Are you in desperate need of travel? If so, these best virtual tours are some you can take from the comfort of your own home.
The tourism industry has been at somewhat of a standstill since March 2020. Flights cancelled. Museums and art galleries shut, as well as theme parks, sporting arenas and theatres.
With the current travel restrictions, however, there’s no better time to start saving funds for your next trip. We can still dream of a time when we will able to jet set again.
Technology has certainly made social distancing much easier than if this had occurred 50 years ago. We can order a three-course meal from a restaurant, or have groceries delivered to our door. We can party with our friends on Zoom. We can even watch Broadway shows on TV (thank you Lin-Manuel!).
But what about the travel obsessed, who feel like they are missing a limb when they haven’t been on a plane in over 3 months? Or those who just can’t afford to pack their bags and bring their entire family on an expensive trip. Maybe you’re not a fan of getting on a plane but you’re interested in seeing the sites.
Well, if any of those are the case, then Virtual Tours are for you!
Virtual tours are now offering wanderlust travellers the opportunity to get their fix through museum tours, hikes, safaris and even street art tours.
Of course, nothing compares the real deal, but what better way to start planning your next vacation than seeing the beauty that’s on offer out there.
Let’s get started!
Who better to have as a travel buddy than Sir David Attenborough himself? Embark on a trip of a lifetime with the English historian through the Great Barrier Reef in this BBC documentary series.
Through the interactive tour, you will witness spectacular sites, learn how coral is made, meet the inhabitants of the Reef and learn what we can do to save the reef from the effects of climate change.
Serengeti National Park
If you’ve never been on Safari, I recommend you plan one for the future. Feeling like you’re right in the middle of The Lion King, it’s a trip like no other.
Longing for visitors to return after the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Serengeti Safari Team have put together an 8 part series to show you just how beautiful the Tanzanian wildlife is. You can watch episode 1 here!
This virtual tour will take you kayaking through Kenai Fjords National Park, climbing down a crevasse 30 feet below a glacier, and you will witness the heart-breaking effects global warming has had on the recession of the glaciers over some short years.
You can take the interactive tour of the Alaskan Glacier here while sitting toasty warm on your couch!
Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
On the northern coast of Co. Antrim lies the Giant’s Causeway, a stunningly beautiful UNESCO world heritage site.
There are two theories as to how the Giant’s Causeway was formed.
- The first is that over 60 million years ago molten lava made its way towards the sea, where it then cooled, forming over 40,000 pillars of basalt rock, which make up The Giant’s Causeway.
- The second is that Irish giant, Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool) was challenged to a fight by Scottish giant, Benandonner, across the water. Fionn started throwing rocks in the hopes of scaring the Scottish giant away, however Benandonner used the rocks as stepping stones to make his way towards Fionn. Fionn’s wife came to the rescue when she dressed Fionn up as a baby. When Benandonner saw the size of the ‘baby’, he guessed the daddy must be huge and made his way back to Scotland!
I’ll let you decide which is the true story while you take the virtual tour.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is famously known as one of the most stunning architectural masterpieces ever created. Listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is made entirely out of exquisite marble. It was commissioned by emperor, Shah Jahan, as a memorial for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after she died during childbirth. After he passed, he was buried alongside her.
On this tour, you will be able to take in 360 degree views of the Taj Mahal throughout the grounds.
The Northern Lights
I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t dream of seeing these magical dancing lights. Seeing the Northern Lights is usually something on everyone’s bucket list. Unfortunately, even if you do get the chance to travel to one of the Northern countries to see them, it’s not guaranteed that they will be visible when you are there.
In fact, I went on a trip to Lapland in March 2020 to see the Northern Lights and, alas, not a glimpse (that’s not to say it wasn’t a fantastic trip!).
The Great Wall of China
Originally built as a military defence, the Great Wall of China meanders through mountain ranges. Usually a challenging trek up and down steep steps, you get to leave your hiking boots off and follow “Rambalac” on his journey.
Take in the breathtaking green scenery as he makes his way through a small section of the wall in the Huairou District here.
Located high in the Andes, Machu Picchu is a 15th century stone city which sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to hike the Inca Trail.
Take this virtual tour to experience the city and witness incredible views of the surrounding valleys. Keep your eye out for Machu Picchu’s oldest residents, the Alpacas who maintain the lawn!
Street Art Tours
Google Art Project – Street Art allows you to take virtual walking tours observing creative street art.
Click on the interactive map and it will take you anywhere in the world from Singapore to South Africa, Australia to South America. If you’re feeling very adventurous, you can choose the ‘Surprise Me’ button to see where you end up!
The Getty Museum Challenge
Not quite a virtual tour, but the Getty Museum has challenged people to recreate their favourite paintings in their homes using everyday items, and some people are blowing us away! Some of the props being used are blankets, vacuum cleaners, toast (I know!), and animals.
You can check out the full gallery here before trying out your own (be sure to send me pictures if you do!).
Yep! You read it right! Who said our virtual vacation had to be on earth? While the possibility of space travel has increased significantly over the last number of years, it is still not likely that our generation will see the day when we can travel there freely.
The Curiosity Rover has been on Mars since August 2012. and with the images it has taken, Access Mars has created a virtual tour which gives you the chance to take your first steps on Mars.
So, are you ready to plan your night?
Instead of jumping on yet another Zoom quiz or binge-watching Friends for the 13th time, throw some popcorn in the microwave, curl up comfortable on the couch, and get ready to take your first virtual vacation.
And don’t worry, just because you’ve seen the virtual version, it won’t spoil anything for when you do eventually make it on the trip (please let me know if you ever get to Mars!). In fact, it will make it even more special to be standing in the place you once watched with dreams of visiting.
Need inspiration for a real vacation? Check out My Bucket List to get you started.