1098 of 1121 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

Frédéric M Canada - 21-Oct-20

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

I am an entomologist, both amateurly and professionally. This means that my job is to study insects, but that I also collect insects as an amateur out of passion. In fact, the monarch is the first butterfly I got when I learned how to pin and preserve specimens. In addition, we have planted milkweed in front of the house (the monarch's host plant) and we follow the development of caterpillars and chrysalis every summer. It was therefore natural to visit them on their wintering grounds with the rest of the North American population. This WHS was definitely made for me and it was the main reason why I chose Mexico as my destination in 2019. My expectations were very high and, fortunately, I was not disappointed.

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Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios

Nan Germany - 11-Sep-20

Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios

The Byzantine monasteries of Daphni, Hosious Louas and Nea Moni were built in the 11th century, in what amounted to the peak of Roman power and also the beginning of the ultimate demise. Around the turn of the millennia, the Romans had pushed the Arabs out of the Eastern Anatolian border regions and recaptured parts of Armenia and Syria, protecting their Anatolian heartlands against the incessant Arab raids of previous centuries. On the Balkans, Emperor Basil II, aptly nicknamed the Bulgar Slayer, had subdued the Bulgarian Empire in a decades spanning war. When he died in 1025 CE, the Empire was as powerful and large as it hadn't been since Justinian.

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Popocatepetl monasteries

Frédéric M Canada - 18-Oct-20

Popocatepetl monasteries

I am afraid that this review will bring very little new information, as I visited the same two monasteries as most of the previous reviewers, la Catedral de Cuernavaca and Tepoztlán Ex Convento Dominico de la Natividad. These two sites offered an interesting perspective on the beginnings of the evangelization of indigenous peoples in Mexico, but the September 2017 earthquake in the state of Puebla affected my appreciation of the sites. Indeed, although I visited the monasteries in March 2019, almost a year and a half after the earthquake, the damage had still not been repaired and the interior of the monasteries was inaccessible.

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Nan Germany - 15-Sep-20


A way to get history wrong is to apply a modern understanding or concept to a historic context. One such term is religion. The term itself is actually rather modern and deviates substantially from the classical or even medieval definition. As such, seeing the image of a classical church when you visit a Greek temple is misplaced.

Epidauros shows this quite nicely. Devoted to the Greek god of healing (Asklepios) this nominally is a temple, i.e. a religious institution by our modern standards. But in reality you are rather in a medical facility where patients would seek treatments for ailments and the priests acted as physicians. The treatments are very similar to what you find in a spa town nowadays.

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Archaeological Site of Delphi

Astraftis Italy - 06-Oct-20

Archaeological Site of Delphi

I am quite disconcerted at reading other travellers' comments that Delphi might not be the best in Greece, or that its ruins might be disappointing... allow me to claim that Delphi actually is among the top 3 archaeological sites in Greece (at least for me)!!! And this comes from a blend of history and setting.

My first (and until now only) visit to Delphoí came quite late (October 2018) when considering my numerous previous forays in Greece, and I was quite excited at the idea

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Blog TWHS Visits

Archipelago of La Maddalena

The La Maddalena archipelago comprises the Italian part of the future Strait of Bonifacio transboundary nomination. After having visited the Corsican side earlier on this Mediterranean trip, I also checked out this Sardinian location. It has a very different feel about it, nothing like the steep cliffs at Bonifacio. However it must be said that I did not visit the Corsican Lavezzi Islands (“miniature paradise of sandy creeks and crystal-clear water”) which may be more similar to La Maddalena. 

Between Palau (where I was staying overnight) and La Maddalena ferries sail back and forth in 20 minutes all day long. La Maddalena is the 'capital' of the La Maddalena Archipelago, a national park consisting of seven larger and many smaller islands. La Maddalena itself is a fairly large town, so for the real nature experience you have to go to one of the other islands. For example the neighboring island of Caprera, which is connected to La Maddalena by a dam. The island measures only 15 square kilometers, so I was going to explore it on foot.

The bus dropped me – the only passenger - at the Garibaldi museum. I had planned to do a hiking trail along the north coast from here, but I couldn't find the starting point! So I first walked to the other side of the island via the main road. The scenery here on Caprera is captivating: large boulders that seem to have fallen from the sky, surrounded by typical Mediterranean low plants and shrubs. The road goes through a lovely pine forest: the trees are all bend to the same side, crooked by the wind.

On the south side of the island I followed hiking trail #1, a narrow path through the bushes and along the coast. It ended after about 20 minutes in the village of Stagnali. I had read beforehand that they want to develop tourism here. There is a geological museum, but I found it closed. The rest of the village also seemed completely deserted and there are many dilapidated buildings. A dog angrily barked at me from afar. I left quickly.

I walked a little further southwards and then arrived at a large parking lot where I continued on trail #4, to Cala Portese. This one was also poorly indicated, but using maps.me on my phone and some sense of direction I manage to reach the end point. Cala Portese is a textbook example of what Caprera and the La Maddalena archipelago are known for: an idyllic beach. Due to the shallow sea, the sea water is very clear. I sat here on a rock for a while, enjoying the view. Later a guy arrived for a swim; in the distance an old man was fishing. We were the only 3 humans around.

Some practical notes on visiting Caprera to conclude. You can get there on the local Turmo Travel bus #1 (schedule), it departs from the Garibaldi column near the port in La Maddalena. Tickets have to be bought at the tobacco shop some 200m down the Via Oberdan. At Caprera, the bus does not go to the eastern side of the island (it does stop at the crossing towards it though). So if you want to explore that side, you’d have to walk over there right away or rent a bike / scooter in La Maddalena town. The connecting dam is walkable too, so as a last resort you always could walk to Caprera but it will add another 5km each way to your hike. There are a few small road side eateries on Caprera where they sell drinks and snacks. 

Els - 25 October 2020

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