1) Rocky Mountain parks, Canada
There are four National Parks in a row in the Rocky Mountain range of Canada, running through the two provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Combined, these parks offer some of the best adventure and recreational sport travel opportunities in the world, along with unique scenery and incredible biodiversity. Banff and Jasper are perhaps the best known of the parks, with Banff being a mere hour drive from the city of Calgary. Yoho and Revelstoke also offer great opportunities for skiers and hikers.
2) Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom
This site has it all in terms of cultural appeal and natural beauty. The towering mountains offer all the recreational choices of young fold ranges. For the sightseer, there are various opportunities. Natural attractions include the Corrieshaloch Gorge and the fabled Loch Ness, while heritage also factors high with the area’s many castles and ancient cairns. The area offers opportunities at all times of the year, from spring alpine blooms to fall foliage.
3) Kruger National Park, South Africa
Surprisingly, this park located along the border with Mozambique is the only African safari destination in the top ten. This could be due to its historical origins as one of the first protected areas in Africa, and also with its well-developed and natural tourist opportunities. Kruger encompasses two ecosystems, dry savanna in the north and open grassland in the south. There is a huge array of wildlife in the area, including all of the African “Big Five” (rhino, elephant, leopard, lion, and Cape Buffalo), antelope, giraffe, wild dog, and many other species of wildlife. The Park is also located in one of the more politically stable regions of Africa, unaffected by the high crime that embroils the rest of the country.
4) Kyoto historic district, Japan
Anyone who has watched the recently released Memoirs of a Geisha can imagine the appeal of this area, ninth on the list. Ancient Buddhist temples, wooden townhouses, and geisha houses bound in a modern day reflection of ancient Japanese glory. The area is abundant with detailed Japanese xeriscape and architecture, from gardens to bridges, nobility houses and public works buildings.
5) Quebec City historic city center, Canada
Quebec City is the French cultural heart of Canada, and the City center is representative of all that the francophone culture includes. This is the only city in North America that has preserved its colonial ramparts and also incorporates all of the old trappings of fortresses, such as bastions and towers. The area is also considered to be a World Heritage Centre.