17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Can Sail To
Bringing Heritage and Sailing Together
17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Can Sail to on a UNESCO Yacht Charter
From Europe to Australia, we have compiled our favourite UNESCO yacht charter World Heritage destinations, where you can sail to. Each and every one of them has something different to offer, but we can ensure you that they all worth visiting.
On a UNESCO yacht charter, you can add one or more of these World Heritage sites to your itinerary. To learn more about history or discover wonders which can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
*Did you know that to be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.
Top 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Italy – Isole Eolie, Cinque Terre, & Venice
- Japan – Ogasawara Islands
- Montenegro – Durmitor National Park
- Seychelles – Aldabra Atoll
- Croatia – Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Cuba – Desembarco del Granma National Park
- Finland/Sweden – High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago
- France – Gulf of Porto
- Australia – Great Barrier Reef
- Brazil – Brazilian Atlantic Islands
- Spain – Ibiza
- United Kingdom – Dorset and East Devon Coast
- Greece – Mount Athos
- Antigua – Nelsons Dock Yard & English Harbour
- Croatia – Dubrovnik & Trogir
- Portugal – Azores
- Vietnam – Ha Long Bay
1. UNESCO Yacht Charter Italy - Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands), Cinque Terre, & Venice
The Aeolian Islands. Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi, and Alicudi – are little pieces of paradise. The amazing blue waters are ideal for swimmers, sailors, and divers, while the impressive volcanoes are ideally offered for trekking. Visitors should also try exceptional Malvasia wine on a UNESCO yacht charter.
Cinque Terre. There are five villages that make up the unique 15km coastline are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each village is unique, think colourful buildings, picturesque coves, and fresh seafood on every menu.
Venice. One of the most famous cities in Italy, famous for its canals, unique architecture, and historic sites. With over 118 islands there are lots of places to explore.
Other UNESCO Yacht Charter Sites. Portovenere, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto), and Naples.
2. UNESCO Yacht Charter Japan - Ogasawara Islands
Ogasawara Islands. Located 1,000km south of Japan, the collection of 30 islands is spread over an area covering 7,939 hectares. The islands vary in landscapes but contain ecosystems found nowhere else in the world. 195 endangered species of birds and 441 native plants call the area home. The islands are divided into three groups – Mukojima, Chichijima, and Hahajima, there are also three individual islands Kita-iwoto, Minami-iwoto, and Nishinoshima Island.
Paradise. They’re said to be a paradise for nature lovers, and for good reason. These islands offer a wide range of activities for everyone – from snorkeling and sea kayaking into the pristine waters, to forest hiking and whale watching; it’s truly one of Japan’s greatest adventures, to experience on a UNESCO yacht charter.
3. UNESCO Yacht Charter Montenegro - Durmitor National Park
Durmitor National Park. Formed by glaciers and traversed by rivers and underground streams, the ice and the water have carved such a dramatic landscape from the limestone in Durmitor National Park that makes it an interesting UNESCO yacht charter place to visit.
Activities. From December to March Durmitor is a famous ski resort, in summer it’s a popular place for hiking, sailing, rafting, and other adventure activities. The park has a great number of bird species, many types of mammals, and the widest variety of butterflies in Europe.
Žabljak. This is the park’s main gateway and the only town within its boundaries. It’s not a large town, but you can find essential facilities here such as restaurants, banks, accommodation, etc, great for a UNESCO yacht charter.
4. UNESCO Yacht Charter Seychelles - Aldabra Atoll
Aldabra Atoll. Aldabra is a coral atoll close to Africa and has been untouched by humans – a real unspoilt paradise, instead home to 152,000 giant tortoises.
Location. The atoll is made up of four large islands made of coral that surrounds a shallow lagoon. The island is not easily accessible and for this reason, it still has the largest population of giant tortoises in the world.
Importance. The main importance of this untouched ecosystem is for the study of evolutionary and ecological processes. The extraordinary beauty of this atoll is derived from the diversity of the ocean and land, which join to make a spectacular array of formations and colours.
5. UNESCO Yacht Charter Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park. The Plitvice Lakes National Park is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Croatia. It entered the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1979. The beautiful emerald lakes are a definite must-see in Croatia on a UNESCO yacht charter.
Natural Landscape. The sixteen lakes are interconnected by a series of waterfalls and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars, and rare bird species. The natural environment in this beautiful Park reminds you of fairytales and secret forests.
Other UNESCO Yacht Charter Sites. Croatia has another 9 UNESCO sites, including the historic complex of Split including the Palace of Diocletian, and Stari Grad Plain.
6. UNESCO Yacht Charter Cuba - Desembarco del Granma National Park
First Cuban UNESCO Heritage Site. The Desembarco del Granma National Park became the first place in Cuba to be declared one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its geographical features make it one of the most notable places in the Cuban archipelago. Beautiful cliffs and tall vertical escarpments are just a few of the natural beauties in the area, waiting to be discovered on a UNESCO yacht charter.
Marine Terraces. It also contains the second-largest and best-preserved system of marine terraces in the world, known for its diversity and excellent state of conservation.
Cliffs. The cliffs of the terraces are also of great interest, because, in addition to their beauty, they are important refuges for native flora and fauna. Here, you can find vertical caves that contain pictographs and other traces of former Indian occupation.
7. UNESCO Yacht Charter Finland/Sweden - High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago
Group Of Islands. The fast rate of uplift in a group of islands near Vaasa in western Finland has listed them among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The rapidly advancing shoreline is emerging from the Gulf of Bothnia at about a centimetre a year, multiplying the potential for exciting outdoor activities on a UNESCO yacht charter.
Activities. Bird-watching, cycling, sailing, canoeing, fishing, trekking are a few of the many great activities that you will be able to try in this different yet fascinating place. Kvarken is the stretch of the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern Baltic spanning the 80-kilometre channel between Finland and Sweden. Merenkurkku – literally ‘sea throat’ – is Finnish for the Swedish name Kvarken.
8. UNESCO Yacht Charter France - Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve
Gulf of Porto. One of the most famous Corsica’s landscapes, the Gulf of Porto, is fairly listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites; with its dramatic sculpted red rock and sweeping bays, it has to be seen to be believed, and a great way to do this is on a UNESCO yacht charter.
Paglia Orba. The pinnacles and ravines of the red granite Calanches soar out of beautiful blue seas framed by the jagged peaks of Paglia Orba. They are best explored by foot or by boat.
Columbo Line. Sail to the Calanches and follow the Columbo line from Porto. Stacked slabs, towering pinnacles, and gnarled, claw-like outcrops of rock were formed by volcanic eruptions at Scandola millions of years ago and subsequent erosion has fashioned spectacular shapes in the rock. The colours are remarkable and vary from charcoal grey to incandescent reds and rusty purples which strike a vivid contrast with the deep green maquis and the cobalt blue sea. The headland and its surrounding waters were declared a nature reserve in 1975, so wildlife is as varied here as anywhere in Corsica.
Other UNESCO Yacht Charter Sites. Le Haure, Pitons, Cirques, and parts of Reunion Island, Mont-Saint-Michel, and its Bay, and the lagoons of New Caledonia reef.
9. UNESCO Yacht Charter Australia - Great Barrier Reef
Breathtaking Beauty. It’s said to be one of the most beautiful and remarkable natural gifts in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains a plethora of marine life, you can find over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays as well as, literally, hundreds of picturesque tropical islands. All these along with some of the world’s most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.
Other Activities. Listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Great Barrier Reef offers a wide range of activities to attract a large number of visitors to do activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, aircraft or helicopter tours, sailing, glass-bottomed boat viewing, semi-submersibles, and educational trips, cruises, whale watching and swimming with dolphins.
Other UNESCO Yacht Charter Sites. Shark Bay, Fraser Island, Heard and McDonald Islands, and Nigaloo Coast.
10. UNESCO Yacht Charter Brazil - Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves
Unspoilt Beauty. With a small population and only a few visitors each year, the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago maintains its natural beauty. The Atol das Rocas is a Biological Reserve and is only visited by researchers.
Marine Life. An oasis of fertile waters, which are extremely important breeding and living places for tuna, shark, turtle, and marine mammals, and which play a crucial role in the natural fish restocking of the region.
Sae Birds. These islands are home to the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the Western Atlantic, whilst the Dolphin Bay (Baía dos Golfinhos) hosts an exceptional population of resident dolphin, and at low tide, Rocas Atoll provides a spectacular seascape of lagoons and tidal pools teeming with fish and a great variety of shellfish, sponges, molluscs, corals, etc.
11. UNESCO Yacht Charter Spain - Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture
Ibiza. This famous island is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for a good reason; it provides an excellent example of the interaction between the marine and coastal ecosystems. The dense seagrass, an important endemic species found only in the Mediterranean basin, contains and supports a diversity of marine life.
UNESCO Yacht Charter. A UNESCO yacht charter in Ibiza is a great way to see this site as well as discovering beautiful beaches and enjoying superb sailing, on a UNESCO yacht charter.
Archaeological History. Ibiza, also, preserves considerable evidence of its long history. The archaeological sites at Sa Caleta (settlement) and Puig des Molins (necropolis) testify to the important role played by the island in the Mediterranean economy in protohistory, particularly during the Phoenician-Carthaginian period. The fortified Upper Town (Alta Vila) is an outstanding example of Renaissance military architecture; it had a profound influence on the development of fortifications in the Spanish settlements of the New World.
12. UNESCO Yacht Charter United Kingdom - Dorset and East Devon Coast
Jurassic Coast. Dorset and East Devon Coast, or otherwise known as the Jurassic Coast, it is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as it’s a walk through time. With its rocks and fossils, you can uncover detailed stories from Earth’s ancient past. Through its landslides, cliffs, and beaches you can learn about the natural processes that formed the coast and continue to shape the world today. These sites are beautiful to see on a UNESCO yacht charter.
Fossil Hunting, The different rocks along the Dorset and East Devon coast have been carved by the sea into beaches, bays, landslides, arches, and cliffs. This fascinating variety in the landscape helps create the natural beauty of the area and makes the Jurassic Coast an inspirational place to explore on a UNESCO yacht charter.
13. UNESCO Yacht Charter Greece - Mount Athos
The ‘Holy Mountain’. This place is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognised artistic site. The layout of the monasteries (about 20) had an influence as far afield as Russia, and its school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art.
Mount Athos. Cloaked by beautiful chestnut and other types of Mediterranean forest, the steep slopes of Mount Athos are punctuated by twenty imposing monasteries and their subsidiary establishments. You can visit the mountain by boat on a UNESCO yacht charter to enjoy the amazing coastline and natural beauty with your family and friends.
Other Greek UNESCO Yacht Charter sites. The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos, Medieval City of Rhodes, and Old Town of Corfu which you can visit on a UNESCO yacht charter.
14. UNESCO Yacht Charter Antigua - Nelsons Dock Yard and English Harbour
Nelsons Dock Yard. On the island of Antigua is the Georgian style buildings within a walled enclosure. These buildings were created in the 18th century by the British Navy to provide shelter, protect the sugar cane, and repair boats in high winds and hurricanes. This is a great UNESCO yacht charter site to visit during your stay in the country.
Other Caribbean UNESCO Yacht Charter Sites. Bridgetown (Barbados), Port and Fortress of Cartagena (Colombia), Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Blue and John Crow Mountains (Jamaica), Pitons Management Area (St Lucia), and Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park (Saint Kitts & Nevis). These are all great additional places to visit on a UNESCO yacht charter.
15. UNESCO Yacht Charter Croatia - Dubrovnik & Trogir
Dubrovnik. In 1979, Dubrovnik was appointed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A city rich with history, Dubrovnik has always had ties to the sea. With stunning architecture, an enchanting pedestrian old town, and majestic ocean views, Dubrovnik definitely has a unique feel. Set on the southern side of the Adriatic Coast, Dubrovnik offers access to many other small islands and beautiful coastal points, great for a UNESCO yacht charter.
Trogir. One of the oldest cities in Croatia, Trogir is an ideal and relaxing destination. In summer, despite the city is relatively quiet during the day, when the night comes, the city floods with a mysterious and romantic essence. A great place for a quieter UNESCO yacht charter.
Other Croatia UNESCO Yacht Charter sites. Croatia has another 9 UNESCO sites, including the Old City of Dubrovnik, Historic City of Trogir, the historic complex of Split including the Palace of Diocletian, and Stari Grad Plain.
16. UNESCO Yacht Charter Portugal - Azores
Islands. The Azores archipelago is located off the coast of Portugal. Split into nine islands – Western Group (Corvo and Flores), Central Group (Faial, Graciosa, Pico, São Jorge, and Terceira), and the Eastern Group (Santa Maria and São Miguel). These islands are great for a UNESCO yacht charter with sailing, hiking, diving, whale watching, with beautiful nature, waterfalls, lagoons, and volcanic craters.
Angra do Heroísmo. Located within the Azores, this port town has been used throughout history as a port of call for Africa and the West Indies routes. Around the town, there are various forts and historic buildings such as São Sebastião and São João Baptista fortifications. Built between the 15th and 16th centuries, this town is filled with history and unique buildings.
17. UNESCO Yacht Charter Vietnam - Ha Long Bay
Natural Wonders. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, with 1,600 islands and inlets makeup Ha Long Bay. With its limestone pillars, scenic beauty, and uninhabited islands. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994, thanks to it’s unique and unreal beauty and the want to preserve it for years to come. A great place for a UNESCO yacht charter.
Other Asian UNESCO Yacht Charter Sites. Levuka Historical Port Town (Fiji), and Komodo National Park (Indonesia).
Other UNESCO Yacht Charter Destinations
Other UNESCO yacht charter sites are the following;
- Colombia – The Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments in Cartagena.
- Fiji – Levuka Historical Port Town
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