Travel Inspiration

The Prettiest Places in the World (And When to Visit Them)

The Prettiest Places in the World (And When to Visit Them)

We travel for lots of reasons – cultural immersion, relaxation, history, adventure... the list goes on. Sometimes, though, we travel purely for aesthetics. From the pristine snowscapes of Swedish Lapland and the lush rice paddies of Northern Vietnam to the sunbaked deserts of Namibia and serene banks of the river Nile, there’s a bounty of beautiful places to discover. Visit at the right time of year, and these places are even more beautiful than normal. Read on for our guide to the prettiest places in the world, and when to visit them... 


  1. January – Antarctica 
  2. February – Swedish Lapland 
  3. March – Italy 
  4. April – Guatemala 
  5. May – England 
  6. June – Namibia 
  7. July – Brazil 
  8. August – Kenya 
  9. September – Uzbekistan 
  10. October – Japan 
  11. November – Egypt 
  12. December – Vietnam




First up on our list of the prettiest places in the world is Antarctica, the world’s coldest continent, which comes into its own in January. The towering icebergs, vast glaciers and pristine landscapes are all the more magical when lit up by the soft light of the ‘Midnight Sun’ (when the sun never sets). And with peak hatching season falling at this time of year, you may be lucky enough to see fluffy penguin chicks taking their first waddling steps across the ice.  

Boat at sunset in Antarctica

© Daria Nikitina 


Swedish Lapland

Swedish Lapland is beautiful all winter, but February is perhaps the most beautiful month of all, with its forests of silver birch, aspen, spruce and pine still clad in snow, and the many lakes still frozen over. The nights are still relatively long, too, so you’ll have a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights, Mother Nature’s most spectacular light show. From wisps of blue and green lights to luminous red displays that dominate the entire sky, it’s a sight you won’t forget anytime soon. 

Man watching Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland © Olivier Romano




Italy deserves a spot on any list of the prettiest places in the world and with March marking the beginning of spring, it’s a great time of year to visit one of the all-time great destinations. Fields of cherry blossoms carpet the countryside in Tuscany, grapevines awaken from their winter slumber turning vineyards in wine-producing regions like Piedmont, Lombardy and Puglia a vibrant shade of green, and city squares in Rome, Florence and Venice are adorned with roses, tulips and rhododendrons. Bellisimo! 

Tourists in Florence

© Guenter StandlLAIF-REA




Visit Guatemala during the Easter holiday, which typically falls in April, and you can experience the spectacular Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations. Across the country, people mark the occasion with religious processions, elaborate floats crafted by skilled artisans and intricate street carpets (known as alfombras) made from coloured sawdust, flowers and pine needles. And then there’s lovely Lake Atitlan, surrounded by a ring of volcanoes and small indigenous villages, and the awe-inspiring Tikal Mayan ruins, hidden deep in lush jungle, both of which look spectacular in April. 

Local women in Guatemalan village
 © Molly Berry




Biased? Us? Never! We do genuinely believe that England in May is one of the prettiest places in the world. More specifically, the chalk downlands of southern England with their standing stones, tumuli and wild flowers with equally wild names – salad burnet, common rock-rose, chalk eyebrights, musk orchids and more. Throw in ancient woodlands carpeted with bluebells and famous gardens (and the Chelsea Flower Show) bursting into bloom and England is at its finest in May.  

Forest with Bluebells in England




June marks the start of the dry season in Namibia. At this time of year, the vegetation begins to fade, and landscapes take on warm, golden hues which contrast beautifully against the clear blue skies. By day, head out on epic safaris; this the best time for wildlife watching as animals congregate around the dwindling waterholes. By night, turn your eyes to the sky in the Namiband Desert Dark Sky Reserve to see endless stars scattered across the heavens. 

Namibian bush




Venture to Brazil’s northeastern coast to discover the dreamlike landscapes of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. Amid towering dunes (which are at their most defined in July) lie hundreds of crystal-clear lagoons formed by seasonal rains. Visitors can swim, snorkel and even kitesurf, or simply lie beside these refreshing oases and soak in the otherworldly beauty of the desert landscape.  

Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Brazil




Lake Nakuru, in Kenya’s Rift Valley, is a birdwatcher's paradise with over 400 species to spot from yellow-billed storks and African fish eagles to grey-crowned cranes and pelicans. Visit in August and you’ll get an extra special treat. Thousands of flamingos congregate along the saline shores, creating a sea of pink that stretches as far as the eye can see. 

Flamingos on lake in Kenya




Uzbekistan is best known for its Silk Road cities, but visit the lush Fergana Valley in September and you can experience the harvest season in full swing. This fertile region, tucked between the Tian Shan and Pamir-Alai mountain ranges, is particularly pretty at this time of year with golden wheat fields and orchards bursting with ripe apricots, pomegranates and grapes. Watch as farmers work the land and learn about the traditional farming techniques, such as cutting crops by hand using a scythe, that are still practised today. 

Farmers in Uzbekistan

© Thomas GrabkaLAIF-REA




Japan’s cherry blossom (or sakura) season in March and April usually draws in the crowds but plan a visit in October and you can witness the country’s equally beautiful autumn foliage with a fraction of the visitors. Travel to regions such as Hokkaido, Tohoju and the Japanese Alps, and see forests in fiery shades of red, orange and yellow that are every bit as spectacular as those in New England.  

Japanese house with autumn trees




Aswan is the prettiest Egyptian city along the Nile, with its picturesque riverfront, broad-sailed felucca boats, lush granite islands and magnificent landmarks, from Philae Temple to the Aga Khan’s elegant mausoleum on the edge of the desert. In November, the weather is mild and the sunshine abundant, the perfect conditions for a tranquil cruise along the Nile aboard our elegant boat, the Steam Ship Sudan, which Agatha Christie once voyaged on, inspiring her to write Death on the Nile.  

Steamship Sudan in Egypt

© Mathieu Richer Mamousse




If December has you down in the dumps, escape to Northern Vietnam where you’ll be met with undulating rice paddies, gardens blooming with cherry blossoms and streets decked out with colourful decorations ahead of the Tet holiday (Vietnamese Lunar New Year). If you’re into hiking, this is a great time to hit the trails, with cool dry weather. Or if it’s some cultural immersion you’re after, we can arrange for you to visit remote mountain villages and meet the Hmong communities who are known for their expert craftsmanship, from intricate silverwork to beautifully embroidered fabrics. 

Fields in Vietnam


Written by: Ella Mawson