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New UNESCO World Heritage Sites Announced

On 10 July UNESCO added 29 new sites to the list of over 1000 places worldwide that have ‘outstanding universal value.’ Here are a few of the newly announced UNESCO cultural sites for 2019…


Ohrid region, Albania

North Macedonia is famous for its peaceful and mystical lakes including Lake Ohrid, Prespa and Dorian. The town of Ohrid in Albania and Lake Ohrid has been inscribed on the World Heritage list since 1979 and an extension of the site has now been approved and included on the list. 
View trips to Albania and the Ohrid region

Jaipur City, Rajasthan, India

The fortified city of Jaipur was founded in 1727 and is home to some of the best architectural wonders in India, including the beautiful pink Palace of the Winds and the impressive hilltop Amber Fort with its vast vistas of the surrounding plains.
View all India tours including Jaipur

Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland

The volcanic Vatnajokull National Park is one of three national parks in Iceland and covers an area over 1,400,000 hectares with glorious glaciers, rivers and geothermal activity. Did you know this Icelandic national park covers 14% of the country’s total area? Vatnajokull is also home to the black sands of ‘diamond beach’, where chunks of glaciers go out to sea before returning back to the shore - a great photo opportunity. 

You can visit the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon in Vatnajokull National Park on our Iceland Winter Adventure.

Hyrcanian Forests, Iran

These forests in Iran stretch 850km along the south coast of the Caspian Sea and date back 25 to 50 million years. There are currently over 180 species of birds and over 50 species of mammal that are home amongst the broad-leaved forest including critically endangered leopard, lynx, brown bears. 

Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan, Japan

This ancient burial sites in Japan, consisting of 49 tombs dating back to the late 4th and 5th century, has now been listed as a World Heritage site, increasing Japan's total number of UNESCO sites to 23. The kofun ('old mounds' in Japanese) are located above the Osaka Plain and were tombs for members of the elite. They are believed to contain a range of funerary objects like armour, weapons and ornaments. 
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Plain of Jars, Phonsavan, Laos

The Plain of Jars in Laos are speculated to date back to 500BC, showing evidence of the Iron Age civilisation, but their purpose still remains a mystery. Despite being discovered in one of the many battlegrounds of the Indochina war, most of the jars were untouched. 

In the Lao highlands stand around 300 giant stone structures, ranging from 3 to 10 feet in height, with the largest stone weighing up to 6 tons. Some theories suggest that the jars may have been used for funerary practices whilst others say that they were used to transport ‘Lao Lao’ - wet rice that was used to make rice wine.  

You can explore the Plain of Jars in Phonsavan on our Spirit of Laos trip 

Bagan (Myanmar)

Bagan, also know as the ‘City of Four Million Pagodas’ is home to one of the world’s premier archaeological wonders and Buddist art. Hundreds of 1,000-year-old temples, monasteries and stupas stand proud in the vast and sacred landscape in Bagan. This site was once the capital of a regional empire and the temples reflect the strength of the devotion in these times. 

Sit and watch the sunset over this awe-inspiring site from an upper terrace of the temples on our holidays to Burma (Myanmar).
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Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene, Italy

The luscious green hills of the Prosecco region are located in north-east Italy. The technique used to produce prosecco is called Bellussera, invented in the 19th century in an attempt to prevent grapevine disease now contributes to the aesthetics of the landscape. 

Walk among hills in the heart of Prosecco country on our Walking Lake Garda and the Prosecco hills trip and enjoy a well-deserved glass at the local wineries. You can sample various types of prosecco on this trip - even a variety without bubbles!