So many destinations are incredible, but there are a few places on earth which are truly magical. Places that look straight out of a fairy story. Inspired by Tell a Fairy Tale Day (February 26th), we collected our favorite fairy tale destinations around the world.
Neuschwanstein was built in the 1800s by Ludwig II of Bavaria, “the Fairy Tale King.” Sitting on a rugged hill above a small village, the palace was erected as a private refuge for the eccentric king on the ruins of Medieval twin castles. It was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Cappadocia is an ancient region in central Turkey. It has a dreamy landscape dotted with “fairy chimneys,” magical looking rock formations shaped like mushrooms, pointed rocks, cones or columns. The Cappadocians carved homes and churches into the soft rock, creating dwellings fit for fairies.
Ashikaga Flower Park
If ever a magical fairy-filled garden existed, it would look like the Ashikaga Flower Park in the Tochigi Prefecture in Japan. Flowering Wisteria trees, which have been documented since ancient times, bloom in clouds of color and fragrance every spring.
Colmar is a picturesque town located in north-eastern France, near the German border. Its stunningly colorful, well-preserved old town is a postcard perfect snapshot of a Medieval town. Especially striking is its canal-filled “little Venice” (la Petite Venise) neighborhood. Hollywood couldn’t design a more perfect fairy tale village.
A rocky tidal island located in the midst of vast sandbanks sounds like just the setting for a fairy story. Add in the legend of the Archangel Michael appearing to the bishop of Avranches and burning a hole in the bishop’s skull when he repeatedly ignored Michael – and treacherous tides sweeping in at 17 feet per second to sweep off pilgrims – and you’ve got the makings a of a real fairy tale.
Tunnel of Love
The Tunnel of Love in the Ukraine, located near the town of Kleven, measures 1.8 miles. Over the years the passage of the train molded the lines of the trees to create a magical-looking passageway. It is believed that if two lovers cross the tunnel holding hands and are sincerely in love, their wishes will come true. What’s more fairy tale-like than a magical place where wishes are granted?
Las Lajas Sanctuary
Las Lajas Sanctuary is a Gothic revival church in western Colombia. The inspiration for its creation was a miraculous event in the 1700s when a woman and her deaf-mute daughter sought refuge from a storm in the area. The Virgin Mary, whose image on the stone is still visible today, appeared on the rock and the girl was healed. Mysterious apparitions, events with no rational explanation and imposing surroundings the perfect fairy tale do make.
The ancient city of Fenghuang is in Hunan Province in China. Feng Huang is Chinese for ‘phoenix,’ the mythological bird which is reborn from the flames when it is consumed by fire. The city gets its name from the legend that two phoenix birds flew over the town and thought it so beautiful that they simply hovered over it, reluctant to leave. Steeped in legend and so well preserved it’s like stepping back in time, Fenghuang is definitely the stuff of fairy tales.
Fairy Pools of Scotland
The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye in Scotland are a series of crystalline pools and waterfalls that form as the water tumbles down from the Cuillin mountains. The crystal clear water is transformed as if by magic into a bright shade of turquoise by mineral deposits in the rocks.
Once upon a time in a land far, far away – at the end of the world – there was a tiny village called Gásadalur. Located in the 18-island archipelago of the Faroe Islands, halfway between Iceland and Norway, this village couldn’t be in a more surreal, fairy tale worthy landscape.