Ryanair’s 7 Wonders of the World – Top Destinations

With a deep sense of FOMO taking over the planet thanks to Insta-influencers and their envy-inducing travel pics, we’ve decided to take matters in to our own hands, creating the ultimate globe trotter bucket list for you. Hop on a plane, leave your troubles behind you and go on the adventure of a lifetime chasing Ryanair’s top destinations – don’t forget to tag us! 

1. Petra, Jordan

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Buried amongst the sand in Jordan’s southwestern desert, lies an ancient archaeological site dating back to around 300 BC. The pink sandstone village of Petra was once the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom and is accessed via the narrow canyon of Al Siq. The centre piece of the desert spectacle is Al Khazneh, a 45 metre high temple also known as The Treasury. This temple is the real reason the desert oasis features on this list due to its stunning ornate detail on the tombs that make up the façade. Also featuring theatres and numerous other temples, the construction of one of Jordan’s biggest tourist attractions follows the traditional burial techniques of the Nabataeans - tombs carved into the mountain side. Nicknamed the “Rose City”, Petra can also be visited at night. If you have the time, take the chance walk around the old sandstone city in darkness and see this wonder under the flickering light of thousands of candles.


Check out our list of the 7 wonders of Jordan to see what else you can explore when visiting the country.


Flights to Jordan 

2. Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

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Head to the heart of the ancient world and gaze in awe at the site of one of the most admired statues in the world. The temple dedicated to the Zeus, ruler of the Olympian gods, was built in the latter part of the fifth century and is considered by many to be the finest surviving examples of Doric architecture ever built. Nowadays only a few columns remain to remind us all of the Greek glory days, but they’re still well worth a visit. With its east-west orientation, the temple was designed in as a hexastyle, 13 columned building made from local shell-limestone covered in stucco. Impressive in itself, the true fascination with the temple came from what was inside it. At the far end of the carefully constructed cella, stood the infamous Zeus statue that became synonymous with the Greek capital. Thought to have been over 12 metres high, the ivory and gold statue defined the depiction of the god in Greek art for years to come. Located in the centre of the city, near the National Gardens, the archaeological site is easily reachable and is very much deserving of a place on Ryanair’s top destinations list.


Visiting Athens soon? Use our guide on how to spend 72 hours in the city, to plan your perfect weekend away.


Flights to Athens

3. Colosseum, Rome

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It’s near impossible to visit the Roman capital without bumping in to the majestic Colosseum. The ancient arena has been standing for almost 2,000 years and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the oval, open-air space is smack bang in the centre of the action and was the main source of entertainment for locals for over 300 years. Built of tuff, travertine and brick-faced concrete, the Colosseum is the largest surviving amphitheatre ever built and is the main symbol of Rome. Transport yourself back in time to the hustle and bustle of the ancient civilisation and take a tour round one of the most historical buildings in the world. A dominating presence in the centre of town, the crumbling theatre once held up to 70,000 people and to this day, attracts millions of visitors every year.


After working up an appetite from all that sight-seeing, have a look through our Roman restaurant guide to satisfy your hunger.


Flights to Rome 

4. Dead Sea, Israel

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One of the world’s greatest mysteries, the Dead Sea has fascinated scientists and visitors alike since its discovery. Bordering Israel and the west bank of Jordan, the salt lake is famous for its natural buoyancy and healing properties. As the deepest hypersaline lake in the world, its banks are more than 400 metres below sea level, making them the lowest point on dry land. Millions of pictures make it onto Facebook each year of people leisurley floating in the salty water and reading the paper as they swim, promoting the Dead Sea as one of the Middle East’s greatest attractions. The high levels of salt in the water prevent any wildlife from growing but the rich black mud from its floor is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments all over the world. Lying in the Jordan Rift Valley, the lake is surrounded by golden hills and many oases for further historic exploring. The perfect place to immerse yourself in both culture and a bit of pampering, the Dead Sea really is an experience unlike any other and is undoubtedly one of the world's top destinations. 


Flights to Israel 

5. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

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Dominating the Spanish city’s skyline, the architectural work by Antoni Gaudi is unmistakably spectacular. The unfinished cathedral is set to become the tallest of its kind when it’s completed in 2026 and will have 18 towers with the main one reaching heights of 170 metres. The massive monument is home to the tomb of Gaudi himself and consists of four chapels each dedicated to a different religious figure. Inspired by nature as well as religion, the interior and exterior of the great masterpiece is stunningly intricate. Take the elevators up the towers and marvel at the spellbinding panoramic views of the city down below. A two for one, this is not only a wonder itself but also shows you one of Europe’s most beautiful cities in ways you never have before.


Discover more of Barcelona’s breath-taking architecture with our list of the city’s most famous buildings.


Flights to Barcelona 

6. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

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Originating in Croatia’s first ever national park, the chain of 16 terraced turquoise lakes wind through the middle of the country about 130 kilometres from Zagreb. The water bodies were formed as a result of tufa formation and are joined by multiple waterfalls that extend into a limestone canyon. Stuffed between the mountainous regions Mala Kapela and Licka Pljesivica, the oldest and largest park in the country is primarily covered in lush green with the lakes only covering one percent of the 295 square kilometres. Divided into upper and lower lakes, the pools of water end in an immaculate waterfall of Sastavci with the Korana River running along the bottom of the falls. Open to visitors all year round, the lakes are a ‘see it to believe it’ kind of experience and truly one of a kind. Visit during summer and bask in the sun glistening off the colour-rich water while you hike along one of the park’s four trails.


Flights to Croatia 

7. Lagoa do Fogo, the Azores

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Located within the Agua de Pau Massif stratovolcano in the centre of Sao Miguel, the crater lake is the last of our wonderous destinations and a hike to add to your bucket list. Translating to ‘Lake of Fire’, the protected nature reserve on the archipelagos of the Azores, houses various plant species and wildlife. See this natural beauty in a number of ways to suit your holiday needs. Firstly stop off at one of two viewpoints for a quick panorama over the water. Both Miradouro da Barrosa and Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo have parking spots so you can stop and get out to take in the breath taking views. If you’ve got time, trek the 11 kilometre circular route around the outskirts of the lake. Ranked medium on the difficulty scale, this walk will take you the guts of four hours so come prepared! If you still want to see the lakes up close but don’t quite have time to go the long way round, there’s a shorter four kilometre walk from Miradouro da Lagoa that will take you down the steep slope right onto the water’s edge. A spectacular sight, the lakes are well worth a visit.


If you really want to immerse yourself in the natural landscape, book in a night of glamping and sleep under the stars of one of Portugal’s most beautiful islands.


Flights to the Azores


Fancy checking out some of the wonders soon? Tag us in your photos of Ryanair’s top destinations using the hashtag #ryanairstories, for a chance to be featured on our social media channels.


- Lucy Norris