Just bought a camera drone? Then check out these 20 outstanding destinations!

Due to the rapidly increasing use of camera drones of private individuals during recent years, there are a massive number of rules and legislation concerning this new technological toy, which drone users should have in mind whenever going up in the air.

Every country has a different set of rules concerning drones and their usage. Therefore, always be sure that you are allowed to fly before setting up your drone in unknown places. Although legislation across countries varies significantly, there are some very common rules which will let you fly safely, and more importantly legally, in most countries. These basic rules include an approximate minimum distance from people of 150 meters, a maximum altitude of around 200 meters, the visual sight of the drone at all times, and of course valid insurance. Seems like a lot of difficulty for a fairly limited amount of fun, right? Well, if that’s your thought then you probably haven’t tried flying a drone yet!

Traveling to find spectacular scenes for drone footage can be quite the challenge. Usually, somewhere with waterfalls, mountains, lakes, forests and abnormal structures within the landscape make epic scenes for drone video and photography, which every photographer dream to capture. Here are 20 destinations where it is legal to fly for drone amateurs, and where you can be sure to find spectacular sights wherever pointing your drone camera.

19 The Atacama Desert

Usually, flying a drone is fun, highly exciting and most inconvenient. Many drone owners know about the excitement of unpacking their new drone, only to be followed by the confusing realization when trying to find a good place to fly it. In the Atacama Desert, however, there are so relatively few people per square mile, that disturbing anyone with your drone flying is almost impossible. Have in mind, however, that NASA’s Earth Observatory and other alien observation sights are located in this desert, so therefore always be sure to be at the other end of it when flying your drone.

18 Patagonia

Just like with the Atacama, the Patagonia region probably has quite a low population density, making it a perfect destination for drone enthusiasts who like some peace and quiet along with breathtaking landscapes. As there are relatively few airports and military bases here, drone flying is permitted almost anywhere, or cause whenever you are sure not to disturb other people or wildlife in the process. The famous Torres del Paine is a no-fly zone, as it is a unique national park where any disturbance could be compromising to the eco-system. Flying in most other parks is perfectly legal, however.

17 The Philippines

Breathtaking landscapes, symmetric natural formations, and outstanding structures are obvious dream scenarios for drone exploration. The Philippines is certain to provide it all. From turquoise lakes and tropical beaches to rice fields and fertile mountains, a trip to the Philippines with a drone will let you discover many different scenes on the same day. One special regulation in the country is the restriction to not fly near emergencies such as wildfire or flooding which often occurs several times per year. With a warm location within the Western Pacific Ocean, flying conditions are almost always perfect here, except during tropical storms, which are common in the area.

16 Micronesia

Flying a drone on a cloudy autumn day is not the most exciting way to explore the world from above. Although moody scenes can come from this type of weather condition, it is certainly more fun to have clear skies and amazing structures to focus on. That is exactly what you will get from flying around the islands of Micronesia. Although extremely remote, and very expensive to reach, the mesmerizing blue waters, green palm tree forests and golden sand beaches will make it very difficult to make a bad shot from the air. Furthermore, the huge amount of marine life in this region will give you the perfect opportunity to capture outstanding underwater scenes from the air!

15 Lofoten Islands, Norway

Finding the perfect spot for drone flying can indeed be quite tricky, especially when what you thought would make a beautiful shot from the sky turns to be spoiled by a nearby construction site. In the Lofoten Islands, however, you will not encounter any such inconveniences while flying. With space enough for days of exploration, this beautiful mountain range of northern Norway will create a perfect spot for some true Nordic scenes. Anywhere you set up your drone around these islands, you will be sure to capture stunning light and magnificent scenes all year round, night and day.

14 Trango Towers, Pakistan

If you can manage to get yourself there, the Trango Towers of Pakistan is a paradise for drone professionals and enthusiasts alike. A stunning landscape of tall mountains, lying under a blanket of white snow, is to be found in this peculiar site between the Middle East and Asia. If you had Pakistan mistaken for being a dry desert state, have a look at the snowy peaks of these northern Pakistan mountains. Although you might have to acquire some professional climbing skills before setting foot in this part of the country, it is worth a visit for anyone seeking spectacular, almost unreal views for drone photography.

13 Arizona, United States

In the land of legislation, of cause also drone flying is regulated heavily. Airports, military bases, and even national parks are no-fly zones in the United States. Rules are strict and not to be messed with and will certainly result in significant fines if they are violated. Nevertheless, Arizona is quite a big state, therefore allowing for some private exploration and magnificent colorful drone flying over this golden, cactus-covered region. Keep your drone out of national parks, away from people and in-sight at all times, and you are safe to explore the beautiful horizon on Arizona.

12 Australia

The deep turquoise water and vast marine life around the island of Australia make this island the ultimate destination for drone footage over the ocean. With a pleasant climate all year around, there is not much reason not to set up your drone at every beautiful spot you encounter in this ancient land. As with the US, however, strict flying restrictions apply over and around national parks and some other natural reserves. As with all destinations on this list, be sure not to disturb either people nor wildlife on your flying adventures, as this is just not cool and will probably get you a huge fine.

11 Mongolia

Flying drones is certainly a fun new form of entertainment for those who just can’t get high enough. Waterfalls, cliffs, mountains, lakes, forests and abnormal structures are just some of the great subjects that drone photographers dream to capture. However, traveling to find these spectacular scenes can be quite the challenge. Anyone who has witnessed the stunning footage from Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s movie Human, partly shot in the highlands of Mongolia, will agree that this is a perfect spot for some cool rural drone footage. With a huge untouched green landscape ready to be captured in stunning photographs, Mongolia is a must for drone enthusiasts.

10 Laguna Colorado, Bolivia

There are several shooting techniques when shooting drone video or photography. Trying to capture a scene through a wide-angle horizontal shot can be very tempting, however, a great tip is to turn your camera straight down for some unusual perspectives. By the Laguna Colorado in Bolivia, a spectacular sight will make your drone footage look fantastic anywhere you turn the lens. A lake covered in red with a snowy mountain background will definitely be worth the visit for drone owners. Be sure to keep in line with national rules as there is a vast amount of wildlife in the region which must not be disturbed.

9 Tepui, Venezuela

For those inaccessible places where you just know, that just around the corner there will be a spectacular view you cannot possibly miss, drones are your best friend. For those curious by heart, who would jump to their deaths just for an extraordinary look beyond the ridge or over the edge of a cliff, drones provide a perfect tool for more safe exploration. Tepui, Venezuela must be said to be one such place. Flying high around the country’s famous plateaus, with Mount Roraima being the most famous, it will feel like exploring an unknown world covered by rainforest and mystery.

8 Mauritius

Despite the islands famous ‘underwater waterfall’ actually being an optical illusion, this place is the perfect destination for fantastic ocean view drone photography. If you don’t want to drive around trying to find a perfect spot for the flight then Mauritius is the place to be, as there are literally no bad places to start. It has everything you dream of as a drone pilot including clear water, blues skies, coral reefs, tropical forests and green mountains. What more can you ask for really? Nothing! So, get your backside to Mauritius now and don’t forget some sunscreen, a bathing suit and of cause your drone!

7 Zakynthos Caves, Greece

If you are not one of those drone pilots whose stomach turns whenever seeing your dear drone flying out over open water, then the blue caves of Zakynthos are definitely an adventurous place to take your drone for a flight. Between the roofs of stone above and the deeps of the Mediterranean Sea below, this is a challenging place to fly. If you are not an experienced pilot then this destination is not recommendable as it will require some mad skills to navigate through the caves when the tourist tours have left for the day, and the evening is covering the caves in beautiful blue hour light.

6 Metéora, Greece

Famous for its ‘floating temples’, a network of complexes of Eastern Orthodox Monasteries, this Greek region is one of those places which can only be fully explored by drones, as some of the spires of these mountains are pretty much inaccessible. This beautiful spot is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, however, there seem to be no restrictions as to flying a drone over the rock towers of this region. Greece, like most of Europe, only restricts flying close to military bases and airports, and thus not in the national parks of other attracting outdoor attractions.

5 Huanglong Valley, China

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Huanglong Valley is worth the visit during any occasion really. Although any written regulations concerning drone flying in the area are hard to find, it would certainly be an extraordinary sight to see the famous pools of this park from the air. Between colorful blue pools, yellow and red rock formations and low green forest, this place appears as magical from the air as it does from the ground. Be sure to turn your drone camera straight down when hovering over the pools to get a distinctive shot of the area and its colorful magic.

4 Cape Enniberg, Faroe Islands

Drones are perfect for rural exploration or for stunning images of those places you just can’t reach on foot. Diving into mountain caves, zooming out over the ocean from the tip of a cliff, or searching for patterns in nature are just some of the experiences that get drone owners super excited. In the Faroe Islands, roads are scarce and therefore any help getting to that beautiful view from the mountain or the inaccessible coastline is much appreciated. Make your drone take a leap of faith while flying out over the stunning cliffs of Cape Enniberg.

3 Scottish Highlands

If you are looking for that dramatic moody drone footage, then the Scottish Highlands is the place to take your drone on its next adventure. Rich in deep dark lakes and green mountains, this is the perfect drone destination for replicating that magic scene from 23. James Bond movie, Skyfall. With a lot of empty space to fly over, and abandoned ruins to circle around, this destination will assure you a full day of flying, without any disturbance from either private people or from the national administration. Watch out for heavy rainfall though as this doesn’t tend to go well with drones.

2 The Swiss Alps

As the weather conditions are crucial to the safety of drone flying, as well as to the possibility of ever seeing your drone again, lower temperatures are actual to favor when looking for a perfect spot to make your footage. As most amateur drone batteries are discharged rather quickly (with between 10- 20 minutes of flying time), simply due overheating, the cooler weather might actually contribute to longer flying times, thereby extending your time to capture that beautiful snowy mountain sunrise over the Swiss Alps. You might also get a glimpse of one of the small towns spread across this region.

1 Bornholm, Denmark

Even though you might not think of Denmark as a very exotic destination for drone flying, probably due to a cloudy reputation and the general lack of mountains, then think again. Denmark is home to more than 400 named islands of which the biggest is Bornholm. It is located in the Baltic Sea, easy to get to by plane or boat, and has a beautiful landscape perfect for some rural exploring. Flying close by the spectacular Hammershus, one of Scandinavia’s oldest medieval fortresses by the seaside will give you a perfect focal point for a horizontal shot of the island.

References: UAV Coach, 3D Insider, Drone Traveller