There are so many inspiring places to visit around the world that are worth visiting for photography and travel combined. If you love to do photography while traveling, let these locations inspire you to plan a trip soon and experience gorgeous landscape, exotic locals, exciting urban areas and magnificent views. Check out the most beautiful places in the world below to photograph and the top spots to look out for in capturing those perfect moments.
Most beautiful places to visit and photograph
I’ve asked my travel photographers and travel writers to suggest some of the most scenic and photo worthy places to visit around the world for inspiration. These are broken down into different regions around the world for inspiration and for you to see some well known or off the beaten locations that are up and coming and worth traveling to. Take a look at all of these inspiring photography destinations for you to visit now.
Beautiful photo places to visit in Europe
Picturesque Matera in Italy
Italy is one of the most photogenic countries in the world, no doubt about that. Yet, there are certain destinations in Italy that are more of a photographer’s dream than others. One such place is picturesque Matera, a stunning cave town situated in Italy’s South.
Famous for its Sassi, the ancient cave dwelling districts in the Old Town, Matera offers unique photo opportunities just by taking a stroll around its quaint alleys. That said, no matter its small size, Matera also has a fair share of spectacular viewpoints, such as Piazza Pascoli, Belvedere Luigi Guerricchio and Piazza Duomo, to name but a few. The best time to capture a fascinating shot of Matera at any of these spots is either during sunrise, when colors are simply gorgeous and crowds are nowhere to be seen or in the evening when the ancient town sparkles like a huge nativity scene.
However, the most magical spot to snap the perfect photo of Matera is undoubtedly the Murgia Timone area which is situated right opposite the Sassi, across the magnificent ravine. It is very easy to get there either by car or by public transport. From there, one can shoot the ultimate panoramic view of Matera Old Town in all its glory. The best time to do so is sunset when the sky above the beautiful town is painted in all hues of red and gold. Since natural light is reduced during sunset, carrying a tripod along is strongly advised for top quality results. Spring is a fantastic time to visit Matera and it is highly recommended to plan a trip there soon, while this gorgeous town tucked in the warm embrace of Southern Italy still remains one of the country’s best kept secrets.
Maria with It’s all trip to me
Visit beautiful Montenegro
If you are looking for photo worthy destinations to add to your travel plans for 2020, consider Montenegro! Despite its tiny size, there is an amazing variety of things to do in Montenegro, and it’s a paradise for photographers.
You could pretty much point your camera (or smartphone) anywhere in Montenegro and be reasonably certain of getting a great photo, but even in this gorgeous country, there are a few photo spots that stand out as being particularly exceptional.
The switchback road connecting Kotor to Njegusi is one of the most scenic drives in Montenegro. As you get higher up the winding road, you will be able to take panoramic shots of the Bay of Kotor spread out below. It’s not an easy drive, but if you are a confident driver on mountain roads, this drive is a must-do for fabulous photos. And it is especially stunning at sunset and once the light come on in the towns around the Bay of Kotor.
Montenegro’s national parks are areas of incredible beauty, and you can’t go wrong with any of them for landscape photos. The rugged rocky landscape of Durmitor National Park is stunning, and within the park, the dark brooding forests around Black Lake, and the gorgeous scenery around Tara Canyon Bridge are particularly photo worthy.
Of special interest to photographers is the Pavlova Strana viewpoint, from where you get a beautiful shot of the Rijeka Crnojevica River / Lake Skadar, similar to the view at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona.
Visit in the late spring or summer for bright skies and beautiful shots.
Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles
Provence is one of the most photogenic regions in France for many reasons. But perhaps the most famous reason is the fabulously fragrant lavender fields that span many parts of the Valensole & Sault plateaus, and pepper the Luberon Valley come summer. Punctuated by vibrant sunflower fields, they are one of the most photographed attractions in Provence. But their beauty only lasts a month or so, from the end of June to mid-July, and there is plenty more to see and take photos of in any season.
The hilltop villages of Provence are among the most beautiful in the world and offer endless opportunities to explore. Don’t miss Gordes with its iconic lookout, or Cassis with its seaside charm. Both are appreciated more so in the shoulder seasons of Spring or Autumn when the crowds are thinner. Visiting in these slightly cooler periods will mean you can also hike the Calanques de Cassis – a walk that’s often closed in the height of summer due to the risk of wildfires. The hike offers unparalleled views and absolutely stunning vistas over the Mediterranean coast. Or go kayaking down the Verdon Gorge without the barrage of boats to contend with. Finally, the three major cities of Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Avignon all offer their own unique charms and can be appreciated in any season.
Nadine with Le Long Weekend
Exploring and capturing the Azores
Nothing beats a beautiful sunset. It is proof that those who say that you need to spend money to experience great things in life can’t be more wrong.
We like to end a busy day in a quiet place and to look back on everything we have experienced that day while the sky turns red and daylight slowly fades away.
We experienced one of the most magical and serene moments at Lagoa do Fogo. A crater lake on the island of São Miguel, part of the Azores Islands. Weather is not always on your side, it is very intermittent, but if you see that the mountains are out of clouds around sunset it is absolutely worthwhile to head to the Miradouro do Pico da Barrosa.
The official Miradoura is at the highest point of the mountain pass that connects Ribereira Grande with Lagoa but there are a couple of other places that also grant dramatic views on the lake. We were almost alone at the viewpoint but if the place is crowded you can continue your way down toward Ribeira Grande and stop at one of the two other small parking lots from where you can see an almost identical view on the lake.
Don’t forget to bring your camera to make stunning shots of this incredible view.
Sylvia with Wapiti Travel
Stairway to Nothingness in Dachstein
Would you take the last step to nothingness? In fact, it takes 14 steps on the Stairway to Nothingness in Dachstein, Austria. If you are looking for stunning views of the mountains, then there is no better place than the glass platform at the end of the Stairway to Nothingness.
Located in the middle of Salzkammergut area, just over an hour drive from Salzburg. To get there, use Dachstein Südwandbahn Talstation, Türlwandhütte parking as the end location on your sat nav. Please note that the last road – Dachsteinstraße – is a paid one. You will have to validate your toll ticket in the machine at the Dachstein mountain station in order to use it for free.
From the parking, you need to take a 10 min ride on panoramic gondola to the top of Dachstein glacier. The views are spectacular!
Depending of the time of the year the opening hours will differ. Please check on the official website before planning your visit. Stairway to Nothingness is one of the most popular attractions in this part of Austria so expect many tourists. To avoid the crowds, we would strongly advise to book the gondola first thing in the morning. Out of high season and weekdays are also great idea if you prefer to have the views for yourself
This attraction will cost you €39 for the ascent & descent gondola ride plus additional €10 to access the Stairway to Nothingness. It may sound expensive, but this will be best €49 spent ever.
Enjoy the views!”
Darek with Darekandgosia.com
Capturing Rome, Italy
With its many layers of history and architecture piled on top of each other, Rome offers endless photo opportunities. For panoramic views, you’ll want to climb one or more of the famous seven hills of Rome.
There are great views of the Roman Forum to be had from two nearby hills, the Capitoline and the Palatine. Visiting the Capitoline (Campidoglio) hill is completely free. Climb the ramp up to the hill, then head to the right of the city hall, which is the building directly in front of you. Next to it is a beautiful lookout that’s accessible 24 hours and is great for photography at dusk or in the evening, when the monuments are illuminated.
The second viewpoint is the Palatine hill, which is itself covered with ruins of the palaces of Roman emperors. You will need to buy an entrance ticket for the archaeological area that includes the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine, and the viewpoint is only accessible during the site opening hours.
The Aventine Hill offers more great vistas and a unique view through the keyhole of the door of the Villa del Priorato di Malta. Peek through the keyhole for a view of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica perfectly framed by green leafy hedges. Capturing this shot on camera may require experimenting with your manual settings to get the focus right.
And finally, for sunset head north to Piazza di Spagna and climb the stairs to the church at the top, then head up Viale Gabriele D’Annunzio to the Villa Borghese park. In winter, the best spot for getting the setting sun in the same frame as St. Peter’s Dome is from the Terraza del Pincio inside the park.
At other times of the year, you might want to be a bit further back towards Piazza di Spagna. In any case, from here it’s an easy walk back down to the city center, where you can enjoy dinner at one of Rome’s amazing restaurants.
Wendy with the Nomadic Vegan
Procida Island in the Bay of Naples
The island of Procida sits in the middle of the Bay of Naples, almost unknown among visitors to nearby Capri and the Amalfi Coast. But Procida is just as beautiful as both those more famous places, and all the more successful as a photographic destination for flying a little under the radar. It can’t stay this unknown for much longer though, so go now.
Procida is a small island but boasts a variety of fascinating scenes. The key shot, and the scene that made me visit Procida, is the sweeping view over Marina di Corricella. To get there, leave the main ferry port and walk around 10 minutes to the other side of the island. When you reach the yellow church, carry on walking up the hill until you reach the cannons at the top, then look over the wall at one of the most beautiful and colourful views you’ll ever have seen.
I visited on a Saturday afternoon in late September, and the only other people there were part of a local wedding party, waiting while the bride and groom had their pictures taken. We stayed a while, fuelled by drinks and snacks from a cute red food truck. In maybe 30 minutes, we saw only three sets of people arrive and take photos.
Procida has plenty of other gorgeous corners to point your camera at. At the very top of the hill, there’s an interesting Medieval citadel with distinctive architecture, an atmospheric former prison and any number of photogenic doorways. Make sure you go down to the waterfront in Marina di Corricella to capture the colourful fishing boats.
Helen with Helen on Her Holidays
Most photo worthy destinations at Lisbon, Portugal
Not only has sunny Lisbon earned itself the nickname, the city of light, but is also known as the city of seven hills. As a result, gorgeous Lisboa has all the makings of a top photo worthy destination to visit in 2020.
Given this hilly nature, Lisbon is blessed with numerous viewpoints that provide sweeping views out over the city from just about any angle. Great to capture the perfect city scape shot.
So, why not visit the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in Principe Real, the Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen in the neighbourhood of Graça or even the Miradouro das Portas do Sol in Alfama?
All of which are perfect vantage points from which to capture that perfect sunset over the city, overlooking the Tagus river.
Landmarks with a view:
Apart from the Miradouros, you may also want to head to a number of significant landmarks that also act as fantastic viewpoints in their own right.
These include the Santa Justa lift, the Rua Augusta Arch, the Castle of São Jorge or the viewing platform at the top of Parque Eduardo VII.
Architecture & Street Art:
Of course, it’s not all just about the view. Lisbon is also home to some stunning architectural delights and filled with hidden street art gems too.
Whether you photograph downtown Baixa and Chiado neighbourhoods or Alfama, the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon, you will never run out of amazing street scenes or traditionally tiled buildings to photograph.
Alternatively, head on down the neighbourhood of Belem and more specifically to the MAAT Museum (the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology). This ultra-sleek and modern museum building that hugs the edge of the river Tagus has become an iconic symbol of Lisbon since it’s opening in 2016. It’s one of my favourite places from which to capture the perfect sunset!
It is also worth noting that Lisbon is one of the best European cities when it comes to the number of sunshine days throughout the year, meaning light is generally not an issue.
Head out in the early mornings, around 07:00 – 08:00 am when the sun is just rising and most shops and attractions are still closed. This way you’ll almost certainly avoid most tourists and be able to snap away in peace.
Sunsets are also not to be discounted. Head on over to any rooftop bar, viewpoint or landmark with a view and you’ll be able to capture amazing photos and views over the city and the river as the sky lights up into an array of pinks, oranges and yellows!
It is no wonder that Lisbon with it’s mix of old and new, views and light, make it one of the most photo worthy destinations to visit in the coming year!
Marco Santos from Travel-Boo
Visiting Carrauntoohil and Beenkeragh in Ireland
In my opinion, the best images are ones that you have to work hard for. This means hiking demanding routes, doing extra research and going where others aren’t willing to go to. Carrauntoohil is Ireland’s highest mountain, but most people will trek up this 1000m metre mountain starting at Cronin’s Yard and hike up through the Devil’s Ladder. This is a beautiful route and has some great photo opportunities but even on the worst weather, you’ll struggle to get a photo that isn’t littered with people. The Beenkeragh Ridge Walk not only takes in Ireland’s tallest mountain but also the next two tallest! You walk around a horseshoe that has a lake right at the bottom of it and the photographic opportunities are endless. It especially works well if you have a person willing to act as a model in your frame, just to give the whole area some scale. The photo I took there was on one of the sunniest days and we only met three or four other trekkers on the route. You will have this loop all to yourself, however, the ridge between Carrauntoohil and Beenkeragh mountains is a little exposed. If you find yourself there on a windy day, take caution! The trek starts at the Hydro Road Carpark and the loop is only 14km long, but the trek up is steep and takes a good level of fitness!
The Jura Region in Eastern France
The best place to capture unique pictures is the Belvedere des 4 Lacs, from where you can spot four turquoise lakes surrounded by beautiful nature: Lac Ilay with its island (a former priory), Lac Grand Maclu, Lac Petit Maclu and Lac Narlay. There is a beautiful hike around these lakes but if you are not sporty you can reach this viewpoint by car (there’s a car park nearby). Other interesting spots to take beautiful pictures include La Cascade du Hérisson, a trail that links 12 waterfalls, and the villages of Baume-Les-Messieurs and Château-Chalon.
Plitvice National park in Croatia
One of the most fantastic parks that is both beautiful to experience and capture In photographs is Plitvice National Park In Croatia. You can visit the park during all the four seasons, but fall time is really spectacular for fall colors, less crowds and the amazing landscape to enjoy your visit to this national park. There are so many wonderful places to photograph around the park from walking along the boardwalk trails downhill and through all the fabulous waterfalls, taking a ferry ride to the end of the park and explore more trails and even looking down through all the scenic panoramic spots from above.
You can even stay in the park and get a heads start to visiting the park and grounds before it is open for the rest of the public to enjoy, so you can easily get a head start in capturing the best spots ahead of the crowds. But definitely go to Plitvice during the off season and you’ll have for time to enjoy without all the crowds heading out to all the scenic spots around the area. Check out my posts on visiting Plitvice National Park in fall time here for more inspiration to visiting.
Noel at Travel Photo Discovery
Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye is far from being Scotland’s best-kept secret – in fact, it is the most popular island to visit! And there is a very good reason for that: it’s absolutely breathtaking!
Skye is a photographer’s paradise. The Old Man of Storr, Neist Point lighthouse, the Fairly Pools, the Quiraing and the Fairy Glen are some of the most iconic places to visit and photograph. Further off the beaten track, but just as worthy a visit are the ruins of Dunscaith Castle on the Sleat peninsula, the Point of Sleat, Loch Coruisk and the tidal island Oronsay.
The best time to visit Skye is during the off-season – ideally from October to March. Not only can you avoid rubbing shoulders with hundreds of other visitors in the same iconic spots, the light from the winter-sun is also perfect for photography. The sun rises late enough to get a good night’s rest and then head out for sunrise photos and the day ends with plenty of time for photo editing before dinner.
I recommend spending at least 2-3 nights on Skye in order to get around iconic sites as well as going off the beaten track.
Apart from your photography kit – don’t forget raincovers and waterproof cases – you should pack sturdy walking boots to walk to the best photo sites, good waterproof jacket & pants, a flask for hot tea on the go and plenty of snacks as many places shut during the winter months.
Kathi from Watch Me See – check out her post on things to do at the Isle of Skye
Beautiful photo places to visit in Africa, Middle East region
Wadi Rum Jordan- Photography on Another Planet
Although space tourism is a time off, arriving in Wadi Rum Jordan one might guess interplanetary travel is possible. With its Mars-like red sand and stunning rock formations sprouting from the desert floor, the unique scene is a photographer’s dream.
With scorching temperatures in the summer months, March to May and September to early November are the best months to visit Jordan. Referred to by the Bedouin as ‘the Valley of the Moon’ the wind sculpted mountains create photos appearing as if from another world.
As more travelers realize that Jordan is a safe destination tourism is on the rise. The sooner you get to Wadi Rum , the more likely you will still experience this vast wilderness without crowds. We suggest basing at Sun City Camp. Choosing from a variety of accommodations we were able to take photos right out of our Martian-style glamping tent. However the ultimate photography opportunities came during a sunset jeep tour near the camp. As colors caressed the rock faces and sand you will see why the film industry has chosen the areas for so many movies including Lawrence of Arabia.
Sue and Dave Slaght with Travel Tales of Life
Visiting scenic Cape Town
A must visit destination for any traveler to Cape Town is the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. The reserve is not on a public transport route but may be reached by private vehicle, Uber and many of the city sightseeing tours.
The entry fees for foreign visitors start from US$22 per day for adults and no other permits are required. Accessible beaches include Buffels Bay Beach, Platboom Beach, Maclear Beach and Dias Beach as well as the picnic site and tidal pool at Bordjiesrif.
My favorite places for panoramic views of the reserve are from the lookout area behind the visitors center and from the Lighthouse. For visitors with no mobility impairments a walk up to the Lighthouse gives unobstructed wide views of the peninsula. For those who prefer not to walk, there is also a funicular available to the top, at a small cost.
The best time to visit for unobstructed views is early morning during the autumn and winter months when it is cloudy and the light filtered is much softer. During the peak summer days the harsh African sunlight feels too bright and there are too many busloads of tourists and local visitors.
Insider tip: Visitors should note that the Cape Nature Conservation Laws Amendment Act of 2000, makes it illegal to feed, injure or kill baboons. Unfortunately, tourists and tour operators have made a habit of luring baboons closer with food to facilitate photo opportunities. The baboons that roam the reserve can smell it a mile away and opportunistic snatch and grab raids are not unheard of when visitors carrying foods or snacks in their handbags or backpacks explore the area.
Check out Razena Schroeder’s post on a Cape Peninsula tour from Cape Town
Visiting gorgeous Mauritius
Mauritius is home to some of the most amazing beaches in the world as the whole Island is surrounded by white, sandy beaches and calm, tranquil waters that are sheltered by one of the world’s largest and most pristine coral reefs.
Pretty much all of the beaches in Mauritius photogenic, however, there are a few that surpass the rest. Flic en Flac Beach, on the western coast of Mauritius, is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Head there early in the morning before tourists get there for remarkable pictures of an empty beach and the chance of seeing dolphins playing in the sea before they go to deeper waters to hunt.
The beach is also renowned for underwater photography, with plenty of marine life hanging around the reefs in the morning before human activity makes them hide away.
Alternatively, take a boat trip to one of the sandy islands that lie on the edge of the lagoon for photos of deserted islands where you can capture some of the most quintessentially perfect pictures of immaculate, sandy beaches sloping gently into the clear blue waters.
There are plenty of tours that will take you to the outlying islands where you can enjoy a whole day photographing paradise. My top recommendation is to take an Ile aux Cerfs tour to the island of the same name. This catamaran trip will allow you to experience the waters and beaches of Mauritius in a way that will leave you vying to return before you even leave Mauritius.
Megan with Megan Star.com
Big Almaty Lake, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan in general is a dream for photographers. Being the ninth largest country in the world it has an extremely varied landscape from desert to taiga and snow-capped mountains. Almaty is the beating-heart and former capital and is situated at the foot of the Tian Shan Mountains which separate it from Kyrgyzstan and China.
The city itself is very photogenic with the mountains always looming in the background and the multicoloured Russian style churches like Zhenkov Cathedral. However, it is the nature surrounding Almaty that really appeals.
One of the best places for that perfect shot is Big Almaty Lake 30km to the south of the city. There is no direct public transport to the lake but it’s possible to take a taxi there and agree a price for waiting. Another option is to take bus 28 to Kokshoky (known locally as GES-2) and hike the remaining 15km through mountain pastures. During the summer months you will also find private minibuses racing up and down between the lake and the bus stop at President Park.
Be aware that Big Almaty Lake is located very close to the border with Kyrgyzstan and as such you may see border guards walking around the lake. Heed the signs and avoid the southern shores. There are plenty of fantastic spots that are accessible and there is a short hike to an observatory a few kilometres away.
Lonely Planet have voted Central Asia their top region to visit in 2020. As it stands Kazakhstan is a fantastic destination that doesn’t see many tourists, but as people search out alternatives to the well-worn paths, this hidden gem won’t stay a secret forever!
Steve Rohan @ thetripgoeson.com
The scenic Pamir highway in Tajikistan
The Pamir highway is one of these places where you can’t stop taking pictures. Where every corner brings new spectacular views that leave you in awe. The road from Dushanbe in Tajikistan to Osh in Kyrgyzstan is the second highest highway in the world.
As you cross the Pamir mountains you go from lush green hills to barren lunar landscapes with glittering deep blue mountain lakes. You can see the sceneries changing every day and you will meet a number of different cultures. Tajiks, the Ismailis in the Wakhan valley and the Kyrgyz people.
Even though in theory you could do the Pamir highway in 3 very long days it really pays to take more time on this roadtrip and rent your own 4 by 4 with a driver. Prices are still reasonable if you can share the costs with other people and you will have lots of flexibity to include as many photostops as you like.
There are also many sidetrips and detours you can make. For example, rather than traveling from Khorog to Murgab over the M41 it is much more scenic to take the southern route into the Wakhan valley past the border with Afghanistan. From here you will have beautiful views over the Hindu Kush.
The Wakhan valley is also perfect for people photography in the rural agricultural villages that dot the valley. With such spectacular landscapes you sometimes forget that the people that live here are just as interesting.
Ellis from Backpack Adventures, check out her post on the pamir highway itinerary
I’d dare to say that the whole of Iran is a photographer’s dream. Between the impressive architecture, the lovely people and the stunning archeological sites you can have a thousand perfect shots. But what your camera will love the most is the Iranian nature. Mountains, deserts and even tea plantations are part of the landscape. My personal favorite was Hormuz island.
The diversity in this small place is beyond what you could imagine. You can see the deep blue Persian Gulf around you, but there’s also a red beach, where the pigment of the soil tints the water. You can go from the Mars Valley, to the Valley of the Statues, to the Silence Valley and see the multi-hued earth, changing colors as it mixes with salt, and the spectacular result of altitude changes.
But my favorite spot is the Rainbow Valley and Caves. Shades of purple, yellow, blue, red and orange dye the mountainside as a result of the uneven cooling of molten rock. Go during sunset to see the colorful mountains in all their shades while they play with the last rays of sun.
One more thing, avoid the island during Nowruz –the Persian new year– since it tends to be the chosen destination for Iranians. Beside that time, you’ll have the island to yourself so bring extra batteries!
By Coni from Experiencing the Globe
A visit to Charyn Canyon in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has recently opened its doors with a visa free regime for most nationalities. Travelling to Kazakhstan is getting easier ever year. One of the most photoworthy destinations in Kazakhstan is the Charyn Canyon. Although not as big as the famous Grand Canyon it is equally impressive.
The Charyn Canyon is located in the far south eastern corner of Kazakhstan near the border with China and Kyrgyzstan. Its where the steppes meet the edge of the Tien Shan mountains. The 3 hour drive from former capital Almaty is already very picturesque with spectacular views over the steppes and mountains.
It’s best to hire a car so that you can stop whenever you see a beautiful photo opportunity. There are several viewpoints that you can reach by car. They are perfect for taking pictures, but the best photo spots are in the valley of castles. There is an easy 2 kilometer hike that leads to the Charyn river where there is an ecolodge.
There are plenty of daytrips to the Charyn canyon from Almaty, but staying in the ecolodge provides lots of advantages if you are a photographer. Early morning and late afternoon when the day trippers are gone you will have the place all to yourself. Let this also be the time of the so called golden hour when the setting sun deepens the colours in the canyon.
Ellis from Backpack Adventures, check out their post on visiting Charyn Canyon
Beautiful photo places to visit in North America
Capturing Taos Pueblo in New Mexico
If you want evidence that Taos Pueblo is photogenic, consider that the village in New Mexico was the subject of the famed photographer Ansel Adams’ first book. You can probably get yourself a copy of the first edition of that book for about $85,000. Or there’s also a limited-edition reprint that can be had for around $2000.
I spent an afternoon there in 2016, walking around the village, talking to the people who live there, visiting their shops, and yes, photographing. I still haven’t seen Adams’s book (I can only find one of his Taos photos online.) So, I was on my own to find photos of the adobe buildings, framed by mountains and clouds. Luckily, the clouds and sun cooperated to make an ideal day for photos.
Like Adams, I believe that Taos Pueblo is portrayed best in black and white. The tonal ranges just seemed so much more vivid when rendered that way.
Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is about three miles outside the main city of Taos, New Mexico. You can drive to the edge of the village, where you can park and walk into the historic area. Admission to the town is $16, or $14 for seniors or students. Photography is permitted, although you should ask permission if you want to photograph any of the residents. Photography inside the San Geronimo chapel is prohibited, as is entry into the village cemetery.
Tom with Travel Past 50
Visiting Eastern Oregon
When people think of Oregon, there are often two things that come to mind. The wonderfully weird city of Portland and its gloomy weather or the rugged and stunning coastlines sprinkled with sea stacks and crashing waves. And while both of those spots are 100% worth visiting, it’s a bit of a shame that the rest of the State doesn’t get as much attention!
Just over the Cascade Mountain Range is another world, and that gloomy and rainy weather you often associate with Oregon, totally dissipates.
Eastern Oregon is one of the most beautiful places in the PNW and yet, it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.
Here are some of the most incredible spots in the area, particularly for those who love photography:
– The Wallowas – This area is dubbed the Alps of Oregon – Do we need to say anymore? Tackle one of the many hikes in the area or sit anywhere around the lake and you won’t be able to put your camera down.
– Steens Mountain – For those without much time, you can drive up to the top and take a scenic loop. And if you want to get deeper, there are a few hikes up here too. There are stunning vistas of this massive mountain and a desert view! Speaking of which…
– Alvord Desert – Yes, Oregon has a desert! And it’s a photographer dream for several reasons. It’s a desert with the gorgeous Steens Mountain in the back, hardly anyone goes here, and sunset and sunrise are simply magical! On top of it all, you can camp in the desert for free and even visit Alvord Hot Springs for a dip after a long day.
– Hart Mountain National Antelope Reserve- Another stunning area with sandy mountains, wildlife galore, and a hot spring (note – the roads are gravel here and driving will take longer)
There’s also the gorgeous Summer Lake area surrounded by mountains, a desert landscape, and also features yet another hot spring, Sumpter is an old gold mining town with history and charm, and you can’t forget about the Painted Hills! Just outside of Mitchell is a photographer’s dreamland with layers of multicolored hills for miles and miles.
The best way to see this side of the state is to take an eastern Oregon road trip. Without your own car, it would be pretty challenging to get to any of these spots. Do keep in mind that some road close during winter, like the roads near Hart Mountain and the Steens. The next time you’re thinking of photographing Oregon, don’t forget about eastern Oregon!
Nina Ragusa with OregonisforAdventure.com
Hiking to Havasu Falls
Havasu Falls is home to five amazing waterfalls and offers breathtaking photo opportunities of the flowing turquoise water contrasted against the red sandstone. Bring a tripod and a wide angle lens if you have them to really capture the beauty of the environment. Havasu Falls is also the perfect place to play with long exposure shots to highlight the movement of the water.
The Havasu Fall hike to visit all five waterfalls is roughly 25 miles roundtrip, but is overall relatively easy, with a few tricky sections. There are awesome photo opportunities at all 5 waterfalls: Fifty-Foot Falls, Lower Navajo Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, and Beaver Falls. The most iconic ones though are Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, and Beaver Falls. It’s a photographers heaven.
Permits are required and highly sought after, so you should definitely plan ahead and make reservations far in advance. The permits entail 3 nights of camping at Havasupai campground, allowing you to spend a day hiking down to the campground, a couple days to leisurely explore and photograph all the waterfalls, and a final day to hike out. Spring and fall are ideal times for this hike, as summer can be extremely hot. Even then, you should try to hike in the cooler mornings, then relax during the heat of the day and enjoy the water and waterfalls. Waking up early to start your hike will also help you avoid the crowds while you’re capturing stunning photos.
Allison – She Dreams of Alpine
Capturing the Grand Canyon in pictures
There is never a bad time to visit the Grand Canyon. Visiting Grand Canyon National Park is great any time of year – just ask any of the 6 million visitors the site sees a year!
The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular National Parks in the USA. Located in the northwestern part of Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a 4-5 hour drive from Phoenix or Las Vegas.
My first tip for visiting the Grand Canyon is to go early. I think sunrise at the Grand Canyon is one of the most magical things to see and my favorite viewpoint is Mathers Point for sunrise.
The entrance gates to the Grand Canyon are busiest between 10am and 4pm so I suggest arriving before 10am. The entrance costs $35 per vehicle and is valid for 7 days.
The Grand Canyon has some amazing viewpoint, great hikes, and you can even go white water rafting in the park. Did you know that it is 10-20 degrees warmer down in the canyon than at the viewpoints? You really need to get in the canyon to see the beauty. I highly recommend doing the Rim to Rim Trail which goes from the North Rim to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on a 23 mile hike.
To finish off your day I would recommend seeing the sunset at Pima Point. Its absolutely incredible to see the colors change over the Canyon.
Nicole LaBarge from American SW Obsessed check out her post on visiting the Grand Canyon
Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Attracting more than 10 million visitors a year, it’s no big secret that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most beautiful places in America. Located on the border of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been the most popular of the US National Parks almost every year since it was officially dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940.
The 522,419-acre park is a haven for nature photographers, with dynamic mountain landscapes (16 of which are over 6,000 feet tall), rushing waterfalls, pastoral mountain streams. Wildlife photographers will also have plenty to shoot, from Black Bears and White-tailed Deer to the Cataloochee Valley Elk herd (which was reintroduced to the park back in 2001). Other great scenic viewpoints in the park include Cade’s Cove, Clingman’s Dome, and Newfound Gap Road. Given the tourist numbers mentioned above, you can probably guess that the summer crowds here are not the best for photo buffs seeking open spaces and elbow room. Our favorite time to visit is in early spring or mid-fall, when the weather is cooler and the roads aren’t so packed with people. Late October and early November are especially good times for photos, as the autumn leaves boast their most brilliant colors and the Elk herd is in rut.
Bret Love & Mary Gabbett of Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park in Montana is truly gorgeous landscape worth visiting and capturing in photography. The scenic road to the sun route through the park is majestic and spectacular at every stop and outlook point with views of the valley, mountains and surrounding landscape that really inspires at every season, but is only accessible from Summer to early fall time frame when the mountain road is open to drive through.
You’ll find some incredible views from the valley floor and up the face of the mountains and into alpine countryside that is also amazing especially with all the wildflowers In bloom and all the wildlife out and accessible for visitors to occasionally spot at a distance or in some cases close by with animals that are used to seeing the hordes of tourists that go hiking through the rugged and less traveled hiking areas in the alpine area.
If you are planning on visiting soon, check out my post on visiting Glacier National Park here for inspiration and more details to visiting this amazing national park in Montana.
Noel with Travel Photo Discovery.
Beautiful photo places to visit in Central and South America
Quebrada de las Conchas, Argentina
The Quebrada de las Conchas in the Northwestern province of Salta is one of the most beautiful destinations in South America. This stretch of highway 68 connects the city of Salta to the wine region of Cafayate. The earth is deep red and the formations formed by thousands of years of wind and water have created a natural wonder.
The best time to visit for photography is right after sunrise. This not only provides the best lighting but will allow you to avoid the throngs of tourists.
The two most beautiful formations are the Amphitheater and the Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), among many others. When at the Devil’s Throat, be sure to climb up the formation to the second level for the best photos (it’s allowed, just wear proper footwear). The best viewpoint of the entire valley is the Mirador Tres Cruces.
You can explore the Quebrada (or gorge) by bike, but renting a car will give you ample time to take photos at each stop. The best way to end this photographic journey is in the picturesque town of Cafayate.
Find your way to the Finca de las Nubes winery for a well deserved glass of wine (or two). This winery offers panoramic views of the valley and vineyards below.
Erin with Sol Salute
Magnificent Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia is one of the most photogenic spots in the world. The national park has two main natural attractions that feature on most Patagonian postcards, though there are more. The most famous mountains are probably the Cuernos del Paine. They are craggy ‘horns’ with horizontal colored stripes, surrounded by bright aqua blue alpine lakes. November is a great time to visit because there are hundreds of bushes covered in bright red flowers in the spring. The French Valley hike is a highlight. The Cuernos are front and center for the first part of the hike, and then the French Glacier makes stunning photos from the eponymous lookout. Other places to see the Cuernos are from the Cuernos del Paine Lookout (a short, but potentially very windy walk from the Salto Grande waterfall) and from the also very windy Condor Point lookout.
The other highlight of the national park are the Torres (Towers) del Paine that the park is named after. These three dramatic pinnacles are best photographed in the first light of dawn when the sun shining directly on them turns them a bright golden color. You will need to stay in a nearby refugio and get up before dawn to be there for the sunrise. The mountains can be completely hidden by clouds, so it is best to allow more time for your trip than you think you need in order to give yourself as much chance as possible for good weather. There are also frequent dramatic cloud features like enormous UFOs, created by strong swirling winds, which make for great photos.
More and more people are discovering this park at the end of the world, and it is already hard to book Refugios and campsites, so go now in (southern) spring 2020 before it gets too crowded!
James Ian at Travel Collecting
Most Photo Worthy Spots in Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena, Colombia, absolutely has to be on any list of the most photo worthy destinations to visit for 2020.
A major seat of Spanish colonial wealth and power, Cartagena has picturesque, colorful colonial architecture, and has one of the most complete colonial era city walls left in the world. That means there are tons of great 2020 travel photos you can get here, but I want to tell you about two in particular you can’t miss.
First, be sure to venture outside the walled city to the historic neighborhood of Getsemaní to enjoy even more of the pretty architecture. There is also a wealth of neat street art to take in. In fact, Getsemaní makes for one of the best areas to stay in Cartagena.
The best photos in Getsemaní can be taken on the Callejón Angosto, a narrow alleyway just a block away from the Plaza de la Trinidad. The street has been covered with colorful umbrellas, making for a beautiful photo!
In Getsemaní, you may also want to get great travel photos on the Calle San Andres with its colorful pendant flags, and with the flags from different countries hung on the Calle de la Sierpe, which also happens to be where some of the best street art is located.
Second, for the absolute best view of the city, head to Hotel Movich’s Rooftop Bar. You’ll be able to see all that colonial architecture from a bird’s eye view set against the backdrop of the bay and more modern high rise apartment and hotel buildings of Bocagrande beyond. It makes for an epic travel photo!
The hotel is located centrally, near the Parque Bolívar. It’s a popular sunset spot, so you will want to get there before 5 to make sure you get a spot with a good view. That way you can also get a daytime photo as well as one at dusk.
Other spots you may want to grab a memorable travel photo in 2020 in Cartagena include with the giant Colombian flag at the Castillo San Felipe Fortress, with the colorful dresses of the Palenquera fruit vendors, and at the famous Café del Mar atop a corner of the wall itself.
Adam with Cartagena Explorer
Guatapé is a small Spanish Colonial town two hours from Medellín, known as the most colorful town in Colombia. Its vibrant colors and festive atmosphere make it a popular destination. Plan to take some time to wander around this striking town as there is a lot of beauty packed in.
There are many tour groups that make this popular day trip from Medellín. It does tend to get a bit crowded in the afternoon from tourists so if you are able to head out early by car or bus, you can have the town more to yourself.
Not far from the town is the picturesque Guatapé Lake. This man-made lake powers around a third of Colombia’s electricity. It hides a secret below its waters as the valley was flooded to create the lake, destroying the old town of Peñol. You can take a boat ride around the lake to enjoy the scenery and will see a large white cross in the center that shows where the Peñol church once was.
The most incredible views of the lake and the surrounding area are from the top of La Piedra del Peñol. Known locally as Peñol, this large granite rock towers 7,000 feet (over 2,000 meters) above the ground. There is a concrete staircase you can climb and when you get to the top, the scenery is breathtaking.
The best time of year to go is during the dry season from June to August and December to March. However, the rains during the rainy season usually don’t last all day and there are typically fewer tourists then. A visit to Guatapé including Peñol and Guatapé Lake are a must-see when you visit Medellín.
Beautiful places to photograph In Oceania and Asia
Stunning Angkor Wat Temples
Angkor Wat is an incredible UNESCO world heritage site and should absolutely be on your photography bucket list for 2020. Each year this unique site sees increasing numbers of visitors, with over 2.5 million tourists visiting Angkor Wat last year.
It can therefore be difficult to get a photo of Angkor Wat temple with no one else in it! The best times of day to visit are either at sunrise or just before the park closes between 5 and 6pm.
Possibly the most famous photos of Angkor Wat are taken at sunrise with the reflection of Angkor Wat temple in the water. To get this shot, you’ll need to arrive early (we arrived by 4:40am and the gates opened at 5am) to ensure you are able to get a spot at the edge of the water. The great thing about this photo location is that no one can get in front of you because of the water!
It’s also worth visiting Angkor Wat temple just before the grounds close at 6pm. During this time people will be leaving the park. This allows you to quickly snap off a few shots of the temple itself from the walkway leading up to it, while people are being ushered out. Just ensure you are respectful to the staff there and move quickly to aid them in clearing the grounds!
This Ultimate Guide to Angkor Wat will help with all aspects of arranging your trip. It is easy to organise your visit from Siem Reap independently, ensuring your money stays local. However, if you are short on time then there are numerous tour operators that will arrange everything for you.
Travels of Sophie with firstname.lastname@example.org
Ancient Katmandu in Nepal
Kathmandu in Nepal is one of the most photo-worthy destinations according to me. Of the many places to visit in Nepal, Kathmandu is often sidelined by travellers as it is the crowded capital city with a beautiful landscape. But for photographers, Kathmandu is heaven. The Durbar Square in Kathmandu is full of spectacular architecture with temples and palaces built by the Malla and the Shah Kings of Nepal. Some of the must-visit attractions are the Hanuman Dhoka, Kashtamandap, Kumari Bahal and the handicraft market behind the Durbar Square.
Durbar Square usually remains crowded throughout the day. To avoid crowds the best time to photograph is in the early morning. We went at 6 AM and found the place relatively empty to take some good pictures. There are a few places where you can get some beautiful frames, even though they are common. There is a courtyard just outside the Hanuman Dhoka that is full of pigeons. In the morning people feed the pigeons as well. You can get some great pictures here. There is also an idol of Kal Bhairav that looks quite menacing. This is also a great place for photography.
If you want to take an aerial view, you have to climb up on top of the mandap just across the road. You will get a great view and a panoramic shot as well.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is located right in the center of the city and you can get there by taxi from anywhere in Kathmandu. From Thamel, Durbar Square is about 1.5 km and you can walk through the streets of Kathmandu to get there. The entry ticket to Durbar Square is 1000 Nepali rupees.
After the massive earthquake in Nepal, reconstruction work going on in full swing. Majority of it has been completed and the place looks quite magnificent as before. The Newari architecture, the intricate designs on the buildings and the locals present all around will give you ample scope for photography and also a great time in Kathmandu. So, in 2020 take a trip to Nepal and explore its beauty.
Name: Amrita & Agni with Tale of 2 Backpackers
Explore beautiful Singapore
Singapore is one of the best cities in the world for photography lovers with many great photo spots throughout the city.
For great views of Singapore from above, head to one of the many rooftop bars and restaurants or stay at a Singapore hotel with a rooftop pool such as the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel. Marina Bay Sands hotel guests can enjoy amazing city views from the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool. For anyone not staying at the hotel, you can visit the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck for aerial city views.
Marina Bay has many great photo spots from the ground – you can walk around the waterfront and photograph the city skyline as well as famous Singapore attractions such as the iconic Merlion statue (with the head of a lion and the body of a fish), the Helix Bridge and the Marina Bay Sands complex.
One of the most unique photo spots is Gardens by the Bay which consists of indoor and outdoor gardens. The futuristic Supertree Grove is made up of tree-shaped vertical gardens and is especially beautiful in the evening when the trees are lit up (there are also nightly light shows daily). Other noteworthy photo spots in Singapore include the Kampong Glam and Little India neighborhoods which are full of street art and murals.
Matilda with The Travel Sisters
Wander around the Old Quarter in Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam’s fast-paced capital city, is one of the best places on earth for street photography. The Old Quarter in particular is a never-ending supply of interesting and often bizarre vignettes. Vibrant produce markets, street food and flower vendors, narrow alleyways, crumbling colonial buildings – the cacophony of colours and textures is almost too much to take in.
I lived in Hanoi for a year and spent most weekends walking around the Old Quarter with my camera in tow. In the process, I discovered some of the city’s best photo spots.
My biggest tip is to get out early. If you want to start really early, head to the Long Bien Market at the top of the Old Quarter, where wholesale vendors start selling from about 1am until sunrise. The chaos of crates and colourful tropic fruits is something special. Afterwards, you can catch sunrise from Long Bien Bridge before walking down to a second market, Don Xuan.
Moving south, wind your way through the streets of the Old Quarter, stopping at Old Houses and pagodas, egg coffee shops and pho stalls – each of them striking in their own way. Make time for landmarks such as St. Joseph’s Cathedral, but focus on the backstreets.
Remember to be respectful when taking photos of people – ask first, and show them afterwards. Learn a few words of Vietnamese to break the ice. Hanoi is very safe, so you don’t have to worry about having your camera out on the street. Just watch out for rouge motorbikes. There are organised photography and walking tours of the Old Quarter available, but in my opinion, it’s more fulfilling just to get lost and create your own experiences.
Hanoi Old Quarter is a preserved slice of ‘authentic Vietnam’, but it’s changing every year as more and more long-time residents move out and retail developments move in. This is changing the look and feel of the neighbourhood. The sooner you can visit, the better.
Emily with Wander Lush
Exotic Delhi, India
Delhi, the capital city of India is home to many impressive structures including a bunch of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ever since the 1200s, Delhi has been the capital of every dynasty that ruled over the region. Whether it was the Khilji, Thughlaq, Lodhi or the Mughal dynasty, almost all rulers have left their mark in the city by constructing spectacular structures. This is the reason why I would encourage photographers, photography enthusiasts, travel bloggers and historians to travel to Delhi.
Today, almost every historical monument in Delhi is taken care of by the Archaeological Society of India (ASI). The ASI opens the gate to the monuments from sunrise to sunset. There’s a small entrance fee to be paid and usually, a camera charge is also levied. It’s important to note that ASI strictly does not allow the usage of tripods. I found this out by personal experience when I was stopped from entering a monument because I was carrying a tripod. There isn’t much information available on this topic but a few online sources state that if you do wish to use a tripod, you need to visit the nearest ASI office and get a written permission from them at least 1 day prior to visiting the monument where you wish to carry a tripod.
That being said, the best time to photograph the monuments of Delhi is at sunrise, when there are hardly any crowds, or sunset, just before the closing time when people start vacating the premises.
Soujanya with The Spicy Journey
Beautiful Wanaka in New Zealand
Wanaka, in New Zealand’s stunning South Island, is a photographer’s paradise. It is one of the most perfect places to visit to capture New Zealand’s natural beauty.
To get to Wanaka, you’ll most likely make your way to Queenstown first. This is a short flight from Auckland, or a 2-4 week road trip. It’s then a 1-hour drive to the town of Wanaka.
The iconic #thatwanakatree is the typical first stop for most photographers. This is a tree that has grown out of a fence post in the lake. You can set up your shot from the shore where the tree is backdropped by mountains and surrounded by water. Setting up a tripod first thing for sunrise is the best way to get the perfect shot – plus you’ll beat most of the crowds.
The Wanaka Lavender Farm is another great location, popular with wedding and portrait photographers, as well as Instagrammers. Sunset is a great time to visit to avoid the harsh midday sun.
Our favorite photography destination in Wanaka is Rippon Winery. This winery offers spectacular views over Lake Wanaka, with their dark green vines filling the foreground of your shots. On top of great shots, you can enjoy a free wine tasting (donation recommended) and take a bottle home. This is why we think Rippon is one of the best wineries in Queenstown.
Finally, Wanaka is home to Roy’s Peak. This is one of the most photographic spots in New Zealand, if not the world. Just bear in mind, this is an 8-hour hike, and to beat the crowds and get the best shot you’ll want to arrive before sunrise to set up. Bring a headlamp and be prepared for a tough hike.
Delilah with Our Travel Mix
Ashburton Lakes, New Zealand
If you are looking for a place that is untouched, has rarely been instagrammed and is visually stunning, then head to the Ashburton Lakes region in New Zealand. The collection of lakes, on a still day reflect the beautiful snowy mountains and in winter, light snow covers the ground, but generally not the access road. You are likely to have this beautiful spot to yourself and a couple of cars would class this place as busy. It is a must do if you are keen to get off the beaten track and just breathe in the beauty on your own.
My favourite is Lake Heron, but also stop at the small but beautiful Maori Lakes on the way. Check these out first, then drive over to Lake Clearwater. If you are a photographer who hikes, then try hiking up to Mt Guy with panoramic views over the lakes area.
Head out to the lakes in the early morning for the softest light, but stay for the midday sun for the most incredible sun stars.
Winter is the most beautiful time to photography this area
Also check out Mt Sunday, a stunning Lord of the Rings film location, in this area with 360 panoramic views of the mountains and valley.
How to get there: The Ashburton Lakes are found one hour just 2 hours south of Christchurch International Airport in the South Island. You will need to hire a car or campervan to access this region. You can freedom camp at Lake Camp to ensure you are the first to see the sunrise.
Jennifer from Backyard Travel Family
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