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8 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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8 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites

We have a bunch of New UNESCO Heritage Sites on the list, to add to our ever-growing bucket list!

All of these cultural and natural landmarks are recognized for their outstanding value to humanity. Discover which wonders made the list this year. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a handful of our favorites. Learn more about other sites on the UNESCO official webpage

What are some of YOUR favorite UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

Let us know in the comments!


1. Naumburg Cathedral, Germany

Built in the 11th century, this gorgeous cathedral is remarkable from a distance for its stain glass windows and soaring Gothic arches. Its real claim to fame, however, is the medieval art inside—including 12 life-sized statues of the cathedral’s founders. The Naumburg Masters was a workshop of sculptors and stonemasons in the 13th century who dedicated their work of realistic sculptures to the cathedral and all over France, Middle Rhine area and boundaries of the German Empire. This is a destination for history buffs — the cathedral and the region around it has a high density of authentic monuments and structures dating back to the High Middle Ages.

2. Chiribiquete National Park, Colombia

Ever-surprising Colombia takes next place with this national park, sometimes called the Maloca (“Amazonian long house”) of the Jaguar. As Colombia’s largest protected site, it protects 10,810 square miles and over 3,000 species of animals and plants. High on the sandstone plateaux, over 75,000 rock paintings have been found. Nature lovers will surely love this one.


3. Ivrea, Italy

This small Piedmont town near Turin is famous for its 20th century industrial boom in typewriters and computers. Stunning Ivrea is also a remarkably beautiful village, resting on the Dora Baltea river, and, at the time of writing, still off the usual tourists’ map.

4. Caliphate City of Medina Azahara, Spain

The Islamic civilization of Al-Andalus is highlighted all across southern Spain, especially Alhambra. Added to the list of must-sees this year is the Medina Azahara. These ruins, 1.5 hours from Seville, were built between 940 and 975 c.e. and once held the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba.

5. Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, South Africa

The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains are so ancient, with volcanic and sedimentary rocks dating back over 3 billion years. More adventurous travelers will have quite the holiday hiking and biking around the town of Barberton and the nature reserve.

6. The Border of Hedeby and the Danevirke, Germany

Once a Viking trading post, this cultural landscape now consists of the ruins of a 33-km-long fortification–the Danevirke–as well as the archaeological site of the trading town Hedeby. Hedeby rose in power on the major trade routes between the Frankish Empire and Scandinavia, as well as between the Baltic and North Seas.

7. Göbekli Tepe, Turkey

This mysterious archaeological site in southeastern Turkey is the oldest known example of hunter-gatherer settlers in the world. It houses the world’s oldest known megaliths, with around 200 pillars in about 20 circles, and may have the world’s oldest temple as well. Göbekli Tepe dates back to around 9600 and 8200 b.c.e., and is a fascinating glimpse into ancient Mesopotamian culture.

8. Hidden Christian Sites, Japan

Kyushu Island keeps many historical secrets, but its historic Christian community that draws the eye of UNESCO—with 10 villages, Hara castle and cathedral that were built between 16th-19th centuries, despite a ban of all outsiders during the Tokugawa Shogunate. Along with these Christian remnants, visitors can explore active volcanoes, bubbling hot springs and marvelous waterfalls.

What UNESCO World Heritage Sites are you looking forward to seeing in 2018?

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Filed under Asia, Colombia, Europe, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Turkey

Place a Bid into Premium Economy on Lufthansa

Did You Know? Lufthansa Premium Economy Class is offered on all routes flown by a Boeing 747-8 from Frankfurt.

And now you can bid your own way in this exclusive class!

NEW: Lufthansa Passengers have the option for the first time ever to place a bid to upgrade from Economy Class to Premium Economy.


What are the benefits to Lufthansa Premium Economy?

You can check in two bags each weighing up to 23 kilograms free of charge.

  • You will be greeted on board with a welcome drink.
  • You will enjoy spacious and comfortable seating of up to 50% more space.
  • You can experience the in-flight program on an 11-/12-inch monitor.
  • You will receive a bag with useful travel accessories.
  • You can enjoy the benefits of the Lufthansa Bussiness Lounges and the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge in Frankfurt.

How it Works: Willamette Intl Travel will issue your coach ticket for you and you can then go to the website to bid in the auction. Login at the website LH.com to see if the ticket qualifies for my Offer. You can then place an upgrade bid online. Bids can be edited and retracted up to 72 hours before the flight’s scheduled departure.

The selection process takes place between 72 to 36 hours prior to departure, and 48 to 24 hours prior you will be informed whether or not your bid has been accepted. If it is accepted, your credit card will be charged automatically. If it is not accepted, passengers will fly in Economy Class with no additional costs.

 Additional information about myOffer and Premium Economy Class, as well as routes that are already available, can be found at the following link: www.LH.com/premium-economy-myoffer


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Filed under Airlines, Europe, Germany, Lufthansa

Reading List: Germany

Thinking of a Christmas Trip to Germany? Call Willamette Intl Travel to discuss your options for an independent trip, escorted tour, or river cruise through Germany to check out their lovely Christmas markets.

And Plus! Read before you go!


Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad (1880). A literary classic with witty observations about Germany 111during the 1880s. Probably most famous for its postscript “The Awful German Language.”

Christopher Isherwood, Mr. Norris Changes Trains (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939). Books that chronicle the Weimar years (1919-1933), and whose stories inspired the movie Cabaret.

Michael Gorra, The Bells in their Silence: Travels Through Germany (2004). A modern travelogue by an American literature professor who traveled around Germany during the 1990s.


Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts (1977). Beautifully composed, a fascinating account of the author’s journey on foot from Holland to Turkey in the years before WWII.

113Erich Maria Remarque. All Quiet on the Western Front (1929). A harsh novel about the extreme conditions of World War I.

Bernhard Schlink. The Reader (1997). The story of a young man, the woman he thinks he knows, and their separate love and secrets in postwar Germany.



Our agents have traveled throughout Germany for years and would love to share our knowledge and expertise with you! Give us a call at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Europe, Germany, Reading Lists, Where in the World is the WIT Client?

Three Romantic Roads in Germany

Willamette Intl Travel offices are located in Portland, Oregon and in 2011 we were delighted to hear that Grimm, a fantasy detective television drama, started filming here in our own backyard! The TV show has generated some great interest with the real Grimm fairy tales and the Brothers Grimm of Germany. In the 19th century, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm wandered around Bavaria, collecting local fairytales for posterity. Did you know you can travel along this actual route, following the Grimms’ footsteps to historical sites, towns, or regions? Wittravel has teamed up with one of our preferred vendors, Avanti Destinations, to organize some great itineraries to take you to the romantic and historical heart of Germany. The following itineraries are recommended and are fully customizable. Check them out:


4 Nights. Includes car rental, hotels, map, suggested driving itinerary, daily breakfast. The fairy tale roads follows in the historical path of the Grimm Brothers through cobblestone streets, across half-timbered cottages, and gnarled forests. You can trace this 595km (370mi) route from Hanau where the brothers were born to Bremen, where the Bremen Town Musicians lived. The route goes through some of the prettiest medieval villages in the country, including Kassel and Gelnhausen.


4 Nights. Includes car rental, hotels, map, suggested driving itinerary, daily breakfast. Travel along the 620 miles of the Castle Road and admire spectacular castles, palaces, and towns of medieval and Roman architecture. Explore the town of Rothenberg and its well-preserved Old Town (seen in the 2010 film Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows), and the ruins of Neckarsteinach, Schloß Schadeck and many others. Wander around the rich centers of Nuremberg and Heidelberg, and their castles and toy museums. Next, drive to Aisbach Valley and stay in one of twenty-two guestrooms in the four-star Rabenstein Castle in Bavaria.


5 Nights. Includes car rental, hotels, map, suggested driving itinerary, daily breakfast. Step back in time to the picturesque countryside; discover fairytale castles and magical medieval towns. Visit the Residenz in Wurzburg, one of Germany’s most splendid Baroque palaces, or wander the fantastically preserved town square of Tauberbischofsheim. Stop in the charming town of Nördlingen and admire its magnificent town walls and eleven watchtowers. Visit the magnificent university town Augsburg, with its Italian Renaissance town hall, and the celebrated storybook castles of King Ludwig II—Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein.

These itineraries are by no means the limit! Our agents have been to Germany several times and would love to share our knowledge and expertise with you! Give us a call at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Europe, Germany, Travel by Car, Vendors