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10 iconic World Heritage Sites and the places to stay when visiting

There are currently 981 World Heritage Sites worldwide. To be considered one it has to have ‘outstanding universal value’ and falls into the following sites: cultural, natural and mixed. A World Heritage Site could range from being a building, a mountain, a lake to a desert, monument, forest and even a city. Here are just a few of the most iconic World Heritage Sites of them all and the best places to stay so you are right in the thick of the action! The Great Wall, China An amazing feat dating back to the 5th century and spanning many centuries to build, The Great Wall is 13,170 miles long, making it the longest structure in the world. Initially built as a defence against enemies, the Great Wall of China stands today as a major tourist attraction for visitors worldwide. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Great Wall Where to stay? Fairmont Beijing, an award winning hotel located in the thriving business district. Vatican City, Italy A city within a city, Vatican City is a state in Rome with a population of around 840. With an area of just 110 acres, Vatican City was established as an independent state in 1929. Ruled by the Pope, the city features cultural sites such as the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. Vatican City Where to stay? Portrait Roma Hotel, centrally located hotel also offers amazing rooftop views. Easter Island, Chile One of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, Easter Island has an air of mystery and intrigue surrounding it. There are 887 monumental statues on the island named Moai and its existent has never been fully explained. Moai were carved out by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500, with the tallest standing at an impressive 10 metres and weighing 82 tons! Easter Island Rapa Nui Where to stay? Posada de Mike Rapu, an aesthetically pleasing modern hotel on Easter Island. The Grand Canyon, Arizona Over 18 miles wide and stretching over 277 miles, the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s natural wonders. From helicopter rides, scenic drives or hikes across the canyon, the landscape of the Grand Canyon ranges from different textures and colours. Grand Canyon Where to stay? Amangiri, set in stunning desert scenery with plateaus and canyons. Machu Picchu, Peru Machu Picchu is the ruins of what was once home to the powerful Inca Empire. The cultural site was bought to the attention to the world by explorer Hiram Bingham and is widely known as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. Shrouded in mystery, Machu Picchu is Peru’s most visited attractions. Set high up in the mountains, visitors can reach the site on a rewarding Inca Trail through tunnels, jungle and cloud forest along the way. Machu Picchu Where to stay? Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel at Machu Picchu. Venice and its lagoon, Italy Venice is the city on water built upon 118 tiny islands and unlike any other city in the world. The canals of Venice run throughout the city and locals and visitors alike can travel via the many foot bridges and boat canals. Venice Where to stay? The Gritti Palace, for amazing views of the Grand Canal. Taj Mahal, India Built as an everlasting symbol of love, the Taj Mahal was built using white marble and stands as a mausoleum to Emperor Shah Jahan’s third and favourite wife. It took 16 years to finish and the surrounding garden an additional 5 years later. The architecture of the Taj Mahal has been inspired by a collective mix of Indian, Persian, Islamic, Turkish and Ottoman influences. The outcome of the Taj Mahal is a perfectly symmetrical piece of architecture except in one instance, which is where the emperor’s tomb is. Taj Mahal Where to stay? The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra, which overlooks the Taj Mahal. Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur, Egypt Instantly recognisable anywhere in the world, the Pyramids along with the Great Sphinx of Giza and other monuments have stood the test of time. Built around 2584BC, the Pyramids of Giza have remained mostly intact, in particular the Great Pyramid, the largest of the three. Pyramids of Giza Where to stay? Four Seasons Hotel Cairo, with views of the Pyramids. Great Barrier Reef, Australia A whole world of its own, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. Spanning 900 islands over 1,400 miles, the Great Barrier Reef can even be seen from outer space! There is diverse marine life ranging from various species of whales, dolphins, turtles to 1,500 types of fish, crocodiles, sharks, stingrays and much more. Great Barrier Reef Where to stay? Bedarra, a secluded tropical haven in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Colosseum and Roman Forum, Italy Dating back over 2,000 years ago, the Colosseum signifies one of the Roman’s architectural achievements. Set in Rome, The Colosseum and the Roman Forum represent two pivotal symbols of Roman existence. The Colosseum was the place for entertaining the masses and also shows the structural strengths of Roman architecture. The Roman Forum is another significant building and was the centre of Roman life, a place for meetings, celebrations, public trials and matches. Colosseum Where to stay? The Corner Townhouse, set in a luxurious and spacious 20th century villa. Louise Cheng is Marketing Manager at Holidays Please. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. Amangiri is so cool. It is not so common like any other dessert. Wow. I would love to visit the Gritti Palace. :) Thanks for sharing this.

  2. That was a wonderful list. I was searching one from my country and found Taj Mahal….But nothing like Venice, my dream place. Even Great Wall of China is in my list..

  3. Of all the places that I have visited, the private tour of the Vatican was the most memorable. The art and history were great. Anyone who is a history or at bluff should some sort of tour.

    The Amangiri is a destination itself. It’s one of the finest resorts around!

  4. Wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing this list.
    We all have dreamed about seeing these places at least once in our life…

  5. Although the Sactuary Lodge is closest to Machu Picchu, that doesn’t make it the best. Inkaterra has an amazing, award-winning eco-village resort in nearby Machu Picchu town – in my opinion, it offers a richer experience.

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