5 New UNESCO sites you can visit with First Choice

5 New UNESCO sites you can visit with First Choice

Big news for culture vultures: UNESCO has just added 42 new destinations to its line-up of World Heritage sites, and it’s giving us seriously itchy feet.  

Like A-listers at a private members’ club, only the world’s most significant sites make it onto the list. And from the Pyramids of Egypt to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, there are some seriously big names among the 1199 must-sees. 

We’ve cherry-picked five of our faves from the newest batch of locations, and the good news is, you can visit all of them with First Choice. Team a UNESCO sightseeing trip with a beach escape or a city break and you’ve got yourself one hell of a holiday. 

Prehistoric Sites of Talayotic Menorca, Spain 

Menorca and UNESCO go way back. The whole island was declared a biosphere reserve in 1993, then UNESCO extended the area to include the seas around it – making this the biggest marine biosphere reserve in the Med. Now the Spanish island has been recognised for its historical and cultural importance, too, with the Prehistoric Sites of Talayotic Menorca the latest name on the list. More than 1,000 ancient monuments from the Talayotic period are scattered across the island, dating back to 2100 BC. One of the best is the Necrópolis de Cala Morell, a spooky cemetery hewn into caves on the coast. It’s only a 15-minute drive from Ciutadella, and there’s a regular bus in summer.  


Old town of Kuldīga, Latvia 

Staying in Riga? Then you’re within daytripping distance of Latvia’s latest addition to the list – the Old town of Kuldīga. This impeccably preserved place is a two-hour drive west of the Latvian capital, although a visit here feels like you’re stepping back in time. Think cobbled streets, traditional log houses, and shops selling the A-Z of handmade trinkets you ever knew you needed. The pace is much slower here, too – days revolve around picnics on the banks of the Aleksupite River, and cooling dips in the town’s own waterfall. It makes a great contrast to the buzzy streets of Riga. 

Viking-Age Ring Fortresses, Denmark 

Denmark’s Viking history is the stuff of legend. And if you’re staying in Copenhagen, you’re just over an hour’s drive from Trelleborg – one of the best-preserved Viking ring fortresses you’ll ever set eyes on. It’s part of a chain of five archaeological sites that have made it onto UNESCO’s list, and each circular defence was built between 970 and 980 AD. Trelleborg also has a museum where you can learn all about the fortress’ history, and there are regular events to time your trip for. That includes an annual festival where you can do your best Viking impression. Battle armour at the ready. 

The Maison Carrée of Nîmes, France 

Fancy a French adventure? The Maison Carrée of Nîmes – which means ‘square house’, if you’re asking – is France’s latest addition to the UNESCO list, and it’s easy to see why. This ancient Roman temple is in incredible condition thanks to careful restoration work over the centuries, and the design marks Rome’s move from republic to empire. You can pay to go inside, but most people just snap selfies beneath the chunky Corinthian columns and gawp at the sheer beauty of the place. Nimes is just under an hour’s drive from Avignon, or about the same from Montpellier if you’re coming from the other direction. 

Djerba, Tunisia 

If a relaxing beach holiday on the cards, Tunisia won’t disappoint. It’s home to a whopping 1,200 kilometres of shoreline backed by even more sand courtesy of the Sahara. Lazy days aside, though, this place is also crammed with age-old cities and medieval towns including the heritage-heavy island of Djerba, which has been added to the UNESCO list. Roman ruins, whitewashed villages and ornate mosques are scattered across a landscape so cinematic it was used to film a whole bunch of Star Wars scenes. Granted, it’s a decent drive from the sands of Sousse, but it’s well worth bookmarking if you’re plotting your own Tunisian itinerary. 


Fancy it? 

Take a look at some more UNESCO sites you can get to with First Choice. And if you fancy a city break, take a look at our Paris travel hacks – this place is home to five UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

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Author: Katie Gregory

Last updated: 28/12/2023