The Most Beautiful Hidden Places in the World: Discover Breathtaking Gems Off the Beaten Path

Choose the hidden places you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 7, 2024 06:15
Discover a world of breathtaking beauty and wonder as we unveil the most stunning hidden gems on our planet! At StrawPoll, we've curated a list of the top secret spots that are sure to captivate your heart and ignite your wanderlust. From enchanted forests to serene waterfalls, and undiscovered islands to mystical caves, our ranking of "What are the most beautiful hidden places in the world?" is the ultimate bucket list for every intrepid traveler. But we need your help to finalize this awe-inspiring collection! Cast your vote for your favorite hidden paradise or suggest a lesser-known treasure that deserves recognition. Join us on this journey to uncover the world's best-kept secrets and let's celebrate the captivating allure of these magical destinations together!

What Are the Most Beautiful Hidden Places in the World?

  1. 1
    This breathtaking valley is home to a series of colorful lakes, waterfalls, and mountains, making it one of the most beautiful hidden places in the world.
    Jiuzhaigou Valley is a beautiful natural park located in south-west China, known for its stunning blue and green colored lakes, waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks. It spans over 72,000 hectares and is home to over 220 species of birds and endangered animals such as giant pandas and Sichuan takins. The valley is also culturally significant as it has been inhabited by the Qiang people for over 1,000 years, who have preserved their traditional way of life.
    • Location: South-west China
    • Area: 72,000 hectares
    • Established: 1982
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: 1992
    • Lakes: 114
  2. 2
    This park is known for its stunning waterfalls and interconnected lakes, which are surrounded by lush forests and towering cliffs.
    Plitvice Lakes National Park is a natural wonder located in Croatia. The park is famous for its 16 interconnected lakes and waterfalls, which cascade down through rocky gorges and lush green forests. The colors of the lakes vary from light blue to deep green and are home to a variety of fish, birds, and other wildlife.
    • Location: Central Croatia
    • Size: 296.8 km²
    • Number of lakes: 16
    • Waterfall height: up to 78 meters
    • Highest point: 1,280 meters
    Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia in other rankings
  3. 3
    Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
    Yoo Chung · CC BY-SA 2.5
    This park is famous for its towering sandstone pillars, which are said to have inspired the fictional world of Pandora in the movie Avatar.
    Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a beautiful natural park in China, known for its unique rock formations, lush forests, and stunning scenery.
    • Location: Hunan Province, China
    • Area: 11,900 acres
    • Established: 1982
    • Elevation: 100-1,800m (330-5,900ft)
    • Number of peaks: 243
    Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China in other rankings
  4. 4
    This salt flat is the largest in the world and is known for its stunning reflections of the sky and clouds.
    Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat, located in Bolivia. It is surrounded by mountains and is covered by a few meters of salt crust, providing an incredible natural mirror effect. During the rainy season, the salt flat gets covered in water, creating a dreamlike scenery. It is a unique and breathtaking place that attracts tourists from all over the world.
    • Location: Bolivia
    • Area: 10,582 km²
    • Elevation: 3,656 m
    • Salt Thickness: 2-20 m
    • Temperature: Avg. 13°C (range -9°C to 21°C)
    Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia in other rankings
  5. 5
    This island is home to a unique ecosystem of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else on earth.
    Socotra Island is a small archipelago of four islands located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Yemen. The island is known for its unique flora and fauna and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The landscape is otherworldly with strange-looking Dragon's Blood Trees that are native to the island. The island is extremely remote and untouched, with only a few small villages inhabited by the indigenous people.
    • Location: Off the coast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean
    • Size: Approximately 3,625 square kilometers
    • Population: Around 40,000
    • Languages spoken: Arabic and Soqotri
    • Unique Features: Dragon's Blood Trees, remote and untouched landscape
    Socotra Island, Yemen in other rankings
  6. 6
    This natural wonder is made up of cascading pools of turquoise water and white limestone terraces, which create a stunning contrast against the green hillsides.
    Pamukkale is a natural wonder and a tourist attraction located in the Denizli province of Turkey. It is known for its white travertine terraces formed by hot springs and mineral deposits. It is also home to the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis. The name 'Pamukkale' means 'cotton castle', which accurately describes its striking appearance.
    • Location: Denizli Province, Turkey
    • Formation: Hot springs and mineral deposits
    • Appearance: White terraced basins
    • Height: Approximately 160 meters (525 feet)
    • Water temperature: Around 35°C (95°F)
    Pamukkale, Turkey in other rankings
  7. 7
    This hidden canyon is known for its steep walls and crystal-clear river, which winds its way through the rugged landscape.
    Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is a beautiful canyon located in southeastern Iceland, near the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. It is approximately 2 kilometers long and 100 meters deep, with steep and winding walls that make for a stunning sight. The canyon was formed by glacial flows from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier, and is home to a winding river and several waterfalls.
    • Location: Southeastern Iceland
    • Length: 2 kilometers
    • Depth: 100 meters
    • Formation: Glacial activity
    • Water features: River and waterfalls
  8. 8
    This remote archipelago is home to stunning landscapes, including dramatic sea cliffs, colorful fishing villages, and rugged mountains.
    The Faroe Islands is a breathtaking archipelago of 18 volcanic islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Norway and Iceland, and is part of Denmark. The islands are famous for their rugged landscapes, dramatic mountains, and stunning waterfalls. Visitors can also enjoy the vibrant local culture, which includes traditional music, food, and art.
    • Location: North Atlantic Ocean
    • Number of Islands: 18
    • Status: Part of Denmark
    • Land Area: 1,399 km²
    • Population: Approx. 50,000
  9. 9
    The Wave, Arizona, USA
    Gb11111 · CC0
    This natural sandstone formation is known for its swirling patterns and vibrant colors, which create a stunning contrast against the surrounding desert landscape.
    The Wave is a surreal sandstone rock formation located in the Coyote Buttes North area of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the border of Arizona and Utah. The undulating wave-like forms of the rocks are created by erosion and the intricate patterns on them make them a photographer's dream destination.
    • Location: Arizona, USA
    • Type: Rock formation
    • Height: 5,000 feet above sea level
    • Length: 0.9 miles long
    • Width: 0.4 miles wide
    The Wave, Arizona, USA in other rankings
  10. 10
    This rugged island is home to stunning landscapes, including towering cliffs, misty moors, and crystal-clear lakes.
    The Isle of Skye is a rugged and beautiful island in Scotland known for its dramatic landscapes, including the Cuillin mountain range, quaint fishing villages, and stunning rock formations. It attracts nature enthusiasts, hikers, and photographers from all over the world.
    • Location: Inner Hebrides, Scotland
    • Size: 1,656 square kilometers
    • Population: 10,008
    • Highest Point: Sgùrr Alasdair, 3,255 ft (992 m)
    • Climate: Temperate maritime
    Isle of Skye, Scotland in other rankings

Missing your favorite hidden places?


Ranking factors for beautiful hidden places

  1. Natural beauty
    The aesthetic appeal and uniqueness of the natural landscape, such as mountains, waterfalls, forests, or beaches, should be the primary factor in ranking hidden places in the world.
  2. Seclusion and remoteness
    The place should be relatively remote and not easily accessible, which adds to its hidden and unspoiled charm.
  3. Cultural and historical significance
    The hidden place may hold historical or cultural significance, such as ancient ruins, sacred sites, or unique architectural structures, which add to its overall allure.
  4. Biodiversity and ecosystem
    Ecology and biodiversity are essential factors, as they contribute to the richness and uniqueness of the place. The presence of unusual plants, animals, or marine life can boost the location's appeal.
  5. Adventure and exploration opportunities
    The place should offer opportunities for adventure and exploration, such as hiking, diving, or caving. These activities can provide a thrilling experience for travelers and enhance the destination's allure.
  6. Sustainability and conservation
    The destination should demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability and conservation efforts, ensuring that its natural beauty remains preserved for future generations.
  7. Local culture and community
    Interaction with local people and the chance to immerse oneself in their culture and traditions can considerably enhance a traveler's experience.
  8. Weather and climate
    Favorable weather conditions, such as moderate temperatures and minimal adverse weather occurrences, can make a hidden place more appealing to visit.
  9. Safety
    The destination should be considered safe for travelers, both in terms of personal security and natural calamities or disasters.
  10. Overall travel experience
    The destination should provide a memorable travel experience that exceeds expectations, including factors such as accommodation options, food, and local hospitality.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful hidden places in the world. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or hidden place is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 193 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each hidden place once every 24 hours. The rank of each hidden place is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful hidden places in the world

When it comes to travel, we often find ourselves drawn to some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. However, there is something truly special about discovering hidden gems that are off the beaten path. From secluded beaches to hidden waterfalls, the world is full of stunning and beautiful places that are waiting to be explored. These hidden places offer a sense of adventure and discovery that simply cannot be found in more mainstream locations. There is a certain thrill that comes with stumbling upon a hidden gem that few others have seen before. It is a reminder that there is still so much left to explore and discover in our world. Whether you are an avid traveler or simply looking for inspiration for your next vacation, exploring the hidden places of the world is an experience that should not be missed. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore some of the most beautiful and breathtaking hidden places the world has to offer.

Share this article