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The World's 10 Most Scenic Countries For True Escapism
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The World's 10 Most Scenic Countries For True Escapism

Picture of Emily Brown
Updated: 9 February 2017
These ten countries are blessed with an abundance of outstanding marvels and breathtaking natural landscapes. They are countries that offer a variety of natural and man-made sights that are simply captivating.
A village in Gandaki, Annapurna Range, Nepal.
A village in Gandaki, Annapurna Range, Nepal | © rajkumar1220/WikiCommons

Nepal – The World’s Hiking Capital

Nepal’s natural landscapes are some of the most surreal and beautiful in the world. Even the most well-traveled will find themselves captivated by the breathtaking views of Nepal. Not only is Nepal the hiking capital of the world, it’s also a very cheap country.

Aurora Borealis, Tromsø, Norway.
Aurora Borealis, Tromsø, Norway | © Andi Gentsch/WikiCommons

Norway – Lights and Laughter

Norway is a hikers paradise. The country is popular with those who want to explore glaciers and fjords, or chase the Northern Lights. From August, you’ll catch the end of the midnight sun and, if you’re lucky, the start of the dancing light show, the Aurora Borealis.

A sample of three typical Icelandic landscapes.
Three typical Icelandic landscapes | © Fran Cano Cabal/WikiCommons

Iceland – Geologically Diverse

Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The country consists mainly of a plateau characterized by sand, lava fields, mountains and glaciers. Iceland’s varying landscapes make it one of the most scenic countries in the world and a visually tantalizing retreat for holiday makers and travelers. Visitors to Iceland can also indulge in Iceland’s favorite pastime: relaxing in warm, mineral-rich hot springs that soothe the body and the mind.

Sydney Opera House on Australia Day.
Sydney Opera House on Australia Day | © Phil Whitehouse/WikiCommons

Australia – Intricate Architecture and Stunning Beaches

Australia has a huge variety of things to see and do. Australia’s national parks and vast range of landscapes are what make it so extraordinary. From the Mornington Peninsula National Park facing the open sea, to the Great Barrier Reef that’s one of the natural wonders of the world, Australia’s sights are never ending. Australia also offers a range of man-made marvels, including the Sydney Opera House, which is located in one of the most beautiful and iconic urban areas.

Peleş Castle, Romania.
Peleş Castle, Romania | © Tihomir/WikiCommons

Romania – Captivating Castles

Romania‘s history is filled with tales of heroic princes battling fierce Ottoman warriors and the country is a land of fairytale castles and magical marvels. A 20 minute walk uphill from the town center in Transylvania, is Peleş Castle. The castle is made up of turrets and grand reception halls: the basic 40 minute tour takes in about 10 rooms on the ground floor, while two additional tours also take in the first and second floors.

Giraffes, South Africa
Giraffes, South Africa | © csharker/WikiCommons

South Africa – Enjoy a South African Safari

With over 21 National Parks, eight World Heritage Sites, miles of pristine coastline and a phenomenal climate, South Africa is guaranteed to provide you with an unforgettable journey and even more unforgettable experiences. Big Five safaris in South Africa are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone fascinated by wildlife. Big Five refers to buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino and the term comes from the animals considered most dangerous to hunt.

Machu Picchu, Peru.
Machu Picchu, Peru | © Pedro Szekely/WikiCommons

Peru – Take The Enticing Inca Trail

Peru is famous for many things, one of the best known being The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site located 2,430 meters above sea level. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu actually consists of three overlapping trails, Mollepata, Classic, and One Day. Mollepata is the longest of the three routes with the highest mountain pass and intersects with the Classic route before crossing Warmiwañusqa, meaning ‘dead woman.’

Sunset in Oia, Santorini, Greece.
Sunset in Oia, Santorini, Greece | ©Pedro Szekely/WikiCommons

Greece – The Greek Islands

Greece is a country with a feeling of such majestic wonder: every single one of the Greek Islands has a host of beautiful beaches. If the beach isn’t your thing and you fancy a city break, Athens, the capital of Greece, has some of the most iconic architecture in the world. Admire the view of the city from the Acropolis, an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city.

Cuillin Mountains, Scotland.
Cuillin Mountains, Scotland | © jgriffiths/WikiCommons

Scotland – Wild Beaches, Deep Lochs and Craggy Castles

Magnificent mountains, dazzling lochs and incredible coastlines, you name it, Scotland has it. Scotland’s landscape and distinct geography offer a stunning mix of unique and inspiring habitats for you to explore. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scotland’s first National Park, offers a haven for those who love walking, wildlife and the great outdoors.

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland.
Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland | © Becky/Flickrcommons

Ireland – Natural Beauty

Ireland is simply stunning and a visit to the Emerald Isle will leave you feeling a world away from reality. One of Ireland’s most famous sights, the Cliffs of Moher, rises to a height of 666ft. On a clear day, the views are tremendous, with the Aran Islands etched on the waters of Galway Bay. From the cliff edge, you can just hear waves crashing against the cliffs below you. With a due-west exposure, sunset is the best time to visit – many of the tourist buses will have left by then as well.