6 Must-See UNESCO World Heritage Sites
At this moment, there are 1073 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, spanning 167 countries across the globe. Though it may be near impossible to visit all of them, no one would fault you for trying. At Classic Journeys, you’ll find that many of our itineraries are packed with some of the world’s most spectacular destinations. Here are six must-see UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which you can visit on their respective Classic Journeys trip.
This sea-facing walled city is nicknamed the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” It’s ringed by tree-lined hills and turquoise water, and marked by red-tile roof buildings dotted with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance churches. Dubrovnik was a key port throughout history, but particularly during the 13th century, when the many conquests waged from within its walls cemented its historical importance. 1667 saw the city badly damaged during an earthquake, and tragedy struck again during the region’s civil war during the 1990s.Dubrovnik today is thriving, largely restored (thanks to coordination efforts by UNESCO itself), and absolutely beautiful.
The Cuban city of Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 in what was then Spanish territory. However, it was later settled by immigrants from France, giving Cienfuegos a distinct flair different from other cities on the island. Throughout history, it was known as a trading post for coffee, tobacco, and sugarcane. Its architecture developed alongside its industry, resulting in neoclassical and other styles of buildings that reflected modern attitudes, and advancements in city planning.
Quebec City’s old quarter is not just a step back in time–it’s a step onto another continent. Long hailed as Canada’s capital of French culture, Quebec is known for its 17th and 18th-century stone buildings and streets, quaint cafés and culinary delights. The old city, within its ramparts, is also considered one of the best-preserved fortified cities in North America. While on a Classic Journeys tour, you will experience all that the old city has to offer.
Our Apulia tour brings guests to Matera, an ancient city that spans the length of a canyon. First occupied during the Paleolithic period, this former troglodytic settlement is comprised of completely intact dwellings, shops, workshops and cave churches. We’ll explore all of the fascinating nooks and crannies in the company of our local guides, who will explain the evolution of Matera throughout history.
Originally built in A.D. 794, Kyoto is considered the cultural capital of Japan… and for good reason. The city houses 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Nijo Temple and the Golden Pavilion. We also tour other sites, including an array of traditional Japanese gardens, and experience the art of a tea ceremony before checking out the source at a working tea farm. Imperial Japan is on full display in this city known for sensory overload, and that is precisely the reason our culture + walking tour spends half the trip in this city alone.
Considered one of the deepest and longest fjords in the world, the West Norwegian fjords of Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord are visited on our Norway tour after a ride on the famed Flam Railway. These monolithic waterways offer some of the most dramatic views known to man. These views include narrow inlets flanked by massive cliffs, lush forests, waterfalls, and free-flowing rivers with biodiversity teeming both above and below the water’s surface.