New UNESCO World Heritage Sites
This summer, the UNESCO World Heritage committee has designated a range of new sites which are to be given its coveted status, ranging from natural environments to distinctive architecture, to cultural landscapes. We have selected six of the best which you might be tempted to visit this year or next – and the Kirker Concierge is at your disposal to help you make the most of your visit with pre-booked entrance tickets and expert local guides. Speak to an expert for more information and to check availability.
The Architecture of Joze Plecnik in Ljubljana
Jože Plečnik (23 January 1872 – 7 January 1957), the ‘Gaudi of Slovenia’, was a prolific architect of the Vienna Secession, whose buildings still define much of Ljubljana, including the famous Triple Bridge, as well as cities beyond his homeland including Vienna, Belgrade and Prague. Ljubljana is one of Europe’s smallest but most charming capitals, perfect for a short break – or perhaps longer holiday combined with the magnificent Lake Bled.
3 night low season price from £576 per person, 3 night high season price from £659 per person, staying at the Lesar Hotel Angel (4* Deluxe)
Madrid’s Paseo del Prado
At the heart of Madrid’s cultural centre is the Paseo Del Prado, the vast boulevard lined with some of Europe’s most important art galleries and museums. Chief amongst these is the Prado itself – best explored in the company of a Kirker expert guide – a magnificent collection of world-class old masters including unparalleled collections of Spanish and Flemish painting in particular. However, many visitors enjoy the nearby Thyssen-Bornemisza as much, with its chronological exhibition of predominantly 19th and early 20th century art.
3 night low season price from £668 per person, 3 night high season price from £746 per person, staying at the Hotel Villa Real (5*)
UNESCO has chosen to recognise a total of 11 European Spa Towns as a single World Heritage listing for their unique cultural value. From Bath to Vichy in France and Spa in Belgium, many of these towns are synonymous with the restorative waters which drew tourists in the 19th century. One of our favourite – and named doubly after its spa – Baden-Baden is home to perhaps the grandest and most elegant of the hotels which were built to welcome this influx, the magnificent Brenners Park.
3 night low season price from £848 per person, 3 night high season price from £1,298 per person, staying at Brenners Park Hotel & Spa (5* Deluxe)
The only Italian representative of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Spa Towns, Montecatini is located in Tuscany, just an hour from Pisa. The charming Hotel Torretta, run by the Simoncini family is the perfect base for guests who come to take the waters at the Terme di Montecatini. It is a short walk from the baths and offers its own swimming pool and jacuzzi in a shady, walled garden. There are 59 comfortable bedrooms, a relaxing lounge and a good restaurant.
3 night low season price from £498 per person, 3 night high season price from £589 per person, staying at the Hotel Torretta (4* Superior)
The Porticos of Bologna
The gastronomic heart of Italy, Bologna is a fascinating city with a wonderful culinary tradition and one of the world’s oldest universities. It is the exceptionally well-preserved porticos which line many of the central streets which have now been recognised by UNESCO however. These were constructed from the 12th century onwards and today comprise some 62km of arcades covering walkways, cafes and boutiques, and a distinctive feature of the city centre.
3 night low season price from £586 per person, 3 night high season price from £849 per person, staying at the Hotel Orologio (3* Superior)
Paduas 14th Century Frescoes
The historic walled city of Padua is one of Italy’s most spectacular treasures, yet one that fewer tourists manage to visit. Just an hour from Verona or Bologna by train, it is home to one of the world’s greatest collection of early frescoes, mostly painted between 1302 and 1397. The most famous, and spectacular, of these is Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel, but there are more than half a dozen other sites of importance, which, taken together illustrate the evolution of fresco art.
3 night low season price from £564 per person, 3 night high season price from £619 per person, staying at the Hotel Majestic Toscanelli (4*)