40 of the Most Beautiful Places in the World
Time to tick some places off the bucket list
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
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
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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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
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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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
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.
12. 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.
13. 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
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.
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.
16. 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
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.
18. 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
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?
20. Shark Bay, Western 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
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.
22. 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
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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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
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?
29. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
39. 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
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.