Looking for beautiful places to visit around the world … virtually? I searched for the BEST virtual tours of national parks around the world and narrowed them down to these top 23. These interactive tours take you to crazy-cool places that’ll leave you inspired!
Imagine dangling your feet in a gurgling brook, and then flying up to the razor-edge cliff above. Take a reindeer sleigh to see the aurora borealis. Skywalk between Avatar cliffs or among the treetops. Wanna dive to a shipwreck? AWESOME!
My goodness, even narrowing this list of virtual tours to 23 was SO HARD. So if you want to see more beautiful places to visit around the world, continue to the Summary and Resources section at the bottom.
- 8 Best Virtual Tours of National Parks in USA
- 5 Best Virtual Tours of National Parks in Asia
- 4 Best Virtual Tours of National Parks in the UK and Europe
- 3 Best Virtual Tours of National Parks in Australia
- 2 Best Virtual Tours of National Parks in Africa
- Top Virtual Tour of National Parks in South America
- Summary and Resources
All of these national park virtual tours are interactive. Many can be experienced with 360-degree videos in your YouTube app and many are compatible with VR headsets. Enjoy!
8 BEST Virtual Tours of National Park in the United States
With 62 national parks throughout the United States of America, you KNOW you’ll see some amazingly beautiful places to visit! Here are 8 AWESOME virtual tours of national parks in the US. Take a look.
1. Yosemite National Park: The #1 BEST Virtual Tour of National Parks in the United States (California)
WOW!! You’re in for a real treat with the Yosemite National Park virtual tour. Yosemite National Park virtual tour is my #1 FAVORITE virtual tour on this entire list.
Here’s what I loved about the Yosemite National Park virtual tour. First, it includes the sounds of being there. Second, it’s super easy to navigate, with red circles to click on to fly over to the next spot. And third, there’s information along the way so you know what you’re looking at (and you can minimize it if it gets in the way).
Now, I didn’t find any embedded videos. And you can’t move along the paths like you can with Google Maps Street View. But, there’s SO much to love here that I’m okay with this.
As I explored, I actually felt butterflies. Descend to the pretty creek inside the valley, and then JUMP up to the edge of the sheer cliff above. And while I’d love to watch a video of the Nevada or Yosemite Falls, the images from the top … with the sound of the water plunging below … is SO wonderful. You can almost feel the mist in your face! It’s INCREDIBLE!
The Yosemite National Park virtual tour is also the perfect way to preview and plan your trip to Yosemite National Park in California.
2. Yellowstone National Park Virtual Tour (Montana)
Here’s a well-loved national park in the USA: Yellowstone National Park. Did you know that Yellowstone National Park is the first national park created in the United States, and considered the first in the world, too? Its most popular features are its wildlife, many geysers including the Old Faithful geyser, lakes, canyons and waterfalls.
Now, I wasn’t a fan of the official Yellowstone National Park virtual tour page. It’s a series of videos and an interactive aerial map with photos, but you can’t get in there to explore by panning and zooming. (Unless you figured it out? If yes, please share in the comments below!)
So, I kept looking. Here’s a much better interactive virtual tour from AirPano.
3. Grand Canyon National Park Virtual Tour (Arizona)
The mighty Grand Canyon is likely the most famous of all the national parks in the United States and a marvelous natural wonder of the world. Given this, it makes sense that you can find a number of virtual tour options.
For an immersive virtual hike, take the Google Street View Trek. It takes you along the Bright Angel Trail, following the Colorado River to the South Rim.
4. Bryce Canyon National Park Virtual Tour (Utah)
The next five virtual tours of national parks in the USA are provided by Google Arts and Culture. Each one features an introductory video and 360-degree images with embedded videos, audio and regular images to bring you incredible experiences.
Let’s start with Bryce Canyon … possibly my #1 favorite canyon in the world!
And Google Arts and Culture gives you a glimpse of why, with the Bryce Canyon National Park virtual tour. Descend into the maze of towering hoodoos … by horseback, yes! You can almost smell them. Stick around for the super-cool Night Sky feature. I could finally see constellations other than the Big Dipper!
5. Carlsbad Caverns National Park Virtual Tour (New Mexico)
Have you ever wanted to be Batman? You gotta check out the Carlsbad Caverns National Park virtual tour from Google Arts and Culture. Step inside the Big Room of this crazy-cool cavern. Hike through Lower Cave. And learn about the incredible formations around you and the bats above.
6. Dry Tortugas National Park Virtual Tour (Florida)
Ahhh … now Google Arts and Culture takes you under the ocean with the Dry Tortugas National Park virtual tour! Dive the Windjammer Shipwreck or swim through a coral reef. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you.
I really would like to explore the fort, too, but I couldn’t figure that part out. (If you figure it out, please share in the comments below!)
7. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Virtual Tour (Hawaii)
Now everyone loves Hawaii. Hawaii is near the top of most peoples’ lists of the most beautiful places to visit around the world.
And with the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park virtual tour from Google Arts and Culture, we get to explore this fascinating volcanic area from home. Stand inside a volcano tube and (almost) run your hand along the rock. Fly over an active volcano. Listen to it roar.
8. Kenai Fjords National Park Virtual Tour (Alaska)
We end our list of the best virtual tours of national parks in the United States by heading north. Waaay north.
How many of us have been to Alaska? Not me! Google Arts and Culture takes us up to Alaska with the Kenai Fjords National Park virtual tour. Kayak among icebergs. Descend 30 feet into a glacier crevasse. Watch a whale breach. The Kenai Fjords National Park virtual tour is sooo beautiful and remote. And reminds us to enjoy our warm summers!
5 BEST Virtual Tours of National Park in Asia
1. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Virtual Tour (China)
So many areas in China are among the most beautiful places to visit around the world. Among them is certainly Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, which inspired the Avatar movie. Its quartz-sandstone pillars will leave you in awe.
The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park virtual tour from AirPano includes jaw-dropping 360-degree photos and a 360-degree video. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the video; open it in your YouTube app or with a VR headset for an even more immersive experience.
Also, you have to check out the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge virtual tour – open it up in your YouTube app or put on your VR headset. Just imagine walking across this bridge, looking 300 meters (980 feet) straight down. Could you do it??
2. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park Virtual Tour (Vietnam)
WOW!! National Geographic did a great job of taking us through this fascinating world’s largest cave. Just to reach Hang Son Doong is a 4-day hike through the rough jungle of northern Vietnam. But just looook …
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park virtual tour takes you into the jungle and through the Son Doong cave. Listen to the sounds of the jungle, and then the dripping water. And then the jungle again at the two sinkholes where the roof collapsed. Explore the massive chambers and stalagmites, including possibly the tallest in the world. Hold onto the rope as you wade through the fast-moving river.
Considering all the bugs living in the cave (not to mention the jungle!), I’m content with a virtual wow.
3. Kamchatka Peninsula Virtual Tour (Russia)
When searching for the best virtual tours of national parks, I came across this GORGEOUS area: Kamchatka Peninsula on Russia’s faaaar northeast coastline. Although it isn’t technically a national park, it’s home to the Kronotsky Nature Reserve and South Kamchatka Sanctuary. So, I’m gonna let it slide … because I just had to show it to you!
The Kamchatka Peninsula virtual tour from AirPano will take your breath away. Wild expanses of lush greenery turn to dramatic coastal cliffs, sandy beaches and the ocean (well, the Sea of Okhotsk to the west and Bering Sea to the east). Waterfalls are tucked inside rugged cliffs. Plus, partially-sunk shipwrecks, steep sea stacks up to 183 meters high (600 feet), and lots of super-cute seals. It’s now made my list of most beautiful places to visit around the world.
Want to hang out in Russia? Here are AirPano’s 360-degree photos and videos of beautiful places in Russia. I had no idea! Check out the gorgeous Sakhalin Island or Orda Cave, the largest underwater gypsum cave in the world.
4. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park Virtual Tour (Japan)
Japan is definitely one of my bucket list destinations. I had a one-night layover in Tokyo on my way to Vietnam, and while I didn’t get to see any of it, their hospitality left me super impressed. Japan’s cherry blossoms, majestic monasteries hidden in lush mountaintops, and haunting historical sites make it one of the most beautiful places to visit around the world.
Google Earth takes us on the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park virtual tour of Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is an active volcano, with its last eruption in 1707. Trek around the rim of this symmetrical cone and into the giant crater. To tilt and rotate the map, use Shift + drag.
5. Sagarmatha National Park Virtual Tour (Nepal)
Want to walk on top of the world? Explore Mount Everest and the Himalayas with Google Earth!
The Sagarmatha National Park virtual tour takes you to the top of the world’s highest peak, plus Mount Everest base camps, communities and other nearby peaks. Take Google Map’s interactive 360-degree views of Everest’s south base camp. (I found it easier, though, to change the first link to map view and “walk” around the villages that way.)
Click on the little man (bottom-right corner) to jump over to another mountain range. Or, click on the blue dots for close-up views of mountain villages and the Imja River. To tilt and rotate the map, use Shift + drag.
Interested in getting a VR headset? Check out Google Cardboard … a cheap way to enjoy the view!
4 BEST Virtual Tours of National Park in the United Kingdom & Europe
1. National Park Virtual Tours in Iceland
All of Iceland is known as one of the most beautiful places to visit around the world. Rather than limit you to one national park virtual tour, check out AirPano’s compilation of Iceland’s BEST landscapes!
Incredible aerial views take you over mountains and lakes. The famous Blue Lagoon. Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and Vatnajokull glacier.
Explore with the embedded map. Auto-rotate or pan and zoom yourself. Hover over the information symbols to figure out what you’re looking at. And to move through all the 360-degree images, easily click “next” or scroll through the image legend along the side.
2. Cliffs of Moher GeoPark Virtual Tour (Ireland)
If you’ve dreamed of visiting these world-famous cliffs, start with the Cliffs of Moher virtual tour.
Follow the arrows along the path or click on the double-arrows along the bottom to move through the main viewing areas and visitor center. Climb to the top of O’Brian’s Tower for the most spectacular view. Or even better … put on your VR headset!
Want to linger in Ireland before moving onto other national park virtual tours? Check a variety of virtual tours in Ireland, courtesy of Virtual Visit Tours.
3. Loch Lomond National Park Virtual Tour (Scotland)
For a taste of the Scottish highlands, take the Loch Lamond National Park virtual tour! Explore the peaceful beauty of the Great Trossachs Forest and multiple lochs.
Click the information buttons to learn about the landscape around you and easily change the toggle view. The coolest part of this virtual tour? You can easily switch between the seasons! The only thing missing here is the audio.
4. Abisko National Park Virtual Tour (Sweden)
Open up this tour in the YouTube app on your mobile. Better yet, use a VR headset!
This super-cool Abisko National Park virtual tour takes you inside an ice hotel, on a reindeer sleigh ride to the base of Mount Noulja, and then under the night sky as the natural wonder of aurora borealis (or the Northern Lights) dance above you.
If you want to experience more awesome Northern Lights, I highly recommend checking out my favorite photographer Dave Brosha. He’s a fellow Canadian and I actually grew up with him in my tiny hometown! Dave has an incredible portfolio, including his Northern Light photo collection.
3 BEST Virtual Tours of National Parks in Australia
1. Kakadu National Park Virtual Tour (Australia)
With Google Street View, now you too can walk the sandy paths through the Kakadu National Park virtual tour. In fact, Australia has nearly 60 national park virtual tours available, including some 360-degree videos to open in your YouTube app and compatible with VR headsets.
Scramble up to Jim Jim and Twin Falls, and almost feel the perfect soft sand of the hidden beaches between your fingers. Imagine the refreshing sounds of waterfalls and laughter at the Gunlom and Maguk swimming holes. And “hike” up to Nadab Lookout in the Ubirr virtual tour for an expansive view.
So, I got lost (just like in real life!). If I couldn’t see the X on the ground telling me where to go, I went to the little map (bottom left corner) and double-clicked where I wanted the yellow map guy to go. In the left column, be sure to switch between “All” and “360° View” so you can see the stunning pictures of the area, too.
2. Porongurup National Park Virtual Tour (Australia)
Porongurup National Park virtual tour is pretty cool. This walk curls you around a 670-meter-high Castle Rock for terrific views. But what I LOVE about this national park virtual tour is that you can see the hand-holds and tunnel for scrambling up to the highest lookout. Stand in between the granite domes, look up and marvel at how wonderful it is to see nothing but rock and sky!
If you’re hungry for more national park virtual tours from Western Australia, check out their app. Parks WA app takes you to the rugged south coast, along the AWESOME tree-top walk in Valley of Giants, and caving in Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park. Experience these most beautiful places to visit around the world on your smartphone or computer. Or even better, get a VR headset!
3. Great Barrier Reef Virtual Tour (Australia)
I can’t leave Australia without showing you this Great Barrier Reef virtual tour from ECOVR. It’s an amazing underwater tour even just as a regular video. But for a more immersive experience, open the link in your YouTube app.
You can also interact with the Great Barrier Reef in Google Maps Street View. It has some pretty incredible underwater photos.
2 BEST Virtual Tours of National Parks in Africa
1. Namib-Naukluft National Park Virtual Tour (Namibia)
If you’re going to see a desert, you should see the Namib. It’s the oldest desert in the world, and even though it’s one of the most remote places in the world, its red sand dunes are still famous.
Take a tour through the Namib-Naukluft National Park virtual tour from AirPano. The Namib Desert has the highest sand dunes in the world, up to 325 meters high (1066 feet). Pause to pan and reflect at Deadvlei, with its tree skeleton graveyard that tells of the once-thriving oasis. And gaze up at the starry sky … you just don’t see that in the city.
If you love 360-degree videos, open up the Sahara Desert of Algeria virtual tour with your YouTube app or VR headset.
2. Drakensberg National Park Virtual Tour (South Africa)
Now, we know that Africa is HUGE and stunning. So, I can’t just leave Africa with one virtual tour through the desert.
Check THIS out: The Drakensberg National Park virtual tour (yes, again from AirPano!) is SO AWESOME! Dramatically jagged, teeth-like peaks tower above lush green valleys. Of course there’s a waterfall. The images in the Photo Gallery just make me so happy.
If you’re wondering why I’m not including the brilliant Victoria Falls or a safari virtual tour, they’re coming … in posts dedicated to the best virtual tours of waterfalls and animal encounters! Yup, they’ll be awesome.
Top Virtual Tour of National Parks in South America
I KNOW that South America has epic landscapes everywhere. I just had a hard time finding good interactive virtual tours of them.
But here’s a beauty: Lencois Maranhenses National Park virtual tour from AirPano. In the equatorial part of Brazil lies this fascinating landscape that I didn’t even know existed. A mix of seasonal fresh water lagoons, salt marshes, and tall, wave-like white sand dunes.
Tip: The best time to visit the warm lagoons of the Lencois Maranhenses National Park is July to early September.
Summary and Resources
So, of this whopping 23 best virtual tours of national parks around the world, which ones make your best-of list? Which of these most beautiful places to visit around the world are you eager to experience for yourself?
Here are other posts you may be interested in:
If your next dream destination isn’t on this list of best virtual tours of national parks, here are three fantastic resources to check out:
- Google Earth is quite a fantastic resource. Search Canadian National Parks or National Parks of the United States, and you’ll get a photo legend of a bunch of them. Here’s a list of virtual tours for the most loved national parks in the USA.
- Google Arts & Culture: Places has a ton of other virtual tours for you to explore. Many historic sites can be toured with Google Maps Street View, but not all with audio or information icons.
- AirPano has tons of virtual tours of the most beautiful places to visit around the world. These include 360-degree photos and HD videos to enjoy on your YouTube app or with your VR headset.
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Feature photo credit (Yosemite National Park): Connor McSheffrey from Unsplash.