Having a list of things to do or places to go before the end of your life is a pretty common practice. Whenever people find out about adventures that pique their interest, they (actively or passively) create a bucket list: a name derived from the idiom ‘...kick the bucket’.
Some destinations offer jaw-dropping rarities, and chances are you’ll never get an experience like that anywhere else. These are the kinds of places you’ll find on millions of bucket lists all over the world. Here are 10 destinations that should be on everyone's list.
1. Santorini, Greece
The whitewashed buildings with blue roofs is a one of a kind picturesque backdrop, reinforcing the unmistakable feeling that you couldn't be anywhere else. Still, that's just one thing that makes this top romantic destination one of the most beautiful and famous islands in the world. The Island is all sorts of stunning, with attractions like Oia, which is renowned for its incredible sunsets; it looks like the sun is dropping into the sea.
2. The Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
For animal lovers and explorers, nothing gets better than this expansive destination of biodiversity. The rainforest is credited with the supply of 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen, so taking deep breaths here will have you energised, even long after you leave. Accounting for more than half of the earth's forest, the lush colour of the backdrop, Amazon Green, is a bright green you won't see anywhere else.
3. Niagara Falls, Canada
This city is a must-visit for many because it's home to the iconic waterfalls of the same name. However, made up of three falls, only Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three, is on the Canadian side. But being the most powerful waterfall in North America, it attracts up to 28 million tourists annually.
4. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Nothing screams adventure like swimming among impressive coral formations and almost 2,000 species of sea life, some of which are rare whale species. Visits can be organised to have minimum impact, so you can rest assured that you're not disrupting the incredible life teeming there. People of all ages can join in the unique experiences, making the site a family visit hotspot.
5. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
From beaches with surreal waters, golden sand and remarkable architecture, the North African country is full of unmissable attractions, including the river Nile, the longest river in the world. Arguably the most popular of all, though, are the Pyramids of Giza: the only surviving ancient wonder built by a people of rich history. In addition, religious people can, quite literally, come to Egypt to follow in the footsteps of Moses.
6. Northern Lights, Iceland
Of all the ‘larger than life’ sensations at this top friendcation destination, people mostly go with loved ones to watch the Northern Lights dance in the sky above the remarkable landscape of waterfalls and awe-inspiring hills/mountains. (It never gets too overwhelming that you forget the country is pretty cosy, though; perfect for bonding.) Still, as Iceland is famously peaceful with crisp, clean air, pure cold water straight from the tap and even satisfactory gender equality, it is also popular among solo travellers.
7. Safari in Kenya
The wild beauty of Kenya makes it a place for intense — yet peaceful — adventures. The spectacular experience of game viewing can involve watching Wildebeest migration and seeing elephant herds travel through Amboseli national park with the view of mount Kilimanjaro as a perfect setting that TV can't replicate. The potential fullness of every quest makes every visit a once-in-a-lifetime affair.
8. The Islands of French Polynesia
The entire country is a series of must-see tropical destinations. With more than 100 islands, the most popular of which include Bora Bora and Tahiti, there's a true getaway feeling, even for LGBT+ escapists. The islands are known for their luxurious offers, from striking scenery to a pleasantly noticeable vanilla scent in the air. You can also experience beautiful marine life by diving in the sparkling seas.
With so many iconic landmarks, people visit, for instance, New York for the Statue of Liberty, Los Angeles for the Hollywood Sign and San Francisco for the Golden Gate Bridge. However, there are other forms of one-of-a-kind experiences in places like New Orleans with the jazz and good vibes and Arizona for the Grand Canyon. With scores of states offering unique experiences (including fantastic coffee), you can tour for months and still not see it all.
This place is heaven for culinary enthusiasts with pizza you’ll never find anywhere else and lots of other remarkable food. But it's also suitable for picture lovers as the golden glow of Venice is better than any Instagram filter. Thanks to outstanding architecture that perfectly complements the extraordinary natural landscapes, there are also perfect historical backdrops everywhere, from Rome to Sardinia.