22 unreal destinations that will give you next-level wanderlust
Is this real life?!
May 11, 2016 7:06am
By Julia Webb
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1. ANGEL FALLS, VENEZUELA
Angel Falls is the tallest waterfall in the world and is, unsurprisingly, pretty difficult to get to. But if you are willing to fly, take a boat, and then hike to the falls, it will almost certainly be well worth it.
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**2. TROLLTUNGA, NORWAY
**Hikers will completely fall in love with all of Norway's geography, but especially with Trolltunga. This cliff hovers 2,300 feet above a beautiful lake, and if you're brave enough to sit on the edge, you'll have the best seat in the house.
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**3. LAVENDER FIELDS, PROVENCE, FRANCE
**The south of France has some incredible sights to see (and smell), one being the lavender fields of Provence. Top tip: After taking a stroll through the fragrant fields, stop by a local ice cream shop to try some lavender sorbet.
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**4. SEYCHELLES, EAST AFRICA
**Truly heaven on earth, the Seychelles are found just off the east coast of Africa — a chain made up of 115 different islands. With so many to visit, you can't go wrong, but if you're looking for a secluded postcard-worthy beach, check out Anse Lazio.
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5. ARTHUR'S SEAT, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
Arthur's Seat, a now-dormant ancient volcano, gives some of the best panoramic views of the Scottish city, including views of both Edinburgh Castle and the city's famous Royal Mile. A short 20-minute hike along the stone steps will take you up to the mountain's top, overlooking the city and Scottish hillside.
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**6. ZHANGJIAJIE NATIONAL FOREST PARK, CHINA
**Supposedly the inspiration behind much of the scenery in James Cameron's movie Avatar, the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park looks like it’s from another world. With the unique quartz and sandstone pillars rising out of the jungle, fog adds another element to the epic landscape.
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7. LYCIAN ROCK TOMBS, FETHIYE, TURKEY
With intricate ruins carved into the mountainside, the hike up to the Fethiye Tombs in Turkey offers gorgeous views of the city below, as well as a glimpse into an ancient world.
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**8. THE TWELVE APOSTLES, AUSTRALIA
**If you ever find yourself down under, take the Great Ocean Road along the southern coast of Australia to see the Twelve Apostles. These massive rock formations were once huge stone archways, but, due to erosion, they now stand alone. If possible, try to visit during sunrise or sunset, when you'll be able to watch different angles and shades of light make them appear to almost change colour.
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**9. BIERTAN, ROMANIA
**Biertan seriously looks like a town from a Disney movie, but if you are looking for even more storybook scenes, go check out the historical (and incredibly beautiful) fortified church in town.
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10. CATHEDRAL COVE, NEW ZEALAND
Take a walk along Hahei Beach down the northern coast of New Zealand to Cathedral Cove for a totally Instagram-worthy pic, complete with high ceilings and a natural waterfall shower. And then put your phone down and go swimming!
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**11. CINQUE TERRE, ITALY
**Compromising five different fishing villages, Italy's Cinque Terre region has some of the most picturesque coastlines in the world. Try to visit at least one of the towns if you travel along the country's north-western coast.
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**12. END OF THE WORLD SWING, ECUADOR
**This tree house swing is definitely not for the faint of heart — but hey, if you're brave enough, try out the wooden swing and feel as if you're flying over the lush canyon below.
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**13. PHI-PHI ISLANDS, THAILAND
**Located in Phuket, Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh are Thailand's hidden gems. Since Ko Phi Phi Don doesn't have roads and Ko Phi Phi Leh isn't home to any human residents, you will feel like you've found the Secret Garden of beaches (although, it's worth noting, a lot of other tourists will have likely found them too). Fun fact: your boyfriend, Leo DiCaprio, filmed The Beach on these islands.
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14. EL CHALTÉN, ARGENTINA
Another hot spot for hikers, El Chaltén, a town in Patagonia, is at its peak during the summer months. Come explore the world-renowned hiking trails and glaciers within the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares right next to the town, and be sure to check out the incredible Glaciar Perito Moreno, one of the world's most reachable ice fields.
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**15. PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK, CROATIA
**With 16 lakes cascading into one another, all full of the clearest blue and green water, the Plitvice Lakes National Park looks like something you can only dream of. Head to this park in Karlovac County during autumn to witness the changing of the leaves.
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**16. SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA
**Bolivia is home to the spectacular Salar de Uyuni, otherwise known as the world's largest salt flats. When there is a little bit of water on the ground, the flats turn into an incredible mirror of the sky, blurring the horizon line and reflecting back the clouds and stars. In other words, make sure you're there when the sun goes down.
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17. HANG SON DOONG, VIETNAM
The world's largest cave, Vietnam's Hang Son Doong also contains a river and a jungle. In order to visit, you have to join a seven-day expedition trip, but who could complain about that?
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18. PALAU, MICRONESIA
With beautiful, crystal-clear water and a wide range of marine life, Palau is a diver's paradise. Made up of 200 mostly untouched islands, you will find the tropical heaven in Micronesia. Fun fact: The long-running CBS reality show Survivor once filmed there.
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**19. NORTHERN LIGHTS, KIILOPÄÄ, FINLAND
**Luckily, most nights throughout the year in Finland are dark enough to see the greatest light show on earth in person, but you will have better luck the farther north you travel. For a more unique experience, keep an eye on the night sky from the comfort of an igloo.
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20. SANTORINI, GREECE
Just along the Aegean sea, Santorini is even more beautiful in person than in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants if you can believe it. With cliffs accented with white and blue hues, you should definitely consider checking this Greek Island off your bucket list ASAP.
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21. TOP OF THE BURJ KHALIFA, DUBAI, UAE
If you're looking for a bird's-eye view, look no further than Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. Two observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors lend to some of the most amazing views in Dubai.
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22. BORA BORA, FRENCH POLYNESIA
Just northwest of Tahiti, Bora Bora is one of the most popular islands in the South Pacific, and for good reason. With white sand beaches and turquoise waters, when you imagine the perfect beach in your head, this is it. While most resorts are located on separate islands, you can also stay in an overwater bungalow and literally relax over the ocean.