10 Unmissable Sights Around the World
Published 30 March 2016
Sky-high or beneath the surface of the deep blue? Man-made or hand-crafted by nature? The world is full of incredible, unmissable sights – we’re talking about the places that, with a single image, give you the urge to drop everything, pack a bag and jump on the next flight there. We’ve had the tough task of selecting 10 such stunning spots, perfect for a bit of travel inspiration. We’ll let the images do most of the talking on this one…
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
The 275 cascades that straddle the Brazilian-Argentine border are nothing short of incredible. Most impressive of all is the u-shaped Devil’s Throat; here you can stand on the very precipice of the falls, deafened by the thunderous roar of the water below, and with a heart-stopping 82-metre drop beneath your toes.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. But there’s more to it than that. Visiting and getting lost amid the vast Khmer Empire complex, betwixt towering temples and intricately-engraved shrines, is a thoroughly mystical experience. To do it without the crowds, get started early (6am) and opt for the less popular gates.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
A seemingly infinite wall of coral that unfurls along Australia’s north-east coast, there’s a reason why the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef is consistently voted one of the best scuba destinations in the world. Visit June-August for a plethora of wildlife: Green Island, the Low Isles, Lizard Island and Heron Island are prime spots.
Great Wall of China, China
Anything that’s visible from space is a winner in our book. Snaking across this vast Asian country for over 5,500 miles, the Great Wall is the biggest man-made structure on the planet. It’s not just a feat of architectural brilliance either; it’s a historic landmark that has withstood the test of time: 15 centuries to be exact.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Legend has it that Halong Bay was formed by a fiercesome dragon, who spat a collection of gems into the water while defending the Vietnamese against invaders. In reality, this spectacular seascape of more than 1,600+ limestone islands, islets and caves is the product of millions of years of marine degradation and mountain growth – but that doesn’t make it any less mystical.
Table Mountain, South Africa
Recognised by most for the blanket or rather, ‘tablecloth’, of cloud that tumbles between its crags – not to mention being a top spot for hiking and abseiling adrenaline junkies – Table Mountain is one of Cape Town’s most iconic sights. Looming over the national park below at a staggering 1,086 metres, look to the peak’s flat top for the best views of its famous low-lying haze.
Grand Canyon, USA
You’ve seen it in films, in pictures, in guidebooks… but nothing can prepare you for the sheer scale of the Grand Canyon. This crimson-red behemoth is more than a well-known landmark; it’s a symbol of the USA and how incredibly diverse and nature-filled this vast North American nation truly is.
Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Power emanates from Chichén Itzá and its confounding centrepiece: El Castillo. From the ancient, deadly ball games to the impressive 1,000-year-old architecture, you can see why these well-maintained ruins were the centre of the Mayan universe, one of the culture’s most powerful cities. It’s even more mystifying around the equinox, when you can catch a glimpse of a shadowy snake as it shimmers down the side of the Pyramid of Kukulkán.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
The South Island lucked out when it got Milford Sound. A thrilling confection of wildlife, beauty and peak-bagging opportunities, these wondrous fjords can be discovered in whatever way you want: by air, paddle, cruise or on foot. Best of all? In spite of their accessibility they are still blissfully quiet.
Icefields Parkway, Canada
The Icefields Parkway, aka Highway 93, is more than just a road. It forges a rugged path through the Canadian Rockies, taking in more than a hundred visible glaciers, not to mention ancient turquoise lakes, rushing waterfalls, dramatic rocks and one of the most scenic tarmacs in the world, lined with subalpine greenery.