Visiting the incredible man-made structures and wondrous natural landscapes deemed vital and protected sites by UNESCO is a dream for many. Perhaps, this next decade is a good time to make it a reality. Below, find a sampling of the magnificent places you should explore in 2020.
Provence, France – Historic Centre of Avignon
Avignon was home to seven popes of the 14th century, who chose to reside here rather than in Rome. The incredible Palace of the Popes was one of the largest buildings of its time.
Siem Reap, Cambodia – Angkor Wat
Originally a Hindu temple, this now Buddhist temple is the largest religious monument in the world. It was built by the Khmer king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century.
Hilo, Hawaii – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, this park is home to the magnificent Kilauea volcano. Witness its summit, caldera and craters and marvel at this dramatic landscape.
Mumbai, India – Elephanta Caves
The exceptional rock-cut cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, grand halls and porticos, filled with exquisite stone sculptures and reliefs of Hindu gods and goddesses.
Zanzibar, Tanzania – Stone Town
Zanzibar, part of the archipelago sometimes referred to as the “Spice Islands,” has been for centuries a crossroads of culture, a melting pot of influences where Africa, India and Arabia meet. The major attraction is, of course, Stone Town, with its whitewashed, coral-rag houses, quaint shops, bazaars, mosques, courtyards, and squares.
Cape Town, South Africa – Robben Island
Called ‘the fairest cape in the whole circumference of the earth’ and regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town offers museums, lush parks and shops. Yet, the historical highlight is Robben Island, once the prison holding anti-apartheid leaders, including Nelson Mandela. Once you arrive by ferry, see the old leper colony, a Muslim shrine and a shipwreck before visiting the limestone quarry where political prisoners performed backbreaking labor. Former political prisoners routinely lead guided walking tours through the maximum-security block, which is where Mandela’s former cell is located.