As the year comes to a close, we’ve been looking back over our favourite features of 2016. We published around five hundred articles and photo stories this year, working with contributors from around the world.

Here, we’ve collected our favourites. A huge thanks to our brilliant team of writers, photographers and editors and – of course – you, our readers, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. Here’s to another great year of travel.

Interview: Meet the 80-year-old explorer who just won’t stop exploring

In February, we spoke to Robin Hanbury-Tenison, who’s still embarking on fascinating expeditions around the world at the age of 80.

He’s been awarded the Patron’s Gold Medal by the Royal Geographic Society and is currently undertaking eight challenges in an effort to raise £80,000 for Survival International.

Tent, stars, nightPixabay/CC0

Longread: Riding the Ghan through Australia’s red centre

Join Shafik Meghji, co-author of The Rough Guide to Australia, on one of the world’s great railway journeys, from Darwin to Adelaide. “It felt a bit like taking the Orient Express across Mars”, he said of the experience.

Outback, AustraliaPixabay/CC0

Video: 7 signs you’re addicted to travel

It turns out we’re not the only ones addicted to travel, as more than half a million of you watched this video, edited by Colt St George. If you rarely see a plane without wishing you were on it, this short film is for you.

Hiking viewPixabay/CC0

Photo story: The Western Ghats: one of India’s least-explored regions

Our author has crossed the Ghats many times on updating trips for The Rough Guide to India, taking this series of photographs between 2010 and 2014.

In this piece he takes us on a visual tour of this rugged and remote region, from the slopes of Kolukkumalai, the world’s highest tea plantation, to the fascinating hill station of Matheran.

Morning mist cloaks a tea estate at Valparai in Tamil Nadu© David Abram

List: Britain’s best seaside towns

Lovingly compiled by our editors, this list combines childhood bucket-and-spade holiday destinations with the latest up-and-coming coastal hotspots.

Whether you’re dreaming of fish and chips on the quayside or long stretches of golden sand, you’ll find summer holiday inspiration aplenty.

England, Suffolk, Southwold, beach huts

Essential reading: The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are among the most intelligent creatures on the planet, and awareness of their poor treatment finally starting to grow.

In this piece, Gavin Thomas looks at the realities of elephant tourism and how to find more ethical alternatives.

elephant-1599763_1920Pixabay/CC0

Food and drink: Patagonia’s blossoming beer scene

The Patagonian craft beer scene has been a long time coming, says Steph Dyson, winner of our 2015 writing competition. Get a taste of what’s on offer with this epic round-up of the region’s best brewery tours, gastropubs and more.

Glacier, Chile, PatagoniaPixabay/CC0

As chosen by you: The most beautiful places in Italy

This December, we asked our readers to vote for the most beautiful places in Italy – and we weren’t disappointed.

Florence’s glorious architecture, the scenic shores of Lake Garda and Capri’s staggering views were just a few of your highlights.

Tuscany, Italy

Pixabay/CC0

Travel advice: Solo travel for introverts

Think you need to be outgoing to travel alone? Think again. If you’re nervous about going solo, this feature by Editor Becca Hallett extolls the virtues of travelling your own way to get the most out of your trip.

Girl camping, cosy, tentPixabay/CC0

Q&A: A first-timer’s guide to Tibet

Visiting the “roof of the world” might be an unforgettable travel experience, but it’s one that comes with obstacles and moral dilemmas. Stuart Butler looks into the politics and the practicalities in this short Q&A.

Temple, Tibet© Stuart Butler

Off the beaten track: Japan’s remote and wild island

On a trip to Japan, Neil McQuillian discovers that the island of Sado has a strange, irresistible power. Follow him to this wild, weather-beaten isle for “demon drummers”, sake and splendid isolation.

JapanPixabay/CC0

Tips: The dos and don’ts of Icelandic spas

Iceland’s popularity has soared this year. If you’re planning a trip, Mike MacEacheran covers all the etiquette you’ll need to impress the locals.

IcelandPixabay/CC0