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100 Best Places to Visit in the World 4/20

It is amazing how many people have “a trip around the world” or a number of exotic, culturally significant or spiritually uplifting destinations to visit on their bucket lists, as if we were nomads at heart (which perhaps we are).

Equally interesting is that some people have more things on their bucket list than anyone could achieve in a whole lifetime, and others have few or even none.

For both of these, and for travel lovers of all shapes and sizes, here is the ultimate bucket list of “must-see” places. It is not necessarily a practical list; some of these places are all but inaccessible, others in some way dangerous, including countries burdened by poverty, racked by disease, ravaged by war or suffering in the wake of some terrible (or man-made) catastrophe. Some of them will also be way over the average person’s budget.

However, we need to dream before we can act: in the words of a very wise North American Indian: “Truly rich is he who has more dreams in his soul than reality can destroy”. Some of these places one might actually visit, but in our dreams, we can visit them all.


16. Niagara falls (Canada)

Probably the most famous waterfall in the world, Niagara Falls – which bridge the border between the United States and Canada – actually comprise three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Falls (both in the United States). Horseshoe Falls, the largest, falls approximately 57 metres and is around 790 metres wide. This stupendous natural phenomenon was caused around 10.000 years ago by the Wisconsin Glaciation. Throughout history, it has inspired writers, painters, poets and musicians as well as a number of daredevil stunts, some of which ended fatally.

The Falls are accessible from Toronto in around 80 minutes by car, or just under 2 hours by public transport. Day trips are available from nearly every hotel in Toronto, which lies 128 km to the south west. The closest airport in Canada is the Hamilton airport, Ontario (90 km); the Niagara Falls airport in New York is 11 km from the Canadian border.


17. Stonehenge (UK)

Few places have been the subject of as much speculation as Stonehenge in Wiltshire, UK. Carbon-dating and other methods indicate that its huge, mystical stones were erected as long ago as 3000 BC, but there is evidence to suggest that the wooden structures at its center (now rotted away) were built at least 6000 BC; indeed, the site seems to have served as a burial ground almost from the dawn of human civilization. However, whoever built Stonehenge left no written legacy of their culture; we know neither why nor how the edifice was built, which makes it all the more mysterious.

Today the stones are for the main part cordoned off to protect them from would-be graffiti artists; during the famous winter/summer solstice festivals at the site, however, these protective measures are lifted, allowing visitors to come closer to these strange megaliths which have baffled archaeologists and historians for centuries. Stonehenge lies 141 km west of London (2 hours by car, 2 ½ by train). The closest town is Salisbury.


18. Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia)

At 10,582 square metres, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. It comprises the remains of several prehistoric lakes composed of sodium, magnesium and lithium (up to 70% of the world’s lithium resources come from here), with a surface crust of salt measuring a few metres in depth at some points. Owing to the amazing flatness of the surface, its elevation of 3.656 metres above sea level and the bizarre “islands” caused by volcanic activity in prehistoric times, this is a magical and unique destination everyone should visit once!

For amazing “mirror” effects, the wet season (Dec.-April) is best. The area is very cold, warm clothes are a must! Salar de Uyuni is accessible by air (50 minutes) or coach (10 hours) from La Paz.


19. Kathmandu (Nepal)

The capital city of Nepal in ancient times as today, Kathmandu was ranked third of the top ten upcoming travel destinations in 2013. The city has been a significant economical center for centuries, owing to the proximity of fertile lands (agriculture) and its geographical position between China and Tibet (Silk Road and gateway to the Himalayas). Historically, the city is multi ethnic with a strong Buddhist/Muslim majority; this reflects particularly strongly in its architecture, which is opulent, exotic and flamboyant. Particularly worthy of note are Durbar Square, Patan, Boudhanath Temple, Swayambhunath Temple and Bhaktapur Town; most of these are within walking distance of the city center. Visitors should be aware that there are regular power cuts in Kathmandu, and that air pollution in the city is a big issue. Parts of the city center were additionally devastated during an earthquake in 2015. That said, as a colorful, vibrant and unusual destination, Kathmandu is an unforgettable experience.

Kathmandu has its own airport, just under 4 km from the city center.


20. Santorini (Greece)

This well-loved Greek destination combines in a unique way all the attractions of a paradise island with a lively night-life, comfortable hotels, excellent restaurants and locals well-used to catering for tourists! Santorini has long been a favorite honeymoon destination, and it is not difficult to see why; the island is quite unashamedly romantic, and its sunsets are world famous. The two biggest villages, Oia and Imerovigli, are beautiful places to stay, but the quieter Finikia and Akrotiri are great getaways during the busier tourist months!

Santorini has its own airport, with regular flights from Athens (45 minutes).



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