City life is fast, exciting and thrilling. Plus, life in the city offers lot of comforts; right from the latest gadgets to the fastest transport system, you get everything in the city. However, when life becomes too hectic, one looks for a place where one can relax, away from the crowd and noise of the city. Most people want to retreat into places that are not only beautiful but also peaceful, and would there be any better place than villages for the same. Several pristine villages are tucked away in every part of the world. While every village has its unique charm and beauty, we have picked 10 of the most beautiful villages and small towns that would definitely blow your mind away.
The first image that comes to mind when one thinks of Greece is that of the white-washed buildings with blue domes, perched on the hill. Although this is popularly known as Santorini, it is actually the Village of Oia in Santorini. The location of the beautiful houses gives a breathtaking view of the place. While Oia is quite popular and touristy, there is a peace and calm that is unique to the place. The view of the sea, the Santorini caldera, the beautiful windmill, etc. make a visit to this quaint village a must during your holiday in Greece.
Malta is known for its colourful buildings and also the beautiful beaches. But when it comes to villages, Popeye is surely the best that Malta offers. One of the most famous things about this village is that it was the location for the shoot of the 1980’s musical, Popeye. But the village is more than the movie. As you near the city, you would be greeted by old-fashioned, but charming houses huddled together. As it is near the Mellieha Bay, you would be able to visit the place after exploring the pretty beaches of the area. Apart from the beauty of the place, one thing that you should look forward in Malta is “Take 2 Filming”, which is an event where you get the chance to act in a live action movie.
Hobbiton, New Zealand
It is quite normal for a place to get popular after a movie is shot here. The same can be said about Hobbiton, but the only difference is that this village was created for the movie, The Lord of the Rings. Anyone who has either read the book or seen the movie would be familiar with the villages of the hobbits. A visit to Hobbiton would give you the chance to see the exact same houses that were seen in the movie or described in the book. As it is a popular location in New Zealand, there are several tours that you can be part of, if you want to explore the village and its beauty in detail.
The North Eastern part of India is not just beautiful but has also remained untouched by urbanization. While you would find several picturesque villages in this part of the country, Mawlynnong in Meghalaya is surely worth the visit for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that it won the title of the cleanest village in Asia in 2003 and the village is also 100% literate. But aside all this, the natural beauty of the place is something you must see to believe. During your visit, you must go to the viewing tower, the Sky View, from where you would be able to see splendid view of the place as well as the nearby Bangladesh. While enjoying the beauty and silence of the place, check out the living root bridges of Mawlynnong, which have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Italian cities of Rome, Venice and Florence attract people from all around the world, every year. However, if you want to escape the crowd of these cities and spend some peaceful time in a picturesque place, Alberobello is the place for you. Located in Southeast area of Italy, the thing that makes this village stand apart is its limestone houses or buildings with conical shaped roofs. The symbols on the top of the roof have some religious or spiritual significance. While you would enjoy strolling around this UNESCO World Heritage Site, do take the chance to see the church, museums and visit the restaurants where you get to taste some delicious local dishes.
Fenghuang Ancient Town, China
Another World Heritage Site, the Fenghuang Ancient Town is located in China. The reason that people flock to this place is because the beauty of the place has been preserved for more than 300 years. Yes, this old town was built in 1704 and comprises of wooden houses and stone roads, straight from a Chinese traditional painting. The village is perched on the Tuojiang River, which adds to its beauty. One of the best things to do here is to take a boat ride on the Tuojiang River, from where you can not only view the beautiful village but also the interesting life and attire of the locals.
Known to be the Venice of Netherlands, the Giethoorn Village is located within the De Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Complete with lush greenery, beautiful trees, numerous water canals and quaint little houses, Giethoorn is the epitome of peace and quietude. One unique thing about this village is that it is a car free village. You either sail on the canals in boats or explore the place on your legs by walking over the 150 bridges. If you want to spend a day amidst nature, this is the village in Netherlands that you must definitely visit.
Cua Van, Vietnam
One of the fishing villages on the Halong Bay of Vietnam, Cua Van is most popular for its surreal limestone rocks emerging from emerald green waters. If you can take your eyes away from the magnificent beauty of the place, you must take an effort to meet and understand the friendly local people and their culture. The people of this village live in floating houses that are spacious and clean, with almost all the modern day comforts like table, chair, television, etc. To know more about their lives and their occupation of fishing, opt for a home stay in Cua Van, where you can observe everything firsthand.
Simiane La Rotonde, France
South of France is quite well-known for its natural landscapes, and Simiane La Rotonde would give you a glimpse of this famed beauty of this place. The village is located on a small hill, over a high plain and is surrounded by olive trees, lavender fields, flower gardens, etc. giving it a picturesque look. In addition this, the village has cobbled streets, old-fashioned markets, pretty houses with ornate doors and windows, etc. In short, Simiane La Rotonde is nothing but the picturesque villages we see and read in books. Walk around the village to take in the unique vibe of the place.
The oldest village in Austria, Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the backdrop of the soaring mountains and glass-like Hallsatt Lake, the village is absolutely gorgeous and also one of the most photographed places on earth. The best way to visit the place is to take a ferry from the railway station to enjoy the amazing views of the mountain as well as the village. Apart from the beauty and solitude that you would enjoy at this village, take the chance to see the bone house, the oldest salt mine in the world as well as the beautiful houses of the place.
These attractive villages in the world may not be too popular. However, what they have to offer is not available in any modern city. So, if you are planning to visit any of these countries during your holiday, do make time to visit these wonderful places to enjoy their exquisite beauty.