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When we think of travel, we often think of places we can fly into and walk around and explore ourselves. Whether that is a two-week excursion or a smaller city break, there are constantly new places to find and things to see and do around the world. But have you ever thought about what we can’t physically explore?
This is where the beauty of air travel comes in. From amazing man-made structures to the wonderful works of Mother Nature, there are plenty of sights around the world that you can see just from the air! So, whether you’re researching a private jet charter, helicopter travel, or hot air balloons, we’ve made a list of some of the most beautiful sites best seen from the air to help inspire your travels!
1. Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
We couldn’t make a list of some of the world’s most stunning bird’s-eye sights without including the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. This is an artificial island that is home to some gorgeous homes and high-end hotels in Dubai. It is partly constructed using sand that was taken from the bed of the Persian Gulf. From above, you’ll be able to see the stunning ringed design of the palm trees.
2. The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
From the ground, the views of the headquarters for the US Department of Defense look pretty spectacular. The world-famous Pentagon is built in a classic style and takes up a huge area of 29 acres. Viewing it from the air gives you an even deeper appreciation for the architecture behind this magnificent building. From a private jet, you will be able to see the pentagon design in its true form. The original design for this plot back in the 1940s was to be across five roads, but it was built elsewhere, with the architects remaining loyal to the pentagon shape.
3. Green Man Maze, Penpont, Wales
When you look at the Penpont maze from above, something beautiful will be staring back at you. Tucked in an effigy of the Green Man, this maze shows off pre-Christian symbolism that represents renewal and rebirth. It was created to celebrate the new millennium by local Welsh artist David Eveleigh. Inside, you’ll find beautiful yew and beech trees with lots of well-kept wildflowers.
4. Nazca Lines, Peru
If you are a fan of geoglyphs, this is the place for you. Southern Peru’s wonderful Nazca Lines are some of the most famous geoglyphs in the world. The area is filled with a medley of different designs, from etchings of animals such as hummingbirds to geometric shapes; the lines were left in the desert at the time of the ancient Nazca culture around 2,000 years ago. No one can know for sure why they were created, but modern archaeologists think that they are associated with a form of prayer, asking the gods for fertile land and rain in this typically hot and deserted area.
5. Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India
The Lotus Temple looks gorgeous from every angle, but it’s particularly stunning when seen from above. Built back in the 1980s, the sacred Baháʼí building was made to look just like a lotus flower (hence where the name comes from) and is made up of variations of neat marble petals. Only from above can you truly appreciate these carefully crafted geometric patterns. You’ll be able to count nine different pools that surround the temple. The reason that there are nine is that this number is considered to be ‘perfect’ in the Baháʼí faith.
6. Longleat Hedge Maze, Wiltshire, England
Originating back in the 1970s, the Longleat Hedge Maze is one of the biggest in all of Britain. It is made up of over 16,000 yew trees, whose swirling patterns span out to more than 2km. If you are lucky enough to finish the maze and find your way through, you will be greeted with a gorgeous view from the observation tower.
7. Galešnjak, Croatia
From above, you will understand quickly why Galešnjak has the nickname ‘Lover’s Island.’ This Croatian land is known for its olive trees and burial mounds, but more obviously, its definitive heart shape is only visible from the sky. It is a small island, only 50m wide, but the reason for its popularity is that a decade ago, the unique heart shape was spotted on Google Earth!
8. Masone Labyrinth, Fontanellato, Italy
Found in the heart of Masone Labyrinth in Italy, you will spot a golden pyramid. This is an enormous bamboo maze that spans 20 acres. For reference, think of 10 football pitches put together, and that is the size of this jaw-dropping creation! It was designed by Franco Maria Ricci, an art lover and Italian visionary. It is located in an Italian cultural park, where you’ll also find a library and gallery. From above, marvel at the star shape of the maze, along with its neat line strokes and huge size! This is best appreciated when looking at it from a birds-eye view.
9. Yan’an Elevated Road Interchange, Shanghai, China
China is somewhere that consistently has impressive road spaces, but this one has to be one of the most fascinating. The longer you look, the more you will discover. This interchange was carefully curated so that every detail matters, which is why this masterpiece is best viewed from above. The roads dramatically weave together, looking like a knot in the centre that keeps them all in place. In fact, this highway is so cinematic that it actually made an appearance in the 2012 James Bond hit Skyfall.
10. Ballynoe Stone Circle, County Down, Northern Ireland
This is yet another site that can be appreciated from massive heights. Made up of around 50 stones, some of which are 2m tall, the Ballynoe Stone Circle is found in the southeast of Northern Ireland. These stones date back to the late Neolithic Period, and due to the discovery of human remains, it is assumed that this site was partially used for burials at the time. Aerial views show off the perfect circle shapes of these rocks and the carefully placed horse-shoe shape they make.