Get your traveling shoes on, my friends! Oh, and grab a pen, because you’re going to want to check out these totally amazing sights the next time you’re planning a vacation, excursion, or unnamed outing that costs way too much but is totally worth it.
#20. Ruins of Leptis Magna, Libya
The sprawling ruins display some of the most intricately carved motifs still around from the Roman period.
#19. Standing Stone of Callinish
If you’ve been there, done that with Stonehenge (or just want to make a pilgrimage to more than one set of bizarre, inexplicably standing rocks), you can’t miss these. The Neolithic stones stand in a near-perfect circle.
#18. Mogao Caves, China
This network of caves consists of hundreds of temples, carved statues, and colorful frescoes. Totally stunning!
#17. Prambanan, Indonesia
This Hindu temple has been around since the 9th century and was the stuff of myths until it was discovered in the 1800s. Well, I mean someone wrote about it or something I guess. Obviously humans built it so not exactly “discovered”, but more like revealed to the (Western) world.
#16. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Glaciers created these fjords more than 20,000 years ago, and you can spend days exploring their peaks, valleys, waterways, and waterfalls. Oh, and by the way there are seals, penguins, and dolphins.
#15. Viñales Valley, Cuba
It’s really too bad that restrictions on solo travel have been put back in place, because these limestone monuments are really something to behold. Interesting side note, this formation is actually a karstic depression, which is basically means it’s a massive sinkhole. A massive and beautiful sinkhole, that is.
#14. Lauca World Biosphere Reserve, Chile
This truly amazing reserve sits 10,000 feet above sea level and is home to broad ranges of plateau, archeological sites, and a host of animal species. Notably, there are vicuñas, which are super cool.
#13. Baalbek, Lebanon
This ancient settlement saw the rise and fall of both the Greek and Roman empires (the ruins are at least 2000 years old), and the site itself is more than 9000 years old. That’s really old.
#12. Potala Palace, Tibet
If you can stomach the sordid history of Tibet in general, this is a can’t miss sight. It was even home to the Dalai Lama before the Tibetan Uprising.
#11. Ayutthaya, Thailand
This city was built in the 1300s and served as the center of the royal court of Ayutthaya until the city was razed by the Burmese in the 18th century. What’s left are the ruins of the old city. Wondrous and haunting.
#10. Mount Roraima, Venezuela
These peaks are so high that they’re perpetually wrapped in clouds, and waterfalls cascade over the sides of this tabletop mountain. Anyone here seen the movie Up? Yup, this is part of the mountain chain that was the inspiration for paradise falls.
#9. Maelifell, Iceland
This unusual volcano is covered in creeping green moss and surrounded on all sides by glacial rivers and streams. I doubt the aerial photos do it justice. I. Can’t. Stop. Staring.
#8. Schwerin Palace, Germany
This castle, built by the Grand Dukes of Meckleburg-Schewein, makes me super depressed that I chose to visit Neuschwanstein instead. Whoa. Just, whoa.
#7. Dobsina Ice Cave, Slovakia
The central chamber is 40 feet high and the floor is an 80 foot thick slab of ice. Instead of rock, the stalagmites and stalactites resemble suspended crystal.
#6. Cathedral Gorge State Park, Australia
You’ll find this unique natural amphitheater inside the Bungle Bungles sandstone formation. Pretty pretty!
#5. Chapelle Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe, France
This chapel, set atop a rocky outcrop above Le Puy-en-Velay is over 2,000 years old. How did they build this thing? 2,000 years ago!? Amazing.
#4. Church of the Transfiguration, Russia
This 18th century behemoth is all built out of wood. You can find the Church in Kizhi, and its like nowhere else in the world.
#3. Gorges de l’Ardèche, France
Aside from being a gorgeous gorge, this geological feature features a 200ft high arch that reveals the fact that the entire place is a remnant of an ancient system of caverns.
#2. Lake Ohrid, Albania and Macedonia.
The oldest lake in Europe is so clear you can see dozens of feet below the surface.
#1. Palau Archipelago, Micronesia
With it’s crystal clear water and stunning reefs, this grouping of islands is one of the best sites for scuba diving in the world. And the view is pretty good too.
h/t: Places You’ll See
Caught the travel bug? Check these out before you leave!