(CNN) — The northern lights glow green and blue over a mountain in western Iceland. Dogs run free along a beach in Spain as a spectacular sunset takes over the sky. Covered in a snowy white blanket, a volcano provides a fiery-red light display against the night sky in Chile. Flowers explode in a vivid, technicolor display at a expo garden in Jiangsu province in China. It’s a big and amazing world out there, full of spectacular destinations. And with the ongoing revolution in camera technology, there’s never been a better time to soak it all in than right now. At its best, travel photography inspires, intrigues and informs. It sets us on armchair adventures. It can spur us to actually plan a dream trip we’ve long sought to take. Or pictures can reveal a possible new journey that captures our imagination.
These photos not only show the natural and man-made beauty of our world, but they can also give us a glimpse of other people and cultures and the beauty within the human race.
Thousands and thousands of amazing images cross our computer screens each year, and in this space we share some stunners from 2018.
The gallery above is updated periodically. So when you’re ready to see another gorgeous part of the world — a colorful county fair in the United States, a dazzling nightlife scene in Malaysia, an otherworldly desert in Oman — return here for inspiration.