• 12 May 2023

Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

– Gustave Flaubert

Travelling beyond the cities and into the great outdoors, often makes way for a whole new perspective on the world and the everyday places around us. While we at Expat Explore still love exploring cities and iconic landmarks across the globe, these 16 natural wonders will make stepping outside well worth the trip!

1. Valbonë Valley National Park, Albania

The Valbonë Valley National Park is nestled in the Albanian Alps, surrounded by peaks and lush terrain. This trans-boundary park lies on the borders of Albania and Montenegro.  The green hills, crystal blue waters and open spaces are the perfect way to escape!

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Valbonë Valley National Park, Albania
2. Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Iguazu Falls is the largest waterfall system in the world. In total there are 275 falls of different heights, and they spill over the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

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Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Related: See this natural world wonder and more on a tour of Argentina.

3. Cathedral Grove, Canada

Cathedral Grove is a majestic forest on Vancouver Island in Canada. Surrounded by ancient trees (some up to 800-years old), this magical spot is the stuff that fairy-tales are made of!

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Cathedral Grove, Canada
4. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park has become quite the tourist attraction in recent years. However, it’s uniqueness has been recognised since 1979, when it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The Park’s lake system consists of 16 named and many smaller, unnamed lakes flowing into one another.  

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Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Related: Discover more of Europe’s most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

5. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

The towering limestone islands and crystal clear waters of Ha Long Bay need to be seen to be believed! A cruise through this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage region offers unforgettable views at every turn. The waters are very popular for scuba diving and kayaking, while the islands attract rock climbers and hikers.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, natural wonders
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Related: Take a Ha Long Bay cruise when you join our Highlights of Vietnam tour!

6. Blue Hole, Egypt

On the coast of the Red Sea, is the Blue Hole. Due to the easy access from the shore and the lack of current, this 100m hole in the clear blue water is a popular destination for free-diving. If you’re feeling brave, it will be well worth taking the dive!

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Blue Hole, Egypt

Related: Get ready for sun, sand and history when you discover Egypt’s ancient wonders.

7. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher stretch for 8km along the west coast of Ireland. These steep cliffs appear to be endless and they reach a height of 214m at the highest point!

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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Related: Marvel at the views of the Cliffs of Moher and more on the Emerald Isle on a tour of Ireland.

8. Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

Wadi Rum desert is also known as the Valley of the Moon. The red-pink sand and rock formations leave visitors feeling as if they’ve left Earth and stepped onto Mars!

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Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

Related: Embark on a tour of Israel and Jordan to experience this unparalleled landscape.

9.  Mount Fuji, Japan

The majestic Mount Fuji is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable symbols of Japan. On a good day, this snow-capped landmark can be seen from over 60 miles (almost 100km) away in the capital Tokyo. If you wish to see this volcano up close, it is possible to climb Mount Fuji! While the climb itself is not considered difficult, it can be strenuous particularly due to the changes in altitude. 

Mount Fuji, Japan, natural wonders
Mount Fuji, Japan

Related: See if you can spot Mount Fuji when you join our Highlights of Japan tour!

10.  Caves of Hercules, Morocco

Found in the Cape Spartel of Morocco, the Caves of Hercules are said to be the resting place of the Roman god, Hercules while he was completing his labours. The cave complex has two openings, one from land and the other from the sea, of which the latter is famously known as “The Map of Africa”.

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Caves of Hercules, Morocco
11.  Te Waikoropupū Spring, New Zealand

Te Waikoropupū Spring (commonly known as ‘Pupu Springs’) is the largest cold water spring in the Southern Hemisphere. But more than its size, scientists and visitors have been drawn to its clear blue waters. Scientists claim that some of the clearest water ever measured has been found in these springs!

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Te Waikoropupū Spring, New Zealand
12. Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Portugal

Found on the Portuguese archipelago, Lagoa das Sete Cidades (“Lagoon of the Seven Cities”), is an oasis of twin lakes found within a dormant volcano’s crater. While the two lakes seem to be linked, the one is a dark shade of blue and the other a shade of green. Legend has it that the green lake is filled with the tears of a princess while the blue lake is filled with the tears of the shepherd boy that she loved but was forbidden to marry!

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Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Portugal

Related: Marvel at this captivating European country and its amazing natural scenery during a trip to Portugal and Spain.

13. National Park of High Tatras, Slovakia

The Tatra Mountains form a natural border between Poland and Slovakia – the National Park of High Tatras is home to more than 100 lakes and many spellbinding waterfalls. In 1993 the park was recognised as a UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which protects areas that exhibit a balanced relationship between people and nature

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National Park of High Tatras, Slovakia
14. Namaqualand Flower Route, South Africa

The Namaqualand Flower Route runs between the Northern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. Namaqualand is considered to be South Africa’s ‘outback’  but once a year the usually desolate area buzzes with visitors – all keen to see the rainbow of flowers in bloom! There are over 4, 000 different plant species and dependent on the weather, the flowers can make their colourful appearance anytime between July and October.

Namaqualand Flower Route, South Africa

Related: Mountains, beaches, incredible coastal routes and more…  see it all on a South African Escape!

15. Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale, meaning “Cotton Castle” in Turkish, is famous for the healing waters that the Romans once bathed in. The springs reach an average temperature of about 35 °C all-year-round. Found in the Denizli Province of Turkey, these springs are the most visited site in Turkey.

Pamukkale, Turkey

Related: Experience the wonder of Pamukkale on the Highlights of Turkey tour.

16. Niagara Falls, USA & Canada

The Niagara Falls act as a natural border between the USA and Canada. The falls consist of three different waterfalls – the American  Falls (USA), the Bridal Veil Falls (USA) and the Horseshoe Falls (Canada). The American Falls have a volume of  567,811 litres per second, but the Canadian Horseshoe Falls have a whopping 2,271,247 litres per second!  

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Niagara Falls, USA & Canada

Related: Tick the impressive Niagara Falls off of your bucket list on the Eastern USA and Canada Escape tour.

Whenever you’re ready to leave the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle behind, you now have a list of mother nature’s beauties to choose from!

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