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30 of the most beautiful places in the world

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Photo: Mark Bulmer/Shutterstock (Updated)

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Fairy Pools

Off the west coast of Scotland travelers can find the Isle of Skye, an island dominated by the dramatically dark and jagged Cullins mountain range, which provides for an abundance of geologic nooks and crannies. At the foot of the mountains between the Glen Brittle Forest and the Glen Brittle Beach are the magical Fairy Pools that lure visitors from across the globe. As the River Brittle dances and shimmies to the sea, it creates waterfalls, streamlets, stepping stones and pools of crystal blue water surrounded by ferns, heather and lichen. So lovely is the array that, apparently, the fairies have made the pools their swimming spots of choice. And speaking of swimming, you are allowed; but brace yourself for a wee bit of shock. Local swimmers have described the pools as within the usual Scottish temperature range: “cold, bastard cold or freezing.”