From Victoria Falls to Taj Mahal, Lonely Planet reveals the world’s top 10 greatest wonders that’ll have you reaching for your camera
By CAROL DRIVER
They’re the great wonders of the world that every intrepid traveller must have on their wish list.
From Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, to India’s Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China, to not see them, really is missing out.
A new book by Lonely Planet reveals the top 50 must-see world wonders – with the experts picking out their top 10 especially for MailOnline Travel.
The top 10 wonders of the world…
1. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia
2. Great Rift Valley, Ethiopia
3. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
4. Taj Mahal, India
5. Terracotta Army, China
6. Great Wall of China, China
7. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
8. Kilauea, Hawaii
9. Hagia Sophia, Turkey
10. Potala Palace, Tibet
World’s Great Wonders brings together the most amazing manmade structures and natural creations from across the globe.
From the formation of the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia to the painstaking creation of the Terracotta Army, the book dedicates at least four pages to each site’s fascinating facts, stunning photography and detailed illustrations which give the reader an insight into its creation.
The foreword for the book is provided by art historian and BBC presenter Dan Cruickshank who explains: ‘The aim of this book is straightforward – to inform, to inspire and to encourage its readers to travel.
‘If you know key facts about your destination you will surely enjoy it – and most certainly understand it – better.
‘Of course the term “wonder” is loose, clearly subjective and poetic, rather than scientific or objective. I suggest anything that surprises, mystifies, or takes the breath away by its sheer size, beauty or audacity is a wonder.’
Jheni Osman, the author of The World’s Great Wonders, adds: ‘This book takes you a step further on your travels, revealing the science and engineering behind how epic structures were built or incredible natural wonders formed.
‘It was always going to be tough to reduce all the world’s amazing wonders into 50 must-see sights, but this book spans the heights of engineering, the spectrum of beautiful architecture, and the eons of time.’
World’s Great Wonders, which is now on sale priced £19.99, is available through Lonely Planet.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia: Explorer David Livingstone named the waterfalls of the Zambezi River after Queen Victoria, but locals call them Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’. Located on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the falls plummet 108m, creating a mist that is visible from 20km away
Great Rift Valley, Ethiopia: Dallol volcano in the Great Rift Valley – the world’s largest rift system which stretches 6,000km from the Red Sea down to Lake Malawi. Up to 74km in places, it’s cradled by a series of cliffs, rising from the valley floor to the top of the highest escarpments, up to 1.6km above
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland: Legend claims this rocky peninsula is the handiwork of an angry giant, but the real story behind the striking basalt columns is even more extraordinary.
Taj Mahal, India: This marble-clad mausoleum, considered the most beautiful building in the world, and said by its creator to have made the sun and moon shed tears, is the jewel in India’s crown
Terracotta Army, China: More than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots and 670 horses from this vast, life-size clay army, protecting China’s first emperor in the afterlife
Great Wall of China, China: The stone dragon weaves 6,500km across mountaintops and plunges deep into canyons. But its magnificence hides its tumultuous history
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: At 610m deep and 260sq-km, this is the largest unflooded caldera in the world. A blue-green vision from above, it’s a haven for endangered wildlife and maasai livestock
Kilauea, Hawaii: The world¿s most active volcano has been constantly erupting for over three decades on Hawaii, creating the fastest-growing land on the planet
Hagia Sophia, Turkey: Cathedral. Mosque. Museum. The Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) has withstood the ravages of war and earthquakes, a testament to Istanbul’s tumultuous past
Potala Palace, Tibet: An architectural wonder and the spiritual home of the Dalai Lama, the world¿s highest palace – at 3,700m above sea level – rises 13 storeys, and contains more than 100 rooms