By JP Chartier
WARNING: The following 20 places are so beautiful that just looking at pictures of them have been known to cause a quickened heartbeat, sweaty brow, drooling and a wanderlust that can be nearly impossible to contain!
Consider yourself warned..
Chittorgarh Fort, India – Built in the 7th century A.D. the fort is dotted with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers which have inspired the imagination of tourists and writers for centuries.
Aogashima Volcano, Japan – Aogashima is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea, and as of 2014 the island’s population was 170. The island is encircled by very steep rugged cliffs of layered volcanic deposits. The last eruption of Aogashima was during a four-year period from 1781-1785.
Riomaggiore, Italy – Riomaggiore is a village and comune in the province of La Spezia, situated in a small valley in the Liguria region of Italy. The village, dating from the early thirteenth century, is known for its historic character and its wine, produced by the town’s vineyards.
Santorini, Greece – Santorini is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece’s mainland, it’s the remnants of an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4.3 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany – is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, it was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but was opened to the public immediately after his death in 1886.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam – Is a popular travel destination in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. The bay consists of a dense cluster of some 1,600 limestone monolithic islands each topped with thick jungle vegetation, rising spectacularly from the ocean. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves. A community of around 1,600 people live on Hạ Long Bay in four fishing villages, they live on floating houses and are sustained through fishing and marine aquaculture.
Venice, Italy – is a city in northeastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world for its celebrated art and architecture. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day.
Yosemite Valley, USA – The valley is located in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of California and is a very popular tourist location, it’s surrounded by high granite summits and is about 8 miles in length and up to a mile deep.
Machu Picchu, Peru – The incredible Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site and is situated on a mountain ridge high above the Sacred Valley. Popular belief is that the site was built around 1450 AD and was the estate of the Inca emporer Pachacuti, it was only inhabited for about a hundred years before the Spanish Conquest began. There is an urban section and an agriculture section at the site as well as the upper town and the lower town.
Montana Magica Lodge, Los Rios Chile – A strange volcano-shaped building spews water instead of lava everyday in southern Chile. If you stay here at this extraordinary hotel I must warn you, the only way in is by balancing on a swinging rope bridge! The lodge has 13-rooms and is hidden away deep within a 300,000 acre private nature preserve.
Tuscany, Italy – Tuscany is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and is known for its dreamy landscapes, unique traditions, rich history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. It has been home to many influential figures and is loved for its natural beauty.
Bagan, Myanmar – Located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar), Bagan has over 2200 temples and pagodas. Back in the 13th century, during the kingdom’s hey day, there were over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries located here.
Zhangye Danxia Landform in Gansu, China – The Danxia Landform refers to the various landscapes found in southeast, southwest and northwest China characterized by their multi-colored sandstones and conglomerates. It is in fact a unique type of petrographic geomorphology found only in China. What an unreal scene.
Li River, China – Li is a river in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China, and takes a 52 mile scenic route through the majestic karst mountains. Tourists can take a cruise through this area on everything from a bamboo raft to an air-conditioned ship.
Meteora, Greece – The largest and most important complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries in all of Greece. There are six monasteries built on the natural sandstone rock pillars and are located in central Greece. The first people to inhabit Metéora was an ascetic group of hermit monks in the 9th century, they lived in the hollows and fissures of the rock towers.
Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam – A district of Yen Bai province, Mu Cang Chai is located in the northwestern region of Vietnam. Rice fields are layered on the steep hills and are most beautiful during harvesting time when they turn a golden hue (Sept. & Oct.).
The swing at the “End of the World” in Baños, Ecuador – The swing is actually at a seismic monitoring station located deep in the Ecudorian wilderness. There is a small treehouse built on the side of the mountain with a perfect view of the nearby active volcano, Mt. Tungurahua. There’s no doubt that the treehouse is a site to be seen, but the real attraction is the swing hanging from one of the tree’s skinny branches that takes riders out over the void of the canyon.
Reine, Norway – Reine is a fishing village and the administrative center of the municipality of Moskenes in Nordland county, Norway, it is located on the island of Moskenesøya in the Lofoten archipelago, above the Arctic Circle. The 72-acre village has a population of only 307 as of 2013 and is very popular tourist location despite its remote location.
Colmar, France – The town was founded in the 9th century and is situated along the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the “capital of Alsatian wine.” The city is renowned for its well preserved old town, its numerous architectural landmarks and its museums.
Bled, Slovenia – Bled is an Alpine town alongside glacial Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia and is most notable as a popular tourist destination. A small island in the middle of the lake is home to Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church; visitors frequently ring its bell for good luck.
Hi my name is JP Chartier and I write for Gutter Pup Adventures.com where you can expect to read well-written and entertaining articles about the people and places that often get overlooked at many popular vacation destinations around the world. You will also find articles on camping, hiking, kayaking and several other popular vacation activities here too.
My goal is to seek out the hidden ‘gems’ for you and bring them alive through my writing and photographs, so your next trip or vacation will be a much more rewarding and fulfilling experience.