The 7 Best Travel Shows on Netflix

Written by: Vicky Philpott

It’s cold outside, the dark nights are closing in and undoubtedly ‘tis the season to be hunkering down and watching endless episodes on Netflix. There are the showings of Friends and Breaking Bad to re-watch, but nothing takes away those winter blues and gets you excited for summer like exotic travel programmes.

They’ll have you reaching for the notepad to scribble down 2017’s list of must-visit places. These are the top picks for travel shows on Netflix.

1. Long Way Round

Top Netflix Travel Shows - Long Way Round

Think Top Gear on location but swap four wheels for two and add in a certain Scottish actor in place of Jeremy Clarkson. This two-season series sees Ewan McGregor take on the ultimate motorbiking challenge with fellow actor, presenter and travel writer, Charley Boorman.

The pair records the epic trip from London to New York, passing through 12 countries over 115 days on motorbikes, occasionally stopping off at various UNICEF projects; it’s no easy ride. The series has been around for a while, but now it’s on Netflix it’s time to get involved.

2. Human Planet

Top Netflix Travel Shows - Human Planet

A BBC One original that’s found a new home on Netflix, Human Planet looks at the ways humans have adapted to living in extreme environments. Think desert life, jungle inhabitants and Antarctic set-ups.

John Hurt narrates the eight episodes. The natural beauty has enough to make any viewer want to jump on a plane, although the harsh conditions have us equally grateful we’re sat on the sofa with a cuppa watching someone else take on the challenge.

3. Narcos

Top Netflix Travel Shows - Narcos

It may not fall into the documentary category but you’ll be hard pushed to find another programme that makes you yearn for Central and South America as much as Narcos.

The two seasons so far follow infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar through the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s as law enforcement try to hunt him down. The series takes viewers through Colombia, Peru, Bogota and Mexico. There’s violence and drama throughout but as it’s all in Spanish with subtitles you can count it as a learning experience as well as great entertainment.

4. An Idiot Abroad

Top Netflix Travel Shows - An Idiot Abroad

We all have that one friend who’s known for having a moan. You definitely wouldn’t choose them as your travel mate, as proved by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who turn the rants and raves of nightmare travel pal, Karl Pilkington, into their own travel entertainment.

They exploit their friend’s grumpy nature and expect Karl to live like a local in each location, which undoubtedly sees him less than amused. To be honest, I find Pilkington really annoying – how dare he not be excited about the locations? But at the same time, I know that’s the entire point of the show. I get it. I’m just jealous.

5. Unbranded

Top Netflix Travel Shows - Unbranded

This 1 hour 45 minute documentary starts off looking like some kind of Wild West movie but it’s a bit of a dark horse; Unbranded ends up taking viewers on a pretty and powerful journey.

The documentary follows four Texan cowboys as they travel from the Mexican border up to Canada on horseback. What initially seems like a ‘lads on tour’ style trip soon unfolds into a touching story about the problem the US has with wild mustang horses living in captivity.

The views of untouched America are incredible and sure to have you at least wanting to sign up for a dude ranch or learning to lasso, even if it only ever goes so far as your dressing gown cord and a cushion.

6. Girl Eats World

Top Netflix Travel Shows - Girl Eats World

One for the foodies, this docu-series follows cool and quirky Kamini Pather, who previously won South Africa’s Masterchef. She travels to ten different locations looking at how food influences a culture and digs deep to discover the local delicacies.

From Dubai to Philly, Milan to Berlin, Kamini gets to know the local bloggers, street food vendors and hidden spots exploring the culinary heart of each location.

7. Departures

Top Netflix Travel Shows - Departures

Three Canadian dudes, Scott, Justin and Andre, head off for a year of round-the-world travel and take their camera with them. They cover India and Indonesia, Cuba and Cambodia, giving their commentary on the beautiful views and the exotic food as they go.

As best buds you see their friendship grow over the three seasons as they face the usual challenges of intense travel. You’ll see at least some of yourself and your travels in them, guaranteed.

Check out these top gap year experiences


Totally Trans-Mongolian

from £1879

19 days

China, Mongolia, Russia

Welcome aboard our Trans-Mongolian Railway complete gap year comrades! Full steam ahead for the Chinese city of Beijing, across Russian...


Cuba Explorer

from £1129

Explore a side of Cuba that few rarely get to experience on this nine-day adventure. Cruise Havana’s history-infused streets in...

Sapa Adventure

from £320

Northwest Vietnam is a captivating mix of dramatic mountainscapes, crisp fresh air and colourfully-clothed hilltribes. Set on the slopes of...

Madrid to Venice

from £4295

Elaborate architecture and exceptional cuisine, legendary landscapes and live history on the streets – western and central Europe is a...

Ultimate African Overlander

from £1640

Introducing the grandest of all African safaris. From big skies and big plains to big game and big smiles, everything...

Best of Morocco

from £688

Travel to Morocco and visit the best of the country's attractions from Casablanca to Marrakech. Travel from the snow-capped Atlas...

Classic Bali

from £888

Bali and paradise are synonymous with each other. Everyone who visits always has a reason to come back, be it...

Complete Galápagos – Estrella del Mar

from £4729

This two-week-plus adventure is loaded with astounding experiences among the wildlife of the world-within-a-world of Galápagos Islands. Observe giant tortoises...

South Vietnam Coastal Cruising – Ho Chi Minh to Danang

from £2165

Vietnam is a joy to explore on foot, but small-ship adventure cruising casts this classic destination in a whole new...

Victoria Falls and Serengeti Adventure

from £1735

Inhale the fragrant perfume of Zanzibar’s spice plantations, hunt for the perfect snapshot of the ever-elusive Big Five, feel the...

La Paz to Santiago

from £1685

Visit South America and travel through Bolivia, Argentina and Chile on an unforgettable adventure through the soaring Andes. Meet friendly...

Find more travel articles inspired by TV and film

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]