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6 extraordinary travel destinations you never knew existed

When it comes to travelling, it seems as if the same destinations come to mind, the obvious choices.

From the picturesque canals of Amsterdam to the pretty central streets of Paris, tourists flock from across the globe. But finding somewhere completely surreal, somewhere off the grid of popularity, is often overlooked. So here are few places to add to your bucket list.

Monastery of Santa Maria dell'Isola, Tropia, Italy

Sat overlooking the region of Calabria, the 9th-century Monastery rests on a rocky promontory surrounded by the Mediterranean ocean. The Monastery was first home to Basilian monks before being given to the Benedictines in the 11th century, who still own the building to this day. Although being a known destination for Italian locals, the monastery is relatively unknown outside of Italy and remains a breathtaking coastal relic.

Las Lajas Sanctuary, Ipiales, Columbia

The Las Lajas Sanctuary is considered the most beautiful church in Columbia and lays 130 feet above the Guaitara river. The Gothic revival style church began construction in 1916 and was completed 33 years later in 1949. The sanctuary is known for its stunning architecture and aura of mystery surrounding its Gothic style.

Haiku Stairs, Oahu, Hawaii

The Haiku Stairs have been labelled the 'Stairway to Heaven' as a result of the breathtaking views and clouds that surround their ascent. Although climbing the stairs is prohibited, thrill-seekers still make the journey to the top to look over the mountainous terrain of Hawaii's Oahu island. Parts of the stairs are now said to be impossible to ascend, however, travellers have discovered alternative routes to the top of the mountain. This is an ideal destination for anyone who loves astounding views, with a little bit of risk and danger on the side.

Zhangye Danxia Landform, China
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Colored Mountains #Rare

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China's Zhangye Danxia land-form is a geological wonder, nicknamed the 'Rainbow Mountains' of China. The mountains hold unparalleled beauty in their distinctly surreal nature. Beginning to form over six million years ago, the mountains acquire their colour through the erosion of red sandstone and layered mineral deposits. Boardwalk pathways twist and turn through the landscape and specified viewing points provide a place to admire the astonishing views.

The Ancient City of Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is an ancient city built in the 11th century made up of intricate temples and Burmese architecture. Despite its beauty, Bagan is not overcrowded with tourists all year round, unlike similar ancient locations. This is perhaps a result of Myanmar's ongoing conflict and political tension. However, Bagan is certainly a unique spectacle and one of the few intact ancient cities left on earth.

Β Burg Eltz Castle, Germany

Burg Eltz is a castle like no other, it's architecture appears to be that of fantasy and fairy tales. Sat in the hills above the Moselle River and surrounded by forestland, the castle is renowned for its outstanding beauty. The same family have owned the castle for 850 years and still live in its walls. It has been described as the "Middle Ages in its purest form" and remains an escape from reality at first sight.

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