Beauty Personified: 20 Places That Will Take Your Breath Away
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.
Those all pictures just amazing,, especially Rio Maggiore, Santorini, Greece, Neuschwanstein Castle, Zhangye Danxia Land form in Gansu, chittorgarh fort, i wish to visit them someday.
JP Chartier, thank you so much for posting such beauriful pics. I am going to make an attempt to visit all these beauriful places myself.
They are all beautiful but I have to say that visiting Halong Bay in Vietnam was one of the most amazing experiences I ever had, especially kayaking at sunset!!
Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…Analyzing October & Thinking Out Loud About November
I can imagine it was kin to a religious experience, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth!
great post! amazing photos! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks Hatice I appreciate that very much!
Yes, indeed, Colmar, France was both beautiful and friendly.
I can imagine, one day I’ll get there I swear!
Wow! The title says it all! This is one of the most amazing lists of must see places I have ever seen! You did a terrific job putting this all together, what I wouldn’t give to see them all first hand. Thanks so much for sharing this it’s wonderful!
Rena McDaniel recently posted…LOVING LAPINE STATE PARK, OREGON
Thank you Rena! These places are amazing to say the least and are all MUST SEE places!
I enjoyed this post a lot, JP. Was really surprised to learn of that swing in Ecuador. We were in Banos and Dan would have enjoyed the opportunity to try it. Me? Not too sure. 🙂
Linda Bibb recently posted…One Day in Savannah – Home of Unbelievable Squares
Hi Linda, thanks for your comment 🙂 The swing looks pretty awesome huh? I’ve got to try it.
All of these places look so incredible and are so high on my bucket list. Particularly, Myanmar! It’s so beautiful and the food and history are supposed to be amazing…gotta get there!
Katie recently posted…Candy Rain and Tears: Halloween in a Korean Kindergarten
Hi Katie, I agree Myanmar is a very special place, such mystery and a rich history too! Myanmar is becoming a place that is open to outsiders, unlike years past.
Wow, breathtaking indeed! Most of them I haven’t seen yet, but I hope I will. The world is so beautiful and life is so short. I would make those gorgeous pictures a little bigger, they deserve it.
Anda recently posted…The Incidental Travel Blogger âTips for Beginning Bloggers
Thanks Anda, I took your advise and bumped the size up a bit on the pics 🙂 Life is too short indeed, I need another one on top of this one just to see everything I want to see!
So hard to narrow it down but I’d say Bagan looks the dreamiest out of them all. The Rice Terrace fields have been on my radar for quite some time though. All in all, this is a great list. The world has so many places we should visit. If only we had an unlimited cash flow and amount of time, it’d be so easy to see them.
Duke Stewart recently posted…Hyangwonji Pond – History Reflects
It’s very hard to narrow it down, in fact I don’t think I can – I love them all the same!! Bagan looks unbelievably beautiful and peaceful 🙂
Great post JP….man i still have so much more to see. Even after 675 days on RTW, i still haven’t seen over half of those amazing places!
Mike recently posted…Beyond Mandalay: Mansions, Monks & Ice Cream
I’m a bit jealous you’ve got to see half of them!I wish you luck with your RTW journey my friend – what a life..