Travel

The World's Most Scenic Airports

11/02/2013 07:36am ET

Flying might not be as glamorous or luxurious as it once was, but there are still some things about flying that are... pretty.

So instead of burying your head in your book jockeying for position to get off the plane first upon landing, why don't you actually look out the window and take in the surroundings? At these 11 places, they're bound to be beautiful.

Princess Juiliana Airport, St. Maarten, Caribbean
WikiMedia:
Incoming passengers land over ridiculously blue water and an expansive beach on their way to this Caribbean hub. But beach goers beware: Last year, a woman was blown over by the jet propulsion from a JetBlue flight taking off at the nearby runway (located just outside the photo to the right).
Barra Airport, Scotland
WikiMedia:
This plane is landing on a beach. For real. The three runways at this airport, located on the island of Barra, become submerged during high tide. The beach is open to the public...when the windsock isn't blowing and the airport is operational.
Las Vegas, Nevada
AP
Anyone who has flown into Vegas' McCarren airport have witnessed the stellar view of the Strip and the surrounding mountains seen during takeoff and landing. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Mustique, Caribbean
WikiMedia:
Part of the Grenadines, this secluded, private island has an adorably quaint (and, of course, chic) runway tucked neatly and calmly into grass.
Paro Airport, Bhutan
WikiMedia:
The only international airport in Bhutan, the airport sits nestled amongst 18,000 foot mountains. It's such a challenging approach and take off that only 8 pilots are certified to fly into it.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
<a href="http://www.flickr.com">Flickr</a>:<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/27822878@N04/4425830646">Show Us Your Togwotee</a>
Any airport located entirely inside a national park (the Grand Teton National Park, no less) is bound to have awesome views out the window.
Male, Maldives
WikiMedia:
The runway juts out into the famously clear waters of the Maldives. What more could you ask for as a welcome (or departure)?
St. Barts, Caribbean
Getty Images
The famously terrifying landing between two hills aside, once you land all you see is lush greens and oceanside villas (oh and a beautiful beach, to boot). (CYRIL FOLLIOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Queenstown, New Zealand
<a href="http://www.flickr.com">Flickr</a>:<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/42033648@N00/5445271">PhillipC</a>
This needs no explanation, really, but if you must know, the airport sits on New Zealand's South Island surrounded by the area's famous lakes and mountains.
Nice, France
WikiMedia:
South of France. Airport. That's it.
Lukla, Nepal
AP
Sure, this might be one of the world's most dangerous airports, but it's also one of the most striking. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
Scariest U.S. Airports
Suggest a correction