Travel

Google a threat to online travel agencies?

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Best travel books 2022: our top 10 picks

From a grumpy hiker’s outing in the mountains to the isolated shores of North Sentinel Island, we list the best travel books 2022 Travel memoirs are tricky beasts. In theory, 400 pages about someone else’s trip isn’t exactly appealing – like a protracted version of Jenny from Accounting’s week-long trip to Tuscany.  In reality, travel memoirs can be entertaining, illuminating, funny and heartbreaking. Our best travel books 2022 include one man’s look at slavery and racism in the oldest city on the Mississippi River; a mother’s attempt to escape poverty by tracing whales to Alaska; and a historian’s portrait of the most isolated tribe in the world.  These books not only reveal new and strange places, they expose curiosities closer to home. Most importantly, they encourage us all t...

Our top Instagram shots of 2021

From the Throne of Zeus to the largest glacier in the Alps, we share our top Instagram shots of 2021 Unsurprisingly, travel in 2021 turned out to be more, uhm, domestic than we had planned. After the disappointments of 2020, we had high hopes for 2021. Alas, it turns out that pandemics are unpredictable. We did manage to squeeze in a couple of international trips, but they were definitely more short than long haul. As such, our top Instagram shots of 2021 reflect this. Most are shots from around the UK, with one or two from Europe, but anything from further afield was a throwback post to a time when we took travel for granted. We’ve got big plans for 2022, but – just like last year – they will all depend on circumstances that are largely beyond our control. So, for now, I’ll bid you all a ...

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2021

As we come to the end of another difficult year, we reflect on our highs and lows – on and off the blog I thought that things would be different this year. We ended 2020 on a low but hopeful note and I really thought the world would be back to normal this year.  Instead, travel continues to limp on. Here in the UK, lockdown hangs like the sword of Damocles, yet again threatening our trip to Antarctica. There is a sense of time ticking by, especially for Peter who has lost two years of climbing in his prime, which has impacted his lifelong dream to climb the seven summits.  As ever, we’re trying to focus on the good things. Peter managed to get away to Switzerland and Greece, and we had our first trip together in nearly two years: a beach and diving holiday in Cyprus. He walked th...

How to use Google Maps to make planning your trip this summer a breeze

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20 most beautiful mountains in the US

The most beautiful mountains in the US are a contentious subject, for this is a land that brims with beauty. We scoured the states and whittled them down to a list of 20 Legendary climber​​ Reinhold Messner said that there are three rules of mountaineering: “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.”  Messner was the first person to climb all 14 eight-thousander mountains and has undoubtedly seen the ugly side of the world’s most beautiful mountains. Thankfully, those of us less alpine inclined can observe these peaks from afar. Most of us might content ourselves with the most beautiful mountains in the US instead. To help get you started, we’ve whittled our favourites to a list of 20.  Most beautiful mountains in t...

Eight-thousanders: the 14 highest peaks in the world

The eight-thousanders are so ferocious that only 44 people have summited them all. We explain why they bewitch climbers all across the globe Most boys grow out of their fascination with mountains and the great outdoors. Those that do not usually end up on the side of a mountain, asking ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ But, as the saying goes, the best alpinists have the worst memories and so they venture once again into the ether. My fascination with mountains was piqued as a child when I visited the Glen Coe region in the Highlands of Scotland and eyed the gullies of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. This fascination has only grown through the years. My bookcase continues to expand with mountaineering books, from thrilling first-person accounts of difficult first ascents to thick bio...

Ranked: best countries for adventure travel

The best countries for adventure travel have been ranked by a panel of experts. We review the results below The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has named Iceland the best country for adventure travel for the third year in a row. The small Nordic island nation, famed for its geysers, volcanoes, geothermal lagoons and cinematic landscapes, remains an attractive destination for adventure seekers, particularly those concerned with sustainability. Established in 1990, the ATTA is the largest global network of adventure travel leaders. With the help of its 30,000-strong community of people involved in adventure tourism, the ATTA produces the Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI), a global ranking of adventure travel around the globe. Oliver Foerstner/Shutterstock Tourists completi...

Ice maidens: 10 first ascents by female mountaineers

In a world dominated by men, a select group of women have shattered the ice ceiling. Here we review some daring first ascents by female mountaineers I’ll be honest: it rankles to write the words ‘the first female’ to do such and such. It feels patronising, as if to say you weren’t good enough to play with the big boys but I’ll pat you on the head anyway.  The truth is, of course, that being the first female to do something great is and should be an achievement. We in the western world have lived under a patriarchy for centuries; one that has undermined and undervalued women at every turn. The select few that have broken through deserve to be hailed as great. Today, we pay homage to 10 daring first ascents by female mountaineers.  first ascents by female mountaineers: Specific pea...

Which countries produce the most plastic waste?

The US and UK produce the most plastic waste per person than any other major country, according to new research Plastic waste is polluting the entire planet. It has been found in the Mariana Trench (the deepest point in the ocean), falling from the sky in Arctic snow, embedded in Antarctic ice and secreted in the Alpine soils of Switzerland. The UN Environment Programme has said that if current trends continue, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050. It is widely recognised that plastic harms wildlife, but concern is also growing about the volume of microplastics humans consume in their food and water. One study found that the average person eats at least 50,000 particles of microplastic a year. Plastic fibres have even been found in 83% of tap water around the world. Pari...

Introducing the Highlander Olympus trek in Greece

Peter joins the Highlander Adventure team on Greece’s highest peak to scout the new Highlander Olympus trek launching next year Trekking may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a visit to Greece. Ancient ruins steeped in mythology, island-hopping across the Aegean or feasting on the country’s delectable cuisine will all likely register first. Enter Mt. Olympus, the highest and most storied of all Greek mountains. The massif is home to a network of hiking trails and mountain huts to support trekkers on the slopes of the fabled “throne of the gods”. Legend has it that Zeus, the king of the gods in Greek mythology, lived atop the country’s highest point on the domed 2,902m (9,521ft) sub-peak of Stefani, otherwise known as Thronos Dios (Throne of Zeus). Atlas & Bo...

Diving in Cyprus: our first dive in two years

After two years at home, we go diving in Cyprus and rediscover the joy of subaquatic life There was a time when I used to record my dives with all the zeal of a swot on her first day of school. I took my battered logbook on every trip abroad and fastidiously noted down the date, location, depth, temperature, points of interest and so on of every one of my dives. As I gained experience, however, I became complacent not least because the cool kids never seemed to record their dives. Fellow divers would gracefully exit the water, slip off their BCD and lounge about with a beer while I, nerd that I am, keenly made my notes. Eventually, their breezy attitude rubbed off on me and I too became blasé.  Atlas & Boots Diving in Cyprus: St George’s Harbour Sadly, this means that I don’t know...