Travel writers name 7 places that are better in person than in pictures

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You’ve seen the pictures: The Eiffel Tower with sky ablaze in brilliant color. The Taj Mahal with no tourists. Lakes with perfectly mirrored mountain reflections. 

Unfortunately, the photos often have been doctored. Many places can’t live up to the expectations set by photography that has been filled, brushed, blurred, and balanced to a flawless finish. It can leave travelers feeling disappointed when they see famous sites in real life.

But the splendor of some places can’t be fully captured in a photo — edited or not. Here, CNBC Travel contributors identify the destinations that vastly exceeded their expectations.

The stillness of Iceland and Siberia

The lights of Paris

The vastness of Patagonia, Chile

The diversity of Slovenia

The energy of Sedona

The calm of rural Japan

The silence of southern Africa



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