A picture is worth a thousand words, and no one knows this better than top Instagrammers, who dedicate their jet-setting lifestyle to capturing the most breathtaking images that inspire wanderlust in the rest of us. The picture of a woman with her dress flowing in the wind on the edge of a Santorini cliff may entice thousands to flock to the same locale, but the production behind the picture-perfect shot tells another story—one that involves a lot of hard work, sweat, and sometimes even tears.
This year isn't yet over, but that doesn't mean we're not already planning our 2019 escapades. And while we may not be joining the ranks of Instagram stardom anytime soon, we too like to visually scour the Instagram world in search of our next elevated escape in the hopes of creating visual memories of our own. Curious to know which destinations caught the eye of these digital mavens? Scroll through their best Instagram travel memories and inspire a journey of your own.
The Wonders of Ephesus
"When I visited Turkey a couple of summers ago, I had really wanted to visit the ruins of Ephesus, but they unfortunately eluded me due to timing," says NYC-based blogger Krystal Bick of This Time Tomorrow. "So when we stopped off in Selçuk to roam around the 10th-century B.C. city, I was blown away. Personal highlight included seeing what remains of the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world."
The Sculptures of Storm King
"You know how people always say that sometimes the journey can be better than the destination? Well, I've found that to be especially true lately with various trips I have taken," says Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior. "A few of the best photo ops I've discovered were on the roads that led me to places I was heading to take photos. Storm King is a wonderful example of why it's important to keep your eyes peeled when you're on the road somewhere. The road leading to Storm King was exquisite. This oasis rests just 10 miles outside of NYC, and you would never know it existed unless you ventured out."
The Crystal Waters of Nassau
"I love the Bahamas," says Lauren Pruner of PR Blonde. "The people, the colored streets of Nassau and the crystal clear blue waters are the perfect backdrop for a wanderlust shot. We ventured over to the Queen's Staircase, an old spot covered in a jungle-like setting—a great place to get the true island flavor with tons of palm trees."
The White-Out Streets of Mykonos
"Mykonos was the perfect setup for white on white," says minimalist at heart Taye Hansberry of Stuff She Likes. "Walking through little nooks and crannies of Mykonos was like being transported to another world. The painted cobblestones on the tiny walkways were a sight to behold."
The Perched Villas of Positano
"From the colorful homes layered on the cliffside to the bright umbrellas lining the beaches, Positano is one of the most picturesque spots along the Amalfi coast," remembers Dallas-based blogger Ellen Flowers of The Perennial Style. "From the local vibes to visiting travelers, the city radiates a combination of style and romance you won't find anywhere else."
The Cliffs of Moher
"The Cliffs of Moher are truly magical," says Naty Michele. "I can't even describe the breathtaking view. It's something you need to experience for yourself at least once. I passed The Burren during a tour on the way to the Cliffs of Moher, and I was in awe. Being there in that moment was something that I knew I had to share."
The Blue Waters of Formentera
"It was my first trip to Ibiza, and I wasn't sure what to expect," reminisces Sara Azani, blogger at Style MBA. "To my surprise, I didn't step foot into a nightclub but spent most of my time enjoying the magical blue waters of Formentera and swimming through the local caves."
The Aegean Sea
"[Traveling] aboard the Jewel of the Seas was such an adventure," says San Francisco–based photographer and content strategist Angie Sylvie, who just returned from a 10-day cruise on the Mediterranean. "I loved going to the back of the ship to watch the departure and the sun going down each night—it made me stop, think, and appreciate where we just visited."
The Streets of Paris
"I go to Paris twice a year for fashion week, and I always love finding new places to take photos and share with my readers," says Pam Hetlinger of The Girl From Panama. "Paris is one of the most magical cities in the world. There are so many things that make this city so special, like the food, the architecture, the history, and, of course, the fashion."
The Blue Domes of Oia
"While visiting the port of Santorini, I stopped in Pyrgos to discover a beautiful little blue domed church," says Phoenix-based blogger Caitlin Lindquist of A Dash of Darling. "It was so humbling to enter such an old and beautiful place of worship and light a candle with my best friend while saying a little prayer in our heads."
The Beaches of Capri
"Capri is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places I've ever been to," gushes Kat Tanita of With Love From Kat. "I go every summer with girlfriends. Fontelina is one of my favorite beach clubs, and Mamma is a must for dinner!"
The Ruins of Pompeii
"The guided tour of Pompeii we did with Royal Caribbean taught us all about the ancient mosaics and ruins," says L.A.-based blogger Sydne Summer of Sydne Style. "My favorite part of the archaeological site was seeing the mansions. Even after the city was destroyed and covered in volcanic ash, you could still see remains of the intricate mosaic tiles."
The Fort of Tortugas
"Tortugas was only a two-hour ferry ride off Key West, Florida, and it was well worth the trip," shares L.A.-based blogger Brittany Xavier of Thrifts and Threads. "It's a historical fort with gorgeous clear water."
Pack These Summer Travel Essentials
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This story was originally published on November 21, 2016, and has since been updated.