Large, busy cities full of life and bright lights make fantastic places to visit, but small, lesser-known villages often make even better ones. Below is our list of the most beautiful villages in the world.
In one interesting twist, one of the most beautiful villages in the world is a vamped '80s movie set. Popeye Village was abandoned shortly after filming the 1980s musical Popeye, which featured deceased comedian Robin Williams, and today houses picturesque, colorful wood clusters, an ensemble of actors and a host of fun activities. Watch shows, take boat trips, explore the village, visit museums, or go wine tasting while the children play in the playhouses.
Nestled between Lake Hallstatt and the Dachstein Mountains lies Hallstatt, the oldest and perhaps most photographed village in Austria. This stunning European city boasts beautiful old churches, an underground salt lake, a museum with 7,000-year-old artifacts and a glassy lake against the breathtaking backdrop of towering mountains.
This mountain village lies in the breathtaking south of France and is surrounded by olive groves and lavender fields. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Explore the charming village, walk through narrow cobblestone streets and stone houses, admire the centuries-old architecture, join in aromatherapy discussions, visit the medieval castle and enjoy the scents and colors of the many flowers in the nearby garden of Valsaintes Abbey ,
Cinque Terre means "Five Lands" and is the collective name given to five different fishing villages, each with stunning coastal and mountain trails and beautiful classical architecture. Cinque Terre offers timeless appeal and a sense of authentic Italy with its rugged coastline and romantic district.
Despite its central location, Ortahisar has managed to remain largely traditional and slow. While the surrounding towns are becoming increasingly touristy, Ortahisar remains rustic and charming. Enjoy a drink and a meal in an underground cave bar. Marvel at Ortahisar's 78-meter high, stone-carved castle, and learn about the underground cave camps where citrus fruits are kept to maturity.
Oia is a traditional village with beautiful blue domed churches, sun porch porches, a number of art galleries and a maze of small shops, almost all of which offer panoramic views of Ammoudi Harbor and the Santorini volcano. Without a doubt, Oia is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Situated at the foot of Mt. Haku-san is the quiet mountain village of Shirakawa-go. Shirakawa-go is picturesque with its rolling rice fields and river, and it also boasts traditional thatched roof farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old, and the among the last of its kind in Japan. Engage with locals, learn the traditional art of dying and weaving and learn how to make delicious soba noodles while you’re there.
Ait-Ben-Haddou is a traditional clay mud village from southern Morocco. The village is located in a valley near the Atlas Mountains, thirty-two kilometers from the bustling film capital of Morocco. In the past, traders crossed the Sahara Strait and went through the city with spices and gold. As the use of this established trade route faded, many Kasbahs (fortresses) were abandoned in Ait-Ben-Haddou and have since been preserved relics.
Adorable and enchanting, Ha Long Bay is known for its natural beauty. Cua Van is just one of the fishing villages in Ha Long Bay, but is considered the most popular place. In an emerald-green bay, surrounded by mountains, is the tranquil Cua Van with its beautiful and exotic marine life, caves and grottos, ideal for exploring and a vibrant village culture.
Alberobello is a quiet Italian town famous for its fabulous 14th-century beehives. These stone buildings are made of local limestone and have conical roofs that are often dusted white with snow and decorated with painted symbols that are believed to have religious or superstitious significance. There are also a handful of small museums and the opportunity to buy and try local food. Alberobello is a great little village for a day trip.
In the hills of Andalusia lies Júzcar, a quiet town in Spain, formerly known as "Pueblo Blanco" because of its whitewashed walls. In 2011, Sony reached an agreement with the village leaders to paint the city blue and call it "The Smurf Village". This is part of the promotion of the then-released film "Smurfs". Since then, the walls of Júzcar have all remained bright and cheerful, although village life remains largely the same and Júzcar is still a quiet, tranquil little village.
With an estimated population of 300 villagers, Reine is one of those little towns nobody knows. In a perfect location at the mouth of the Reinefjord, near the incredibly beautiful Loftenberg, lies the quiet, picturesque fishing village of Reine. Go to Reine to enjoy the famous Northern Lights. Stay and enjoy life in the relaxed, rural fishing village. Stay in a Rorbu (a converted old fisherman's house), go whale watching and fishing like the locals or camp under the stars, ride your bike, kayak or birdwatch, and connect with nature.
The idyllic, thriving metropolis of Sidi Bou Said is located on a steep cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. About twenty kilometers from the capital, Tunis, Sidi Bou Said is a popular destination for locals and tourists. Stroll through the cobblestone streets with small shops and stalls, explore winding lanes, enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean, visit the Ennejma Ezzahra Palace, which pays homage to the neo-Moorish architecture, and enjoy the radiant Contrast of the city. lacquered doors and grates with the stark white of their Greek buildings.
Ping'an Village is located on the summit of Longsheng County's famous Longji rice terraces, 1200 meters above sea level. Ping'an is a small community of rice farmers where ancient traditions and local culture are evident and thriving. Picturesque, narrow mountain roads that lead to the summit, offer a magnificent view of the amazingly extensive rice fields, whose different terrace levels are nicknamed by the locals due to their different forms.
In the past, Wengen was primarily an alpine farming community, but has since become a popular resort with tourists wishing to explore snowy slopes in winter and hiking trails in summer. Despite the influx of tourists, the mountain village has preserved its homeland, its postcard-like atmosphere with its wooden houses, well-distributed holiday chalets, high mountains and a magnificent landscape.
Burano, the small island made of lace, is one of the most colorful cities in the world. Burano offers colorful colors and an almost tropical atmosphere in the northern lagoon of Venice. This small island and its only town are equipped with emerald water channels, charming houses, a 17th century belfry and the lace-making expertise that Leonardo da Vinci brought to the island in the 1400s.
One of the most beautiful small towns in Europe is Bibury, a small town in Gloucestershire Cotswolds. Bibury is a collection of stone buildings lined up along the banks of the Coln and is best known for Arlington Row, a picturesque series of Weberhouses, probably from the 14th or 16th century, before being converted in the 17th century. Arlington Row overlooks a meadow and a river and is pictured in the British passport.
Nestled among vineyards, Colmar is a beautiful microcosm of Alsatian life. Colmar boasts traditional houses, canals, famous wines, superb Middle Age architecture and stunning lights. In Colmar, 1100 computer-driven fiber optic lights of different colors and intensities illuminate the town at night on Fridays, Saturdays and every evening during major events and important local festivals.
Situated at the foot of a mountain and along the banks of Tuojiang River is Fenghuang, an old town built in 1704 which offers a look at China prior to modernization. Named for the phoenix-shaped shadow the looming mountain casts on the town, this old town is hailed as one of the best and most picturesque in all of China.
Palangan is a little-known rural Iranian village with an estimated population exceeding 1000 inhabitants. Tucked away in the valley with the Tangi Var River flowing through it, houses are etched out on the sloping valley sides in a terraced manner with roofs of houses doubling as verandas or yards for the houses above them. Locals embrace their cultural heritage through folk dance and song, and commonly enjoy country life by picnicking on the river’s banks, taking shade under nearby trees and playing simple games together.
Lush, hilly green fields, a dramatic steep cliff, a panoramic view of the neighboring island of Mykines and the famous Mulafossur waterfall characterize the shepherd village Gásadalur in the west of Vagar in the Faroe Islands. Until 2003, the picturesque pastoral village was virtually unknown and unreachable. In 2002, the village population was less than 20, but with the creation of a tunnel road for cars and vehicles in 2004, Gásadalur Village recorded a population increase and an increasing number of tourists.
At the eastern end of the vast Tibetan Plateau is the landmark monastery town Larung Gar, the largest Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world. This cultural, historical and religious site’s inhabitants and buildings currently face threat of forced migration and demolition, and unless the international community acts quickly this beautiful Tibetan village will soon be no more.
Hobbiton, New Zealand, is the film set in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Although the original plan was to build temporary sets to be knocked down after wrapping the films, a permanent set was set up that remains today. Explore the incredibly charming city - green fields, hobbit holes and much more.
Qasigiannguit, Greenland, is something of a forgotten paradise and another little town that no one knows. The Qasigiannguit is beautifully situated in the Disko Bay, surrounded by high and steep mountains that are up to 450 meters high. He is called "Spotted Seals" for the underwater world of the bay. The open land and high mountains around the Qasigiannguit are a challenging hike, but offer a rewarding view of the bay.
Spectacular on the coast of North Yorkshire is the pretty fishing village of Staithes. Colorful cottages line the natural harbor, and larger multi-level homes of varying colors stretch across the breathtaking clay cliffs overlooking the sea. The winding streets of Staithes, the natural harbor and the impressive cliffs make the city a great place to visit.
Connect with nature, immerse yourself in the centuries of history and get to know the fascinating local customs in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Enjoy authentic rustic, romantic small town atmosphere first-hand.
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