2016 has been a series of snapshots, from celeb deaths to the presidential elections, but the most stunning, picturesque photographs that have gained attention are the winners of the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest.

1. Winter Horseman

"The winter in Inner Mongolia is very unforgiving. At a freezing temperature of minus 20 and lower, with a constant breeze of snow from all directions, it was pretty hard to convince myself to get out of the car and take photos. I saw horsemen showing off their skills and commanding the steed from a distance. I quickly grabbed my telephoto lens and captured the moment when one of the horsemen charged out from the morning mist." Anthony Lau

2. Remote Life

"An old woman in a remote village in Himachal Pradesh, India, carries a big log back home to warm up her house." Mattia Passarini

3. Sardine Run

"I captured this image during the migration of the sardines along the wild coast of South Africa. Natural predation, sardines are preyed upon by cape gannet birds and common dolphins. The hunt begins with common dolphins that have developed special hunting techniques. With remarkable eyesight, the gannets follow the dolphins before diving in a free fall from 30 to 40 meters high, piercing the surface of the water head first at a speed of 80km/h to get their fill of sardines." G. Lecoeur

4. Above the Zambezi

"Traversing the skies above the iconic Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi-Oa-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders." Phillip Nix

5. Ben Youssef

"Marrakesh, Morocco, is an exciting city for any traveler, but I was tired of walking on the crowded street and being asked for money from local people, so I was looking for a place to settle down. Even though there were a lot of people in Ben Youssef Madrasa, it was still a more quiet and relaxing place than outside. Suddenly a beautiful reflection appeared on the shallow pool when I was taking a rest." Takashi Nakagawa

6. Mt. Bromo Sunrise Eruption

"It's like watching the earth being born. A four hour bumpy jeep ride in the middle of the night got me to the freezing cold view point of Mt. Bromo, Indonesia. After a couple more hours wait in the dark I was greeted with not only a rare opportunity to see this special place erupting, but also a wonderful sunrise casting it's orange glow on the ash. Note the small square temple between the cones. This image was made from a seven shot bracket, taken immediately one after the other." Ronald Nelson