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Fairy Tale Destinations Around The World

7 min read No Comments

Fairy Tale Destinations Around The World

7 min read No Comments

The Hidden Underwater Waterfall, Mauritius

Our planet Earth is full of some crazy places.

Some of the most untouched and unexplored corners of the Earth are the ones that are the most beautiful and awe inspiring. And then there are some places that are just unbelievable, unexplained and truly like something straight out of a fairy tale or a dream.

These destinations definitely make that list and are some of the most magical places imaginable.

The Hidden Underwater Waterfall, Mauritius

Truly one of the most magical photos I have ever seen, I knew I had to start this post with this crazy image of the Hidden Underwater Waterfall found in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The result of an insane rare optical illusion, the cause of the phenomenon is sand a silt moving down deeper into the ocean, from one coastal shelf to another much, much deeper one off the southernmost part of Mauritius.

The strong ocean currents carrying huge amounts of sand from the shores of Mauritius into the abyss below creates this amazing illusion. Image above found here.

bora bora french polynesia

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

The exact destination that dreams are made of, everyone has a fantasy about visiting Bora Bora. And why wouldn’t it be? With crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, palm trees everywhere and bungalows sitting directly over the ocean, where you can watch the sea life swimming underneath your floor, there is really no place like it.

The perfectly placed ancient volcano of Mount Otemanu in the background ensures that every photo you take here looks like a beautiful postcard. Image found here.

Explore more of the South Pacific

plitvice lakes national park

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. It is regularly a feature on lists of beautiful destinations and is steadily growing in popularity.

It’s large number of tranquil waterfalls, many flowing right next to and into each other, earns its place as a fairy tale destination. If you’re visiting Croatia definitely set aside a couple of days to explore the park and experience every piece of this national park. Image found here.

Read more: Exploring Plitvice Lakes National Park

hidden beach mexico

Hidden Beach, Mexico

Known as a lovers’ beach, tucked below the surface of an island and providing a safe haven for romance, Playa del Amor (more commonly known as Hidden Beach) is like a secret you don’t want to share. It is a feature of one of the Marieta Islands, located west of Puerto Vallarta at the mount of Banderas Bay.

It may be a little tricky to get to, but definitely worth the effort. Image found here.

Explore more of our adventures around Mexico

The Volcanic Island of Aogashima, Japan

The Volcanic Island of Aogashima, Japan

Situated in the Philippine Sea, the Aogashima is an entire island that is an active volcanic crater in Japan. The island is inhabited by approximately 200 people and measures at a tiny 3.5 by 2.5 meters. What makes this island even more interesting is that there is a small volcano within the large volcano names Maruyama.

It might be a crazy place to live, but this picture proves it definitely earns it’s place as a fairy tale destination. Image found here.

Check out some more beautiful places in Japan

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey

Every morning as the sun rises the skies above Cappadocia in Turkey is filled with hundreds of hot air balloons, offering a stunning image to those both in the balloon baskets as well as on the land.

If you’re making the journey out to Cappadocia it’s a good idea to allow for at least one morning riding in a hot air balloon and one morning watching from the ground. Image found here.

Kayangan Lake, Coron Island, Palawan, Philippines

Kayangan Lake, Coron Island, Palawan, Philippines

Found at the top of a steep 10-minute climb, Lake Kayangan is one of Coron Island’s main attractions. The crystal clear waters are nestled into the rocky limestone mountain walls and surrounded by the mangrove forests.

Wooden walkways surround the lake, adding to the local casual vibe. Awarded the cleanest lake in the Philippines and all of Asia the water is fresh and you can’t help but feel peaceful and happy as you relax and explore this beautiful destination. Image found here.

Read more about places to visit in the Philippines

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Located to the west of Hunan Province, 330 kilometers from Changsha is the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. It became much more well known after the Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar were inspired by the Heavenly Pillar inside the park.

In 1982 it became China’s first national forest park and many endangered species of animals and plants can be found there. But it’s views like this that place it firmly on the dream destination list – those views that you have to see to believe. Image found here.

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle, Germany 

No list of fairy tale destinations would be complete without a real live castle and Lichtenstein Castle, which also carries the name of the “fairy tale castle of Württemberg” is personally my favourite of them all.

Built on a large rock situated in the Swanbian Jura and overlooking the Echaz Valley near Honau, what could be more magical?! It is a perfect castle fit for a princess and any fairy tale you could imagine. Image found here.

blue hole belize

The Great Blue Hole, Belize

The Great Blue Hole is a giant submarine sinkhole found off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea and makes up part of the Belize Barrier Reef, specifically found near the centre of Lighthouse Reef.

The hole is 108 meters deep and a favourite spot for divers world wide to visit. A UNESCO and World Heritage site, the Great Blue Hole is absolutely one of a kind and it’s uniqueness is second only to it’s beauty. Image found here.

Read more: A scenic flight to the Great Blue Hole

To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

The iconic To Sua Swimming Hole in Samoa is one of the major tourism draw cards to this beautiful island. It is a completely unique formation of the land, where two giant holes have joined together via an ancient lava tube cave, one without water and one with a stunning thirty meter deep swimming hole with turquoise water found at the bottom of a steep wooden ladder.

Around the ocean trench you can also find lush gardens, cliff top views, blow holes and rock pools to explore. Image found here.

Avenue of the Baobab Trees, Madagascar

Avenue of the Baobab Trees, Madagascar

Although you wouldn’t traditionally think of a dirt road in the depths of Africa as a fairy tale destination, the Avenue of the Baobab Trees in Madagascar definitely challenges that thinking.

The Avenue is a group of baobab trees lining a dirt road between Morondava and Belon’u Tsiribihina in the Menabe region of Western Madagascar. Every picture you see of this unique park makes you feel like you’re in a story book. Image found here.

cinque terre italy

Cinque Terre, Italy 

The tiny fishing towns of the Cinque Terre found in Italy have long been thought of as a dream destination in Europe. And why wouldn’t they be?! Brightly coloured houses built into the side of the cliff face with the ocean right at the foot of the cliff, they are the perfect image of a quiet Italian town.

While these days the tiny towns are littered with tourists and visitors, during the sunset and the sunrise and when the house lights are just beginning to come on at dusk, the towns are simply beautiful. Image found here.

Check out our adventures around the Cinque Terre

Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

Vaadhoo Island is one of the inhabited islands of Raa Atoll in the Maldives and is infamous for it’s “see of stars” where the sea glows and sparkles in a magical way only imagined in fantasies. The science behind the phenomenon is actually quite complex and involves a lot of science terms, but you can find out more about it on the website When On Earth if you’re interested.

No matter how complex or intricate the reasons behind it, there’s no doubt that it’s beautiful. Image found here.

The Magic Mountain Lodge in the Patagonia Rainforest

The Magic Mountain Lodge in the Patagonia Rainforest

In the middle of the southern Andes is the completely unique Magic Mountain, a man made volcano, covered in moss and greenery complete with a waterfall cascading down its side. It’s also the home to a luxury hotel, yes that’s right you can stay here!

The hotel is completely made out of wood and stone in the heart of Patagonia’s Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve. Adding to its fairy tale vibe is the abundance of unique wildlife living around the reserve, including the Pudu Deer, the world’s smallest deer at just 13 inches tall! Image found here.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

The particular glowworm found in the Waitomo Caves in the New Zealand town of Waitomo is called arachnocampa lumionsia and is completely unique to NZ. The caves are home to thousands of these tiny creatures, radiating their luminescent light around the tunnels of the caves.

Take a completely silent boat ride along the black rivers of the caves and gaze in awe at the tiny bluey green lights that line all the roofs and walls of the caves. Magical is the only word to describe the experience. Image found here.

Read more: Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

The Tunnel of Love in the Ukraine is located near the town of Klevan and is a beautiful green tunnel that provides a passage for a private industrial train that provides wood to a local factory. It is completely surrounded by green arches and is about three to five kilometers in length.

It is the dreamiest place in the Ukraine I have ever seen and a favourite place for lovers and couples to take walks when visiting Klevan. Definitely put this on your must visit list for your next trip to Eastern Europe. Image found here.

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started Explore Shaw to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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Just two twenty-something married Aussies, visiting as many places as we can in between normal life, and hoping to inspire and offer advice for your travel planning.

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