‘The most beautiful places in the world’ is a tall claim. But we’re fairly sure we’ve found them.
As a globe currently in lockdown we’re searching for positives and coming to appreciate the smaller pleasures in life. The first sip of hot coffee in the morning, the chirping of birds rising with the sun, the pleasure of baking our own bread, or growing our own vegetables.
Although we can’t travel right now, we can still appreciate the incredible beauty of our world. And there is a lot to appreciate.
Here are 5 of the most beautiful places in the world to add to your post-lockdown travel list. Until then, treat this as your daily dose of armchair travel.
The most beautiful places in the world:
Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
The striking Danakil Depression in northern Ethiopia dips down to more than 400 feet below sea-level. This is as a result of tectonic plates parting ways. Quite literally a melting pot of vibrant colours; it’s a mix of sulphur, gassy geysers, salt formations and acidic springs. It’s truly one of the world’s most astonishing natural sights. Located on the border with Eritrea, these are fairly inhospitable lands to travel through. The Danakil Depression is therefore not somewhere many travellers can say they have been. If you’re up for the challenge you’ll struggle to believe your eyes, even when it sits directly in front of you.
This is one journey that must be undertaken with an Ethiopian tour operator. They know the area and will arrange security. We recommend using Ethio Travels and Tours (ETT)as well as keeping an eye on the local news before you depart.
Zhangye Danxia Landform, China
Rainbow mountains and surreal zig zxag stripes create what is commonly called the ‘eye candy of Zhangye’. Zhangye is the name of the national park in which these mountains are situated, in a remote region of central north China. They are the result of movement in the earth’s crust which pushed sandstone and other minerals together in this layered format. Most of the area is over 25 million years old. Just wow.
Known as ‘fairy chimneys’, this moon-like region in south central Turkey is formed of cone-shaped rocks created from volcanic ash. Historically communities have dug underneath these formations to create a safe base as a hiding place away from would-be invaders. Today, a favourite way to see the fairy chimneys is from above and hot air balloon rides here are ever popular. A balloon ride really add a sense of the scale to the area.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
We’ve probably all seen some fun photos from friends who have visited these vast Bolivian salt plains, where the white lands stretch out as far as the eye can see. With nothing to quantify size or perspective, the plains have been the base for some visual trickery and imaginative photos. That said, at more than 3600 metres above sea level you may feel the altitude has caused real hallucinations on arrival. Nothing will ever quite prepare you for this dreamlike vista.
When we talk of places belonging to another world, Socotra comes close to making this a reality. Harsh landscapes, isolation, and a potentially unstable political position means that this is one of the last unexplored lands on our planet. Socotra belongs to Yemen but is an archipelago of four islands off its southeast coast. The inaccessibility means that up to 40% of the island’s species are endemic – with some a staggering 200 million years old. The Socotra Dragon tree (pictured) is just one of these. A beautiful land, like no other.
Commercial flights to Socotra do not exist. However, a UAE based community, UAE Trekkers do from time to time organise chartered flights and excursions.
– Which of these mind blowing destinations do you want to travel to when we can again? Share this article and tell your travel-buddies!