Secret staircases, heart-shaped islands, epic icebergs and fairy-tale castles.
Scrolling through photographer Peter Rajkai’s Instagram feed is a journey of discovery, a photographic tour of some of the world’s most incredible landscapes and architectural treasures.
And always captured in mesmerising style – there’s a reason he has over 90,000 Instagram followers.
Peter, from the town of Budaors in Hungary, is particularly drawn to the geometric shapes and spiral forms of staircases, but is keen not to pigeon-hole himself.
He says: ‘Most photographers are interested in only one or two genres, but my plan is to make a really excellent photo in almost every category.’
Here we present 20 of Peter’s top shots, taken in the likes of Greenland, Hungary, Croatia and the UK.
This stunning drone shot shows one of the sources of Croatia’s 62-mile-long Cetina river – a breathtaking karst spring near the tiny village of Cetina near the Dinara mountain range known as ‘the eye of the earth’. This image garnered over 23,000 likes when Peter posted it to Instagram
LEFT: It’s hard not to fall in love with this beautiful shot, which shows privately owned Galesnjak, a rare naturally occurring heart-shaped island in the Adriatic’s Pasman Canal. There isn’t much on the island, apparently, except some wild plants and a colony of rabbits. RIGHT: Peter reveals on Instagram that he got up at 4.30am so he could get a shot of this waterfall in Croatia’s Krka National Park before the crowds arrived. And the effort paid off. He adds: ‘[It’s] the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen (and yes, I’ve already been in Iceland)’
A spellbinding sunset shot of the stunning Palacio Nacional da Pena in Sintra, Portugal. The palace is described by sintra-portugal.com as ‘a hedonistic mix of vividly painted terraces, decorative battlements and mythological statues’ and ‘one of the finest tourist attractions in Portugal’
Behold the Unesco-listed Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, comprising 16 lakes interconnected by waterfalls and set, says visit-croatia.co.uk ‘in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare birds’. Peter reveals that the lakes’ hues vary from deep blue to emerald green and from turquoise to teal, depending on the season and the weather conditions
This jaw-dropping picture was taken in Greenland, with Peter explaining the story behind it on Instagram: ‘When you send your drone to an iceberg three kilometres away in a stormy cross-wind, so it is questionable it will return (above water)… then a speedboat appears at the perfect moment (for scale): Epic! (The drone landed safely, with about half a minute of flying time left)’
LEFT: The fantasy-land Quinta da Regaleira villa in Sintra, Portugal, built in 1904, contains multiple enigmatic architectural flourishes, with its two ceremonial ‘Initiation Wells’ arguably the most extravagant at the Unesco-listed property. This image shows one of them. RIGHT: The magnificent staircase at The Connaught hotel in London
Hobbit homes in The Shire? No, this magical photo shows unique hillside wine cellars in the village of Hercegkut in Hungary’s famous Tokaj region, known for its sweet wines
An eye-catching photo of a building in Vienna with flamboyant verandas. Peter calls this image ‘Drawers Left Open’
Here Peter reveals an example of hypnotically symmetrically architecture in Vienna. To date, almost 10,000 people have liked this image on Instagram
In the heart of Budapest is a secret 18th-century library, housed in the Catholic University Church (a former Pauline Monastery, and also known as the Church of St Mary the Virgin). It features beautiful spiral staircases in two of the corners, tucked in between the bookcases. This picture that Peter took of one of them has had nearly 6,000 likes on his Instagram profile
A stunning sunrise shot of Austria’s 12th-century Burg Kreuzenstein castle
The 14th-century Visovac Monastery on the island of Visovac in Croatia’s Krka National Park
A coal loader dating from 1927 on the Danube in Hungary, abandoned since 1970, according to Peter
This magnificent edifice is Esterhazy Palace in Fertod, also known as the ‘Hungarian Versailles’. The 18th-century complex has 126 rooms, four of which were occupied by composer Joseph Haydn between 1766 and 1790
A distinctly moody shot of privately owned Austrian castle Burg Liechtenstein, which has featured in films including The Vampire Happening and 1993’s The Three Musketeers
Tranquillity: A jaw-dropping private island home that Peter found in Austria
A shot of Antoni Gaudi’s Unesco-listed residential building Casa Mila (aka ‘the stone quarry’) in Barcelona that has so far scooped over 7,100 likes on Peter’s Instagram feed
An alluring view out from Boldogko Castle in Hungary’s Zemplen Mountains. Peter recommends trying the medieval menu at the castle’s Castrum Boldua restaurant
To see more of Peter’s work visit his Instagram page here.