A lot of people are hesitant to travel because of the dangers and risks that come with it. While their concern is valid, it should not stop them from experiencing the different beauty and grandeur the world has to offer. There are actually several countries that offer very safe and secure environments for tourists to get their fill of wanderlust, and are perfect for first-time travellers and even seasoned adventurers, who want some stress-free holiday and vacation.
With only about 350,000 inhabitants, Iceland is a scenic island in the North Atlantic. It is best known for its fascinating active volcanoes and lava fields, majestic mountains, and picturesque glaciers and glacial rivers, and its capital city is Reykjavik.
- Jokulsarlon – A huge glacial lake situated in the southeastern part of the country, it offers magnificent views of icebergs and the 910-metre high ice cap, and exciting opportunities to see seals, seabirds, fish, and other wildlife.
- Gullfoss – This is a 32-metre high waterfall with overlooking views of the valley.
- Blue Lagoon – Iceland’s most popular geothermal spa, it has an abundance of natural, mineral-rich, warm waters that can help treat various skin diseases.
Made up of around 600 islands, New Zealand is an archipalegic nation sitting in the southwestern side of the Pacific Ocean. It is home to almost five million people, and boasts of stunning landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and remarkable culture and traditions. Its capital city is Wellington.
- Milford Sound – New Zealand’s number one tourist destination and a part of the Fiordland National Park, it stretches about 15 kilometres, and is surrounded by incredible cliffs, steep sides, and rock formations.
- Tongariro National Park – The country’s oldest national park, it was established in 1887 and is home to active volcanoes, Maori religious sites, the top-rated Tongariro Alpine Crossing hiking trail, and a large collection of different plant and animal species.
- Bay of Islands – A favourite sailing and fishing site located on the eastern coast of the North Island, it offers a wide array of other fun outdoor activities, such as dolphin watching, boat cruising, and hiking.
A southwestern European country, Portugal is bounded by Spain to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south. It has a population of over 10 million, and its capital city is Lisbon. As the oldest Iberian Peninsula state and one of the oldest countries in the continent, it has an abundance of historic structures and landmarks that are popular to tourists from around the world.
- Mosteiro dos Jeronimos – Completed in 1601, it is a Manueline or Portuguese Late Gothic architectural structure in Lisbon that served as the monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome.
- Palacio Nacional de Sintra – This is a UNESCO World Heritage medieval palace where Portuguese kings resided from around the 1400s to the 1800s.
- Torre de Belem – Constructed in the 16th century, it is a Manueline architectural-style limestone structure consisting of a 30-metre tall, four-storey tower, and a bastion.
Bordered to the north by Germany and Czech Republic, to the west by Liechtenstein and Switzerland, to the south by Italy and Slovenia, and to the east by Slovakia and Hungary, Austria is a country with a rich culture and history, and amazing natural scenery.
- Lake Wolfgang – Mostly found within Salzburg, it is a well-known resort lake that covers an area of 13 square kilometres, surrounded by the towering mountains of the Salzkammergut range.
- Stephen’s Cathedral – A Gothic-and-Romanesque-style Roman Catholic church in Vienna completed in 1160, it is made up of a 136-metre high tower, more than 200,000 glazed roof tiles, 23 bells, 18 altars in the main room, a stone pulpit, and several chapels, crypts, catacombs, and tombs.
- Schonbrunn Palace – Composed of almost 1,500 rooms, many perfectly-manicured lawns and gardens, and some sculptures and Roman ruins, it was the home of various monarchs and has a history that dates back to more than 300 years.
A Scandinavian country found in Northern Europe, Denmark is made up of a more than four hundred islands, with Zealand, Jutland, and Funen as the three largest inhabited ones. Its capital city is Copenhagen, and it is home to around six million people.
- Nyhavn – With views of the harbour in Copenhagen, it is a 17th-century entertainment district along a canal, lined with colourful restaurants, bars, and cafes.
- Kronborg – Known as Hamlet’s Castle, or Elsinore, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Renaissance castle located in Helsingor and is made up of many royal apartments, a large ballroom, a chapel, and a little hall.
- The Old Town – Situated in the city of Aarhus, it is an open-air museum founded in 1919 and features 75 old buildings and structures that come from different towns around the country.
Found in Central Europe, the Czech Republic is a historically rich country that became independent in 1993. It has several centuries of eventful history, and is home to some of the most exquisite ancient landmarks in the world.
- Charles Bridge – Completed in the early 15th century, it is a 515.8-metre long bridge made of Bohemian sandstone, adorned with arches and statues, and crosses the Vltava river.
- Vitus Cathedral – A Gothic-style architectural masterpiece, it was founded in 930, and houses the tombs of several Holy Roman Emperors and Bohemian kings.
- Prague Castle – A vast castle complex first constructed in 870, and composed of several churches, halls, towers, palaces, gardens, and other buildings, it was the seat of many Bohemian kings, Holy Roman emperors, and Czechoslovakian presidents.
An East Asian country in the Pacific Ocean, Japan is renowned for its incredible natural sceneries, important ancient temples, shrines, and castles, delicious cuisine, and interesting customs and traditions.
- Mount Fuji – At more than 3,770 metres, it is the country’s highest mountain, a popular destination in the summer when its trails are open for climbing to the summit.
- Tokyo – The country’s capital city, it has tons to offer whether you are looking for modern entertainments (sports, nightlife, anime and manga, games, concerts, and technology) or traditional activities to try (temples, shrines, gardens, etc.).
- Kyoto – A former Japanese capital, it boasts of about 2,000 shrines and temples, many of which are several centuries old and recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.