Three African countries, Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia have been listed among the world’s 18 most beautiful countries to visit in a lifetime by Microsoft Network.
According to msn.com, the list also includes some breathtaking choice destinations from other countries namely Maldives, Costa Rica, United States, Peru, Italy among others.
Upon first thought, one may think Oman may only have desert-like terrains due to its location on the Arabian Peninsula. However, this seafaring nation has a bit of everything, from towering mountains, and sandy coastlines to striking city centers. The traditional and contemporary blend in the coastal city of Muscat, which is home to one of the most renowned masterpieces of Islamic architecture, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It’s here in the country’s capital that you’ll also find a rising food scene that reinterprets traditional Omani cuisine. Venture out of the city toward the Jabal Akhdar mountains for fragrant hiking trails filled with green olive trees and apricot trees
As the world’s second-largest country, Canada poses as one of the most diverse places on the planet both culturally and environmentally. The verdant coastline and cliffs of the Bay of Fundy make it a one-of-a-kind, natural attraction on the country’s eastern side. Head over to the French-speaking province of Québec, where cities like Montréal and Québec City embody the charm of Europe. On the western side of the country, Alberta’s serene town of Banff offers unparalleled views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and emerald waters of Lake Louise.
Often viewed of as a winter wonderland, Switzerland has been attracting visitors for centuries for its powdery mountains and clean, crisp air. Ski enthusiasts often flock to the quaint villages, such as hidden Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, to hit the slopes and take in the views. However, Switzerland is just as stunning during the warmer months, with lush valley forges and emerald lakes. The country also has some of the most impressive examples of Medieval and Renaissance architecture found in the old city of Bern.
Vietnam’s ever-evolving cities, mountains of seemingly endless green, and idyllic coastlines have brought it to the top of every traveler’s bucket list in recent years. Its staggering temples and heritage sites—the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Complex of Hué Monuments, and many more—shine a light on the complex history and cultural significance of this Asian country. Growing cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City showcase how the country is quickly becoming a capital for style and design. One of the natural jewels of Vietnam is Ha Long Bay, which consists of 1,600 islands and islets with spectacular limestone pillars and wave-eroded grottoes.
Praised for its mouthwatering cuisine, picturesque pastel villages, and lasting appreciation for the arts, it’s hard to know where to start when talking about Italy and its beauty. For the city dwellers and history buffs, Rome stands as the birthplace of Western civilization, with numerous ancient sites to discover. The Cinque Terre village of Vernazza calls for romantics to stroll throughout the candy-colored streets before settling on the harbor. And no vacation in Italy is complete without a day trip to Tuscan wine country, where vineyards extend as far as the eye can see.
Due to its long, narrow shape, Chile spans across an incredibly diverse range of terrains and climates, like glacial fjords in Patagonia and the rolling vineyards of the country’s Elqui Valley. Lauca National Park serves as a biosphere reserve for alpacas, pumas, flamingos, and foxes to roam freely across 303,342 acres in the Andes. It’s also home to Chungará Lake, where roughly 130 species of animals are thought to live along with rare flora. While bustling Santiago is the country’s most known city, the coastal gem of Valparaíso bubbles with bohemian bliss and creativity you’ll find nowhere else.
12) New Zealand
From its 9,000 miles of breezy shores to its turquoise lakes cutting through mountains, New Zealand boasts some of the most intriguing landscapes in the world. Lake Tekapo may just be one of the most colorful places in the world, with brilliant blue glacial waters and never-ending fields of pink and purple lupins. New Zealand’s also bursting with a plethora of galleries and museums contributing to the country’s cultural and artistic identity. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa highlights the rich history of the Māori people and their importance to the national identity of New Zealand.
Whimsy and wonder sing through the picturesque islands and islets of Greece. The ancient temples and ruins of Athens and iconic blue domes and whitewashed facades of Oia are can ‘t-miss attractions for many travelers. However, the real magic of Greece lies in the quirky haunts of the lesser-known islands, such as the thermal baths of Evia and art exhibits of Nisyros. No trip to the Mediterranean country is complete without a stop at Naxos for fresh seafood.
With amber sand dunes, endless golden grasslands, and emerald-blue lagoons, Namibia’s vast natural beauty goes unmatched. The Namib desert (the world’s oldest) spans more than 1,200 miles with striking dead-tree valleys at Sossusvlei and sand dunes leading to Sandwich Harbour. An abundance of wildlife thrives within the savannas and Caprivi Strip wetlands of Nambia. On the Khomas Hochland plateau, the Zannier Reserve by N/a’an ku sê serves as a natural habitat for hundreds of injured animals and welcomes guests to learn about conservation while staying at the reserve’s lodge, Omaanda.
Across its nearly 1,43o islands, Thailand presents a wide range of attractions, from the bustling city of Bangkok to the mangrove shores and lush forest of Koh Kood. Chiang Mai’s golden temples, lively markets, and budding culinary scene blend the thrill of a modern city with historic charm and importance, perfect for those city dwellers. Those dreamy white sand beaches with crystal-clear waters and geometric rock formations can be found along the curvaceous coast of the Krabi province. The country’s thriving capital offers a taste of both authentic Thailand cuisine and experimental creations at its award-winning restaurants and vendors.
The East African nation has earned a reputation around the world for its expansive savanna grasslands and diverse wildlife. Though, Kenya’s natural beauty doesn’t end there. You’ll find glacial lakes at the foot of Mount Kenya, lush indigenous woodlands at the Mau Forest Complex, and dazzling blue waters on the coast. The country’s most populous city, Nairobi, is the outpost for countless artisans from the woodworks and weavers at Masai Market to skilled glass makers putting Kitengela Hot Glass on the global design stage.
Subterranean ice caves, towering volcanoes, and black sand beaches—Iceland has some of the most unique landscapes on the planet. Reykjavik serves as an idyllic landing pad with its scenic views of the Blue Lagoon, an impressive art museum dedicated to Icelandic creatives, and an up-and-coming food scene. Just 30 minutes outside the city lie luxe hot springs and glacier valleys. For a full taste of what Iceland has to offer, take a road trip across Ring Road which spans 828 miles around the coast of the island.
No country possibly balances the excitement of the city with nature’s calmness as seamlessly as Japan. Fragrant cherry blossoms and the Arashiyama bamboo forest provide refuge in Kyoto, while at night the city comes to life with people packed into restaurants to try culinary masterpieces. Centuries-old shrines and temples dotted throughout the country provide lessons on the nation’s past. Meanwhile, Tokyo continues to prove itself as a leader in innovation.
Many have heard about the monumental Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, but consider that just the sliver of the wonders Peru has to offer. In the heart of the Ica desert lies the quaint oasis of Huacachina where guests can explore the neighboring dunes behind settling in the small village at night. Not too far from the green peak of Machu Picchu sits the rainbow-colored mountain, Vinicunca. And a trip to Peru is not complete without a trip to Lima, the country’s capital city filled with Colonial-era architecture and plenty of pre-Columbian art.
4) United States
The geographic and cultural diversity of the United States is unlike any other in the world. From the snow-capped mountains in Mount Rainer National Park to Hawaii’s lush Napali coastline, there’s natural beauty found in almost every corner of the country. Even the cities, both big and small, are home to some of the most magnificent examples of historic and modern architecture in the world.
The natural wealth found in Tanzania is almost indescribable. Over a million wildebeest make the Great Migration across the Serengeti, a protected plain in the northern part of the country, in a phenomenon that happens once a year. Rhinos and zebras mingle in the short-grass plains of the Ngorongoro Crater. And, Tanzania’s Indian Ocean-facing coastline offers sparkling white sand beaches and serene views.
2) Costa Rica
Costa Rica plays host to an estimated half a million species across its misty river valleys, idyllic beaches, and rare grasslands. Nearly a quarter of its land is under environmental protection, allowing for its native flora and fauna to thrive and create a naturally breathtaking locale. Beyond its landscape, the Central American country also is home to numerous five-star spas and restaurants that help visitors end their day of adventure on a relaxing note.
The Maldives defines what a far-flung getaway should be with its white sand beaches, world-class resorts, and palm tree-filled forests. The Indian Ocean archipelago’s traditions are influenced by many of the neighboring countries, creating a multifaceted culture unlike anywhere else in the world. Plus, below the aquamarine water’s surface lies a thriving ecosystem of colorful coral reefs and unique sea life that can only be found around the islands.