50 Jaw-Dropping Photos of the World’s Most Beautiful Countries
These incredible photos of the most stunning locales across the globe will take your breath away.
The largest national park in New Zealand, Fiordland National Park, is in Southland, the southernmost region in the nation. Much of it looks like this—snowcapped mountains reflected in deep, serene lakes, marked by glaciers. Did you know that 84 percent of New Zealand is under water? Here’s what else you might not know about the world’s “eighth continent.”
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“The breathtaking village of Reine is located on the island of Moskenesøya on northern Norway’s Lofoten archipelago,” shares Switchback Travel. “With red and white fishermen’s huts dotting the shoreline and surrounding peaks of granite shooting out of the Reinefjorden, the village has earned a reputation as ‘the most beautiful place in the world.’”
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Pictured here is an awe-inspiring granite structure found on the Pink Granite Coast of Brittany, where rose-colored boulders and pale pink sands contrast serenely against the gray of the sea. You can see even more pretty places in pink with these beautiful photos of pink sand beaches.
The Irish countryside unfolds like a dazzling green patchwork quilt, but the hundreds of miles of hand-built limestone walls that cut the farmlands into odd geometrical shapes aren’t just beautiful to behold. It also serves as a fascinating living history of thousands of years of Irish land ownership. This photo was taken in County Clare in the spring of 2012. This is just one of the undiscovered gems in Ireland.
“Northern Ireland is home to some of the world’s most eerily beautiful wonders,” according to Conde Nast Traveler. And one of those wonders is the Dark Hedges of County Antrim, pictured here, with people walking down “Tree Avenue” for perspective on the size of the trees. Northern Ireland is one of the countries where you cold take gorgeous pics of trees. These 12 incredible photos of some more of the world’s most beautiful trees are just as pretty.
Extending along the coast of Eilat, the Coral Beach Nature Preserve is one of the most breathtaking coral reefs on the planet. And it’s as spectacular to see from above as it as from within, where divers can observe all manner of underwater flora and fauna.
Smaller than Connecticut, this tiny Balkan Nation boasts breathtaking beauty and fascinating history (it was once part of Yugoslavia). Pictured here is Dubrovnik’s magnificent harbor, as seen from a hill high above the city.
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Located in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is replete with rainforests, volcanos, and too many islands to count. From a window at the Viceroy Hotel in Bali, you can see Ubud’s incredible terraced rice paddies. It’s one of the best hotel rooms with dreamy views.
The waterfall pictured here, the Angel Falls waterfall, originating from the Auyantepui mountain in Canaima National Park, Venezuela, is the highest waterfall on the planet. All waterfalls have a magical element about them which is why these are the 15 most breathtaking waterfall photos we’ve ever seen.
The chapel pictured here was carved right into the stone mountain, hence it’s nickname rock chapel. It’s part of the Hohe Tauern National Park, East Tyrol, Austria and can be accessed via the Innergschlöss path through the park.
Jeffreys Bay, located on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, is one of the top surfing destinations in the world. And where there are surfers, there always seem to be sharks. The view pictured was taken by a shark surveillance plane.
The Galápagos Islands comprise a volcanic archipelago that lies about 620 miles off Ecuador’s Pacific coast. It’s one of our planet’s foremost destinations for viewing wildlife, particularly undersea wildlife. It even inspired Charles Darwin, in 1835, to come up with his theory of evolution. Here two spotted eagle rays swimming in blue water off of Wolf Island.
Republic of Namibia
Lying just north of South Africa, Namibia, which was part of South Africa until it won its independence in 1990, has become one of the world’s premier eco-tourism destinations. That’s thanks to its varied landscapes, including the Namib desert, pictured here, with its red dunes, vast plains, and rugged mountains, and ocean in the distance. Add Namibia to this group of the most popular travel destinations in Africa.
The Rocca Calascio in Abruzzo is the highest mountaintop fort in all of Italy and one of the oldest, with construction having commenced by the 10th century. Badly damaged by an earthquake in the 18th century, it has not been restored, but it stands as a beautiful ruin in the Gran Sasso National Park.
This photo of a river in Haerjedalen, Sweden may look as if it were taken at dusk, but it was actually taken at midnight in mid-summer when the sun never fully sets due to the tilt of the Earth on its axis and where Sweden lies in relation to that tilt.
About 96,000 lamps illuminate Mysore Palace on the last day of the Dusshera Festival in Mysore India. The Hindu festival celebrates the goddess Durga’s triumph over the demon Mahishasura, a mythological tale of good versus evil. Here’s what these famous landmarks looked like 100 years ago.
Albania is a young country, having won its independence from the Ottoman Empire just over a century ago. It’s most famous for being the birthplace of Mother Teresa and for its more than 3,250 species of plants, accounting for 30 percent or all of Europe’s flora. Pictured here are vegetable fields with poppy in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park.
Cameron Valley, pictured here, is located at the main road going up to Tanah Rata from Ringlet and comprises 1,600 acres of lush hilly terrain that since 1933 has been producing a significant portion of Malaysia’s tea. Take a look at these views of the most dangerous roads in the world—better to see them this way than to drive on them!
We often think of Switzerland’s snow-capped Alps, but winter isn’t the only season there. This photo, taken in early fall of this year is the highest situated vineyard in all of Europe, with plantings stretching all the way up the mountain to about 4,000 feet above sea level in the Valais region.
Morocco is often associated with its desert views, but it also has breathtaking red rock mountains like the ones pictured here in the Dades Valley, which features some magnificent canyons, plus opportunities to rock-climb or raft.
Iran is one of the world’s most irrigated nations with an underground network of irrigation tunnels extending the same distance as the Earth is from the moon, parts of which date back 3,000 years. The results of that irrigation can be seen here in these lush, terraced fields.
With vistas like this one through carved ice at Lake Louise in Banff National Park in the Candian Rockies, it’s not hard to understand why Canada’s known as the Great White North. Lake Louise is one of Canada’s most popular travel destinations.
Pictured here are the ruins of Sans Souci Palace, the residence of Haiti’s King Henri Christophe I, who rose to royalty after being born into slavery (and fighting in the American Revolution alongside George Washington). The palace was destroyed in an earthquake in 1842 and has never been rebuilt. It’s seldom visited because of political instability in the area, although Atlas Obscura deems it “fairly safe” for tourism.
With the 2018 Winter Olympics behind us, it seems a good time to remind ourselves how beautiful South Korea is at other times of the year. Pictured here is Jeju, in autumn. Another town in South Korea is one of the 12 travel spots you probably haven’t heard of—yet!
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It’s safe to say many of us won’t get to see North Korea in our lifetime, but there’s great beauty there, as evidenced by this photo of the North Korean people bidding farewell to South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in and his wife, as they depart for Seoul, South Korea from Pyongyang following the Third Inter-Korean Summit, which took place in mid-September 2018.
The blue icebergs pictured here in the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia are actually that blue (in other words, #nofilter). In fact, “Paine” is a Tehuelche Indian word for “blue”). Love a good wintry scene? Then you’ll love these photos of the world’s most incredible glaciers.
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The Gulf of Tonkin is a saltwater bay in between Vietnam and China, comprised of three smaller bays, Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Lan Ha Bay, all featuring thousands of limestone islands and caves. Pictured here is Halong Bay with many tourist boats, but there are still many parts of the Gulf of Tonkin that are untouched and ready to explore.
The Montelbaanstoren is a tower on the banks of the canal Oudeschans in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Originally constructed in 1516 as part of the Walls of Amsterdam, its original purpose was military defense. Additional work brought it to its current decorative form in the early 1600s. If you prefer greener scenery, you’ll love these 12 National Geographic photos of landscapes that will fill you with wonder and awe.
At the summit of Mount Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, in southeastern Brazil, the Christ the Redeemer statue stands nearly 100 feet tall with an arm span of almost 100 feet. Built in the 1930s, it is now an integral part of Rio’s iconic landscape. Did you know all of these famous monuments are hiding secrets?
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This natural heart-shaped coral reef formation is part of the Hardy Reef, one of the many thousand small reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef. The many hundreds of fish species beneath the water is another level of breathtaking entirely. So are these 20 breathtaking underwater photos.
In Helsinki, they celebrate the summer solstice with a spectacular bonfire as part of the Seurasaari open air museum’s Midsummer Eve festival. Celebrate the the warmer weather with these 19 wonderful photos that remind us of why we get so happy when it’s spring.
Located nearly 9,000 feet above sea level in the Andes, Puente del Inca (“The Inca’s Bridge“), is a natural arch bridge over the Vacas River (a tributary of the Mendoza River), hot springs, as well as an abandoned spa in Argentina.
Looking at this photo, the mind might go to tropical beaches in the Carribean or the Pacific. In fact, this white sandy beach beneath a cloudless blue sky is in Lower Saxony, Germany, and the water we’re looking at is the North Sea. Still, most the best beaches in the entire world are in tropical areas.
It’s hard to know what time of day this photo was taken because it was taken in the middle of June, when Iceland offers 24 hours of daylight thanks to its position in relation to the axis on which the Earth tilts. This particular spot is a geothermal area (you can see gasses rising from below) in Myvatn, which is in the northern part of Iceland.
Almost 80 percent of Greenland is covered by ice, including this iceberg outside a village in northwestern Greenland (Inaarsuit). Representing the other 20 percent is this photo of houses in the Inuit settlement of Tiniteqilaaq, which is in eastern Greenland.
Carvoeiro was once a small fishing village that survived on tuna catches but has grown into a popular resort because of its beautiful, rocky coastline and its rich history. Don’t miss these most underrated travel destinations on the planet.
Cappadocia is known for its hot-air balloon tourism, in part because the balloons permit a slow and spectacular view of the “fairy chimneys,” made of stone so soft, the ancient dwellers of the area were able to carve them into cities. All of these 20 stunning photos were taken from airplane windows.
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The southern coast of Pembrokeshire is known for its dramatic rock formations, especially the Green Bridge of Wales, an 80-foot high and 66-foot wide natural stone arch extending south into the Wash Bay. The photo was taken by a ten-year-old boy with some serious photographic talent; here’s how you can get better photos from your smartphone.
Another natural stone arch, El Arco, can be found off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, which is the southernmost part of Baja California, Mexico. Here’s why Baja California, and the State of California, bear their names (and how every state in the United States got its name).
Pictured here is Dunnottar Castle, a medieval fortress chiseled into the Aberdeenshire coast. Did you know Scotland was voted the world’s most beautiful country in 2017? You’ll believe it after looking at these other spectacular photos of gorgeous Scotland.
Thoughts of England inevitably turn to the castles and palaces of the royal family in London. However, for many, England is all about the countryside. This photo was taken near Eastbourne in East Sussex.
The Dongchuan Red Land Kunming, south China’s Yunnan Province is praised as “God’s palette” by backpackers and photographers alike. The red colors are due to iron deposits in the soil and are visible year-round, accented in summer with potato flowers and golden wheat. China’s brilliant red rocks are seen in some of these 15 photos of the world’s most colorful features.
The Poás Volcano is an active volcano in central Costa Rica that’s erupted 40 times since 1828, including in April 2017 when visitors and residents were evacuated. This photo of one of the two crater lakes located near the summit of the volcano was taken in 2010. The bottom of the lake is a layer of liquid sulfur, and the water supports no aquatic life whatsoever. Here are 15 breathtaking places you’ll want to visit before they disappear.
While this may look like a scene from television’s Gilligan’s Island, it’s actually the Kizimkazi beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania (on Eastern Africa’s shore). The fishing village of Kizimkazi was once a walled city and epitomizes traditional Zanzibarian life.
Thai Buddhist monks sit at King Bhumibol bridge in Bangkok, Thailand as they wait for mourners to offer food on the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thailand is also home to one of these world’s most photogenic beaches.
This scene of colorful flowers in flower pots on the exterior wall of a house is not unusual in Córdoba, Andalusia. With its hot, dry climate, it attracted some of the world’s first landscape architects, who created homes around central courtyards (known as “patios”), decorated with an abundance of blooming flowers.
The Valley of Geysers is a geyser field on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia that boasts one of the most extensive concentrations of geysers in the world. It’s been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s also one of the 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites everyone needs to visit.
Bordered by Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia, Croatia has a beautiful and extensive coastline along the Adriatic Sea. This photo of the full moon setting over the Adriatic was taken at dawn in Istria, an archipelago off the northern coast. Also on the Adriatic Sea, this country, which is perhaps the least-visited in the world. The question is, why, when it is so incredibly stunning?
Slovenia, nestled between Austria, Italy, and Croatia, is known for its mountains, ski resorts, and lakes. This photo of the mountain lake, Veliko Jezero, in the Triglav National Park, shows all of that in its grand beauty. If you’ve never thought about visiting Slovenia, these 13 small European towns you might not have ever thought about visiting (but should!) could change your mind.
What makes this photo so breathtaking is that once you get past this sign, there’s virtually no place left to go in the United States. Bordered on one side by the lapping waters of the Chukchi Sea and the other by an endless sea of tundra, Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost city in the United States. There are lots of beautiful sights to see in Alaska and the United States, including the best-kept secret in every state.