50 Surreal Travel Destinations That Should Be on Your Bucket List

by | Apr 10, 2016 | List, Most Popular Blog Posts

Ever been to a place that was so beautiful that you had to pinch yourself to make your you were not dreaming? Well, this is exactly what we asked our travel blogger friends and look at the results! If this below list of 50 surreal travel destinations from around the world doesn’t motivate you to travel more, then there’s no hope.

01 | Antarctica

By Patti of The Savvy Globetrotter

Antartica - Surreal Travel Destinations

Surreal Beauty of Antartica

Best described as “hauntingly beautiful”, Antarctica was simply stunning.  There was never a moment when the scenery became mundane or merely a backdrop.  It was beautiful all day, every day.  I hardly slept then entire trip as when not on a landing, I was glued to the deck, the bridge or the cabin porthole watching it all go by.  Fortunately, with 20 hours of daylight there was plenty of opportunity to take it all in.

02 | Hallerbos, Belgium

By Sarah of My Gipsy Soul

Hallerbos, Belgium - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Hallerbos, Belgium – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The beautiful Hallerbos is about half an hour South of Brussels. In the middle of April, a few acres of woodlands on the edge of this forest are covered by an amazing carpet of wild bluebell hyacinths to make for a breathtaking purple blanket. With the early spring weather the forest canopy is covered with new leaves, sunlight pours through the branches and thousands of purple flowers spread as far as the eye can see. And the smell, oh you will just have to go for yourself!

03 | Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

By Ruth Johnston of Exploramum & Explorason

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Uyuni Salt Lake in Bolivia is the largest flat salt expanse in the world in Bolivia. We drove over this for over 100 km, stopping and playing in the salt piles, and even seeing a museum where things were carved out of salt blocks. Other times we chased after llamas and alpacas for photo moments. We spent the night with a traditional family in a Pousada – the bed, walls and furniture were all made of salt. It was incredible!

04 | Leh, Ladakh, India

By Suman Doogar of Nomadic Shoes

Leh, Ladakh, India - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Leh, Ladakh, India – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Leh is in Jammu and Kashmir state of India with mountains that are crowned with Buddhist Monasteries and landscape that is beautifully barren.  At 3505 meters above sea level, it’s important to take thing slow while visiting this enchanting destination to avoid altitude sickness. With the highest motorable pass (Khardung La), magnetic hill, Nubra valley, Pangong lake – this area has many otherworldly attractions that can keep a visitor gasping in surprise.

05 | Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

By Stefan and Sebastien of Nomadic Boys

Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Why? Well at over 5,000 metres (16,400 feet) altitude, you start to push yourself to the extreme. Not only is it freezing cold, the altitude sickness makes you feel like an old man, stopping every 5 steps to catch your breath, as well as the occasional headaches – your heart racing away as it rushes to pump more and more blood around the body to cope with the altitude. But the views of the Himalayas made up for everything. You just can’t beat that.

06 | El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

By Sabrina Iovino of Just One Way Ticket

El Nido, Philippines - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

El Nido, Philippines – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

El Nido in Palawan, Philippines left me speechless. This is how I imagine paradise. It was certainly the most beautiful place I have ever witnessed. An archipelago of tiny islands, sugar white beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and an underwater world, so colorful and diverse – it’s incredible!

07 | White Dunes of Sahara (Dakhla, Western Sahara)

By Monika of Bewildered In Morocco

White Dunes of Sahara - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

White Dunes of Sahara – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The white dune of Sahara is one of the must-visit spots once in Dakhla. This place is amazingly extraordinary because the white sand of the desert meets the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon. When you stand on the coastline, in front of you, you see blue water and no horizon. When you turn, you see mysterious, peaceful dunes and nothing behind. Just the sky above. I found it magical and so relaxing, there’s no sound of civilization. Just the waves, wind, and grains of sand in the air. Surreal experience!

08 | Whitehaven Beach, Australia

By Luke Marlin of Backstreet Nomad

Whitehaven Beach, Australia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Whitehaven Beach, Australia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Whitehaven Beach is home to some of the whitest sand in Australia, and is situated on a protected part of Whitsunday Island that stretches for 7 kilometers. It is in the middle of the ocean and only accessible by boat a 5 minute walk will lead you to your own serene, (almost) secluded slice of paradise. However, Hill Inlet at the northern end of the beach is the real star. It’s an inlet of water covered in swirls of this perfectly white sand at varying depths to create gorgeous patterns through the clear, turquoise water. It is only truly visible at mid tide though to you have to time if well to see it in its full surreal glory.

09 | Cappadocia, Turkey

By Rhoni Speed of Living Our Life

Cappadocia, Turkey - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Cappadocia, Turkey – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Cappadocia is cave hotels, fairy chimneys and “ruins” of old churches, monasteries and underground cities. The common denominator is the landscape. Everything is built in the sandstone. The chimneys themselves, created by mother nature, with a white sandstone base and a black basalt top, give the illusion of giant mushrooms. Goreme is in the middle and provides easy access to all the sites. You can pretty much guarantee a cave hotel, in any budget. Weather has eroded and created a beautiful unique area.

10 | Sossusvlei Desert, Namibia

By Tracey Pictor of Journal of a City Girl

Sossusvlei Desert in Namibia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Sossusvlei Desert in Namibia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Most people have never even heard of Namibia and don’t have the faintest idea where it is. A simple search will return an overwhelming number of photos, of sun scorched camel thorn trees, surrounded by towering red sand dunes, with the clear blue backdrop of sky. But nothing prepares you for the surreal reality of actually walking through the oldest desert in the world, Sossusvlei. As you stand, insignificant, in the middle of the desert surrounded by the mountainous dunes, the arid land, the air silent and still, one can only be left humbled by the immense vastness.

11 | Jökulsárlón, Iceland

By Jennifer Melroy of Made All The Difference

Jökulsárlón, Iceland - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Jökulsárlón, Iceland – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Jökulsárlón is a glacial lake near Vatnajökull National Park which is fed by the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.  The lake started to form in the 1940’s as the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier recede.   The lake is growing as the glacier shrinks.  Icebergs of all sizes break off from the glacier and fall into the lake.  The glaciers float around the lake until they make their way into the Atlantic Ocean.  During the winter, the ice is a clear pale blue.  In the summer, it is possible to take a boat tour of the lake. Make sure to watch the water, seals, dolphins, and small whales have been seen in the lake.

12 | Mt Tongariro, New Zealand

By Anita Hendrieka

Mt Tongariro, New Zealand - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Mt Tongariro, New Zealand – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Tongariro Crossing has been called the most beautiful hike in New Zealand and that’s for a good reason.  The landscape is so beautiful and ‘out of this world’ with some parts looking similar to something you would see on Mars!

13 | Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

By Jeremy of Escapist Atlas

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Only a few places can compare to the sheer beauty of the villages that comprise the Cinque Terre. Manarola is a village that looks exactly like it does in the Instagram photos.  I spent hours just gazing out at the buildings, seeming to defy gravity as they dared jut out over the sea beneath. Walking through the vineyards winding up the large hills that surround the towns seems to take you to an alternate reality where you can lose yourself in the beauty of the towns and be swept away by nostalgia for a life you haven’t lived.

14 | Koh Lipe, Thailand

By Hannah Lukaszewicz of Getting Stamped

Koh Lipe, Thailand - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Koh Lipe, Thailand – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

I still remember the first time I laid eyes on Koh Lipe, Thailand. I had taken a ferry from Langkawi, Malaysia to Koh Lipe an island I knew nothing about heck I just heard about it from a poster in Malaysia. A 1.5 ferry ride away was the Thai island of Koh Lipe, I wondered around the white sand beaches until I found a $30 beach villa and woke up to the waves crashing just feet from out porch. I really did have to pinch myself, this was too good to be true. Koh Lipe has some of the prettiest turquoise waters in the world, it’s nicknamed “The Maldives of Thailand.”

15 | Larung Gar, China

By Christian of Unusual Traveler

Larung Gar, China - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Larung Gar, China – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Larung Gar in western China is a strange place and one of a kind. It’s not mentioned in any guidebook but it’s yet one of most amazing and surreal places on Earth. It will take you 3 days of rough traveling to reach the area, with the last 120km taking more than 14hours in a jeep, but it’s worth it. The first glimpse of this Tibetan Buddhist Institute that’s home to no more than 40 000 with take your breath away! It’s a sea of red, not only is every single building red but every single monk is also dressed in red robes.

16 | Bagan, Myanmar

By Ludek Jirous of Coddiwompling

Bagan, Myanmar - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Bagan, Myanmar – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

This ancient city is located in central Myanmar and boasts with over 2200 temples rising from the green plains with hazy mountains towering in the distant background. It is a magical place and it seems like time has stopped here. The horse-carts trot to and fro between the well preserved temples decorated with carvings and Buddha-statues. The spectacle starts with the first sun-beams when hundreds of scattered temples emerge from the dark and dozens of hot air balloons levitate above this spiritual place. The atmosphere gets under your skin and these feelings double when the sun sets and the temples are suffused in an orange flare.

17 | Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

By Lance and Laura of Travel Addicts

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

For us, one of the most surreal destinations on the planet is The Islands of the Galapagos in Ecuador.  Being both geologically unique and geographically remote, these islands have spawned voyages of discovery.  The islands of the Galapagos are so isolated the animals have evolved into whole new species and are some of the most unusual on the planet, something Charles Darwin observed on his voyage.  The Galapagos is so unique and surreal that it was recognized as the very first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

18 | Tulip Fields, Keukenhof, Netherlands

By Criz of Crizzy Kiss

Tulip Fields, Netherlands - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Tulip Fields, Netherlands – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Keukenhof was my dream destination and when I finally got to visit, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Standing in the middle of the tulip fields and millions of other flowers, as far as my eyes can see, was surreal. Although I was already seeing tulips when I got to Norway and other parts of Europe, it still never failed to amaze me. The place is just so magical and fascinating!

19 | Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

By Jon Algie of Jon is Travelling

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

High winds, rough terrain and lung-busting climbs make the hike to the “towers” of Torres del Paine National Park challenging, but that’s the price you’ll have to pay to see one of the world’s most surreal vistas. Three massive stone towers rise above a milky green lake, surrounded by rocks and a hint of snow — there’s nowhere else like it. Patagonia is home to some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the world and hiking is the best way to see it. It’s not always easy but those views make it all worth it in the end.

20 | Rotorua, New Zealand

By Gia Kristel De Guia of MismatchedPassports

Rotorua, New Zealand - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Rotorua, New Zealand – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Hues of green, orange and yellow – it was like a work of art, a display of bold colors I had never seen upon the ground. Rotorua, New Zealand is one of the world’s most unique landscapes with colorful hot pools and rocks that seem out of this world. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the geothermal parks in the area has some of the best volcanic formations. Take a deep breath and face the hot steam coming out of the Champagne Pool, the star of the show. The spectacular formation has a rust orange rim with deep green boiling water at the centre. The Devil’s Bath, a pool with bright green shade and the Artist’s Palette, a splatter of mineral laden water are also incredible.

21 | Hakuba, Japan

By Anne of Traveltheglobe4less

Hakuba, Japan - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Hakuba, Japan – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Imagine standing on a plateau covered in snow soaking up the view of vertiginous mountains topped by a deep blue sky, the air so crisp and fresh its intoxicating. Deep breaths chill your throat, but every atom of your body feels alive, as though super-charged with energy. Your eyes cannot take in the magnitude of the endless Alps stretching to the horizon. Don’t be deceived. These are not the Alps of Europe. Oh no! These are the Alps of Japan and damn they are so worth the 24-hour journey to get here by train, plane and automobile. Moments like this almost reduce me to tears, reminding me of how fortunate I am to be able to travel and see marvels such as this. I’m feeling blessed! If only this moment would never end….

22 | Ribbon Falls, Grand Canyon, USA

By Cindy Barks of Near and Farz

It is not exactly easy to get there. In fact, it might be one of the toughest trips you’ll take. But the payoff? Amazing. It is Ribbon Falls, located in the depths of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. To get there, you have to commit to either a day of full-on hiking on the Rim-to-Rim hike (24 miles on the Bright Angel and North Kaibab Trails), or a mule ride to Phantom Ranch, located along the Colorado River, and then an 11-mile round-trip hike. Either way, it’s almost guaranteed to be a hot and rugged trip. Once you do make it to Ribbon Falls, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to visit. Through a gap in the massive red walls is gushing water, gorgeous water. Green moss clings to the rock, and mist billows all around. Walking under the falls and looking out at one of the wonders of the world is a truly surreal experience!

23 | Pamukkale, Turkey

By Clelia Mattana of Keep Calm and Travel

Pammukale, Turkey - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Pammukale, Turkey – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Pamukkale is a surreal destination by definition. The travertine creating a huge white valley in the middle of nowhere, the bright turquoise color of the warm water in the pools and the surreal silence (this is if you go very early in the morning, which I highly recommend!) make this place one of my favorite destinations where I can really fantasize about an “out of this world” experience.

24 | Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

By Grietje of Travel Gretl

Zaanse Schans, Holland - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Zaanse Schans, Holland – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

While exploring the world, we tend to forget the beautiful things our own countries have to offer! I am a Dutchie from the south, so the famous flower fields and windmills (western Netherlands) were no part of my childhood. But last year, I finally got to see the places so many tourists would describe as ‘typically Dutch’. And to be honest, I was quite amazed! This picture is from the Zaanse Schans. The mills are very well preserved, and seeing them besides the water in all their glory is definitely worth a detour when you’re in the Netherlands.

25 | Bayon Temple, Angkor Cambodia

By Ashley Erickson of The Traveling Gals

Bayon Temple - Siem Reap, Cambodia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Bayon Temple – Siem Reap, Cambodia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Bayon Temple in Siem Reap is part of the ancient city of Angkor Thom and close to the famous Angkor Wat. The most remarkable part about this temple is the 216 carvings of the same smiling, serene face. It is almost slightly creepy when walking around to see this face over and over again keeping watch over the Temple. When I was there, it was also very quiet walking around, making it feel even more surreal. The face is believed to be Jayavarman, a former Buddhist King in the 13th century, but no one knows for certain.

26 | Horta, Faial, Azores

By Jessica Johnson of MJ Sailing

Horta, Faial, Azores - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Horta, Faial, Azores – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Azores are an archipelago of islands 800 miles off the continental coast of Portugal.  Faial, to the west, is referred to as the Blue Island for the number of blue hydrangeas that line everything from windowsills of shops to its green country roads.  It’s largest city, Horta, is a popular harbor for sailors to stop on their way across the Atlantic. With spectacular views of the towering volcano of Pico just across the bay and a tradition of painting your yacht’s emblem on the sea wall, it’s easy to see why so many yachties make a visit here.  Non sea folk also flock here for these same sights as well of tours of Faial to see its caldera (a large volcanic crater) and the Capelinhos. A volcano complex that includes 20 scoria cones and lava fields, as well as a refreshing pool of enclosed Atlantic water to take a dip in after your hike.

27 | The Laki Craters, Iceland

By Christina and Kevin of Wandering Wagars

The Laki Craters, Iceland - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Laki Craters, Iceland – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Laki Craters, also known as Crater Row is located deep in the heart of Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland and is the epicenter for Icelands most destructive natural disaster. Fire and lava spewed forth from the earth, tearing the surrounding land like a zipper for 25 kms and covering the country in ash. The nearby mountains offer a spectacular view that helps you bear witness to the scars ripped across the Icelandic countryside. Getting to the Laki craters is an adventure of its own that involves driving through small rivers and through the rough Icelandic interior. The area is filled with spectacular lava tubes and caves to explore as well as incredible opportunities for hiking.

28 | The Church of the Savior, St. Petersberg, Russia

By Marcela Faé of Fotostrasse

The Church of the Savior, St. Petersberg, Russia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Church of the Savior, St. Petersberg, Russia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg is an orthodox church and it was designed in the XVII century style by Alfred Parland with some elements of Classical and Modernist without forgetting the undeniable Barroque touch you can see around it. Inside the church everything is made of mosaics. I, myself, am a strong atheist but I have a crazy fascination with the beauty of every kind of worshiping center. The Russian orthodox churches took the 1st one position on “The most Beautiful Church I’ve Seen Awards

29 | The Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

By Nikki Godwin of Where is Noodles?

The Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

A beautifully strange and unique place, the park is home to more than 200 religious sculptures, which are peacefully located in a meadow next to the Mekong River. It is the perfect place to while away a few hours, just wandering around viewing some of the bizarre sculptures influenced by a mix of Hinduism and Buddhism. There is no explanation of the history of the sculptures and their anonymity kind of added to the surreal atmosphere.

30 | Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, Peyto Lake, Canada

By Gemma of Two Scots Abroad

Peyto Lake, Canada

Peyto Lake, Canada

How do they get those lakes so blue? If you have seen Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, Peyto Lake, etc., in the Canadian Rockies you will know what I am talking out. The color of the water is eye popping, making it one of the most surreal destinations we’ve stumbled across in the past eleven months on the road in North, South, and Central America. I was fully expecting jaggy edged mountains, tall trees, maybe a bear sighting but was not prepared for the beauty of that water. If really want to get close to it, why not try the Polar Bear Swim challenge in Bow Lake?! We did!

31 | Pololu Valley, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

By Alexandra Korey of ArtTrav

Pololu Valley, Big Island, Hawaii, USA - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Pololu Valley, Big Island, Hawaii, USA – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Pololu Valley is where the opening to Jurassic Park II was filmed, and indeed it is surreal. The view from the top is amazing, but it is absolutely worth the steep hike down the trail to the black sand beach, bordered by a thick forest. In the off-season you’re likely to share this place with just a few locals. I honestly think this is the most beautiful place I have ever been in the world.

32 | Kawah ijen, Indonesia

By Nina Ragusa of Where in The World is Nina?

Kawah ijen, Indonesia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Kawah ijen, Indonesia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The treacherous hike through a volcanic crater named Kawah Ijen is the epitome of a surreal experience. While here, you’ll encounter dangers like breathing in the sulfuric smoke that billows from the earth, the pitch black conditions and fragile rocks that fall apart under your feet. So why would any visitor put themselves through this? How about the chance to see blue flames flowing out of the ground, incredible views, a sunrise over volcanos, a gorgeous but toxic green acid lake, and phenomenal terrain like you’ve never seen before.

33 | Dyrholaey Coast, Iceland

By Cora of The Path She Took

Dyrholaey coast - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Dyrholaey coast – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The south coast of Iceland was completely surreal. I’m sure it already looks insanely beautiful all year round, but I got there just after one of the biggest snowfall ever, and it had transformed the whole coast into the perfect set for a sci-fi movie. The white waves, the black sand beaches and the sparkling snow, all the colors added up to create something completely unique and, frankly, very surprising. I still remember when I had my first view on the sea. The engine stopped and there was just a big silence in the car. “Wow” could not cover it.

34 | St. Basil’s cathedral, Moscow

Nic and Paul of The Roaming Renegades

St. Basil’s cathedral, Moscow - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

St. Basil’s cathedral, Moscow – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Red Square was just as impressive and imposing as I had always imagined it to be. But as my eyes wandered to its far end I had to pinch myself. There is the glistening autumn sun stood the magnificent St. Basil’s cathedral. The colors just as bright as I had imagined and the onion domes just as wild and surreal. To be standing here almost didn’t feel real, this gingerbread like cathedral looks more like something from a fairy tale than harsh Russia. Venturing inside and the magic continued, we were immediately struck by the detail and intricacy of the murals and frescos that adorned every wall and ceiling of this maze like structure. A truly beautiful and surreal experience!

35 | Yosemite National Park, California, USA

By Carole of Berkley and Beyond

Yosemite National Park, California - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Yosemite National Park, California – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Being a native Californian, I have visited Yosemite National Park countless times.  And every time I visit, I am awed yet again by its spectacular beauty.  It is wondrous at any time of year, but my favorite time is the quieter time of fall.  Perhaps the best way to get a feel for the overall splendor of this park is to take a walk across the valley floor, with the tall granite walls surrounding you, but I also especially enjoy the trail up to the base of Yosemite Falls and the huge boulders found there.

36 | The Maldives

By Lauren of The Traveller’s Guide By #ljojlo

The Maldives - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Maldives – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The vivid hues of blue, green and turquoise make Maldives mesmerizingly beautiful. Even on a windy day with a chance of rain the colors are oh so incredible. You often find yourself daydreaming not believing it is real or that you are actually fortunate enough to be lapping up the luxury that is the Maldives. The astonishing fact is you need to head under the water for even more beauty. Between the corals, colors, fish and sea turtles this is where the magic happens.

37 | Tellaro, Italy

By Jessica of Travel to be Alive

Tellaro, Italy - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Tellaro, Italy – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

If there’s a surreal – and not crowded! – place in the world, that is “Tellaro”. It is a picturesque village situated on the west coast of Italy, kind of magic, with its typical houses and its sparkling view over the sea. What keeps it so special is that the wave of tourism has not swallowed the town yet and it has preserved its original look. The village is very little and truly romantic at the same time. Walking through the narrow alleys, watching the fishermen in the distance and waiting for the sun to set you’ll be transported back in time. This is Italy as you’ve always imagined it.

38 | Valle de Cocora, Colombia

By Taylor Record of Once We’re Young Travel

Valle de Cocora, Colombia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Valle de Cocora, Colombia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Valle de Cocora in Colombia’s coffee region is a place so surreal, that it will make you believe in mermaids, yetis, and the Loch Ness herself. Just outside of Salento, you can experience sky-high wax palms and watch as clouds swallow the surrounding mountains. Embark on a 5 hour trek to experience the wonder of one of the world’s most bizarre landscapes.

39 | Newfoundland, Canada

By Danielle Ditzian of Like Riding a Bicycle

Newfoundland, Canada - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Newfoundland, Canada – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

This photo was taken in the middle of the summer in Newfoundland, Canada – a ridiculously stunning island in Canada with the kindest people you will ever meet! I was hanging out in a tank top and shorts, just checking out the icebergs. How much more surreal can it get? The icebergs float down from Greenland in the spring, and if you’re lucky, you can still catch a glimpse when the warm weather comes around in the summertime. It was hard to believe this was a real thing, and I couldn’t help but stare in awe, wondering how huge that iceberg was below the surface.

40 | Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

By Soumya Nambiar of Travel Books Food, Photo Credit: Nishanth Nottath

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never left it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths? Could it be because Africa is the place of all our beginnings, the cradle of mankind, where our species first stood upright on the savannahs of long ago?

41 | Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India

By Rishabh and Nirali of GypsyCouple

Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Think of untamed mountains, meandering rivers, treeless plains and a monastery in the middle of it. We aren’t talking about the mystical Shangri-La but an equally mystical land called Spiti. The still clear water of Chandratal Lake in Spiti Valley and the reflection on it gave it a feeling of a looking glass to a whole different world and we decided to pitch our tent there.

42| Sapa, Vietnam

By Elena Nemets of Travelability

Sapa, Vietnam - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Sapa, Vietnam – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

If you plan your trip to Vietnam, you should definitely consider spending at least couple of days hiking in the northern part of the country and visiting villages near the town of Sapa. Mountains made by nature and rice terraces cultivated by hard work of local people together make a dramatic scenery (and fifty shades of green!). Sapa itself is worth visiting mainly because of the local market. Here the women from local tribes, wearing colorful traditional costumes which are different for each tribe, sell handmade clothing and handicrafts.

43 | Erg Chebbi, Morocco

By Kylie of Between England and Iowa

Erg Chebbi, Morocco - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Erg Chebbi, Morocco – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Sahara Desert is a landscape that looks like it should belong on another planet.  No matter what direction you look in, it’s just miles and miles of bright orange sand dunes, there are no roads, paths or human creation (other than the Bedouin tent that’s home for the night), even footprints are erased almost instantly.  It makes you feel so small and peaceful, you can’t help but just sit and stare out at the vastness.  When the sun comes up, shadows are cast across the dunes, the light and dark meeting at the peak in a defined line.  The wind blows rippled patterns on the flatter parts of the dunes, it’s a constantly changing environment.  It’s an amazing place!

44 | Bay of Fethiye, Turkey

By Sophie Nadeau of Solo Sophie

Bay of Fethiye, Turkey - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Bay of Fethiye, Turkey – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The town of Fethiye is built on the site of ancient Telmessos and is surrounded by rock tombs, cliff cut temple like tombs that rise high above the surrounding sea and villages alike. The bay is surreal: sandy beaches line the mountain studded horizon and in the sea, a bright turquoise, it’s not unusual to see turtles swimming along the surface of the crystal clear water.

45 | Wadi Rum, Jordan

By Aleah of Solitary Wanderer

Wadi Rum, Jorden - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Wadi Rum, Jorden – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Wadi Rum in Jordan is one place that stands out in its magnificance. Its vastness and surreal beauty can definitely make any visitor gawp in awe. I was especially lucky in that I got to witness the sunset there, and the glorious sight of the sun turning the desert as red as the land in Mars rendered me speechless. Witnessing such magnificence of nature is indeed the reason why I travel.

46 | Abu Simbel, Egypt

By Laura Lynch of Savored Journeys

Abu Simbel, Egypt - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Abu Simbel, Egypt – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

One of the most surreal places I’ve ever been is Abu Simbel in the dessert of Egypt. Built as a temple complex by Ramesses II sometime during the 1200s BCE, Sometime after its glory days, it was completely covered in sand and wasn’t rediscovered until 1817. In the 1960s, the building of the Aswan High Dam would have completely submerged the temples and they would have been lost forever if they hadn’t been relocated to a cliff side behind the original site. Abu Simbel is an incredible sight to see. It is one of the most dramatic and stunning temples in the world and we’re lucky many times over that it still exists for us to visit.

47 | Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

Howard Blount of Backroad Planet

Dunn's River Falls, Jamaica - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is one of those rare waterfalls that flow directly into the ocean, or in this case the Caribbean Sea. Countless terraced levels and lagoons allow visitors to safely ascend from the beach to the top of the falls. Although I climbed the falls in the company of family and strangers, I found myself immersed in a confluence of sparkling sunlit droplets and multi-level cascades, all wrapped in lush tropical foliage. In one word: Otherworldly!

48 | Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Anna Phipps of Global Gallivanting

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

I’d been traveling around India for over a year and thought I had seen it all… and then I visited the remote, tribal regions in North East India. After a couple of days of a bumpy journey through the mountains we finally made it to Tawang. As I stood amongst the soaring Himalayan mountains, fluttering prayer flags and colorful monasteries watching the people go about their life as if the modern world did not exist it was hard to believe that I was still in India and not in Tibet. It did not surprise me when I learned that this region used to be part of Tibet and today in this unexplored part of India the people are still free to practice their colorful, peaceful and fascinating Tibetan religion and culture. It was like steeping back in time and a surreal, beautiful and serene experience.

49 | Panajachel, Guatemala

By Francesca Collins of Two Backpacks One Adventure

Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Guatemala - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Guatemala – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Panajachel, Guatemala, located on Lake Atitlán. Panajachel (known as “Pana” among the locals) is perfect for any traveler that craves calm, relaxing, good-for-your-soul vibes. Head out in your kayak for a sunrise tour of the lake and revel in the beauty of the three volcanoes that lie along its border, Volcán Atitlán, Tolimán, & San Pedro. When you aren’t taking in all of Pana’s natural beauty, take a walk around the local markets, get a bite to eat at a lake-side food stall, or grab your yoga mat and take a class at one of the many locations available around town or on the lake. There is no way that you can leave this town feeling anything other than totally at peace with the world and your life.

50 | Hampi, Karnataka, India

By Sonal and Sandro of Drifter Planet

Hampi, Karnataka, India - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Hampi, Karnataka, India – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Situated in lush green part of South of India, Hampi was the ancient capital of Vijayanagara, a.k.a., “A Forgotten Empire” and is famous for its ruins that are a UNESCO world heritage site. However, more than the ruins, it was Hampi’s bizarre landscape that took our breath away. The landscape is made of many miles of boulders heaps that appear to be precariously arranged.

How many of these destinations have you visited already? Have you visited a surreal destination that’s not on this list? Let us know in the comments section.

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50 Surreal Travel Destinations from Around The World

50 Surreal Travel Destinations from Around The World

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

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