Contributed by Michael Dehoyos
Do you love fairy tales and are you dying to travel around the world? If so, why not combine your love of the mystical and fantastical with your passion for travel?
You heard right! It’s no secret that there are many places in the world where you can immerse yourself in “fairy tale” vibes. While there are many to choose from, we’ve managed to find some of the best places to visit, if you’re a die-hard fan of fantasy. Whether you love princesses, knights in shining armor, or dragons from distant lands, these places will surely take your breath away when you visit them. Here are the 15 most magical fairy tale destinations you have to visit.
Fairy tale destinations you have to see once in your lifetime
1. Bavaria, Germany
Image credit: Lum3n
First on our list of fairy tale destinations is Bavaria, Germany. Here, you’ll find the famous Neuschwanstein Castle: an inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World. With its snow-capped mountains and quaint towns, Bavaria deserves a spot on any fairy tale lover’s bucket list!
2. Zhangjiajie, China
One of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is marked by pillars of sandstone that stretch for miles. Truly a remarkable scene, this destination was the inspiration for the landscape in Avatar. If you love adventure in your stories, then this is the place to visit!
3. Hallstatt, Austria
Another beautiful fairy tale town with colourful buildings and church steeples, Hallstatt is a popular destination to visit. Located in the district of Gmunden, Upper Austria, it overlooks a beautiful, majestic lake. Its mountainous background and small-village-like appearance is a striking equivalent to the landscape featured in Disney’s Frozen and Frozen 2.
4. Kitakyushu, Japan
Found in Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan, the famous Wisteria Tunnel truly looks like something out of a fairy tale. If you’ve ever wanted to surround yourself in exquisite colours and flora, then this tunnel will satisfy your fantasies. Twenty-two different species of wisteria cover the entire tunnel, and thousands of tourists visit in the spring, from late April to the beginning of May.
5. Gablenz, Germany
The breathtaking Rakotzbrücke is located in Gablenz’ Azalea and Rhododendron Park Kromlau. This bridge is also known as the “Devil’s Bridge” due to the folklore surrounding its construction — it is believed that the devil himself built it.
Despite its supposed demonic origins, the surrounding landscape is phenomenal. If you’re the adventurous type, or a daredevil, then head to this bridge and brave the path like a true hero!
6. Vaadhoo Island, Maldives
If you want to see one of the most mystical and magical marine phenomena in the world, then the island you want to visit is Vaadhoo Island in Raa Atoll, Maldives. In the late summer, the luminous “Sea of Stars” gives off its soft blue glow due to the planktons. A captivating sight, it’s considered one of the rarest phenomena known to man.
7. Colmar, France
Another fairy tale destination to consider is Colmar, France. Do the houses and rivers look familiar?
Colmar was the inspiration for the quaint city in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Located in the Alsace region of France, it is the birthplace of the sculptor Bartholdi, the French sculptor behind the Statue of Liberty.
8. Hobbiton, New Zealand
Hobbiton is really a fantasy destination. Located in New Zealand, this popular tourist attraction is the movie set from The Lord of the Rings. You can tour all the houses and even finish up with a pint of ale at the Green Dragon!
9. Cappadocia, Turkey
The land of whimsical fairy chimneys and odd rock formations, this landscape is truly otherworldly. To make your experience even more magical, it’s recommended to view Cappadocia’s remarkable scene from a hot air balloon!
10. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar looks like something straight off a page from a magical tale. Packed with ancient and medieval history (especially from the Ottoman era), the city is a fantasy in of itself. Tourists come from all over to visit the Stari Most, the old bridge that is the town’s focal point. Plus, its marketplace-like vibe and small-town atmosphere takes you through a different time period, just as many fairy tales would.
11. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Located in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway is absolutely magical — so much so that you could imagine that mermaids would inhabit it. This stretch of coastline boasts perfectly formed hexagonal columns, grouped together along the water’s edge. Interestingly, this fantastical landscape was created by volcanic activity long ago.
12. Isle of Skye, Scotland
The ultimate fairy tale destination, the Isle of Skye is yet another must-visit attraction. Located in Scotland, it is home to the stunning Fairy Pools and the Fairy Glen. Here, you can also visit the Old Man of Storr or drive a little way and visit the awe-inspiring Eilean Donan Castle!
13. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is noted as one of the prettiest places to visit in Slovenia — and with its beautiful aquamarine lake, it’s not hard to see why. Resembling a page straight out of a storybook, it’s an astonishing sight to behold in the midst of Slovenia’s mountains and forests. There is even a beautiful castle on the island located right in the middle of the lake!
14. Santorini, Greece
If beautiful islands are your favourite fairy tale locations, then check out the undisputed island of Santorini in Greece. Santorini boasts magical sunsets, beautifully coloured beaches, and blue-domed churches, making it such a fantastical place to visit.
15. Taktsang Lhakhang, Bhutan
Towering mountains and small, quiet villages that offer some of the most stunning views you will ever see — these are the hallmarks of Bhutan. When visiting the Land of the Thunder Dragon, do not miss Taktsang Lhakhang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest Temple; an iconic attraction in Bhutan, this intricately designed monastery is perched carefully on the edge of a cliff.
As you can see, fairy tales aren’t just something that you’ll only find in books. There are a variety of places in the world that inspire people from all over to either read and create amazing stories. From folklore-inspired tourist spots to natural beauties, we’ve shown you the best of the best!
Which of these fairy tale destinations will you be visiting on your next big holiday? We can’t wait to hear all about your adventures. Be sure to tag us on Instagram at @tripzillaph and use our official hashtags #TripZillaPH and #LifesATrip!
Featured image credit: adisa via Canva Pro