A scene from Antarctica

30 best books about Antarctica: updated for 2024

From harrowing accounts of survival to a heartwarming tale of a rescued penguin, we list our favourite books about Antarctica

The most inhospitable place on Earth is an engrossing setting for any story, be it fictional or factual. Unsurprisingly, Antarctica’s literary canon is filled with tales of tragedy and/or survival against the odds. It would be easy, then, to fill this list with biographies of Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton alone. But Antarctica deserves attention beyond its tales of tragedy.

A turtle seen while snorkelling Baros Reef Maldives

Snorkelling Baros Reef in the Maldives

Snorkelling Baros Reef in the Maldives offers encounters with turtles, sharks and octopuses just steps away from powdery white sand

The private island of Baros in the North Male atoll of the Maldives is one of our favourite places on Earth. We first visited in 2012 on a press trip with flights, accommodation and all excursions included.

best day trips from Panama City, Panama featured image

8 best day trips from Panama City, Panama

From sun-blessed tropical islands to an engineering wonder of the world, these are the best day trips from Panama City

Situated on a small peninsula on the Pacific Coast, Panama City is Central America’s most attractive and cosmopolitan capital. The city has an impressive skyline replete with sleek skyscrapers and glitzy shopping malls as well a charming old town in the UNESCO-listed Casco Viejo. Best of all, it’s a superb gateway to Panama’s top attractions.

Isla Pelícano in the San Blas Islands

How to visit the San Blas Islands from Panama City

Our guide on how to visit the San Blas Islands from Panama City has everything you need for the perfect trip to this idyllic archipelago

When it comes to beaches, we’ve seen some stunners. From remote islands in the South Pacific to indulgent resorts in the Indian Ocean, we thought we’d seen the best of them. And then our little skiff washed up in the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama.

The emerald lake in Santa Ana Volcano in El Salvador

8 day trips from San Salvador in El Salvador

From hiking volcanic peaks to exploring Maya ruins, we share the best day trips from San Salvador, El Salvador’s bustling capital city

As the smallest and most densely populated of the seven Central American countries, it’s hardly surprising that El Salvador packs a lot into its borders. With a verdant tropical interior, charming colonial towns and superb surfing on its coast, El Salvador is arguably a microcosm of wider Latin America. And considering that many of the country’s best assets – hiking, hills and coffee – stem from its fiery geology, it’s easy to see why the country is known as the ‘Land of Volcanos’.

A beach on Ambergris Caye in Belize

Things to do on Ambergris Caye: La Isla Bonita

The best things to do on Ambergris Caye, the sun-soaked island just a stone’s throw from the Belize Barrier Reef

The largest island in Belize is also the country’s most popular tourist destination – and for good reason. La Isla Bonita as it’s affectionately known is perfectly positioned just a short distance from arguably the country’s greatest asset: the Belize Barrier Reef.

best dive sites in Belize lead image showing a diver with coral in belize

Best dive sites in Belize: our top 8 picks

We take a look at the best dive sites in Belize, from its famous giant sinkhole to Gladden Spit, home to the world’s largest fish

Pint-sized Belize on the Caribbean Sea has countless dive sites, from laid-back shore dives to intense drifts and everything in between. The translucent seas hugging the country’s idyllic coast are home to majestic coral gardens, aquamarine lagoons and out-of-this-world atolls.

A turtle we saw while diving the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize

Diving Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize

Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize is teeming with sea life. To get the most from your visit, it’s best to opt for a dive. Here’s why

The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of Belize’s most popular snorkelling sites. It offers vibrant coral formations and a diverse array of marine life packed into a small site with shallow waters in an easy-to-reach area of the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef.

Blue Hole Belize Lead Image

What is the best way to see the Blue Hole of Belize?

The best way to see the Blue Hole of Belize is from above. Here’s our guide on how to make the most of your scenic flight

In 1971, Jacques Cousteau famously described Belize’s Great Blue Hole (now the Blue Hole Natural Monument) as one of the world’s top 10 dive sites. Ever since, the giant sinkhole in the middle of the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef has captivated the public’s attention.

Flamingoes in Río Lagartos

How to visit Río Lagartos: a complete guide

Our guide on how to visit Río Lagartos, Mexico’s Biosphere Reserve home to flamingos, crocodiles and a not-so-pink lake

When 16th-century Spanish explorers first arrived on the northern shores of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, they found a mangrove-lined estuary which they named Río de Los Lagartos – the river of the lizards.

The travel that changed me: Melanie White

In a new memoir, former yacht chef Melanie White examines the dark side of luxury travel. Here, she explains why it was important to tell her story

At age 22, Melanie White is flying high. With good grades at school, a reliable university degree and steady graduate job, her feet are firmly planted on the ground until she finds herself plunged into the superyacht industry – despite having been on a boat only three times in her life.

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 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).

Svalbard in photos lead image 2022

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.

Svalbard midnight sun lead image 2022

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. 

Durdle Door is one of the most iconic sights of the Jurassic Coast

Going coastal: 15 best sea views in England

From brooding cliffs to storybook villages, we bring you a curated list of the best sea views in England

For a long time, Peter and I were ambivalent about the British staycation. For us, getting on a flight marked the start of a proper getaway. But then, a series of local trips began to change our minds. There was Clovelly, a picturesque fishing village on the north coast of Devon; Langley Castle in Northumberland; walking with my sister in the Chiltern Hills; and, for Peter, hiking the coast to coast and the South West Coast Path. These trips turned out to be some of our most memorable.