Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
When you consider just how old the Charles Bridge which spans the Vltava River in Prague is, it’ll make you wonder how it’s still standing. The bridge’s sixteen arches are over five hundred years old and the bridge towers, which are part of a previous construction, date right back to the fourteenth century. Why Go? The Charles Bridge is stunningly Gothic. The thirty odd statues of saints you’ll come across when you walk over the bridge are a serious must see. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else it Europe. It is completely unique.
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the longest railway bridge in Scotland. It’s not only special because it appeared in the Harry Potter films either. The viaduct has twenty one arches which carry a single track railway line one hundred feet above the River Finnan and through the Finnan valley for more than one thousand two hundred feet. Without one ounce of metal reinforcement? Now that’s magic. Why Go? As far as mass concrete structures go, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is probably one of the most amazing in the world. Board the train ride to cross it and you’ll be guaranteed one of the most scenic rides of your life.
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Architect Antoni Gaudi left his mark all over Barcelona with his imaginative designs. None is as prominent as the Sagrada Familia. It’s a building which really pokes you in the eye with its exaggerated elaborateness. Construction of the church began way back in the late nineteenth century and still hasn’t been completed. Why Go? The Sagrada Familia is a great place to see before you die. Why? If you live to be a hundred and they ever actually finish it, you’ll be able to say you saw it while it was still being built. You can’t say that about many national monuments so make the most of the unique opportunity.
Grand Canal, Venice, Italy
The Grand Canal cuts through the city of Venice in Italy for almost two and a half miles. The inner-city waterway is almost three hundred feet wide in places which is good as there can be anywhere up to five thousand boats a day navigating along it. Why Go? The Grand Canal is lined either side with incredible historic buildings and is probably the most decorated stretch of waterway anywhere in the world. Most of the amazing buildings are only viewable by boat, but it’s the constant wash of boat wakes which cause them structural damage. Go and see them before their foundations are beyond repair and they disappear beneath the water in a pile of rubble.
Dona Ana Beach, Lagos, Portugal
The Dona Ana Beach is an incredible stretch of impeccable sand just one and a half miles from the centre of Lagos. It’s hard to believe such a stunning stretch of coastline could actually be so close to urbanity. What makes it even more impressive are the rugged cliffs which back the beach. They’ve been eroded by the action of sea and wind into unusual formations which expose the rock’s multi-colored strata. Why Go? Who needs a reason to go to the beach? If you do need a reason, well, you can always boast you saw the cliffs before they were worn away by the elements and became just another grain of sand.
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher are a staggeringly rugged part of Ireland’s west coast. It’s a long, almost four hundred foot, drop from the cliff tops down into the Atlantic Ocean below. They’re steep, they’re gaunt and believe it, Nature used her harshest tool when she carved away the land to form the eight and a half miles of this stark geological formation. Why Go? Visit the Cliffs of Moher and you’ll be able to say you’ve stood on the edge of, if not the world, then at least Ireland. There’s always the option of adjourning to the pub after to sample a pint or two of Guinness. Any more persuasion needed?
The Gorges du Verdon, SE France
Carved from solid rock by the raging waters of the Verdon River, the Gorges du Verdon stretches like a scar through the French countryside for over fifteen miles. Even more awe-inspiring are the gorge sides which tower over two thousand feet about the glacial blue river water. Why Go? The Gorges du Verdon is the perfect place to get a big adrenaline thrill. Canoeing through the canyon is like time traveling back to a Jurassic world, only thankfully without the dinosaurs.
Preikestolen, Near Stavanger, Norway
One of the best places to visit in Scandinavia is the Preikestolen which is an enormous rock formation in the Norwegian wilds. Known as Pulpit Rock it looms over the ice blue waters of the Lysefjord to a staggering height of almost two thousand feet. Topped by an eighty square foot plateau it is one of Norway’s most photographed landmarks. Why Go? If you ever wanted to preach a sermon to the world, well, this is the place to do it. The Preikestolen isn’t nicknamed Pulpit Rock for nothing. Spread your arms and shout a few words, your voice will carry for miles.
The Blue Lagoon, Reykjanes Peninsula, SW Iceland
The Blue Lagoon on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula is the world’s most picturesque spa. The cloudy azure waters of the man-made lagoon are heated by an underground volcanic lava field and loaded with therapeutic minerals which are reputed to aid the healing of skin problems. Why Go? If you’re going to spoil yourself with a spa treatment then do it in the best. The Blue Lagoon is definitely that. It can work out quite pricey for a quick dip so if you’re traveling on a budget, check out these cheaper alternatives to the Blue Lagoon instead.
Landwasser Viaduct Bridge, Filisur, Switzerland
The Landwasser Viaduct carries a single track rail line across the Landwasser River at a mind-boggling height of over two hundred feet. Its six arch formation is an incredible architectural accomplishment considering it was constructed well over a hundred years ago. Why Go? The Landwasser Viaduct Bridge is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland. Why? Board the train and ride across it. It’ll be the scariest edge of your seat, hold your breath, adrenaline thrill you’ve ever had without entering an amusement park.