Nearly every vacation is a magical journey of relaxation, renewal, and discovery but how would you like to visit a geographical location that quite literally changes your life forever? Around the globe, there exist some truly amazing places that serve as a reminder at how large and magnificent the world around us truly is – and how small and blessed we are to enjoy such wonder and beauty. Here are our top four bucket list favorites for your next vacation getaway.
Giant’s Causeway: Bushmills, Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway is a popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland located near the town of Bushmills in County Antrim and rightfully so. This amazing coastal area features about 40,000 basalt columns and it is simply breath-taking to walk along and enjoy the view. This Causeway was created by volcanic eruption some sixty million years ago but the locals share a different tale as to how this majestic formation came to exist.
Their sharp Irish story telling skills speak of a giant named Finn MacCool who lived on the Causeway. Supposedly, a Scottish giant named Benandonner lived across the sea who Finn considered an enemy, although they had never met. Finn invited Benandonner across the sea for a fight, never considering that he might actually make it across the sea. Finn was said to have built the causeway of stones in the water to help Bennadonner make it across. When Finn realized his foe was bigger than he originally thought, he disguised himself as a baby. Bennadonner, surprised at the baby’s huge size, fled home to Scotland because he thought that the father of a baby this large would be too hard to fight.
Niagara Falls: Ontario, Canada
Niagara Falls is the name given to three mesmerizing waterfalls which straddle the international borders of Canada and the state of New York (United States). These three waterfalls form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge: Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lies on Canadian soil while the others are American waterfalls. Due to its location on the Niagara River, this water drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario at the highest flow rate of any waterfall worldwide. This waterfall offers a vertical drop of over fifty meters or 165 feet. Horseshoe Falls has been named the most powerful waterfall in North America.
Formed by glaciers from the last Ice Age, there is no special folklore about Niagara Gorge’s formation. However, there have been many stories and records made regarding this amazing landscape. Niagara Falls is most memorable for its hydroelectric power generation, breath-taking beauty, and amazing width. Of course, 28 million liters of water per second is certainly another reason to say ‘wow’ when you visit these gorgeous waterfalls.
Machu Picchu: Peru
Seven thousand feet above sea level on a beautiful hilltop amid the Andean Mountain Range, the majestic city of Machu Picchu stands above the Urabamba Valley. Built by the Incans, this is one of seven world wonders and has been called the “Lost Cities” since its discovery in 1911. It is believed that once upon a time about 1200 people lived in Machu Picchu, the city of stone, and was a special place for Incan rulers to gather.
Due to the level of isolation, it requires traveling a great distance to reach the next village. The city remains a mystery in terms of architecture and engineering due to the lack of wheels and iron tools available during its construction. The design is also quite advanced, as there is a water system and terraces to prevent erosion.
Machu Picchu has three distinct areas: urban, agricultural, and religious. The structures were arranged in such a way that each building’s function matches its surroundings. This amazing destination can be an emotional and magical experience when climbing through the Incan Trails and enjoying the amazing view for miles and miles. November through March is the rainy season so it is best to plan alternate dates.
Iceland is covered with many natural wonders and tourists can set off in any direction for a life changing nature experience. Glymur is Iceland’s tallest waterfall, located near Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, is often described as nimble and graceful. The streamlets fall like the bluest ribbons on a maypole into a luxurious and mossy canyon. The hike is somewhat strenuous but the scenery is nothing short of enchanting.
Another waterfall, part of the Hvita River, is located near this city and is called Gullfoss – the view is surreal. Europe’s mightiest waterfall is located in the Jokulsargljufur National Park and features an amazing curtain of soft gray glacial water.
Iceland’s number one tourist attraction is the Blue Lagoon and offers visitors a chance to bathe in a shallow blue-green lagoon. This famous lagoon is not a natural formation but the experience it offers tourists is truly one of a kind. Another lagoon called Jokulsarlon displays many sediment-streaked icebergs in hues of blue as well as a vibrant seal population. Some say these beautiful icebergs appear to be surreal, the work of a mad sculptor.
There are many more wonderful places around the world that will leave visitors wonderstruck and in awe of the beautiful lands we live in. There is something special and life-changing for every traveller in each amazing formation or landscape. Make your own travel plans today and start on the path to create or change your destiny. Rather than wait, follow your dreams and start checking off that bucket list now. Where will you go for your next magical journey?