adventure sailing holidays-svalbard

7 adventure sailing holidays for your bucket list

From Pacific passages to a global circumnavigation via Cape Horn, here are our favourite adventure sailing holidays

Adventure sailing holidays have the ability to carry passengers to the far reaches of the world, accessing some of the most remote and magnificent scenery the world has to offer.

10 famous trees cut down by humans

Following the felling of the beloved Sycamore Gap tree, we dig into other famous trees cut down by humans

It was an act of vandalism that scandalised a nation. Britain’s iconic Sycamore Gap tree was cut down with a chainsaw in the early hours of 28th September 2023. The senselessness of the act was particularly poignant. There have been other famous trees cut down by humans, but there has usually been a reason: accident, protest, exploitation. In the case of the Sycamore Gap tree, it appears to be sheer malice.

The countries we most want to see

Seven years after their original list, Kia and Peter revisit the countries they most want to see

In 2017, during a long trip through Asia, I asked Peter a question: if you could see only five countries before you die, what would they be?

My rule was that he couldn’t choose countries he had already visited, nor stateless territories (e.g. Antarctica). Fast forward seven years and he has seen four out of five countries on his original list, so I asked him to come up with a new one. Given that he has been to 100 countries and all seven continents, it wasn’t easy – but he managed it.

India couple smiling at the camera – happiest countries in the world 2024

Ranked: happiest countries in the world 2024

Finland is the happiest country in the world for the seventh consecutive year. We take a look at the latest World Happiness Report

Happiness is a nebulous thing; hard to grasp and harder to hold onto. Scientists, economists and philosophers have defined it through the ages as a combination of different things, among them health, wealth, companionship and security.

Horsetail Falls illuminated by the setting sun

The most stunning natural phenomena on Earth

From the famous northern lights to the lesser-known sea of stars, we share the world’s most stunning natural phenomena

It’s firefall time. Every year, beginning around late February, the setting sun hits Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall at just the right angle to light the cascade in blazing orange and red hues, giving the appearance of flowing fire or lava. To celebrate the spectacle, we’re exploring the world’s most stunning natural phenomena.

The UN world food programme helps the world's poorest countries

Poorest countries in the world 2024 – ranked

African nations continue to dominate the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank

We all have preconceptions about places. Take Ethiopia, for example. As children of the eighties, Kia and I were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia has faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine.

It was easy then to imagine a vast desolate dust bowl ahead of our visit in 2017. 

japan has the most powerful passport

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2024

In 2024, the world’s most powerful passports are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain. Holders can enter 194 nations visa-free

It’s official. Globally, we are on the move again. In 2023, international travel got going again with arrivals reaching 87% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 975 million tourists travelled internationally during the first nine months of 2023, an increase of 38% on the same period of 2022.

crowds at Yellowstone national park watch a geyser erupt

9 US national parks that require a reservation in 2024

America’s outdoor spaces are becoming increasingly congested, so more US national parks will require a reservation in 2024

In 1872, the US established Yellowstone National Park. It was the first protected site in the country and only the second in the world after Bogd Khan Uul in Mongolia. Yellowstone soon became the international standard for the preservation of biodiversity and cultural history; a standard that has since been widely replicated around the globe.

A bright emerald lake in the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2023

After a hiatus from the blog, Kia looks back at our top 10 posts of the year

There’s a slight break from tradition this year here at Atlas & Boots. Our top posts of the year are usually a balanced mix of articles by me (Kia) and Peter. This year, however, all but one are by Peter thanks to my hiatus from the blog. 

Whitehaven Beach is one of the best beaches we've ever seen

The best beaches we’ve ever seen

After visiting 100 countries and seven continents, we share the best beaches we’ve seen on our travels

When I first went on holiday, I was 18 years old and on the lookout for the perfect beach. You know the sort: powdery white sand and clear turquoise water set against a blazing blue sky. In those early years of travel, I saw beautiful beaches in Barbados, Tunisia, Thailand, Mexico and Dubai, but none were quite the same as the brochures and the billboards.

America's most dangerous hikes

Not for novices: America’s most dangerous hikes

From an exposed ridge on a Colorado fourteener to a remote Hawaiian jungle trail, these are America’s most dangerous hikes

While most will – and do – complete these hikes unscathed, the trails can be perilous enough that a spot of bad luck, small mistake or slight miscalculation can leave you seriously injured, or even dead.

Exposure, crevasses, avalanches – all the usual threats can be found on America’s most dangerous hikes. But there are also a few wildcards here that can turn a walk in the park into a dice with death. Huckleberries, anyone?

Masaya is one of the most active volcanoes in the world

Most active volcanoes in the world

From stewing lava lakes to fatal eruptions, we chart the most active volcanoes in the world

Nature has many fearsome wonders – earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis – but none so fearsome as the most active volcanoes in the world. These hellish peaks feature in tales of ardour and heroism, loom over humble settlements and whisper threats of violence and destruction. Though potentially lethal, they hold a magnetic beauty that thrillseekers find irresistible.

Most beautiful mountains in the US: Grand Teton

21 most beautiful mountains in the US

The most beautiful mountains in the US are a contentious subject, for this is a land that brims with beauty. We scoured the states and whittled them down to a list of 21

Legendary climber​​ Reinhold Messner said that there are three rules of mountaineering: “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.” 

Ama Dablam is a thing of beauty

30 most beautiful mountains in the world

The most beautiful mountains in the world have captivated climbers for centuries. Here, we examine their lethal appeal

“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you,” said John Muir, the renowned naturalist, author and environmental philosopher.

If our resident seven-summit hopeful is anything to go by, Muir makes a valid point. Those who spend time in the mountains seem to be driven by a deeper force.

The Tsaranoro Massif is known as 'Africa’s Yosemite'

20 most stunning big wall climbs from around the world

From El Capitan in Yosemite to remote challenges in Greenland and Antarctica, we profile the world’s most stunning big wall climbs

It was five years ago that I first came across a big wall climber. A tiny speck on the side of a gigantic granite wall, the climber was bivvying in Yosemite National Park, the Holy Land of big wall climbing.

I couldn’t comprehend how someone could sleep tacked onto the side of a wall, suspended thousands of feet above the ground, sometimes in treacherous weather conditions.

most peaceful countries in the world 2020

Ranked: safest countries in the world 2024

The safest countries in the world have been updated for 2024. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below

Iceland is once again the safest country in the world followed by Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and Austria.

However, the world is not as safe as a year ago as the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated for the ninth year in a row. Eighty-four countries recorded an improvement while 79 registered a decline according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI).

Port Lockroy passport stamp from Antarctica

16 unusual passport stamps of the world

Some unusual passport stamps to collect on your travels, from breakaway republics to the northernmost and southernmost post offices

It may be unfashionable but I’m a bit of a box-ticker when it comes to travel. I’m working my way through the seven summits, the highest mountain on every continent (four down, three to go); I have a list of the countries I’ve visited (94 and counting!); and I keep track of memorable places such as the highest, lowest and driest spots I’ve visited.

how to visit Copán Honduras lead image

How to visit Copán in Honduras: a quick guide

Our guide on how to visit Copán covers everything you need to explore the enigmatic Maya ruins and charming Honduran town

At first sight, the Maya ruins of Copán in Honduras aren’t quite as grand as Tikal in Guatemala or Chichén Itzá in Mexico – but they are impressive in their own right. Copán is among the most significant Maya sites in Central America and has been called the ‘Paris of the Mayan World’ due to the sophistication of the artefacts found here.