15 Iconic Adventures Well Worth The Effort
There are some well-documented or iconic places on Earth that many people dream of seeing but sometimes these places just don't live up to the hype and are more tourist traps than anything else.
However, some are truly amazing and are well worth the effort you have to put in to get to see them. Here we take a look at just a few of those.
1. Macchu Picchu, Peru
The ruins of the mountain-top city of the ancient Incan Empire attract millions of visitors each year with many trekking along the Inca trail into the city whilst others get transport up the mountain. The problem with this is that the numbers far exceed the limit of 2,500 visitors per day that was originally set by UNESCO and Peru.
Combine this wearing down of the monument with natural landslides and erosion, could cause the ruins to collapse unless more regulations are put in place.
2. Petra, Jordan
Sculpted right out of the sandstone cliff, this ancient Nabataean city was created around two millennia ago with its ancient monastery being one of the world's most famous archaeological sites.
Head right to the top of it for some stunning vistas of the Wadi Arabah desert.
3. Borobudur, Indonesia
The largest Buddhist temple on Earth is a multi-tiered structure with apex views of surrounding volcanoes on the island of Java.
The 95-foot high climb may seem like a lot of hard work, but the stunning 3,000 bas-reliefs deserve a closer look.
4. Acropolis, Greece
The hilltop citadel famed for the stunning ruins of the Parthenon temple, it is the most complete ancient Greek monumental complex still in existence.
It is about a 20-minute walk up the hill to get there but there is also a nearby metro stop.
5. The Great Wall of China
The largest man-made structure on Earth is over 2,000 years old and has survived Mongol hordes and revolution, and yet it may be damaged beyond repair within the next 20 years due to pollution.
Overfarming nearby has not done the structure any good either as nearly two-thirds of the wall has been damaged or destroyed.
6. Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
590 feet above the lush surrounding scenery, this granite rock is topped by the ruins of a 5th-century palace, and there are a whopping 1,200 steps to climb if you want to get to them.
However, once you pass the giant lion paws flanking the start of the stairs and ascend upward, you are treated to glorious views and a real sense of history.
7. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Home to the Plitvice Falls, these are particularly impressive due to the number of cascades that precede them and the fact that the water can vary from crystal clear to a stark blue/azure color to sometimes turquoise depending on the time of year.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Plitvice has 16 terraced lakes linked by boardwalks, streams, and tumbling cascades.
8. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY, USA
With more than 400 miles of explored cave networks, this National Park has so much more to yet be discovered with a mammoth underworld of stalactites and stalagmites.
A two-hour tour will take you through the best of the known parts.
9. Plateau de Valensole, France
Between June and August, Provence in France is filled with swathes of lavender producing a wondrous sight and smell over the whole region.
There are several hiking routes through Provence’s Lubéron region where Sénanque Abbey can also be found amongst the rows of fragrant and bright flora.
10. Avenue of The Baobabs, Madagascar
The forests of Madagascar are under such great threat that they may well ultimately be gone within the next 35 years taking the wildlife with it, and that includes the mighty Baobab trees.
Many of these 800-year-old trees tower almost a hundred feet high and line this earthen road near the west coast of the island nation.
11. Potala Palace, Tibet
Considered the world's highest ancient palace as it sits at an altitude of over 12,000 feet above sea level, this magnificent palace was once the residence of the Dalai Lama.
The thin air up there makes the 400 steps up to the palace hard to climb, but the glorious mountain surroundings and stunning architecture are well worth it.
12. Amber Fort, India
A 16th-century complex of palaces and temples sitting high atop the “hill of eagles”, elaborate mosaics, courtyards, and halls are what make this place so stunning.
The pink city of Jaipur can be seen below once you've climbed there which is just as magnificent as the fort itself.
13. Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia
The impressive piece of engineering that stretches across Sydney Harbor is, 440 feet above sea level and has a 1,332-step BridgeClimb for those brave enough to clamber up its ladders.
One of the most iconic bridges in the world, it looks out over the stunning bay.
14. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
Completed in 1399, this tower leans due to the soft ground it was built on, and so one side was shortened to try and combat the issue.
Buy time-stamped tickets online to climb 251 steps to the observation deck and see the stunning city from an angle.
15. Reichstag, Germany
The old/new German parliament is filled with history, some dark, some glorious and it now features a glass dome with a spiraling ramp to the very top where you can peer out onto the city and such sites like the Brandenburg gate.
Entry is free, but reservations are required.