15 of the most beautiful travel photos from around the world

Photos in the running for this year's contest

Pretty jaw-dropping
This year's National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is currently in its final week of submissions, and the photos that have already been turned in for consideration are pretty jaw-dropping.

Between three categories (nature, cities, and people), both amateur and professional photographers have been throwing their best work into the ring. The grand prize is a seven-day Polar Bear Safari for two at Churchill Wild: Seal River Heritage Lodge in Manitoba, Canada.

Ahead, see 15 of our favorite photos in the running for this year's contest, all of which will be judged based on their creativity, photographic quality, and composition.

South Iceland


Bangkok, Thailand

South Africa


Simon's Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Pavlodar, Kazakhstan

Tuscany, Italy

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Havana, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba

Toronto, Canada

Jodhpur, India

Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Tokyo, Japan

The Pinnacles, Western Australia


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