Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life – now vast numbers of people travel to view his private refuge.
Today, Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.4 million people visit “the castle of the fairy-tale king”.
Sea of Stars
Location: Vaadhoo Island, Maldives
The famous group of islands are known for being a heaven on Earth, but Vaadhoo Island has a lot of surprises that are revealed at night.
The mesmerizing shining water looks like a mirror that reflects the sparkling stars above. However, the secret is this: phytoplankton. The marine microbes are bioluminescent and emanate the blue glow. The species create the most romantic natural lighting in the world.
Location: Burano, Italy
Long ago, the fishermen of the island of Burano decided to paint their houses with bright colors so that while coming back home they can easily distinguish them through thick fog. The result is a cheery rainbow-colored town bursting with charm, culture and history.
Though located in the same lagoon as Venice, Burano has kept its quiet bucolic atmosphere for centuries. An old fishing town, its fishing traditions date back to ancient Roman times. The colors of the houses have been with the resident families for centuries, and if they want to repaint, they need to write the government for a list of colors they’re allowed to use.
Burano is also famous for its lace-making, praised even by King Louis XIV and Leonardo Da Vinci. Though lace-makers have significantly declined through the years, visitors to Burano can still find women sitting outside shops stitching intricate fabric.
The Atlantic Road
In 2005, the Atlantic Road was honored as Norway’s Construction of the Year. The National Tourist Route runs between two Norwegian towns – Kristiansund and Molde – that are the main population centers in the county of More og Romsdal in Western Norway.
The Atlantic Road (Atlantic Ocean Road) is an 8.3 kilometer long section of County Road 64, running through an archipelago and passing by Hustadvika, an unsheltered part of the Norwegian Sea. The structure is built on several small islands and skerries that are connected by causeways, viaducts and eight bridges. The longest and most prominent of the bridges is the 260 meter long Storseisundet Bridge.
But mere facts about the Atlantic Road do no justice to its magnificence. You need to see pictures to realize just how breathtaking it is. An aerial view of this long structure snaking through the sea is simply breathtaking. It’s hard for me to believe these pictures are real; they seem like someone’s imagination manifested on my screen. Better still, you could visit the road yourself and drive across it to experience its complete beauty. In fact, the Atlantic Road has been declared the world’s best road trip and is a popular site for automotive commercials.
Location: Peak District, England
Hitachi Seaside Park
Location: Hitachinaka, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan
Hitachi Seaside Park, located in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, next to the Ajigaura Beach, is a flower park and a popular tourist destination. The park covers an area of 3.5 hectares and the flowers are amazing all year round. Each season you will find a different variety of flower blossoming over the “Miharashi No Oka”, a hill commanding a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. The park is particularly famous for blue nemophilas. Nemophilas are annual flowers with transparent blue petals. During spring, more than 4.5 million blue nemophilas bloom all over the park. The blooming period is called “Nemophilia Harmony” and attracts many visitors.
Aside from nemophilas, the park has about a million daffodils blooming amidst the pine trees, about 170 varieties of tulips and many other flowers. Filled with woods, gardens, a mini amusement area and cycling courses sprinkled throughout the park, Hitachi Seaside Park is a must-see for anyone venturing to Japan.
Location: St. Lucia, West Indies
On a hillside 1,100 feet above the Caribbean Sea, Ladera Resort offers guests the chance to escape and unplug in luxury styled villas and suites. Villas are left open to the elements and have private cold plunge or heated pools, open-air showers and dead-on views of the sea and the famous Piton Mountains. Ladera is the only resort in St. Lucia located on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, overlooking the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea, and located on the Soufriere Volcano.
Hinatuan River aka “The Enchanted River”
Location: Mindanao, Philippines
Formally known as the Hinatuan River, the Enchanted River is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Surigao del Sur and the rest of Mindanao. This beautiful river is said to be wrapped in mystery and supernatural events so that it gained renown as being enchanted. There are several unexplained mysteries and features that this stunning river has to offer to keep you guessing:
Read More About the Enchanted River
Created by the unparalleled forces of the Vatnajvkull ice cap, the Crystal Cave emerged as a result of its glacier meeting the Icelandic coastline. The cave’s ice dates back centuries, and its weight has pressed out all remnant air, so the resultant formation’s texture and colors are both brilliant and otherworldly. Access is via a 22-foot entrance at the water’s edge, though height clearance tapers down to only about 4 feet at the far end, about 150 feet in.
The Hidden Beach (unofficial name)
Location: Marieta Islands, Mexico
Marieta Islands, off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is currently gaining a lot of attention by tourists. Many have visited this site before but couldn’t understand the wow factor involved until after an impressive and beautifully detailed capture of this beach was photographed by Thomas Porty.
The Marieta Islands in Mexico is said to have formed centuries ago due to volcanic activity and are entirely uninhabited. The islands are about an hour long boat ride west-northwest from the coast of Puerto Vallarta and are visited daily by hundreds of tourists, yet no one can legally set foot on the islands.
The Mexican government in the early 1900s began conducting military testing on the islands taking advantage of the fact that they were uninhabited. Large explosions and bombings during these testing is said to be the cause for the formation of the many incredible caves and rocks.
After a massive international uproar, prompted by scientist Jacques Cousteau in the late 1960s, the government eventually decided to label the islands a national park, thereby protecting it against any fishing, hunting or human activity. As of now the only human activity that is legal near the islands is snorkeling and kayaking tours that occur daily.
A water tunnel in the Marieta Island lead swimmers to the hidden beach. It is approximately a forty to fifty feet swim through the cave with about five to six feet of space above water level to the rock. As it is not an underwater tunnel, there is no necessity for a scuba gear or to even hold your breath.