WHAT I DID ON SUMMER VACATION

The year’s most breathtaking travel destinations, from National Geographic’s 2015 Traveler Photo Contest

With over 23 million Instagram posts already hashtagged #vacation, competition is increasingly fierce for most photogenic holiday background. Those looking for a little inspiration might consider checking out the latest batch of travel photo submissions from National Geographic’s 2015 Traveler Photo Contest.

Curated especially for Quartz, and captioned by the photographers themselves, the scenes below range from city heights to sacred caves and offer inside tips to the most remarkable views in Thailand, Brazil, Abu Dhabi, Greenland, the Caribbean, and elsewhere.

The light of future
A group of young monks visiting Khao Luang cave in North Phetchaburi, Thailand. (Carlo Murenu / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
The cyclist
A cyclist passes through the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia (Angiolo Manetti / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Floripa Sunset
Aerial image of a woman doing kayak in Lagoa da Conceição, Florianopolis, Brazil. (Chris Schmid / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Dreamscape
A stunning sunset colors the floating icebergs of the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland. It was a cloudy day so this amazing sunset has been unpredictable, but once we were there, it’s been like living in a dream. (Francesco Riccardo Iacomino / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
People relaxing in hammocks around 40 meters above the ground. This took part in an annual highline meeting in Monte Piana, in the Italian Dolomites last autumn. For some it might look like a nightmare to dangle so far above the ground but for some this was just the way to take a rest.
People relaxing in hammocks around 40 meters above the ground. This took part in an annual highline meeting in Monte Piana, in the Italian Dolomites last autumn. For some it might look like a nightmare to dangle so far above the ground but for some this was just the way to take a rest. (Sebastian Wahlhuetter / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Romania - Land of Fairy Tales
Whitefrost over Pestera village in Romania (Eduard Gutescu / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
The boat will not leave
A diver stand up front of the Hilma Hooker wreck. He look this boat and seem think it will never go away…it is sure. Also the bubbles seem make an interrogation point.<br /> The Hilma Hooker is a 200ft boat wreck. It rests with 100ft of water in the Caribbean Sea in Bonaire (a famous destination for scubadiving). (Marc Henauer / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
The photo is taken near Andaman islands while diving with a unique elephant, who likes to swim in the sea. It is one of the brightest experiences I've ever had.
The photo is taken near Andaman islands while diving with a unique elephant, who likes to swim in the sea. It is one of the brightest experiences I’ve ever had. (Mike Korostelev / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Welcome to Narnia...
A shot at the church in lake Bled at sunrise. (Ruzdi Ekenheim / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
On a very cloudy day, the shoot was taken from a hotel in Copacabana. The wind was strong, so clouds were passing by very fast. I had a brief moment to take the photo capturing the whole Corcovado in the background, before the clouds covered it again. Due to a visual effect, the shoot looks like it was taken from above, but in fact was taken from below the Corcovado.
On a very cloudy day, the shoot was taken from a hotel in Copacabana. The wind was strong, so clouds were passing by very fast. I had a brief moment to take the photo capturing the whole Corcovado in the background, before the clouds covered it again. Due to a visual effect, the shoot looks like it was taken from above, but in fact was taken from below the Corcovado. (Hector Olea / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
The Glow of an Arctic Dawn at Noon
It’s hard to find words to describe this scene other than “wow.” By the time the sun finally made it above the horizon on this day in early January in the Lofoten Islands, the entire world had turned cotton-candy pink. We sprinted around trying to capture every possible angle in the perfect light…only to realise that it wasn’t going away. In the end, it lasted for over two hours — the entire time that the sun was on the horizon before it set around 1.15pm. (Kristin Repsher / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Beautiful Paris
A monochrome version of Paris viewed from Montparnasse. I wanted the city reflects in the background behind the Eiffel tower. The bright sun from the sunset in the west brightened up the left portion of the image. (Jaco Marx / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)

Enter your own photo on the National Geographic website. The grand prize is an eight-day National Geographic photo expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, for two.

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