8 Travel Hot Spots Made Famous by Instagram Stars
Instagram wanderlust can be a tough predicament. One moment you’re scrolling through your feed, the next you’ve discovered the most beautiful destination posted by a travel blogger, and all you can think is I have to go there! Whether you’re planning a holiday or making a bucket list, these photogenic hot spots are an Instagrammer’s dream. Read on for the top eight photo-worthy hot spots to add to your must-see list—or Instagram feed.
When you think about a Croatian holiday, the classic image of medieval cobbled streets, startling jewel water, and luxury sailing ships tends to prevail. But if you’re planning a Balkan getaway that hugs the coast, you’re missing out. Unlike Croatia’s most popular holiday destinations, such as Dubrovnik and Hvar, Plitviče Lakes National Park is located inland. It might require a lengthy drive, but boy, is it worth it.
Pronounced plit-vit-shka, the UNESCO World Heritage site consists of16 interconnected lakes and is pinch-yourself picturesque. Few know this better than Tuula Vintage travel blogger Jessica Stein, who visited in 2014. Stein named the hot spot on her list of favorite locations around the world and says her dream is to return in winter, when the waterfalls are frozen.
Her hot tip: Start early. “We made it to Plitviče Lakes National Park the moment it opened and were able to experience its enormous beauty on our own,” she says on her blog. If you wait an hour more, the boardwalks are overrun with selfie stick–toting tourists, so hurry!
This image of Provence, France, is one of Gary Pepper Girl blogger Nicole Warne’s most popular Instagram posts of all time. It’s enough to make you want to book a ticket stat! Warne explored the iconic lavender fields in Southeast France in July 2013, and her captivating photos have been regrammed ever since. “The lavender fields were perhaps one of the most serene landscapes I have ever seen, and I’m still dreaming about them,” she says.
Undulating floral fields aren’t the only beautiful attraction in Provence. The region offers a long list of picturesque sites, from the centuries-old terra-cotta town of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to the bathing pastel flamingos in Camargue. Warne’s top travel tip is to time your visit. June is said to be the best month to avoid mid-summer heat, though the fields are in bloom until August.
Ah, Paris. The City of Light is a romantic’s dream, so naturally this hot spot is a favorite among travel bloggers. With the city’s lacy iron-wrought Eiffel Tower, fragrant flower shops, and hazy views from Sacré-Cœur, it’s hard to take a bad photograph in the capital of France. Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules says Paris is one of her favorite places in the world. “Paris is one of those cities that feels nostalgic even if you’re visiting for the first time,” she says on her blog. “It always feels like a fairy tale.”
If you’re planning a trip to Paris, Sarinana pinpoints Saint Germain as a must-see district. Oh, and don’t forget to drop by Ladurée. The world-renowned luxury bakery has been making macarons since 1862.
With its misty, powder-blue water and skin-soothing minerals, it’s no wonder the Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s top attractions. When Song of Style’s Aimee Song came across a photo on Tumblr, she knew she had to visit. Describing it as “one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited,” Song says the Blue Lagoon is worth braving the crowds. Located in a lava field, the geothermal spa is enriched with sulfur and silica.
Song recommends you book your trip for the summer. “The best time to visit Iceland is summer since the sun doesn’t set until midnight. [It] rises around 2 to 3 a.m.,” she shares on her website.
When Rachel Barnes Horowitz, aka Rocky Barnes, posted photos from her recent trip to Havana, Cuba, the Instagram world went into a spin. Describing her visit as a “sensory overload,” the model posted images showing a city bursting with color, beautiful architecture, and vibrant people. Combining Old World elegance with a distinctly Cuban flair, this city is set to see a rise in tourism, with as many as 10 million Americans predicted to visit this year.
Model and blogger Emelie Natascha is a Barcelona devotee. Since moving to the city with her boyfriend, Natascha has written regularly about why the Catalan capital is a must-see. From beautiful Gaudi architecture to a bustling art scene, Barcelona has a long list of attractions. Topping Natascha’s list is the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, a huge Spanish marketplace selling cured meats, fresh fruit, colorful juices, and local delicacies.
Famous for its magical sunrise balloon rides, there’s so much more to this Turkish town than most visitors uncover. Located in Cappadocia, Göreme is a quaint town built into the iconic caves and “fairy chimney” rock formations of the landscape. New Zealand blogger Leah Naomi shared breathtaking images of the photogenic area during a holiday to Turkey and captivated followers with her Talitha Getty–like photograph watching the hot-air balloons at sunrise.
If you’re traveling to Göreme or the Cappadocia region, be sure to stay longer than a day. Most visitors stay only to do a hot-air balloon ride, but those who linger will appreciate the area’s real beauty. Nature enthusiasts should aim to hike Pidgeon, Rose, and Love Valley, where you can explore the surreal landscape and even enter the abandoned cave homes.
A playground for Europe’s rich and famous, stunning Santorini attracts travelers with its black pebble beaches, whitewashed churches, and world-class cuisine. Oracle Fox blogger Amanda Shadforth took this photograph from a luxurious hotel, perched atop the volcanic caldera. “Apart from the obvious highlight of being one of the Instagram-friendliest locations, this magical place is brimming with cliffside swimming pools, crisp white interiors, and the kind of gourmet menus that leave you wishing you’d brought more oversize resort wear,” Shadforth muses. She recommends hiring a scooter to explore the island, and urges travelers to make a stop off in Oia—pronounced ee-ya—to watch the sun sink into the Aegean Sea.
Which destination is next on your bucket list? Tell us about your plan in the comments below.