The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is an area of outstanding universal value. Its complex of fossil-bearing caves contains a superbly preserved record of the stages in the evolution of humankind over the past 4-million years. It's the world's richest early hominin site and is home to around 40% of the world's known human-ancestor fossils.
The area is also home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of which are rare or endangered.
Jump into a pool of refreshing mountain water and escape the city just an hour outside of Cape Town when you hike to Crystal Pools near Gordon’s Bay. By “refreshing”, of course, we mean quite cold—in true Cape Town fashion. But after 45 minutes to an hour of hiking at the Steenbras Nature Reserve, it comes as sweet relief from the heat.
The first pool is about 45 minutes from the start of the trail and you can stop here for a snack or break in the shade. For some serious swimming and kloofing opportunities, it’s best to hold out for the second pool, which is another ten to fifteen minutes up. There is also a waterfall, which you can stand below and enjoy an open-air cold shower. It’s only a 2km hike, but your legs will beg to differ. It starts out fairly easy but the climb gets tough. If you’re up for the challenge you can keep going after the second pool to the third pool that offers more swimming opportunities and an excellent view of the area.
The best views of Cape Town are from the Table Mountain Cableway, a unique and 87-year- old method of seeing the wonders of the city. Travel up to the summit of the majestic flat-topped mountain and be astounded by vistas of the Mother City, Robben Island and the Peninsula.
Regarded as one of the great botanic gardens of the world, Kirstenbosch – or rather, the land on which it sits — was bequeathed to the government by Cecil John Rhodes.
Situated on the slopes of Table Mountain, a mere 13km from the city centre, Kirstenbosch includes a fragrance garden, a medicinal garden, a garden that features 2500 species of plants found on the Cape Peninsula, a Protea garden (best seen in spring!), a braille trail, and a cycad amphitheatre. There is also a glasshouse – the Botanical Society Conservatory – which houses plants from the continent’s more arid regions.
If you have little ones, you simply must take them to see the cycad amphitheatre. Dotted among the cycads are life-sized anatomically correct sculptures of dinosaurs and a pterosaur! Kirstenbosch also features a sculpture garden, where you’ll find an ever-changing exhibition of African stone sculptures, and bronze animal sculptures by Dylan Lewis. Your kids will also enjoy a walk along the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway – affectionately known as the Boomslang. This 130-metre steel-and-timber bridge snakes its way through and over the trees of the Arboretum, providing stunning views of the Garden and the Cape Flats.
The Tsingy was the first refuge for the inhabitants of the island and it is located 820km west of Antananarivo. The Tsingy offers one of the most spectacular landscapes in Madagascar. This is why it was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site, followed by the Bemaraha park. You will be able to admire these fabulous landscapes with sharp spikes.
The Tsingy was classified as UNESCO World Heritage in 1990 and occupies a part of the limestone plateau of the same name that is a part of the Bemaraha National Park which was classified as UNESCO World Heritage in 1997. The Tsingy is one of the most spectacular landscapes of Madagascar with its network of rifts, crevasses, and limestome blocks that are carved in sharped blades.
The primary forest is formed by two distinct protected ares – the Analamazoatra special reserve and the Mantadia national park. The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is only about three hours from the capital.
Almost the whole park is formed by primary forest which has never been modified by human beings. It is also a refuge for many animals and plants. Thus, it is not uncommon to come across a multitude of species: lemurs, birds, chameleons, and insects of all kinds.
The Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains is one of Israel’s most beautiful yet accessible hiking trails. Twenty minutes north of Eilat, the Red Canyon offers an undisturbed hike through the natural canyons. The Red Canyon gets its name from the phenomenon which occurs when sunlight hits the reddish rock that lines the canyon, giving it an intense reddish color. The rock is varied in color and in patches is shades of white and yellow.
The green trail at the Red Canyon is considered to be family friendly, well marked, and relatively short. The descent leads down into the river bed and there is then a short fun trail leading to the second creek. The black trail is a more challenging descent down into the second creek. Walking through the second creek, you will reach a large rock which projects from the river bed. From atop this rock there is one of the most perfect photo spots in the area. As you continue to walk along the second creek, the sides of the canyon will narrow into what is known as the ‘Red Canyon’. The trail takes around 75 minutes to complete.
Timna Park is located about 25 km (about 17 miles) north of Eilat in Israel’s Negev Desert. One of the largest attractions in the south of Israel, the park, set in a beautifully majestic desert setting, has amazing history and geology, and a number of unexpected activities including those on the lake (yes, a lake in the desert!). Timna Park covers about 15,000 acres in a horseshoe-shaped valley surrounded by steep cliffs, with Mount Timna, the world’s first ever copper mine, standing tall in the center. Daily tours to Timna Park are available from Eilat.
Solomon’s Pillars are towering sandstone columns. Perfectly formed, in fact, so perfectly formed that you might not believe that they are the work of nature. But they, as with the rest of the amazing geology and landscape of Timna Park, are the work of nature alone, the result of strips of volcanic magma frozen into the cliffs. This scenery truly is the thing dreams are made of.
Snaking across Timna Park are hiking trails short and long, for all levels of experience. From these, visitors can witness the amazing works of nature, and ancient man in the mines, as well as the amazing wildlife, plants and trees, which makes the desert their home, surviving in the harsh arid conditions. Within the park, rather uniquely for the desert, is a small lake, and pedal boats are included in the ticket price. For kids, there are also activities such as sand bottling (the region has a unique colored sand), and other craft activities.
Jubail Mangrove Park is the first self-contained educational, nature and leisure destination of its kind in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Visit and explore a haven for avian and marine species native to Abu Dhabi at this serene mangrove sanctuary.
The Park aims to enhance the awareness, appreciation and understanding of the important ecological function of the mangrove habitats that include protection of the Abu Dhabi Coastline and supporting biodiversity.
A meandering boardwalk will take you through the mangroves and allow you to discover Abu Dhabi in its true essence.
Drive or take a desert safari to Fossil Rock for an unforgettable experience camping, trekking or hiking in the UAE. The formation reveals information about the planet and early species, with marine fossils dotting the crevices. The nearby Mleiha Archaeological Centre also offers guided treks, offering visitors a deeper understanding of the history of the UAE and early life in the desert.
Fossil Rock is also one of the ideal places on the Sharjah map for a desert camp, where you can surround yourself with the most scenic mountain trails in the UAE, go dune driving on the shifting sands, and stargaze under the night sky. If you’re looking for nature, history and adventure, be sure to put this destination on your list of places to visit in Sharjah.
Travel 65 Km from the city of Bangalore towards Nandi hills to be part of one of the fastest growing adventure activity in India; Paragliding. Nandi hills are amongst the most popular hill stations near the metropolitan; the tourism of which has fallen into the hands of commercialization.
Nea Kameni and Therassia are two volcanic islands located next to Santorini. This can be a perfect day trip getting from one island to another with unforgettable views once you reach the top of the island.
Sapadere Canyon is a natural sight definitely worth seeing if you like nature and walking. The canyon was opened in 2008, until then it was only known by locals living in the area. It is app. 800m long and 400m high and it was formed by water, ice and wind erosion. You will be amazed by the picturesque nature scenes, numerous small waterfalls rushing over stones, various plants and aminals, especially birds and butterflies.
Even the air in Sapadere Canyon is different from the coast, its more fresh which offeres a nice break in summer heat. Moreover, the turkuaz water in the river is rarely over 10 degrees celsius even though the air reaches 30+. There is an opportunity to jump into the natural water pool at the end of the path or walk down the stairs to try the water yourself. A wooden environment friendly platform has been constructed along the river for visitors.
You can take an individual trip to Sapadere Canyon, take a taxi or join an organised tour. If you drive yourself, go app. 20Km east from Alanya centre and then turn left to Demirtas village, drive up the village and then follow the signes until the Sapadere Canyon.
At the time of the rule of the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's, the one thing that Maharashtra got in abundance was forts. With its hilly terrain and the ruler’s expertise at establishing forts at strategic points, the state can now lay claims to have some of the finest, strongest, and the most unique forts of India.
The Mynicipal Unit of Mystras includes the former communities of Agia Irene, Agios Ioannis, Anavriti, Loggastra, Magoula, Mystras, Paroreio, Soustianoi and Tripi.
Nestled in Mount Taygetos and its lowlands, the municipal unit of Mystras offers both relaxation and recreation to visitors all year long.
Anavriti also serves as a base for ascents to the summit. Hiking paths and trails include the European E4 trail ascending to the Mountain Refuge, as well as paths to Mystras, Agios Ioannis and Taygeti. From the village of Parori, a 15-minute trek along a path leads to Our Lady Langadiotissa, a marvellous church tucked in a cave, and to the Monastery of Fan¬eromeni. Starting at Mystras, an inviting trail leads to Pikoulianika and Taygeti, as well as Agios loannis of Vouvalon in modern-day Mystras (only 10 minutes from the town square).
A visit to the Kaiadas chasm is essential, as is a stroll around the enchanting gardens of the Sainopouleio Amphitheatre, where the construction of a new athletic center is about to break ground. A tour of the springs in Tripi, ie Karvasara, Vasiloneri and the Knakiona springs at the Monastery of Agios Giannakis, is an exceptional experience. The Langada Climbing Park is also worth a visit for the crag climbing adventurer. Other worthwhile sites include the Byzantine bridge of Agios Sostis and the 4 water mills in the village of Agia Irene, the Byzantine churches of the Taxiarches (the Archangels), Our Lady the Virgin and St. Nicholas in Loggastra and finally, in Soustianoi, the Gorge of the Fairy, the Koumoundouros caves and the magnificent church of St. Nicholas.
From Praia Vermelha, the visitants take the first tram links to the Urca hill, and from there, a second tram takes them until the top of the Sugar loaf hill, it stays 396 meters of the sea level. Different histories justify the name of this touristic side; the most popular says that during the centuries XVI and XVIII, at the peak of the production of sugar cane, the producers stored sugar blocks in little boxes to be exported, and the resemblance of the object with Sugar loaf mountain gave origin to the name.
Inaugurated in 1912, the little tram of the Sugar loaf was the first Brazilian cable car and the third in the world, linking the Urca hill to the Sugar loaf mountain. Since then, more than 40 million of people have already used that cable cars.
From the high of the two mountains revels a gorgeous landscapes of the city, including the Botafogo cave, Copacabana edge and the entrance of Guanabara bay. In the summer, the amphitheater, located in the top of Urca hill is a stage for shows and night events, joining fun and a wonderful visual of lights of the city.
Pamukkale is an amazing display of natural hot water pools in Denizli Province, south-western Turkey. What you see in the photos below are known as travertines or the terraces that form due to the carbonate minerals that gather up as the flowing water circles.
The archaeological excavations carried out by Turkish Historical Society in 1941 showed that the first settlement on the hill goes back to 3000 BC, Early Bronze Age.  Later on, the hill had also been used as a settlement area during Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman eras.
Erciyes, with an elevation of 3916 meters, is a volcanic mountain whose summit is always covered with snow and fog and has become synonymous with the city of Kayseri. This lava-spewing mountain, responsible for the 'fairy-chimney' rock formations in nearby Cappadocia, impressed the Meek people living at its base so much that their coins bear an impression of the mountain with lava boiling out of the top. The first person to successfully make the summit was W. J. Hamilton in 1837, and the first Turk was Miralay Cemil Cahit Bey in 1924.
Besides being a popular spot for mountain climbers, it is also one of Turkey's best winter-sport resorts. From the top of the mountain, if the weather is clear, there is a stunning view of an area stretching from Cappadocia to the Taurus Mountains.
Boavista contains a real desert in the northwestern part of the island, the Viana desert. Just one kilometer long and about 5 km long, it is characterized by a light sand mixed with grains of black earth. The ocean winds continuously transport huge volumes of sand from the African continent, depositing them on the island of Boavista due to the conformation of the land and the proximity to the mainland. This sand creates real desert dunes, interspersed with a sparse vegetation and some very dark volcanic rocks. The result of this phenomenon is a rainbow of colors and the rapid passage of clouds projects onto the ground an alternation of almost hypnotic light and shadow.
The lunar landscape, amplified by the total lack of artificial sounds, makes this place an obligatory stopping point: it is possible to walk without difficulty, in the tranquility of being a few steps from civilization, without the danger of encountering poisonous animals or quicksand.
The place is opened to the public for didactic visitation guided by technicians, with carefully elaborated tracks, showing aspects of typical ecosystems: paludosa forest, restingas, swamps, beach, sea rocks and Tabuleiro forest. Various uncommun attractives of the landscape provide a pleasant sightseeing pleasure and direct contact with the nature, good of seeing, feeling, to hear and to smell.
Palandoken mountain has an altitude of 3185 m, and is south of Erzurum. This was the area of the first extensive study in the country looking at a master plan for tourism potential, which concluded that the area has the necessary potential and qualities to be a major international resort.
Cilento e Vallo di Diano National Park is the second-largest park in Italy. It stretches from the Tyrrhenian coast to the foot of the Apennines in Campania and Basilicata, and it includes the peaks of Alburni Mountains, Cervati and Gelbison and the coastal buttresses of Mt. Bulgheria and Mt. Stella. The extraordinary naturalistic richness of the heterogeneous territory goes hand in hand with the mythical and mysterious character of a land rich in history and culture: from the call of the nymph Leucosia to the beaches where Palinuro left Aeneas, from the ruins of the Greek colonies of Elea and Paestum to the wonderful Certosa of Padula. And everything else you can find in such an unexplored territory.
The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano houses many animal species. Their undisputed queen is undoubtedly the golden eagle that nests on the highest peaks. But other birds fly over the territory of the Park, including peregrine falcons, buzzards, sparrow hawk, owl and the owl. The territory is also inhabited by wolves, wild boars, foxes, martens, badgers, weasels and other mammals that bear witness to the progressive enrichment of the ecosystem of the Park of Cilento.
The Path of the Gods links Agerola, a small village over the hills of the Amalfi Coast, to Nocelle, a fraction of Positano which is located on the slopes of Monte Pertuso.
The name hints at the spectacle of the path: follow it in the direction that goes from Agerola to Nocelle so walking slightly downhill and get in front of the scenery of the Amalfi Coast and Capri.
The Path of the Gods starts from Bomerano, fraction of Agerola. To reach Agerola there are Sita buses leaving from Amalfi, ask the driver for the stop Bomerano. From there follow the road signs that will take you at the entrance of the path. The Path of the Gods can also be reached from Praiano but you have to face a long flight of steps to go from sea level to 580 meters high to the pass of Colle Serra.
Because of the unique biodiversity and spectacular natural formations of Pirin, the Government of Bulgaria has established over 40,000 ha of mountain protected area – Pirin National Park. It is a piece of nature that is a priceless Bulgarian and world heritage and is included in UNESCO’s “Man and the Biosphere” program.
The landscape of the Pirin Mountains is diverse and includes a notable alpine area, dotted with many lakes, forested mountain landscapes that define the unique fauna richness in the mountain.
The composition of forests in the territory of Pirin National Park includes 16 tree species, some of them are endemic species, others are of particular conservation significance, or represent some of the largest inventories of tree species in Europe and in Bulgaria. The total area of the Pirin National Park is 40,356 ha and the forested area is 23,110 ha. Within the large area there is dwarf pine, white fir, white pine, spruce, fir, beech, and black pine. The average age of forests in Pirin National Park is 85 years, the largest proportion of forests are older than 140 years.
Mount Vesuvius is famous as the volcano that erupted in Roman times (AD 79) and buried Pompeii.
The volcano is just 6 miles from the modern city of Naples and is a very popular visitor attraction with a lot of visitors coupling a half day at Pompeii with a visit to Mount Vesuvius. Mount Vesuvius is one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes. The volcano has an eruption cycle of about 20 years, but the last eruption was in 1944. Nevertheless, this doesn't stop thousands of tourists visiting the world-famous volcano every year.
Since 1995 the volcano has been a National Park.
Matka - A gorge in which a rich complex of mediaeval building survives, including churches, monasteries and remnants of a fortress (the mediaeval town of Matka).There are dozens of caves and a large number of endemic plants and animals. The Canyon covers an area of around 5.000ha and is located 15km south-west of Skopje. By its morphogenetic characteristic, it is a breakthrough gorge. Krastic form deserve particular attention here-ten caves with their length ranging between 20 and 176 meters and two vertical chasms with a depth up to 35 meters. Matka was one of the largest refugee centers during the glacial period resulting in the presence of a high number of relic and endemic plants, 20% are endemic or relic spices. Among Tertiary relics, the most significant are the Kozani violet and Italy's Ramonda (Ramonda Natalie). It is also important to mention that there are 77 species of Balkan endemic small butterflies in area of Matka Canyon, while 18 other species are new to the science.
The promontory of Capo Caccia, also known as the Sleeping Giant, is the undisputed symbol of Alghero, standing just north of the town’s bay. These sheer cliffs, known paradise for climbing lovers, drop to very deep water providing fantastic views of the coast. Not to be missed is the breathtaking panorama from the cliff in front of the island of Foradada.
You can not miss that wonderful National Park. You will enjoy landscapes that will seem like another planet. You will breathe the pure air of the highest peak in Spain. You will walk among the volcanic lava and you will feel tiny when you see the impressive environment declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Just a breath away from Dubrovnik stands the mysterious island of Lokrum. It’s one of the World’s seven cursed islands.
Lush Lokrum is a beautiful, forested island full of holm oaks, black ash, pines and olive trees, only a 10-minute ferry ride to Lokrum from Dubrovnik’s Old Harbour. It’s a popular swimming spot, although the beaches are rocky. Boats leave roughly hourly in summer (half-hourly in July and August). The public boat ticket price includes the entrance fee, but if you arrive with another boat, you’re required to pay 120KN at the information centre on the island.
The island’s main hub is its large medieval Benedictine monastery, which houses a restaurant and a display on the island’s history and the TV show Game of Thrones, which was partly filmed on Lokrum. This is your chance to pose imperiously on a reproduction of the Iron Throne. The monastery has a pretty cloister garden and a significant botanical garden, featuring giant agaves and palms from South Africa and Brazil. Near the centre of the island is circular Fort Royal, commenced during the French occupation in the early 19th century but mainly used by the Austrians. Head up to the roof for views over the old town.
To reach the nudist beach, head left from the ferry and follow the signs marked FKK; the rocks at its far end are Dubrovnik’s de facto gay beach. Another popular place for a swim is the small saltwater lake known as the Dead Sea.
Anyone who loves nature and places untouched by the human hand will find the Almadenes Canyon a landscape of singular beauty. On the other hand, there is a rich biodiversity of flora including poplars, ashes and willows and wildlife such as the eagle owl, the short-toed Eagle and the otter. In this attractive touristic enclave, you can pursue adventure sports such as trekking, canyoning, and of course, the river descent by inflatable boat or kayak which offers every visitor the opportunity to travel down the river irrespective of their age or physical fitness.