Unesco: 1. Butrint (Greek, Roman and Christian towns) 2. Historic Center of Berat and Gjirokastra
Natural: 1. Butrint NP (on peninsula protruding into Ionian Sea facing Corfu, ruins, ecological with lakes, marshes, wildlife) 2. Lake Prespa, Albania/Macedonia/Greece 3. Lake Ohrid, Macedonia/Albania
Unesco: 1. Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley
Unesco: 1. City of Graz – Historic Center and Schloss Eggenberg 2. Ferto/Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape 3. Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape 4. Historic Center of the City of Salzburg 5. Historic Center of Vienna 6. Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn 7. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps 8. Semmering Railway 9. Wachau Cultural Landscape
Natural: 1. Pasterze-Grossglockner Glacier 2. Karwendel Mountains 3. Krimml Falls, Salzburg/Tirol 4. Eisriesenwelt, Salzburg 5. Untersberg 6. Seisenberg Gorge, Salzburg 7. Liechtenstein Gorge, Salzburg 8. Lamprecht’s Cave, Salzburg
1. Styrian Armoury. Herrengasse 16, Graz. www.museum-Joanneum.at/en/styrian-amoury
This is all about steel. Steel shaped into weapons of mortal destruction. And protection. But mostly destruction. Someone always has a beef with someone. The armoury dates back to the mid-17th century, built as an arms storehouse for the seemingly constant battles against the Ottoman Empire and Hungarian rebels. There are more than 30,000 pieces of kit here – suits of armour, rifles, bullet moulds, two-handed swords, pallashes, couses, morning stars, mortars… The collections are presented in austere, hyper-organised displays (military-style, strangely enough!). Your only worry would be if the army of hollow armour took up arms and got angry. It’s a great exploration of warfare, in many ways tracing the transition from medieval hand-wielded weapons to explosives – guns and cannons.
Unesco: 1. Architectural, Residential and Cultural Complex of the Radziwell Family at Nesvizh 2. Belovezhskaya Puashcha / Bialowieza Forest 3. Mir Castle Complex 4. Struve Geodetic Arc
Unesco: 1. Belfries of Belgium and France 2. Flemish Beguinages 3. Historic Center of Brugge 4. La Grand-Place, Brussels 5. Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels) 6. Neolithic Flint Mines of Spiennes (Mons) 7. Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai 8. Plantin-Moretus House-Workships-Museum Complex 8. Stoclet House 9. The Four Lifts on the Canal du Center and their Environs, La Louviere and Le Roeulx (Hainault)
Natural: 1. Han-Sur-Lesse Caves, Namur
1. Belgian Brewers Museum. Brewer’s House, Grand Place 10, Brussels. www.belgianbrewers.be
Yes, if beer is your thing, this is the museum for you. There aren’t many things more Belgian than beer, and this museum, housed in the basement of Brewers House, gives a bit of history, a bit of how-beer-is-made action, and… a café where you can sample some local brews. You could well spend more time enjoying the beer than exploring exhibits. One drink is included in the entry fee. Consider it a living museum, and become part of the exhibition yourself.
Unesco: 1. Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad 2. Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar
Unesco: 1. Ancient City of Nessebar 2. Boyana Church 3. Madara Rider 4. Pirin NP 5. Rila Monastery 6. Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo 7. Srebarna Nature Reserve 8. Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak 9. Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari
Unesco: 1. Cathedral of St James in Sibenik 2. Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Porec 3. Historic City of Trogir 4. Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian 5. Old City of Dubrovnik 6. Plitvice Lakes NP 7. Stari Grad Plain
Natural: 1. Krka River and Falls, Krka NP 2. Plitvice Lakes, Licko-Senjska
1. Museum of Broken Relationships. Irilometodska 2, Zagreb. www.brokenships.com
If you’ve ever wondered what becomes of the broken-hearted, wonder no longer – they come here. The objects on their own wouldn’t mean much, but the articles on display are all enhanced by personal short stories that give an insight into each broken relationship, and these vignettes tell a very poignant and universal story of love and loss, but also of strength, resilience and renewal. As you would imagine, there’s a wildly eclectic mix. Take, for example, the ominous looking axe head, titled ‘An Ex Axe’, or the little ‘Divorce Day Mad Dwarf’ which shows heavy signs of harm. There’s a wedding dress, a mobile phone, and a teddy bear, but of all the exhibits the tiny Venetian glass horse captures the museum’s sentiment most beautifully. The story of the glass horse tells of an exultant time, a joyful memory and a belief in the healing powers of the future.
Unesco: 1. Choirokoitia 2. Painted Churches in the Troodos Region 3. Paphos
Unesco: 1. Gardens and Castle at Kromeriz 2. Historic Center of Cesky Krumlov 3. Historic Center of Prague 4. Historic Center of Telc 5. Holasovice Historical Village Reservation 6. Holy trinity Column in Olomouc 7. Jewish Quarter and St Procopius Basilica in Trebic 8. Dutna Hora: Historical Town Center with the Church of ST Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec 9. Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape 10. Litomysl Castle 11. Pilgirmage Church of ST John of Nepomuk at Zelena Hora 12. Tugendhat Villa in Brno
Natural: 1. Hranice Gorge, Olomoucky Kraj
1. Museum of Alchemists & Magicians of Old Prague. Jansky Vrsek 8, Prague. wwwmuzeumpovesti.cz
Documenting the dark arts, Prague has a long history of association with the darker side of human behaviour and belief. The 16th-century king Rudolf II was well-known for his passion for the mystical and mysterious and during his reign he went to town funding projects and obsessions of local occult alchemists and would-be sorcerers. Making it to the top of the exhibition’s 16th-century spiral staircase could be your first trick. It is apparently the oldest spiral staircase in Prague and leads to the former workshop of Prague’s premier Renaissance sorcerer, Edmund Kelley. It could be the dummies dressed in period costume, the numerous glass vials and spell books, or even the homunculus in a bell jar that creates the spooky atmosphere, or maybe someone squeezed the giant bellows for the furnace and woke Boney, the sorcerer’s skeleton assistant.
Unesco: 1. Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church 2. Ilulissat Icefjord 3. Kronborg Castle 4. Roskilde Cathedral
1. Polar Route, Greenland. 160km route from Kangerlussuaq, a former US military base to Sisimiut. Passes glacial lakes, cairns, and free cabins. Takes 10-12 days.
Unesco: 1. Historic Center (Old Town) of Tallinn 2. Struve Geoditic Arc
Unesco: 1. Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmaki 2. Fortress of Suamenlinna 3. Old Rauma 4. High Coast / Kvaken Archipelago 5. Petajavesi Old Church 6. Struve Geodetic Arc 7. Verla Groundwood and Board Mill
Natural: 1. Lake Inari, Lappi 2. Northern Lights
Unesco: 1. Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe 2. Amiens Cathedral 3. Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments 4. Belfries of Belgium and France 5. Bordeax, Port of the Moors 6. Bourges Cathedral 7. Canal de Midi 8. Cathedral of Notre-Dame, former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tou, Reims 9. Chartes Cathedral 10. Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay 11. Episcopal City of Albi 12. Fortifications of Vauban 13. From the Great Saltworks of Slins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the production of open-pan salt 14. Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola REserve 15. Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne 16. Historic Site o FLyons 17. Jurisdiction o Saint-Emilion 18. Le Havre, the city rebuilt by Auguste Perret 19. Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay 20. Palace and Park of Fontainebleau 21. Palace and Park of Versailles* 22. Paris, Banks of the Seine* 23. Place Stanislas, Place de la Corriere and Place d’Alliance in Nancy 24. Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct) 25. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps 25. Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vezere Valley 26. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs 27. Pyrenees – Mont Perdu 28. Roman Theater and it Surroundings and the ‘Triumphal Arch” of Orange 29. Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France* 30. Strasbourg – Grande Ile 31. The Causses and the Cevennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape 32. The Loire Valley betwee Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes 33. Vezelay, Church and Hill
Natural: 1. The Royal Forests of Paris 2. Bay of Mont-Saint Michel, Basse-Normandie / Bretagne 3. Pavis Peak, Rhone-Alpes 4. Doubs Gorge 5. The Baume-Les-Messieurs Reculee 6. Bourget Lake, Rhone-Alpes 7. Mont Blanc, France, Italy, Switzerland (highest peak in Europe, 15,781′, cable car to tramway then 3,300′ to summit 8. Annecy Lake, Rhone-Alpes 9. Meije Glacier and Gorge, Rhone-Alpes 10. Ecrins NP 11. Aiguille de Dibona, Rhone-Alpes 12. Chesery Lake, Rhone-Alpes 13. Les Drus, Rhone-Alpes 14. La Vanoise NP, RA 15. Aiguille du Midi, RA 16. Bossons Glacier, RA 17. Aiguille Verte, RA 18. Auvergne’s Puy Mountains, Auvergne 19. Le Puy-de-Dome, Auvergne 20. Vaucluse Fountain, Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur 21. The Ardeche Gorges, RA/Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur 22. Verdon Gorge, Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur 23. The Camargue, Province-Alpes-Cote D’Azur (marshlands, slat flats formed by silting of Rhone as it divides in two, white horses and black bulls, birds esp flamingos) 24. Mercantour NP (abuts Italy, lakes, gorges, waterfalls, mountains over 9,000′) 25. Mount Ventoux (highest mountain in Provence) 26. River Rhone 27. The Gavarnie Cirque, Midi-Pyrenees 28. Pilat Dune, Aquitaine 29. Tarn Gorge, Midi-Pyrenees/Languedoc-Roussillon 30. Cevennes Gorge, Languedoc-Rousillon 31. Herisson Waterfalls, Franche-Comte 32. Monte Padre NP, Corsica 33. Restonica Gorges, Corsica
1. Tour du Mont Blanc – France, Italy, Switzerland.
Length: 104 miles
The Trip: Starting and ending in Chamonix, France, it dips down into seven different valleys in three different countries and tops out twice at 8,743 feet atop the Col des Fours, France, and the Fenêtre d’Arpette, Switzerland. It rambles along hair-raising sections of exposed rock as well as wildflower-choked meadows. All sleeping and food options are available.
2. Battlefields of the Somme
Need car. Read walking the Somme by Paul Reed.
3. Via Podensis*. The Chemin de Saint Jacques follows the original route taken in 961 by the Bishop of Le Puy. One of the four routes of the Camino du Santiago through France, this 750 km trip starts in Le Puy en Valey and ends in St Jean Pied du Port just before crossing the Pyrenees and becoming the Camino Frances for the 850 km trip through northern Spain ending in Santiago in Galacia.
Crosses the north slope of the Pyrianees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
Epic Road Trips: 1. Millau Viaduct 2. Back Roads of Provence 3. Champagne
1. National Maritime Museum. 1 Place du Trocadero et du 11 Novembre, 16E, Paris. www.musee-marine.fr
Naval buffs will love this maritime museum dedicated to all things nautical, but it’s not just for the seafarers among us; this fascinating collection will appeal to landlubbers also. The main gallery houses several romantic figureheads rescued from sunken shipwrecks. Check out the enormous Napoleon, decked out as a Roman emperor, which was recovered from a ship sunk in 1846; and a giant Henri IV from a Crimean War wreck, sunk in 1854. There’s also a clunky metal diving suit from 1882 and compasses, sextants, telescopes and paintings. It’s an eye-opening journey from 17th-century ships to today’s sophisticated vessels. When you see the intricate cross-section model of the gargantuan aircraft carrier or the detailed miniature replica of a modern-day warship you get an insight into the remarkable advances in maritime development over the last few hundred years.
2. Sewer Museum. Opposite 93 Quai D’Orsay, Paris. Phone: +33 1 53 68 27 81
Paris has one of the most complex sewer systems in the world. Any ideas of smelly, dank and rat-infested tunnels are quickly dispelled when you descend into the large and surprisingly open network of sandstone subways. These tunnels carry rainwater, drain water from the streets, telecommunications cables and pneumatic tubes between post offices. The sanitary sewer pipes are all enclosed and separate. Breathe easy. It’s an engineer’s and/or public planner’s dream. An insight into the incredible behind-the-scenes design that goes into making a modern city run. Check out the huge basin that traps all the solid waste material from above and don’t miss the gigantic wooden balls that were once sent rolling along the tunnels under the Seine in order to clear any blockages.
Unesco: 1. Aachen Cathedral 2. Abbey and Altenmunster of Lorsch 3. Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau 4. Berlin Modernism Housing Estates 5. Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Bruhl 6. Classical Weimar 7. Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg 8. Cologne Cathedral 9. Fagus Factory in Alfeld 10. Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Upper German-Roman Limes 11. Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Worlitz 12. Hanseatic City of Lubeck 13. Historic Centers of Stralsund and Wismar 14. Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg 15. Maulbrann Monastery Complex 16. Messel Pit Fossil Site 17. Mines of Rammelsberg and Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System 18. Monastic island of Reichenau 19. Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin 20. Muskauer Park / Park Muzakowski 21. Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof 22. Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin 23. Pilgrimage Church of Wies 24. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps 25. Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany 26. Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier 26. Speyer Cathedral 27. St Mary’s Cathedral and St Michael’s Church at Hildesheim 28. The Wadden Sea 29. Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen 29. Town of Bamberg 30. Upper Middle Rhine Valley 31. Volklingen Ironworks 32. Wartburg Castle 33. Wurzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square 34. Zolluerein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen
Natural: 1. Valley of the Rhine 2. Elbe Gorge 3. Berchtesgaden, the Watzmann Mountains, and Lake Konigsee, Oberbayern 4. The Elbsandsteiingebirge 5. The Black Forest, Baden-Wurttemberg
1. King Ludwig’s Way
120 km in Bavaria. start at Leoni, near Starnbergand ends at Fussen, close to Neuschwanstein Castle.
1. Goethe House & Goethe Museum. Grober Hirschgraben 23-25, 60311, Frankfurt. www.goethehaus-frankfurt.de
Yeah, this is all about the time and place of a true renaissance man. Goethe House was the home where writer, statesman and all-round polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe grew up. It’s an early 17th-century building – two in fact, combined into one by Goethe’s father. You won’t think so when you see the fully-decked out baroque masterpiece in all its glory. It also has the writing desk used to pen Goethe Jnr’s early works. Goethe Museum, next door, adds to the atmosphere with artworks from this period of his life as well as pieces inspired by his writing. There’s probably not going to be many laughs, but this memorial links you back to a seriously impressive life. He wrote poetry, novels, scientific papers, plays, criticism … he was famous even as a young man. Then he got busy as a statesman and scientist. A visit here and you’ll probably wonder what you’ve been doing with your life.
2. The Green Vault. Rsidenzschloss, Taschenberg 2, Dresden. www.skd.museum
Inside is Europe’s largest collection of royal treasures. What was once the private curio collection of Augustus the Strong, ruler of Saxony from 1694 to 1733, is now a trove open to the public. There’s not really a name for what this collection comprises. Here’s a sample of the royal weirdness you’re able to witness: a miniature gold royal court with teeny tiny court dolls, crafted in minute detail; a solid gold drinking bowl believed to have belonged to Ivan the Terrible; carved cabinetry that pours its own wine; and the pièce de résistance, the spectacular ‘Dresden Green’, an iridescent green diamond from India. How did this stuff survive wwII? Some of it didn’t. In fact, the ‘Green’ in the museum’s name comes from the painted malachite columns and green velvet wall coverings from the original vault that was part of the Dresden Castle – the castle was completely destroyed during the bombing. Luckily many of the vault’s treasures were removed from the castle at the start of the war.
3. Porsche Museum. Porscheplatz 1, Stuttgart. www.porsche.com/museum.en
If you’ve ever been interested in cars, it’s unlikely that a little Porsche fantasy hasn’t preoccupied your waking dreams. Your mind will be set racing here. There are around 80 vehicles on display representing 100 years of Porsche history: Classic Porsche 356, Le Mans racers, recent models, plus trophies from famous Porsche motor racing victories. If you have the cash you can buy one. But otherwise, no, this is all about admiring and learning. You can even watch mechanics service the display machines in the workshop section of the museum. There’s a kids museum rally course to keep them enthused. But seriously, kids will love this place.
Unesco: 1. Acropolis, Athens 2. Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina) 3. Archaeological Site of Delphi 4. Archaeological Site of Mystras 5. Archaeological Site of Olympia 6. Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns 7. Delos 8. historic Center (Chora) and the Monatery of St John, the Theologian, and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Patmos 9. Medieval City of Rhodes 10. Meteora 11. Monasteries of Daphni, Hosias Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios 12. Mount Athos 13. Old Town of Corfu 14. Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thesalonika 15. Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos 16. Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus 17. Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae
Natural: 1. Mt Athos, Central Macedonia 2. Mount Olympus, Central Macedonia 3. Lake Vistonis, East Macedonia/Thrace 4. Mt Giona, Sterea Hellas 5. Lake Kerkini, Central Macedonia 6. Meteora, Thessaly 7. Diros Caves, Peloponnese 8. Lesvos Petrified Forest, Lesvos Island 9. Samaria Gorge, Crete 10. Vikos Gorge, Epirus 11. Valley of the Butterflies, Island of Rhodes
Rock spires crowned with Byzantine monasteries
Epic Road Trips: 1. Central Greece
1. Acropolis Museum. 15 Dionysiou Arepagitou St, Makrygianni, Athens. www.theacropolismuseum.gr
This hyper-modern, in situ museum is more than ten times the size of its predecessor and intertwines spectacular architecture with the display of surviving gems from the Acropolis. Controversially, the ‘Parthenon Marbles’, aka the ‘Elgin Marbles’, are still housed in the British Museum, so the display at the Acropolis contains a pointed gap where the marbles belong. And there are many other Parthenon marble artefacts scattered around the world, so be prepared for a few holes in the collection. Among the triumphs of the museum’s design are the glass walkways and floor-to-ceiling glass walls which allow visitors to walk right over the top of Acropolis ruins and look out on the slopes of the Acropolis, seeing 2000 years of history in its original context. Most of the collection is from the 5th century BC, though there are items from the Archaic and Roman periods as well.
Unesco: 1. Historic Center of Rome, the properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura 2. Vatican City
Unesco: 1. Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Cstle Quarter and Andrassy Avenue 2. Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst 3. Early Christian Necropolis of Pecs (Sopiannae) 4. Ferto / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape 5. Hortobagy NP – the Puszta 6. Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment 7. Old Village of Holloko and its Surroundings 8. Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape
Unesco: 1. Surtsey 2. Pingvellir NP
Natural: 1. Geysir and Strokkur, Southland 2. Heimaey, Vestmannaejar 3. Surtsey, Vestmannaejar (1963, volcano erupted from seabed and grew to 574′, first plant 1965, 20 years later 20 plants, birds 1970 and now 89 species)
1. Laugavegurinn/Fimmvörðuháls Pass
Length: 34 miles (50 miles with Skógar extension).
The Trip: This four-day hike runs between the Landmannalaugar hut in the north and Thórsmörk park in the south, with an option to start or end at the stunning 200-foot-high Skógafoss waterfall (this 15-mile add-on is well worth it). Few hikes offer the pure wilderness experience of Laugavegurinn, which wanders through otherworldly volcanic landscapes, paired with stays at comfy huts each night. Be sure to book bunks ahead of time. The hut system opens in late June and closes in early September.
Unesco: 1. Archaelological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne 2. Skellig Michael
Natural: 1. The Callows of the River Shannon, County Offaly 2. Benbulbin, County Sligo 3. The Skelligs, County Kerry 4. Cliffs of Moher, County Clare 5. The Burren, County Clare
1. Croagh Patrick
Length: 8 miles, 1 day. Summit Climb, Westport, County Mayo
The Trip: A climb of this gnarly, holy peak provides ample beauty, challenge, and spiritual power to really experience this long-settled country. Croagh is the Gaelic word for “sharp mountain,” an apt term for this steep ascent of the 2,507-foot mountain where St. Patrick is said to have spent 40 days and nights in prayer at its summit. More than half the people who come to climb the rocky, exposed, and lung-churning trail to the top are not hikers of any stripe, but pilgrims paying homage to St. Patrick, who, with his Celtic cross design, symbolically brought Christians and pagans together. Stunning views of Clew Bay and all of verdant County Mayo are the payoff for making it to the top, with its tiny white chapel.
When to Go: Spring through fall is best for weather, but the climb can be done year round when the summit isn’t covered with snow and ice. Expect fog, wind, rain, and hail rolling in off the Atlantic at any time.
Unesco: 1. Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia 2. Archaeological Area of Agrigento 3. Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata 4. Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites 5. Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua 6. Castel del Monte 7. Cathedral, Torre Ciuica and Piazza Grande, Modena 8. Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci 9. Cilento and Valla di Diano NP with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula 10. City of Verona 11. City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto 12. Costiero Amalfitana 13. Crespi d’Adda 14. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna 15. Eighteenth-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aquaduct of Vanvitelli and the San Leucio Complex 16. Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia 17. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta 18. Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli 19. Historic Center of Florence 20. Historic Center of Naples 21. Historic Center of Rome, the properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paola Fuori le Mura 22. Historic Center of San Girmignano 23. Historic Center of Siena 24. Historic Center of of the City of Pienza 25. Historic Center of Urbino 26. Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands) 27. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) 28. Longobards in Italy. Places of the power (568-774) 29. Mantua and Sabbioneta 30. Monte San Giorgio 31. Piazza del Duomo, Pisa 32. Portvenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetta) 33. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps 34. REsidences of the Royal House of Savoy 35. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes 36. rock Drawings in Valcamonica 37. Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy 38. Su Nuraxi di Barumini 39. Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica 40. The Dolomites 41. The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matero 42. The Trulli of Alberobello 43. Val d’Orcia 44. Venice and its Lagoon 45. Villa Adriana (Tivoli) 46. Villa Romana del Casale
Natural: 1. Gran Paradiso NP, Valle D’Aosta 2. The Blue Grotto, Campania 3. Ritten Earth Pillars, Trentino-S Tyrol 4. Dolomites 5. Mount Etna, Sicily 6. Alcantara Gorge, Sicily 7. Stromboli, Aeolian Islands
1. Cinque Terre, Sentiero Azzuro
Length: It’s about seven miles between the five towns on the direct (and popular) Sentiero Azzuro, the Blue Trail, (also known as Trail #2). It’s also possible to make the hikes between towns longer (and steeper) by heading up the trails into the hills.
The Trip: At the top of European travel itineraries, it can be absolutely overwhelmed with tourists. The path connects the five colorful villages—Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia (as it is not directly on the water but perched on a hill, sleepy Corniglia is the best bet for a last-minute room when other spots are booked),
Manarola, Riomaggiore—perched on the Mediterranean. Despite all the tourism, the towns still feel left back in time and many of the locals still only speak Italian. Vernazza especially feels straight out of a fairy tale, with its bright little buildings crowded onto a spit above the blue sea.
It’s the hike itself, however, that’s the real draw of the place. The Blue Trail hugs the rocky Ligurian coastline, which is so sheer here that the Cinque Terre can only be practically accessed by train or foot. The path wanders through vineyards and serves up postcard views of the towns.
Take your time—indulge in a glass of local Cinque Terre white and a slowly savored meal when you reach one of the towns.
When to Go: The spring and especially the fall are best because there are fewer tourists and it’s cooler. Summer is hot and miserably crowded. Don’t even think about August.
2. Amalfi Coast
70 km from Sorrento, south of Naples, to Salerno, this is a dramatic road that twists above precipitous drops, ancient stone stairways and paths.
4. Alps in NE Italy.
Epic Road Trips: 1. Amalfi Coast 2. Stelvio Pass
1. Messner Mountain Museum. Six Different Locations; Main Centre MMM Firmian, Sigmudskron Castle. Bogzano. www.messner-mountain-museum.
The Messner Museum is the brainchild and lifetime passion of mountaineer and climber Reinhold Messner. He turned his obsession with mountains into a museum project that aims to be an education on the geology of mountains and glaciers, an exploration of the myths and legends of particular mountains and the history of mountaineering and rock climbing, and last, but not least, a study of the various cultural groups that call mountains home. A mountainous experience, the museum is spread over six locations, with a particular focus at each: Firmian (man’s relationship with mountains); Corones (the discipline of mountaineering); Juval (the mystical and religious significance of mountains); Dolomites (geology); Ortles (glaciers and climbing on ice); and finally Ripa (the culture, religion and tourism of mountain people from around the world).
Unesco: 1. Historic Center of Riga 2. Struve Geoditic
Unesco: 1. Curonian Spit 2. Kernave Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernave) 3. Struve Geodietic Arc 4. Vilnius historic Center
Unesco: 1. City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications
Unesco: 1. City of Valletta 2. Hal Saflieni Hypogeum 3. Megalithic Temples of Malta
Natural: 1. Boka Kotorska Bay, Crna Gora
Unesco: 1. Defence Line of Amsterdam 2. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) 3. Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbor, Netherlands Antilles 4. Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal (D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station) 5. Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout 6. Rietveld Schroderhuis (Rietveld Schroder House) 7. Schokland and Surroundings 8. Seventeenth Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht 9. The Wadden Sea
Epic Hikes: 1. Canals of Amsterdam
Epic Road Trips: 1. Flower Route
1. Prison Gate Museum. Buitenhof 33, The Hague. wwwgevangenpoort.nl
Let’s say…the changing notion of justice over time. When the prison opened in 1428 it held those accused and awaiting trial for months in cramped, dark cells. Incarceration was not considered a punishment until the 17th century. The holding cells weren’t even the half of it. Head up to the first floor to find out how roughly ‘justice’ was dished out. The floor above the original jail cells was reserved for torture. The chambers are lined with pain-inducing devices that boggle the mind, and to further compound the horror, the the walls were deliberately built thin so that cell mates were forced to suffer through the screams of those being tortured. Have a read of the displayed narratives of some of the crimes involved – there are elaborate treason attempts and intricate schemes aimed at embezzlement and corruption. We wonder how punishment as a deterrent worked out…
2. Torture Museum. Singel 449, Amsterdam. www.torturemuseum.nl
Be prepared to have your belief in the basic good of human nature severely tested. The exhibits here at the Torture Museum are mind-blowing, stomach-churning, gobsmacking. You’ll find it difficult to believe how creative we can be when it comes to finding ways to make our own kind suffer. Here are the tools public authority used to exercise its power over the people in the most gruesome and arbitrary of ways – until surprisingly recent times, just 200 years ago. The exhibits are a visceral experience; take the ‘Skull Cracker’, or ‘Head Crusher’ – a metal skull cap connected to a metal plate that sat beneath the victim’s jaw, when the handle was turned the cap and plate moved closer till eventually things started to go seriously wrong – think broken bones and eyes popping from the skull. It doesn’t get any easier. Tools like the ‘Hanging Cages’ and the ‘Heretic Fork’ make the guillotine look positively humane. A stiff drink is in order when you make it out.
Unesco: 1. Bryggen 2. Rock Art of Alta 3. Roros Mining Town and the Circumference 4. Struve Geoditic Arc 5. Urnes Stave Church 6. Vegaoyan – the Vega Archipelago 7. West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord
Natural: 1. Kongsfjorden (icy archipelago with the main island of Svalvard, fiord 25 miles long, mixing waters) 2. North Cape, Finnmark 3. The Lofoten Maelstrom, Nordland (mighty whirlpool in the Lofoten Islands) 4. Lofoten Islands – Cod Spawning, Nordland 5. Rost Coral Reef (cold water coral at depth of 1000′ off Lofoten Islands at sight of strong currents 6. Geiranger Fjord, More Og Romsdal 7. The Pulpit, Rogaland (massive square chink of rock above Lysfjorden, good hike) 8. Sognefjord, Sogn Og Fjordane (3000′ granite walls, waterfalls, 115 mile long fiord)
1. Lofoten Islands
Four islands with many day hikes above Arctic circle
2. Brekkefossen Waterfall Trail
Visitors to are greeted with an abundance of adventures to enjoy during their stay. One of the local favorites in Flam, Norway, is the Brekkefossen Waterfall. Although it isn’t the largest or tallest waterfall in the area, its location (just 2 kilometers) from the city center makes it a must-see attraction for visitors offering stunning views of the waterfall, Flam and Sognefjord. The hike takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to get to the main waterfall viewpoint, is short, steep and sweet.
Directions: From downtown Flam, cross the bridge and take a left at the intersection. Walk past the hostel, towards the highway. Cross the highway and continue alongside the road for approximately 1.5 kilometers. A wooden sign marks the turnoff for the Brekkefossen Waterfall Trail. Marked by a series of red-painted Ts on rocks and trees, the rocky trail quickly gains elevation alongside a forested ridge. Soon, the small city of Flam is visible. Switchback up the rocky knoll, traversing through wooded cow pasture. After nearly 20 minutes of hiking, the trail opens up on a grassy ledge, affording views of the valley. Adventurous hikers can make their way down the mossy rocks to the base of the waterfall, while photographers can enjoy the one-of-a-kind view of Flam, nestled within the rugged landscape.
Epic Road Trips: 1. Trollstigen 2. Atlantic Ocean Road
1. Viking Ship Museum. Huk Aveny 35, Oslo. www.khm.uto.no
Vikings are cool. Cool boats, cool beards, cool feasts, a love of the great outdoors and travelling the world. They’re like the hipsters of the Dark Ages. This museum is about the ships, no bones about it. They’re beautiful and have great stories buried in their remains. The ‘Oseberg Ship’ is the jewel here. She was excavated from a burial mound in the early 1900s and restored to something of her original glory – 90% of what you see is the original ship. But there are other ships here too, as well as various tools and artefacts from the era to boot. The Oseberg ship became a burial ship – she was dragged ashore to become the resting place for two women 1200 years ago. This was pretty common back in the good old days. The bonus here is that entry to the Viking Ship Museum gets you entry to the Historical Museum which, among other things, displays the only complete Viking helmet to have been found.
Unesco: 1. Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-45) 2. Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbark 3. Centennial hall in Wroclaw 4. Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest 5. Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica 6. Cracow’s Historic Center 7. Historic Center of Warsaw 8. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park 9. Medieval Town of Torun 10. Muskauer Park / Park Muzakowski 11. Old City of Zamosc 12. Wielczka Salt Mine 13. Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland
Natural: 1. Tatra Mountains (2 hours S of Krakow, border with Slovakia, center of Carpathians
Unesco: 1. Alto douro Wine Region 2. Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores 3. Convent of Christ in Tomar 4. Cultural Landscape of Sintra 5. Historic Center of Evora 6. Historic Center of Guimaraes 7. Historic Center of Oporto 8. Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture 9. Laurisilva of Madeira 10. Monastery of Alcobaca 11. Monastery of Batalha 12. Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belem in Lisbon 13. Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites in the Coa Valley and Siega Verde
Natural: 1. Duero Gorge, Spain/Portugal 2. Ruidera Lagoons, Spain/Portugal 3. Tejo Estuary, Santarem / Lisbon 4. Costa Sudoeste 5. Ilhas Berlengas, Leiria
REPUBLIC OF MOLOVA
Unesco: Struve Geodetic Arc
Unesco: 1. Churches of Moldavia 2. Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains 3. Danube Delta 4. Historic Center of Sighisoara 5. Monastery of Horezu 6. Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania 7. Wooden Churches of Maramures
Natural: 1. The Ceahlau Massif 2. Cheile Turzii, Cluj 3. Bicaz Gorge, Neamt 4. Danube Delta, Tulcea 5. Engadine Mountains, Graubunden
Epic Road Trips: 1. Transfagasan
Unesco: 1. Architectural Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Laua in Sergiev Posad 2. Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskaye 3. Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands 4. Curonian Spit 5. Ensemble of the Ferrapontov Monastery 6. Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent 7. Historic and Architectural Complex of the Kazan Kremlin 8. Historic Center of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments 9. Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings 10. Historical Center of the City of Yaroslav 11. Kizhi Pogost 12. Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow 13. Struve Geodetic Arc 14. Virgin Komi Forests 15. White Monuments of Vladmir and Suzdal
1. Kunstkamera.* University Embankment 3, St Petersburg. www.kunstkamera.ru
Peter the Great founded the museum in 1714 in order to show that malformations of the human body were not the result of witchery or evil magic, but were caused by damage incurred during pregnancy or by certain ‘beliefs’ of the mother during pregnancy (enlightened, no?). Think formaldehyde and jars. Two headed foeti and other such fascinating, if unsettling, artefacts. Memo: not one for small children or the parent-to-be. To be fair, there’s more here than babies in jars. There are dummies dressed in various ethnic European costumes and utensils utilised by these same cultures, there are even some medical instruments that… oh who are we kidding, it’s really all about the curiosities. It’s decidedly unnerving.
2. Vodka Museum. 4 Konnogvardeysky Blvd, St Petersburg. www.vodkamuseum.ru
The museum focuses on the inextricable links between the country’s favourite drink and the Russian state. The museum delves into the history, culture and traditions surrounding the consumption of vodka, from 12th-century ‘bread wine’ to the modern day behemoth that is the vodka industry. There are displays of bottles, old ad campaigns and and dioramas on the development of this strong liquor. There’s a separate tasting room for sampling different vodka varieties, accompanied by traditional Russian snacks.
Unesco: 1. San Marino Historic Center and Mount Titano
Unesco: 1. Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerius 2. Medieval Monuments in Kosovo 3. Stari Ras and Sopocani 4. Studenica Monastery
Unesco: 1. Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve 2. Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst 3. Historic Town of Banska Stiavnica and Technical Monuments in its Vicinity 4. Levoca, Spissky Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments 5. Primeval Beech Forest of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany 6. Vikolinec 7. Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountain Area
Natural: 1. The Slovak Paradise and Hornad Canyon 2. Domica Cave, Kosicky Kraj
Unesco: 1. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps 2. Skocjan Caves
Natural: 1. Triglav Mountain and the Julian Alps 2. Savica Waterfall
1. Karst Country
Excellent itinerary for a week goes from Prdgama Castle to the astonishing cave system at Skocjan.
Unesco: 1. Alhambra, Generalife, and Albayzin, Granada* 2. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape 3. Archaeological Ensemble of Merida* 4. Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco* 5. Archaeological Site of Atapuerca* 6. Burgos Cathedral* 7. Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boi 8. Cathedral, Alcazar and Archiva de Indias in Seville* 9. Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain* 10. Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana* 11. Donana NP 12. Garajonay NP 13. Historic Center of Cordoba* 14. Historic City of Toledo* 15. Historic Walled Town of Cuenca* 16. Ibiza, Biociversity and Culture 17. La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia 18. Oas Medulas 19. Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid 20. Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias* 21. Mudejar Architecture of Aragon 22. old City of Salamanca* 23. Old Town of Avila with its Extra-Muros Churches* 24. Old Town of Caceres* 25. Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct* 26. Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona 27. Palmeral of Elche 28. Poblet Monastery 29. Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites in the Coa Valley and Siega Verde 30. Pyrenees – Mt Perdu 31. Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Ubeda and Baeaz 32. Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula 33. Roman Walls of Lugo 34. Route of Santiago de Compostela* 35. Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe 36. San Cristobal de La Laguna 37. San Millan Yuso and Suso Monasteries 38. Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)* 39. Teide NP 40. University and Historic Precinct of Alcala de Henares 41. Tower of Hercules* 42. Vizcaya Bridge 43. Works of Anoni Gaudi*
Natural: 1. Corrubedo, Galicia 2. Muniellos Forest, Principado de Asturias 3. Picos de Europa* 4. Ebro River, Cantabria 5. Altamira, Cantabria 6. Montserrat, Cataluna 7. Ordesa Canyon, Aragon 8. Bardenas Reales, Navarra 9. Sierra de Gredos, Castilla Y Leon 10. Sierra de Atapuerca, Castilla Y Leon 11. Garrotxa, Cataluna 12. Salto del Nervion, Pais Vasco 13. Aiguestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici 14. Lake Gallocanta, Aragon 15. Mallos de Riglos, Aragon 16. Villafafila, Castilla Y Leon 17. Duero Gorge, Spain/Portugal 18. La Pedriza, Castille Y Leon 19. Ciudad Encantada, Castilla-la Mancha 20. Monfrague, Extremadura 21. Penyal D’Ifac, Comunidad Valenciana 22. Fuente de Piedra 23. Ruidera Lagoons 24. Sierra Nevada, Andalucia 25. Coto Donana, Andalucia 26. Tabernas Desert 27. Nerja Caves, Malaga 28. Torcal de Antequera, Andalucia 29. Grazalema, Andalucia 30. Los Alcornocales, Andalucia 31. Cap de Formentor, Mallorca 32. Serra de Tramuntana 33. Cabrera Archipelago, Mallorca
1. The Way of St. James via the French Way
Length: 472 miles
The Trip: The Way of St. James, or the walking path to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, has been a trade route since ancient Roman times and a Christian pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. All that foot traffic has made it one of the best walking paths in Europe. There are numerous “ways” to travel to the sanctuary, but the most popular is the French Way, which begins in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France, immediately crosses the Pyrenees into the heart of the Galician countryside and eventually passes through the cities of Pamplona, Burgos and León. The indispensable French Book, “MM MM, Do Do gives a schematic map and lists the ample accommodations and facilities on the route. There are four other routes in Spain that end in Santiago. One is the English Way, traditionally taken by pilgrims who took a ship to Spain from England and then walked the 45 miles from the seaport of A Coruña to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela,
For an even longer walk, start in Le Puy, France, 750 kms from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. This route, called the Via Podensis, is much prettier, passes through the rolling French countryside with medieval towns and the Central Massif on the way.
When to Go: In spring and fall the weather is cool and crowds lighter. Stay away in August, when all of Europe goes on vacation.
2. Drovers Roads, Andalucia,
Walks around Grazalema and Zahara
Unesco: 1. Agricultural Landscape of Southern Oland 2. Birka and Hovgdrden 3. Church Village of Gammelstad, Lulea 4. Engelsberg Ironworks 5. Hanseatic Town of Visby 6. High Coast / Kuarken Archipelago 7. Laponian Area 8. Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun 9. Naval Port of Karlskrona 10. Rock Carvings in Tanum 11. Royal Domain of Drottningholm 12. Skogskyrkogarden 13. Struve Geodetic Arc 14. Varberg Radio Station.
Natural: 1. Mount Sonfjallet, Harkedalen 2. The Lapp Gate, Lappland 3. Abisko NP, Lappland 4. Mount Akka, Lappland 5. Njupeskar Waterfall, Dalarna 6. Stockholm Archipelago 7. Tannforsen, Jamtland 8. Borga Mountain, Vasterbotten 9. Gotland
1. Kungsleden. 440km KIng’s Trail crosses the Arctic Circle. Numerous huts. July and August.
1. Vasa Museum. Galarvarvsvagen 14, Djurgarden, Stockholm. www.vasamuseet.se
The museum is eponymously titled for its sole exhibit, the magnificent Vasa warship. The Vasa is the only 17th-century warship preserved almost entirely in original condition and its story is one of maritime legend. Built to be a symbol of strength for the Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, the Vasa was richly decorated and endowed with enormous bronze cannons, designed to make her the most commanding ship on the sea and an intimidating weapon in Sweden’s war with Poland-Lithuania. Unfortunately for Gustav, his military aspirations outstripped his engineering capabilities and the ship sunk on her maiden voyage, overbalanced by the weighty cannons. After the valuable cannons were recovered from the wreck in the late 17th century, the ship lay undisturbed for more than 330 years. Then, in the 1970s, she was rediscovered in a busy shipping channel. So began the long process of salvaging and restoring the mighty warship. Impressively, yes. Over 95% of the display is original. The three masts displayed outside show the ship’s original height.
Unesco: 1. Benedictine Convent of St John at Mustair 2. Convent of St Gall 3. La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, watchmaking town planning 4. Lavoux, Vineyard Terraces 5. Monte San Giorgio 6. Old City of Berne 7. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps 8. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes 9. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch 10. Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona 11. Three Castles: Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzone
Natural: 1. Areuse Gorge, Neuchatel 2. Holloch Cave, Luzern 3. Grosser Aletsch Glacier 4. The Matterhorn, Italy 5. Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschorn, Bern/Valais (south-central Alps, mountains to 14,000′, Aletsch Glacier, reintroduced animals)
1. Grindewald – First to Lake Bachal to Faulhorn Hut
Length: 10 miles if you ride up and walk down, 2 to 3 days.
The Trip: Perhaps the biggest payoff for effort applied in the Alps, this ridiculously beautiful walk takes in the scenic highlights of the Bernese Oberland—including the notorious Eiger and its more impressive sister peak, the fearsome Shreckhorn—looming across Grindelwald’s fairy tale valley. All this, and a night or two at the comfortable Faulhorn hut or Berghotel, impossibly perched at 8,800 feet on its namesake peak. And you can shave some time off that by taking a cable car up to First. Even if you ride the lift on the way up, be sure to walk down, and have lunch at Waldspitz, a classic Swiss mountain chalet where you’ll enjoy a tasty rösti looking at Shreckhorn and then watch the setting sun painting the Eiger’s north wall a blood red.
When to Go: High summer is the season here, but hikable weather often extends into September, when the Europeans are back at work. The Faulhorn closes in October.
Epic Road Trips: 1. Furka Pass
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Unesco: Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region
Unesco: 1. Archaeological Site of Troy 2. City of Safranbolu 3. Goreme NP and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia 4. Great Mosque and Hospital of Diurigi 5. Hattusha: the Hittite Capital 6. Hierapolis-Pamukkule 7. Historic Areas of Istanbul 8. Nemrut Dag 9. Selimiye Mosque and it Social Complex 10. Xanthos-Letoon
Natural: 1. Pamukkale Springs, Denizli 2. Valla Canyon, Kastamonu 3. Cappadocia, Nevsehir 4. Caves of the Taurus Mountains, Eastern Asia Minor 5. Tortum, Eraurum 6. Mount Ararat, Agri 7. Saklikent Gorge, Ankara 8. Karapinar Crater Lakes, Konya
1. Lycian Way
Length: 509 km
The Trip: Most walk it west to east starting in Olu Deniz, a small Mediterranean resort near the south Turkish city of Fethiye, where the walking is easiest. It ends in Hisarcandir, about 20 kms from Antalya in the east. It is basically along the coast and through the Toros Mountains along Mediterranean coast of SW Turkey. Buses and microbuses serve both ends. Airlines service Dalaman (close to Fethiye) and Antalya and Fethiye has a ferry to Rhodes, Greece in the summer. Because of loose gravel, the trail is not recommended for mountain bikes. The whole trail takes an average of 25 days to complete.
Xanthos and Letoon (Unesco listed), Mount Chimera, the Butterfly Valley (limestone valley with views and waterfalls), climbing Tahtali Dagu (2,366m) and Phaselis are some of the many highlights. An excellent week-long hike is from the mountain village of Ovacik on the eastern side near Gedelme to the lighthouse at Kitidonya. There are many activities, destinations, beaches, diving, and visiting small towns along the way.
When to go: Best March-May and September-mid-November. Rain is common in late March and April. Summer is too hot and dry with temperatures above 34 in July and August. Snow can fall at higher elevations in the winter.
1. Avanos Hair Museum. Firin Sokak 24, Avanos, Cappadocia. www.chezgalip.com
There’s no denying that a cave in Cappadocia festooned with thousands of samples of women’s hair nests firmly in the camp of quirky when it comes to museums. Before the potential creepiness of the place gets the better of you, let us tell you the sweet story that goes behind the strange assortment. Word has it that the collection began when the lovelorn potter from the ceramics gallery attached to the museum was forced to bid farewell to a female friend. To remember her by, he asked for a lock of her hair. As a tribute to his heartbreak, female visitors to the pottery also trimmed their locks and added them to his collection. The rest is hirsute history. It’s totally bizarre. You’re welcome to be a part of the weirdness (if you’re a woman, of course) – the museum provides scissors, tape, pen and paper for you to cut your own contribution and attach it to the already super hairy walls of the cave.
Unesco: 1. Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Laura 2. L’ulu – the Ensemble of the Historic Center 3. Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany 4. Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatia Metropolitans 5. Struve Geodetic Arc.
Unesco: 1. Blaenavon Industrial Landscape (S Wales coal and ore mines, quarries, furnaces, homes) 2. Blenheim Palace (Oxford, 1704) 3. Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church 4. Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd 5. City of Bath 6. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape 6. Derwent Valley Mills 7. Dorset and East Devon Coast 8. Durham Castle and Cathedral 9. Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Antonine Wall and Hadrians Wall 10. Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast 11. Gough and inaccessible islands 12. Heart of Neolithic Orkney 13. Henderson Island 14. Ironbridge Gorge (worlds first cast iron bridge) 15. Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City 16. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh 17. Pontcysyllte Aquaduct and Canal 18. Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew 19. Saltaire (industrial village of second half 19th century in west Yorkshire) 20. St. Kilda (remote volcanic archipelago, birds, 2000 years human habitation 21. Stonehenge, Avebury and associated Sites 22. Studley Royal Park including the ruins of Fountains Abbey 23. Tower of London 24. Westminster Palace and St Margarets Church
Scotland: 1. North Gaulton Castle, Orkney Islands 2. The Old Man of Hoy, Orkney Islands 3. Duncansby Stacks, Highland 4. Lock Langavat, Outer Hebrides 5. St Kilda Archipelago, Outer Hebrides 6. Fingal’s Cave, Inner Hebrides 7. Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye 8. Cuillen Hills, Isle of Skye 9. Falls of Glomach, Highlands 10. Suilven, Highlands 11. Beinn Askival, Isle of Rum 12. Great Glen and Loch Ness, Highlands 13. Corrieshalloch Gorge and Falls of Measach, Highlands 14. Ben Nevis, Highlands 15. Lochaber Mountains, Highlands 16. Glencoe, Highlands 17. Loch Lomond, Argyll and Bute 18. Arthur’s Seat, Midlothian, Scotland 19. Traprain Law and North Berwick Law, East Lothian, Scotland 20. St Abb’s Head, Scottish Borders 21. Bass Rock, East Lothian 22. Siccar Point – Huttton’s Unconformity, East Lothian 23. The Grey Mare’s Tail, Dumfries and Galloway
England: 1. Farne Islands, Northumberland 2. The Pinnacles, Northumberland 3. Wast Water, Cumbria 4. Border Stone, Cumbria 5. High Force Waterfall, County Durham 6. Gaping Gill, Yorkshire 7. Jingle Pot, Yorkshire 8. Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire 9. Bridestones, Yorkshire 10. The Roaches, Derbyshire/Staffordshire 11. The Wrekin, Shropshire 12. Severn Bore, Gloucestershire 13. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset 14. Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset 15. Seven Sisters, East Sussex 16. Lulworth Cove, Dorset 17. Durdle Dor, Dorset 18. Chesil Beach, Dorset 19. Jurassic Coast, Dorset 20. Old Harry Rocks, Dorset 21. The Needles, Isle of Wight 22. Dartmoor NP, Devon
Wales: 1. Snowdon and Snowdonia, Gwynedd 2. Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire 3. Worm’s Head, Gower Peninsula 4. Henrhyd Falls, Powys 5. Pen Y Fan and the Brecon Beacons, Powys
Northern Ireland: 1. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim 2. Glenariff, County Antrim 3. Strangford Lough, County Down
1. South West Coast Path, England.
1013 km from Minehead in Somerset to Poole
2. Harbour in Dorset
Best are the north Cornwall sections between Tintagel Castle and Land’s Ened the most westerly point on the British Mainland. Need tide tables.
3. Coast to Coast, England.
Length: 307 km
The Trip: Connecting Irish Sea and North Sea, this one way walk has many potential routes passing through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors national parks. Spring best.
4. West Highland Way, Scotland.
The Trip: Start in south at Milngavie, 10 minutes by train from Glascow and ends in Fort William.
When to go: May and September best.
5. Cape Wrath Trail, Scotland
322 kms across the Western and Northern Highlands to Cape Wrath on the north tip. Several solid climbs over 3,000′.
Epic Road Trips: 1. Cornwall
1. British Museum. Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London. www.britishmuseum.org
Hold on to your hat – this world-class, truly remarkable museum was opened in 1753 and houses a collection which spans more than two million years of human history, with show-stoppers like the Rosetta Stone, the world’s largest collection of Egyptian mummies, a 36m-long Viking warship, and an actual Easter Island statue, to name just a few. That is just the tip of the iceberg. The museum has about eight million works on display. The museum is laid out in exhibitions on culture, people, place and/or material. Tip: the Greeks and Romans feature heavily and you won’t want to miss the Parthenon Sculptures. Otherwise known as the Elgin Marbles, these sculptures are part of the original Parthenon and Acropolis in Greece. And it’s all totally free.
2. Imperial War Museum. Lambeth Rd, Southmark, London. www.iwm.org.uk
Besides being of genuine historical significance, it is remarkable and revealing. The museum has five separate localities all displaying warfare artefacts from British involvement in modern conflict. The main and most impressive location is housed at Lambeth Rd, where the large, central atrium hosts a Supermarine Spitfire suspended from the ceiling, displays of actual V1 and V2 rockets, and a Land Rover that was hit under a rocket attack in Gaza in 2006. Other extraordinary items include an Enigma code machine, the original note conveyed to the front line commander ordering the start of the battle of Ypres, and the bronze eagle from Reich Chancellery in Berlin. Don’t miss Churchill’s War Rooms, the underground bunker where Churchill and his staff plotted the allied victory in World War II. The map room has remained completely intact and unchanged since the end of the war in 1945.
3. Sir John Soane’s Museum. 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London. www.soane.org
Soane was the son of a London bricklayer who grew up to be an architect. Well, things got interesting when he married into money and began collecting art and odd curiosities from around the world. He packed his home with his beloved artefacts and requested that when he die, the house be left as it was. It has been. Totally eccentric, the heritage-listed house is crammed with Soane’s genuinely amazing artworks and quirky rarities. The canopied dome of the house draws light down into a crypt stacked with statues, paintings and drawings – among which are architectural drawings by Christopher Wren. The upstairs rooms were Soane and his wife Eliza’s private quarters, preserved almost exactly as they were when inhabited. Although this doesn’t sound terribly unusual, the private quarters are crammed with models of Pompeii, Paestum and other ancient sites. There’s a hieroglyphic sarcophagus; copies of slave chains; and a tiny room mocked up to resemble a monk’s cell. Now that’s a bit weird.
4. Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb GarretMuseum of Childhood. 42 High St, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland. www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk
There is kind of an anthropological element to this museum – showing how children have grown up from the 18th to the 21st century – and it was the first museum worldwide to specialise in the history of childhood. Though really it’s all about the toys, toys and… toys. There are examples of playthings from the ‘good old days’ that would make kids of today roll their eyes in boredom – marble sets and wooden Yo-Yos. The collection covers the 50s, 60s, 70, 80s and 90s with favourites like Star Wars paraphernalia, Teletubbies, Toy Story figurines and Nintendo. A fun trip down memory lane for the kid in us all. There’s also a huge collection of books, comics and magazines and displays of kid’s clothes through the ages. There are hands-on activities like a puppet theatre and dress-up area where your tykes can practise their best street urchin impressions.
6. Pencil Museum. Southey Works, Main St, Keswick, Cumbria. www.pencilmuseum.co.uk
I’ll give it to you straight: it’s difficult to come away from the pencil museum without forming a lifelong fascination and love for this simple little writing tool. Be warned. There’s a definite family vibe to this museum: kids still love pencils. And this museum has more pencils than you could poke a stick at. After you’ve learned about the history of pencil making in the area, seen how a pencil was made, how it’s produced today, generally bonded with the pencil and become one with it, only then may you wield it. But it’s a genuinely gripping tour through local history and the importance of pencil making here. It’s coming up to 200 years since Keswick pencil production began. You’ll be inspired for sure. It’ll put the lead back in your pencil.
6. National Rail Museum. Leeman Rd, York. www.nrm.org.uk
This locomotive wonderland, there is no shortage of train devotees. There’s the ‘Chinese Locomotive’, the largest train in the collection. And you can also see the only Japanese bullet train to exist outside of Japan. Practically everything about trains – their development, impact, technology – is on show. There’s even a lock of Robert Stephenson’s hair. He was from locomotive royalty, and built the Rocket in 1829, a train that set the pace for steam train construction through the 19th century.