Most Known Travel Destinations with Legends

William Law - May 01, 2012
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The universe is shrouded with mystery, and that is why the world we live in is no different. Over the centuries, there are many places all over the world that has become infamous, not only for their scenic landscapes, but also for their mystifying, thrilling, and sometimes frightening, urban legends. Here are some of the world's most popular places with legends:

Glastonbury Tor in Somerset, England

Anyone who is familiar with King Arthur would be thrilled to visit this legendary hill in England. Glastonbury Tor is believed by some to be the famous Avalon in the Arthurian legend. For people unfamiliar with the story, Avalon is the place where Excalibur, King Arthur's sword, was forged. After the Battle of Camlann, King Arthur was taken in Avalon Island to recover from his wounds. Aside from the Arthurian legend, Glastonbury is also known for the story of Joseph the Arithamea and the Holy Grail.

The Glastonbury Tor has seven prominent symmetrical terraces. The terraces' origin is a mystery, but has been associated with several causes, including cattle grazing, agriculture, labyrinths, and castle fortification. Visitors can see the ruins of Saint Michael Church up in the high conical bulk of the hill.

Valley of the Kings, Egypt

Indisputably one of the most famous places in the world, Valley of the Kings in Egypt is the resting place of the dead rulers of Ancient Egypt. The valley was used for burials since 1589 BC and contains approximately 63 tombs, including Tutankhamun, the world's most popular pharaoh. The popularity of King Tut began after the discovery of his almost untouched tomb. This also initiated the popular legend about the Curse of the Pharaohs, where it is believe that anyone who disturbs the tomb of a mummy will be put under curse.

With or without a curse, the Valley of the Kings remains as one of the most significant tourists and archeological sites in the world. Although the excavation and exploration sites are off-limits to tourists, visitors are able to tour the site through the new tourist center. The rules are stricter, as flash photography is not permitted. Not all tombs are open to people, but you can still view 18 tombs.

Troy, Turkey

Troy is both a legendary and a real place. It is best known as the setting of the notorious Trojan War. For many years, people believed that Troy was just a fictional place. In was not until 1822 that a serious of adventurer and archeologists discovered the ruins of Troy in north western Turkey.

Troy is approximately 30 kilometers southwest of Dardanelles and about five hours away from Istanbul. Both mythology and history enthusiasts would be thrilled to visit the ruins. Portions of the legendary walls of Troy, the temple of Pergamum, and the amphitheatre which was built during the Roman Empire can still be seen in the site.

Ys in Brittany, France

Ys is a mythical city and a legendary city in the coast of Brittany, France. It was said to be built below sea level and was later swallowed by the ocean. It was built by Gradlon, the King of Cornouaille, upon the request of Dahut, his daughter, who is fond of the sea. Ys flooded when Dahut stole the key and opened the floodgates that were supposed to protect the city.

The ruins of Ys are supposed to be under the popular beach town in Brittany. Although there is no way to see the ruins, the dense and impenetrable forest that separates the region from the mainland attracts as much tourists as the infamous legend. Brittany is also visited for its many megalithic monuments and calvary (crucifix) structures that can be seen on the region's small towns and crossroads.

Shambhala in Zhongdian, Tibet

Shambhala is also known as the Hidden Kingdom, a mysterious city that is located somewhere, hidden, in Inner Asia. According to ancient texts, Shambhala is an enlightened place where perfect and semi-perfect beings reside. The city is also the inspiration of James Hilton's Lost Horizon.

There is no trace of the so-called kingdom, but it is said to be found in Zhongdian, Tibet. Zhongdian is later renamed as Shangri-La County.

Shangri-La is famous for its remote temples, ancient villages, and its rugged terrain. Backpackers usually travel to this place to taste the Tibetan life. It is also relatively close to Pudacuo National Park and the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Visitors can only visit between April and October, as the road to the county is closed due to snow storms.

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