Here Are 25 Storybook European Villages You Must Visit

Are you planning your next holidays in Europe but having trouble choosing a destination? Well, even though most travelers choose to visit Europe’s largest and most popular cities – such as Paris, London, Barcelona, or Prague – you should know that this fascinating country is filled with secret and unspoiled villages waiting to be discovered. So here’s a list of the 25 most beautiful European towns that should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list! Explore these places with us and maybe it’ll help you choose your next holiday spot! Don’t miss #19, #10 and #5, there are one of our favorites!

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#25. Giornico

Located in the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland, Giornico is a hidden medieval village that seems as if it were lost in time. Located only 35 miles from the towns of Ascona and Locarno, this 14th-century stoned city is a perfect choice if you’re hoping to enjoy beautiful architecture surrounded by hills and nature. To enter the town, you must cross a beautiful stoned Romanesque bridge.

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The town is surrounded by several striking ancient churches, like the famous Romanesque Church of San Nicolao and the church of Santa Maria del Catello, which used to be the old fortress of the village. Don’t forget to try the food from the grotte, the famous local restaurants.

#24. Kotor

If you are in the Balcans, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the city of Kotor in Montenegro. Surrounded by hills and the cool waters of the Adriatic Sea, Kotor is receiving more tourists each year, so come and visit before it becomes too mainstream! You will fall in love with the surrounding precipitous black peaks and the sea’s jagged shoreline.

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This medieval town is perfect if you are looking for peace and calmness, and the best thing you can do is to simply wander through its stoned streets. But you should also know that it also has a vibrant nightlife, as there are several famous bars and pubs near the Old Town.

#23. Bolgheri

The town of Bolgheri is located in the middle of the Viale Dei Cipressi, in Italy. This historic medieval village is only a few miles from Tuscany, one of the country’s most popular cities. Bolgheri is famous for its fairytale landscape, as most of its streets are lined with cypress trees and surrounded by vineyards.

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The city offers many places to visit and explore, like the Oratorio Di San Guido and the small obelisk built by Giuseppe Della Gherardesca in honor of the famous poet Giosuè Carducci. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the local coffee at Caffé Della Posta.

#22. Staufen Im Breisgau

If you ever visit Berlin or Munich, then here’s a marvelous town you can include in your itinerary! You should visit Staufen Im Breisgau, located at the edge of the Black Forest in southern Germany. You can try some of Germany’s best wines and go on a tour through the city’s iconic terraced vineyards.

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The city is well equipped with everything you need, featuring several pastel houses, shops, museums, and tour agencies. You can visit landmarks like Europa Park, St. Trudpert Monastery Church, the Keramic Museum, Burgruine and Kaysersberg, which used to be the home of Albert Schweitzer. You’ll also be impressed by the town’s stunning Gothic architecture.

#21. Lavenham

England is one of the most visited places around the town of Lavenham is one of the country’s most fascinating hidden gems. Considered one of the most beautiful towns in England, its ancient architecture will surprise you, as it features more than 350 heritage houses. If you want to experience the authentic English culture, you should visit Lavenham, and don’t forget to eat in one of its many traditional teahouses!

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Located only 14 miles from London’s Liverpool Street Station, the city offers many activities you can choose from. We suggest trying a meal at the Great House or visiting the Lavenham Guildhall as well as the St. Peter and St. Paul Churches. If you’re an architecture lover, then visit Little Hall, a 14th-century ball house that will make you travel through time.

#20. Aberdour

If you are in Scotland, take a day (or maybe more) to travel to the hidden city of Aberdour. Getting there is very simple, as you only need to take a train from Edinburgh station! If you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh and Glasgow, then this is the place for you, as cars are not allowed inside this medieval town.

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The town’s main attraction is its 13th-century castle, which also features an art gallery, a fine-painted ceiling, and a wonderful garden. Also, you can take a walk through the two beaches – Silver Sands and Aberdour Black Sands – where you can do watersports or either relax.

#19. Norcia

If you have the chance to visit Italy, don’t forget to include Norcia on your list. Located in the east of Umbria, this town is famous for its local culinary traditions. We are sure you will want to stay forever and try every local dish, especially the black truffles!

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The own boasts a beautiful square, which is home to the ancient St. Benedetto Church as well as the Cathedral Of Santa Maria Argentea. You should also visit the 13th-century Town Hall, the Loggia, and the iconic Bell Tower. However, all of the town’s narrow stoned streets are worth exploring!

#18. Roundstone

The 19th-century fishing village of Roundstone is one of Ireland’s most unique sites. If you want to experience the local culture, then this is definitely the place you wanna go to. If you want to try the authentic Irish cuisine, go to O’Dowd’s, one of the town’s finest restaurants.

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If you like sports, climb the Errisbeg Hill where you’ll have the best view of Connemara National Park’s Twelve Bens. If you’re looking for a souvenir for your loved ones, then head towards the Malachy Kearn’s shop, where you can get the region’s traditional drum, the bodhran. If you wanna relax, go for a coffee at the traditional coffeehouse Bog Bean Cafe.

#17. Chassignolles

Located in the department of Haute-Loire at the center of France, the village of Chassignolles is truly enchanting! This small town used to be the main attraction of the Marseilles’ elite in the 50s. Nowadays, you can visit the 12th-century Romanesque church and try some of the best local dishes.

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The best thing about the local food is that it’s a blend of different cuisines, which results in a unique culinary experience. If you’re up for a day trip, you can visit the hidden village of Durbiat, which is only a 90-minute walk from Chassignolles.

#16. Folégandros

Want to travel to Greece but don’t want to be surrounded by hoards of tourists and cruise ships? If you are looking for a clear, blue deep sea and picturesque white houses, the island of Folégandros in the Cyclades is the place you’re looking for.

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Without a doubt, Folégandros is one of the country’s most underrated islands, but you should know it has nothing to envy other mainstream sites such as Mykonos or Santorini. Don’t forget to visit Chora Village as well as its historical district, Kastro. Last but not least, try a local meal at Irini’s!

#15. Getaria

In the Basque Country, there is a beautiful city called Getaria and it’s only 15 miles away from San Sebastian. If you are looking for a quiet place and excellent food, we highly recommend you to travel here! This fishing city is well known for its port and its gastronomy, where you can try baby squid and turbo pulled into the grill.

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The city’s port is really worth a visit, and if the day is nice, you may even go for a swim in the Bay Of Biscay’s calm blue waters. Feel free to ask the fishermen about their lifestyle and traditions, and bear in mind that the dishes they cook are exquisite! Also, you can take a walk through the city and visit the Museum Balenciaga or either relax at the little beach of Getaria.

#14. Marvão

At the southeast of the Alentejo region in Portugal, you’ll find a charming mountain village named Marvão. It is surrounded by mountainside forts which you can visit and see for yourself. You can also visit the Moorish Castle built in the 9th century during the Arabic invasion, and which was Christianized in the 13th century.

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The town is full of beautiful ancient houses reflecting a blend of different architectural styles: some feature arches, others boast classic Manueline windows, while others are built in a clear Gothic style. Don’t miss the town’s greatest landmarks like the Igreja de Santa Maria, the Renaissance Capela Do Espiritu Santo, and the Convento de Nossa Senhora da Estela.

#13. Terschelling

Located only 85 miles from Amsterdam, the island and municipality of Terschelling is a must-visit if you travel to the Netherlands. Full of biking paths, you can explore the village’s streets, and you’ll always be surrounded by nature. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the De Noordvaarder Natural Reserve.

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The main attraction of the island is the Brandaris Lighthouse, which was built in 1594 and nowadays is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the Netherlands. Also, Terschelling is the home of the annual Oerol Festival, which focuses on public theatre and visual arts.

#12. Tisvildeleje

Located at only 80-minutes by train from the capital city of Copenhagen, the town of Tisvildeleje invites you to explore the capital’s corners and suburbs. If you go on this trip, you’ll encounter magnificent hidden gems such as the beautiful Kattegat Strait, a sea area surrounded by thatched-roof cottages and green hills.

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You will be surprised by the town’s amazing and beautiful beach. Tisvildeleje offers a wide range of activities which can suit every taste, from bars to relaxing natural sites. Enjoy the people’s warm hospitality, the village’s art scene, and the local food and local culture of this Danish wonder.

#11. Arild

Located at a two-hour drive and a short ferry ride from Copenhagen, the village of Arild in Sweden is famous for its beautiful natural landscape and picturesque houses. This charming fishing village has a rich history and is home to different cultures. Let’s learn a bit more about it!

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In the 80s, the artist Lars Vilks decided to declare the town an independent country, naming it Ladonia. This incident triggered a strike, which the police tried to dismantle, but other important artists supported Vilks. Nowadays, this town holds one of the most interesting public art exhibitions in the country.

#10. Hellnar

Some time ago, Hellnar was considered the largest fishing village of Iceland and today traveling there is like traveling back in time to the 11th century. The local people are keen on preserving the region’s environment and architecture, so not much has changed during the past millennium in this part of the world.

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This town is really near the Snaefellsjökull glacier, and the electrical plant of the town is eco-friendly in order to preserve the glacier. If you have the opportunity to visit this remote town, don’t miss going to the cave of Badstofa or Valasnos, the freestanding rock across the bay.

#9. Slavonice

Discover the magic of the Renaissance town of Slavonice, one of Europe’s least-known villages. Take a walk through the city and you will fall in love with the colorful medieval houses and shops. The city is considered as one of the most photogenic and charming cities of the Czech Republic.

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Don’t miss the opportunity to visit John Lifton’s Slavonice Institute, where you’ll learn about the post-war history of the region. Other interesting landmarks include the Landstejn Castle and the Kostel Boziho Tela Church.

#8. St. Mawes

St. Mawes is a lovely fishing village located in southern Cornwall, England. If you want to find peace during your holidays, we recommend you to stay at least for a weekend in this beautiful town, surrounded by the calm waters of the St. Mawes Harbour.

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St. Mawes is home to only 600 residents, but in spite of its small size, there are several activities which you can do! For instance, you can visit the striking St. Mawes Castle, the different coastal artillery fortresses from the time of Henry VIII, or the Tregony Gallery. You can also go on a river tour by ferry.

#7. St. Geniès

If you take the A89 highway from Bordeaux, you will come across a lovely french village called St. Geniès. A visit to the center of the town is like traveling in time. The town is most famous for its 12th-century church, which features a fortified bell-tower from the 14th century, and right next to it there’s a stunning 16th-century castle.

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You can also visit the Gothic chapel and every Sunday morning you can go to the market in the main square of the town and try the local products. We suggest exploring the town and the surrounding countryside by bike, and we assure you that you’ll feel like in a fairytale!

#6. Kardamili

Are you looking for a hidden place in Greece that is off the beaten path? You should visit Kardamili then! If you want to try some of the best and most authentic Greek salads and moussaka, you should visit this beautiful seaside village! Apart from its great food, it features amazing white-sand beaches, and the best part is that it’s only a three-hour car drive from Athens!

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Apart from the glorious Foneas beach, you can visit places like Mourtzinos Castle, The Olive Grove (where you can see some of the regional art) and the Church Of Agia Sophia. Don’t forget to try the local meals of Lela’s Taverna!

#5. Ullastret

Baix Empordà is one of Spain’s most exotic and unexplored regions and it is home to numerous picturesque villages, including Ullastret. Only 20 miles east from Girona, this small historic town is famous for its impressive archaeological remains.

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First, you can visit the fortified settlement of Ullastret located at Sant Andreu Mount. It is just two kilometers from the city, and all of its buildings date from the 7th century. If you are interested in local history, you should visit the Archaeology Museum Of Ullastret. After a long day, go to Slow Food Temple, the best place for local food!

#4. Hall In Tirol

Only a 10-minute train ride from Innsbruck, Hall In Tirol is one of Austria’s most beautiful towns. This must-visit village has a rich cultural heritage and a very interesting history. The city was established in 1303 and used to be the main center of the salt mining industry.

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There are many places to visit that you cannot miss, like the Muenze Tower, the St. Magdalen’s Chapel, the Mint Museum and Naturpark Karwendel, all fine examples of medieval architecture. Keep on reading our top three hidden wonders in Europe!

#3. Koguva

The least visited region of Europe is the Eastern side, but you should know that it’s full of fascinating sites too. If you’re into history and culture, then head towards Koguva, one of Estonia’s most beautiful towns, which used to be a Swedish feudal territory.

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Located on Muhu Island, you only need to take a ferry from Virtsu to get there. Its beautiful natural scenery will surprise you, as it is surrounded by green fields brimmed with orchids. If you want to escape from the bustling capital city of Tallin, then spend a weekend at Koguva in the company of wild goats and mooses.

#2. Plyos

Plyos is a remote town located on the banks of the Volga in Russia. With a population of 2500, it is one of the smallest towns in the country. But despite its small size, it features nine churches, a theater, and five museums, so you’ll never grow bored here! But the most remarkable feature of this town is the multicolored wooden houses scattered across the hills.

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If you want to experience the real Russian culture, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit this town. The most visited place in Plyos is a house with a mezzanine which used to be the home of merchant Solodovnikow. You should also visit the Museum Of Russian Landscape Art.

#1. Viscri

The 12th-century city of Viscri in Romania is nowadays a UNESCO World Heritage Site and luckily it’s well preserved up to these days. It boasts both stunning natural scenery and rich cultural heritage, making this place a must-visit.

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Viscri is one of Prince Charles Of Great Britain’s favorite places in the world. This small historic town is full of churches and rural fortifications that will make you travel in time, as many of them date as far back as the 12th century. What are you waiting for?

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