Where is Yazd ? The Acropolis in Athens. The Great Wall in China. The Galápagos Islands in South America. What do all these destinations have in common? Well, aside from being truly iconic, they’re all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
These landmarks are all officially recognized by the United Nations, and for good reason: they’re of special cultural or physical significance. And, as you can imagine, the UNESCO list they feature on basically equates to a ton of bucket list destinations.
Luckily, there’s no need for that bucket list to get stale with the same old sights. UNESCO is always updating its list of ‘New Inscribed Properties’, and just days ago it published its official list for 2017, adding over 20 heritage treasures to it. We’re a fan of all the entries (of course) but thought we’d highlight five that are particularly worth a visit. Enjoy!
Yazd is a desert city, an Iranian gem, and so much more. Situated in central Iran, it’s a maze of traditional houses, mosques and teahouses, and is home to an enchanting culture and a colorful history. Originally settled 5000 years ago, its location is as compelling as its past. Surrounded by mountains but composed mostly of mud-brick houses, it’s simply a fascinating place to visit, not least because it’s the heart of the Zoroastrian religion.
Two of our favorite places to explore in Yazd are the Water Museum (showing how ancient underground water channels carry water from the mountains to city) and the Jameh Mosque (a work of art thanks to its gorgeous exterior and fine mosaics).
Yazd is also an unmissable new UNESCO site because of its fantastic location. Several hours drive from the renowned city of Isfahan, which has Persian architecture and historic bazaars aplenty, it’s certainly well-located. It’s also close to the Spice and Silk Roads, and is near to the town of Kharanak too. You can take an excursion to Kharanak to see the abandoned structures of this hillside settlement, as well as the plentiful hammams (bathhouses). Or you can just chill out in alluring Yazd and the hotel our trips offer – a traditional 19th century mansion that sums up the city’s charm.
Written by Bex Shapiro on intrepidtravel