As you begin to draft those 2016 New Year’s resolutions, a fitness related goal is probably going to take the number one spot. But we’re guessing a travel related resolution will be following close behind. Maybe you want to make 2016 the year that you take a big trip but you’re not sure where to go. Here’s where National Geographic can help. The publication recently released a collection of the best travel photos of 2015 — and they’re going to make you book a plane ticket immediately.
While browsing through the top 50 images, you’re taken on a trip across the globe from the desolate mountains of Norway to an idyllic view of the northern lights to a vibrant market in Malaysia. If you’re in need of a bit of a nudge, one glimpse at these wanderlust-inducing photos is sure to point you in the right direction. Below are a few of our favorite snaps, each accompanied by captions provided by National Geographic.
1. Trollstigen, Norway: Photographer Sean Ensch captured this shot of western Norway’s famously serpentine Trollstigen road. “I was lucky enough to live here for two months during summer and one evening I saw the valley filling with fog,” he says in his 2015 Traveler Photo Contest submission. “So I drove up the road to watch the late summer midnight sun set as the fog swayed through the valley below.” (Photo via Sean Ensch)
2. Skaters on Lake Baikal, Russia: This photo was taken while ice-skating on Lake Baikal in Russia, says Evgeny Dubinchuk, who submitted it to the 2015 Traveler Photo Contest. “Baikal in winter becomes the biggest ice rink in the world, fully covered with small and huge cracks, resembling a spider’s web,” he says. “On the photo, you can see small figures of skaters dragging loaded sledges behind.” (Photo via Evgeny Dubinchuk)
3. Coyote Buttes, Arizona: A hiker makes his way through the Wave, a swirl of striped, fossilized dunes in the Coyote Buttes of Arizona’s far north. The Bureau of Land Management admits only 20 people a day to the Wave, so visitors are left nearly alone in the geological wilderness. (Photo via Stephen Matera)
4. Kota Bharu, Malaysia: Fresh produce and baskets of fish surround a woman at the Siti Khadijah market in Kota Bharu, Malaysia. The city is close to the Thai border. (Photo via Duratul Ain D)
5. River Delta, Iceland: “Volcanic silt creates amazing patterns as glacial waters merge in this river delta in Iceland’s south,” writes 2015 Traveler Photo Contest entrant Aya O. (Photo via Aya O.)
6. Reindeer Herder, Mongolia: Your Shot photo community member Pascal Mannaerts took this picture of a reindeer herder near Lake Khovsgol in northern Mongolia. “Meeting them after several days of horse riding through the taiga and snow at times was unforgettable,” Mannaerts writes. (Photo via Pascal Mannaerts)
7. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile: The Cuernos (Horns) del Paine grab the early morning light in Chile’s wild Torres del Paine National Park. Once the haunt of a few stalwart climbers, the park now draws more than 100,000 visitors a year. (Photo via Gleb Tarro)
8. Cape Town, South Africa: “I took this picture at an amusement park down by the [Victoria and Alfred] Waterfront in Cape Town,” says Philip Grube, who entered the 2015 Traveler Photo Contest. “It was a clear blue sky when I saw these kids crawling, running, and trying to balance themselves in these shiny plastic bubbles in a pool of water. The reflection of the water in combination with the effect of the bubbles under the blue sky looked somehow surreal.” (Photo via Philip Grube)
9. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington: The huge columnar lava structure known as the Devil’s Pipe Organ dwarfs a hiker in Mount Rainier National Park. An active volcano, Mount Rainier has erupted thousands of times during its relatively young life of 500,000 to one million years. (Photo via Tianjia Zhang)
10. Paris, France: The City of Love spreads around the Eiffel Tower, seen here from the Montparnasse Tower. For many, Paris is synonymous with love itself. The city has been home to such timeless pairs as sculptors Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel and writers Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller. (Photo via Brian Hammonds)
See the full collection of photos on National Geographic’s website.
What’s the best travel photo you’ve ever taken? Tag us in a pic on Instagram @britandco.