Special Covid-19 refund policy: We'll refund you in full if you can't travel due to Covid-19 governmental changes in travel restrictions. Details here.

40 of the Most Beautiful Places in the World

Time to tick some places off the bucket list

~

People in a red kayak on the turquoise Emerald Lake in front of green trees and snow-capped mountains, Canada

Our planet is filled with countless beautiful places, so choosing our favourites isn't easy. Nevertheless, here at Plum Guide we enjoy going above and beyond for our guests, so we've done so yet again. We’ve put together the top 40 places that have that extra special something, whether you’re after a lively city break, a relaxing beach getaway, or a breath of fresh mountain air. Take a look at our list for some serious destination inspiration.

1. Emerald Lake, Canada

A clear, turquoise lake in front of tall trees and mountains, Emerald Lake, Canada

A clear, turquoise lake in front of tall trees and mountains, Emerald Lake, Canada

Located in the Rocky Mountains, Emerald Lake certainly lives up to its name with its vibrant glacial waters. Forested banks and the President Range mountains surround the lake, forming a magnificent amphitheatre.

2. Umbria, Italy

Multiple waterfalls crashing down tall green trees in a forest in Umbria, Italy

Multiple waterfalls crashing down tall green trees in a forest in Umbria, Italy

Known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria is cherished for its ancient hilltop towns and rural landscapes. Growing some of Italy’s best produce (think truffles and local wines), Umbria offers a taste of la dolce vita.

Under The Umbrian Moon, Plum Guide home in Umbria, Italy

Under The Umbrian Moon, Plum Guide home in Umbria, Italy

3. Baja California Sur, Mexico

An aerial view of clear blue water and white sand at Balandra Beach, Baja California Sur, Mexico

An aerial view of clear blue water and white sand at Balandra Beach, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Boasting wide sandy beaches, shallow azure inlets, impressive pink cliffs, and spectacular mountain ranges and deserts, it’s no surprise that Baja California Sur is widely considered one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Main Course, Plum Guide home in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Main Course, Plum Guide home in Baja California Sur, Mexico

4. Lake District, England, UK

Green grass and tall trees next to a calm lake in the Lake District, England, UK

Green grass and tall trees next to a calm lake in the Lake District, England, UK

With its glacial lakes, rugged peaks, rolling green countryside, and charming market towns, it’s no wonder that this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most loved holiday destinations in England.

Holme Well, Plum Guide home in the Lake District, England, UK

Holme Well, Plum Guide home in the Lake District, England, UK

5. Caño Cristales, Colombia

Water falling off brown rocks covered in pink flowers at Caño Cristales, Colombia

Water falling off brown rocks covered in pink flowers at Caño Cristales, Colombia

This breathtakingly colourful river is arguably the most naturally beautiful place in the world, noted for its vivid reds, yellows, greens, blues and blacks produced by algae and the river’s aquatic plants.

6. Girona, Spain

A close up view of large pink flowers in the canal in Girona, Spain

A close up view of large pink flowers in the canal in Girona, Spain

Located in the Catalonia region, Girona is one of the most historic cities in Spain. With its medieval walls, narrow winding streets, beautiful old buildings, and ancient Jewish Quarter, it’s a dream destination for history and architecture lovers.

The Last Tycoon, Plum Guide home in Girona, Spain

The Last Tycoon, Plum Guide home in Girona, Spain

7. Muğla, Turkey

A small white boat on a river surrounded by green trees and a mountain in Muğla, Turkey

A small white boat on a river surrounded by green trees and a mountain in Muğla, Turkey

Part of the Turquoise Coast, this area is unquestionably one of the most beautiful places in the world, boasting a picturesque coastline dotted with upscale resort towns, sandy beaches, and clear blue waters including the famous Blue Lagoon.

Turkish Delight, Plum Guide home in Muğla, Turkey

Turkish Delight, Plum Guide home in Muğla, Turkey

8. Lefkada, Greece

A tall white cliff beside a clear blue lagoon in Lefkada, Greece

A tall white cliff beside a clear blue lagoon in Lefkada, Greece

This island gem in the Ionian Sea is a treasure trove of sandy beaches, turquoise waters, impressive cliffs and seaside villages. Wander the alleyways of Lefkada Town, or swim in the crystal clear waterfalls of Nydri.

Laconian Thyme, Plum Guide home in Lefkada, Greece

Laconian Thyme, Plum Guide home in Lefkada, Greece

9. Marseille, France

A bird's eye view of boats on clear blue water between two cliffs in Marseille, France

A bird's eye view of boats on clear blue water between two cliffs in Marseille, France

Founded by the Greeks in roughly 600 BC, France’s oldest city is an achingly beautiful place with its vibrant old port area, spectacular historic sites, diverse architecture, and unforgettable views of the coast.

Tout le Vélodrome, Plum Guide home in Marseille, France

Tout le Vélodrome, Plum Guide home in Marseille, France

10. Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

Long grass blowing in the wind at the beach at sunset in Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

Long grass blowing in the wind at the beach at sunset in Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

This peninsula is home to the majestic mountain of the same name, which towers 556 metres above sea level. From the summit you’ll find 360 views of the surrounding ocean, including the mysterious ‘underwater waterfall’.

11. Lapland, Finland

A chalet surrounded by vast areas of snow and snow-covered trees in Lapland, Finland

A chalet surrounded by vast areas of snow and snow-covered trees in Lapland, Finland

Take a reindeer sleigh ride or ski your way through Winter Wonderland with Lapland’s breathtaking snowy landscapes, beautiful lakes and magical natural phenomena like the Northern Lights and Midnight Sun.

Three Bears, Plum Guide home in Lapland, Finland

Three Bears, Plum Guide home in Lapland, Finland

12. Istria County, Croatia

A view of a town across the sea, Istria County, Croatia

A view of a town across the sea, Istria County, Croatia

This heart–shaped peninsula is where rolling hills and verdant olive groves meet a glittering coastline dotted with colourful stone buildings. Soak in the historical charm as you wander through its pretty hilltop towns.

The White House, Plum Guide home in Istria County, Croatia

The White House, Plum Guide home in Istria County, Croatia

13. Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

A group of flamingos on a plain in front of snow-capped mountains in Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

A group of flamingos on a plain in front of snow-capped mountains in Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

Stretching across 6,000 hectares, this shallow salt lake peppered with white islands is a spectacular sight. Admire its deep crimson water and flamboyance of flamingos who come in search of plankton.

14. Tyrol, Austria

A path leading through green trees and tall snow-capped mountains in Tyrol, Austria

A path leading through green trees and tall snow-capped mountains in Tyrol, Austria

Picturesque wooden chalets, lush green meadows, mountain lakes and snowy peaks - you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into The Sound of Music. It’s hard not to fall under the spell of Austria’s Tyrol region.

Mountain Meadows, Plum Guide home in Tyrol, Austria

Mountain Meadows, Plum Guide home in Tyrol, Austria

15. Barbados

People relaxing in the clear blue sea at a beach in Barbados

People relaxing in the clear blue sea at a beach in Barbados

It’s easy to see why Barbados is one of the best vacation spots in the world. Expect some of the clearest waters in the Caribbean, a kaleidoscope of coral reefs, white sandy beaches, and colourful towns.

Green Flash, Plum Guide home in Barbados

Green Flash, Plum Guide home in Barbados

16. The Faroe Islands

A waterfall falling off the side of a tall, grassy cliff on a foggy day in the Faroe Islands

A waterfall falling off the side of a tall, grassy cliff on a foggy day in the Faroe Islands

This magical archipelago is like something out of a fantasy novel. It’s brimming with windswept mountains, jagged coastlines, emerald green hills, waterfalls, and charming turf-roofed houses.

17. Morbihan, France

A view over calm water at sunset in Morbihan, France

A view over calm water at sunset in Morbihan, France

Situated in the northwest of France, Morbihan is the perfect blend of coast and country, promising picture perfect towns full of history and character, pine covered beaches, dramatic cliffs, and hidden coves.

Standing Stones, Plum Guide home in Morbihan, France

Standing Stones, Plum Guide home in Morbihan, France

18. Kyoto, Japan

A tall, Japanese building standing tall above red trees with a city in the distance, Kyoto, Japan

A tall, Japanese building standing tall above red trees with a city in the distance, Kyoto, Japan

Thought to be the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is a fascinating metropolis bursting with Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, gardens, and traditional wooden houses. You’ll find old traditions and classic arts and crafts are kept alive as the rest of the country moves towards modernity.

19. Florence, Italy

A view across buildings in the city of Florence from high up, Italy

A view across buildings in the city of Florence from high up, Italy

Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a feast of winding cobbled streets, elegant palaces, medieval chapels, and the romantic Arno river. The whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - need we say more?

Grazie Mille, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

Grazie Mille, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

20. Shark Bay, Western Australia

A view of clear blue water and a sandy bank at Shark Bay, Australia

A view of clear blue water and a sandy bank at Shark Bay, Australia

Australia’s largest bay offers over 1,000km of pristine beach (including one made entirely of shells), calm blue waters, rare plants, colourful birds, wild animals, and twinkling night skies.

21. Algarve, Portugal

A small, enclosed beach under tall cliffs with clear blue water in Algarve, Portugal

A small, enclosed beach under tall cliffs with clear blue water in Algarve, Portugal

Blessed with sparkling azure waters, secluded coves, whitewashed fishing villages and an excellent food scene, it comes as no surprise that Portugal’s southernmost region is such a popular place for a sun-soaked holiday.

Two Storks in Love, Plum Guide home in Algarve, Portugal

Two Storks in Love, Plum Guide home in Algarve, Portugal

22. Sa Pa, Vietnam

A bird's eye view of green fields and small, colourful houses in Sa Pa, Vietnam

A bird's eye view of green fields and small, colourful houses in Sa Pa, Vietnam

This picturesque town in north Vietnam is known for its terraced rice fields, lush green mountains, white water-rivers, and winding roads leading down to the valley floor.

23. Murcia, Spain

White mountains behind a clear blue lagoon in the Region of Murcia, Spain

White mountains behind a clear blue lagoon in the Region of Murcia, Spain

As well as over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, this area in southeastern Spain has 250km of sandy beaches, olive groves, vineyards, medieval castles, and the magnificent Sierra Espuña mountain range.

La Siesta, Plum Guide home in the Region of Murcia, Spain

La Siesta, Plum Guide home in the Region of Murcia, Spain

24. Dorset, England, UK

Tall white cliffs with grassy tops over a beach in Dorset, England, UK

Tall white cliffs with grassy tops over a beach in Dorset, England, UK

With its famous Jurassic Coast, Dorset is one of England’s best seaside getaways. Discover the iconic Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, or head inland to its Bronze Age ruins, medieval castles, and romantic wind-swept heaths.

The Manor Stables, Plum Guide home in Dorset

The Manor Stables, Plum Guide home in Dorset

25. Joshua Tree, USA

Joshua trees in a dry field in front of tall rocks, Joshua Tree, USA

Joshua trees in a dry field in front of tall rocks, Joshua Tree, USA

Two desert ecosystems come together in this national park to form stark landscapes, covered with rugged rock formations and twisted Joshua trees. Visit for brilliant sunrises and sunsets, as well as some of the best stargazing skies.

Hey Cowboy, Plum Guide home in Joshua Tree, USA

Hey Cowboy, Plum Guide home in Joshua Tree, USA

26. Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

A view of the Glenfinnan Viaduct in front of green and brown trees in autumn from high up, Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

A view of the Glenfinnan Viaduct in front of green and brown trees in autumn from high up, Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

The vast wilderness and fantasy-like landscapes of the Highlands are high on the list of the world’s most beautiful places. From the scenic Glenfinnan Viaduct to the blue depths of Loch Ness, discover a dramatic coastline, craggy peaks, and blissful countryside.

Alba & Firth, Plum Guide home in the Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

Alba & Firth, Plum Guide home in the Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

27. Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

A view from high up of small islands and clear blue water at the Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

A view from high up of small islands and clear blue water at the Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

This archipelago is a little slice of heaven. Think jungle-covered islands, white sandy beaches, blue lagoons, colourful coral reefs, and abundant wildlife - including the glorious birds of paradise.

28. Crete, Greece

A bird's eye view of yellow parasols on the sand at a beach in Crete, Greece

A bird's eye view of yellow parasols on the sand at a beach in Crete, Greece

The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is packed with seductive beaches, dramatic gorges, charming old towns, important archaeological sites, and striking views from the mountains. What more could you want?

Two Dolphins, Plum Guide home in Crete, Greece

Two Dolphins, Plum Guide home in Crete, Greece

29. Milford Sound, New Zealand

Tall, pointed mountains in the background behind a clear lake at Milford Sound, New Zealand

Tall, pointed mountains in the background behind a clear lake at Milford Sound, New Zealand

This fiord in New Zealand’s South Island is one of the most scenic corners of the world, with its towering Mitre Peak, plunging cliffs, rainforests, waterfalls, and fascinating wildlife.

30. Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Patchy snow covering tall brown rocks along a snowy path at Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Patchy snow covering tall brown rocks along a snowy path at Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Offering an ever-changing geological landscape, Thingvellir National Park serves up waterfalls, lakes, and ridges, and is the best place to see why Iceland is considered the most beautiful place on earth.

31. Socotra, Yemen

Two people standing underneath tall, unique trees on the edge of a cliff at sunset, Socotra, Yemen

Two people standing underneath tall, unique trees on the edge of a cliff at sunset, Socotra, Yemen

One of the most isolated landforms on Earth of continental origin, Socotra is an alien world of deep canyons, cavernous caves, jagged mountains, bright blue waters, and fine soft sands.

32. Jiufen, Taiwan

A steep, narrow street with red lanterns decorating the buildings, Jiufen, Taiwan

A steep, narrow street with red lanterns decorating the buildings, Jiufen, Taiwan

This mountain town is a feast for the senses, encapsulating the best of Taiwan with its rich history, extensive views, and colourful narrow alleyways packed with street food and teahouses.

33. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Small boats sailing on the clear blue water underneath large rocks, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Small boats sailing on the clear blue water underneath large rocks, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Sail through bright blue waters and get up close to rock formations, deep caves, and soaring limestone islands topped by lush rainforests in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

34. Okavango Delta, Botswana

An aerial view of the river on grassy plains in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

An aerial view of the river on grassy plains in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Home to some of the world’s most endangered species, the sparkling lagoons and winding channels of this vast inland river delta make it one of the most beautiful places in the world.

35. Chefchaouen, Morocco

A view of clustered blue buildings on the side of a mountain, Chefchaouen, Morocco

A view of clustered blue buildings on the side of a mountain, Chefchaouen, Morocco

Perched beneath the mountains, this pretty city is characterised by its blue-washed buildings. Filled with steep cobbled lanes, ornate mosaics, and bustling souks, there’s nowhere like it.

36. Yuanyang Rice Terraces, China

An aerial view of green fields and large hills at Yuanyang Rice Terraces, China

An aerial view of green fields and large hills at Yuanyang Rice Terraces, China

This mosaic of colourful fields has existed for thousands of years. Covering 17,000 hectares, the fields change colour as the sun moves through the sky, from green to gold to dark red.

37. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Golden sand and clear blue water at a beach in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Golden sand and clear blue water at a beach in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Renowned for its isolated beaches, abundant sea life and tropical interiors, this volcanic archipelago and protected national marine park has a wild, untamed nature to it. Visitor numbers are limited, making it feel very remote.

38. Valais, Switzerland

A view of tall snow-capped mountains from high up in Valais, Switzerland

A view of tall snow-capped mountains from high up in Valais, Switzerland

With superb skiing in the winter and scenic hiking in the summer, this area in the heart of the Alps is a year-round favourite. Surrounded by majestic mountains including the Matterhorn, discover sprawling vineyards, peaceful meadows, and Alpine resorts.

Alpine Sun, Plum Guide home in Valais, Switzerland

Alpine Sun, Plum Guide home in Valais, Switzerland

39. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

A large blue lake surrounded by green hills and snow-capped mountains, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

A large blue lake surrounded by green hills and snow-capped mountains, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Located in Chile’s Patagonia region, this national park is the number one place in the world if you’re after a variety of landscapes - discover imposing granite towers, gleaming blue icebergs, scenic lakes, and lush forests.

40. Palawan, Philippines

An aerial view of tall green mountains and clear blue lagoons in Palawan, Philippines

An aerial view of tall green mountains and clear blue lagoons in Palawan, Philippines

Teeming with wildlife, sleepy fishing villages, and an exceptional underwater environment, Palawan is an island paradise. Enjoy jungles, mountains, white beaches, and the bluest, clearest waters you’ve ever seen.

Related Articles

Stay in the world's most beautiful homes

Search for a holiday home