Would you believe if I told you that reality is more beautiful than fiction? It is hard, but here are the top 10 destinations from all over the world that will bring your fantasy to life.
1. Up in the air in Cappadocia
Hot air ballooning over the UNESCO World Heritage Site- Fairy Chimneys (Peribacası or Peri Bacalar) in Cappadocia is an experience in itself. Rising from the Pigeon Valley, Fairy Chimneys are unique rock formations hewn by the erosion of flood and wind. As you rise up in the air, you will witness a panoramic view dotted with Fairy Chimneys, vineyards and orchards.
2. Bring out the hobbit inside you at Lake Pukaki, South Island
As blue as sapphire, Lake Pukaki is a heaven on earth. No wonder it was one of the locations of the popular Hollywood movie ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’! You can go for a self-drive or set-up a campsite to enter this wonderland.
3. Explore Timgad in Algeria, the largest Roman settlement in North Africa
Steeped in history, Timgad is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about its fascinating history tracing back to 100 A.D. and enter the ancient city of Thamugadi. Take a peek into the Roman era through the ruins of open-air theatre, marketplace and the Roman architecture.
4. Meet the exotic sea life at Banana Reef in Maldives
One of the first dive sites in Male, Banana Reef is home to colourful fishes, eye-catching reefs and an undiscovered marine life.
5. Row the turquoise blue waters of Moraine Lake that once featured on the Canadian $20 note in the late 1960’s
In the heart of Banff National Park in Alberta, lies a sight that is a beauty to behold. Moraine Lake reflects a clear image of the surrounding mountain ranges that truly mesmerises you. You can hike, kayak or even boat by the lake and enjoy the amazing sight.
6. Enter the castle-like monastery at Tatev in Armenia
Take the world's longest non-stop double track cable car to reach a monastery that resembles a castle, the Tatev Monastery in Syunik Province of Armenia. Standing tall on a huge basalt plateau, the ensemble stares down at the gorge of Vorotan River.
7. Wine and dine ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’
Live by the spectacular vineyards of Tuscany in Italy and sip the famous Chianti wines basking in the beautiful golden sun.
8. Discover the secrets of the secluded beach of Navagio in Greece
Home to a legion of Greek Gods, Greece hides its best kept secret on Ionian Islands off the Zakynthos coast. Navagio or the ‘Shipwreck Beach’ or the ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ can only be accessed by its waterway. Legend has it that a smuggler ship called ‘Panagiotis’ was mysteriously wrecked while it was illegally transporting cigarettes.
9. Experience the courtroom drama of Charles I at Toledo, Spain
Toledo is called as the ‘Imperial City’ as it was once a prime court venue of King Charles I. Declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will see a harmonious amalgamation of Christian, Muslim and Jew cultures. Toledo has enchanting stories right from the Roman era to the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
10. Recreate love in India’s Taj Mahal, the symbol of eternal love
Shakespeare wrote love in poetry, but the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan inlaid love on the white marbles of Taj Mahal for his 3rd wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This mausoleum of Mumtaz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World as well!
Author : Winnie Karnik