It’s been days, weeks (and months for some) stuck at home, isolating from the world as best we can. Bound to the confines of our four-walled homes, relentlessly seeking ways to keep active and entertained. It’s hard. There are only so many breads one can bake, and only so many kilometres one can run in the tiny backyard. Cyril only knows we need a change of scenery. And that change of scenery comes in the form of virtual tours.
Stimulate your eyeballs, re-awaken your mind, and feast on these glorious scenes from some of the world’s most iconic locations. Take in the views of the dazzling aurora borealis, daydream in a tulip garden, or lose yourself in the roving desert dunes — it’s the sensory overload your lockdown has been waiting for. It’s also fairly meditative as well.
So, grab your tech of choice (if you have VR glasses then you’ve really hit the jackpot) and get out there. It might not be the real deal, but it’s another way to creatively expand your boundaries — and a reminder of what’s out there waiting for us.
1. KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA
Join park ranger Fiona North as she guides you through the mountains and glaciers of America’s wild iceland. Explore here.
2. MACHU PICCHU, PERU
“Hike” the extraordinary Machu Picchu Inca trail and take in the visual wonder of the Sanctuary’s ruins from your couch, with YouVisit’s narrated immersive images.
3. KEUKENHOF GARDEN, AMSTERDAM
This popular tourist destination, and one of the most famous gardens in the world, is offering virtual tours to experience its tulips in full bloom.
4. NAMIB DESERT DUNES, NAMIBIA
Explore the vast, swirling desert of the Namib-Naukluft National Park — home to the largest sand dunes in the world — with AirPano’s interactive 360° images. “Walk” the clay pan of Sossusvlei and discover its iconic Deadvlei.
5. HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, USA
Explore the lava tubes, flows, and craters of the world’s most active and awe-inspiring Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes with a virtual guided tour. Explore here.
6. KEW GARDENS, ENGLAND
This Unesco World Heritage Site is home to some 50 000 living plants, boasting the most diverse botanical collections in the world. This is one of the world’s most popular gardens and can be explored virtually here.
7. THE GRAND CANYON, USA
Navigate the Bright Angel Trail in this iconic Arizonian landmark using Google Street View Trek. For more exploration of the canyon, see Google Earth view, where sweeping vistas of other points of interest can be seen.
8. HANG SON DOÖNG, VIETNAM
Go inside the world’s largest natural cave with National Geographic’s fully immersive, and informative, Son Doöng 360 project.
9. THE NORTHERN LIGHTS, LAPLAND
The roving, dazzling aurora borealis excites even the most trepid travellers. See them in all their (virtual) glory thanks to the Lights of Lapland 360 project.