35 Magical and Otherworldy Fairy Tale Travel Bucket List Ideas

I have traveled to many places, but there are still so many I have yet to explore. Lost cities, ancient civilizations, mysterious caves, magical waterfalls, glaciers, volcanos and more. There’s just so much more to see. So I put together an epic list of places I absolutely must see before I die. This is my unfinished (and in no specific order) fairy tale travel bucket list. Every place on this list is guaranteed to come back home with you through stories, inspiration, and appreciation of the magic around us that is this beautiful world. If you like it please share!

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideas

 

My Fairy Tale Travel Bucket List – Things I Want to do Before I Die

 

On a side note, I want to say I know that travel is expensive. I understand that for many, these bucket list ideas are a pipe dream. We often spend more on material things than the moments that enrich our lives. But sadly, when we look back, it’s not a life of things we’re proud of, it’s a life rich with stories, experiences, and adventure. That said, I hope if any of these places strikes your fancy that you make that commitment to just do it.

 

#1 See the Storybook Castles in Germany and Road Trip the Fairy Tale Route

 

Oddly enough, I’ve never seen the incredible fairy tale castles of Germany. Castles like Neuschwanstein, Hohenzollern, Liechtenstein, Schwerin, Drachenburg (Dragon Castle), and Eltz look like something from a storybook. In addition to the storybook castles, there’s a tourism route called the “Fairy Tale Route” which stretches through Germany and takes travelers on a journey through the Brothers Grimm legacy. In a place where Snow White and Hanzel and Grettle were born, it seems like an obvious choice for a fairy tale travel bucket list.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasDrachenburg Castle d_marino2001 CCL
fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasHohenzollern Castle 200mm Photography CCL

 

#2 See the Fairy Tale Chateaus of France

 

The chateaus of the Loire Valley, France have always reminded me of fairy tales. The type of places where knights in shining armor saved damsels in distress. And not to mention they are spectacular to see. Rich with history and teeming with stories, they’re high up on my fairy tale travel bucket list.

 

magical chateaus in france

Chateau de Chaumont in Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, France Instant-Shots CCL

 

#3 Visit the Sleepy Village of Colmar, France

 

I’ve always loved the little village of Colmar situated in France’s wine capital Alsace. Its half-timbered buildings and flower-lined canals look like something from a Mother Goose tale.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasColmar, France Joan CCL

 

#4 See Wolves in the Wilderness of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada

 

There’s something mystical about wild wolves. The natives knew it and even today, they are marveled. I would love to experience the wilds of British Columbia and Alberta to hopefully witness (not too closely) a pack of wolves. Also, the Prince of Whales Hotel has always seemed so magical to me.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasPrince of Whales Hotel Gord McKenna CCL

 

#5 Explore the Myths and Legends of the Magical Ring Road, Iceland

 

The entire island of Iceland is one giant magical fortress if you ask me and probably number one on my list for fairy tale travel. I mean where else can you drive into the northern lights as you pass by glaciers, rainbows, volcanoes, waterfalls, caverns and mountain ridges that look like something from a fantasy sci-fi film? They don’t call it the “land of fire and ice” for nothing. This magical road trip will warp you into another universe (until you come home of course).

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasSeljalandsfoss, near Eyjafjallajökull Cocoabiscuit CCL

 

#6 Visit Famous Lord of the Rings Film Locations and Otherworldly Places in New Zealand

 

As a major film geek, visiting Hobbiton is pretty high up there on the must see list for me. I mean, who wouldn’t want to visit Middle Earth right? Chosen for its otherworldly-like features, New Zealand is filled with breathtaking landscapes. From Glowworm caves to Hobbit holes, New Zealand is a magical place indeed.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasHobbitton Alejandro Aguayo CCL

 

#7 Get Geeky in Tokyo

 

There are loads of places to get your geek on in Tokyo. From themed cafes (like the Robot Cafe) to all out fandom dedicated districts like Akihabara, there’s no shortage for the traveling geek.

 

Geeky Things to do in TokyoGodzilla in Tokyo Moody Man CCL

 

#8 Explore Legends of Odin and Thor in Denmark

 

Denmark is known as one of the Viking capitals of the age. And where there were early Vikings, Norse Myths are not too far behind. I’d love to explore the runestones and mounds in Denmark and learn first hand about the footprint of Norse gods.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasViking Burial Stones near Aalborg, Denmark Eric Gross CCL

 

#9 Experience the Magical Architecture of Spain

 

From the enchanted city of Cuenca, Spain famous for its hanging houses to the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain is full of whimsical and quirky architecture. The Sagrada Familia especially has always reminded me of the place where “Moonchild” from the Neverending Story lived.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasSagrada Familia Vincent Moschetti CCL

 

#10 Visit the Ossuaries and Mummies of Italy

 

Italy is home to some really weird and creepy stuff. And you know I like weird and creepy. Here you can explore mummified remains of monks, walk into a cathedral made of bones and even see some anatomical leftovers from saints.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasBone Church with Mummies Pattie CCL

 

#11 Explore Ancient Egypt

 

This is kind of a no-brainer. If it’s ancient, I’m pretty much there. And with Ancient Egypt being among the most popular (and mysterious) civilizations, I had to get it on the list.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasKarnak Temple Shawn Clover CCL

 

# 12 Explore Witch Folklore on the Isle of Man

 

Many friends and fans have told me I must visit the Isle of Man for its witch folklore. Can’t say I can argue with that. It’s known for its magical past along with fairy lore, animal lore, and sea lore. Not to mention it sits between two of my favorite places, Scotland and Ireland.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasIsle of Man Miles Banbery CCL

 

#13 Visit Vlad Dracula’s Castle in Romania

 

Now I know “Dracula” the vampire did not live in Bran Castle, but it’s pretty damn cool that Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula, by the man who did, Vlad Dracul. Vlad was known as the ‘Impaler’ having been responsible for an unimaginable amount of Turkish bloodshed by way of impalement.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasBran Castle spline splinson CCL

 

#14 Explore the Lost City of Angor Wat, Cambodia

 

This abandoned city in the Cambodian jungle is home to hundreds of monuments made from stone and overgrown by Mother Nature. Once an empire, its people fled the city over 500 years ago leaving a trail of mystery and artifacts in their wake.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasPekka Järveläinen CCL

 

#15 Visit the Otherworldly Landscapes of Arizona

 

Talk about exploring a place that makes you feel like you took a UFO to get there, Antelope Canyon, Arizona looks like something from a Star Wars movie. It’s hard to imagine it’s just right here in the USA.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasAntelope Canyon dziambel CCL

 

#16 Feel Like I’m on Another Planet in China

 

I always love finding places that make me feel like I’m in another world. The Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia are a great example in China, showing weathering and erosion at its most beautiful. Another scenic understatement is the Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie. Home to thousands of sandstone pillars that are nature’s version of skyscrapers. Some even stretch taller than the Empire State Building’s midpoint.

 

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasWulingyuan Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie Julie Wki CCL

 

#17 Explore Ancient Civilization at Machu Picchu, Peru

 

Nothing takes you through the ages like exploring the ruins of an ancient civilization like that of the Incas of Machu Picchu, Peru.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasThibault Houspic CCL

 

#18 Explore South Pacific Myths in Kauai, Hawaii

 

Some of the world’s most stunning coastlines are in Kauai (like Na’Pali which can only be seen by helicopter, catamaran, or seriously gnarly hike). Rich in legends and interesting facts, Kauai is certainly magical.

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasAdam Foster CCL

 

#19 Feel Like I’m in a Fairy Tale in Salzburg, Austria

 

Salzburg, Austria is a charming storybook old town beneath sleepy hills. Talk about some fairy tale feels. The city os rich in culture and in one of the most beautiful regions of Europe.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasPatrick Freitag CCL

 

#20 Explore Otherworldly Places Like Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah

 

Another one of those places much like Arizona, right here in the US, which looks like it came from another planet. I could see this being the scene of a post-apocalyptic film or a sci-fi alien invasion film.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasBryan Pocius CCL

 

#21 Feel Like I’m on Another Planet in Cappadocia, Turkey

 

Cappadocia is an astounding area in Turkey where entire cities have been carved into rock. Another place like Arizona and Utah which looks like something from a distant planet.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasNick Wadge CCL

 

#22 Feel Like I’m in a Dream in the Flowering Areas of Japan

 

Magical dream. Those are the first words that come to mind when I think of the foliage of Japan. The serene beauty of the bamboo forest in the Arashiyama district, Ashikaga’s whispy flowering wisteria trees and Kyuhoshi‘s magical cherry blossoms are a mesmerizing and almost unreal.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasNorio NAKAYAMA CCL

 

#23 Feel Like Alice in Wonderland at Keukenhof Park, Holland The Netherlands

 

Known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Millions of bulbs are planted in the park each year. It seems like a place you can only get to through a rabbit hole.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasOlga CCL

 

#24 Feel Like the Lion King at Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

 

A true African adventure awaits in the Tanzania’s portion of the Serengeti. I can hear the Lion King theme song inmy head evennow as I post this photo.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasSarahTz CCL

 

#25 Feel Like a Mermaid at Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

 

If I were a mermaid my real estate would include islands, waterfalls, towering cliffs, miles of white sand and next to no humans. Meet Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the northeast coast of Brazil. Home to 21 islands and breathtaking landscapes.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasLeandro Macedo Gonçalves CCL

 

#26 See the Magical Auroras in the Arctic Circle of Norway

 

Home to Viking history, majestic fjords, towering mountains and of course some of the most miraculous auroras that meet the eye.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasvapi photographie CCL

 

#27 Visit the Ancient City of Petra, Jordan

 

Renowned for the buildings carved directly into the sides of cliffs, the ancient city of Petra’s claim to fame is being home to the Holy Grail. A pretty epic legend for sure.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasJose Luis Canales CCL

 

#28 See the Ancient Skyline of Bagan, Myanmar

 

Bagan’s ancient city skyline is like nothing else in the world, with ochre stupas and temples rising above the surrounding forests it seems as if you’ve traveled through space and time through time to get there (well to be technical you would have to, but you get it).

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasStéphane Neckebrock CCL

 

#29 Explore an ET Film Location at Redwood National Park, California

 

Ever wonder what it would be like to shrink? A visit to California’s Redwood National Park will shrink you down to size when you glare up at the 2,000-year-old, 300-foot giants. It’s also home to scenes from the famed 80’s fantasy film, E.T.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideastrevorklatko CCL

 

#30 Walk Among the Giants in the Netherlands

 

A Hunebedden, that’s what an ancient megalithic burial site of a giant is called in the Netherlands. And you can bet these sites are huge!

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasjankie CCL

 

#31 Leave the Atmosphere in Socotra, Yemen

 

Socotra looks like you woke up on another planet. The UFO-like dragon’s blood trees are the island’s most notable feature. I’m surprised we haven’t seen this in more sci-fi movies.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasRod Waddington CCL

 

#32 Explore Myths and Legends in Torres del Paine National Park of Patagonia, Chile

 

Patagonia is such a spectacular place with Middle Earth-like mountains, blue icebergs, marble caverns and mythical lakes. The forests are shrouded in fairy lore and are reminiscent of Pandora from Avatar.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasBill Hertha CCL

 

#33 Explore the Magical Underworld of Bora Bora

 

Imagine visiting an island that was once a volcano, subsequently forming a barrier reef and creating the perfect ecosystem for crystal clear water, shallow waves and a sanctuary for marine If Atlantis were real, I’d imagine it would be like Bora Bora.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasgengish skan CCL

 

#34 See the Penguins of Antarctica

 

The coldest, windiest, driest, and highest continent on earth is home to millions of penguins wrapped in beautiful glaciers. I love penguins, they absolutely fascinate me. I would love to see them in action surrounded by ice sheets and glaciers.

 

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasChristopher Michel CCL

 

#35 Visit the Setting for Luke Skywalker’s Boyhood Home in Tunisia

 

No epic fairytale list for the geeky adventurer would be complete without a shout out to Luke Skywalker’s boyhood home at the Hôtel Sidi Driss in Tunisia. The hotel is a centuries old Berber house where you can actually stay and feel the Force (well maybe not the Force but you get the idea).

fairy tale travel, bucket list ideasSTML CCL

I hope I get to see all the places on my fairy tale travel bucket list before I die. They are truly fascinating and a fine example of just how incredible this world really is. Still, I feel like I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. So keep an eye out for a part 2!


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

52 Comments on this post

  1. There are so many places that I want to visit and now you have just added 35 more! I don’t think there’s a enough time in our lives to cover every place but I definitely need to get to some of these places.

    Jeanette / Reply
  2. Europe is my favorite place to visit. It seems like every place I turn, I see a place where a fairy must surely be hiding away. I’ve been all over Europe, but I’ve never had the chance to see and do any of these others. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. I had no idea there was a Fairy Tale route in Germany! Someone sign me up!

    Lisa Favre / Reply
  4. Oh my goodness, these places are breathtaking! I would love to be able to travel to all of these stunning destinations.

    Chantal Bernard / Reply
  5. Oh my goodness, YES! To all of these. So beautiful.

  6. Wow so many magical places to visit! I wish I could go to every place you listed! I would have to go to Colmar, France and New Zealand first then all the places with beautiful trees!

    fashionbeyondforty / Reply
  7. I cannot even pick my favorite place on your list, they are all so magical. There are so many more places that I need to visit now. Thank you for reminding me there is so much magic in this world.

  8. These are amazing places I would love to see in person I would start with visiting Hobbiton. It is at the top of my bucket list.

    Claudia Krusch / Reply
  9. These are amazing places to explore. I wish I could visit some if not all of them.

    Dogvills / Reply
  10. Oh my! What an amazing list of fantastic travel destination. Some of these places really look like they came right out of a fairy tale.

    Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz / Reply
  11. There are so many places I would love to see with my family! I always imagine what it would be like to see some of this in person and take pictures, someday I hope I can!

    Melissa Dixon / Reply
  12. This is such a great list. I would love to go to any of these places. The photos are so beautiful!

    Kathy / Reply
  13. Omg so many fairy tail destinations!!! I would love to see a real castle up close!! It would be pretty amazing

    The Trophy WifeStyle / Reply
  14. Holy cow those are all amazing photos. The castles look so cool and I think it would be fun to actually tour one.

    up run for life / Reply
  15. We are planning to visit Bryce Canyon this year! I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand and go see the Northern Lights in Norway!

    Marvelous Mommy / Reply
  16. What an amazing list of places to visit! Where to begin? I think I’d like to start with the castle .. and then a walk under the redwoods. Mother Nature is so amazing!

    alisonrost / Reply
  17. If someone doesn’t have wanderlust after reading this article, there is clearly something wrong with them! I have always wanted to travel to France, and your pictures of the beautiful country are incredible. Someone point me in the direction of the airport!

    Amanda / Reply
  18. There are so many magical places that I want to visit! I think New Zealand is the top on my list though! I want to see the Shire and the Glow worm cave!

    The Mad Mommy / Reply
  19. I love reading peoples bucket lists, it shows another side of a person! You have some AMAZING places on there!

    Adaleta / Reply
  20. Just for fun I looked up the Drachenburg Castle on Google and did you know it only took 2 years to build? And that was in the last 19th Century!! All the places on your bucket list are so dreamy!!

    Marielle Altenor / Reply
  21. I can’t even believe how magical these places look. I. Cannot. EVEN! I would love to visit them all. I feel like a unicorn is going to pop around the corner in several of those pictures.

  22. This would honestly be one of the BEST travel trips ever. To see a real castle? OMG– I would LOVE it.

    Jennifer Sikora / Reply
  23. So many of these places are places we’ve gone or would like to go to! If we could, we’d sell everything we own and go explore for a couple years straight 😉

    Doria / Reply
  24. All of these places are just breathtaking. I would love to see most of these places. I would take just about anywhere in Europe.

    Lisa (@blm03) / Reply
  25. These all look seriously amazing! Some even other-worldly! Right now, I’m dying for a beach, so those ones with the bright blue waters are really calling me!

    Jessy @ The Life Jolie / Reply
  26. That’s it! I am totally stealing your bucket list! Seriously you got nearly every place I would want to visit!! My top pic would have to be the Lord of the Rings like locations!
    So many beautiful places in this world!
    Honestly, anywhere that has beautiful woodlands and tress is my “thing”.

    fashionbeyondforty / Reply
  27. Wow! Thes places do look like they are from fairytales! How amazing!!

    Heather / Reply
  28. I’ve actually done a few of these! But there are so many more I would love to see. This is really a spectacular list!

    Karissa WithOurBest / Reply
  29. THEse are all amazing ideas to put on a bucket list! I have always dreamed of visiting Bora Bora someday.

    Pam Wattenbarger / Reply
  30. These would all be amazing places to see. I would love to go and see these beautiful castles.

    Claudia Krusch / Reply
  31. This list is so much fun!! I’ll all about the fairy tale locations– they’re just so beautiful and magical. The castles look especially gorgeous. I’ll have to add some of these to my bucket list. Saving this link for later!

  32. I love fairytales and I would certainly love to visit all these palces. The castles are amazing.

    OurFamilyWorld / Reply
  33. Ok! You have pretty much provided me with a bucket list of places I want to go to right here. Just get me on a plane right now, these are so amazing. Wow!

    toastycritic / Reply
  34. These are all amazing fairy tale bucket list ideas. We would love to go to the Lord of the Rings village some day. It amazing me there is actually places like this one. Thanks for sharing these amazing places.

    Rebecca Swenor / Reply
  35. All of those castles are absolutely gorgeous. I really want to see the Northern Lights one day, and I would love to pretend that I am Belle and frolic around France!

    Amanda / Reply
  36. I had to pin this! I already know Tokyo and Egypt is on my list of must travel but Socotra is definitely un-earthly I have to touch a tree!

    Kiwi / Reply
  37. I have always wanted to see the Fairy tale Castles in Germany. They are just magical!

    Kelly (@KickingWKelly) / Reply
  38. Stunning! I feel like I need to book me a trip to one of these amazing places immediately.

    mimicutelips / Reply
  39. I would love to travel full time and see many places. All of these are now on my list, Thanks!

    Jenny / Reply
  40. Omg so many neat and fabulous places to travel!!!! I’ve been to a few of these places already. Now to get to all the places I haven’t!

    The Trophy WifeStyle / Reply
  41. What beautiful photos! it makes me want to go visit there (in paradise) right now! I can’t believe such a beautiful place like this exists! AMAZING!

    Eloise / Reply
  42. Oh my gosh – my bucket list just got way longer! Those look like amazing places to visit!!!!

    Shannon Gurnee / Reply
  43. What a great list! Most of these are on my travel bucket list, but I have been to Spain and Iceland. Iceland is absolutely incredible. It had the most amazing views I have ever seen, and it is just breathtaking. There are no real words to describe how awe inspiring the glaciers and waterfalls truly are.

    travel blogger / Reply

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