8 of the most amazing views in the world

27 February 2017

Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Looking for a spectacular view to photograph? Here are eight sky-high destinations to get those incredible shots.

Perfect travel inspiration for your wanderlust!

The Great Blue Hole in Belize from the air

The Great Blue Hole in Belize

Located 60 miles off the coast of Belize, this incredible underwater sinkhole is one of the most famous scuba diving spots in the world. Not a diver? Fly over the Great Blue Hole and take snaps from the seat of a private charter flight!

New York City from Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Rockefeller Center

New York City from the Top of the Rock Rockefeller Center, USA

There’s nothing quite like the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple as you wander the city’s streets. But the night-time view from the 70th floor of the stunning Rockefeller Center building might just beat wandering around Central Park and gazing up at the iconic Empire State Building!

"There are many observation decks in New York, from the Empire State Building to the Top of the Rock or the One World Observatory, " says Travel Counsellor Clare, "All give you different views out over Manhattan and surrounding suburbs. The Top of the Rock is best in the day time as you get great views over Central Park which can not be seen at night." Though Travel Counsellor Louise prefers the "Rockefeller Centre to the Empire State Building – it has shorter queues, is more interesting and you can see the Empire State Building!"

Bagan, Myanmar from the basket of a hot air balloon

Temples in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Soar above this incredible archaeological site and gaze down at the thousands of ancient temples dotted on the green plains of Bagan. It's a magnificent view at any time of the day but at sunrise, the wash of pink, violet and orange in the sky, the Irrawaddy river and the gentle mist creates a truly breathtaking sight.

Travel Counsellor Penny also recommends sunset if you can't make sunrise, saying "the view of the ancient pagodas by sunset is a vision that will remain etched in my memory for life, " while Travel Counsellor Graham explored Bagan from the ground with a guide on his tour of Myanmar in 2016.

Graham said, "We arrived around 8 am, and immediately started our tour of Bagan with a visit to a local market. With over 2000 stupas in the area of Bagan, we were so pleased we had a knowledgeable guide who knew exactly where to take us. The following day, we headed off for a further days exploring the area that is Old Bagan, visiting and learning of the history of Buddhism in the area, fascinating. The day ended by climbing, one of the largest Pagodas in Bagan to watch the sunset. A perfect end to a great day."

Horseshoe Falls from the Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls, Canada

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Canada

The roar of water and rising spray of the Canadian side of Niagara Falls looks spectacular from all angles but there's something extra special about eating dinner and looking over it! Located at 775 feet above Niagara Falls, the Skylon Tower has two dining rooms and an observation deck so that you can see 8,000 square miles of Canada and the USA.

Hong Kong from the viewing deck at Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

Travel up on the funicular railway and look out of the window as the tram winds up the hillside - there's the whole of Hong Kong! The tram climbs to 396 metres (1,300 feet) above sea level and the top of Victoria Peak offers an awe-inspiring 360 degree panorama of Hong Kong's harbour, those impossibly high skycrapers and the mountain backdrop.

The Whitsunday Islands National Park and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from a seaplane

Whitsunday Islands in Australia

Hop into the seaplane and get your camera ready for the jaw-dropping view from the window. Some of the sights you'll spot are Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island - as well as that glorious, sapphire-hued sea, of course. 

Rio de Janeiro from the cable car ride to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain

Rio de Janeiro and Sugar Loaf Mountain, Brazil

The view from the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain offers a mesmerising panorama of the sprawling city of Rio de Janeiro but the cable ride to the top is just as dazzling. The city opens up beneath you as the cable car climbs up 390 metres (1,296 feet) to the summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain and it's utterly spectacular at sunset.

Taktshang Goemba (Tiger's Nest Monastery) in Bhutan

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan

Perched on an almost sheer cliff face and overlooking a blanket of pine forests, this exquisite 17th century monastery sits almost 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level. Built in 1692, the sacred temple is considered Bhutan's most famous monastery and the incredible view when you hike to the top is magical.

Bhutan had been on Travel Counsellor Jennifer's travel wish list for years until she finally visited on a nine-day tour. Jennifer could "go on forever" about the "beauty of this country, not only the scenery, but the people and philosophy and rich cultural heritage," but we think her description of the Taktshang Goemba portrays the incredible landscape:

"The imposing Paro Dzong or monastery overlooking the town is a huge Tibetan-like structure emanating peace and tranquillity and further out is one of Bhutan’s oldest and most revered temples, dating back to the seventh century, the Kyichu temple. The most famous monastery in Bhutan, though, requires some effort and ideally suits those with a penchant for walking. This is the Taktshang Goemba or Tiger’s Nest, which literally clings to the side of a steep rocky cliff face 900 metres above Paro valley. It is hard to pinpoint highlights as there were so many, but this was indeed one of them. It was a breathtaking and exhilarating walk up affording fine views of the surrounding valley and snow-capped mountains. Many monks were also walking up with very heavy loads on their backs from timber to tiles for the renovations that were taking place. As soon we entered the monastery, a feeling of peace and holiness enveloped us. This monastery is deeply venerated and to meditate here as we did, is a very powerful experience."

(Main photo: Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

Ready to tick one of these incredible views off your bucket list? Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to plan your adventure!

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