80 Gorgeous Travel Photos from Around the World
With nearly 200 countries to cover it would be quite a feat to see the entire planet, but with these fascinating photos from all over the world you’ve got yourself a head start.
Let’s begin our world tour with one of the most magnificent and mysterious wonders of the world: The Sphynx, also known as the Sphynx of Giza. Located near Cairo, Egypt and not far from the Nile River, the Sphynx is an enormous limestone statue of the mythical creature that has the head of a human and the body of a lion. No one really can say what it’s meant to depict or even how old it actually is. Here are 10 more ancient mysteries researchers still haven’t been able to solve.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Built as burial shrine to the Pharaoh Khufu (who reigned from 2589 to 2566 B.C.), the oldest and largest of Egypt’s great pyramids (located within sight distance of the Sphynx) is the Great Pyramid of Giza. Its sheer enormity is mysterious enough, but it continues to astound in new ways as more archeological discoveries about it are made. The Great Pyramid ranks as one of Earth’s most mysterious archeological treasures.
Andre Jenny/Stock Connection/Shutterstock
The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous ancient archaeological sites in the world. Located on a limestone hill high above Athens, Greece, the Acropolis has been a home to kings (as well as the mythological home to Greek gods), a citadel, and the Parthenon temple, which still stands today. Sadly, it’s also been a target of vandalism, but it still stands, reminding the world of Greece’s rich ancient history.
The ancient Greek stadium of Nemea, southwest of Athens, is another remarkable ancient site. It’s home to the Sanctuary of Zeus.
Mount Nemrut, Eastern Turkey
Crowning one of the highest peaks of the Eastern Taurus mountain range in southeastern Turkey, Nemrut Dağ is the tomb built in the 1st century B.C. by King Antiochus I of Commagene as a monument to himself, according to the United Nation’s World Heritage Convention.
Another of the world’s manmade wonders, Machu Picchu, located in Peru, is believed to have been a royal estate or sacred religious site for Inca leaders, according to History.com. After the Incan civilization was destroyed by the Spanish in the 1500s, Machu Picchu lay undiscovered and unknown except by locals until 1911, despite that this monument to ancient life in Peru stretches over five miles and features more than 3,000 stone steps. Some say it’s “overrated,” but we’re guessing it’s worth your time, and here are 49 other contenders for the world’s most overrated tourist attraction.
Easter Island covers roughly 64 square miles in the South Pacific and is located some 2,300 miles from Chile’s west coast and 2,500 miles east of Tahiti, explains History.com. Although it was known as Rapa Nui to its earliest inhabitants, the island became known as “Easter Island” after Dutch explorers discovered it on Easter of 1722. Annexed by Chile in the late 19th century, it’s famous for its 900 some-odd giant stone carvings—buried up to their necks in the ground. Why that is, and how they got there, remains a mystery, although scientists have theories.
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is not a single wall, but rather a series of walls and forts, totaling 13,000 miles in length. Located in northern China, it’s one of China’s most iconic and recognized symbols. Ordered to be built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the third century B.C., the wall was intended to prevent invasions, according to History.com. The best-preserved section was built between the 14th and 17th centuries A.D. during the Ming Dynasty. Here’s what it’s really like to repair the Great Wall of China.
The Roman Colosseum
The Travel Library/Shutterstock
Also known as the Roman Coliseum, or Flavian Amphitheater, this massive stone amphitheater is believed to have been commissioned by Emporer Vespasian as a gift to the Roman people in the first century A.D. It was first used for watching gladiators in combat. Having fallen into disrepair by the 5th century, it was used as a source of building materials in the 1700s. Although a full two-thirds of the Colosseum was destroyed over time, the amphitheater remains an iconic symbol of the Roman Empire.
Citadel of Qaitbay
The Citadel of Qaitbay is a fort that was built to protect from invasion by the Sultan Qaitbay in the late 15th century in Alexandria, Egypt. It’s adjacent to the lighthouse of Alexandria, another wonder of the ancient world. Buried beneath the sea nearby is the sunken palace of Cleopatra, one of the creepiest things found at the bottom of the world’s oceans.
Althorp Estate, England
The Althorp Estate, sitting on 13,000 acres of Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, and Norfolk, in England is the ancestral home of the Princess Diana’s family, the Spencers. After Princess Diana’s tragic death in 1997, she was buried on a tiny island in a lake on the property.
The Western Wall of Jerusalem
The Western Wall, located in Jerusalem, is also known as the Wailing Wall and is one of the last remaining walls of the ancient Jewish Temple, which was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. Although the wall itself wasn’t originally a particularly important part of the temple, it’s now considered a holy place by Jews and non-Jews alike, who come from all over the world to pray, meditate, and leave handwritten prayers in crevices of the wall.
Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral, is one of the world’s most famous cathedrals. It was designed and built during the Middle Ages on the ruins of two earlier churches and is considered one of the greatest examples of French Gothic architecture. On April 15, 2019, a fire broke out in the cathedral, damaging its famed latticework roof and spire. The process to rebuild it is underway. Along with the Eiffel Tower, it’s one of Paris’s most well-known landmarks—here are 19 mind-blowing facts about the Eiffel Tower.
Hazrat Sultan Mosque, Kazakhstan
The Hazrat Sultan Mosque is the second largest mosque in all of East Asia. It was completed in 2012 and is designed in classic Islamic style with traditional Kazakh ornaments and decorative elements.
The Erta Ale Volcano
Discovered in the 1960s and still active, the Erta Ale volcano is known for its persistent lava lake. Although visitor numbers have increased significantly over the past years, the volcano is considered a risky travel destination both because of volcanic activity and political unrest in the area. Don’t be disappointed, you can still visit these 13 active volcanos around the globe.
Hot spring in Iceland
Mara Brandl / imageBROKER/Shutterstock
This hot spring near Eyja- og Miklaholtshreppur in Iceland is a prime example of the almost unfathomable and peculiar beauty of hot springs (springs made of water that’s been heated by subterranean volcanic activity). Iceland’s also home to the Blue Lagoon hot spring, which is incredibly beautiful, and in fact, one of the world’s most beautiful hot springs.
A beach in Sweden
If you’ve never been to Sweden, you might be surprised to find solid rock rather than sand beneath your feet. Go in the summer and you’ll be able to enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight. These 11 photos will help you appreciate the beauty of life.
The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland lies on the edge of the Antrim Plateau between Causeway Head and Benbane Head (northeast of Londonderry). Here you’ll find some 40,000 of these naturally-formed basalt pillars, some as tall as 82 feet high, each jutting out of the cliff faces, forming what looks like a staircase into the sea. Discover more about Giant’s Causeway and 9 other naturally gorgeous rock formations around the world.
In this photo, a Nepalese man runs with his national flag during a marathon race commemorating the first successful ascent up Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay in May of 1953.
Ice formation in the mountains of Slovenia
Marko Korosec/Solent News/Shutterstock
This photo shows the effects of an ice storm on a perfectly ordinary pine tree in the Dinaric Alps in Slovenia. The Dinaric Alps are a mountain range in Southern and Southeastern Europe, separating the Balkan Peninsula from the Adriatic Sea. They stretch all the way from Italy through Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Albania. Find out more about Slovenia and 14 other tiny countries you may not knew existed.
Slovenia’s heart-shaped road
Herzerlstraße’—a heart-shaped road amidst lush vineyards—is a man-made wonder in the tiny country of Slovenia.
White Cliffs of Dover
Around 70 million years ago, the part of Great Britain known now as the White Cliffs of Dover was submerged beneath a shallow sea whose bottom was made of chalk, according to the Dover Museum. “Since the time of the chalk sea, the chalk has been lifted out of the water by movements of the earth’s crust.” The White Cliffs of Dover are now an iconic sight along England’s eastern shoreline.
Dragonsblood Trees in Socotra
According to the Global Trees Campaign, Dragonsblood Trees grow in only one place in the world: the island of Socotra, 250 miles off the coast of Yemen. The otherworldy tree is revered for its red resin, also known as “cinnabar.” Like these trees, these 20 arrestingly beautiful photos have stood the test of time.
Turquoise blue with salt crystals jutting out of it, the Dead Sea, located in both Jordan and Israel, is the lowest point on earth. The Dead Sea’s extremely salty waters and mineral-rich mud are world famous for being therapeutic, and the water’s so buoyant, it’s almost impossible not to float. Here are 10 places in Israel that are definitely not in your guidebook but should be!
Great Barrier Reef
Visit Queensland, Australia to see this view of the breakwaters rising near the edge of the continental shelf of the Agincourt Reefs in person. The coral reef is endangered; here are 14 more places to visit before they disappear.
Niagra Falls is always spectacular, but not always as deserted as on this winter morning when this photo was taken. You won’t want to miss this zoomed out view of the famous waterfall.
This Peruvian waterfall, known as Gocta Waterfall, is 2,529 feet high—at one point it was considered the third highest waterfall in the world, but it’s now ranked as 15th. It was discovered only recently, in 2002, by the German explorer Stefan Ziemendorff. Don’t miss these amazing waterfall pictures from around the world.
Loch Ard Gorge
The Loch Ard Gorge in Victoria, Australia was named for a ship that sank nearby, according to Visit Melbourne. The Loch Ard was a clipper ship bound for Melbourne from England that sailed on March 2, 1878, and sank three months later. Only two people survived, a 15-year-old boy named Tom and a 17-year-old girl named Eva, and the two rock pillars are named for them.
Shipwreck of the Elviscot
The Elviscot sank in the 1970s near Pomente, Elba Island, Italy. It’s not far from the beach, in water that’s only 52 feet deep, making it a popular diving destination. Discover the most incredible undersea treasures ever found.
Shipwreck of the SS Thistlegorm
Another shipwreck, the SS Thistlegorm, which sank in 1941 in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, has become a favorite of aquatic life—swimming inside the cargo hold is a school of Vanikoro Sweepers.
Penguins in Antarctica
The Adelie penguins might be clumsy on land, but when hunting—or being hunted—in the water, they can swim up to 9.3 miles per hour. These 15 adorable photos of penguins will melt your heart.
Bats in Indonesia
Here we see hundreds of bats sleeping in a cave above the altar of what is appropriately known as the Temple of Bats in Bali, Indonesia.
Zebras and ostriches in Namibia
This photo of zebras drinking with ostriches at a waterhole was taken in Etosha National Park in Namibia. These 60 cute photos of animals will make your day.
Whale in Argentina
This whale gliding in the waters of the Peninsula Valdez, in Patagonia, Argentina is a Southern Right Whale that migrates each year from Antarctica to give birth and feed its young.
Red Kangaroo in New South Wales
Here, a young red kangaroo stands at the edge of a watering hole in New South Wales, Australia. Red kangaroos hop on their hind legs at speeds of over 35 miles per hour. They are native to Australia’s deserts and grasslands, and when they gather, it’s a “mob.” Literally. Check these other hilariously names for groups of animals.
Ayers Rock in Australia
Ayers Rock is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, which is part of the Australian Outback (the remote parts of Australia that are largely unpopulated except by native tribes). The Aboriginals call the rock “Uluru” and believe it is magical. Surprisingly, it’s not one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia.
A lone cable drum on a remote beach in Norway
Global Warming Images/Shutterstock
About 600 miles south of the North Pole, Northern Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago known for its rugged, remote terrain of glaciers, frozen tundra, reindeer, arctic fox, and polar bears. Here is an incredibly lonely and haunting photo of a lone cable drum that somehow washed ashore on a Northern Svalbard beach.
Traveling the world, you’ll come across people who look completely different from the people you know. For example, this photo, taken in South Africa, is of a woman from the Ndebele tribe wearing her tribe’s traditional dress and neckwear.
A reveler at the Cologne Carnival in Germany
A traditional reveler at the traditional Cologne Carnival in Cologne Germany celebrates in front of the Cologne Cathedral.
Carnival, Les Cayes, Haiti
Dieu Nalio Chery/AP/Shutterstock
Carnival performers parade in the streets of Les Cayes, during Haiti’s three-day Carnival festivities.
The Ganges River
Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP/Shutterstock
The Hindu culture sees the Ganges River, which flows through India and Bangladesh, as a holy place. Here, a couple performs a ritual on the first day of the nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri.
A Buddhist monk in Myanmar
Buddhism in Myanmar (formerly, Burma) is practiced by 90 percent of the country’s population. Pictured here is a Buddhist monk at a Myanmar monastery.
Maori man in New Zealand
Descended from Polynesian settlers who arrived in New Zealand before 1,000 AD, the Maoris had formed a unique culture by the end of the 1800s. One facet of that culture is body art. Maori tattoos are called moko and are known for their fine artistry.
Children playing in South Sudan
South Sudan, located in East-Central Africa, was formed in 2011 from the Republic of Sudan, making it the youngest officially recognized country in the world. Here, children from the village of Torit, South Sudan are shown at play.
Nuiqsut, Alaska, is a tiny city in northeastern Alaska that was incorporated in 1975. Its population was just under 450 in 2015, and its economy is based primarily on subsistence hunting, fishing, and whaling.
Pygmy woman holding a young child
This Pygmy woman and child were photographed in the Central African Republic. Pygmies are traditionally hunter-gatherers living in the rainforests throughout central Africa.
The Meeting of the Waters
Called the Encontro das Aguas, the Meeting of Waters goes on for several miles outside the Brazilian city of Manaus. The phenomenon happens as the warm waters of the Rio Negro combine with the cool water of the Rio Solimões. Don’t miss these 15 unexplained mysteries of the Amazon River.
Sunrise at Stonehenge
Stonehenge is one of the world’s most mysterious archeological treasures, which makes it a magical, albeit crowded, place to celebrate the summer solstice. Go a month later, and you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
Burning Man is a massive art festival that takes place annually in the Nevada desert. Every year, thousands gather to create “Black Rock City,” a temporary city devoted to “radical self-expression.”
Israel Midburn Festival
The Israeli version of Burning Man is the Israel Midburn Festival in the Negev Desert.
Ice hotel, Sweden
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
These “supertrees” can be found in Gardens by the Bay, Singapore’s huge botanical garden that is one of Asia’s foremost garden destinations.
Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia
Scott K Macleod/Shutterstock
Pictured is the incredible canopy walk in the rainforest at Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Malaysia. It’s one of the world’s longest canopy walks.
The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark
At Langelinje Pier you will find one of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions: The sculpture of The Little Mermaid, according to Visit Copenhagen. Unveiled in August 1913, the statue was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen and was inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the same name.
Ophelia sculpture, Melbourne
This unique and colorful artwork in Victoria, Austalia is a depiction of the Shakespeare character, Ophelia.
The Iditarod dog sled race
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is a 1,049-mile trek through some of the most extreme wilderness in the nation. The first one was held in 1973. This photo was taken during this year’s race and shows the dogs of Montana musher Brett Bruggeman.
Global Warming Images/Shutterstock
Illulisat is the home of the Jakobshavn Glacier, which is the largest glacier outside Antarctica. Many people assume that Greenland is nothing more than a sheet of ice. But this adorable home says otherwise.
A lot of the Irish countryside looks like an elaborate patchwork quilt of green, like this view of the coastline along the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. The “striping” you see are stone walls that mark off what were once property lines between farms.
Cottage, County Clare, Ireland
Dr Wilfried Bahnmuller/imageBROKER/Shutterstock
This thatched-roof cottage can be seen in County Clare, Ireland.
Cape Cod Cottage, in North Truro, Massachusetts
The classic “Cape Cod”-style house, a small, wood-shingled structure with a steeply gabled roof and dormer windows, originated in where else? Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Cape Cod is instantly recognizable to anyone who’s ever been there by its incredible sweeping sand dunes.
Here’s a view of traditional wooden Norwegian huts along in Tromso, Norway.
Houses in Nyhavn, Denmark
These houses along the Nyhavn waterfront of Copenhagen are decorated for Christmas. Stay for December 31 and experience Denmark’s “lucky” New Year’s tradition.
The Breakers mansion, Newport, Rhode Island
If you’re thinking of visiting iconic homes from around the world, you won’t want to miss The Breakers, the mansion built for the Vanderbilt family in Newport, Rhode Island. The Breakers is the most famous home in Rhode Island—find out the most famous house in your state.
Imperial Palace, Beijing, China
The Imperial Palace, located in Beijing China, is the largest palace in the world.
Château de Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France
courtesy City Wonders
Just a few hours drive from Paris, the Loire Valley offers numerous castles and vineyards. This 16th-century castle spans the River Cher and in 1560 was home to the first every fireworks display in France. The structure is one of the three castles you can tour with European day tour operator City Wonders on their Loire Valley Castles & Wine Tasting from Paris.
Istana Nurul Iman Palace, Brunei
The largest residential palace in the world is the Istana Nurul Iman Palace, which is the home of the Sultan of Brunei.
The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Italy
As far as art destinations go, the Sistine Chapel may very well be the jewel on the crown of our planet. Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco, painted for Pope Julius II between 1508 and 1512, famously depicts the Creation of the World and the Fall of Man.
Trafalgar, Santorini, Greece
The picture-perfect island of Santorini is nicknamed the “precious gem of the Aegean.” You can explore this paradise on your own or sign up with a guided vacation company like Trafalgar, which stops here on its 12-day Best of Greece trip. Either way, you’ll love the iconic whitewashed villages, swimming in the glistening blue waters and gazing at unforgettable Greek sunsets.
This photo is of San Marco Canal with the Campanile on San Marco Square in Venice. Nearby, you’ll find the village of Burano, one of the 11 most colorful towns in the world.
Wuzhen Water Town, Zhejiang Province, China
The Wuzhen Water Town of the Zhejiang Province in China is dubbed “The Venice of China” because of its graceful water town scenery.
Cathedral Square, Havana, Cuba
Tourists visit Cathedral Square as a cat lays under the sun in Havana, Cuba. Don’t miss this exclusive peek inside Cuba, and not just Havana either.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union, and the historical capital of what was once the country of Bohemia.
The New York City skyline
This view of New York City’s famous skyline is seen from across the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey. Discover the hidden New York City gems that even New Yorkers don’t know about.
The Bean, Chicago
Let’s not forget Chicago’s magnificent skyline, which is uniquely reflected here in Chicago’s Bean sculpture, officially called Cloud Gate.
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
We’re not in the city anymore as we visit Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada. This fishing village (notice the lobster traps) stands on the province’s Lighthouse Route and is a popular tourist destination.
Champillon, Champagne, France
courtesy Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa
France’s celebrated Champagne region is a UNESCO World Heritage site; the structures belong to the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, where you can take in views of the vineyards that stripe the hills of Épernay and the villages of Champillon and Hauviller. It’s all just 45 minutes by train from Paris.
Tuna Auction in Tokyo, Japan
Speaking of fish, pictured here is a Tuna Auction taking place at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. The tuna in the photo is priced at ¥30.4 million, or over $270,000!
Signs in Key West, Florida
This “intersection” is at the southernmost point in the entire United States, and the signs provide “directions” and actual distances to many other locales all over the world. These are ten more of the craziest, most extreme travel destinations on the planet.
This unpronounceable sign
“Llanfynydd” is a village in Wales whose name you might be able to pronounce if you’re actually from there. Otherwise, best of luck. Still, it’s worth a visit. Try your luck pronouncing the most difficult to pronounce town in every state.