, the national park was the inspiration for the mountain landscape in Avatar, the science fiction film directed and written by James Cameron.
Kauai, United States
One of Hawaii’s smaller islands, Kauai is packed with stunning attractions like the Na Pali coastline and the Waimea Canyon, in addition to roaring waterfalls and gorgeous beaches. Add Kauai to your must-visit list because it is the closest to paradise you’ll ever get.
Reykjavik in Iceland is a travel destination chock-full of volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, and postcard-pretty landscapes. But what makes Reykjavik extra special is that it is one of the best places for spotting the elusive Northern Lights.
Preparing to visit places in your travel bucket list? Start your adventure here!
By: Brendelyn Balaga