15 of the most stunning places on Earth

With only so much vacation time, we think these breathtaking destinations should be bumped up a spot or two on your travel list.

This world is never short of endless destinations filled with such incredible beauty. From Banff which is basically our backyard to adventuring overseas, it’s always a good time to start planning and dreaming of your next vacation. Here’s a list of the 15 most stunning places on earth that you need to include in your next travel itinerary.

One: Banff National Park

Located so close to Calgary, Banff National Park is one of the most popular destinations in Canada. Luckily for all of us Calgarians, it’s a quick pop over to the mountains in summer or winter to experience this breathtaking natural beauty. It’s the perfect place for a getaway to rejuvenate and relax after a long week. 

Two: Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is not only one of the top tourist destinations in Italy, but it’s also a popular vacation spot for the locals. This place is so unique and stunning that you must add it to your wanderlust bucket list! Made up of five villages, you can do a cliffside hike to all five. Not only that, but the local Italian cuisine and coastal views will cause your jaw to drop.

Three: Cappadocia, Turkey

It’s not hard to understand why Cappadocia is a must-see for anyone traveling to Turkey. Cappadocia is known for its cone-shaped rock formations that are unique to the area. If you’re looking to get up in the air, your chance to ride in a hot air balloon is high. This also makes for a great photo op, especially at sunset!

Four: Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

When you think of Ireland, many people picture the whiskey, the music scene, and the Guinness, but there are also seaside cliffs that are a must-see! The Cliffs of Moher is one of the most popular destinations for tourists. The cliffs are home to over 30,000 seabirds, dolphins, and whales. Take in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean while standing on the green rolling hills Ireland is known for.

Five: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Not many people know that Bolivia is home to one of the largest salt flats in the world. Salar de Uyuni is the best place for you to get those Insta-pictures that everyone will be jealous of. Over the years, the salt found in the lake has turned into a unique landscape that mirrors the sky; yes, this place is completely real! Ensure to leave a lot of time for stopping here, you’re going to have a hard time leaving its beauty.

Six: Krabi, Thailand

Located in the famous Phi Phi islands, the white-sand beach destination of Krabi attracts tourists and locals alike. It’s known as one of the most beautiful vacation spots in all of Thailand because of its beaches and also the limestone cliffs lined with mangrove forests. This is the best place to experience sailing & snorkeling in the crystal clear blue water. 

Seven: Isle of Skye, Scotland

There are so many reasons to explore Scotland but the Isle of Skye has to be in the top three. Found on Scotland’s second-largest island, the jagged mountain peaks and sea cliffs tower over the Atlantic Ocean. Not too far from Inverness, this is the perfect place to hire a car or plan a road trip to see traditional Scottish castles, local beaches, and wildlife. While you’re traveling around up there, check out a scotch distillery or two for an authentic Scottish whiskey!

Eight: Santorini, Greece

When you think of Greece, it’s probably the popular vacation spot of Santorini you see. The blue roofs and white buildings are the epitome of Greek culture. This specific architecture is unique to Greece and it makes a great backdrop for those travel pictures. Make sure you get a good spot to overlook the houses over the water at sunset. It’s something you won’t want to miss.

Nine: Zion National Park, USA

If your perfect vacation is hiking and camping then look no further. With steep cliffs and high viewpoints, it’s easy to see why Zion National Park is on any outdoorsy person’s bucket list. The canyon rock formation is complemented by rivers, waterfalls, and forest trails that are perfect for the adventurous soul!

Ten: Giza, Egypt

The amount of history that’s located in Egypt is almost unfathomable. Giza is one of the best places to check out the famous pyramids. The vast desert landscapes are also the perfect backdrop to learn all about Ancient Egypt.

Eleven: Halong Bay, Vietnam

If you’ve ever talked to someone who’s traveled to Vietnam, chances are they’ve told you about Halong Bay. This incredible spot has become increasingly popular over the last few years thanks to its emerald waters and limestone karst landforms. The food that you can get in Halong Bay is also regarded as some of the best in Vietnam. Rent a sea kayak and experience all its beauty. You won’t be disappointed about stopping here!

TwElve: Machu Picchu, Peru

This ancient Inca village has been at the top of everyone’s travel bucket list. Machu Picchu has to be the most famous tourist destination in Peru and there’s no doubt as to why. Ranked as one of the seven wonders of the world, this place is a must-see for everyone. While you can take a train, hiking the Inca Trail is such a rare and unique opportunity. If you can, you should consider the walk over the train. 

Thirteen: Blue Lagoon, Iceland

The Blue Lagoon is a man-made geothermal spa that comes from the runoff from a nearby geothermal power plant. Its heat then comes from the volcanic landscape that’s native to Iceland, making this an incredibly unique place to visit. Ensure that you book ahead to have access to the massage services, sauna, and steam room. Try to visit at night and you might be able to experience the world-renowned Northern Lights!

Fourteen: Uluru, Australia

Are you looking for a bona fide outback adventure? Head up to the Northern Territory of Australia! Ayers Rock will have your jaw-dropping instantly. This massive 700-year-old rock is made of sandstone and glows red at dawn or sunset. Get your camera’s ready and head up to Uluru to capture the beauty of Ayers Rock.

Fifteen: Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania  

Mount Kilimanjaro located in Tanzania on the East coast of Africa, is not only the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, but it’s also the highest peak in Africa. You will be mesmerized by the sights of this beautiful place. Lions, tigers, zebras, and every animal in between! If you’re looking to do an African safari with a picturesque backdrop, then look no further.

Ready to start planning your next vacation? Check out Contiki’s trips for some travel inspiration.

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