Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
If you are bored with beaches and sick of snow, traveling to a place that looks and feels like a different planet could be your cure — especially since you probably won’t be boarding a Virgin Galactic Space Shuttle anytime soon. The Danakil Desert in Ethiopia is one of the most inhospitable places on earth, but it is also one of the most strangely beautiful. The country of Ethiopia is dangerous in and of itself because of political unrest and the Foreign Office warns against travel to the area. But the barren and blisteringly hot Danakil brings its own worries with some of the mercury-boiling temperatures and frequent earthquakes. It is one of only two places where a mid-ocean ridge of tectonic plates can be seen on land, and at the northern corner of the desert, Dallol, is the largest geographical feature in Africa and was the only one easily discernible to Neil Armstrong from the moon. The yellow sulfur fields, blindingly white salt beds, and green and blue hydrothermal water ponds make for an out-of-this-world landscape.