World’s Top Spring Destinations for Photographers
The cold white winter slowly gives its position to the spring. It is the perfect season for practicing travel photography. Spring is the time of the year when the days become longer, the weather is warm but not too hot, and the flowers are blooming everywhere, making the countryside of the Northern hemisphere look like a Monet painting. It's the best time of the year to travel if you are a nature lover and you want to capture with your camera the rebirth of nature. And here is my list with the Top 10 Spring Destinations for photographers!
Each spring, the Netherlands celebrate the famous flower and make sure that it blooms all over the country. Over a million people from all over the world head to Netherlands in order to admire and photograph the country’s stunning floral displays. Visitors can admire hundreds of varieties of tulips, in all colors and shapes almost everywhere in the country during this season.
Holland’s longest tulip route can be found in the Noordoostpolder in Flevoland, a route over 215 kilometers through nearly 2,500 acres of tulip fields. You will definitely be amazed by the colors and the variety of tulips, which in combination with some wooden windmills create an ideal place for spring photography.
Keukenhof hosts the most famous Tulip festival. It is one of the best places to discover and get shots of different kinds of tulips. Despite the beauty of the place, it can get really crowded, making photography kind of difficult. The flower parade of season 2018 will be held on the 21st of April 2018. Colorful floats covered in bulb flowers such as hyacinths, tulips and daffodils will parade during this huge event.
Amsterdam is, of course, the place with more than 500,000 tulips all around the neighborhoods, streets, and squares of the city. A stroll or a bike ride around the city is a fantastic way to explore the capital and discover why it is an ideal spring destination for photography. Either you want to have a road trip in the countryside or simply go for a walk at a park in Amsterdam you will definitely not miss the tulips!
Japan, Cherry Blossom Festivals
It is impossible to think of spring in Japan without an iconic image of a sea of flowering cherry trees. Known as Hanami, cherry blossom festivals are an important custom held in Japan from March to May. Hanami, literally “flower viewing”, is mostly associated with the sakura (cherry blossom), which shares the title of Japan’s national flower. Cherry blossoms symbolize the impermanence of beauty due to the fact that their beautiful blooms often last less than two weeks.
Hirosaki Park is considered one of the best cherry blossom viewing locations in the country. It is home to 2,600 flowering cherry trees with over 50 different types of trees. It is an ideal place for spring photography, especially during the night, when the blossoms along with the Hirosaki Castle become dreamy due to the night illumination.
Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo is also another park famous for its blooming cherry trees. Located in the heart of the city, it provides a contrast to the buildings of Tokyo. What is most interesting about this park is the fact that it is home to both late and early cherry trees, meaning that visitors will definitely see blooming flowers even if they arrive a week too early or too late for the main festival.
Another ideal spot for spring photography is Chureito Pagoda which offers breathtaking views of the famous Mount Fuji. Early morning offers the best lighting conditions for travel photographers who want to depict some wonderfully stereotypical images of Japan.
Sakura trees can be found all over the country. During the peak of the blooming season, which is usually in April, the Japanese people and the tourists visit this event. However, it is very difficult to predict the opening dates of the cherry blossom festivals in advance; the festival dates vary from year to year according to the cherry blossom forecast and they begin to bloom first in the south and then move northwards.
If you are looking for photography spots with sun, white beaches, palm trees and vibrant colors then Miami is the ultimate spring destination for you! Even though there is not a specific event here like the above, Miami offers a variety of options when it comes to travel photography.
The beach, of course, is one of these options; be prepared to capture breathtaking views of the endless seascape and white sand. The best time to shoot is the sunrise. You can also take photographs of the beautiful sunset from Maurice Gibb Memorial Park in Miami Beach.
Watson Island is definitely a good place to get amazing shots of the Miami skyline. Nowhere gives you a more complete view of the Biscayne Bay along with the twinkling lights of the downtown and the sea blue waters. Another good place to photograph the Miami lights is the Venetian Causeway that connects mainland Miami with the Venetian Islands and Miami Beach.
If you are interested in capturing urban views of the city, the best time to shoot is at night when the city comes alive. Ocean Drive is one of the most photographed places in Miami. It offers great shots of vintage cars and famous neon lit art deco buildings, such as hotels, restaurants and bars. From here you can also capture scenic views of the Port of Miami and the Miami skyline.
If you are interested in the more artistic side of Miami, Wynwood is definitely the right place. It is a neighborhood filled with graffiti covered walls, art galleries and hipster bars. Spring is the best time to enjoy and photograph Miami, the city of bright colors, neon lights and art deco.
Morocco is a very interesting destination for photography due to its colorful cities, street markets and amazing desert scenery. Marrakech is one of the imperial cities of the country, filled with mosques, palaces and gardens. Spring is the most pleasant time to visit Marrakech and capture the valleys with blooming flowers along with the stunning art that make the city a must-visit for photographers.
Marrakech’s market places are famous for the photo opportunities that they offer. Get lost into the Medina Souks and capture the color, energy and crowds of this bustling market that offers clothing, antiques, food as well as spices. Jemaa El Fnaa is another food market, ideal for street photography both during the day and the night. Keep in mind that the locals generally do not like you taking pictures of them or their shops, so always ask them first if it’s okay to take a photograph.
There is no better way to capture the Marrakech skyline than visiting a rooftop terrace. La Maison de la Photographie is actually a photography museum housed in a three-level building in the center of the city. It also houses a terrace which offers amazing rooftop views towards the Atlas mountain and brings out the Marrakech skyline.
Medrasa Ben Youssef was an Islamic college, now a must-see for photographers. It includes wooden hallways and a great courtyard with a water feature that creates interesting reflections. Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech, is an active place of worship consisting of curved windows, orange walls and a large plaza with gardens, offering the opportunity for great photographs.
Edinburg is one of Europe’s most beautiful and photogenic cities, consisting of incredible landscapes, monuments, and medieval streets. The city’s photography locations are endless. There are plenty of places that make Edinburg and ideal spring destination for photographers and here are some of the most important.
Calton Hill is undoubtedly the most famous place in the city to photograph the sunset. This location offers the most iconic views from Edinburg, towards Edinburgh Castle, the Balmoral Hotel, the Scott Monument and other notable attractions and buildings. It is also home to iconic attractions, such as the National Monument and Nelson’s Monument that offer a number of photo opportunities. Close to Calton Hill is the Princes Street Gardens, a large park that is particularly beautiful in spring due to its blooming flower beds and green space. It also includes historical buildings, such as the Scottish National Gallery, a great spot to photograph the scenes from above.
Visit Stockbridge, a suburb of Edinburg, for iconic photographs of a Scottish village. Cobbled streets, colorful window sills and old lampposts create a charming medieval atmosphere. Stockbridge is home to Circus Lane, a beautiful street only 10 minutes far from Princes Street. Close to Circus Lane is Dean Village, a picturesque oasis right by the Water of Leith.
If you’re interested in street photography, the Royal Mile is the place to be. Except for the charming main street with its historical buildings, you should definitely look for the mysterious hidden walkways that run off it. Another beautiful street is Victoria Street, a magical place with vivid colors and stone-built buildings.
For panoramic views – and photographs, of course – of the city, you should definitely visit Blackford Hill. Situated in south Edinburg, it offers breathtaking views of the whole city including the Castle and Arthur’s Seat. The best time to shoot is either sunrise or sunset.
Edinburg’s weather can be unpredictable, so even in spring there is a high possibility of rain. It is advisable to be equipped with a waterproof camera bag just in case.
Tuscany is one of the most picturesque regions in the world with a plethora of scenic sites to take photographs. Spring is most wonderful time of the year to visit the region. Historical cities, hilltop villages, beautiful countryside with breathtaking scenery are the reasons that make Tuscany an ideal location for travel photography.
Florence is one of the most loved places for photographers. Do not miss the opportunity to capture the hidden courtyards, historical streets and cathedrals, the reflections created on River Arno and the stunning panoramic views over the rooftops of the city. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is also a much photographed landmark famous all over the world. Lucca is a small town filled with flowers, ideal for spring photography. The city’s medieval walls, along with four kilometers lined with trees make the area is one of the most scenic places in Tuscany. The town of San Gimignano is another location that promises good shots, due to its imposing towers and medieval city walls.
Tuscany is known for its idyllic countryside and vibrant green fields, especially during spring. One of the most photographed spots is the La Foce gardens located in the southern part of the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage area. Here you will find the scenic undulating hills covered in the dense vegetation of vineyards, cypresses, olive groves and chestnut trees that are depicted in postcards. The Madonna di Vitaleta Chapel, situated in San Quirico d’Orcia, is one of the most photographed spots in Tuscany. The chapel is surrounded by a beautiful valley and both create an idyllic atmosphere especially during spring when the poppies are blooming.
The best way to discover the beautiful Tuscan scenery is to explore on your own by starting a road trip. Spend a couple of days, at least, and drive through the stunning valleys and hilltop villages. Do not forget, of course, to make many stops to take photographs of the iconic Tuscan countryside.
Spring season in North Carolina, when the cold winter gives his position to warm and friendly weather, means that it's the perfect time to explore the place. Asheville blossoms in the spring! Choose one of the hundreds of hiking trails that surround the city and enjoy the blooming mountains, the colorful flowers and the wild nature.
Visit the Blue Ridge Parkway, the most famous and beautiful Scenic Byway in the USA. Surrounded by countless blooming wildflowers it is the ideal place to capture the sunset with your camera. There is also an abundance of beautiful waterfalls in Asheville as well as gorgeous lakes. Lake Lure is a man-made lake nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering breathtaking scenery. Do not miss Craggy Pinnacle, the short mountaintop hike that promises 360-degree views above the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There are also plenty options for travel photography in downtown Asheville; visit one of the several rooftop venues and capture the mountain sunset. Street photography is a good idea as well, due to the unique buildings and art pieces – such as graffiti – that can be found here.
A geological treasure, hidden for many years in Anatolia in Turkey, starts getting very popular for travel photography addicts the last years and spring is the best time to visit. At the land of Hittites, hundreds of years ago, people utilized the soft stones and made incredible underground cities, cave houses and churches, leaving behind one of the most unique cities in the world.
Cappadocia is one of the most famous hot air ballooning sites in the world. The sky is filled with amazing colorful balloons that drift between the rocky summits. And what is the best way to capture your own balloon shot? Of course, by taking a balloon ride.
Rose Valley is a must-see for photographers who seek for the perfect spring destination. Surrounded by flowers, cave churches and fields full of trees and grape vines, the valley is a truly beautiful place. There are three different hiking paths but Güllüdere is the one with the most diverse landscape.
Right above the town of Goreme is a great spot for photography. Also known as the Sunset Point, this place is surrounded by balloons. It is a good spot to capture great panoramic views of the city and is also in a better and closer distance to the balloons. For more panoramic views, you should also visit Uçhisar Castle, the highest point in the area.
If you are interested in astrophotography, Cappadocia is an excellent place to visit in spring. Due to the hot and dry climate, skies are clear at night and offer the possibility of great night-sky shots.
Bali has a tropical, all year long warm climate with two main seasons, Dry Season and Rainy Season, so if you want to avoid the busy months of July, August and December then the best time to plan your trip is from the end of March until May. Explore the looming volcanoes and the tropical green rice fields and capture with your camera the iconic landmarks and beautiful landscapes of this tropical island.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is Bali’s most iconic temple. Situated at the edge of Beratan Lake, be prepared to get amazing shots thanks to the lake’s reflective surface that creates stunning illusions of the temple. The Tanah Lot sea temple is an impressive landmark offering beautiful scenery especially at sunset. You can go on the cliffs and get great shots of the panoramic views; however, do not be tempted to go too near the rocks because it can be really dangerous. Doors of Heaven at Pura Lempuyang, probably Bali’s most beautiful temple, is a stunning “split gate” that resembles a gate to heaven.
Seminyak Beach is a wonderful stretch of white sand featuring an endless blue sea and sky. It is a good place to get shots of the sunset and the beautiful seascape. You can also visit Banyumala Twin Waterfalls in the northeast area of Buyan Lake. Most part of the path is surrounded by greenery and flowers, so you can imagine why it is considered to be an ideal spring destination. Be careful because the road can be really slippery. Tibumana Waterfall is another smaller waterfall covered by trees, making it an idyllic place for spring photography.
No wonder why Bali is considered a heaven for photographers!
Great Wall of China, Beijing
One of the New Seven Wonders of the world, the longest wall in the world going through mountains, valleys, forests and hills. It's not hard to imagine why spring is the ideal season to visit this place. Start your journey from the capital of China, Beijing, visit the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and explore the ancient past and the modern development of the city. There are a lot of tour options, such as private tours, bike tours, or hiking tours to see the Great Wall of China. You can also just walk and explore the ancient paths by yourself or what about a helicopter ride to admire the wall from above?
The Great Wall has several breathtaking locations for photography. Simatai is ideal for those who want to get shots of the remote natural surroundings, far from the crowds and pollution of Beijing. Jinshangling is similar to Simatai but it is more popular. Make sure you arrive early to capture the sunrise and avoid the crowds. Juyongguan is a good spot for taking photographs of ancient buildings, towers and temples. Mitianyu requires a bit of a hike but it offers ideal scenery. And last but not least, Jiankou is a very rewarding spot but really difficult – and dangerous – to reach due to its steepness.
The Great Wall of China is probably the most popular landmark as far as China photography locations are concerned. We already recommended the best season to visit, so all you have to do is to arrive at the right time in order to avoid the crowds. And remember the words of Chairman Mao: ‘’until you reach the Great Wall, you’re not hero”.
Edited by Eleni Gkovedarou
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