While you can’t deny that landmarks like the Great Pyramids or St Peter’s Basilica are awe-inspiring, some of the most incredible sights on Earth are thanks to Mother Nature.
From waterfalls and canyons, to snow-covered peaks, the natural world has a lot to show off about.
A recent study analysed data from TripAdvisor reviews, Google searches and the number of posts and views on social media sites, to rank the best natural wonders of the world.
And, while every continent has an impressive site to boast, you’d don’t have to pay for a long haul flight to see them. In fact, four are just a few hours away in Europe.
The closest natural wonder to the UK ranked on the list is the Cliffs of Moher, in Ireland, which comes in at number nine.
Located on the west coast of Ireland, the nine mile stretch off sea cliffs formed over 300 million years ago. They’ve inspired poets, musicians and writers for centuries, and have even appeared in films like Harry Potter and The Princess Bride.
They’re an important home to seabird colonies and offer stunning views across the Aran Islands in Galway Bay.
‘It was absolutely stunning and worth every penny,’ wrote one satisfied visitor on TripAdvisor. ‘The cliffs were spectacular,’ added another.
Elsewhere in Europe, you can head to Switzerland to see the Matterhorn, which ranked at number six.
Rising up to 14,692ft, the Matterhorn is a near symmetrical peak in the Alps, and one of the highest in the famous mountain range, and in Europe.
Known as the ‘jewel of the Swiss Alps’, the Matterhorn cannot be accessed by cable car – so the only way to get to the top, is to climb. Alternatively, tourists can view it from the Swiss town of Zermatt.
‘A trip to the summit of the Matterhorn should be on everyone’s bucket list,’ read one TripAdvisor review.
Coming in at number 18 are the Piltvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. Made up of 16 lakes joined by cascades and waterfalls, the park is also home to incredible wildlife, including bears wolves and otters.
The stunning scenery is a big hit, with one reviewer writing: ‘This is what a fairy kingdom, a magical land, a lost paradise would look like.’
The last of Europe’s offerings is Pulpit Rock, in Norway, which comes in at number 20.
Another peak, the flat topped cliff towers 604m above a breathtaking fjord below. It’s a popular hiking destination, and takes around four hours to reach the summit.
Again, visitors love the views. One TripAdvisor user wrote: ‘I felt like [I was] in fairy tale with all that nature around, felt speechless for a moment.’
The rest of the list, complied by Titan Travel, included famous bucket list sights, such as Mount Everest, Angel Falls and The Grand Canyon.
Topping the list was Arches National Park in Utah, USA. The more than 76,000 acre park is famous for it’s natural sandstone arches.
The world's best natural wonders of the world
- Arches National Park, USA
- Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia
- The Grand Canyon, USA
- Table Mountain, South Africa
- The Matterhorn, Switzerland
- Mount Everest, Nepal
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
- Angel Falls, Venezuela
- Milford Sound, New Zealand
- Moraine Lake, Canada
- Ayer’s Rock, Australia
- The Sahara Desert, West Africa
- Halong Bay, Vietnam
- Mount Kilimanjaro
- Peyto Lake, Canada
- Piltvice Lakes, Croatia
- Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
- Pulpit Rock, Norway
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