I’ve never been let down by visiting a UNESCO World Heritage site. There’s a reason those places make the list after all. Tramping up the pyramids at Chichen Itza in Mexico, exploring the palaces of Beijing‘s Forbidden City, riding a horse-drawn carriage through the cobblestone streets of Brugge, Belgium—all of these rank as some of my favorite travel memories. I’m sure they do for you, too, because it certainly seemed like we were all there at the same time.
Yes, these spots can get a little crowded. On my recent trip to Greece, I experienced this phenomenon at the Acropolis. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved seeing the Acropolis. Despite the crowds, it’s a fascinating place, and you should go. It’s the Acropolis. But it’s not exactly a retreat made for quiet reflection. Which is why I also recommend Mystras, another Greek UNESCO World Heritage Site where I saw approximately 10 other people over the course of a three-hour visit with my family.
The site is divided into upper and lower sections. We drove to the upper, explored that for a while, then drove down the five minutes of switchbacks to the lower and spent more time wandering around there. You could probably walk down, but you if did that, you would probably not be traveling with an 8-year-old, as we were.
P.S. After we explored Mystras, we ate stuffed tomatoes here.
P.P.S. Mystras is also the starting point for one of the most beautiful drives in Greece.
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