There are 1,121 UNESCO world heritage sites around the world, and we are lucky enough to be able to travel to a selection of them. From coral reefs and majestic mountains to intrinsic temples and turreted castles, you can travel to unique world heritage sites with Powder Byrne, whether it’s one of our Original Skiing holidays, summer Powder Byrne Resorts or Air & Space adventures, we can create the trip of a lifetime for you. Find a few of our favourite UNESCO picks below.
1. Mount Fuji, Japan
Visible from Tokyo, this iconic volcano last erupted in 1707 and is the highest peak in Japan. UNESCO recognises it as an inspiration to artists and poets, with an iconic place in the history of Japanese art. Experience the stunning views from the top as part of your bespoke Powder Byrne itinerary whilst exploring the fascinating metropolis of Tokyo.
Interesting fact: Mount Fuji is actually a Stratovolcano, three volcanoes on top of each other.
2. The Dolomites, Italy
Recognised for their unique and monumental beauty, the Dolomites can be visited year-round with Powder Byrne for world-class skiing in winter with our full in-resort services and for spectacular hiking scenery in summer.
Interesting fact: Marine fossils found in the area suggest that the Dolomites were once underwater nearly 280 million years ago.
3. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Spanning an incredible 135,000 square miles and home to more than 1,500 species of fish, the Reef is an incredibly diverse structure and the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world. A visit to Australia is not complete without snorkelling or diving the Great Barrier Reef and witnessing some of its many wonders.
Interesting fact: The great barrier reef is longer than the Great Wall of China and is the only living thing on earth that can be seen from space.
4. Þingvellir National Park, Iceland
The site of Iceland's parliamentary assembly, (and the world's first modern democratic assembly) for just under 1,000 years, Þingvellir is an active volcanic area located a short distance from Reykjavik. Activities at the park include visiting historical relics from the Athling assembly, hiking waterfalls, snorkelling, diving, and visiting filming sites from Game of Thrones.
Interesting fact: The tectonic plates below Þingvellir move in opposite directions so the park is constantly growing in size.
5. Sintra, Portugal
A lesser-known world heritage site is the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, replete with rolling hills, fairytale palaces, medieval monasteries and abundant green parks. Plan your next summer vacation with our award-winning children’s programmes running throughout the school holidays at Penha Longa, our 5-Star resort just outside of Sintra.
Interesting fact: Sintra was historically the summer home of Portuguese royalty
6. Ancient City of Qalhat, Oman
Two hours outside of Oman’s capital, Muscat, lies the Ancient City of Qalhat. Once a major trading port in the Hormuz empire, the Tomb of Bibi Maryam is now the only monument left standing. A visit to this UNESCO world heritage site can be combined with visiting the famous Wadi Shab gorge and the Bimmah Sinkhole before experiencing a desert camp as part of our Original Oman Adventure.
Interesting fact: Large parts of the city were destroyed in an earthquake followed by a siege from the Portuguese.
7. Jungfrau-Aletsch, Switzerland
The protected area of the Jungfrau-Aletsch mountains is the largest glacier in western Eurasia, with a wide variety of habitats, vegetation and ecosystems and offers up stunning views of snow-capped peaks. Visit this stunning area of Switzerland with Powder Byrne at our original resort of Grindelwald. The region is great for skiers and non-skiers alike with plenty of activities on and off the slopes, including travelling up to Jungfraujoch, the ‘Top of Europe’ within the UNESCO world heritage site.
Interesting fact: The glacier is an impressive 23km in length
8. Machu Picchu & Cusco, Peru
Experience a Powder Byrne Air & Space Adventure in Peru with our tailored Machu Picchu itineraries. Visit the Amazon rainforest, Machu Picchu and Cusco, the former capital of the Incan empire all in one whistle-stop tour with bespoke activities for adventurers, trekkers, nature lovers and xenophiles alike.
Interesting fact: Machu Picchu means Old Peak in Quechua language
9. Sacred City of Kandy, Sri Lanka
The second biggest city in Sri Lanka, Kandy has 468 historic and cultural buildings. Explore the extensive botanical gardens, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth and the Royal Palaces. If you’re visiting in Summer, a must-see is the Esala Perahera festival which lasts for ten days and involves a colourful Buddhist procession weaving its way through the city. Kandy is one of the most popular stops on our bespoke itineraries for a Sri Lankan adventure.
Interesting fact: The sacred tooth is one of four left in the ashes of the Buddha and the only one whose whereabouts are currently known.
10. Teide National Park, Tenerife
Experience this stunning volcanic park in the centre of Tenerife when you visit one of our luxury 5-star resorts on this sunny island. A highlight of a visit to Teide National Park is the cable car to the top station of Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain.
Interesting fact: Because the volcanic landscape is similar to that of Mars, the park is often used for scientific studies as a reference point.
11. Taj Mahal, India
Commissioned in 1631, the Taj Mahal is a monument from Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to his beloved wife and attracts around 8 million visitors in India every year. As well as being a UNESCO world heritage site, the Taj Mahal is also one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Interesting fact: The Taj Mahal took 20 years and the equivalent of 1 billion USD to finish.
For more ideas on how to incorporate a cultural or natural world heritage site into your next holiday, call our travel consultants on 020 8246 5300 or make an enquiry now.