Bamburgh Castle as the sea fog cleared: Bamburgh, Northumberland (Sandy Welsh)
List 28 January 2019

The finalists: 10 stunning images of travel icons from this year's Photo of The Year finalists

Ahead of the Wanderlust Photo of the Year 2018 results on Friday 1 February, we give you a sneak peek at this year's top ten in the Travel Icons category...

The magnificent Mont: Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France (Donald Yip)

The magnificent Mont: Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France (Donald Yip)

A sunrise climbs over the immense monastery of Mont Saint-Michel, an island distanced by an endless horizon of sand and ocean. I was incredibly lucky to have such a sunrise to myself. This image was captured by drone during low tide, when you can access the island by foot or by car; however, at certain times of the year, when the lunar phases are just right, the site is completely surrounded by seawater.

 

 

 

 

Submission: Karnataka, India (Sunayana Dhang)

Submission: Karnataka, India (Sunayana Dhang)

The image was shot at the top of Vindhyagiri Hill in the sleepy town of Shravanbelagola, where a 17m-tall monolith of Lord Bahubali is anointed once every 12 years. During this auspicious ceremony, milk, saffron, turmeric and sandal powder are poured over the head of the deity while a prayerful devotee from the Jain community is touched with divine perception.
This image looks across the lagoon to San Giorgio Maggiore on a cold snowy day in February. I noticed the young lady with the red umbrella approaching from the right, which adds a spark of brightness to what otherwise could have been a very dull and miserable scene.

 

 

The red umbrella: Venice, Italy (John Holt)

The red umbrella: Venice, Italy (John Holt)

Colourful Cuba: Havana, Cuba (Geraint Rowland)

Colourful Cuba: Havana, Cuba (Geraint Rowland)

Cuba is a photographer’s dream: full of colourful classic cars and beautiful architecture. This image was taken on the seafront road in Havana. One afternoon, after a heavy downpour, I returned to this beautiful white Orthodox church and started photographing the cars as they drove past. Using a wide-angle lens, I got as close to the action as possible and adopted a low angle to ensure both the car and the building were in the frame. Finally, I used a fast shutter speed to freeze the splash of the water made by the passing cars.

 

 

 

Fasting festival Rakher Upobash: Dhaka, Bangladesh (Md Rafayat Haque Khan)

Fasting festival Rakher Upobash: Dhaka, Bangladesh (Md Rafayat Haque Khan)

Shri Lokenath was an 18th-century Hindu saint and philosopher in Bengal. During the fasting festival of Rakher Upobash (or Kartik Brati), thousands of Hindu devotees sit on the floor to worship with food and lights, praying to the gods in front of the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram and Temple in Dhaka.
This image of Bamburgh Castle was taken on what turned out to be a beautiful summer’s day. But the morning began with a thick sea fog rolling in off the cold North Sea. As the day warmed up, the castle could occasionally be glimpsed through the fog; then, eventually, the mist seemed to dramatically boil away off the beach, which was when I took this shot.

 

 

 

 

Bamburgh Castle as the sea fog cleared: Bamburgh, Northumberland (Sandy Welsh)

Bamburgh Castle as the sea fog cleared: Bamburgh, Northumberland (Sandy Welsh)

Fruit delight: Marrakech, Morocco (Miguel de Freitas)

Fruit delight: Marrakech, Morocco (Miguel de Freitas)

The Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakech’s medina can be a challenge for photographers. It’s busy and sometimes pushy. I’d walked around for some time before approaching this stall in the evening, when things were starting to wind down. I asked the owner’s permission to take a photo; he reluctantly nodded while gesturing that it be a quick snap. Without being prompted, he shovelled a scoopful and held it out towards the camera for a brief second.

 

 

 

 

Balloons over Bagan: Bagan, Myanmar (Thomas Lipp)

Balloons over Bagan: Bagan, Myanmar (Thomas Lipp)

This image was captured in Bagan, the former capital of an ancient kingdom. During its height, almost a thousand years ago, more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and shrines were constructed – more than 2,000 remain to this day. Every morning in winter, balloons rise over the city at sunrise and travel across the temple plain – a majestic and unforgettable sight.
This image captures the Eid ul Fitr prayer at a mosque in Varanasi, India. Eid prayers, also known as Salat al-Eid and Salat al-Eidain, are the special prayers offered to commemorate two Islamic festivals. This image depicts the Hindu-Muslim brotherhood, exploring the dynamics of communal relations in Varanasi – a holy city for the Hindus.

 

 

 

 

Eid ul Fitr prayer: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India (Sirsendu Gayen)

Eid ul Fitr prayer: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India (Sirsendu Gayen)

Friday prayer: Tongi, Bangladesh (Md Rafayat Haque Khan)

Friday prayer: Tongi, Bangladesh (Md Rafayat Haque Khan)

Muslims from around the world attend Friday prayers in the streets of Tongi during the first day of Bangladesh’s Muslim Congregation, known as Biswa Ijtema.

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