It is easy to promote a place in the world to visit because it looks incredible, but to sell somebody on the idea of visiting a place because it smells is a whole other pill to swallow. The places listed below stink to high heaven, but their beauty is something to be admired. Some of the places listed below are named after the smells that surround them. For example, some of the smells of sulfur have been noted for medicinal treatments for people that have certain ailments. Other places have such a beauty about them that you won’t notice the smell too much if you bring your nose plugs. Depending on where you go, the city smells are the only downside of the amazing natural phenomena. You simply can’t visit some countries without going to see their most awesome smelly places. The incredible views are worth the horrid smells. If you are up for the voyage, we listed the 15 best and smelliest places in the world that are surely worth a visit. Don’t forget to take your camera and take plenty of photographs. You want to have these pleasant memories to help you forget about the smell.
15. Rotorua, New Zealand
Rotorua, New Zealand has a nickname and it is The Sulfur City. Even though the place is extremely beautiful to look at, it has a rather unique and downright awful odor. The best way to describe it is that it smells like rotten eggs. Once you are there, the smell grows on you and you get used to it. It smells because of the geothermal activity of this incredible place. The benefits of the minerals that Mother Nature has to offer are out of this world. Instead of the smell causing you to vomit, it becomes bearable the longer you stay. Once you visit Rotorua, New Zealand you may even find yourself missing the place with its aromas. One of the best places to go is to the bathwater because it’s known for its medical treatments. The sulfur is safe and it is a non-toxic age-old remedy for every conceivable skin irritation and infection. It does wonders for acne.
14. The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
If you visit Iceland, some of the tours don’t include a visit to the Blue Lagoon. There is a big fuss about this place, and it is definitely worth a visit. When you go there, unfortunately you have to deal with long lines. Make sure if you decide to go that you buy a coupon so that you are escorted to the front of the line. Although the trip is worth it, it’s a little bit expensive to take a big dip in the lagoon. It costs between $41 and $76 and even higher to take a dip. You get a robe, a towel, a face mask and one free drink. You don’t even get to keep the slippers that you use. You have to take a shower and put lots of hair conditioner in your hair because the minerals make your hair brittle. Even though it’s beautiful, the smell of the Blue Lagoon is extremely pungent.
13. Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
You don’t have to travel too far off of the bridge over the Douro River from Porto for the smell to go up your nostrils. Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal has a very pungent stink combined with a sweet smell of booze. The smell is enough for you to feel a little faint and tipsy by walking through the city. The reason behind this is because it has one of the largest port wine warehouses. The city has a population of all almost half a million people. It’s also known for its cellars which are locally known as caves where the world-famous port wine is stored and aged. This place in the city is a big tourist attraction. Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal is also known for the largest number of Blue Flag Beaches.
12. The Paris sewers
Ever since the 13th century, Paris has been draining water in its sewers. They all started during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, and it has a total of 1,312 miles of sewer tunnels. The sewers opened up in the 1970s for people to explore. Below you can see the Paris Sewers Museum. The exhibition hall of the Mairie de Paris is found in the sewers below the Quai d’Orsay on the Left Bank, and it’s something everyone should see. The destination is for any visitor who’s interested in engineering, public works, or unusual tourist attractions and especially for fans of Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Misérables, and the musical that it inspired. After descending below ground, you can pass through between the Place de la Concorde and the Pont de l’Alma. At the end, it comes to the Ecole Militaire near the Eiffel Tower.
11. Grasse, France
Grasse, France has an odor to it. It doesn’t smell like the way it does in Roquefort, which is a city that has a cheese smelling aroma in the wind miles before you get there; Grasse, France smells wonderful. You can walk along the streets and look at the old town which sits on top of the hillside in southern Provence just north of Cannes, and when you walk through the town, you get scent after scent of a nice smelling aroma. The smell coming from Grasse is because it is the perfume capital of the world. You can buy anything that comes in a perfume bottle. The weather is great; the town has good food and wine. Grasse, France didn’t always have the smell of perfume in the air. Around the Middle Ages, it was famous for its leather tanning and leather products, which means it really smelled bad.
10. Seal Island, South Africa
Most people that visit Seal Island can’t handle the smell. The tour is somewhat rushed and there is no instructor to tell you any background or stories about the place. But if you can get over the smell, and you love animals, taking a charter out to Seal Island is just the thing that you should do. The boat has refreshments and toilet facilities. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Seal Island. There you will see seals by the thousands lying peacefully on the island. A little bit further on the island, there are plenty of frisky seals in the water. If you bring your video camera you can get some nice shots of them. Another thing to do is to shop for ostrich eggs and other knick-knacks at a local shop. You have to pay the set price, there’s no bargaining.
9. Antelope Island, Utah
When you first visit Utah, you might be a little disappointed in the lack of attractions that the state has to offer. In Utah, one of the best places to visit is Antelope Island. If you can get over the smell of sewage that goes into the lake, your eyes are in for a real treat. It’s recommended to go early in the day as there is only one person to give you a guided tour. Make sure you visit the knick-knacks shop because the people that work there are very knowledgeable about the island. In addition to that, it is the last place to get a drink or snack. When you go on the tour, it’s about a 12 miles round-trip with the ranch being on the farthest point where they have a rodeo and food. When you come back, make sure you look for a sign that says Mountain View. It takes a while to get to the top of the Mountain View, but it’s worth the visit. You can see lots of varieties of birds, antelopes, and Buffalo.
8. Fes, Morocco
Just like in other Moroccan cities like Marrakech, Fes takes no prisoners with the smell that pierces your nose. The smell rises from the spices and in the souks. Fes is well known for making all types of things in leather. Chouwara is one of the areas around the tanneries that doesn’t just smell of leather purses and jackets, but it smells like the rotting flesh and the ammonia that is used in this particular type of industry. They make leather in medieval style types of pits, and nothing to this date has been made to mask the smell. Time seems to have stopped in this particular part of the world. But you can find places that have modern comforts, like the hotels and restaurants. You can buy leather goods here at a bargain.
7. La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles
The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles has a smell that has been bubbling since prehistoric times. This place has fascinated scientists for years. Many people who have graced this place or those that have their homes near the pits know the place by smell. It smells like a road that has been freshly tarred in the summer. The tar can be found in some of the surrounding areas. Sometimes during the rain, the tar can appear. The museum nearby has skeletal remains of wolves, sloths and mastodons. You can also see remains from a saber tooth tiger. In 1924, George Hancock donated 23 acres of land which included the animals and said they should be preserved along with the fossils.
6. Phan Thiet, Vietnam
When you visit, this somewhat fishy smell in Phan Thiet it is due to a plant located outside the city in south-eastern Vietnam which produces almost 17 million liters of fish sauce yearly. The manufacturing of the strongly overpowering item that gives special flavor to food is vital to Vietnamese cooking. The sauce is long and intricate, with anchovy-like fish gutted and put in large containers of saline with layers of salt. They keep it there for about a year and the creation is then drained and put into bottles. People that visit the area can frequently see how the procedure is done in the open shophouses along the streets. Lots of the locals also make a living creating the fish sauce. This area is also one of the Vietnam’s prime fishing locations.
5. Funen Island, Denmark
Funen Island is the third largest island in the area. It definitely is worth the visit. It is the 165th largest island in the world. When visiting the island, you can view the Egeskov Castle which is by its own lake. The castle is surrounded by acres of roses. An Egeskov princess who had a baby out of marriage was once imprisoned in one of the stony towers. Funen, which has fewer than 500,000 inhabitants, is crowded with Renaissance castles and pastel-washed villages, briny little fishing ports and ripe meadows that roll out in long, green flanks to meet the northern sky. There are lots of things to do on this island. You can visit the many castles, a historic Cathedral, Hans Christian Andersen’s childhood home, museums, monuments, statues and nature parks. Now how is this place so smelly you ask? During a dig in Denmark archaeologists found 700-year old toilets still intact. And no, the years have done very little to reduce the horrible smell. In case you’re interested, the site is open to tourists!
4. Bird Island Nature Reserve, South Africa
The Bird Island Nature Reserve is located in Lambert’s Bay in South Africa. The island is filled with birds and the horrible smell of their droppings. If you can get past the smell, you’ll see about 12,000 birds. The white gannets with yellow tops fill the beach, flapping their black-tipped wings. You can even see some from the Australian and Northern gannet families. The gannets share the Island Nature Reserve with a colony of about 1,500 seals. The Bird Island Nature Reserve is one of about six breeding grounds for the gannet. In the springtime, the birds fly to the island and lay their eggs. Then they make nests for their little chicks that are made out of dry droppings. When the babies are born, they have no eyesight, no feathers and are black. When they turned three months old their feathers are full, and their eyes are blue, and that bird is kicked out of its nest. If you’ve never seen these birds, it’s definitely worth the trip.
3. La Brea tar pit, Trinidad
The La Brea tar pit in Trinidad is also called Pitch Lake. Years ago, the first Englishman to visit the pits was Sir Walter Raleigh. He used the tar to seal his ship to prevent it from leaking. The pit is a 95-acre lake of tar. Many people find it disappointing because when they arrive, they say it looks like an asphalt parking lot. But others find the trip worthwhile. The La Brea tar pit is the largest pit of tar in the world. When you go there, you can peel back the hardening skin of the lake. You can walk on it, but you have to be very careful that you don’t get too far out because you could sink. The tar is about 350 feet deep in the middle of the lake. When you see it, you get a sense that this place is alive. It smells like asphalt.
2. Venice, Italy
The smell of Venice, Italy is not really that bad. It smells like the seaside at Blackpool or Brighton, which shouldn’t shock you because it’s considered a saltwater lagoon. The smells that come from Venice are greatly exaggerated. It just depends on the time of year you travel. Venice is nestled between around 118 small islands. They are all connected by canals linked with bridges. There are about 400 of them. When you visit Venice, you can see the locations that were used in a number of films, games, works of art, literature, music videos, television shows and other things. The architectural work is something amazing to look at. It’s a paradise for photographers. When you visit, you can check out the Carnival of Venice and the Venice Film Festival.
1. Ijen Volcano, Indonesia
The Ijen Volcano is a group of composite volcanoes that are located in Indonesia. It smells like sulfur. Sometimes you can see the electric blue flames coming out of the volcano. To get to the top, it is a two-hour hike following a 45-minute hike to the center of the crater. There is an active advance along the outside which is a source of sulfur. People in the community have a mining operation there. The typical daily earnings of a miner are about $13. The $13 a day wage is considered good pay for the area because the cost of living is so low. When you get to the highest point of the complex, it is called Gunung Merapi. Gunung Merapi means mountain of fire. The lake is recognized as the largest highly acidic crater lake in the world.
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