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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.

Save the earth concept, Woman hands is holding mockup the global on tree leave background.K.D.P/Shutterstock

A beautiful world

There are a variety of places that you should explore on your next adventure. From oceans to mountains and deserts to rainforests, there are countless places waiting to be explored. Read through these stunning places and fantasize about your next adventure—and keep the beauty going with these gorgeous travel photos from around the world.

New ZealandMoritz Wolf/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

New Zealand

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. If you’re visiting New Zealand, you might also want to check out the most popular destinations in Australia.

NorwayThomas Hugi/Solent News/Shutterstock

Norway

“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.'”

FranceGerken & Ernst/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

France

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. See even more pretty places in pink with these beautiful photos of pink sand beaches.

IrelandFLPA/Shutterstock

Ireland

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—they also serve 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 IrelandSiegfried Kuttig/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Northern Ireland

“Northern Ireland is home to some of the world’s most eerily beautiful wonders,” according to Condé Nast Traveler. And those wonders include 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 could take gorgeous pictures of trees. These 20 incredible photos of some more of the world’s most beautiful trees are just as pretty.

IsraelChameleons Eye/Shutterstock

Israel

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 is from within, where divers can observe all manner of underwater flora and fauna.

MontenegroDarko Bandic/AP/Shutterstock

Croatia

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. For more postcard-worthy images, check out these perfectly timed nature photos that look fake but aren’t.

IndonesiaJames D. Morgan/Shutterstock

Indonesia

Located in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is replete with rainforests, volcanoes, and too many islands to count. From a window at the Viceroy Hotel in Bali, you can see Ubud’s incredible terraced rice paddies. Don’t miss these other dreamy hotel rooms with amazing views.

VenezuelaCultura/Shutterstock

Venezuela

The waterfall pictured here, Angel Falls, 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, but these are the 15 most breathtaking waterfall photos we’ve ever seen.

AustriaReinhard Holzl/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Austria

The chapel pictured here was carved right into the stone mountain—hence, its nickname “rock chapel.” It’s part of the Hohe Tauern National Park in East Tyrol, Austria, and can be accessed via the Innergschlöss path through the park.

South Africa Kelly Cestari/WSL/Shutterstock

South Africa

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 here was taken by a shark surveillance plane. Sharks are very misunderstood creatures. For proof, take a look at these 20 fascinating (and reassuring) facts about sharks.

EcuadorSeaTops/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Ecuador

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 are swimming in the blue water off of Wolf Island. Check out some more breathtaking underwater photos.

Republic of NamibiaMatthias Graben/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Republic of Namibia

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. Namibia is one of the most popular travel destinations in Africa.

ItalyKim Petersen/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Italy

The Rocca Calascio in Abruzzo is the highest mountaintop fort in all of Italy and one of the oldest—construction 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.

SwedenTobias Veser/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Sweden

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. Pretty cool, right? Here are some more fun facts about Europe you probably haven’t heard yet.

IndiaAijaz Rahi/AP/Shutterstock

India

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.

AlbaniaMartin Siepmann/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Albania

Albania is a young country, having won its independence from the Ottoman Empire just over a century ago. It is most famous for being the birthplace of Mother Teresa and for its more than 3,250 species of plants, which account for 30 percent of all of Europe’s flora. Pictured here are vegetable fields dotted with poppies in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park.

MalaysiaValentin Wolf/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Malaysia

Cameron Valley, pictured here, is located at the main road going up to Tanah Rata from Ringlet. It comprises 1,600 acres of lush, hilly terrain that has been producing a significant portion of Malaysia’s tea since 1933. 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!

SwitzerlandJEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Switzerland

We often think of Switzerland’s snowcapped Alps, but winter isn’t the only season there. This photo, taken in early fall, shows 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. Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out these underrated European cities.

MoroccoMoritz Wolf/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Morocco

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. It also boasts magnificent canyons, plus opportunities to rock-climb or raft. Did you know that Morocco in Epcot is the most authentic country in Disney’s World Showcase?

IranEye Ubiquitous/Shutterstock

Iran

Iran is one of the world’s most irrigated nations, with an underground network of irrigation tunnels that extend the same distance as the Earth is from the moon—and parts of which date back 3,000 years. The results of that irrigation can be seen here in these lush, terraced fields.

Canada Image Source/Shutterstock

Canada

With vistas like this one through carved ice at Lake Louise in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, it’s not hard to understand why Canada is known as the Great White North. Lake Louise is one of Canada’s most popular travel destinations.

HaitiEye Ubiquitous/Shutterstock

Haiti

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. Find out which “dangerous” countries are actually pretty safe.

South KoreaYONHAP/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

South Korea

We got a glimpse of South Korea’s beauty during the 2018 Winter Olympics, but the country is equally gorgeous at other times of the year, too. 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.

North KoreaPYONGYANG PRESS CORPS/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

North Korea

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. Here, the North Korean people are bidding farewell to South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in and his wife, as they depart for Seoul, South Korea, from Pyongyang after the Third Inter-Korean Summit, which took place in September 2018.

ChileSAM PIKESLEY/Shutterstock

Chile

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 need to see these photos of the world’s most incredible glaciers.

VietnamErhard Nerger / imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Vietnam

The Gulf of Tonkin is a saltwater bay located between Vietnam and China. It is comprised of three smaller bays—Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Lan Ha Bay—all of which feature thousands of limestone islands and caves. Here, you can see Halong Bay filled with tourist boats, but there are still many parts of the Gulf of Tonkin that are untouched and ready to explore. If you’ve never visited Asia, you have to check out one of the continent’s most popular destinations.

NetherlandsAndreas Rose/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Netherlands

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.

BrazilFelipe Dana/AP/Shutterstock

Brazil

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?

AustraliaMichael Szonyi / imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Australia

This natural heart-shaped coral reef formation is part of the Hardy Reef, one of the thousands of small reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef. The many hundreds of fish species beneath the water is another level of breathtaking entirely. Sadly, the reefs are increasingly threatened by climate change and pollution. Don’t miss these 26 powerful photos that show why the oceans need our help.

FinlandHeikki Saukkomaa/Shutterstock

Finland

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 will remind us why we get so happy when it’s spring.

ArgentinaKarol Kozlowski/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Argentina

Located nearly 9,000 feet above sea level in the Andes in Argentina, Puente del Inca (“The Inca’s Bridge“) is a natural arch bridge over the Vacas River (a tributary of the Mendoza River). There, you’ll also find hot springs and an abandoned spa. Here are some more of the most popular travel destinations in South America.

GermanyFrederik/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Germany

Looking at this photo, you might think that this a tropical beach in the Caribbean or the Pacific. But this white sandy beach beneath a cloudless blue sky is actually in Lower Saxony, Germany, and the water is the North Sea. Still, most of the best beaches in the world are in tropical areas.

IcelandThomas Heaton/Shutterstock

Iceland

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 gases rising from below) in Myvatn, which is in the northern part of Iceland. Here are the 12 best places to see the northern lights.

GreenlandKARL PETERSEN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Greenland

Almost 80 percent of Greenland is covered by ice. In this photo, there’s an iceberg right offshore, next to the Inuit settlement of Tiniteqilaaq, which is in the eastern part of the country.

PortugalJacek Sopotnicki/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Portugal

Carvoeiro was once a small fishing village that survived on tuna catches, but it has grown into a popular resort because of its beautiful, rocky coastline and its rich history. Don’t miss the most underrated travel destinations on the planet.

TurkeyEmrah Gurel/AP/Shutterstock

Turkey

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. These arrestingly beautiful photos that stand the test of time have to be seen to be believed.

WalesOliver Andreas Jones/Solent News/Shutterstock

Wales

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. This photo was taken by a 10-year-old boy with some serious photographic talent!

MexicoimageBROKER/Shutterstock

Mexico

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 how Baja California and the State of California got their names, along with every other state in the United States.

ScotlandGisela Rentsch/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Scotland

Pictured here is Dunnottar Castle, a medieval fortress chiseled into the Aberdeenshire coast. Did you know that Scotland was voted the world’s most beautiful country in 2017? You’ll believe it after looking at these other spectacular photos of Scotland.

EnglandSlawek Staszczuk/Shutterstock

England

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.

ChinaSipa Asia/Shutterstock

China

The Dongchuan Red Land near Kunming, in 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 among the most colorful natural wonders on Earth.

Costa RicaSonja Jordan/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Costa Rica

The Poás Volcano is an active volcano in central Costa Rica that has 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. Check out these active volcanoes you can actually visit.

Tanzania Stock Connection/Shutterstock

Tanzania

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.

ThailandSakchai Lalit/AP/Shutterstock

Thailand

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 the world’s most photogenic beaches.

SpainMoritz Wolf/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Spain

This scene of colorful flowers in flowerpots on the exterior wall of a house is not unusual in Córdoba, Andalusia. With its hot, dry climate, the area 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. Here are 14 breathtaking places you’ll want to visit before they disappear.

RussiaShutterstock

Russia

The Valley of Geysers is a geyser field on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula that boasts one of the most extensive concentrations of geysers in the world. It’s been included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take a look at 20 of the most remote places on Earth.

CroatiaStock Connection/Shutterstock

Croatia

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 Europe. The question is, why, when it is so incredibly stunning?

SloveniaNorbert Eisele-Hein/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Slovenia

Slovenia, nestled between Austria, Italy, and Croatia, is known for its mountains, ski resorts, and lakes. This photo of the mountain lake Veliko Jezero, located in Triglav National Park, shows all of that in its grand beauty. These 13 small European towns you never thought to visit (but should!) might inspire you to travel to Slovenia and more.

United StatesGregory Bull/AP/Shutterstock

United States

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, the city of Barrow in Alaska is the northernmost city in the United States. There are lots of beautiful sights to see in the United States. Start your virtual tour with these stunning photos of America’s national parks.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.