From a remote volcanic island off Iceland to some of the highest mountains on the continent, explore some of the best natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe.
Swiss Alps – Jungfrau-Aletsch
In the eastern Bernese Alps in southwest Switzerland, this is the largest glaciated area in Europe, with over 35,000 hectares (135 square miles) of glacier. It is home to the Aletsch glacier, the largest in the Alps. The area is dominated by towering peaks such as the Jungfrau and the north wall of the Eiger. The highest mountain in the Bernese Alps is Finsteraarhorn, at 4,274 metres (14,022 feet).
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Turkey
This spectacular natural landscape in central Anatolia was created by erosion and hides ancient treasures, from rock art to homes carved into the rock. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The area is famous for its fairy chimneys, or hoodoos, tall, thin spires of rock.
Las Médulas, León, Spain
What was the most important gold mine in the entire Roman Empire has today left an incredible landscape of dramatic rock formations. It gives a fascinating insight into the advanced engineering methods of the Romans, and the effect humans can have on the landscape. It was made a World Heritage Site in 1997.
The Dolomites, Italy
These craggy spires that dominate northeastern Italy were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. The mountains are popular with climbers, many of whom visit to climb the via ferratas (‘iron paths’), a series of climbing routes and rock-face ladders that were built during World War I to help the movement of troops up the steep terrain.
Plitvice Lake National Park, Croatia
Croatia’s largest national park spans an area of 297 square kilometres (115 square miles) and is famous for its 16 emerald-green lakes that connect to each other via a system of waterfalls. Wooden walkways crisscross the lakes, giving visitors spectacular views of the natural wonders. Explore on foot or take advantage of the park’s boats and buses if you want to avoid the climb to the upper lakes.
Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, Hungary, Slovakia Border
This complex cave system is located along the border of northeast Hungary with southeast Slovakia. It consists of 712 caves over a relatively small area, full of unusual rock formations, stalagmites, stalactites and fossils. The caves’ rare combination of tropical and glacial effects allows geologists to study their history over tens of millions of years.
Pirin National Park, Bulgaria
Pirin National Park in southwest Bulgaria encompasses much of the Pirin Mountains, an increasingly popular destination for skiers and snowboarders from across Europe. The national park, which is also home to two nature reserves, is famous for its 118 crisply clear blue glacial lakes and its lush forests. It is also home to the oldest tree in Bulgaria.
According to UNESCO, the western Caucasus mountains in southern Russia, close to the winter resort of Sochi, form the only large mountain area in Europe that has not experienced significant human impact. These rugged mountains encompass a range of landscapes, from glaciers to lowlands, and are home to many different animal and plant species, from Nordmann Firs (at 85 metres or 279 feet high, said to be the tallest trees in Europe) to Persian leopards, which were recently reintroduced back into the wild here.
The Lake District, United Kingdom
The Lake District has long inspired poets and literary figures, who flocked to its green valleys and peaceful lakesides to write, and today draws millions of tourists. Home to picturesque mountains and lakes, as well as forest and woodland, the Lake District is one of the most recent additions to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, as it was approved only in 2017.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
This magical area of over 40,000 basalt columns, formed during an ancient volcanic eruption, has long inspired myths and folk tales. Legend has it that the columns are the remains of a causeway built by Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (or Finn MacCool). He was challenged to a fight by Scottish giant Benandonner and built the causeway so the two could meet. One story recounts how, when he saw how big Benandonner was, Finn MacCool disguised himself as a baby, and when Benandonner saw how big the babies were, he assumed the adults must be absolutely gigantic, so made a hasty retreat, destroying the causeway so he couldn’t be followed.
On November 14, 1963, the crew of a boat sailing off the south coast of Iceland spotted large plumes of black smoke coming from the sea. They thought it could be a sinking ship, but its true provenance was more surprising. What they were watching was an island being born, from volcanic eruptions taking place under the sea. The eruptions continued until 1967 when Surtsey was fully formed, with an area of 2.7 square kilometres (one square mile). The island has been protected since its formation and has provided scientists with a fantastic opportunity to study how flora and fauna colonise new land.
Check out UNESCO’s newest World Heritage Sites.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.