4 Spectacular World Heritage Sites


Popularly, World Heritage Sites are associated with history and more history. But UNESCO’s WHS includes some spectacular, scenic and breathtaking natural heritage. So, stop thinking that culture is boring, instead, go ahead and plan a trip here.

1. Laurisilva of Madeira

The Laurel Forests, also called Laurisilva, is the ancient prehistoric forest that once stretched all across Eurasia. These forests have eventually become extinct on the mainland due to the climatic changes but the Laurel Forest managed to survive and flourish in for millions of years.

Image Courtesy: http://bestofmadeira.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/world-forest-day-celebrated-in-madeira/

The ecology of Medeira Islands in Portugal, relies entirely on the laurel forests or Laurisilva. The forest protects the island’s micro climate and houses which exists only in Medira.

This heritage site is famous for its beautiful gardens and walk paths. This park is surrounded by endemic flora and fauna along with tall trees on the mountains. Apart from housing endemic flora and fauna, Medira also offers one of the world’s most famous diving sites with amazing underwater richness of rare species.

Some of the best hiking trails of the world pass through the Laurel Forests of Medira and is considered one of the most attractive hiking destinations in the world.

What’s in it for me? You can dive! You can dive and watch some of the most enchanting richness of rare underwater species.

2. Ukhahlamba-Darkensberg Park

The UKhahlamba is a bio-diverse wonderland with river valleys, mountain streams, rugged cliffs, pleasant hiking trails and stunning picturesque ecology that attracts many travelers across the world. 

Image Courtesy: http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com/culture/3629-south-africa-s-unesco-world-heritage

The Ukhahlamba Darkensberg Park has rolling high altitude grasslands, rocky gorges and peaks that exceed 3000 m in height. In winter, the mountains are unevenly covered with snow and transform the designated slopes into winter playgrounds for skiing and snowboarding adventure sport enthusiasts. The site protects a high level of endemic as well as rare species of animals and plants that are globally threatened to be endangered.

Still not impressed? This spectacular natural site also contains many caves & rock shelters with probably the largest group of paintings in Africa made by the people who lived 4000 years ago.

3. Huanglong 

Located in easternmost of Quinghai in Sichuan province this heritage site stretches about 60,000 hectares and is located in the Minshan Mountains. Huanglong is famous for its colourful lakes, snow-clad mountains and a superlative natural property with lakes, waterfalls, mountains and forests. The snow-capped peaks are as tall as 5588 m and include the eastern glaciers of China.

Image Courtesy: http://www.shanghaifinance.com/photo/photoalbum.php?destination=huanglong

Huanglong offers highly diverse forest ecosystems combined with waterfalls, limestone shoals and one of the world’s most beautiful mountainous sceneries. Apart from these spectacles, the travertine terraces and the sequence of ponds with clean & clear water offer views that are hard to believe. So, go there to believe it!

Image Courtesy: http://www.worldfortravel.com/2013/05/04/sichuan-china/

4. Great Himalayan National Park

Located in Kullu district of Himachal, this national park stretches up to 1714 sq km. and is established on an altitude of 1600 m above the sea level.

Image Courtesy: http://hillpost.in/2012/06/great-himalayan-national-park-pitches-for-world-heritage-status/45933/

The park is surrounded with snow covered hill ranges, rich flora and fauna and a sanctuary to wildlife which houses some of the rare and threatened species. Endangered species like snow leopard and red headed vulture can be found in this park. This park flaunts the best of nature that includes lofty peaks, rolling hills, and undulating meadows and waterfalls.

But what can I do there? How about hiking and skiing through the best trails that nature offers you?

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