There are plenty of reasons for taking holidays abroad — a total disconnect from everyday life, exotic food, deep relaxation — but we reckon one of the biggest attractions is the scenery.
You want to go someplace that looks jaw-droppingly gorgeous, leaving you with the fondest of memories and photos that will drive your nearest and dearest insane with jealousy.
That’s why all you secret princesses and handsome princes deserve to visit holiday destinations of the fairy tale variety, someplace like…
1. Grotta Palazzese, Italy
This a restaurant and hotel with a major difference — it’s built into cliffs which overlook the Adriatic Sea. Does exquisite Italian food combined with this view sound good to you?
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2. Hallstatt, Austria
Everything about this village simply oozes charm. Located on the shore of the Hallstätter See lake, set against an Alpine backdrop and boasting 16th-century structures, a funicular railway and an ancient salt mine, a trip to Halstatt is magical.
3. Opera de Paris, France
Founded by King Louis XIV in 1669, this resplendent opera house is the very ideal of old world glamour. Indulge your inner sophisticate and book a seat here for a high-class performance that you’ll never forget.
4. Isle of Skye, Scotland
This island off the coast of Scotland is known for the Cuillins at its centre, dramatic rocky mountains that you won’t see the like of anywhere else.
5. Salzburg, Austria
You feel like you’re traversing an oil painting in this well-preserved bastion of baroque architecture. Surrounded by looming hills and overlooked by a mighty fortress, your imagination can’t help but feel invigorated by the city — no wonder it gave birth to the genius of Mozart 250 years ago.
6. Azenhas do Mar, Portugal
Located just 30km from Lisbon, one visit to this seaside village will make you want to pack in your job and start a new life in this idyllic spot that seems to spring from a cliff.
7. Faroe Islands
Rarely at the top of anyone’s travel bucket list, but they should be. With their colourful cottages and stark scenery, these 18 islands look like they’re straight out of a Grimm Brothers story.
8. The Alhambra, Spain
Deriving from the Arabic name Qalat Al-Hamra meaning “The Red One”, the Alhambra is a spectacular palace found in Andalusia. It’s a beautiful and romantic symbol of the Moorish cultural influence on the region.
9. Lucerne, Switzerland
A medieval city built around a lake, surrounded by lush mountains and dotted with wide open plazas, Lucerne is the definition of the Alpine idyll.
10. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Wanderers of every sort flock to this picturesque spot in droves, with a church on a tiny island at the heart of the lake, a castle set atop a nearby peak and rolling hills all around.
11. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
A trip to Mostar is a journey back into the past — at least, that’s what it feels like. The jewel of the city is the Stari Most (meaning “Old Bridge”), an iconic stone arch which joins two medieval towers.
12. Rocamadour, France
For centuries people have been drawn to this place, initially on pilgrimages to see its holy monuments, but today its appreciated more for its architecture and simple charm.
13. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
It doesn’t get much more fairy tale than the location that literally inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle.