You lay there, relaxing on your first day (or evening), and think to yourself, “Am I really here? Did I just die and go to heaven?”

Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, there are places on this Earthly realm that make you think that you’re somewhere in paradise. They take you away to a place so serene, so beautiful and different from anything you’ve ever experienced, that it will feel like everything is anew.

Paradise on Earth does indeed exist. Here are the 10 destinations that will make you feel like you’re someplace else, in a land far, far, away…

10. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Bolivia

We think of heaven as a place where people walk on clouds, floating above the air. Well, Salar de Uyuni looks just like that – as if you’re walking on the clouds and sky itself! During the rainy season, the largest salt flat in the world becomes a walking mirror. In fact, the salt flat is so reflective that it is used to calibrate satellites. Be sure to bring sunglasses though; the mirror’s brightness and reflections can be a little tough on the eyes.

9. Lake District, England

Lake District England

The Lake District is a vast area of beauty, complete with fells, hilltops and stunning lakes. You can experience England’s rolling green hills, leafy trees and see the reflection of the land’s beauty in its waters.  When you climb up to the top of a hill, you can see the great valleys and lakes below. It’s no wonder that 19th century Romantics flocked to this area to write poems and songs of the emotions of serenity and renewal they experienced here.

8. Shetland Islands, Scotland

Shetland Island

In between Norway and mainland Scotland, Shetland has a unique blend of Norwegian and Scottish culture reflected in the food, music and their famous Fair Isle knitwear. The archipelago has sparse populations amongst its lands, contributing to serene beaches on high hills, numerous archaeological sites, and array of wildlife. The small village homes are quaint and show a strong sense of community amidst the wild, grassy beauty of the lands.

7. Aruba, Caribbean


Aruba is a small island that boasts waters as blue as the bright skies above it. The beaches have white, fine sand that is warm from the sun’s touch, paving effortlessly for your feet as you walk along. The combination of the warmth of the sun and the stillness of the water make for a very relaxing dip. The island is enclosed from the rougher waters of the ocean, contributing to the calm waters. Sailboats and white resorts keep with the bright turquoise and white theme on this island.

6. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef turtle

As the largest living structure on the globe, nowhere else compares to the array of life found in the colorful reefs. There are over 600 different types of coral and over 1,000 species of fish. From far away, the reefs have a peaceful blue color that appears to be still, but up close is a different story. Full of life, you will be amazed at the aquatic sea life in this complex ecosystem when you dive into the reefs.

5. Northern Lights, Norway

Northern Lights Norway

Sure, you can see the aurora borealis from many places up north, but Norway is one particular country that you should be checking out. Norway is filled with all sorts of awesome sea life and features, such as whales, moose, polar bears and fjords. Experience life like the Vikings did in ancient times, when they looked up from their great Nordic ships and saw the beautiful and magical shades of the sky. The contract of the mighty, jutting white mountains against the majestic shades of greens, blues and purples is an awe-inspiring experience.

4. Santorini, Greece

La Santorini Greece

Visit the land of the ancient Grecians, and experience an odyssey as you travel along the Aegean Sea.  The bright, whitewashed buildings contrast against the darker hues of the sides of the hills they are built upon. Small white sailboats slowly drift by below, as if in a dream There is little that can compare to sitting outside on a nice day with a gentle, cool breeze and warm sun, eating seafood and drinking white wine.

3. Provence, France

Lavender Fields Provence France

If you’ve taken a ride from one city to another in France, you have likely experienced the serene vision of France’s countryside. You can see beautiful, vast fields of wild flowers growing, which will leave you amazed. Even more, the region has fields and fields of lavenders, making the area truly one of the most beautiful in the world. The seemingly endless purple fields make for a unique and peaceful setting. So stop and smell the flowers the next time you drive by.

2. Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Imagine going to a spa to relax, except a hundred times better. I present the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most popular attraction. In the Lagoon, you’ll enjoy its warm, soothing waters, ripe with rich minerals from the earth that give it a blue, milky glow. It has been proven that the waters have healing effects, aiding those with skin problems to feel soothed and relieved. Take a dip in the vast, rich blue waters, and stare up at the clouds and blue skies in what could be described as a surreal experience.

1. Tahiti, Polynesia

Tahiti beach

If you go visit Tahiti, you’ll understand why Captain Bligh’s men (portrayed in Mutiny on the Bounty) didn’t want to leave. Although they initially set to take breadfruit trees from the island, the men ended up becoming enchanted with the beauty of the island, its customs, and its (very) friendly women. In fact, the women were so enticing that the missionaries who arrived in the 18th century forbid the women from dancing by shaking their hips wearing grass skirts. Tahiti is famous for its fine black sand beaches. Today, you’ll enjoy beautiful beaches, exotic fruits, and enjoying local customs, including dancing women.

Lonely Planet Tahiti & French Polynesia (Travel Guide)
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