UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and is composed of 21 member states. It is a body which seeks to identify, protect and preserve natural heritage sites around the world which are considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. The sites really are all over the world… The UNESCO sites include monasteries, island groups, national parks, towns, coastlines, forests and ruins. Each site has to meet various cultural or natural criteria before it can be selected as a UNESCO heritage site, including: "represents a masterpiece of human creative genius and cultural significance" and "contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance".
The UNESCO is funded by the World Heritage Fund, which gets compulsory and voluntary donations from UNESCO member states, and also by the World Heritage publications. Many world heritage sites will have an entrance fee which will contribute towards the UNESCO member’s compulsory donations. Some countries also run Funds-in-Trust, which are donations by countries to support specific UNESCO projects. Italy currently has the most heritage sites with a total of 51, followed closely by China on 50!
It would a be a shame to not share the beauty a bit, so here’s a VERY small sample of our favourite UNESCO World Heritage Site…
Rapa Nul, Chile – Easter Island
Carved sometime between the 13th and 16th century, there are more than 800 basalt stone monuments!
Banks of the Danube, Budapest, Hungary
The Danube is Europe's second-longest river, after the Volga River. The Danube Banks in Budapest can be viewed from a number of sightseeing cruises offered in the city. Our Budapest package includes a tour of the city!
Yellowstone National Park, USA
This park contains half the world’s known geothermal features! Yellowstone features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. It's also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
It has sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and is set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. The National Park covers a total area of 300 square kilometres, whilst the lakes join together over a distance of eight kilometres.
Perhaps the most famous Temple is Angkor Wat, but the ruins contain the remains of the Khmer Empire which dated from 9th – 15th century.
Tower of London, UK
The Tower of London is an internationally famous monument and one of England’s most iconic structures. William the Conqueror built the White Tower in 1066 as a demonstration of Norman power, sitting it strategically on the River Thames to act as both fortress and gateway to the capital. Spend 2 nights London with tickets to the tower and sight-seeing bus tour included from €185pp.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is made up of more than 3000 individual reefs and 600 tropical islands! The reef is in real danger due to pollution and has been protected since 1981.
The Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg, Austria
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Made up of thousands of polygonal basalt columns, the causeway was created by a volanic eruption some 60million years ago. Local legend says it was built by giant Finn McCool to stretch from Northern Ireland to Scotland.
Bernina Landscapes, Italy and Switzerland
The Bernina Express runs between Italy and Switzerland and takes it passengers on the breath-taking route through the Alps. It follows the Rhaetian Railway built in 1904 and is feat of modern engineering. Check-out our packages here if you want to ride the Bernina Express!
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world, the pyramids contain many tombs of notorious people.
Venice and its laggon, Italy
Venice is spread over 118 small islands and is widely considered an architectural masterpiece. It is one of Italy’s many UNESCO heritage sites, it currently has 51!
In 2009 UNESCO listed the Dolomites as a World Heritage Site. It is a mountain range in the Northern Italian Alps, consisting of 18 peaks which rise over 3000 metres in height and cover 5 Italian provinces and 3 regions. Popular for walking holidays and ski breaks alike.
I wish there were time for me to show you all the heritage sites but you’ll just have to check them out yourself! If you fancy visiting the Dolomites or the Plitvice Lakes contact our customer service team on 02891404080 to discuss our packages in the area.