Slide 2 of 30: The Great Barrier Reef is famously so vast it can be viewed from space. It looks good both underwater and from dry land. It’s the world’s largest reef system, made up of nearly 3,000 reefs and encompassing more than 135,000 square miles (350,000sqkm). It’s also home to whales, dolphins, sea turtles and thousands of species of fish. Even without all that, the dazzling, dappled expanse of blue is pretty lovely to look at.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Slide 3 of 30: Few places capture the imagination like this archaeological site, a citadel built by the ancient Incas in the 15th century and mysteriously abandoned. Machu Picchu's network of dry-stone walls and agricultural terraces etch the mountaintop site, surrounded by Andean peaks. Throw in llamas and alpacas, who graze on grassy slopes nearby, and you have a winner.

Slide 4 of 30: Greece, and perhaps particularly its islands, is so blessed with natural and man-made beauty, it’s almost embarrassing. But it’s hard to think of a view that more succinctly sums up the country’s gorgeousness than the blue domes of Santorini island. The most famous whitewashed buildings are in Oia, a clifftop village perched (very) prettily by the Aegean Sea, whose azure hue perfectly matches those rooftops.

Slide 5 of 30: This classic view opens up from the summit of Mount Snowdon. The peak is worth staring at but it’s this lake that was voted the UK’s best view. The skinny, squiggly lake lies within Snowdonia National Park, cradled by emerald-green valleys and surrounded by mountains. It’s also linked to the legend of King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake.

Llyn Llydaw, Wales

Slide 7 of 30: These surreal sculptures are part of the Gardens by the Bay, whose conservatories are filled with lush plants and blooms. The ‘trees’ tower between 82 and 164 feet (25 and 50m) and are illuminated at night, adding a new dimension – and extra lights – to the already sleek, shiny cityscape of Singapore.
Slide 8 of 30: There’s something mystical about the pinnacles and hoodoos that rise jaggedly across the landscape of this beguiling national park. Or perhaps that’s just if you stare at them for too long. The cream and apricot rock formations are certainly fascinating, especially the amphitheater seen from Inspiration Point (pictured). Now take a look at more of America's natural wonders.

Slide 9 of 30: This row of fat-bottomed baobab trees is as bizarre and beguiling as the island’s tangerine-eyed lemurs, and probably just as frequently photographed. The Avenue of the Baobabs, on a dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in western Madagascar, is made up of majestic centuries-old trees, reaching up to 100-feet (30m) tall. Now discover more of the world's beautiful trees.

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

Slide 10 of 30: Depending on the light and time of day, the surface of Moraine Lake, one of the most gorgeous sites in Banff National Park, can appear a soft teal, a shimmering icy blue or a milky turquoise color. The pristine nature of the glacially fed lake is framed by a backdrop of snow-dusted mountains and shores edged with pine trees. Ice forms in winter and early spring, with floes often floating under the water’s surface – adding an extra layer of beguiling beauty.

Moraine Lake, Canada

Slide 11 of 30: However you look at it, this huge, thundering waterfall on the Zambezi River is pretty incredible. Straddling Zimbabwe and Zambia, with cascades more than 5,500 feet (1,700m) wide and 355 feet (108m) tall, it’s one of the world’s largest and most iconic waterfalls. It’s also among the loudest, making such a racket and creating such a cloud of mist that the Kalolo-Lozi people named it Mosi-oa-Tunya, or 'The Smoke That Thunders'.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia

Slide 12 of 30: This fjord on the country’s South Island is surrounded in lush rainforest and waterfalls, and home to seals, penguins and dolphins. What more could you want in a view? Mountains, perhaps, like the much-photographed Mitre Peak, which dominates the shores. Even rain is a joy here, setting in motion a series of temporary waterfalls that cascade down the mountain slopes. Here are 50 more reasons to love New Zealand.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Slide 14 of 30: London has a lion's share when it comes to iconic landmarks and a generous scattering of recognizable bridges spanning the River Thames too. But this Gothic Revival–style suspension bridge, built between 1886 and 1894, is one of the most famous – and most photographed – of them all. Tower Bridge's namesake two towers and pastel blue cables add a fairy-tale quality to the landscape.

Tower Bridge, England

Slide 17 of 30: In the north of this vast, fascinating country, Simien Mountains National Park has gaspingly gorgeous vistas at every turn. The green, undulating mountains are roamed by curved-horned wail ibex, Ethiopian wolves and – easiest to spot – endemic gelada monkeys, who gather in groups to preen and play in the meadows. Take a look at more of the world's best wildlife experiences here.

Simien Mountains, Ethiopia

Slide 18 of 30: Some landscapes just have a way of putting things into perspective, or at least making you feel very small indeed. The Grand Canyon is the master at this and although there are really no bad views to be found in this vast national park, the South Rim is arguably the best for vistas. The rolling and undulating valley of jagged rust-red rock formations is washed with lilac and pink at sunrise.

Grand Canyon South Rim, Arizona, USA

Slide 19 of 30: Petra is so spellbinding it’s been given several nicknames, each of them delightful: Pink City, Rose City, Lost City… The first two are due to the blushing hue of its sandstone, while the latter refers to the fact it was unknown to the Western world until 1812. Arguably the best view is of intricately-carved Al Khazneh (the treasury), reached through a curving slot canyon, the Siq. Discover new secrets of the world's ancient wonders here.

Ancient city of Petra, Jordan

Slide 20 of 30: Sometimes natural and man-made beauty conspire to create something truly wonderful. The vineyards of Portugal’s Douro Valley are a prime example. Etched into the hillsides, they perfectly demonstrate that practical can be very pretty indeed. The terraces are carved into the steep banks of the River Douro, taming the land to grow the grapes that produce the region’s renowned port and red wines.

Douro Valley, Portugal

Slide 22 of 30: Bright white and shimmering turquoise are a match made in hue heaven, and there are few places that demonstrate that more gorgeously than the thermal pools of Pamukkale, a town in western Turkey. The travertine terraces, whose staggered steps tumble down the mountainside, are the result of limestone deposited over millennia from the natural hot springs, which flow over and form milky-blue pools.

Pamukkale’s thermal pools, Turkey

Slide 29 of 30: When does a beautiful building become a beautiful view? When it’s as magnificent and iconic as the Taj Mahal, which stands elegantly on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the city of Agra. The white marble mausoleum is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built between 1632 and 1648 as a tomb for an emperor’s wife. Its ivory domes, ornately carved details and minarets are surrounded by manicured gardens, with the beauty further enhanced by a long reflecting pool.

Taj Mahal, India