Hamamatsu, Japan: Visitors come to Bentenjima Island from mid-November to mid-January, when the setting sun is framed by the torii gate, creating marvelous shots like this one. Click through the gallery for the rest of the best travel photos of 2018:
Krasnoyarsk, Russia: Deep in the Siberian winter, with air temperature at about -16 C (3 F), a man fishes on the banks of the Yenisei River.
Kirkjufell, Iceland: The aurora borealis, or northern lights, are seen over Kirkjufell, a 463-meter mountain on the west coast of Iceland.
New Delhi, India: One of the largest mosques in India, Jama Masjid was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1656.
Lisbon, Portugal: A popular way to explore the Portuguese capital is to ride its distinctive yellow trams around the city’s cobbled hills.
Soshartyan, Hungary: As December temperatures fall below 0 Celsius (32 F), a church stands above a layer of fog in the Hungarian village of Soshartyan.
Linfen, China: The Hukou Waterfall scenic spot lies on the border between north China’s Shanxi Province and northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
Cairo, Egypt: The mosque of Ibn Tulun is the oldest mosques in the Egyptian capital of Cairo standing in its original form.
San Sebastian, Spain: Dogs run free along Ondarreta Beach as a dramatic sunset takes over the December sky.
Munich, Germany: “Never Again,” a work by artist Walter Kuhn to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, fills Munich’s Königsplatz.
Xinjiang, China: Red peppers are aired following the fall harvest in northwest China’s Xinjiang Province.
Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala: Close to 4,000 people were evacuated from their homes in November when Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted, spewing ash and lava.
Valley of the Gods, Utah: A team of international base jumping athletes rig a 503-meter slackline in Utah’s spectacular Valley of the Gods.
Yerevan, Armenia: The Armenian Genocide Memorial complex, Tsitsernakaberd, was built in 1967 in the Armenian capital of Yerevan to commemorate the approximately 1.5 million Armenians killed in the Ottoman Empire between 1914 and 1923.
New Delhi: The Lotus Temple, made up of 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals,” is a Bahá’í House of Worship and one of India’s most popular sights.
Dhaka, Bangladesh: In Bangladesh, Hindu devotees sit together on a temple floor to observe Rakher Upobash celebrations.
Uji, Japan: Byodoin Temple, built in the 10th century, is a Buddhist place of worship and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Paris: The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and is home to around 38,000 exhibits. It receives more than eight million visitors a year.
Amberley, United Kingdom: An enchanting mist fills lower-lying areas in South Downs National Park, which is in West Sussex near Amberly, England, in early October.
Katsuta, Japan: Visitors wander through a field of bright red kochias (summer cypress) at Hitachi Seaside Park in Katsuta, east of Tokyo. In early to mid-October, these kochias turn from green to red and become a photographer’s paradise.
Stuttgart, Germany: Revelers ride a chain carousel at the 173rd Cannstatter Volksfest, a three-week long beer festival and fair. Stuttgart is in southwestern Germany, about a two-hour drive from the French border.
Zakynthos, Greece: The Blue Caves in the Bay of Skinari on the Greek island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea are one of the island’s top tourist attractions. The water’s incredible color comes from special light reflections.
Milan, Italy: This striking image is taken at the “Inside Magritte” multimedia path at the Fabbrica del Vapore (Steam Factory), an arts center in this northern Italian city.
Arolla, Switzerland: In mid-October in Arolla, western Switzerland, visitors throw stones in the “Blue Lake.” Algae and glacial clays colors the water this vivid blue.
Trieste, Italy: At the 50th Barcolana regatta in Trieste, Italy, boats sail past the Victory Lighthouse. This historic regatta is held annually on the second Sunday of October.
Weng’an, China: This aerial shot depicts kayaks moored on the Jiangjie River in Weng’an County, which is in southwest China’s Guizhou Province.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands: This is the Cube House in Rotterdam — 38 cube-shaped pile dwellings and 13 business cubes. The Cube House was designed by architect Piet Blom.
North Tyneside, United Kingdom: A surfer heads toward the North Sea at sunrise in North Tyneside in northern England.
Seljalandsfoss, Iceland: Iceland’s Seljalandsfoss waterfall features a 60-meter drop (197 feet) and is part of the Seljalands River. Visitors here are able to walk behind the falls and explore the cave behind.
Phimai, Thailand: One of the largest Khmer temples in Thailand, the centerpiece of Phimai Historical Park is the restored ruins of the Prasat Phimai sanctuary.
Pucón, Chile: Villarrica — seen here from the town of Pucón — is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes. Its last major eruption was in 2015.
New York City: The “Tribute in Light” is an art installation lit annually in New York on September 11. Searchlights are used to create two vertical columns of light representing the Twin Towers.
Moscow: Zaryadye Park opened near the Kremlin in September 2017. One of its highlights is the 70-meter “floating bridge” designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the architectural studio behind New York’s High Line Park.
Polignano a Mare, Italy: The town of Polignano a Mare, in southern Italy on the Adriatic coast, played host in September to the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
Valais, Switzerland: There’s a 100-meter ice tunnel and ice chamber inside Switzerland’s Rhone Glacier. It’s cut fresh each year and the season runs from June to October.
Rome: What’s more spectacular than St Peter’s Basilica? Two St Peter’s Basilicas. Photographer Tiziana Fabi caught this reflection in a puddle in September.
Hunan province, China: This aerial shot shows a farmer raking rice crops for air-drying. This year, China marked its first Farmers’ Harvest Festival on September 23.
Moscow: This aerial views shows the unusually shaped building at 13 Nezhinskaya Street, a circular house in Moscow’s Ochakovo-Matveyevskoye District.
Manchester, England: “Waves,” part of Paul Cummins and Tom Piper’s art installation “Poppies: Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” went on display in Manchester’s Imperial War Museum North in September.
Marseille, France: In southern France, an aerial foot-bridge links the 17th-century Fort Saint Jean with the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (pictured).
Reno, Nevada: The 37th Great Reno Balloon Race took place this year from September 7 to 9. More than 100 hot air balloons took to the sky in this annual event.
Cley next the Sea, England: The 18th-century Cley Windmill is lit dramatically at sunrise on the Norfolk coast in England’s East Anglia.
Paris: In September, designers Motoko Ishii and Akari-Lisa Ishii presented a two-day light show on the Eiffel Tower to celebrate the Japanese cultural season and 160 years of diplomatic relations between France and Japan.
Düsseldorf, Germany: Tomás Saraceno’s art installation “in orbit” is on permanent display at the K21 Standehaus art museum.
Guangzhou, China: Sometimes known as the “Notre Dame of East Asia,” Guangzhou’s Sacred Heart Cathedral is a Gothic Revival building completed in the 19th century.
Pyongyang, North Korea: The 170-meter Juche Tower — named after the Juche ideology introduced by Kim Il-sung, first Supreme Leader of North Korea — rises above the Pyongyang skyline.
Hasenmoor, Germany: A festival atmosphere overtook Hartenholm airfield from August 30 to September 2, as crowds gathered for a new edition of the legendary Porsche vs. customized motorcycle “Werner Race.”
Beijing: The 24-hour bookstore Page One, located in front of Zhengyang Gate, is beautiful inside and out. It has a stunning architectural interior plus great views over the city.
Yokohama, Japan: A man rides a public electric bike through the port city of Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city.
New York City, New York: The elevated glass walkways at Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan aren’t open to the general public, but employees use them to get between connecting offices.
Durrës, Albania: Parasols dot a beach in the port city of Durrës on the Adriatic Sea. Beach-goers made the most of the summer heatwave sweeping Europe and beyond.
Athens, Greece: A giant statue of Oedipus is featured in the performance of Sophocles’ “Oedipus at Colonus.” It’s part of the 2018 Athens and Epidaurus Festival, held this year in August.
Kalyazin, Russia: Kalyazin Bell Tower is all that can be seen of the submerged monastery of St. Nicholas, which was lost underwater after the creation of the Uglich Reservoir along the Volga River at the end of the 1930s.
Fairlea, West Virginia: Pictured on its opening day, August 9, the 2018 State Fair of West Virginia was held in the town of Fairlea.
Richmond, British Columbia: Children float inside inflatable water walking balls in a pool at the Richmond Night Market in the Canadian city of Richmond in August.
Manila: Visitors look at jellyfish inside the Manila Ocean Park in the Philippines capital.
Quito, Ecuador: French artist Laurent Langlois’ work “Heritage” is projected on to the San Francisco church in the historical center of Quito ahead of the town’s Festival of Light, which took place this year from August 8 to 12.
London: In the East London neighborhood of Shoreditch, a new mural by artist Jules Muck, in collaboration with Global Street Art, pays tribute to the late musician Aretha Franklin.
Haltern, Germany: An aerial view of a beach on the shores of Lake Silbersee shows beach-goers enjoying the early August heatwave.
Antalya, Turkey: Hand-knotted carpets are spread out in the sunshine in order to soften the color of their dyes.
Cappadocia, Turkey: Hot-air balloons rise into the sky at sunset, allowing tourists stunning views of cone-shaped rock formations and rippled ravines.
Amman, Jordan: The Citadel archaeological site, in downtown Amman, is illuminated red to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics.
Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal: At a time when concerns about the negative effects of tourism are rising, some destinations are taking steps to protect their identity and residents. Lisbon is presenting keys to several apartments in the city’s historic districts to citizens whose apartments came under threat because landlords want use the homes for tourism purposes.
Shenyang, China: Another city of imperial treasures, Shenyang, in northeast China’s Liaoning Province, also has some eye-catching modern installations, such as these air conditioners spotted on the wall of a brightly decorated building.
Yungcheng City, China: An abstract-looking, multicolored Salt Lake is spotted over Yuncheng in China’s Shanxi Province, west of Beijing. The lake changes color as water density fluctuates.
London, UK: As a heatwave hits the UK capital, a woman rows past the London Mastaba, a floating sculpture created by Romanian artist Christo in the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park.
Nantong, China: Technicolor flowers are pictured in bloom at a green expo garden in east China’s Jiangsu Province, north of Shanghai.
Lisbon, Portugal: Catalan Company La Fura Dels Baus make incredible shapes at the Super Bock Super Rock Festival in Lisbon.
Tokyo: A new museum specializing in digital art opened in Tokyo in June. TeamLab’s installation “Forest of Resonating Lamps” is pictured in the new venue, called MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM teamLab Borderless.
Podolsk, Russia: Russia produced plenty of spectacular moments in June as it hosted the World Cup, including this dramatic sunset in Podolsk, near Moscow.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Residents of Rocinha, Rio’s largest favela, play on the street following the Brazil vs Switzerland World Cup match on June 17.
Dehradun, India: Mats are laid out in the Uttarakhand capital ahead of International Day of Yoga on June 21.
Chania, Crete: A few kilometers from the city of Chania on the Greek island of Crete, Stavros Beach was the filming location for the celebrated dance scene in the 1964 film “Zorba the Greek.”
Jeju, South Korea: For an unrestricted view of the sea life that populates the aquamarine waters off South Korea’s Jeju island, rent a kayak with a transparent bottom.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan: The three medressas in Registan plaza in northeast Uzbekistan were built between the 15th and 17th centuries and are among the world’s oldest educational institutions of their kind.
Moscow: Russians celebrate Victory Day on Moscow’s Poklonnaya Hill on May 9. Poklonnaya Hill is one of the highest points in the city.
Cefalu, Sicily: The mountain of La Rocca, which rises above Cefalu, is scalable in around an hour (if the going’s good).
Laoting County, China: Tourists explore an ecological landscape area in Laoting County in north China’s Hebei Province.
Istanbul: The Süleymaniye Mosque, completed in 1558, rises over the Golden Horn estuary, which is bustling with boats on an evening in May.
Merzouga, Morocco: Titan Desert 2018 was a 600-kilometer, six-day mountain bike race between the towns of Boumalne Dades, in the High Atlas, and the Saharan desert oasis town of Erfoud. Stage 5 took place around Merzouga.
Cabo Girao, Portugal: At 580 meters (1,900 feet) Cabo Girao is the highest promontory in Europe. Situated on the Madeira archipelago, it offers spectacular views over the North Atlantic.
Zamosc, Poland: The Renaissance town of Zamosc, with its Great Market Square and impressive 17th-century Town Hall (pictured left), is one of southeast Poland’s premier attractions.
Mission, Canada: An aerial view of a plant nursery near Mission, British Columbia. About 80 kilometers southeast of Vancouver, the town’s chief industries have traditionally been forestry and agriculture.
Srinagar, Kashmir: Dubbed the “jewel in the crown of Kashmir,” Dal Lake is one of the chief attractions in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
Arches National Park, Utah: There are more than 2,000 arches in Utah’s Arches National Park. Its other celebrated rock formations include the Courthouse Towers (pictured), a group of tall stone columns.
Venice, Italy: A visitor looks at work by Denmark’s Dorte Mandrup architectural firm ahead of the May 26 opening of the 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.
Sintra, Portugal: The gaily painted Pena Palace sits high in the Sintra Mountains and is one of several colorful 19th-century monuments in the town of Sintra, around 30 kilometers from Lisbon.
Leamington Spa, UK: Overlooking the English village of Chesterton, Chesterton Windmill was built in the early 17th century and is one of Warwickshire’s most famous landmarks.
Florence, Italy: Construction on Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall, began back in 1299. It’s built on top of Roman ruins dating back to the first century CE (which can be viewed during a tour of the building).
Ko Panyi, Thailand: The floating fishing village of Ko Panyi, in Phang Nga Province, was built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. Here, a woman selling souvenirs and trinkets awaits customers in her shop.
Zunyi, China: Children take part in a springtime tea-picking tour of Meitan County in China’s Guizhou Province.
Lofoten, Norway: The aurora borealis is pictured over Norway’s Lofoten archipelago in February 2018.
Bruges, Belgium: Sometimes called “The Venice of the North,” the West Flanders capital is celebrated for its many canals and UNESCO-protected historic center.
Sasebo, Japan: Azaleas are pictured in their full April bloom at Nagushiyama Park in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwest Japan.
Malacca City, Malaysia: Jonker Street, in the Malaysian city of Malacca, is famous for its night market on Fridays and Saturdays.
Xinghua, China: Captured on an April day, tourist boats sail among banks of brassica flowers in east China’s Jiangsu Province.
Seoul, South Korea: Lanterns at Jogyesa Temple are adjusted as part of preparations for the celebration of Buddha’s birthday on May 22.
Wuzhen, China: In the town of Wuzhen in Tongxiang, Zhejiang Province, a boat procession is held on April 1 to celebrate Cansheng, the patron god of silkworms.
Maastricht, Netherlands: Mount Saint Peter, on Caestert Plateau, is the end point of the 490-kilometer Pieterpad walking route that runs from the north to the south of the country.
Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia: A former fisherman’s district in Tanjungpinang has been decorated with murals and colorful umbrellas to turn it in the rainbow Malay village tourist destination.
Paris: The Ferris wheel in Tuileries Garden offers spectacular views over the French capital, including the Louvre, one of the world’s most-visited museums.
Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia: Following a landmark agreement with France, the ancient city of Al-Ula, renowned for its archaeological treasures, is set for touristic and cultural development.
Mumbai, India: A group of tourists forms a human pyramid at sunset on Mumbai’s Juhu Beach on March 25, as the city recorded one of its hottest March days ever, with temperatures rising to 41 C (106 F).
Washington, D.C.: In March, visitors gather outside The Lincoln Memorial in the US capital as the fourth nor’easter in less than three weeks hits the East Coast, bringing heavy snow and winds.
Xinjiang, China: On a cold February day during the Spring Festival holiday in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, herdsmen patrol the border to ensure maximum security. Xinjiang borders eight countries — Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.
Tokyo, Japan: In this March image, cherry blossom is seen hanging over the Meguro River, one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo, located in the Nakameguro area. The flowers only bloom for around a week, marking the start of spring, before they begin to float off the trees.
Neve Zohar, Israel: Tourists pose for pictures on an embankment between evaporation ponds — used to remove salt from the water — in the southern part of the Dead Sea in community settlement Neve Zohar.
Seoul: Revelers celebrate in the South Korean capital as celebrations kick off to commemorate the first full moon of the Lunar New Year, which falls on March 2 in 2018.
La Concepción, Mexico: A boat glides across the Papagayo River downstream from La Concepción, one of various small communities in the region near Acapulco that have been divided by federal plans for a vast hydroelectric project. The rift has led to clashes between villagers.
Longyan, China: From February, this aerial shot shows cherry trees in bloom at a tea plantation in Yongfu Town in Longyan, Fujian.
Dhofar, Oman: In February, the desolate conditions of southern Oman’s Dhofar desert were judged ideal for field-testing technology for a manned mission to Mars by members of the Austrian Space Forum.
London, UK: Kew Gardens worker Jenny Forgie adjusts a display ahead of the celebrated gardens’ annual Orchid Festival, which in 2018 runs from February 10 to March 11.
Ontario, Canada: On a February morning, mist rises over the frozen Cataraqui River in Kingston, Ontario.
Pekanbaru, Indonesia: This year Lunar New Year celebrations began around the world on February 16. Festivities in Pekanbaru’s Chinatown are pictured.
Seoul: With the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in full swing and the world’s eyes on South Korea, tourists wearing traditional Korean hanbok dresses visit Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Cologne, Germany: Completed in 2017, the Cologne Central Mosque was designed by German architect Paul Böhm. An interior view of the praying room’s dome is pictured.
Lima: Peru has a long and enviable coastline and its capital, Lima, sits right in the center. This aerial shot shows a couple enjoying the sands on a January day.
Vilanova de Sau, Catalonia, Spain: The eerie remains of an ancient village are seen inside the reservoir of Sau, in Vilanova de Sau, Catalonia, Spain. The reservoir usually covers this 11th-century Romanesque church — but in January the waters were so low that the building was uncovered.
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal: Pigeons fly above the UNESCO heritage site of Boudhanath Stupa, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Zakopane, Poland: This drone photograph depicts visitors exploring the biggest snow maze in the world in Zakopane, Poland.
Ice and Snow World, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China: Visitors admire stunning, illuminated ice sculptures in the Ice and Snow World section of the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey: A tourist takes a snapshot of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, also known as Sultanahmet.
Lake Orta, Italy: The sun setting over Isola San Giulio (St Julius island) on Lake Orta in northern Italy.