Welcome to Winterlude; Brian Barth; USA Today

Canada – Rideau Canal

As a guy born in Atlanta, I don’t ice skate. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the festivities along Ottawa’s Rideau Canal, transformed each winter into the world’s longest “skateway,” stretching 5 miles through the heart of Canada’s historic capital city.

A working waterway that connects the Ottawa River with Dow’s Lake, the frozen canal becomes center stage for Winterlude. It’s home to a citywide festival in the first three weeks of February where locals shake off the winter doldrums and hit the streets to revel in the beauty of the season — and where non-locals can engineer a great getaway north of the U.S. border.

“Winterlude is a celebration of Canadian winter activities, as well as our values and traditions,” says Katherine Cyr, a spokesperson with Canadian Heritage, the federal department that puts on Winterlude. “In 2017, we’re going to be highlighting Canada’s 150th anniversary.”

Read more


Canal Bank: A Gated Area Near Beijing With Unrivaled Access to Green Space; Laura House; Mansion Global

China – The Grand Canal

Northern China’s wealthiest and most powerful elites call it home

Beijing is a beguiling blend of ancient architecture and design and the Canal Bank, an exclusive residential enclave built in 2009, is a fitting reflection of this forward-looking capital city that also honors its past.


The 84-acre neighborhood, which was developed by Thaihot Group seven years ago, has 208 detached houses with 20 acres of forest. It’s located at the east of S229 highway and north of Yunchaojian River, part of the Grand Canal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, according to Bruce Li, manager of investments and commercial of Asia Pacific Properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International.

Read more

6 Non-Touristy Balkans Destinations to Visit in 2017; Michaela Trimble; Vogue

THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA – Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region

Topping most travel lists is an island-hopping escapade through Croatia and Montenegro, as both countries offer a slew of stunning coastlines and Old World charm where cobblestoned streets and castles prove common. But unbeknownst to most, these countries are just the outset of exploration into the Balkans region, home to a number of culturally vibrant and naturally impressive countries where you won’t run into troves of tourists: You can dine alfresco at family-run, waterfront restaurants, and you don’t have to dodge selfie sticks while enjoying castle-top views. Here, discover six destinations in the Balkans you need to visit now.


Read more

Rio de Janeiro accorded UNESCO world heritage status; Current Affairs Today

Brazil – Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea

The UN cultural body UNESCO has accorded world heritage status to Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro (nicknamed as Marvelous City).  It has been registered as “Carioca Landscapes between Mountain and Sea” on the UNESCO world heritage list. Rio de Janeiro has been accorded this status in recognition of its extraordinary fusion of man-made and natural beauty, soaring granite cliffs, urban rainforest and beaches. It also had hosted 2014 football World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Background The UNESCO status to Rio de Janeiro was announced in 2012. It became official after the Brazilian authorities were given four years to report on their plans for protecting Sugarloaf Mountain, Flamengo Park,  Corcovado, Copacabana beach, Botanical Garden and Tijuca forest.


Read more

The sub-Antarctic islands are home to strange ‘megaherbs’; Yao-Hua Law; BBC

New Zealand – New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands

On New Zealand’s Campbell Island near Antarctica, some plants grow surprisingly large despite the inhospitable conditions. We may finally know how they do it.

For many people, New Zealand is an exotic destination in a far corner of the world. For New Zealanders, of course, it is just home. But even the locals have to travel a surprisingly long way to reach the most remote part of the country. In fact, they have to sail south of the mainland for 600km.

At the end of a journey that can take almost three days, you would reach New Zealand’s most southerly territory: Campbell Island.

Campbell Island received Unesco World Heritage Site status in 1998 for its unique biodiversity, but nobody is offering tour packages. Perhaps it is because the long journey seems hardly worth it.

The island is cold, wet and windy.

Read more

Why Massimo Ferragamo Thinks You Should Visit Tuscany in Winter; Hadley Keller; Architectural Digest

Italy – Val d’Orcia

Massimo Ferragamo explains why you should consider exploring the beloved Italian region during the winter months

Most travelers to Tuscany visit during the summer and fall, exploring the sunlit countryside and book-ending the trip with a jaunt to Florence and Rome. But for Massimo Ferragamo—son of legendary designer Salvatore and chairman of Ferragamo USA—and his wife, Chiara, there’s something to be said for the winter months in Tuscany, too. The couple are owners of Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, a historic estate (and UNESCO World Heritage site) in the city of Montalcino, whose 17th- and 18th-century farmhouses have been converted into luxury villas available for rent. For the first time ever, the estate will remain open through the winter, allowing guests to experience firsthand the Tuscan season preferred by the Ferragamos. “Around the holidays, Tuscany is an absolutely magical place to be,” says Ferragamo.

Read more

Albania Receives $71 Million Loan for Tourism From World Bank; Janeen Christoff; TravelPulse

Albania – Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra

As the door closes on 2016 and people begin to look to up and coming destinations in the New Year, should we be looking to Albania? According to a report in Voice of America News, the World Bank just extended a $71 million loan to the country for tourism infrastructure.

“The World Bank said on Tuesday it had given Albania a $71 million loan to upgrade infrastructure in four southern towns to help attract foreign tourism but also urged local authorities to avoid unsustainable over-construction,” reports VOA.

Two of the four towns are UNESCO World Heritage sites, Gjirokaster and Berat, and the Port of Sarande and the southeastern town of Permet will also be getting makeovers.

Read more

Aleppo, Syria ‘before and after’ photos show the devastation of war; Megan Palin; News.com.au

Syrian Arab Republic – Ancient City of Aleppo

THE war in Syria has been described as the deadliest conflict of the 21st century.

But it’s the before and after pictures in the Old City of Aleppo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, that have painted the extent of the catastrophic death and destruction.

Aleppo, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, has been all but obliterated by barrel bombs, bullets, chemical attacks and air strikes in the war. While Syrians fight for their lives to escape the city once known as the cradle of civilisation, many photographers have stayed to ensure the world bares witness to the razing of Aleppo.

More than 300,000 Syrians have been killed in the armed conflict which started with anti-government protests before escalating into a full-scale civil war on July 19, 2012.

Read more

Some of the world’s top heritage sites are right here in the U.S.; Lynn O’Rourke Hayes; Dallas News

USA – Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

Revered and protected for their “outstanding universal value,” UNESCO has designated 878 World Heritage Sites.

These sites are inspiring and significant, and 20 of the are in the United States. Here are five that may interest your family:

Charlottesville, Va.

Monticello, the mountaintop residence of Thomas Jefferson, is the only home in America on the elite World Heritage list.

There are numerous tours available, including one designed for children ages 6 to 11. The 40-minute outing features hands-on opportunities and a glimpse of what life was like for the children who lived at Monticello in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Find out which events, illuminated through the popular musical Hamilton, are a part of Monticello’s history.

Discounted family tickets are available through the web site.

Contact: monticello.org.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad, N.M.

Read more

Why You Should Visit The Island Of Time: Mont Saint-Michel; Tom Mullen; Forbes

Mont Saint-Michel in France remains a stunning World Heritage site.

Source: Why You Should Visit The Island Of Time: Mont Saint-Michel