To many western high school and university students, backpacking through Europe for a summer or year is the ultimate vacation / holiday. But that doesn’t mean its only for young people. The appeal with traveling through the continent of Europe is the large number of different countries within close proximity to, all reachable with a single visa and most of them via land and or train. Despite the closeness of all these different countries, each of them are vastly different to get unique experiences.
Would you travel half way around the world to sit on top of a rock? Well many travelers have to the The Troll Tongue, AKA Trolltunga. Located in Skjeggedal of Norway, Trolltunga is literally just a rock that hangs extended out from a mountain about 700 meters high. But thats exactly what makes Trolltunga so special. That along with the immensely beautiful view of the landscape below of the Fjord.
Also known as the “Pearl of The Orient”, Hong Kong is one of the greatest and biggest cities in the world. On the same level as New York City, Paris, Singapore and Dubai. The country that is not a country but is a country but sort of not. The skyline alone of Hong Kong is arguably the most beautiful and astonishing of any other in the world. As a traveler or tourist, Hong Kong may seem overwhelming at first but is actually quite great for such visitors with their first rate public transportation system.
The Camuy River Cave Park is a massive 268 acre cave system consisting of more than 10 miles of mapped caves. It is one of Puerto Rico’s most popular tourist attractions. The beautiful park is made up of natural limestone caves and underground waterways carved out by the 3rd largest underground river in the world, the Río Camuy. The main attraction is Clara Cave (as pictured), visitors are shown a movie about the Camuy River Caves then takes a short but adventurous tram ride into the cave system.
Klaksvík is a small village town in the northern part of the Faroe Islands. Surrounded by beautiful snow capped evened hill like mountains, it is in itself a view to behold. This area of he Faroe Islands has been inhabited since the Viking times. Although the more popular islands of the Faroe Islands have been growing with tourism, Klaksvik is still relatively untouched by tourism which makes it an ideal travel destination.
The Chocolate Hills is a large span of land of unique hills in the Bohol Province of the Philippines. Each of the approximate 1500 hills are actually grass covered limestone, not dirt. It gets its name “Chocolate Hills” because of how it actually looks like huge hills of chocolate during the dry season when the grass turns brown. Surprisingly, the Chocolate Hills are not part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites but has been proposed for inclusion.
To some cultures a salad lunch is exotic, to others a cheeseburger and to westerners a cobra snake for dinner. Oh how wonderfully strange the world is, especially when it comes to food. You can even hunt and eat your own cobra snake in Cambodia. The meat apparently taste like rubbery fish and packs a whole goodness of nutrition. Here’s the kicker; you can even drink the cobra’s fresh blood if mixed with whiskey – its suppose to make you feel like superman.
The Dry Tortugas is a group of tropical islands 110 kilometers away from mainland Florida with the fortress (as pictured) ‘Fort Jefferson’ being the main attraction. This massive fortress is the largest masonry structure in the western hemisphere taking up 16,000,000 bricks. But Dry Tortugas Park is way more than that. The undisturbed tropical ecosystem teeming with water, land and even air life along with legends of buried treasure. Its hard to believe that the continental US is so close.
Located in the outskirts of the capital city Caracas in Venezuela are the Barrios. Otherwise known as the slums. So this particular travel destination is most definitely not for everyone, in fact its one of the most dangerous urban non-warzone places in the world. But for that reason, this location could be why it attracts the few who dare go to the Barrios of Caracas. It certainly is unique and must be an extraordinary experience to visit such an urban jungle.
Lake Retba is probably the most unique lake or even body of water in the known world. Located in the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal. The obvious factor Lake Retba’s attraction is the surreal pink color of the water. Its not just a hint of pink but a vibrant pink like strawberry milkshake or Pepto Bismol. The reason for the pink is the presence of a certain algae that turns red but when hit with sunlight, turns into pink. Furthermore, the salt content is an absurd 40% in the lake.
Far from the capital city of Istanbul in central Turkey is one of the most exotic landscapes in the world, Cappadocia. This ancient region while quite remote is relatively easy to get to by booking a tour or even flying in from a nearby airport. Just like Pamukkale, Cappdocia has a very long history but even more unique as its mentioned in the Bible. The hot air balloon ride can be purchased from numerous tour agencies around Cappadocia and is huge hit to all who has floated above the beautiful canyons.
Also known as the “Alley of the Baobabs”, this truly exotic travel destination in Madagascar is a relatively small area of about 25 baobab trees. The surrounding area is made up of ice paddies and meadows further enhancing the beauty of the Avenue of The Baobabs exotic, almost alien appearance. Some of these baobab trees are over 800 years old and reach an astonishing 30 meters tall.
One of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural travel destinations in the world is Ha Long Bay. Located in Vietnam, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is massive and is made up of about 2000 islands and islets mostly made of limestones. The 500 million years of formation is the result of the amazing landscape not seen anywhere else in the world. Although Ha Long Bay is in a remote part of Vietnam, it is tourist friendly and a very popular part of the backpacker trail.
Eating the local food is 1/3 of the travel experience so no matter how gross or amazing it sounds to eat a live octopus, it should be on your bucket list. Officially called Sannakji, this Korean cuisine is served as soon as the squid / octopus is chopped – still actively moving and sucking. Its truly an exotic and unique dining experience. Obviously the process of eating Sannakji is quite interesting and takes some effort to pull each piece off as the suction cups struggle to stay attached to the plate.
A long, long time ago a troll was chasing a human girl he loved but wanted to kill so he shot an arrow at her but the king troll threw his hat to block the arrow. That has is now Torghatten Mountain. Located on Torget Island in Norway. The mountain has an extremely unique hole in the middle thats actually a natural tunnel. Even without the peculiar hole in the mountain, Torghatten is a beautiful site and the view from while in the tunnel is said to be breathtaking.
Niagara Falls is one of the premier travel destinations in the world for good reason. While its not the tallest waterfall in the world, it is the largest, by a huge margin – and arguably the most spectacular. Whats interesting about Niagara Falls is that its between two countries; Canada and the United States almost like a natural border. The waterfalls can be viewed from the top right along the water as it falls or via boat on the bottom.
Melissani Cave which is also part of a lake is located in Greece on Kefalonia Island. This magical travel destination is really magical, sort of as according to Greek Mythology, it was where the ancient nymphs used to hang out, whatever that means. Regardless, you can’t deny the exotic, colorful beauty of Melissani Cave. The wonderfully contrasting bright colors are due to the crystal clear waters with stones and plants everywhere an beneath.
Pamukkale is the site of the world’s most unique and arguably most beautiful hot springs in the world making it a major travel destination. Which makes it an obvious choice to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located far from Istanbul in southwestern Turkey Denizli Province. These ancient hot springs have been used for thousands of years powered by volcanos. Pamukkale’s most distinct feature is how it looks like there’s a nice coat of white snow over the site.
Rovinj is a popular travel destination on the North Adriatic Sea in Croatia. Although it was technically an island, it was later connected to mainland. This largely fishing town is about as picturesque as a city can possibly get while still being high functioning but still is a very tourist friendly area. Rovinj enjoys a very pleasant Mediterranean climate, so it never gets too hot or cold. With a population of less than 15,000 residents, travelers could have a welcoming and intimate experience for a short or long term stay.
Dettifoss is a waterfall located within Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland. This waterfall stands out among others in regards to beauty but it also holds a very unique title; Europe’s Most Powerful Waterfall. This is very apparent from the menacing water blazing down with fury. It must be terrifying and exhilarating to be in the presence of Dettifoss. If you watched the film “Prometheus”, it was shown in the opening scene. Dettifoss also happens to be the largest waterfall in Europe (volume discharge).