The Incredible Winning Photos From National Geographic Traveller's Photo Contest

After sifting through more than 18,000 entries, National Geographic Traveller has announced the winners of its 2014 photo contest.

The winners took home some incredible prizes. The grand prize winner won an 8-day National Geographic expedition to Alaska for two, the second place winner won a 5-day National Geographic photo workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and third place won a 6-day cruise for two on a windjammer schooner in Maine.

We’ve collected the winners and the merit prize runner-ups here. You can learn more about the photo contest at the National Geographic Traveller.

MERIT PRIZE: This photo of Český Krumlov in Czech Republic was taken from the castle in the town. It is a perfect viewpoint to get a panorama of the historical town.

MERIT PRIZE: This 'end-of-the-world' swing in Banos, Ecuador hangs over a deep abyss and is connected to a treehouse that is also a seismic monitoring station. In the background, an erupting Mount Tungurahua can be seen. Minutes after the photo was taken, the area was evacuated.

MERIT PRIZE: While exploring Burrough Market in London, this photographer caught these four women dressed in vintage white dresses eating ice cream in front of a shop.

MERIT PRIZE: This photo was taken at the summit of Tin-Merzouga, the largest dune in the Tadrat region of the Sahara Desert in Algeria. The man resting is Moussa Macher, a Tuareg guide, who led the photographer and a group up the dune. The Tadrat region is famous for its red sand and rock paintings of animals that used to live there.

MERIT PRIZE: This photo was taken in a small Southern Indian village during the Mayana Soora Thiruvizha festival. The festival is devoted to Angalamman, a guardian deity worshiped in Southern India.

MERIT PRIZE: This photo was taken at the end of a three-day horseback ride from Bushman's Nek in South Africa to Sehlabathebe National Park in Lesotho. The horses were taking a rest after the long ride.

MERIT PRIZE: A young monk finds the perfect light source to read his book inside his pagoda in Old Bagan, Burma.

THIRD PLACE: During the spring snowmelt In Tragöss, Austria, the lake level of Green Lake rises more than 30 feet. Lasting only a few weeks, the water covers the hiking tails, meadows and trees.

SECOND PLACE: In Mea Shearim, an ultra-Orthodox district of Jerusalem, Aaron and Rivkeh have just been married after only one meeting. They are about to stay together alone for the first time.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: This photo was taken while on a storm-chasing expedition in Tornado Alley in the US. This storm in Julesburg, Colorado was supposed to produce a tornado, but never did. It only produced brief funnels, large hail, and rain.

National Geographic Traveller isn't the only one with amazing contest photos...

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