UNESCO World Heritage Sites That Haven’t Been Overrun with Tourists—Yet

The UNESCO World Heritage Site list was established to protect important landmarks around the world. It’s made some places—like the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, and Easter Island—even more popular, though. But some of these spots have managed to remain under-the-radar, at least for the moment. You should visit them now, before everyone else catches on.

Photo: Tourism Nova Scotia via Town of Lunenburg
Photo: Tourism Nova Scotia via Town of Lunenburg

Lunenburg: Follow the coast of New England north into Canada to go sea kayaking, find a seal colony, walk along a beach bordered by pine trees, sample vodka and rum at a distillery, and eat at one of the country’s best restaurants in Nova Scotia.

Photo: Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
Photo: Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Samodães: Visit the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, taste wine made with Touriga Francesa and Tinta Barroca grapes, and relax in a renovated manor house in Portugal’s Douro Valley.

Photo: Ekrem Canli (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Ekrem Canli (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Samarkand: Finally travel to Central Asia to explore an ancient city, historic forts, the remnants of old mosques, fascinating tombs, and a long-established market in Uzbekistan.

Photo: Agenția de Inspectare și Restaurare a Monumentelor din Republica Moldova [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Agenția de Inspectare și Restaurare a Monumentelor din Republica Moldova [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Orhei: See what UNESCO is considering adding to its protected list when you go off the beaten path, visit a compound that includes an open-air museum and ecclesiastical sites, and find a hillside winery at Moldova’s most important historic site.

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