Do you love the water?
Do you dream of climbing the world’s tallest mountains?
Or is it history that grabs a hold of your heart?
It’s difficult to narrow down the most beautiful places of the world, isn’t it? After all, we’re all at least a little bit biased towards the places where we live and the experience of what we’ve seen. It’s unlikely that any two people would choose exactly the same places as the most beautiful places in the world that surrounds them. But the world is filled with so many beautiful places, and there’s room for all of them.
In this post we examine just a small selection of some of the world’s most beautiful places. We hope to give you a broader perspective on what beauty is to different people in different parts of the world. And we hope to perhaps inspire you to explore more of the world that surrounds you. That’s one of the perks of living in such a connected world these days. We’re able to see and experience new things, even from home. Hopefully you’ll find something here that you like.
Before we get to our five new additions to our list of the most beautiful places in the world, here’s a small taste of what you’ll find in our original list (which you can find toward the end of this article).
Shangrila Resort, Pakistan — Credit: norbakshi world (via Flickr)
And now, here are five new additions to our list of some of the world’s most beautiful places, all suggested by our readers in the comments.
Mt. Everest, Bordering Tibet and Nepal
Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain, with a peak that reaches more than 8800 meters above sea level. It is a part of the Himalayas, and is located on the border between Nepal and Tibet. More than 3000 people have climbed to the summit of Mt.Everest, and over 200 people are known to have died on the mountain.
Credit: Joe Hastings (via Flickr)
Credit: Gunther Hagleitner (via Flickr)
Credit: watchsmart (via Flickr)
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Lake Louise is a Canadian lake in the province of Alberta. It was formed by a glacier and is known for its blue-green color that results from mineral deposits that enter the lake from melting glaciers above.
Credit: Samantha Marx (via Flickr)
Credit: Marilyn Peddle (via Flickr)
Credit: Harvey Barrison (via Flickr)
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska, United States
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a protected area in the state of Alaska in the United States. It includes the bay itself as well as mountains and glaciers surrounding the bay. According to Wikipedia, it is “the largest protected water area park in the world.” Glacier Bay is a popular cruise ship destination for the area.
Credit: Kimberly Vardeman (via Flickr)
Credit: Kimberly Vardeman (via Flickr)
Credit: Glenn (via Flickr)
Sentani Lake, Indonesia
Sentani Lake is another beautiful location suggested by our readers. Lake Sentani is located near Jayapura, which is the capital of the Papua Province in Indonesia. The volcanic lake is surrounded by beautiful and lush greenery and contains several small islands.
Credit: Kiko Turteliny (via Flickr)
Credit: Edwin Yepese (via Flickr)
Credit: Edwin Yepese (via Flickr)
Killarney is a beautiful town in County Kerry, Ireland. In addition to the lovely historic buildings in town, you’ll find amazing natural views in the Killarney National Park. From the historic churches and castles to Killarney Lake and the rolling green hills Ireland is famous for, you’re bound to find something here that strikes your fancy.
Credit: mozzercork (via Flickr)
Credit: Meg Lessard (via Flickr)
Credit: Jack Newton (via Flickr)
Update: Don’t miss Part 2 of our Most Beautiful Places of the World series to see even more amazing and beautiful places. And don’t forget to share your ideas for the most beautiful places in the world with us in our comments. But for now, let’s get back to our original article with our previous top ten picks for some of the most beautiful places we’ve come across so far.
We live in a world blessed with sights beautiful beyond words. Each of us probably dreams of visiting at least one beautiful and special place. Mother Nature has so much to offer, as do some man-made beauties. And no matter where we live — from the biggest city to the smallest village — there’s bound to be some place that could yet take our breath away.
Look at the examples below and you will see beauty that fills the eye and warms the heart. It wouldn’t humanly possible for us to determine the best of the best when it comes to beautiful places in the world. After all, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” right? But what we can do is share these examples of some of those places that are among the most beautiful places of the world. And we hope that you’ll tell us about a beautiful place that touches your own heart in some way in the comments.
Skardu Valley – Pakistan
Skardu Valley is part of Baltistan in Pakistan. Baltistan is spread over an area of 26,000 square kilometers — right below the jagged and glaciated ramparts of the Karakoram. Once part of Laddakh, it was known as Tibet-i-Khurd, or Little Tibet. Archaeological exploration has proven that it was a part of the Silk Trade Route.
Shangrila – Pakistan
Shangrila Resort in Skardu is also known as “Heaven on Earth.” It is nestled among some of the world’s highest peaks, and it encircles the heart-shaped Kachura Lake. If you visit, you’ll find yourself surrounded by fruit-laden orchards and flower-filled gardens.
Lake Saiful Muluk – Pakistan
Photo by Fahd Murtaza
Lake Saiful Muluk is a lake located on the northern end of the Kaghan Valley, near Naran. A fairy tale called Saiful Muluk, written by the famous Sufi poet Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, is associated with this lake. That fairy tale is the story of a prince of Persia who fell in love with a fairy princess at the lake. The lake’s beauty has such an impact that some people believe fairies come to visit it in the full moon.
The Grand Canyon, United States
A steep gorge by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon has some truly enjoyable scenery. It is 277 miles long, varies from four to 18 miles wide in places, and reaches to about a mile deep. Scientists believe that the canyon was created by the Colorado River over a six million year period.
Native Americans built settlements in the caves within the canyon before the emigration of Europeans. It was also considered to be a site of pilgrimage by the Pueblo people. The first recorded visit to the Grand Canyon by Europeans was in 1869. Although it is not the deepest canyon in the world, it is known for its extremely large size and beautifully intricate landscape.
The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the earliest national parks in the United States, and it attracts more than five million visitors each year. Weather conditions in the Grand Canyon vary greatly between seasons as well as at different elevations. While winter snow is experienced by the higher forested rims, the inner gorge has more of a desert temperature because of its low elevation.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
One of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia is the world’s largest coral reef. It has the distinction of being placed in the World Heritage as well as the National Heritage list.
With more than 600 islands and coral cays, the Great Barrier Reef covers more than 300,000 sq. km. Corals make up the reefs and cays and are responsible for a huge variety of sea life in the area. That includes green turtles, several varieties of whales and dolphins, the dugong, aroud 4000 types of mollusks, 1500 different species of fish, as well as at least 200 species of beautifully-colored birds.
The Great Reef Marine Park is a huge tourist attraction with millions of tourists visiting each year. Sporting activities include reef sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is aptly called “Heaven on earth.” This beautiful town at the tip of the African continent, with small roads surrounded by huge mountains, makes a person feel small. It shows just how marvelous and dominating nature can be.
The Cape Dutch style buildings depict the architectural heritage of the place. Beauty abounds in the black clouds that seem to pay homage to Table Mountain at all times.
Cape Point, Signal Hill, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Robben Island, Rhodes Memorial, and the beaches are just some of the famous tourist attractions. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town is famous for its floral displays as well as its harbor. This town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa with its wine tasting day trips, whale watching, and dolphin watching.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal in India is one of the wonders of the world and is one of the most beautiful mausoleums ever created. It was constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his favorite queen, Mumtaz Mahal. Located in Agra, white marble was used in the construction of this symbol of love, and the Taj Mahal is considered to be the pinnacle of Mughal architecture.
As the story goes, the emperor was grief-stricken when he lost his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took thousands of craftsmen and artisans, and about twenty years to construct this structure in her honor.
The masons, stone cutters, carvers, inlayers, calligraphers, painters, and others were brought from throughout the entire empire as well as from Iran and Central Asia. Semi-precious stones were used for inlays and ornamentation. It later became the mausoleum of Shah Jahan too. This is a huge tourist attraction with one to two million tourists visiting it every year.
Canadian Rockies, Canada
The majestic Canadian Rockies are the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains. They are a visitor’s winter wonderland and Western Canada’s playground. They are older than the American Rockies and were formed as a result of over-thrusting.
The Canadian Rockies house five national parks, and four of those national parks (along with other provincial parks) combine to form a single UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of beautiful mountain landscapes, lakes, canyons, waterfalls, glaciers, peaks, limestone caves, and fossils. Mount Robson is the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies and climbing it is considered a challenge. These beautiful mountains are a haven for hikers and walkers alike.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu in Peru, which means “Old Peak,” is one of the most beautiful ancient sites in the world. According to legend, Machu Picchu was long ago considered to be a sacred place. The Inca people are credited with its creation. They erected many stone structures and turned the place into a work of art.
Two thousand feet above the Urubamba river, the ruins of Machu Picchu consist of baths, temples, palaces, and around 150 houses, all very well preserved. These gray granite structures, some of which weigh more than 50 tons, are so perfectly sculpted that they are nothing less than architectural masterpieces.
The ruins of Machu Picchu were rediscovered by a Yale archaeologist in 1911. The ethereal beauty, workmanship, and history of the place attracts millions of tourists each year.
The Pyramids, Egypt
The Egyptian pyramids are massive monuments with a square base and four triangular sides rising up to a point. There is still a lot of curiosity (and many theories) as to how the pyramids were actually built — with people crediting everyone from slave laborers to alien visitors.
It is generally believed that the Egyptians began constructing the pyramids after 2700 B.C. and that they were built as tombs for the pharaohs. The most well-known (and the largest) pyramids found in Egypt are the Pyramids at Giza which are said to be the largest ever built. It’s said that the Great Pyramid of Giza alone took 23 years to complete, using a work force of around 30,000 people. About 118 pyramids have been identified, and they are popular and intriguing to tourists and researchers alike.
Described by UNESCO as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage,” Petra is an archaeological site on the slope of Mount Hor. It is one of the new wonders of the world and is famous for its rock-cut architecture.
This site was kept hidden until 1812 when it was discovered by a Swiss explorer. It was said by some to have been prepared by God for the Jewish people. Petra once flourished under the Roman empire but it rapidly declined with Arabian trade being taken elsewhere. Then an earthquake caused a great deal of destruction. Tourists frequent the place to get a glimpse of the ruins of this beautiful city, although they’re doing more harm than good, with tourism becoming a threat to the preservation of Petra.
Great Wall of China, China
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China is a man-made structure that was constructed over two thousand years ago. It is estimated to have taken around 100 years to complete. You can truly witness man’s potential when you take in the beauty and vastness of the Great Wall.
The construction on the Great Wall of China started in the 5th Century B.C. It is actually not a single wall, but rather many walls put together. Combined, they stretch over 4,000 miles. This collection of walls was constructed to protect the Chinese empire from the Xiongnu people in the north. The wall was initially built of stone, grass, earth, and wood, but bricks were used also after production began. It is believed that around two to three million Chinese died during the construction of this wonder.
The Iguazu Waterfalls, Argentina-Brazil Border
Heralded by many as the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, the Iguazu Waterfalls are a true wonder of nature. They are located on the border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. While the Argentinean side allows visitors to walk right around the water or explore the National Park, the Brazilian side is known for its panoramic views and splendor.
Former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, is believed to have exclaimed upon seeing these falls, “Poor Niagara!”
The area surrounding the falls provides ample opportunities for rock climbing as well as water sports. Iguazu has the greatest annual flow of water of all of the waterfalls in the world.
With all of these, and many more, beautiful places that exist in our world we are surrounded by choices. Which of the most beautiful places in the world will you visit? While some may love the tranquility of water, others may bury themselves deep in architectural miracles, ancient sites, or the serenity of a small town. In the end, all you can do is follow your heart.
Please leave a comment and share some more of the world’s most beautiful places with us and our readers.
Note: This post was originally published on January 16, 2009. It was updated with new content and republished on its currently-listed publication date.