7 mins

The 10 best travel icon photos from Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year 2019

Marvel at our shortlisted photographs of the world's most iconic travel destinations, including colourful villages, a rain-pelted Seville street and a classic Vietnamese fish market...

Colourful village Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Iran (Babak Mehrafshar)
Classic rainbow Havana, Cuba, (Pablo Borrego)

Classic rainbow Havana, Cuba, (Pablo Borrego)

Classic American cars are a huge part of Cuba’s heritage – a constant reminder of the 1960 US embargo that followed Fidel Castro’s revolution.

At that time, some 150,000 classic cars populated the roads of Cuba; today, around 70,000 of those cars are still running.

They have become iconic, representing preservation and endurance – characteristics perhaps synonymous of the Cuban people themselves.

- Pablo Borrego 

Lady in the rain Seville, Spain (Barry Pope)

Lady in the rain Seville, Spain (Barry Pope)

Soon after arriving at the Plaza de España, the rain started to fall. We all ran to take shelter under the long, curved veranda of this magnificent building, built for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929.

Just then a lady appeared below us with her umbrella, and it occurred to me that this scene would make a wonderful photograph.

I positioned myself behind the water flowing from the gutter before taking the shot. I knew straight away that it would capture the essence of the day perfectly.

- Barry Pope, Retired Business Consultant 

Luckenbach. Population: 3, Luckenbach, Texas, USA (Rebecca Banks)

Luckenbach. Population: 3, Luckenbach, Texas, USA (Rebecca Banks)

Luckenbach’s general store opened in 1850 and, when you visit, you pretty much feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

But while the main square was busy with visitors, I walked around and saw this darling lady taking a minute outside the general store.

So I took a snapshot of the face filled with a thousand stories and her model-esque pose defying her years. Everybody’s somebody in Luckenbach.

- Rebecca Banks, PR Director 

Colourful village Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Iran (Babak Mehrafshar)

Colourful village Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Iran (Babak Mehrafshar)

This image was taken at the village of Sar Aqa Seyed. Its interconnected buildings are built into the mountains and have an unusual and beautiful architecture, with roofs serving as the courtyards and streets of the buildings above.

Most of the homes have no windows and only one door. One morning, when everyone else was sleeping, I woke up early to shoot before the sunrise.

Suddenly, I saw a woman carrying supplies for her livestock and took the chance to photograph her as she moved through this remarkable village.

- Babak Mehrafshar, Electronic Engineer 

Loose button London, UK (Monika Mazurkiewicz)

Loose button London, UK (Monika Mazurkiewicz)

The Queen’s Life Guards are stationed at the entrance to St James’ and Buckingham Palaces.

Every afternoon, in the courtyard of the Horse Guards, a dismounting ceremony takes place. However, I arrived quite late so the only available space to watch it was at the rear.

As one of the officers moved around the guards I was immediately drawn to his white glove emerging from the sea of red coats, checking up on a loose button.

- Monika Mazurkiewicz, Dental Nurse 

Bringing in the catch Binh Minh fish market, Quang Nam, Vietnam (Dave McKay)

Bringing in the catch Binh Minh fish market, Quang Nam, Vietnam (Dave McKay)

Hoi An is a fascinating place to visit. One of my highlights was a trip a little further south to the local fish market on the beach at Binh Minh.

I arrived early enough to watch the sun rise, revealing the fishing fleet that had been out all night anchored just off the coast.

The night’s catch was being ferried ashore in the iconic Vietnamese basket boats.

- Dave McKay, Retired 

Maze Isfahan, Iran (Mohammad Reza Masoumi)

Maze Isfahan, Iran (Mohammad Reza Masoumi)

This is one of the old ‘pigeon hotels’ in Isfahan, once used to provide a honeycomb of nesting spaces for the birds, who in turn provided fertiliser for the local farmers.

- Mohammad Reza Masoumi, Teacher 

Bazaar Kashan, Isfahan, Iran (Ali Asghar Yousefi)

Bazaar Kashan, Isfahan, Iran (Ali Asghar Yousefi)

The ancient buildings of Kashan have always been a symbol of traditional Iranian architecture.

When I was photographing on the roof of the old bazaar in Kashan, a young woman passing through caught my attention.

I asked her to cross the brick skylights once again so that I could photograph a combination of her veil, the skylights’ architecture and the texture of the cloud.

- Ali Asghar Yousefi, Unemployed 

Into the London Eye London, UK, (Monika Mazurkiewicz)

Into the London Eye London, UK, (Monika Mazurkiewicz)

The Trooping of the Colour is a public celebration of the Queen’s birthday and a highlight is the fly-past of the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows.

I escaped the crowds and stood on Lambeth Bridge looking onto the London Eye.

This turned out to be the ideal view. I followed the nine planes with my camera as they emerged over the horizon and appeared to be soaring into the London Eye.

They carried on towards Buckingham Palace leaving red, white and blue vapours behind them.

- Monika Mazurkiewicz, Dental Nurse 

USA A-OK Times Square, New York, USA (Philip Tomlinson)

USA A-OK Times Square, New York, USA (Philip Tomlinson)

The American flag is an iconic symbol of patriotism and freedom to all Americans. For this reason they display or hang the flag wherever and whenever they can.

This image was taken in Times Square, NYC. The illuminated lights were perfect for producing a high contrast image.

The cars in the foreground reflect the light perfectly and help to draw the viewer deeper into the image.


- Philip Tomlinson, Architect

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