Category Archives: World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Omo Valley, Ethiopia

UNESCO World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Last visited June, 2016

The lower Omo Valley is inscribed as an archaeological site in the UNESCO World Heritage list, but it’s not the archaeological finds that have been bringing travelers here for the last 30 years. The Valley is home to more than a dozen tribes that have miraculously managed to preserve their traditional lifestyles and cultures, and it is the opportunity to experience these diverse and fascinating people that brings travelers to this remote part of Ethiopia. I have been to Omo Valley twice and love the area and its people so much, I am sure I will be back again. To be honest, this is by no means an easy trip, but done right it can be a most rewarding experience.

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Konso Cultural Landscape

UNESCO World Heritage List Inscription Details

Last visited June 2016

Konso lies on the main road from Arba Minch to Jinka and the tribes of the Omo Valley. The town is less than a couple of hours drive from Arba Minch, so most travelers stop for coffee or lunch before going on to Jinka. But there is actually enough to see here for a nice half-day visit at least, and if you can spare the time, it’s worth an overnight stop on the way back from the Omo Valley.

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Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

UNESCO World Heritage List Inscription Details

Visited in July 2014

Bwindi is home to 340 or more than a third of the world’s remaining 800 mountain gorillas and  gorilla tracking is without a doubt one of my most memorable travel experiences. I highly recommend it to anyone. However there are a few things to keep in mind when planning this “trip of a lifetime” : you have to plan far in advance, as permits are limited, the trip is not  cheap, and there is no guarantee you will actually see the gorillas, although the park estimates your chances at 95%. In my view however, this trip is definitely worth the expense and risk of disappointment.

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Rio de Janeiro

UNESCO World Heritage Site Inscription details

Visited in October 2015

A friend of mine who has worked in Rio for the last couple of years very aptly described the city as a gorgeous beach with a city attached. At the risk of offending the city’s many fans, I found the city’s natural setting  the most beautiful thing about Rio de Janeiro. The combination of beach, mountains and Atlantic forest is truly spectacular. And while the city has its share of man-made wonders, they pale in comparison to the works of Mother Nature.

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Lavaux Vineyard Terraces

bUNESCO World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Last visited in May 2015

Set on a 30 km stretch of the south facing coast of Lake Geneva between Lausanne and Montreux in the canton of Vaud, these beautiful vineyards have been described by Forbes as “the Best Wine Region You’ve Never Heard of“. The region is comprised of 8 wine-making villages on  Lake Geneva  and the setting of Lavaux is beautiful any time of the year. You can hike here any time from March to November, according to Switzerland Tourism, but if you want to come both see Lavaux and sample the wines, there is one perfect time to do it – the weekend of  Caves Ouvertes Vaudoises (Open Cellars) in May.

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Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley

UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription details

Visited in August 2013

Our take on it – A terrific site and a must see for any trip to Armenia.

A great way to start your tour of this beautiful Armenian site is at the nearby village called Garni, a place that has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC and used as a summer residence by the Armenian royal dynasty since the 3rd century BC.

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites inscription details

Visited in August 2013

Haghpat is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list together with another nearby monastery – Sanahin. We only had time to do one on our last day in Armenia, as we were on a strict timeline. It was our 6th monastery complex of a 3 day tour and we were still enchanted and amazed. Haghpat and Sanahin are located in northern Armenia, not far from the border with Georgia and is a great day trip option from Georgia into Armenia, if you don’t have time to spend in both countries and want to sample Armenian architecture.

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Etchmiatsin and Zvartnots

UNESCO World Heritage Sites inscription details

Visited in August 2013.

We did not see Etchmiatsin at its best. The cathedral was undergoing restoration and covered in scaffolding. The ruins of Zvartnots are very interesting. Overall, however, we preferred the other sites we saw. Still, it’s a very easy and quick trip from Yerevan and an important part of the country’s history and cultural heritage.

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