Is your 2017 resolution to travel the world?
Well, thanks to Google Maps, you can virtually escape to almost anywhere on the planet - without even booking a plane ticket. Here are some of the coolest and most remote spots you can explore through a virtual tour.
1. Republic of Nauru
Northeast of Australia, Nauru is a tiny island with beautiful white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and tropical plants. Interestingly, there is also a Japanese outpost from World War II on the island.
What makes this little slice of paradise even harder to get to is the visa requirement. Tourists are required to obtain a “$100 visa from a Nauru consulate or embassy,” according to News.com.au. Unfortunately, there are only 10 such offices across the globe.
2. Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Located in Norway, Svalbard is an arctic archipelago near the North Pole and Jan Mayen is a volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean. While there are daily flights to Svalbard, there are only eight flights per year to Jan Mayen, unless you want to charter a boat from Iceland or Norway.
3. Deception Island
Deception Island, located in the South Shetland Islands, is the caldera of an active volcano. It used to be home to an active whaling and sealing industry, but is now a popular tourist destination that also serves as grounds for scientific research. Most interesting of all is the island’s varied landscape of volcanic slopes, ash and glaciers.
4. Ebenalp Hut
Nestled under a plateau called Ebenalp in Switzerland lies this cozy, little 170-year-old guesthouse called Berggasthaus Aescher, also known as Ebenalp Hut. The only way to get there is via cable car and then a 15-minute hike across the Wildkirchli caves.
5. Kuang Si Waterfall
The Kuang Si Falls, located in Laos, are a major tourist attraction for those willing to venture into the forest trails to get there. The main cascade is a 200-foot drop and the water collects in a multitude of pools downstream, some of which are open to swimming.
6. Mount Everest
Welcome to Earth’s tallest mountain. Located in the Mahalangur mountain range in Nepal, with a peak at 8,848 meters above sea level, it’s safe to say that this is one of the most difficult destinations to reach on Earth.
Seychelles is an archipelago of more than one hundred islands, off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. Famous for its clear water beaches, giant tortoises, and rainforests, it’s one of the most picturesque beach spots out there.
8. Salar de Uyuni
In Bolivia, among the Andes, is Salar de Uyuni – the biggest salt flat in the entire world. The salt flat is what remains of a prehistoric lake that went dry, leaving behind a desert-like field of bright, white salt formations.
9. Northern Lake Baikal
Located in Siberia, just north of the Mongolian border, Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake. It’s surrounded by forest and hiking paths that are popular in the summer.