When you think of fairy tales, what comes to mind? Breathtaking castles, quaint, colorful villages, majestic mountains, all set in a landscape that seems like something out of this world? Well, there are spots on this planet that look like they are plucked right out of the pages of a children’s book. If you want to be whisked away to some of the most magical places on Earth, check out these fairytale destinations.
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15 Magical Fairytale Destinations
1. Bavaria, Germany
Bavaria has it all…snowcapped mountains, whimsical towns, and breathtaking castles. Neuschwanstein Castle served as the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle in Disney World. It is a gorgeous castle with a stunning location at the foot of the Alps. Venture a little farther, taking a road trip on Germany’s Romantic Road, visiting picturesque towns like Rothenburgh ob der Tauber and Wurzburg.
Plan the perfect trip to Bavaria with our 10 Day Bavaria Itinerary
2. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is one of the prettiest places to visit in Slovenia. With its aquamarine lake, castle perched on a cliff, and the centerpiece of Bled Island, this is another magical spot in Europe.
LEARN MORE: 8 Amazing Things to do in Lake Bled
3. Zhangjiajie, China
Zhangjiajie is one of the most extraordinary landscapes on the planet. Pinnacles of sandstone rock stretch for miles. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park served as the inspiration for the landscape in the movie Avatar. It really does look like it is out of this world.
Take our tour of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in photos
4. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is a windswept, volcanic island in the Cyclades. Magical sunsets in Oia, photogenic blue dome churches, and a myriad of colorful beaches make this island look like something right out of a fairytale.
LEARN MORE: 20 Amazing Things to do in Santorini
5. Hobbiton, Come Visit the Shire
Hobbiton, located in New Zealand, really is a fairytale destination. This is a movie set constructed for both the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movie series. This colorful, hobbit-sized village can still be visited today. Tour the cute houses, see the home of Bilbo Baggins, and end your visit with a pint of ale at the Green Dragon.
Visit the Shire in our post about Hobbiton.
6. Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia…the land of whimsical fairy chimneys and peculiar rock formations. The landforms are so unique that it’s hard to believe they really exist until you see them with your own eyes. If you want to visit a place that is like stepping into another world, then put Cappadocia on your list of places to visit. And if you want a truly magical experience, take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia.
Plan the perfect trip to Cappadocia with our three day itinerary
7. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
With cobblestoned streets, old stone buildings, and its beautiful bridge spanning the picturesque Neretva River, the town of Mostar looks like it was plucked from the pages of a fairytale. The highlight of a visit here is seeing Stari Most, the old bridge that is the centerpiece of the town. But the charm of Mostar extends well past the span of this bridge into the cobblestoned streets and cafes that make this town such a delight to visit.
Read more about how to plan the perfect trip to Mostar
8. The Giant’s Causeway
For another one of the world’s great fairytale destinations, enter the land of giants. Located in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway is a stretch of coastline with perfectly formed hexagonal columns, all massed together at the water’s edge. This landscape was formed by volcanic activity eons ago, or you could believe the tale that the Giant’s Causeway was built by the Irish giant Finn MacCool.
LEARN MORE: The Jaw-Dropping Giant’s Causeway
9. Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon
Bhutan has all the ingredients of perfect fairytale destinations: towering, magnificent mountains, small, quiet villages, and some of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever see. Visit centuries old fortresses tucked away in the valleys in the Himalayas and do not miss the Eagle’s Nest, a monastery precariously perched on the side of cliff.
Learn how to plan the perfect trip with our 7-Day Bhutan Itinerary
10. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
For the ultimate fairytale village, visit Cesky Krumlov. This town escaped the bombings in WWII, preserving its ancient architecture. Stroll the narrow streets, eat lunch or dinner in a quiet, cozy café, and visit the castle that is guarded by bears. Cesky Krumlov is one of best small towns to visit in Europe.
Do you want to plan a trip to Cesky Krumlov? Check out our Guide to Cesky Krumlov.
11. Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan is the mystical land of temples in a tropical, misty landscape. See it by bus, by bike, our soar over Bagan in a hot air balloon. Bagan is a magical place, definitely a fairytale destination to add to your Southeast Asia bucket list.
LEARN MORE: A Hot Air Balloon Flight over Bagan
12. Hallstatt, Austria
This is a picturesque fairytale town…colorful buildings, cobblestoned streets, church steeples, all set against the backdrop of the Alps. Beware, this has become a very popular destination in Europe in recent years, so unless you spend the night in Hallstatt, expect to share these beautiful views with many other visitors.
LEARN MORE: One Perfect Day in Hallstatt
13. The Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye just may be the ultimate fairytale destination. This truly is the land of fairies. Visit the Fairy Pools, hike the Fairy Glen, say hello to the Old Man of Storr, and tour Dunvegan Castle. Just a short drive away from the Isle of Skye is the stunning Eilean Donan Castle, one more fairytale destination to add to your list of places to visit. The Isle of Skye is wonderful place to visit, one of our favorites of all time.
Plan the perfect trip with our Complete Guide to the Isle of Skye.
14. Alsace Wine Region, France
When I first saw photos of Colmar, France, it immediately got added to our travel wish list. With its colorful buildings, bouquets of flowers, and scenic streets, it looked like it was plucked right out of a fairy tale. With a little more research, I was thrilled to learn that Colmar is just one of many fairytale towns you can visit in the Alsace wine region.
Eguisheim, another popular town on the Alsace Wine Route, was used as the inspiration for the town in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Read our article 10 Fairytale Towns on the Alsace Wine Route to see more of these picturesque towns.
15. Rakotzbrücke, Germany
This picture perfect bridge looks like it was created for a fairytale. Located in Saxony, Germany, Rakotzbrücke makes a great day trip destination from Berlin or Dresden.
Read more about how to visit Rakotzbrücke.
What is your favorite fairytale destination? Share it with our readers in the comment section below!
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