UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites is one of the most valuable resources for any traveler out there. The organization’s list gives travelers a point of reference for seeing some of the most historically, naturally, and culturally important places on the planet.
While countries like Italy and China probably aren’t a surprise for boasting many sites on the list, other smaller and more overlooked countries don’t get as much love for their richness. Here are three places that might surprise you.
Despite being a relatively unvisited country in southeastern Europe with only 7 million residents, Bulgaria is rich in World Heritage Sites, containing 10. Some of the most standout places to visit include the Boyana Church in Sofia, the ancient city of Nessebar, and the Madara Rider rock carvings.
South Africa also has ten World Heritage Sites, with a special focus on natural and cultural landscapes such as its Fossil Hominid Sites, the Cape Floral Region, and the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape. You can also visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Would you believe that Tunisia, a small country in North Africa of only 11 million inhabitants, has eight World Heritage Sites? Its history as an important part of the Roman Empire weighs heavily on its list of sites, with the ancient city of Carthage and the Amphitheatre of El Jem reflecting this history.