Our planet has so many magically beautiful places that it really is hard to break it down to so few. When I was searching for places I asked the child inside of me what I would consider awesome. Through the curious eyes of my inner-child, I picked these eight places that inspired feelings of being placed in a fairytale or storybook setting. Some places brought out snow-covered monsters in a frozen world or castles that any child could pretend they ruled.

Here are 8 Magical places our planet has to offer.

(Image Source: Flickr | Angel Torres)

Pena Palace | Sintra, Portugal

In Sintra, Portugal, sits a castle that captures 19th-century romanticism perfectly. It originally started out as a modest sized monastery until 1842 when King consort Ferdinand II decided to turn the rubble of the former monastery into a palace the royal family would use as a summer vacation spot. The palace’s architecture is magical and it is Portugal’s most visited monuments.


(Image Source: Flickr | Patrick Nouhailler)

Salar De Uyuni | Bolivia

Bolivia has the world’s largest salt flats in the southwest part of their country. It sits near the crest of the Andes at an elevation of 11,995 feet above sea level and boasts an area of 4,086 square miles. The crust of the salt flats hold 50 to 70% of the world’s lithium reserves. And, during the rainy seasons the water that collects acts as a mirror to reflect the horizon and anything else that sits upon it. Salar is also a major breeding ground for several species of pink flamingos.

(Image Source: Flickr | Jeff Attaway)

Lake Retba | Senegal

Following the salty flats of the Salar de Uyuni is the salty Lake Retba. The lake is separated from the Atlantic Ocean only by narrow dunes. In some areas, the salt content is as high as 40%–making it as buoyant as the Dead Sea. The pink/brown color is caused by the Dunaliella salina algae which produce the red pigment to assist with absorbing light. Go during the dry season to see the color as it less visible during the rainy season.

(Image Source: Flickr | Sgt Garcia F)

Château de Chillon | Montreux, Switzerland

This island castle started out as 100 individual buildings before being gradually connected to be what it is now. Though the oldest parts of the castle haven’t been dated, some of the written records go back to as early as the year 1005. The castle has four great halls, three courtyards, and numerous bedrooms. It is one of the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe.

(Image Source: HD Wallpaper | Desktop Background)

Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island | Maldives

Vaadhoo is one of the islands of Raa Atoll, Maldives. What brings people here are the beaches that glow of “sea stars”. This ‘magical’ display is actually all thanks to phytoplankton known as dinoflagellates. Their bioluminescence glows across the sands of the beach as well as in the breaking waves.

(Image Source: omgne.ws)

Sentinels Of The Arctic | Finland

If you can handle temperatures of -40 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit then this view of Lapland, Finland would be worth it. The frozen trees become piled with snow just like everything else surrounding them. Once this happens they look like some sort of snow creature being born from the frozen tundra.

(Image Source: www.vistanature.com)

Black Forest | Germany

The Black Forest was the setting for many of the Grimm Brothers’ tales. It gets its name from being so densely forested with firs and pine trees that sunlight rarely breaks through. There are numerous amounts of myths of witches, werewolves, and the slender man. The land which the forest sits on also has less dreary areas of open slopes and farmland with grazing cattle.

(Image Source: Flickr | llyglad)

Burano, Italy

What makes Burano so magical isn’t some natural occurrence or grand castle–it is the qualities it shares some of the same qualities of Venice without the number of people. Plus, the houses are painted with bright colors which give the canals running along them a magical look. Almost like something out of a Disney movie. The colors of the houses follow a specific system that has been in place since the golden ages of development. The government decides what color the house will be based upon that system. It almost looks as if Google modeled its color pattern from the city of Burano.


Josh is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee.

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