No vacation is really complete without a moment of true wonder and if these mountaintop attractions don’t do that for you, nothing will. We strongly recommend you not look down while checking out these super-steep and downright terrifying attractions because all of them are perched on the top of deadly, if scenic, drops.
Time to take out the hiking boots.
1. Paro Taktsang Monastery; Paro Valley, Bhutan
Known colloquially as “The Tiger’s Nest,” this monastery dates back to the 1600s. As if the stunning location wasn’t enough, the buildings here also contain incredible works of art such as paintings and tapestries.
Photo credit: Nancy White
2. Cova d’en Xoroi; Balearic Islands, Spain
This is actually a night club known not only for its incomparable views but its vibrant music scene. Probably a very good idea to watch what you drink here.
Photo Credit: YBubbleGum
3. Kjeragbolten; Rogaland, Norway
We’re not sure whether you have to be really, really brave to do this, or really, really crazy. There is nothing here at all to help you on to the boulder; you’re completely on your own here and it’s a 1,000 meter drop if you lose your footing, so think twice before stepping out!
Photo credit: Sandra Rouiller
4. Predjama Castle; Postojna, Slovenia
They hold weddings here and you can bet there are probably some very nervous guests. While there have been some changes over the years, it’s said that the castle has been in existence since the 13th century.
Photo credit: Petri Hartikainen
5. Valparaíso, Chile
Known for its series of funiculars, or ascensores, this hilly Chilean town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. While only about half of the original 29 remain, the original tram, built in 1883 still functions, a fact made all the more astonishing considering the town was virtually leveled in a 1906 earthquake.
Photo credit: Claudio Montes
6. Cliff House; San Francisco, California
The original Cliff House was built in 1863 only to burn to the ground shortly after surviving the earthquake of 1906. A modern day restoration uncovered a marble staircase as well as part of a carriage road from 1914.
Photo credit: Amo Sahota
7. Moonhole; Bequia, Caribbean
Some people are just way ahead of their time, like Thomas and Gladys Johnston who founded this eco-friendly retreat in the 1960s. Made from materials found naturally in the area (like discarded whale bones), this house runs on solar energy and collects rainwater for bathing.
Photo credit: Joe Burnett
8. The Treasury; Petra, Jordan
Featured in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” this structure, known as “The Treasury,” has become the unofficial symbol of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amazingly, this and the other buildings in the area date back to the 1st century.
Photo credit: Wojciech Ogrodowczyk
9. Phuktal Gompa; Zanskar, India
Built in the 12th century, monks still live and meditate here today. Not surprisingly, it’s a favorite spot of serious hikers.
Photo credit: Txus Pérez
10. Swallow’s Nest; Yalta, Ukraine
Having gone through quite a number of iterations from its construction in 1895, this incredibly precarious Ukrainian castle now houses an Italian restaurant.
Photo credit by: Jon Ayers
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