15 of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

antarctica - 15 most beautiful places on earth

Have you ever thought about travelling simply to experience how beautiful the world is? If you'd like to travel for no other reason than to be astonished by it all, we suggest starting with these fifteen places. And then going from there. 


Location: Antarctica
Only Time to Go: November to March

An extreme bucket-list destination, Antarctica is a world away, in every sense. Huge glacial fields, immense floating icebergs and towering mountains dominate the pristine environment. Visitors go largely for the iconic adventure and the unique wildlife-watching opportunities. Be aware that while the heroic age of exploration is gone, Antarctica is still logistically challenging and very expensive to get to.

Antelope Canyon

Location: Arizona, United States
Best Time to Go: March to October

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon and a geological wonderland. With its towering walls of sandstone, unique structures, unearthly colours and dynamic plays of light, the canyon draws photographers from around the world. There are two sections to the canyon, each with their own surreal beauty. To access either of them, however, you need a guided tour, so plan ahead.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

arashiyama bamboo grove - 15 most beautiful places on earth

Location: Kyoto, Japan
Best Time to Go: June to September, early weekday mornings

Frequently called one of the world’s most beautiful forests, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a feast for the senses. Immense stands of bamboo create a feeling of complete immersion in nature, even though you’re right in the city. The alluring rustle of the wind in the leaves gave the grove a spot on the Ministry of Environment’s “100 Soundscapes of Japan.”

Atacama Desert

Location: Chile
Best Time to Go: March to May; September to November

The Atacama Desert is an extraordinary place of geological diversity and endless starry skies. Comprising more than 1000 kilometres of land between the Andes and the Cordillera de la Costa mountains, Atacama encompasses vast plateaus, immense valleys and unique geothermal features. It attracts many adventurers with a taste for remote isolation, but has more recently become a prime destination for stargazers.

Banff National Park

banff national park - 15 most beautiful places on earth

Location: Alberta, Canada
Best Time to Go: June to August

Banff National Park brings together many of nature’s most beautiful things: pristine forests, stunning mountains, wild mountain rivers and scenic lakes. Set amidst the Rocky Mountains, Banff reveals incredible new vistas at every turn of the road. From glaciers to alpine meadows to staggering waterfalls, there’s always something to captivate visitors.


Location: Western Visayas, Philippines
Best Time to Go: November to April

The tiny island of Boracay features irresistible stretches of pure, white sand and balmy seas that have made it a perennial favourite with travellers. Recently re-opened after a closure to let the island recover from the environmental impact of all those visitors, Boracay plays host to fewer numbers nowadays but is still incredibly popular.

Cliffs of Moher

cliffs of moher - 15 most beautiful places on earth

Location: County Clare, Ireland
Best Time to Go: April to May; September to November

Impressive and dramatic, the Cliffs of Moher are a spectacular vantage point from which to see the Atlantic and an incredible attraction in their own right. The immense striated cliffs tower over the crashing waves and stretch like bastions into the sea. A visit to the Cliffs or a hike along the clifftops is a highlight of a trip to the West of Ireland.

Laguna Colorada

Location: Potosí, Bolivia
Best Time to Go: December to April

Laguna Colorado gets its intense colour from the abundance of red algae that populate the lake. Under a bright blue sky, the effect of the red salt lake, with its white borax islands, is completely surreal. Heightening the effect is the breathtaking backdrop of the sometimes snow-laced Andes. The lake also plays host to flocks of flamingos, which draw photographers and birdwatchers from around the world.

Lake Tekapo

lake tekapo - 15 most beautiful places on earth

Location: South Island, New Zealand
Best Time to Go: December to February

The mountainous backdrop and turquoise waters of New Zealand’s Lake Tekapo are spectacular to behold. Whether staying at lake level or hiking the surrounding mountains, visitors have a variety of stunning perspectives from which to enjoy the lake’s scenic beauty. The lake draws photographers from around the world by day but the stargazing opportunities make this location equally spectacular at night.

Machu Picchu

Location: Cusco, Peru
Best Time to Go: May to June; September to October

Nature and architecture combine here in really unparalleled ways. While this Incan citadel is impressive in and of itself, its breathtaking mountaintop setting is what really makes jaws drop. The iconic views of tropical mountains make this a perennial favourite with travellers, and the massive stoneworks and the dizzying architectural achievements of Machu Picchu typically leave visitors speechless.

Nā Pali Coast

na pali coast - 15 most beautiful places on earth

Location: Kauai, Hawai’i
Best Time to Go: May to October

Stretching along Kauai’s famed North Shore is the dramatic Nā Pali Coast. It’s a land of razor-edged mountain peaks, deep green valleys, plunging waterfalls, jagged sea caves and white sandy beaches. Viewed by air, by sea or by a challenging and immersive hike through this lush wilderness, Nā Pali is simply stunning to experience.


Location: Denizli, Turkey
Best Time to Go: April to June

The white travertine terraces of Pamukkale are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Often likened to frozen waterfalls, the warm basins of these thermal terraces form a surreal landscape with their cascading white rock ledges and turquoise waters. The ancient Greek and Roman ruins at Hierapolis complete a picture that has fascinated visitors for millennia.

Salar de Uyuni

salar de uyuni - 15 most beautiful places on earth

Location: Daniel Campos, Bolivia
Best Time to Go: December to March

Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, is a staggering expanse of pure white geometric patterns when it’s dry. During the rainy season, however, the water pooling on the flats creates an immense and perfect mirror of the sky above. Wet or dry season, this unique environment creates incredible illusions of perspective and light.


Location: Odda, Norway
Best Time to Go: June to September

High above the spectacular Ringedalsvatnet Lake, you’ll find one of Norway’s most fascinating rock formations, Trolltunga. Trolltunga is not for the faint of heart. This famous rocky outcropping juts out into empty space and gives the impression of belonging more to the sky than the ground. The surrounding cliffs are no less majestic.


zakynthos - 15 most beautiful places on earth

Location: Greece
Best Time to Go: May to October

The island of Zakynthos is incredible in its diversity. Sandy beaches, towering cliffs, deep forests and flower-studded meadows are just a small part of its natural beauty. The island’s many lovely churches speak to its long architectural history and those who find beauty more in human-made things will have much to appreciate here.

feature image: Andreas Kambanis; image 1: Peter & Michelle S; image 2: Pixabay; image 3: Marlis Börger
; image 4: Harshil Shah; image 5: Brian Snelson; image 6: Leonora (Ellie) Enking; image 7: Henry Burrows

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