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Authentic Vacations Celebrates UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Posted March 5, 2023

Authentic Vacations Celebrates UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Authentic Vacations Highlights UNESCO Travel Experiences


Mary Beth Kelm, COO of Authentic Vacations, a member of TPG, is excited to announce a new category for their customized travel and Small Guided Vacations: UNESCO World Heritage Sites. UNESCO’s first project was saving the extraordinary cultural heritage of Egypt’s Nile Valley, including its pyramids and the treasures within, during the building of the Aswan dam. Saving Venice, Italy, and its lagoon was also an early success. The organization continues to protect and preserve sites of cultural and natural beauty throughout the world.

“At Authentic Vacations,” says Kelm, “we believe that travel creates well-being on every level. First, of course, we all need a break from our daily lives to renew and see the world with fresh eyes. Also, travel helps us celebrate and fulfill our curiosity about the past and to share stories with others about the wonders of our beautiful world. Discovering UNESCO’s magnificent sites, in person, gives us a greater understanding of how important it is to take care of our precious resources.”

Bryggen, the historic wharf of Bergen in Norway, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

UNESCO’s aim is to encourage visitors to recognize sites of outstanding cultural heritage and natural beauty as sources of inspiration. Being listed as a site has a positive effect on the local environment and economy—it also creates international recognition and legal protection. As global citizens, we are invited to visit and experience the distinctive magic of each one.

Kelm states, “The UNESCO destinations we offer our clients are diverse and thrilling. They include Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia, Ireland’s Boyne Valley, the historic center of Florence, the Medici Villas and Gardens of Tuscany, Norway’s western fjords, the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, Rome inside its ancient walls, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, Northwest Wales, and Yellowstone. And that’s just a sampling!”

Read all the UNESCO articles on our Travel Advice blog.

Authentic Vacations offers Small Guided Vacations, with no more than 18 people, via a small luxury coach. Authentic is also an industry favorite for creating customized vacations. Travel in these can be self-drive, chauffeured, by rail, or a combination thereof. Every type of vacation has high-end lodgings, including castles, resorts, spas, and boutique hotels, plus a local guide. Unique experiences such as foraging for truffles, cooking in a chef’s kitchen, and stories from Indigenous elders are a hallmark.

UNESCO sites have many stated goals, but central to all is that a place must represent a masterpiece of human creative genius; it exhibits an important exchange of values over a long period of time in a cultural area of the world; bears testimony to a culture, tradition, or civilization that is alive or has disappeared; has exceptional natural beauty and ecosystems.

Stonehenge and the megaliths of Avebury in Wiltshire, UK, have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.

“The core value of Authentic Vacations is a recognition that life is a gift. That our heritage is an acknowledgment of where we’ve been, as well as the legacy we leave our children. We know our cultural and natural worlds are irreplaceable, and we are honored to offer a window into these UNESCO sites to our clients,” states Mary Beth. “We look forward to designing travel that gives our clients the world.”

Authentic Vacations has arranged over 200,000 trips and is a trusted member of ASTA, ITOA, and is part of the UK-based leading destination management company, Tour Partner Group. They are affiliated with Tourism Ireland, Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Cymru Wales, Italia, and Australia.