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!
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!
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.
Related: See this natural world wonder and more on a tour of Argentina.
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!
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.
Related: Discover more of Europe’s most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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.
Related: Take a Ha Long Bay cruise when you join our Highlights of Vietnam tour!
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!
Related: Get ready for sun, sand and history when you discover Egypt’s ancient wonders.
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!
Related: Marvel at the views of the Cliffs of Moher and more on the Emerald Isle on a tour of Ireland.
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!
Related: Embark on a tour of Israel and Jordan to experience this unparalleled landscape.
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.
Related: See if you can spot Mount Fuji when you join our Highlights of Japan tour!
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”.
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!
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!
Related: Marvel at this captivating European country and its amazing natural scenery during a trip to Portugal and Spain.
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
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.
Related: Mountains, beaches, incredible coastal routes and more… see it all on a South African Escape!
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.
Related: Experience the wonder of Pamukkale on the Highlights of Turkey tour.
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!
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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