Von sagenumwobenen Alleen in Nordirland über verlassene Königreiche in Myanmar bis hin zu rätselhaften Steinköpfen in der Südsee: Diese Destinationen umgibt eine wahrhaft mystische Aura.

10 Mystical Places That Are Worth the Trip

Legendary roads in Northern Ireland, abandoned kingdoms in Myanmar and enigmatic stone heads in the South Seas: these destinations are worth a trip this fall.

October 31, 2022

1. Giant's Causeway

County Antrim, Northern Ireland

giants causeway

A walk along the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland is one of the country's most spectacular experiences. © Patrick Metzdorf

40,000 basalt columns comprise the famous Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. What's so special about the five-kilometer-long rock formation? The columns, which rise up to twelve meters in height, were evenly pressed into their iconic hexagonal shape by the cooling of hot lava. The natural spectacle, just under 100 kilometers from Belfast, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. According to Irish legend, the Giant's Causeway was built by the giant Fionn mac Cumhaill.

2. Moai

Easter Island

Ursprünglich sollen über 1000 Moai die Osterinsel bedeckt haben.

Originally, over 1000 moai are said to have covered Easter Island. © Thomas Griggs

The 887 stone colossi of Easter Island, called Moai, are probably one of the most famous mysteries in the world. Their exact age is not known. All we know is that the large-headed statues made of tuff (partly also of basalt and red tuff) were erected in the last 1,500 years. They appear in groups as parts of extensive ceremonial complexes; almost every village on the island had its own "marae." Easter Island in the South Seas is located in the subtropics and can be visited year-round. However, the driest and warmest periods are from November to April.

3. Eltz Castle

Wierschem, Germany

Sie ist wohl eine der bekanntesten Höhenburgen Deutschlands: Burg Eltz, erbaut im 12. Jahrhundert

Highlight in Germany: Eltz Castle is one of the most beautiful autumnal destinations in the country. © Tim Rebkavets

It's probably one of the most famous high-altitude castles in Germany: Castle Eltz, built in the 12th century, is enthroned at 129 meters above the valley of the same name. Today, curious travelers can visit the "fairy tale of stone", which is still owned by the noble family Eltz, in the course of a guided tour through the historic premises.

4. Rakotz Bridge

Gablenz, Germany

Die Rakotzbrücke, auch unter dem Namen „Teufelsbrücke“, bekannt, ist eine 20 Meter lange Bogenbrücke in Deutschland.

In the middle of the Kromlau Rhododendron Park is the enchanting 19th-century Rakotz Bridge. © Shutterstock

Architectural jewel of the past: Rakotz Bridge, also known as "Devil's Bridge", is a 20-meter long arch bridge in Germany, located in the Park of Kromlau, among azaleas and rhododendrons. It was built between 1866 and 1875. The mythical place can be visited at any time with free admission – and has even been featured on the big screen in Matrix Resurrections.

5. Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury, England

Anyone traveling to England in the fall should take a detour to Glastonbury and visit Glastonbury Tor. © Rowan Freeman (l.), Hello I'm Nik (r.)

The hill Glastonbury Tor – from the Celtic word "Tor" for "conical hill" – towers over the plain of Summerland Meadows in the county of Glastonbury in England. At 158 meters, it stands out conspicuously. No wonder that the Celts, who settled here for a long time, considered this unique place as the entrance to Avalon, the land of fairies. The Celts were followed by the Romans. And finally, in the 14th century, built the St. Michael's Church, the remains of which can still be visited today.

6. The Dark Hedges

Stranocum, Northern Ireland

Der nächste Abstecher nach Nordirland: In der kleinen Gemeinde Stranocum befinden sich The Dark Hedges, die 1775 von den Stuarts gepflanzt wurden.

The Grey Lady is said to walk down the haunted avenue in Northern Ireland – but even without a ghost sighting, it's worth a visit. © Shutterstock

The next detour to Northern Ireland: the small community of Stranocum is home to The Dark Hedges, planted by the Stuarts in 1775. TV fans will recognize the beech avenue as "the King's Road" from Game of Thrones. Anyone who hangs out here alone in the evening might see a ghost, according to folklore: The Grey Lady, a housemaid who died under mysterious circumstances, is said to wander the road beneath the knotted branch canopy.

Related: These 10 Luxurious Hotels Are Allegedly Haunted

7. Cenote Ik Kil

Tinúm, Mexico

Ik-Kil Cenote, Chichen Itza, Mexico

Simply magical: anyone traveling to Yucatán should the region's cenotes near Chichén Itzá. © Shutterstock

In the jungle of Yucatán, near the Mayan site of Chichén Itzá, lies one of the most beautiful cenotes on the peninsula: Ik Kil. The karst hole is 60 meters deep. Lianas line the opening of the cenote. The luminous lights create a truly magical atmosphere. If you want, you can take a plunge into the "holy spring" and explore the depths on a dive. Now is the best time for it, too: since Mexico is located in the tropics, you can spend warm vacation days with little rain in Yucatán between November and April.

8. Le Mont-Saint-Michel

Normandy, France

Im Dschungel von Yucatán, nahe der Mayastätte Chichén Itzá, liegt eine der schönsten Cenotes der Halbinsel: Ik Kil.

The monastery and the bay surrounding the rocky island are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A short (guided!) mudflat hike here in the fall is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. © Derek Sutton

Le Mont-Saint-Michel is truly unique: parts of the French community lie on a four-square-kilometer rocky island in the Normandy tidal flats. Particularly striking is the abbey, which towers over the roofs of the island's houses, and was one of the most costly structures of the entire Middle Ages. An autumnal mudflat hike is a real highlight, but be sure to get a trained guide.

9. krzywy las

Gryfino, Poland

Crooked Forest (Krzywy Las),  Gryfino, West Pomerania, Poland

Why are the trees in Poland crooked? A question that no one has been able to answer until today. © Shutterstock

Poland's "Crooked Forest," the literal translation of Krzywy Las, is still considered a mystery today. A pine forest extends over just under two hectares, and its trees have taken on an unusual shape: The trunks make a semicircle near the ground, then continue growing straight up. For a long time, it was thought that the growth of the pines planted in the 1930s was human-induced. There was also talk of the earth's magnetic field or heavy snowfall. The reason why the entire forest has a 90-degree bend is still not known. krzywylas.pl

10. Ales Stenar

Ystad, Sweden

Die „Steine von Ale“ im schwedischen Ystad ist eine 67 Meter lange und 19 meter breite Schiffssetzung aus dem Jahr 600 n. Chr.

Ales Stenar is one of the most mysterious places in Sweden, offering spectacular views over the cliffs and out to the Baltic Sea. © Shutterstock

The "Stones of Ale" in Ystad, Sweden are a 67-meter-long and 19-meter-wide ship settlement dating back to 600 A.D. On a hill overlooking the Baltic Sea coast, 59 rocks weighing up to 1.8 tons line up in the shape of a ship. We don't know the sights exact origins, but scholars believe that Ales Stenar was once a burial site.

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