27 Most Beautiful Vacation Spots in the World To Visit 2018

There are so many amazing places around the globe to see, we couldn’t possibly include them all in just one list. But, these breathtaking destinations are definitely worth bumping to the top of your travel bucket list–whether you’re looking to relax on a beach, get off the grid or explore a city.

1. Villefranche Sur Mer

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The colorful harbor of this picturesque village, with its brilliant coral hues and gold-toned buildings, is one of the most beautiful Niçoise fishing villages on the French Riviera. Villefranche sits on a hillside and the town’s buildings seem to cascade down to the harbor.

Wander through the narrow alleyways and cobblestone stairways comprising the village’s old town (dating back to 130 B.C.) before visiting the 16th-century Saint-Elme Citadel, which offers views overlooking the Mediterranean. Afterward, enjoy people- and yacht-watching with an aperitif in hand at an outdoor cafe along the pier and harbor.

2. Saint-Paul de Vence

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This picturesque medieval walled village sits atop a rocky hill, offering sweeping views of the French Prealps and the Mediterranean Sea. Its reputation as an artist’s haven helped the destination attract several famous painters, including Marc Chagall, who is buried in the village’s historic cemetery.

You’ll want to meander through Saint-Paul de Vence’s narrow alleyways and stop at one of the village’s many art studios and galleries, or shop for Provencal specialties. For a unique dining experience with vistas overlooking the valley, try La Brouette’s Scandinavian-inspired cuisine.

3. Vence

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A charming town surrounded by ancient ramparts, Vence lies just north of Cagnes-sur-Mer. Travelers can explore the historic streets and visit the Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary. The church dates back to the fourth century and houses a mosaic by renowned artist Marc Chagall.

For a special treat, reserve a room at Château Saint-Martin & Spa. This elegant resort was formerly the 12th-century residence of the Knights Templar. You can enjoy cocktails on your balcony or breakfast on the terrace with panoramic views of the Côte d’Azur from Nice to Cannes.

4. Ramatuelle

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This small commune built in the hills and surrounded by ramparts looks out over the Bay of Pampelonne. Located just 15 minutes from St-Tropez, it’s the perfect locale for travelers wanting to be close to the famed Cote d’Azur town and escape to a small, quiet village at the end of the day.

While here, take time to visit Volterra Castle and sample the AOC Côte de Provence wines at its vineyards. And if you can swing it, splurge on a stay at La Reserve Ramatuelle, a luxury resort overlooking the Mediterranean.

5. Cannes

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Famed for its annual Cannes Film Festival, this swanky destination is synonymous with the rich and famous. Travelers can stroll along the main promenade, La Croisette, to soak in the local essence, sights and spectacular views of the coastline. Then, head one block north to Rue d’Antibes for an afternoon of shopping at the variety of boutiques.

Cannes is also the perfect place to sip Champagne and enjoy lunch at an outdoor cafe. As for accommodations, consider a stay at the iconic Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic, where you can enjoy a dip in the pool or relax on the private beach.

6. Death Valley National Park, California

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Located on the eastern border of California, Death Valley is America’s lowest, hottest, and driest point. But that doesn’t make watching the sunset from Zabriskie Point any less beautiful.

7. The Wave, Arizona and Utah

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Only 20 people per day are allowed to hike out to this Jurassic-age sandstone formation in the remote Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, but all of the advance planning required to see this breathtaking place is totally worth it.

8. Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China

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9. Venice, Italy

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If traversing the canals with a be-striped gondolier sounds unbearably touristy, stick to the sidewalks and spectacular arched bridges to get your fill of this truly unique, wildly romantic floating city.

10. Banff National Park, Canada

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The glacial lakes in Canada’s first national park have some of the bluest water you’ve ever seen. Even if you’re not particularly outdoorsy, you can still admire the views from one of the cozy and luxurious lakeside lodges throughout the park, like the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

11. Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe – California, USA

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Kicking off our world vacations list is the Emerald Bay which is a state park of California and is National Natural Landmark. Park features include Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. The park contains the only island in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island.

Emerald Bay is one of the first underwater parks of its type in the state, protecting the various wrecks and other items on the bay’s bottom.

12. Yosemite National Park – California, USA

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Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, and biological diversity. One of the most spectacular features of the park is the Horsetail Falls and should definitely be on your world vacations list.

Horsetail Fall is a seasonal waterfall that flows in the winter and early spring. The fall occurs on the east side of El Capitan and if the weather conditions are just right, the setting sun illuminates the waterfall, making it glow orange and red. This natural phenomenon is often referred to as the “Firefall,” a name that pays homage to the manmade Firefall that once took place in Yosemite.

13. Dog Island – San Blas, Panama

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The San Blas Islands is a group of islands which are located just off the Caribbean coast of Eastern Panama and makes for an amazing world vacations trip. The San Blas offers a large array of sights. Starting with the fascinating people, incredible seascapes, colorful reefs and islands, to the abundant sea life in its waters and wildlife on the mainland.

If you time your world vacations trip here just right you will get to join in with the festivals and gatherings occurring at villages and get a glimpse of the culture.

If you like snorkeling, you will find a great variety of tropical fish in the shallow warm waters.

14. Calo des Moro Beach – Mallorca, Spain

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Calo des Moro is situated six kilometers from Santanyi in the south-easten part of Mallorca and is a spectacular world vacations spot. It has a fantastic beach and high cliffs populated by pines on both sides of the sandy beach. The water is crystal clear and the beautiful surroundings makes it perfect for a swim.

15. Aogashima, Volcanic Japanese Island

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A couple of hundred miles to the south of Tokyo in the Philippine Sea lies the island of Aogashima. This island is known for having a volcanic caldera within a larger caldera, which makes the island’s unique shape resemble a tropical scene from the set of Jurassic Park or Lost. If you are planning on making this one of your world vacations trip then be warned, getting to the island is an adventure akin to a James Bond mission, which is likely why not many ever make the journey.

These remote islands are truly a great place to relax. It is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park system which encompasses many of the islands in the area, so a trip would definitely require a bit of island hopping to take in all of the surrounding beauty.

On Aogashima there isn’t much to do, but the serenity is probably one of the biggest attractions on a visit and the alien landscape is something you will never forget.

16. Nassau, The Bahamas

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Visibility in the water off Nassau in The Bahamas can reach up to 100 feet — and that’s why it’s home to the world’s best diving. Explore the Blue Hole, a natural hole 100-feet across and 200-feet deep full of large schools of fish.
Trinity and Piece of Cake caves both have openings large enough to swim through and are home to some large lobsters. There are also countless shipwrecks that have occurred along the reefs surrounding the islands of the Bahamas that make for some very exciting underwater adventures.

17. Stanford Antigua Sailing Week – Antigua, The West Indies

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To pack a little action into your Caribbean vacation, head to the annual Stanford Antiguasailing week. Participants from all over the globe flock to Antigua each year hoping to win what is now considered one of the premier sailing regattas in the world. The excitement of the race combined with the hospitality and beauty of Antigua make for a vacation you’ll never forget.

18. Jade Mountain – St. Lucia

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Jade Mountain is an eco-luxury resort facing St. Lucia’s Twin Piton Mountains. The resort sits on over 400 acres full of biking and hiking trails, not to mention the scuba-diving available at the marine park. Guests here are at one with nature — because there are only 3 walls to every room at the resort. There are no phones, televisions or radios in any of the rooms. It truly is a sanctuary rather than a hotel.

19. Grace Bay Club – Provo, Turks and Caicos

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Located on 11 acres of immaculate beachfront, the Grace Bay Club was Turks and Caicos’ first luxury all-suite hotel. The hotel is divided into two sections: the adults-only hotel and a family-friendly villa resort. Each provides private swimming pools and dining experiences to meet your travel desires. New features to the hotel include the Caribbean’s longest bar, luxury Anani spa tents, 100 new chic day beds, a kids’ tree house and the Anacaona restaurant.

20. Silver Sands Resort – Christ Church, Barbados

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Silver Sands Resort may sit on 12 beautifully landscaped placid acres, but its status as the windsurfing capital of Barbados is the real draw. The Club Mistral windsurfing station is open between November and June, but novices need not apply; a skill rating between 5 and 6 is required to windsurf and kitesurf the waters off Silver Sands.

21. Beaches Resort Villages & Spa – Turks and Caicos

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A visit to these beautiful islands will often cost you a pretty penny, but not if you stay at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort and Spa. Opened in 1997, this popular spot is an all-inclusive resort.

22. Canyolands National Park – Utah

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source: nationalgeographic.com

A parade of dramatic rocks marches through Utah’s Canyonlands, where you can view the entire park as one dramatic sculpture. It’s a three-dimensional playground of smooth rock, twin rivers, narrow canyons, wildflower gardens, hidden meadows, and otherworldly colors.

23. Southern Peru

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Every year in the remote reaches of Peru, wild vicuñas are rounded up during Gran Chaccu, an annual shearing event rooted in Inca tradition. Andean herders surround these wild, long-necked cousins of llamas and alpacas, prized for their precious wool, considered one of the finest natural fibers in the world. Once the animals are shorn, they are let go and bound, one by one, for the hills, free again.

24. Faroe Islands, Denmark

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Tucked away at the bottom of a mountain-enclosed inlet, a grass-roofed village occupies a mystical, moody realm in Denmark’s Faroe Islands. This island, Streymoy, is just one of 18 that make up the windblown and remote archipelago that sits about 200 miles off the coast of Scotland.

25. Engadine Valley, Switzerland

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source: nationalgeographic.com

The special “diamond dust light” of the mighty Engadine Valley has been drawing visitors to this part of Switzerland for more than three centuries. The dazzling atmospheric display is created on cold winter days by innumerable many-faceted ice crystals lingering in the atmosphere and glittering in the sun. A snow-covered St. Moritz, pictured here, sparkles in the winter.

26. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

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Deep in central Croatia’s dark, primordial Dinaric Alps, water and rock create the shimmering “land of the falling lakes,” as Plitvice National Park is known. A network of trails and wooden boardwalks entices more than a million visitors a year to explore waterfalls, streams, caves, and interconnected lakes.

27. Bohol Island Chocolate Hills, Philippines

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source: nationalgeographic.com

The conical Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island in the Philippines are a mystery of nature. The estimated 1,776 grass-covered, coral limestone karst domes are nearly uniform in shape. And though lush foliage paints the mounds a vibrant green much of the year, in the driest months the rain-starved landscape resembles row after row of giant chocolate drops.

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