While writing this post about the most beautiful places in the world that we’ve visited, I did a Google search to compare what we think is beautiful to what the Internet thinks.
Most articles of other beautiful places stated “photos courtesy of Getty images” or photos courtesy of some other generic stock photography supplier. We actually spotted some of our photos in some of these lists – used without permission of course
So since people are using our stuff all anyway, we thought we’d write a list of beautiful places on earth that we’ve seen with our own. eyes, using our own images.
Most Beautiful Places in the World
These are the places in the world that literally took our breath away when we saw them for the first time. I hope you enjoy the most beautiful places in the world…That we’ve been to.
1. Cappadocia, Turkey
We had seen the photos of Cappadocia before taking our first hot air balloon ride in Central Turkey but a photo doesn’t do justice to the beauty of Cappadocia’s landscape. Cappadocia is on our list of the best historical places in the world as well.
Seeing the hot air balloons soaring above the fairy chimneys and its lunar landscape felt like a dream. Cappadoccia is our number one pick out of all the beautiful places in the world that we visited.
Be sure to stay in a cave hotel when you do go to Cappadocia, it’s heavenly.
2. Santorini, Greece
Santorini truly lives up to its reputation as a beautiful destination. It’s one of the most romantic places we’ve ever been and our favorite place to visit in Greece. Staying in a luxury cave hotel in Oia was a dream come true. Santorini is definitely the star of the Greek Islands and for good reason.
As I sat in the infinity pool overlooking the caldera, I felt as if there was no other place the epitomizes paradise as much as Santorini, Greece.
- The Very Best Things to do in Santorini
- Where to Stay in Santorini: Best Hotels and Towns
- Santorini Photography Guide
- Iconic Santorini: A Cave Hotel Experience
- The Best Places to Visit in Santorini, Greece
3. Lake Louise, Canada
Each time Dave and I visit Lake Louise in Banff National Park we are reminded of why we always tell people it is the most beautiful place in Canada. With Victoria Glacier plunging into the turquoise waters of this glacier lake, Lake Louise is the perfect natural Canadian setting. Read more: The Best Things to do in Banff
The entire area of Banff is picture perfect and you’ll be mesmerized with each scene you encounter. We had an epic game of pond hockey on Lake Louise in the winter and it was just as beautiful in the summer. In fact, we like it better in the winter because there are no crowds!
- Plan your Lake Louise Visit:
The sapphire blue waters of the Maldives are like nothing we’ve ever seen.
Secluded private islands house luxury hotels with over the water bungalow. The sand is soft and white as snow creating the perfect island paradise escape.
- See more of Maldives
Whenever people ask us what our favorite destination is, Dave always answers Antarctica. The reason? Because it is one of the most beautiful places to photograph on earth.
The different shades of blue ice and snow layer the landscape. Massive ice. formations the size of buildings drift through the deep blue water and the skies are crisp and clear. There is no place in the world quite like Antarctica.
- Read More:
6. Serengeti Plains, Tanzania
While Dave loves Antarctica, I (Deb) love Tanzania. And no place is as beautiful as the Serengeti.
The wildlife is outstanding, but the sunsets and landscape of great plains of Africa are second to none.
Every beautiful picture that you see of those African sunsets really are that gorgeous!
- See more from our time in Tanzania
7. Sapa, Vietnam
It has been well over a decade since we visited Sapa in Vietnam, but it’s striking scene will always be etched in our minds. While hiking through the plunging rice terraces in high mountains on the border of China, I felt as if each turn was a picture in a National Geographic photo story.
8. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Before visiting Positano, I thought the Cinque Terre was the most beautiful place in Italy. But when I saw the plunging coastal cliffs of the Amalfi Coast as we drove to Positano, I was floored by its dramatic views.
The coastal views are spectacular and piece-de-resistance is getting to enjoy a glass of bubbly as we overlooked the colorful buildings overlooking the deep blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
9. Exuma Cays, Bahamas
Flying from Nassau in a small twin-engine plane offered incredible views of white sand beaches dotting the gin blue waters of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. There are 365 islands and atolls waiting to be explored with secluded beaches and crystal clear waters calling your name!
10. Krabi, Thailand
Krabi has become one of Thailand’s most popular destinations, but I’ll never forget seeing it for the first time in 2000. Located in the south of Thailand, Krabi is an island paradise with countless karst islands jutting out of the South China Sea.
Popular beautiful places in southern Thailand are Railay, Koh Lipe, Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi.
11. Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan was the first of the great and famous ancient ruins that we ever visited. This temple complex in Myanmar is filled with more than 2000 pagodas.
Sitting atop a high pagoda overlooking the range of temples was one of the most breathtaking scenes we had ever witnessed. Our hearts are breaking for the people in Myanmar and travel is not advisable there right now. But we hope that they can come out of this crisis soon and we can show them how much the world loves them.
12. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
For years we had seen pictures of this fairytale castle and didn’t know where it was. It wasn’t until we traveled to Bavaria in Germany last summer that we finally saw it with our own eyes, and it did not disappoint. Read more: Most Beautiful Castles in Germany
This castle is so perfect, Walt Disney modelled his Disney Castle after it. It is located just 90 minutes from Munich.
- Check out Bavaria:
13. Gobi Desert and Mongolian Steppe
While driving through Mongolia during the Mongol Rally, I couldn’t get over the vastness of the landscape.
I know that sounds strange to say, but the Mongolian Steppe is so wide open, that even the skies feel bigger here than anywhere else in the world.
14. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. Here you’ll find wildlife unlike anywhere else on earth due to their isolation. The diverse landscape ranges from lush forests to isolated beaches and arid deserts.
We fell in love with the beauty of this unique little corner of the world.
15. Tombstone Mountains Yukon
While driving the Dempster Highway of Yukon Canada, we commented on how much it looked like Mongolia.
Not a lot of people visit the Yukon, but if you do, you will agree that it is one of the most beautiful, lush and diverse. landscapes on earth.
Drive from Inuvik in the Northwest Territories to Dawson City for a great road trip and adventure!
- See the Beauty of the Yukon
16. Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw the Giant’s Causeway. There are other basalt formations around the world, but none seem as symmetrical as here.
The stone steps are so perfect, that it is almost possible to believe the legend that the Giant, Fionn McCool laid these stones to create a link to Scotland.
They look exactly like patio stones that a giant would lay.
17. Petra, Jordan
While walking along the 2km long Siq to Petra we had no idea what to expect.
The narrow gorge path was filled with beautiful scenes, ruins and formations but it was when we turned the corner to view the Petra Treasury that I let out a gasp. It was so beautiful.
We had been to many ancient cities by this time and didn’t think we could be surprised by beauty anymore, but Petra caught us off guard.
Petra excited us and made us remember how travel can still surprise and delight.
18. Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Living close to Niagara Falls, we always compare waterfalls around the world to the one in our own backyard. But there is no comparison between the two. Iguazu Falls is in the middle of a jungle.
It is wild and untamed and is an impressive set of 275 waterfalls plunging into a canyon that is 2.7 km long!
Standing on the boardwalk engulfed by the waterfalls and jungle was one of the most incredible scenes we had ever seen!
19. Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa has many beautiful places to visit, but there is something special about the beauty of Cape Town. This city is framed by the towering Table Mountain creating the most unique cityscape we’ve ever laid eyes upon.
It almost looks like someone has dropped a giant background behind the picturesque waterfront. With beaches, colourful colonial architecture, and a gorgeous seaside, this city has it all and it is gorgeous.
20. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Pyramids of Giza can be seen from all over Cairo. They look like a mirage jutting up from the desert. When I first saw them while driving from the airport to our hotel, I didn’t think I was actually seeing the pyramids. That couldn’t be them, could it? It was!
The pyramids have never lost their mystique and allure and seeing them with our own eyes was a dream come true.
21. Antelope Canyon, United States
You can’t take photography tours to Antelope Canyon anymore, but you can still see them.
The draw of this canyon is to witness the short window where the sun shines through an opening once per day to create a waterfall of light illuminating the layered rocks in this impressive cavern. It is truly a wonder of the world. Check out Antelope Canyon in Photos
22. The Himalayan Mountain Range, Nepal and Bhutan
We have seen a lot of mountains in our time and they are all beautiful, but there is something extraordinary about the world’s highest mountain range.
While trekking to Everest Base Camp, we actually commented that you almost feel that you could reach out and touch the heavens. Nothing compares to the beauty of the Himalayas.
23. Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan
We had always wondered if the Himalayas were as beautiful as we remembered and then when visiting Bhutan, we were reminded just how striking they are.
We trekked deep into the mountains for views just as impressive as Everest, but even short climbs like this one to Tiger’s Nest Monastery was absolutely beautiful.
24. Ilulissat, Greenland
Many people think that Greenland is just one big slab of ice. But Greenland is filled with color and beauty. Nowhere did we see that more than when hiking out to the world’s most active calving glacier in Ilulissat.
The rainbow-colored houses of Illulisat make way for the deep green hues of the Arctic Tundra leading towards Margerie Glacier where beautiful and massive icebergs crash in the sea.
There is nothing like seeing the power of mother nature up close and personal.
25. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay is stunning. A cruise through the endless scene of limestone islands surrounded by turquoise and emerald green waters is a must when visiting Vietnam.
It was while hiking from the Cat Ba Cave to a high lookout that we were totally taken aback. When we looked down to see the scene of junk boats surrounded by karts, we knew, we were in someplace special.
26. Twelve Apostles, Australia
Australia has some incredible places to visit, but I think its most beautiful destination is the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road.
We hiked for four days along the dazzling coast before reaching the giant sentries standing guard in the sea. Take a helicopter tour to really take in its beauty.
27. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro was one of our greatest adventures and seeing Furtwangler Glacier with our own eyes was unbelievable. We didn’t notice its beauty until we started our descent, because all the way up, we were looking down at our feet!
As I watched Dave cross its path, I felt tears well in my eyes because of the immense beauty before me.
As the sun rose, the ice turned to a glowing shade of pink that we will never forget. It’s too bad I didn’t have my camera raised to take a photograph, but I did capture it on video.
28. Milford Sound, New Zealand
New Zealand is one of our favourite destinations on earth and the South Island has one of the most diverse landscapes in the world! You can see a lot in a short time.
Milford Sound in Fjordland National Park has some of the highest sea cliffs on earth rising 1,200 meters above the water. A cruise of Milford Sound is one of the top things to do in New Zealand.
Sheer rock faces rise up from the blue waters blending into the perfect blues skies dotted with fluffy clouds.
29. Victoria Falls, Zambia
I know I have already included a great waterfall of the world by mentioning Iguazu, but Victoria Falls needs to be on this list as well. It is the world’s largest waterfall plunging down in one continuous curtain for 1.7 km. Seeing from a helicopter is a must. From above is the best way to really see its scope.
30. Lake Nakuru, Kenya
The Masai Mara may be Kenya’s top draw, but it was Lake Nakuru that we really fell in love with the beauty of Kenya. Known for the flamingos and pelicans that frequent its alkaline shores, Lake Nakuru is a picturesque location in Africa. It’s also one of the best places to see rhinos in Africa.
31. Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
Iceland is known for its waterfalls and none are quite as famous as Seljalandsfoss. It is has been featured in so many movies including the recent Netflix comedy, Eurovision. Be sure to go behind the falls for this view.
32. Costa Navarino, Greece
We had never even heard of Voidokilia Beach before visiting Costa Navarino, but when we saw this perfect horseshoe beach, we couldn’t believe that such a beach existed.
You can bicycle or hike up to a high lookout to see the stunning beach that looks exactly like the Greek letter Omega.
33. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Ireland is one of our favorite destinations on earth. It also has some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. It was difficult to choose what was the best and most beautiful of Ireland, so we thought we’d go with the most famous, The Cliffs of Moher. If you go at sunrise or sunset, you’ll avoid the crowds and experience amazing skies!
34. Norway Fjords
Our Norway in a Nutshell cruise took us through one beautiful scene after another. Just when we thought the cliffs couldn’t get higher we’d turn a corner and there’d be another massive mound before our eyes. The reflections in the waters made for incredible views.
- Norway in a Nutshell – Scenic Train Rides to Fantastic Fjords
- Trolltunga Hike – Trekking to Norway’s Most Famous Landmark
- Watch the video tour – Beautiful Norway Fjords
35. Rio de Janiero, Brazil
The beaches are some of the best in the world with famous names like Ipanema and Copa Cabana. The endless white sand is framed by the giant Sugarloaf and Two Brother’s mountains making for an epic scene.
I think Rio is the most beautiful city on earth, especially when you take its ocean and mountainous setting into consideration.
- The Top 18 Most Excellent Things to do in Rio de Janeiro
- Sugarloaf Mountain Views in Rio Video
- The Very Best of Rio video
36. Grand Canyon, USA
I’m not going to lie. When visiting the Grand Canyon, I wasn’t expecting much. I thought it would be a cheesy tourist trap, but it lives up to the hype! There is a reason the Grand Canyon is featured in so many movies, it is spectacular. A road trip through California and Arizona brought us to this place, and I am so glad that we saw it with our own eyes. Read: The 17 Best Hikes in Arizona
- The Absolute Best Things to do in The Grand Canyon
- Arizona Road Trip – The Ultimate 10 Day Itinerary
- The Quintessential California Road Trip Itinerary
- Route 66 – America’s Historic Highway
- Best Places to visit in the USA
37. Huacachina, Peru
Most people think of the Middle East when picturing deserts, but our first real desert experience was in Peru, and it blew our minds. We didn’t know that sand dunes could be so high! Staying in the desert oasis and climbing up to the top of the sand dunes was amazing. We were overwhelmed with the endless shadows rolling before our eyes.
- 24 Best Things to do in Peru
- What Expect when Hiking Rainbow Mountain in Peru
- Torres del Paine National Park – 5 Days in Patagonia
38. South Dakota Badlands
Who knew that South Dakota has so much to offer. We were invited on an Instagram trip to the state a few years ago thinking we’d have trouble finding interesting photos to capture. It turned out that South Dakota is photogenic at nearly every turn. There’s more to it than Mount Rushmore. The Badlands are truly spectacular read all about it here.
- 19 Wondrous Pictures of South Dakota
- Things to do in South Dakota – 10 Not to Miss Attractions
- A Video tour of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse
39. Maui Bamboo Forest
Most people will say the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Japan is one of the most beautiful places in the world. But we haven’t been there. However, we have been to many other bamboo forests throughout Southeast Asia. None of them compare to Maui’s Bamboo Forest.
Located along the Pipiwai Trail along the Hana Highway there are other beautiful things to see including high cascading waterfalls. But the bamboo forest is really an incredible site.
- 17 Fantastic Road To Hana Stops
- Where to Stay in Maui
- 22 Unique Adventures in Maui
- 26 Best Things to do in Maui
40. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural wonders of the world. It is popular for diving and snorkelling, but seeing from above was the most beautiful way to experience it. The green coral reef dotted the waters of the coral sea. With hundreds of islands and atolls stretching over 344,400 square kilometers (133,000 square miles) it is one of the great places to fly over in the world.
41. Isle of Skye
Driving the North Coast of 500 showcased so many beautiful places in Scotland.But it was when taking a detour to the Isle of Skye that we managed to view one of the most beautiful places in the world. Its fairy pools have long attracted visitors, and we were excited to see the Old Man of Storr.
- North Coast 500 – The Ultimate Trip Guide to Scotland’s Epic Drive
- Dunnet Head, Scotland: Panoramic Views, WWII Bunkers, and a Lighthouse
42. Vik, Iceland
There are so many beautiful places to visit in Iceland it is difficult to choose. I mean, the waterfalls are endless, the hot springs are so inviting and the lava fields and volcanic coast are picture-perfect. How do you choose? It’s not easy but Reynisfjara Beach on the coast of Vik is so often featured in movies and tv series it must be special.
The black sand beach, the basalt columns, and the enormous sea stacks are out of this world. It’s often stormy and moody creating an ominously beautiful scene.
43. Meteora, Greece
Greece deserves its own “beautiful places to visit” list, but for now, I must include this awe-inspiring view. The Monasteries of Meteora date back to the 9th century but the monoliths were formed over thousands of years. Located in central Greece, these isolated monasteries sit atop giant pillars jutting out of the lush valley. This is so beautiful it was used as the setting for the city in the clouds in the Game of Thrones.
44. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Canada has many picturesque fishing villages, but nothing quite compares to Lunenberg in Nova Scotia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is so strict that residents and businesses cannot change the colours or designs of their houses.It’s a good thing too, because this is the most beautiful town in Canada. (in my opinion).
- The Ultimate Nova Scotia Road Trip Itinerary
- Nova Scotia Pictures that Will Make You Want to Visit Right Now
- Explore the Nova Scotia South Shore – Halifax to Yarmouth
45. Mount McKinley, United States
Alaska is North America’s final frontier and there are striking scenes at every turn. But it is Mount McKinley in Denali National Park that takes the cake. Seeing it from the ground is impressive, but flying up to see it from a bird’s eye view is out of this world.
46. Zanzibar, Tanzania
After climbing Mount Kilimanjaro we hopped a flight to the paradise island of Zanzibar. It was after leaving Stone Town for the beaches of Nungwi that we fell in love with the beauty of this island.
When the tide goes out to reveal layers of colour on the ocean floor it reveals the deepest shades of green. When the tide is in, the turquoise water is just as beautiful as it crashes against the pure white sand.
47. Li River, China
The Li River in Yangshuo China is one of the most picturesque scenes we’ve ever witnessed.
Taking a bamboo raft down the Li River really allowed us to take in the beauty of the surrounding karst formations that make this enchanting part of China so famous.
- Read More from China
48. Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Most people suggest the Namib Desert and sand dunes of Sossusvlei. But while cycling through Namibia, we had our heads down until reaching Fish River Canyon. With a night off to relax and take in the view, I’ll never forget overlooking the endless ravine spanning 100 miles before our eyes.
49. White Desert, Egypt
Massive white formations dot the desert landscape. of Western Egypt, creating a surreal scene. We stayed overnight in a Bedouine camp surrounded by monoliths resembling mushrooms, camels, and hawks. We were surprised to see that when we touched the rock, it was actually made of chalk. As the sun went down the sky exploded in colours creating one of the most beautiful desert scenes we had ever witnessed.
Read more: White Desert of Egypt
50. Pinnacles, Borneo
Oh, how we would love to go back and photograph the pinnacles. But. we wonder if we could do the hike today! This two day trek takes you to the middle of Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysian Borneo to see the most beautiful display of pinnacles we’ve ever seen.
Like so many places we mention on this list, the Pinnacles don’t seem real. When looking down upon them, they seem like a painting in the jungle. The sharp limestone edges peek out of the green forest like a dream.
- The Pinnacles of Borneo, an Adventure in Sarawak
- Great Things to do in Borneo – Malaysia’s Wild Jungle Island
And these are the most beautiful places in the world that we’ve seen. Where have you been on earth that is beautiful? We’d love hear from you to help plan our future travels.
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