They are complex ecosystems consisting mainly of trees that buffer the earth and support a myriad of life forms. They are fascinating, mysterious, peaceful and dangerous at the same time and inspired stories, fairy tales, films and business. Welcome into the forest.
In 2005 the reported total forest area was around 30% of the planet’s land area and it’s disappearing – thank you humans (Ed.). Before it happens – and I truly hope it won’t – let’s see which ones are the most beautiful in the world. Maybe this will make people more aware of their beauty and importance … for them, for us and for anyone.
1. Painted Forest, Maui – Hawaii (USA)
Rainbow eucalyptus trees give a colourful happy touch to this Hawaiian forest. Do you know why? Different layers on the same tree peel away at different times, revealing a multitude of shades.
2. Caddo Lake, Louisiana and Texas (USA)
This place is home to the largest cypress forest in the world. Taking the name from the Native Americans called Caddo Indians or Caddoans, the forest enchants visitors with a maze of waterways, sloughs, islands, bayous, channels, and cypress thickets dripping with Spanish moss.
3. Otzarreta Forest, Spain
Part of Gorbea Natural Park, this forest is located between the provinces of Alava and Vizcaya in the Basque Country (Spain). Are you stressed? Ancient trees and a foggy climate will give you a really calming atmosphere.
4. Stanton Moor, UK
A small upland area in the Derbyshire Peak District of central and northern England. This forest is known for its megaliths – particularly the Nine Ladies stone circle – and for its natural, wind-eroded sandstone pillars. You can know more here.
5. The Hallerbos, Belgium
This forest covers an area of 552 ha (1,360 acres). The Hallerbos is known in the region for its bluebell carpet which covers the forest floor for a few weeks each spring, attracting many visitors.
6. Black Forest, Germany
The Black Forest is Germany’s biggest nature park, full of beautiful mountains, rivers, lakes and vegetation. It’s not a case it’s a famous tourist destination you don’t want to miss.
7. Crooked Forest, Poland
This grove is located outside Nowe Czarnowo, West Pomerania, near the town of Gryfino (Poland). It’s made of oddly-shaped curved pine trees. There are around 100 pines planted in 1930. Their peculiarity? They bend sharply to the North just above ground level and curves back upright after few metres (1-3).
8. Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar
It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990 due to the unique geography, preserved mangrove forests, and wild bird and lemur populations. People who would like to see the spectacular mineral forest of Tsingy de Bemaraha must go to the western coast of Madagascar.
9. Spiny Forest, Madagascar
Also known as “spiny thicket” or “spiny desert” of southern Madagascar, its general vegetation is made of spiny bush in the south and west and a mosaic of spiny bush and secondary grassland in more inland areas. Once again Africa demonstrates to be a very unique place with things that can be seen only there.
10. Sunken Forest of Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan
The lake was created in 1911 after an earthquake that triggered a large landslide blocking the gorge and forming a natural dam. Rainwaters did the rest. This natural destination is famous for the scenic beauty of a submerged forest with spruce tree trunks rising out of the lake water.
11. Dancing Forest, Russia
This land takes its name from the contorted trunks that look like “drunken” pine trees in this Russian region. Located between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon, the dancing forest makes any visitors astonished with trunks contorted into rings, spirals and other loops. The look is weird and the reason still a mystery. Judge by yourself.
12. Yili Apricot Valley, China
This ‘heaven’ is located in Tuergen Township, Xinyuan County, and features clumps of wild apricot trees. With over 2,000 hectares, Yili Apricot Valley (Xinghuagou杏花沟) is the biggest forest of its kind in Xinjiang known since the medieval age.
13. Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove, Japan
This is one of Kyoto’s top photographed sights. But if you want to capture the surreal feeling of standing amidst the high bamboo plants, the only real way is to book a trip and visit the place in person as soon as possible.
14. Rata Forest, New Zealand
People who go to Enderby Island can see a contorted network of branches below and a compact canopy above.
15. Goblin Forest New Zealand
Do you believe in fairy tails and the magical world of the enchanted forest? This place might be home to goblins, elves and hobbits. People who go to this fantastical lush forest can feel like living in a fantasy film.
Do you like adventure and nature? Now you have 15 options to choose from. Are you ready to leave?