Best Picnic Spots Around the World
When it comes to picnics, the right setting can take things from good to great to once-in-a-lifetime.
Forget tatty old blankets and squashed sandwiches in the park; the world's best picnic spots are on another level.
Here's our round up of the world's most beautiful, unusual and memorable destinations that take al fresco dining to a whole new level.
The Hollywood one: picnic on the "Out of Africa" kopje in Angama Mara, Kenya
Recognise this breathtaking view? You certainly will if you’ve ever seen the iconic film Out of Africa, this being the kopje that features in the movie’s poster. Breakfast on the crest as the sun rises over the Mara, indulge in a decadent lunch before whiling away the afternoon there with a good book, or crack open the sparkling wine at sunset for the ultimate romantic experience.
The lodge here in Angama Mara offers guests the delicious opportunity to picnic right in the middle of this deliciously secluded haven, complete with chequered blankets, comfy cushions, canvas safari chairs, wicker picnic basket, sparkling wine on ice and sumptuous picnic food.
The paradise picnic: picnic by a waterfall at Nihiwatu, Nihi Sumba Island, Indonesia
Nihi Sumba is full of gorgeous spots to sit and take in the beautiful, untouched natural surroundings – but our favourites have to be the two breathtaking waterfalls, Matayangu (The “Blue” Waterfall) and Lapopu. The 45-minute drive to each one is a perfect chance to see the breathtaking sights of the Wanukaka Valley, before a healthy trek led by local guides through stunning forest and mountainous terrain.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, these little pieces of paradise make for a dreamy afternoon of picnicking, swimming and sunbathing. Matayangu is characterised by its awe-inspiring size and the dazzling blue lagoon at its base, whilst Lapopu’s mountain spring water cascades down over more than 100 meters of moss-covered rocks into an idyllic natural pool.
The active picnic: hike & picnic around the Krupa Canyon, Croatia
As active picnicking goes, the Krupa River trek in Croatia is hard to beat. With verdant green banks, spectacular waterfalls and crystal clear waters, the Zrmanja and Krupa rivers are the picturesque central focus of Croatia’s Velebit Mountain Nature Park. Along your hike you’ll drink in breathtaking views of the Krupa and Zrmanja Canyons, as well as the Kuda Bridge with its 13 travertine woven arches.
Don’t miss a visit to the lovely medieval Krupa Monastery near the river’s spring source. When you finally take a moment to rest in the shade and enjoy a well-earned picnic lunch, you’ll be amply rewarded with spectacular views of the mountainous Croatian landscape. Food never tastes better than after a bracing hike.
The cultural picnic: Pachamama ceremony & picnic in the Sacred Valley, Peru
The stunning mountainous views, splendid isolation, delicious Peruvian food and balmy weather of Peru’s Sacred Valley are merely the starting point for a picnic that can truly be called a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Combine your picnic with the heady experience of a traditional Mother Earth Ceremony overlooking the mountains, then immortalise the memory by taking a picture inside the giant wooden picture frame fixed on the mountaintop.
In the Mother Earth Ceremony, special songs and traditional offerings are made to invoke the spirit of healing with the involvement of sacred medicines, including Palo Santo, Tayta Sayri, Mana Coca, Agua Florida, Condor’s Feathers, Grandfather Puma, Essences and Incenses. Many pre-hispanic instruments that have no musical register are used to help heal through joy, love, colour and life.
The secluded picnic: BBQ in the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago, Iceland
For the adventurer, this Icelandic archipelago is an off-the-edge-of-the-map spot not to be missed. The eerie and stunning archipelago consists of 15 islands, only one of which is inhabited, and even then with a population of just 4,200.
Sailing out to one of the uninhabited islands for a BBQ of delicious local food creates a rare and wonderful sense of exclusivity and sheer seclusion, giving you an experience to treasure – all to yourself.
The epic picnic: picnic next to a glacier in Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand
If you like the idea of picnicking amongst luscious alpine herb fields, looking out over four glacier faces, then this magical spot in the Rob Roy Valley is the place for you. Plus, you can build up an appetite and take in some of the world’s most breathtaking alpine scenery on your way there.
The best (and most exciting) way to get there is to take a guided walk through the verdant farmland of the National Park, crossing a swing bridge into the alpine rainforest before you emerge above the treeline and into your picturesque destination.