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10 of the most spellbinding places on the planet: in pictures

Skyscanner takes you on a breathtakingly beautiful journey to the four corners of the world: From a milkshake lake to a land of fairies, from Scotland to Senegal, be amazed at 10 of the world's strangest and prettiest places in 2019.

Mysterious, sublime, surreal and simply stunning: 10 of the world’s most magical places you’ve just got to go to. Or just look at the photos!

Discover 10 of the most magical places in the world in 2019

1. Lake Retba, Senegal

Man and two boats on the pink Lake Retba, Senegal - one of the most magical places on the planet

What the devil? It’s pink? Ok, it looks purple in these pictures. Lake Retba (in French it’s the more descriptive Lac Rose) has been described as looking like raspberry milkshake. Unfortunately, up close it’s not quite as pink, nor can you drink it as you do the breaststroke. The lake gets its Lambrusco Blush tone from an algae that produces a red pigment to resist the water’s high salinity level. When pigment and salt collide in sunlight, the water goes pink. It’s at its pinkest in the dry season. Like the Dead Sea, it’s so salty that you can float in it.

Boats and people working on pink Lake Retba's shores in Senegal

2. The Trulli, Alberobello, Italy

Alberobello is a village full of cone-topped dwellings named Trulli - one of the most magical places in the world

Yes, they are real, people do live in them. These cone-topped fairytale dwellings are not populated by Hobbits, but the inhabitants of the Itria Valley in Apulia, southern Italy. Dating back to 1500, the Trulli (one of them is a ‘Trullo’) in the town of Alberobello are adorned with symbols that range from the Christian to the bizarre. They are all built with the local stone and vary in shape and size, which contributes to the beauty of this magical place.

A Trullo in Alberobello in southern Italy

3. The Enchanted City, Cuenca, Spain

Hanged houses in Cuenca, Spain - one of the most magical places on the planet

Cuenca, in Castile-La Mancha in central Spain, is famous for its hanging houses – which definitely make our list of the most magical places on the planet. But tear yourself away from admiring precipitous architecture to be awestruck by rock formations that make you think “how on earth did those get there”? Resembling giant mushrooms, put there by a creative, slightly psychedelic god, these natural monuments actually owe their appearance to erosion (sorry, boring).

The Enchanted City, Cuenca, Spain is one of the most beautiful places in the world

More: The best places to visit in Spain: 10 must-see destinations

4. The Tunnel of Love, Klevan, Ukraine

Take your ‘loved one’ (or lover, if we’re not beating around the bush) to the Tunnel of Love – one of the most magical and romantic places in the world. Legend has it that ‘ask a sincere desire and it will be fulfilled’. Sounds a bit creepy, especially after dark. This naturally-created tunnel in Klevan, Ukraine is in use three times a day when a train passes through to take wood to a nearby factory. So don’t get too lost in the moment.

If you can’t make it to Kiev this year, try one of these top romantic getaways in 2019.

5. Antelope Canyon, Arizona, United States

Antelope Canyon lets in natural lighting, underlining its sculpted shapes and forms.

Good old Mother Nature has done her best with screensaver favourite Antelope Canyon. Geologists call it a ‘slot canyon’ – a narrow gorge carved by water and mud. Photographers will have a field day here thanks to the natural lighting as well as the procession of sculpted shapes and forms.

Rays of sun come into Antelope Canyon, Arizona - one of the most magical places in the world

6. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the largest salt desert in the world

Did you know that Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the largest salt desert in the world? Ok, another question, name a salt desert. Pretty weird. huh?

This sublime scenery also welcomes flocks of flamingos every November, as they come here to breed.

People walk on lake Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, which fades into the sky - one of the most magical places in the world

Explore the new 7 wonders of the world next – on the cheap and without the crowds.

7. Red Beach, Panjin, China

Red Beach, Panjin, China is one of the most colourful and magical places on the planet

The Red Beach in Dawa in the Liaoning region of China, is famous for being, well, not beach colour, but red. It’s not actually sand that gives it its colour, but the plant, Chenopodiaceae, which in autumn turns this saltmarsh-type land into a mind-bending sea of red.

You think China’s a little far? There’s no need to head abroad for a beach break. Here are 10 of the best beaches in Ireland for a sun-soaked break in 2019.

8. To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

To Sua Ocean Trench is a paradisical pool in Samoa

This paradisical pool isn’t, as it sounds, an ocean trench deep under the sea, but a ‘blowhole’. Translated unglamorously as ‘big hole’ To Sua, on the island of Upolu in Samoa, must be up there in the most amazing places to go swimming anywhere. Take the ladder to descend into its depths or, if you’re feeling brave, dive off it.

9. MUSA Underwater Museum of Art, Cancun, Mexico

Cancun's Underwater Museum of Art is one of the most magical places on the planet

The Underwater Art Museum is a magical place off the coast of Cancun, which aims to protect the areas’s coral reef, in style. Underwater there are more than 400 works of art from Jason Taylor deCaires resting peacefully between fish and marine vegetation. Unsurprisingly, it’s a favourite with scuba divers.

10. The Fairy Glen, Scotland

The Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, is a weird and magical place. It’s not actually inhabited by fairies, but the further you go up the valley, the more your sense of scale goes awry and it’s easy to imagine that this word-in-miniature hides away a population of otherwordly beings.

Want to discover more breathtaking sights? These are the 10 most amazing natural wonders of the world: in pictures.

10 of the most magical places to visit in 2019

1. Lake RetbaSenegal
2. The TrulliAlberobello, Italy
3. The Enchanted City Cuenca, Spain
4. The Tunnel of LoveKlevan, Ukraine
5. Antelope CanyonArizona, United States
6. Salar de UyuniBolivia
7. Red BeachPanjin, China
8. To Sua Ocean TrenchSamoa
9. MUSA Underwater Museum of ArtCancun, Mexico
10. The Fairy GlenScotland

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