Touchdown at the world's 20 most scenic airports

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Slide 1 of 20: Paro: People arriving at Paro airport, Bhutan with druk air, the 'dragon airline', the only airline that is aloud to land in Bhutan. In the background are the mountains.
Slide 2 of 20: Maho Beach, Saint Maarten, West Indies - 16 Nov 2015
An American airlines flight from Miami arrives at Princess Juliana International airport in Saint Maarten
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Slide 4 of 20: Airplane on the runway at an airport, Funchal Airport, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
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Slide 7 of 20: LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 18: Lightning flashes behind an air traffic control tower at McCarran International Airport on August 18, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thunderstorms swept across the area on Sunday prompting the National Weather Service to issue multiple severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Slide 13 of 20: Queenstown Airport, South Island, New Zealand. 2010s
Slide 14 of 20: GIBRALTAR - AUGUST 08: Passengers disembark a flight shortly after landing at Gibraltar International Airport on August 8, 2013 in Gibraltar. David Cameron has spoken with his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, and Mr Rajoy has offered to 'reduce measures' at the Gibraltar border. Tensions between the British and Spanish governments have been raised on issues surrounding the sovereignty of Gibraltar. An increase in Spanish border crossing checks between the Rock and mainland Spain, leading to lengthy queues, is widely considered to be a retaliatory move for the construction of an artificial reef in British waters, which it is claimed has had a negative impact on Spanish fishing vessels in the area. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Slide 15 of 20: Skiathos, Greece - June 14, 2013: People watch a plane on the runway at Alexandros Papadiamantis airport on the Greek island of Skiathos. At just 5341 foot long, it is amongst the shortest runways in Europe.
Slide 16 of 20: Kansai International Airport, daytime aerial view from airplane
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Paro Airport, Bhutan

Located in the Himalayas, the airport’s approach offers a view of small houses scattered around the foothills. Though landing is tough here, the views of clear blue waters of the Paro River and the lush green surroundings take the edge off passengers’ nerves.

Princess Juliana International Airport, Sint Maarten

The runway starts just feet away from the edge of the ocean, which makes it a grand (and scary) sight for passengers and tourists on the beach alike.

Malé International Airport, Maldives

The approach to the airport, located on Hulhulé Island, offers views of the archipelago in the lap of the Indian Ocean.

Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport, Portugal

Situated in Madeira, the airport is surrounded by high mountains and the ocean. Despite its beauty, its location, compounded by poor weather, makes it tricky even for the most experienced pilots.

Barra Airport, Scotland

Opened in 1936, the airport is the only one in the world to use a beach as its runway. Flight times vary depending on the tides.

Courchevel Altiport, France

Only certified pilots are permitted to land here, as the approach is through deep valleys and tough mountain conditions.

McCarran International Airport, Nevada, US

As flights approach the runway, the city of Las Vegas appears to emerge like a mirage from a desert. At night, the lighted Strip looks spectacular.

Wilkins Runway, Antarctica

The runway in frozen Antarctica is a sight to behold, but it is primarily used for scientific expeditions and not open to tourists.

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, France

Travelers are treated to a stunning view of the French Riviera during takeoff and landing.

London City Airport, England

The landing is an experience in itself, offering a stunning aerial view of the London Eye, Big Ben and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Jackson Hole Airport, Wyoming, US

Located inside the Grand Teton National Park, it is set against the backdrop of snow-capped Teton Mountains, making the approach to the runway a heavenly experience for passengers.

Gustaf III Airport, Saint Barthélemy

The runway is just 0.4 miles long (around 650 meters), which makes it suitable only for chartered flights. The angles are very tight with unusual wind conditions, but that does not detract from the beautiful surroundings and views of the turquoise sea.

Queenstown Airport, New Zealand

Well-known for its beauty, the approach is marked by breathtaking views of Lake Hayes, the Kawarau River valley and snow-capped mountain peaks.

Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar

Located just 1,312 feet (400 meters) from Gibraltar’s city center, the runway is intersected by a road that has to be closed every time there is flight movement on the airstrip. The Rock of Gibraltar is visible on approach.

Skiathos Airport, Greece

This short and narrow runway requires pilots to undergo additional training to land and depart. Planes fly right over boats and beachgoers to land on the strip that’s just over a mile long.

Kansai International Airport, Japan

Constructed on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, it is connected to the mainland by a 1.8-mile-long (2.9 km) bridge. The turquoise water is visible from every angle.

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba

It is known for the shortest runway in the world. Just a quarter mile (396 meters) in length and flanked by hills and the Caribbean Sea on one side, the strip is used by only helicopters and small aircraft.

Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand

Uniquely enough, a golf course is situated between two strips of the airport, making the approach look lush green.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada

A combination of skyscrapers and natural beauty make landing in Toronto a magnificent experience.

Cape Town International Airport, South Africa

As flights approach the runway, passengers are greeted with the view of the famous Table Mountain.

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