Ghost Towns: Abandoned Places That Are Hauntingly Beautiful

Where’d everybody go? You don’t always have to hide out in a super luxurious castaway island just to get away (five star service, again?). With ghost towns as hauntingly beautiful as these, it’s refreshing when you don’t have to brace the crowds of tourists and selfie sticks.

#1 Il Vallone dei Mulini, Naples, Italy

Deep Valley of the Mills

What happened: Mills are kind of a thing of the past, so with advancements in agriculture (and increasing taxes) the mills were left abandoned. But for 300 years from the 13th century, the mills, located in Naples, were used to produce flour and storing water from the River Vernotico. You do need to have lots of stamina to take on the valley, but a climb around the hills promises spectacular views of Naples. Reward yourself with some fine wine after.

#2 SS Ayrfield Shipwreck, NSW, Australia

Not Noah’s Ark

What happened here: Built in 1911, the 127,006kg steel vessel was used as a steam collier and then later to transport supplies to Amercian troops during World War II. In 1972, the ship was sent to the ship-breaking yard (where ships go to die), but it was never disassembled for some reason. Today it serves as a home for mangroves.

#3 Kolmanskop, Namibia

Enter sandman

What happened: The town of 700 residents was formed by miners in the 1900s when diamonds were found on the sand. It had everything your usual town would have; hospitals, buildings, homes, and of course, diamonds. But once that ran dry 50 years later, the miners travelled further south in search of more sparkly things — like a brighter future. Sand dunes have since blown into the buildings, some filled with sand all the way to the ceiling that visitors can’t even step inside. But the town makes for beautiful pictures.

Photo credits: Main1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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