A photo speaks a thousands words, but in travel that goes even more so. We LOVE photos. And here are 10 reasons why.
Throughout the year, inspiring images came streaming through.
We had an epic gallery from National Geographic's 2015 Travel Photo contest, including the winning shot of divers swimming near a humpback whale off the western coast of Mexico, taken by Anuar Patjane Floriuk.
Photo: Anuar Patjane Floriuk / National Geographic Travel
But we also had awesome amateur shots taken much closer to home - such as schoolteacher Cormac Coyne's snap of a solar storm off Inis Óirr (top).
The 'Aran Islands Aurora' was our most shared travel photo on Facebook.
Or remember that guy with the cheetah?
Photo: Mickey McCaldin
"Everyone has their 15 minutes but I think I have it for the wrong reason. Did you see my face?" Mickey McCaldin told independent.ie.
The Fermanagh man was travelling with his wife and sister to visit friends in Kenya when the group went out on safari.
Talk about close encounters...
In September, we ran a readers' travel photography competition, Ireland's Best View, that only confirmed what we already know.
Our readers are as adept at shooting photos as sharing them.
Photo: Bill Costello
Bill Costello's photo of Ben Bulben took first prize, but Eilís Murphy's photo of her father (below) counting his livestock in Kerry got a huge reaction too.
"We don't appreciate this beauty until you leave and return to Ireland," she said. "I have so many friends ask me why did I leave such a beautiful country."
Of course, armchair travel is dear to all of us here, and destination coverage was front and central in our most shared photography of 2015.
Iceland is far and away one of your favourites - the news of WOW Air's direct flights from Dublin to Reykjavik was huge, but we love the purity of this photo by Elli Thor Magnusson, which accompanied Yvonne's Gordon's winter in Iceland feature.
It shows a snorkeller in the Silfra Fissure, the gap between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates on the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
Iceland. Photo: Elli Thor Magnusson
Sadly, tragedy propelled some destinations into the spotlight, too.
Visitors to Trolltunga (or 'troll’s tongue') in Norway often pose for dramatic photos standing close to the edge or dangling their feet over the drop.
The Huffington Post has called it "The Scariest Instagram Spot on Earth."
It hit the headlines in September, howover, when a student fell to her death from the famous (and now infamous) rock formation.
As luxury rail trips made a comeback, we also noticed a huge interest among trainspotters - not least for the Thomas the Tank Engine doppelganger that was the Emerald Isle Explorer.
Finbarr O'Neill's photo accompanied our story in February.
Then there was Ryanair.
Ironically, when the PR image (below) promoting the airline's new partnership with CarTrawer.com popped into our files in August, I had been preparing a piece on Michael O'Leary's perceived withdrawal from the public eye.
That piece was promptly spiked.
We ran several Irish photography galleries during the year, among them Colin Gillen's 17 photos of Yeats Country, including this brilliant landscape.
"On a recent hike with Northwest Adventure Tours, we come across this mound," as Colin of framelight.ie explained."It looked like a glacial slide had pushed it down and left a nice viewing point to stand upon."
Sweet, simple, spectacular. Here's to more of the same in 2016!
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