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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Recent Community Reviews

1032 of 1073 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

Wet Tropics of Queensland Jay T, USA 23.07.17

Wet Tropics of Queensland

Lush, green rainforests carpet the low hills of the Wet Tropics of Queensland, which border the beaches, coastal towns, and agricultural fields of the northeast coast of Australia. When I visited the Great Barrier Reef in June 2012, my friend and I chose to visit the hill town of Kuranda, using the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which transits through the World Heritage Site. The gondola ride provided an incredible view of the Atherton Tablelands and Barron Gorge National Park, as well as two sightseeing stops along the way. The first stop featured a museum and a walk through the canopy, overlooking ferns and tropical hardwoods; there were also displays about local fauna, though I never did find a cassowary. The second stop included an overlook of Barron Falls, which was not particularly impressive in the dry season.

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Rjukan / Notodden Juha Sjoeblom, Finland 18.07.17

Rjukan / Notodden

Site visited April 2017. Rjukan – Notodden industrial heritage site is located in the beautiful Norwegian landscape. Sometimes I found the landscapes more interesting than the industrial values. This site needs a bit of background research to really understand it.

There are plenty of industrial sites around Nordic countries. Some of them have been inscribed already: Falun, Engelsberg, Røros and Verla. The first question I had, what makes just this site worth of World Heritage status? What qualities it has that the other uninscribed Nordic industrial sites don’t have?

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Medieval Monuments in Kosovo History Fangirl, United States 17.07.17

Medieval Monuments in Kosovo

I visited the Medieval Monuments in Kosovo last week while staying in Pristina. I only had enough time to see Gracanica Monastery, but I very much enjoyed my time there.

The monastery is a lot like other medieval Orthodox Churches on the UNESCO list, but I thought the frescoes inside the church were especially vibrant.

I did not have a hard time getting there. I read online that the easiest way from Pristina to Grananica was to get a taxi arranged by your hostel or hotel. It cost me 15 euros for a taxi there and bring me back to the city.

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Venetian Works of Defence Ralf Regele, Germany 17.07.17

Venetian Works of Defence

I visited the two north italian sites in 2014. Luckily, they are close together and can be combined easily.

Bergamo is a very beautiful city by itself. The old city sits on top of a hill, with the city walls all around, lots of medieval towers in the middle and the alps in the background. The defense ring is quite prominent, with an impressive entrance ramp. Still, most visitors will spent more time in the streets of the old city with its various churches, towers, shops and restaurants. I have no clue if the defense works here are significant from the military point of view, but they at least provide a splendid sight, both from the outside and as a viewing platform. I can highly recommend a visit to Bergamo as a whole, ticking off the WHS is just the icing on the cake.

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Sangay National Park Jay T, USA 16.07.17

Sangay National Park

The road through Sangay National Park is a fait accompli, providing a quicker route to the Ecuadorian city of Macas, east of the Andes. I can't speak to the ecological impact of the road on the park, but it did provide an easy way to access the Atillo Lakes region of the park, where I spent a couple of hours hiking in the Andes last month. The weather was not the most promising, with low, grey clouds obscuring the volcanic peak of Sangay; rain held off, however, and at times the sun did its best to disperse some of the cloud cover. My driver arranged for a local guide, Dora, to lead a hike through a high mountain valley to the first of the Atillo lakes. The region serves as a watershed for the western Andes, and the hills were marshy and covered with grasses and wildflowers; I was very glad my tour company provided rubber boots for the hike.

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Blog: WHS #635: Pico Island

Out of the 9 main islands of the Azores, Pico Island may be the prettiest one. Its lush green flora strongly contrasts with the abundant black lava stone that is present along its coasts. Its iconic stratovolcano peak is a landmark in the Azores part of the Atlantic Ocean. And there’s a WHS as well: the Vineyard Landscape of Pico Island comprises two narrow strips of land along the coast, where grapes are grown on a bottom of solid lava. Within stone fences, grapes were traditionally grown between the rocks of the lava stone - without soil. This part of Pico was unsuitable for ordinary farming.

One of the vineyard plots

The northern part of this WHS lies right next to the airport of Pico, so it’s a really nice welcome when you fly in. The plots neatly divided by walls of basaltic blocks are a memorable sight. I stayed for 3 nights near the other stretch of vineyards though, at Madalena. There’s a great walk through the WHS landscape that you can do in that area. It starts in Porto Calhau. I did not rent a car on Pico (also not on Terceira), and got around easily by hiking, one-way taxi rides and the occasional public bus. To get to Porto Calhau I took a taxi. The driver was very much aware about the starting point of the hike, it’s very popular and well-signposted.

The walk starts on the paved road along the coast. It's a minor road, I encountered little traffic except for some day trippers who were not deterred by the sharp rocks to swim in the sea or lay down on the rocks sunbathing. The hiking route is 6.9 kilometres long and takes 2 hours. It is fairly flat (an uncommon pleasure at the Azores), only after a kilometre or so you have to do a half-loop around a hill where the road goes up and down. In this zone there is a lot of Azorean heather, and I noticed the first plants in lots separated by walls of loose stones. That way they suffer less from the influence of sea and wind.

Easy hiking route

After tackling the hill, one arrives at an enormous open plain. It is full of gray stonewalled fields (currais) in which the vines lie. There is no shelter here, at least not for hikers. Although there was a nice breeze, I felt the sun gradually starting to burn my face, arms and calves. I wonder how tough it will be when it is your job to pick the grapes here. Huts made of loose stone are available now and then to protect the farmers and the pickers. Unfortunately for the hikers, I found the entrance gates to them closed.

Turning off from the paved road, the trail continues on a gravel road first and later on a narrow stone path through the 'fields'. I did not meet any other hikers, nor farmers - I wonder what the right season is, but I did not find any grapes on the plants that I saw. At the end of the walk you will approach a bright red windmill, a fairly new construction built after a traditional model. After that it's only a short walk to the village of Madalena. Conveniently the trail ends at a seafood restaurant.

Wine producer's compound

At only 20 ‘ticks’ from our community members, this is still a quite obscure WHS at the same level of difficulty as Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi , Caral Supe or the Pyu Ancient Cities. I enjoyed my 3 days on Pico, although like the rest of the Azores it is a bit sedate and old-fashioned. Good if you’re looking for some quiet days, less so if you’re an avid traveller that wants to see and do something different every day.

Published 15 July 2017

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