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The world’s best otherworldly landscapes you cannot miss

There’s a lot of beauty in the world if you know where to look. From towering mountains to lush forests and everything in between, there’s always something new to see and experience. In recent years, it’s become a little easier for same-sex couples to travel the world. Unfortunately, there are still some spots that pose a threat. Here are five of the world’s best otherworldly landscapes you can enjoy safely with your partner.

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You can hike through Joshua Tree’s alien landscape, named for the Dr Suess-like trees that call it home

Joshua Tree, California, United States

There’s a world of things to see and do in California. This unique state is home to the ancient redwood forests in the north, stunning beaches along the coast, incredible urban populations, and of course, deserts. Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is like stepping onto another planet. You can hike through this alien landscape, named for the Dr Suess-like trees that call it home. Spend time in the great outdoors before stopping at the Desert Hot Springs to soak your weary muscles. There is no accommodation within the park, so renting a nearby villa in Palm Springs makes for a luxurious retreat after exploring. While in the area, visit the scenic San Jacinto Mountains and take the aerial tramway to see the land from new heights.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree | Photo: Nathan Dumlao

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree | Photo: Brent Cox

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree | Photo: Cosmic Timetraveler

Cape Town, South Africa

Africa can be an intimidating travel destination, regardless of sexual orientation. Fortunately, South Africa is significantly more progressive than some of the surrounding areas. Cape Town Pride has been a time-honoured tradition for over 15 years. This beautiful, cultural gem offers the perfect destination for city life and exploring the natural world. Watching the sunrise from the top of Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town, is a spectacle worth experiencing. Venture to Boulders Beach to soak up the sun and watch the penguins play in the waves. A stay at the luxurious The Silo Hotel will be the cherry on top of an incredible trip.

The Silo Hotel Cape Town

The Silo Hotel

Cape Town

Photo: Austin Distel

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Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan still has a way to go in regards to rights and equality. That being said, Taipei has taken some important steps in the right direction. Most recently, same-sex marriage was legalised in 2018. The beautiful landscapes surrounding Taipei are where the real adventure is. Visit Yehliu Geopark where abstract honeycomb and mushroom-shaped rocks scatter the landscape. Step back in time at Jioufen, a historic mountainside town, and the nearby Shifen waterfalls. Finally, venture into the Alishan Forest via train and watch the sunrise.

Long Dong Taipei

Long Dong | Photo: Dan Moore

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Saba was the first Caribbean island to legalise same-sex marriage and has a very inclusive culture

Saba, Dutch Caribbean

The best part about Saba in the Dutch Caribbean is that not many people know about it. This beautiful little island is often overlooked by travellers who tend toward more popular southern destinations. Don’t let the quaintness fool you; Saba was the first Caribbean island to legalise same-sex marriage and has a very inclusive culture. While in Saba, spend some time diving at the Saba Marine Park. Being among the colourful coral reefs and the creatures who call it home is an unforgettable experience. The otherworldly atmosphere of this underwater landscape boasts vibrant colours, sea turtles, and tropical fish at every turn. Make the ascent to Zion’s Hill, formerly known as Hell’s Gate. From here, you’ll be able to see everything around you while sipping on Saba Spice, a handcrafted rum that’s equally potent and delicious.

Little Venice Mykonos

Little Venice

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos has long been a gay icon, and it’s no wonder: sparkling waters, white sand, and killer nightlife make it an absolute dream. Despite being a traditional little island, Mykonos has always been very welcoming and inclusive and boasts fun and safety. Spend your days lounging on Elia beach and venture to the Jackie O’ Beach Club. Visit the idyllic settlement of Little Venice, where you can wine and dine by the seaside. While the nightlife and gay scene are world-famous, it’s not all this utopian landscape has to offer. Venture to Ancient Greece by visiting Delos, the supposed birthplace of the God Apollo. These ruins are a gentle reminder of the incredible history of the area. Take a stroll up the hillside to the Kato Windmills that overlook Mykonos and head to the nearby Mykonos Agricultural Museum for a history lesson.

Mykonos Greece

Photo: Tamara Budai

Mykonos Greece

Photo: Marta Czubak

Whether you’re a nature-lover who craves adventure, a partier who lives for the nightlife, someone who wants to relax in the lap of luxury, or a little of each, these are the places for you. Take in the otherworldly landscapes and create the trip of a lifetime.

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