japan has the most powerful passport

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2023

In 2023, Japan has the world’s most powerful passport. Holders are able to visit 193 destinations without a prior visa

It’s official. Globally, we are on the move again. In 2022, international travel showed significant signs of recovery, with arrivals reaching 57% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 474 million tourists travelled internationally during the first seven months of 2022, compared to 175 million in the same period of 2021.

Mount Ushba on the Highlander Svaneti

20 interesting facts about Georgia

We share the most interesting facts about Georgia, collected on a two-week trip through the transcontinental country

Georgia may as well be called “Georgia, the country” thanks to its famous American counterpart. Unlike the US state, the country still feels uncharted. Bordered by Russia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, Armenia and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the west, Georgia is a land of deep green gorges, snow-capped summits and implausibly-placed medieval churches.

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9 best things to do in Kazbegi, Georgia

We share the best things to do in Kazbegi, Georgia’s spectacular northern frontier hiding in the clouds of the Caucasus

After trekking the Highlander Svaneti, I headed for Kazbegi in northeastern Georgia. Surrounded on three sides by Russia and occupied South Ossetia, the nature-packed borderland is famed for its rich medley of deep green gorges, snow-capped summits and implausibly-placed medieval churches.

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Trekking the Highlander Svaneti in Georgia

Trekking the Highlander Svaneti offers an authentic taste of Georgia’s unspoilt northwest, a region as beautiful as it is remote

Just 20 years ago, Svaneti was considered a danger zone. Today, with an embarrassment of snow-capped 4,000m peaks, enchanting villages dotted with tower houses and gleaming glaciers standing sentry over meadows of wildflowers, Svaneti is a paradise for hikers.

20 interesting facts about Svalbard

We share the most interesting facts about Svalbard, collected on our expedition to ‘the last stop before the North Pole’

Svalbard is said to be Europe’s last great wilderness. This archipelago of ice, rock and permafrost lies midway between Norway and the North Pole and is accordingly untrammelled. Measuring 24,209 sq mi (62,700 sq km), Svalbard comprises nine main islands, chief among them Spitsbergen, home to the de facto capital, Longyearbyen. Very little grows in Svalbard and it’s shrouded in darkness for much of the year, making it one of the most hostile places on earth.

facts about svalbard: Longyearbyen world’s northernmost town from above

Longyearbyen: a walking tour of the world’s northernmost town

Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost town, is easily seen on foot. We share our tried-and-tested route for exploring this remote outpost

It’s okay. You didn’t come all the way to Svalbard, anchored in the Arctic Ocean roughly midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole, to linger in Longyearbyen. You don’t need to “eat like a local” here or “get under the skin” of the destination. It’s just not that type of town.

Icebergs in Antarctica

Arctic or Antarctic: how to pick your polar adventure

Can’t decide between the Arctic or Antarctic for your polar adventure? Our guide will help you choose between 66° north or south

The North and South Poles were only “conquered” in relatively recent history. The South Pole was first attained in 1911 by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen after his epic race with the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott.

A walkway along Mount Hua Shan – one of the world's most dangerous hikes

Don’t look down: the world’s most dangerous hikes

With bandits, molten lava and wild animals posing a threat, blisters are the least of your worries on the world’s most dangerous hikes

From trekking across the treacherous windswept mountains of South Georgia to picking your way along the rickety walkways of Mount Hua Shan in China, these hikes are not for the fainthearted.

A group photo taken while Kayaking in Svalbard

Kayaking in Svalbard: ice and isolation in the high Arctic

Kayaking in Svalbard among the icebergs of Hamiltonbukta showed us the true magic and magnitude of nature in the Arctic

Sometimes, I hear myself talking about my job and think, “God, I sound ridiculous.” It’s usually when I’m rattling on about where I’ve been and have to check myself, remembering that most people aren’t fortunate enough to visit places like the Galápagos or Easter Island – let alone both in a single trip.

Polar Plunge Q&A: everything you need to know

The Polar Plunge is a fearsome rite of passage for visitors to Antarctica and the Arctic. Here, we share what you need to know so you can leap with ease

I still remember the moment I learnt about the Polar Plunge. I was at home in London on a typically gloomy day in the mid 2010s. I was wasting time online when I came across an article about Antarctica. Sadly, I can’t remember the writer’s name, but the photo of her was joyous: midway through the Polar Plunge, her body drawn into a starfish shape, a jubilant smile on her face. It was so pure and fun, and completely unselfconscious in a way that women are taught not to be. 

The museo subacuático de arte is one of our surreal man made dive sites

In videos: 12 surreal man-made dive sites

From lost ancient cities to the world’s largest underwater theme park, these man-made dive sites are sure to intrigue

At Atlas & Boots, we’ve dived some astonishing sites, from Steve’s Bommie in the Great Barrier Reef to the Sonesta plane wrecks in Aruba. We’re pretty hopeless at fish identification, so when it comes to diving, unless it’s a truly amazing reef system, we’re generally more interested in something unusual or unique (like an airplane or enormous bommie).

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In photos: 20 reasons to visit Svalbard

From vast landscapes and giant glaciers to sly foxes and posing seals, we share some of the myriad reasons to visit Svalbard in the Arctic

Known as the last stop before the North Pole, Svalbard proved to be the Arctic we had always imagined: midnight sun, gleaming glaciers and snowcapped peaks, a frigid ocean riddled with ice and extraordinary wildlife including walruses, sea birds and polar bears.

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Under the midnight sun: a surreal trip to Svalbard

In the land of the midnight sun, Kia finds a place of raw nature, rare wildlife and one of her most memorable moments of travel

It is said that you can’t die in Svalbard, the remote archipelago that lies midway between Norway and the North Pole. The permafrost here not only preserves corpses, it sometimes pushes them to the surface. The truth is that authorities would prefer you didn’t die on Svalbard. Coffin burials are not allowed due to the permafrost, so critically-ill patients are usually flown to mainland Norway. 

Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula

Where to stay in Cornwall – ranked by activity

An expert guide on where to stay in Cornwall whether you want to surf, sail, hike or cycle, or simply laze on a beach

The novelist and poet D. H. Lawrence once wrote that Cornwall is “like being at a window and looking out of England.” In this westerly point of mainland England, you will find a wild north coast of rugged cliffs and golden beaches, a calm south coast of sheltered waters and fishing villages, and dramatic moors in between. But Cornwall is not just a geographic microcosm; it also speaks to England’s heritage. 

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Wild continent: the best national parks in Europe

The best national parks in Europe are home to vast tracts of wilderness, often overlooked by those who flock to its cities

When we think of wild continents, Europe is probably last in line. Asia’s fearsome mountains, South America’s lush rainforest and Africa’s vast savannah are surely more impressive. Europe in comparison is famous for its cities: London, Paris, Rome and their ilk. 

The Dark Hedges double up as the Kingsroad in Game of Thrones

20 best natural wonders in the UK

From plunging gorges to fairytale woods, we share a handpicked list of the best natural wonders in the UK

We’d been back in Britain for a mere two weeks when Peter told me he was heading to Dartmoor to walk the Two Moors Way. Our recent trip through Europe had mainly stopped in cities and clearly hadn’t satisfied his need to be outdoors. Peter grew up by the coast, and swimming and hiking were formative parts of his childhood.