TRAVEL PICTURES: Best & Worst Destinations Rated, 2009

Best and Worst of the 2009 Traveler Places Rated Scorecard
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Fifth Place (Tie): Medieval Granada and the Alhambra, Spain

Tourists walk through the Comares Palace at the Alhambra in April 2009. The palace and gardens of the 14th-century Moorish citadel make up "one of those rare must-see destinations that lives up to the hype," said a panelist for the 2009 "Destinations Rated" scorecard.

The site was highly rated by survey participants for its crowd control: Visitors enter based on a daily quota system, and entry is timed to avoid crowding. However, one panelist expressed concern at a lack of protective measures for the palace's decorative surfaces.

"Evidence of repeated, prolonged touching had worn away both paint and actual decoration, at some places down to the substrate. The site is extremely heavily visited, and it's apparent that this is taking a toll."
— Photograph by Victor R. Caivano, AP
 
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