Words by Beatrice De Franceschi
September 11th, 2017
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
When people ask me what is my favourite thing to do I always say, “I love to go on adventures”. Some consider travel unnecessary and frivolous while others have a deep urge to view as much of the world as possible. I’m the latter. Travel is vital to broaden your perspective and live a culturally enriched life. It will provide you with a lifetime of memories you’ll never forget, not to mention some incredible pictures for your Instagram.
As the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side but you’ll never know unless you see it for yourself. It’s an incredibly diverse and fascinating world we live in so if you’re one of the lucky few who can afford to explore, these are the natural wonders to see.
Otherwise known as the Rainbow Mountains of China, these colourful natural wonders are a sight to behold within the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park as they mimic the colours of the rainbow. The striking variation in colours is the due to the erosion of red sandstone, resulting in the most beautiful and extraordinary mountain range you could see.
Location: Zhangye, Gansu, China – Area: 332 km2
Here’s one of the most breathtaking locations this planet has to offer, but of course I could say that for each place listed! Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. Prehistorically, it was a lake that dried up, leaving behind the bright white desert-like landscape you see today which is full of salt formations. However, during the wet season, a thin layer of water lies on the surface, creating a mirror effect which reflects the blue sky and clouds above making it seem like you’re floating in the sky!
Location: Daniel Campos Province in Potosi, Bolivia – Area: 10,582 square kilometres.
Covering approximately 10% of Africa, the Sahara is one of the harshest yet most beautiful landscapes in the world. Despite the fact that it receives less than an inch of rain per year, this desert is home to 4 million people, most of who are nomads. The biggest tribe is known as the Tuareg. This semi-nomadic tribe are sometimes called the “blue people” because of their indigo coloured clothing which stains their skin.
Location: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia – Area: 9,200,000 square kilometres.
If you’re a fan of spa weekends then you should add Pamukkale to your travel list because this Turkish city is famous for its thermal springs. Known as the “Cotton Castle”, Pamukkale’s surreal landscape is covered in snow white limestone and it also happens to be the site of the ancient Greek thermal spa of Hierapolis, the ruins of which can still be seen today.
Location: Denizli Province, Turkey – Area: 2,700 meters long, 600 m wide and 160 m high.
If you wish to visit this magical, mysterious and alien place you’ll be glad to hear that Naica Mine is still active. But keep in mind that only the upper caverns are available for access unless you can withstand high temperatures of 58° C with 99% humidity! This immense crystal cave was discovered by miners a mere 17 years ago in 2000.
Location: Naica in the municipality of Saucillo – Area: 300 m below the surface.
Number six on my list is very close to my heart as I was born near Lake Braies which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful place that I have seen in my 26 years of life. In summer, Lake Braies reflects colours in all shades from green to blue while in winter it is covered by ice and snow. If you want to go on a little adventure to the southern shores of the lake then you can rent a boat that is 100 years old!
Location: Prags Dolomites in South Tyrol – Area: 30.09 km2.
If you’re passionate about mountains and mysterious places than you must visit Mount Roraima: a giant mountain with triple border point, between Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. This is the oldest geological formation on the planet, as it dates back 2 billion years and the several falls located there are the tallest in the world.
Location: Venezuela, Guyana and Brasil – Area 31 km2.
If you want to live in your own fairytale for a day in a place that looks like the setting of one of those unique Leonid Afremov paintings then a visit to the forest of Ayguebonne in France is a must. The vibrant colours mix with the fog over the land after it rains, making everything appear incredibly mystic and supernatural.
Location: Puy de Dôme
Welcome to the glacial wonderland. For those who love waking up in the morning and going to the beach then I can say that this adventure is not for you. The intensity of the blue ice that surrounds you in Myrdalsjokull Ice Cave is made for those who aren’t claustrophobic (or those scared of the dark) but most certainly for those in which exploring runs in their veins.
Location: Southern part of Iceland.
Have you ever seen a rainbow in the dark? Well, in Victoria Falls this is possible! A rainbow is formed by the reflection of moonlight on the water creating the most beautiful display. If you are planning a visit here don’t miss the incredible experience of swimming in the most dangerous pool in the world known as the Devil’s Swimming Pool which brings you right to the edge of the waterfall.
Location: southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe – Area: width of 1,708 meters and height of 108 meters
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