Amazing landscapes around the world – no other thing reminds me of how lucky I am to be alive.
No matter whether beaches or mountains, man-made or natural, a playground of creatures or a vast emptiness, some regions of the world have left me with impressions of this planet like no other.
Amazing Landscapes That Make Your Heart Skip a Beat
It’s the unusual of the sceneries that fascinate me. The shapes and colours of things, the unexpected presence of something so beautiful that it almost hurts looking at it. When your climb onto a hill in 30-degree heat is rewarded with panoramic views that blow your mind away. When you get to stick your toe in warm sand, swim in the cool water of natural waterholes, or meet animals that leave you in awe.
I am not a big adventurer. My physical strength is limited. But when there is the prospect of putting my eyes on a scene that is unique in this world, I am on a mission. Meet in this post ten of my most favourite travel encounters in nature.
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Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Raja Ampat is just as beautiful as you will see it in the pictures. Located in the far east of the Indonesian archipelago, Raja Ampat’s undisturbed reefs are said to be the cradle of the world’s oceans. The water here is pure and crystal clear. The play of emerald and turquoise hues in the shadow of razor sharp coral peaks is simply mind-blowing.
You need courage and determination to make it all the way to this remote part of the world to see this amazing landscape. Two plane flights from Jakarta, a two-hour boat trip to the resort are needed. But once there you will realise that this will be the moment of a lifetime.
Tip: Raja Ampat is not just a world-renown diving location. Also make sure you visit one of the friendly native communities that live her to learn more about their islander lifestyle.
Komodo National Park, Indonesia
There are many reasons why Komodo National Park, also in Indonesia, made it on my list. Spending two or three days on a liveaboard boat, exploring the many attractions of the park, you will be blown away by the beauty of the scenery and the richness of the area. It truly is something you will never forget. We swam with manta rays and met the famous Komodo Dragon,. Let pink sand sift through our fingers. Bathed on beaches of islands no bigger than a large apartment block.
Tip: Komodo National Park is a vast area of islands and marine parks. An amazing landscape which you can best explore by chartered boat from Lebuan Bajo on the island of Flores.
To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa
Samoa’s beauty is evident in many different ways. It’s in the songs that the locals sing, their dance and their art. The way villagers tame nature into flowering gardens of orchids and hibiscus. The wonderful encounters you can have when snorkelling in deep holes offshore. But one nature attraction in particular stands out: To Sua Ocean Trench.
This is a natural sinkhole just meters from the shore, fed with fresh seawater by an underground stream. A steep and slippery ladder will take you down there for a swim in this amazing landscape. Nothing too dangerous to stop me from exploring this for myself. Swimming in the deep hole of To Sua you are rocked gently from side to side in the ocean tides, while the voices of the other swimmers, their joy and laughter, get carried up in a resonating echo.
Tip: From To Sua, take the coastal path across the lava fields to some natural ocean baths that you can share with the crabs.
Sigatoka Sand Dunes, Fiji
The sand dunes park of Sigatoka in Fiji is like a supermarket for scientists. The winds and the tides shift the massive dunes from here to there. From time to time, this uncovers some hidden treasures: ceramics and tools, bones and shells. Humans have lived in the area for hundreds of years. Now their cultural footprint slowly but surely comes to light.
Besides the miracle of archaeology without digging, the sand dunes form a wild and untamed landscape. A scenery of waves and sand and tons of drift wood. In contrast, a walk in the mahogany woods just a couple of metres inland drown out all the sound from the sea.
Tip: The amazing landscape of Sigatoka Sand Dunes is easy to explore when staying in one of the family-friendly holiday resorts on Fiji’s Coral Coast in the south of the island.
Cabo de Gata, Spain
A land formed by volcanic activity in the south of Spain, Cabo de Gata is truly remarkable thanks to a striking geology of high peaks and dramatic cliffs. The poor soil and dry climate were major obstacles for the advancement of men, so to this day you won’t find big settlements in this nature park.
Instead, there is a scenery of hardy shrubs and tall aloes, sandy beaches, roaming goats, and abandoned buildings. In summer, people come here to swim and to explore the pristine underwater world. But even in winter, one cannot help but feel enchanted by the blue skies and golden glow of the land – an amazing landscape indeed!
Tip: Visit the town of Rodalquivir to explore the abandoned gold mine and the street art on the crumbling miners’ cottages.
The Stone Circles of Avebury, England
Every child has heard of Stonehenge. But it is by no means the most remarkable, most exciting stone circle in Britain. There are many more, and indeed it is sometimes much easier to explore a stone circle that is less known than popular Stonehenge.
Not far from Stonehenge, the stone circles of Avebury, in my opinion, make for a much better experience. The visit is free, and you can get so close to the stones that you can actually touch them. That’s because the village has been built inside the circle, with the main road cutting right through it. Follow the earth wall on the outside to see a group of magic trees where you can leave a little token behind.
Tip: When you are in Avebury, make sure you also visit the village pub, The Red Lion. It is home to a curious well right in the middle of the dining room.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
Australia’s Great Ocean Road is one of the big tourist draws of the continent. It’s easy to see why. The views from the crumbling limestone cliffs across the fierce and wild Southern Ocean are simply outstanding. Most people will be satisfied with just a visit to the Twelve Apostles as they are the closest you can reach from Melbourne. But if you do have the time and means, make the effort to travel further.
Along the way, you will find many different rock formations, waterfalls, and if you are lucky, even some wild koalas.
Tip: Another very scenic spot along the Great Ocean Road is Tower Hill nature reserve. These amazing landscapes are located in the cold caldera of an ancient volcano.
Rio Tinto, Spain
Rio Tinto in the south of Spain near Huelva is a challenge to anyone’s perception. The river here is red – like cherry cola or maybe like blood, sometimes a glowing orange, sometimes a rusty red. This is due to the rich iron content in the soil, which in turn was the basis for some major mining operations. You best visit the spectacular Rio Tinto by joining a ride with the historic miners’ railway.
Tip: The historic mines of Rio Tinto offer a variety of experiences and amazing landscapes. While there, you may want to also explore an ancient mining shaft or visit some of the historic houses of the village that was founded by the British.
Praia das Catedrais, Spain
The coast in the north of Spain is very different to what you would expect Spain to be. Where the Atlantic meets the land, the soft rock slowly crumbles away, leaving behind a rugged coastline of steep cliffs and sandy tidal bays. Praia das Catedrais is special though: The cliffs have been eaten away in a way that the remaining stone look like Gothic arches of a cathedral.
An amazing landscape to explore during low tide, with hundreds of baby mussels clinging to the surfaces of tiny caves that you can walk in. There are plenty of temporary pools and grottos that you can only see while the water has receded. Arches and mazes that beg you to go further, explore deeper.
Tip: For security reasons and for crowd control, you need to pre-book your visit. If you want to know how, read the full article here.
Whitehaven Beach, Australia
If there was paradise out there, surely it must look like Whitehaven Beach in Australia’s north. The colours of this sandy beach are unreal. The sand so soft, it makes crunching sounds as you walk on it. You can polish your jewellery with it. The water so clear, you can see reef sharks and fish in the shallows as you are standing on the ever shifting sandbank that is Whitehaven Beach.
However, there are also downsides, so maybe Whitehaven is not paradise on earth. There are stingers in the water, so you need to suit up if you want to go for a swim. Horseflies can bite you, and the sun is relentless. But still, with all this beauty around you, it is easy to forgive Whitehaven its faults.
Tip: You can visit the amazing landscape of Whitehaven Beach via boat or helicopter. Or you can fly over in a seaplane from the mainland or some of the resort islands nearby such as Hamilton Island.
Amazing Landscapes Around the World
There are of course many more amazing landscapes that you can see around the world – check out this inspiring list by Condé Nast. Which place took your breath away? Let me know in the comments!
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