To celebrate #WorldHeritageDay and to inspire some wanderlust as the summer months approach, we’ve researched some of the most gorgeous and striking heritage sites in the world, from the Great Barrier Reef to Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Edinburgh’s Old Town
Recognized by its medieval aesthetics, Edinburgh’s Old town is a glorious testament to the city’s past, having been built in the 15th century. With historical and architectural value, this area contains many 16th and 17th century merchants' and nobles' houses.
Great Barrier Reef
Nestled on the coast of Queensland in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on earth and even visible from outer space. It hosts around 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and thousands of fish, molluscs, starfish, turtles, dolphins and sharks.
Probably most famous for having been visited by Charles Darwin, the Galapagos Islands is one of the go-to places for natural wildlife and natural phenomena, with heaps of volcanoes and a diverse array of plants and animal species, many unique to the island.
Located in Karnataka in rocky terrain, India, Hampi is an ancient village, having been the Vijayanagara Empire capital in the 14th century, and a prosperous and glamorous city. It has more than 1,600 surviving remains including forts, temples, shrines, halls, memorial structures and more.
Iguazu National Park, Brazil & Argentina
On the border of Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu National Park is certainly a site to behold. With a length of about 420 kilometres (260 mi), 300 kilometres (190 mi) of which being natural borders by bodies of water, the park is speckled with dashing rivers and falls, and exotic wildlife like jaguars and toucans.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Sanctuary of Machu Picchu looms 2,430 m above sea level, in the midst of the dramatic landscape of the Andes and Amazon. Its remains tell stories of the legacy of the Inca civilization, with great architectural skill imposed on natural rock faces, with over 200 structures including bridges and terraces.
Heart of Neolithic Orkney
Including Skara Brae, Maeshowe, Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar, the Neolithic sites on Ornkey boast burial, settlement and ceremonial sites that are 5,000 years old.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
One of the most recognizable sites in the world, the pyramids of Giza are the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World having been constructed c. 2580–2560 BC. It’s estimated that they took twenty years to build.
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
A massive and ancient rock fortress located in the Matale District in Sri Lanka, the site was, according to legend, selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
World renowned for one of the largest areas of natural wildlife, the Yellowstone National Park is teeming with rivers, forests, mountains and springs and a whopping 3,500-sq.-miles.
What’s your fave world heritage site? How many have you visited? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.