There are so many epic places to visit in the world that a lifetime can not be enough. However for a geologist, like myself, curiosity is about landscapes and landforms. 

When a geologist travels, he or she sees the world quite differently. For instance, geologist sees not fossils but once lived creatures that do not any more exist.

Where the average person sees epic landscapes, Earth scientists travel millions of years to witness how they were created.
The top ten places  to visit, the bucket list of a geologist

Although I did not have yet the chance to travel in this way yet, my travel list is long and has some of the most epic places in the world.

My places of interest include volcanoes, caves, and canyons. Some of the places are very much active and geological things are happening, like volcanoes. On the other hand, there are places that are well ‘dead’ but there are nature sculptures to amaze you.   

For this article, I narrowed the list to 10 places that take my breath away (and I hope they do to you) and hopefully, I will visit them soon.

This is the list I believe every geologist and Earth lover wants to have a mind when they are wandering Earth.

Wave Rock, Australia

Australia is an amazing country, which is famous for its natural beauties. Particularly, the most famous are its beaches and its reefs. 

However, there is the Wave Rock which is located in the Hyden Wildlife Park. In specific, it is a natural rock with the shape of an ocean wave. In addition, it was formed this way because of the deep weather of the rock (granite). 

Except for its natural beauty, it has cultural significance for the locals. They believe it was the creation of the Rainbow Serpent, a creator god showing the importance of water in human life.

Ring road, Iceland

Iceland seems to have it all for travelers interested in natural wonders. Hence glaciers and active volcanoes are excellent ingredients in nature-based tourism

One of the best way to see most of them is to travel along the Ring road, the main route of Iceland which is 1332 km long.

Depending on the season you are traveling there are many attractions to visit along the road. Hence attractions include waterfalls, hot springs, glaciers, lakes, beaches, and islands.

Trees are a rare presence in this part of the world so you can see, and take photos, these places without obstacles. 

Vesuvius-Pompeii, Italy

In case you do not know what happens after volcanoes awake, you can visit Naples. The area has two unique places that you should visit them both: mountain Vesuvius and the ancient city of Pompeii.

The two sites are connected with a story started in 79 A.D., when Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii in ash. The place is very impressive as you see the mountain behind the ruins of the ancient city.

However, the tragic figures of the victims in the ‘Garden of the Fugitives’ are the ones that attract the most visitors.    

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

America is a great place to visit and discover its nature. Hence thousands of tourists every year visit the famous Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. 

However for me, the most spectacular is the Antelope Canyon in Arizona. It is one of these places you want to draw or take photos or write poems about.

It makes you thank god for water and flood that shape the rock to this beauty. In addition shapes and light play together to make pictures that can take your breath away.

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.

Anatole France

Sarakiniko beach, Milos

Greek islands are always an appealing destination for all of us. Moreover, the blue waters and the endless sun are equal to relaxation and fun.

Yet there are a number of volcanic islands that are also on my own list. On the one hand, there is Santorini, which is a volcano’s crater.

But there are also other islands, like my own favorite, Milos. Although I traveled to this island before, it is one of those places I feel I must visit again and again. It feels like once is not enough, maybe because of Aphrodite (‘Venus de Milo’).

 My favorite place on the island is Sarakiniko beach. It is another place where waves and volcanic rock have worked together to give amazing shapes to the beach. It is no wonder the beach is compared to the moon landscape.

Danxia Rainbow Mountains, China

Rainbow Mountains within the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park are, what Forbes called them, ‘Earth’s Paint Palette’. These mountains have many vivid colors: red, green, yellow, and blue.

Colors seem to be man-made rather than natural and therefore it is considered a natural wonder. 

Furthermore, mountains are mainly sandstone with iron and other trace metals. Therefore minerals oxidized since they are at the surface if the Earth giving these unique color palettes. 

Fingal’s Cave, Scotland 

The United Kingdom has not so many mountains as to hills, except Scotland. Maybe that is why I love more the landscape of that specific kingdom.

Yet what I love the most is Fingal’s Cave. At its entrance, you see these pipes, the lava columns, which they seem out of a fiction novel.

The cave is spectacular, which has inspired many authors and composers. However, firstly, James Macpherson’s poem was the one baptizing the cave and making it famous. 

Svalbard, Norway

Someone from the Mediterranean region, the arctic landscape seems so much majestic and…cold. However, this is not why I want to go to Svalbard of Norway.

I make a promise to myself to see the Northern Lights and I heard this is the ideal place to do so.

This archipelago is between Norway’s mainland and the North Pole. Glaciers and cold is, of course, everyday life here but the Lights are too beautiful.

So, not long now, I imagine myself with a cup of hot tea under the night sky, amazed by the Lights. 

Himalaya, Nepal

Now that is one difficult thing to do: climbing the Himalaya. However, none said you need to reach the top. 

Geologically speaking is impressive to see what the closure of two plates has done. About 50 million years ago the collision of the Indian plate and Eurasian plate closed the ancient ocean of Tethys and created this high mountain range.

However, there are more attractions to see, except for these mountain giants, like the glaciers and the lakes. The ecology of these mountains is also interesting with rich biodiversity. On the other hand, cultural diversity is shown in every aspect of life, from architecture to languages and religions.

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar

Lastly, but not least, Africa is one of the most epic places to travel. There are so many places to visit and adventures to live.

Nonetheless, if I had to choose, I want to go to the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park.  Tsingy translates to ‘where one can only walk on tiptoe’. Hence it is a karst limestone formation with steep cliffs.

Rock shapes are very impressive for visitors, as well as the diverse flora and fauna.

Finally, these ten epic places are majestic depending also on the eyes they see them. Tourists that love and respect nature can appreciate these natural wonders. So remember to travel responsibly and not litter or cause any damage.

To travel is to live.

Hans Christian Andersen

These natural gems were formed millions of years and, in order to visit again, we must be careful not to disturb them.

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So keep learning. Keep growing.


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