We all inhabit a world brimming with fantasies. Tales like Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and stories about Princess Barbie dominated much of our childhoods. Yet, we always believed these spellbinding, fairy-tale locations existed only in books. However, we’re here to introduce some genuinely mind-boggling places that exist in reality. Ready to explore? Book your tickets and jet set go!
10. Socotra Islands, Yemen
Have you ever wanted to explore an alien planet without venturing into astrophysics? Socotra is your destination. Located in the Indian Ocean, this sparsely populated island, with a population of just 42,842, is often dubbed the “Alien-looking Place.” Historically known to Egyptians, Socotra has a hot, drought-prone climate. Its biodiversity is so unique that 33% of the plants here are found nowhere else on Earth. The name “Socotra” is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “Land of Bliss.”
9. Hobbiton, New Zealand
Fans of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy will recognise Hobbiton in Matamata, where the films were shot. Originally a temporary set, this fantastical village gained so much popularity that the New Zealand government decided to preserve the hobbit homes. They’ve since become a major tourist attraction.
8. Igloo Village
Reminiscent of scenes from childhood textbooks, this village offers ice and glass igloos. Here, visitors can lounge while enjoying mesmerising views of the northern lights.
7. Caño Cristales, Colombia
Also known as the “River of Five Colours” or the “River that Ran Away from Paradise,” Caño Cristales is a visual marvel. For a few weeks between September and November, a unique aquatic plant, Macarenia clavigera, turns a vivid red, complemented by the blue waters and various hues of sand, making it look straight out of a fairy tale.
6. Doorway to Hell, Turkmenistan
This unsettling site in Derweze, Turkmenistan, is a gas crater that has continuously ablaze for over 40 years. Named “Doorway to Hell” by locals, this flaming chasm was accidentally created during a gas drilling mishap and continues to burn, lending the area an otherworldly aura.
5. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
This 19th-century castle in Bavaria, constructed by Ludwig II, is a marvel of architecture. Featuring advanced amenities for its time, the castle famously inspired Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle Although the mysteries surrounding Ludwig II’s death remain, his legacy through this castle endures.
4. Temple Caves, Borneo
Borneo is renowned for its vast limestone caves. Among them is the Batu Caves, which leads explorers to an astonishing Hindu temple deep within. A mesmerizing blend of nature and spirituality awaits.
3. Crooked Forest, Poland
This forest houses around 400 pine trees with unusually bent trunks. Though the exact cause is unknown, it’s believed humans might have manipulated their growth. Whether for boat building or furniture, it remains a subject of speculation.
2. Majlis al Jinn Caves, Oman
Recognised as the world’s second-largest cave, Majlis Al Jinn was stumbled upon during a search for underground water reservoirs. Reaching its entrance is an adventure itself, requiring trekkers to navigate rugged terrain. With the Omani Ministry of Tourism now facilitating visits, it’s an explorer’s delight.
1. Aurora Borealis (North Pole)
Nature’s masterpiece, the Northern Lights, is an ethereal display of colours lighting up the polar skies. Best viewed from regions close to the magnetic poles, this phenomenon stands as a testament to Earth’s magical wonders.
From alien-like landscapes to architectural wonders, our world is full of places that seem to be plucked right out of fairy tales. So, the next time you’re seeking an enchanting getaway, remember that you don’t need a magic carpet – just the spirit of adventure!
Inspired by these enchanting destinations? Don’t let them remain tales. Plan your next journey and step into a real-life fairy tale. Share your adventures with us using the hashtag #FairyTaleDestinations. Let the magic begin!