Julie Travel Inspiration 22 Comments

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.

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.

Neuschwanstein Fairytale Destinations

Rothenburg Fairytale Destinations

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. 

Lake Bled Slovenia Fairytale Destinations

Lake Bled Fairytale Destinations

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.

Heaven Pillar Fairytale Destinations


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.

Santorini Fairytale Destinations

Santorini Greece

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.

Hobbiton Fairytale Destinations

Tyler and Kara at Hobbiton

The Shire

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.

Cappadocia balloons Fairytale Destinations

Fairy Chimneys

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.

Mostar Fairytale Destinations
Neretva River

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.

Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway Ireland

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.

Tigers Nest


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.

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov Street

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.

Bagan Balloons

Bagan Temple

Bagan Sunset

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.

Hallstatt Fairytale Town

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.

Old Man of Storr Fairytale Destinations

Fairy Glen

Eilean Donan Castle

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.

Colmar Fairytale Town



Fairytale Town



Riquewihr France


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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Comments 22

  1. Volcano Park on the Big Island of HI, is one of most enchanting places a human can explore
    in this dimension. At 1st glance, one sees a dark gnarled forest that looks like Sleeping
    Beauty’s. Beyond the somewhat scary entrance, lies a multitude of paths taking the visitor on the most gentle hikes into a place of gorgeous bright tropical flowers and hypnotic scents. There were benches and rails along the path to make it easier for non experienced

  2. I have traveled many places in Europe. As a US citizen I love Brugge& to climb Acropolis hill & on to the Parthenon were my two favorites ! Also being in a hotel facing The Hill at night with the hi.l lit-up was incredible! Pulling into Budapest at while traveling on the river ! The building are all lit up & appeared to be Gold !

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  3. Earth trekkers, I follow your blogs and they were quite helpful for my Italy trip. Have you visited India? Magical places here which you should see are: jaisalmer sand dunes, Rann of Kutch, forts and castles in Rajasthan , Ladakh – Nubra Valley, Spiti Valley in Himachal , Kashmir … please plan your trips here and be our guests in India.

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      Thanks for the invite! Yes, we spent 5 weeks in India in 2014 and only visited a few places you mention. We would love to return and Kashmir, Himachal, and Pradakh are high on our list. Cheers, Julie

  4. I am little Disappointed for your list as there is not a single name from India. I don’t know the reason but It might be Either you have had a bad experience or you have not been to the places where you actually need to go. Please visit India again with good search. There are a lot of beautiful places better than you think and you have been to.

  5. Hi! I love your blog! Very informative and helpful! We want to do London-paris-colmar next June. We have 12 nights (14 days total).
    Not sure how many nights we’ll need in Colmar. Maybe London (5)- Paris (4) – Colmar (3)?
    Do you have suggestions on which order we should visit these cities? Start with London or Colmar? Also if we fly in OR out of Colmar, which airport to you recommend to cut down travel time as much as possible? We are definitely getting open jaw flights. We live in Chicago.
    Thank you so much for your help!
    Nam Mee

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      Hello. London – Paris – Colmar works great for order. To get home, you will first have to take a train to a nearby city and fly home from here (options include Paris, Strasbourg, Basel, or Zurich). If you haven’t seen it yet, we have an article about Colmar with more info. Of course, you can do this in the opposite order. Flight costs and timing might be the biggest determining factor.

      As for how much time to spend, I think your basic plan is good. We have a 3 day itinerary for the Alsace wine region that will help you out and let you know how to plan your time here. You could take a night from Paris and add it to Colmar, if there is a lot you want to do in this area. I hope you have a great trip!

      Cheers, Julie

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  6. Hey you guys have been to a place which is not even in my bucket list I could just imagine how amazing it will be thanked for sharing such wonderful information across the internet I would surely share this with m fam jam

  7. We are taking our two children (6 and 9) to Bhutan in October and your wonderful adventures there (and everywhere) have consolidated our already strong opinion that travelling with children is rewarding for the whole family.

    We already did some trekking and travelling with them last summer (7 weeks only though, we are so jealous of your 13-month-adventure!) which took us to the US, Canada, French Polynesia and Japan. Memories of a lifetime were made. We look forward to making many more in Bhutan this autumn and also planning a trip to Costa Rica next Easter.

    Please keep the posts coming, your blog is wonderful and so inspiring!

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      Hello Aude! Sounds like you had a very nice trip…and 7 weeks is still a long time and a great adventure. 🙂 French Polynesia…nice pick! I think it’s a great thing that you are sharing the world with your kids at their young ages. Enjoy Bhutan and Costa Rica! Cheers, Julie

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      We have heard so many great things about Colmar (and seen so many photos online) that we planned a trip here this summer. Can’t wait to explore Colmar and the Alsace…and add it to this post! Cheers, Julie

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