We all have our own ideas of what it’s like to go out to the countryside. Our expectations of it can almost all be met since there are so many different places in the world. But what they all have in common is clean air, a small population density, and a cozy atmosphere.
We collected 17 stunning and exceptional villages that will simply leave you speechless. You will definitely want to have them on your travel list after reading this article. And at the end, there is a bonus waiting for you. It will prove that buying your own castle is not as difficult as it might seem.
17. Hallstatt, Austria
Here, on the slope of a mountain, you’ll find beautiful houses surrounded by an azure lake that’s home to dazzling swans that float on the reflection of the Alps.
The population of Hallstatt doesn’t exceed 1,000 people and its location is unique as it’s located on a narrow strip of land between the gorgeous Alp mountains and Hallstätter See Lake.
16. Simiane-La-Rotonde Village in Provence, France
Everything you need to relax is here: blue skies, lavender fields, alpine mountains, Mediterranean dishes, summer festivals of ancient music, and the unforgettable charm of Provence. One of the main attractions of this place is Château des Agoult, a castle built in the 12th century. The town is named after a 2-angle pyramidal rotunda in the castle.
15. Rainbow Village, Taichung, Taiwan
On the outskirts of the city of Taichung, there was a military settlement that eventually was left by almost all of its inhabitants.The authorities decided to demolish the houses, but an 86-year-old war veteran painted the walls of the houses with different characters and patterns in order to save his house. Today, it’s one of the most visited tourist destinations in Taiwan.
14. Marsaxlokk, Malta
Marsaxlokk is a colorful fishermen village on the island of Malta. There are no storms in this harbor and that’s why the houses made of yellow sandstone stand so close to the water, having left only two lanes — one for the car traffic and one for pedestrians. The population of Marsaxlokk is only about 3,000 people. Most here are fishermen just like their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers.
13. Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, Perú
On the border of Perú and Bolivia on the Titicaca lake lives a tribe called Uru that resides on 42 floating islands located on the lake. These islands are built from the cane by the Urus themselves. The same material is used to make boats that are used for fishing. Despite being remote from civilization, one can see solar panels on these cane islands that let local people watch TV.
12. Alberobello, Italy
Alberobello is famous for its complex consisting of 1400 trullo buildings recognized by UNESCO as part of the historical and humanitarian heritage. Trullos are residential farmhouses made of limestone and are a unique example of buildings with walls of dry masonry. The name itself comes from the Latin word trulla that means dome.
11. Monsanto, Portugal
A small settlement with the name Monsanto is called “the most Portuguese village of Portugal.” The local proverb, “In Monsanto, you never know whether a stone is born from a house or a house from a stone,” reflects the uniqueness of local architecture very accurately. Boulders serve as walls and roofs of some houses.
Small houses with red tile roofs hide under huge granite boulders, and narrow streets seem to have been carved from stone by a giant.
10. Uchisar, Turkey
There are many villages in this area, but Uchisar remains one of the most inhabited. The biggest part of the city’s population lives in a village that looks pretty modern and is situated next to this famous wonder of nature. However, some people still prefer to live inside those famous rocks.
This unique village amazes both with its look and the view that opens up when standing on the cliff, while white tufa towers and steeples surrounding the central peak make it another wonder of the world.
09. Longji Rice Terraces, China
Chinese people consider the Longji Rice Terraces to be among the most beautiful in their country. Local people call them “The Terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone.” The terraces are located in the colorful village of Ping An, and many years of work stand behind them. They’ve existed since the 12th century and were built on the slopes of mountains that are 1,100 m high. The construction took a lot of time and effort, but the peasants living at that time didn’t have a choice because they had to feed their families, and building houses on the mountains was the only opportunity to survive.
08. Pariangan, Indonesia
The active volcano, Merapi, towers above this village in Western Sumatra and is one of the greatest natural treasures of the country. Pariangan is thought to be the oldest village of the Minangkabau people. That’s why an inquisitive tourist will be able to learn a lot about the culture and customs of the indigenous population.
One can find charming traditional houses, amongst which there is a 300-year-old building with wicker rattan walls, as well as a beautiful mosque of the 19th century.
07. Fishing Village Cua Van, Vietnam
A scenic fishing village called Cua Van is located in Ha Long Bay. This floating fishing village is one of the largest in the world. It is only possible to get there by boat. Since only fishermen live in this village, there is always a high chance of seeing them receive all kinds of mercies of the South China Sea’s generosity. All of the people here live in beautiful houses on rafts, among which one can even see a school.
06. Giethoorn, the Dutch Venice, the Netherlands
One of the most amazing and colorful villages in the Netherlands is called Giethoorn or “The Dutch Venice.” The second name comes from its location — the village stands on water channels, the total length of which exceeds 4.2 miles. The village is almost 100 years old. Local people mostly use rowboats and boats with electric engines for moving around on the water and bicycles when they want to use the wooden bridges that connect the houses scattered on more than 50 little islands.
05. Bibury, England
The village of Bibury is famous among people seeking inspiration due to its incredible beauty. It was founded almost 1,000 years ago, and you definitely feel that you are back in the 11th century because of its old architecture, gorgeous nature, and the lack of any kind of vehicles. The movie Bridget Jones’s Diary was filmed here, and the movies about Miss Marple, who is loved by people around the globe, were also born here.
04. Reine Lofoten, Norway
Reine is a fishing village with surrealistic landscapes, cozy houses, and only about 350 residents.
Reine is a compact village located below the mountains around the fjord that was founded in 1743. This idyllic village, as if brought to life from a postcard, annually attracts thousands of tourists traveling from all over the world to admire the natural beauty.
03. The Faroe Islands, the Village of Gásadalur, Denmark
The Village of Gásadalur is located in an incredibly beautiful valley between the highest cliffs of the island of Vagar that is a part of the Faroe archipelago. The population of the village in 2002 was only 16 people. At that time, getting into this village required a lot of work and a very, very long time. In 2004, a special tunnel was built to simplify the movement of people from the village and since then, tourists have started to appear here.
02. San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy
San Gimignano was established in the 3rd century BC by the Etruscan people. Initially, it used to be a very tiny village, but it became a town in the 10th century AD. The exceptional feature of this city is its tower-houses. Unfortunately, nowadays there are only 14 such houses left. In the beginning, there were 72 of them. San Gimignano is saturated with the spirit of the Middle Ages, which makes it the heart of all Italy and Tuscany in particular.
01. Fishing village, Kaliningrad, Russia
The fishing village in Kaliningrad is not a village in the truest sense of the word as much as it’s a block made up of buildings in the German style and stylized as the architecture of the pre-war Königsberg. It is an ethnographic, trade, and craft center and the pearl of the city. Territorially, the Fishing Village is located next to the historical heart of Kaliningrad — the Cathedral on the island of Kant.
Bonus: Abandoned Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, France
Though this one is not a village but a castle, this place is still worth admiring. One would definitely want to settle here to finally live a quiet life. This castle is located in the Les Trois-Moutiers commune in western France and it used to be the residence of the Bauçay family. The castle was built in the 13th century and was destroyed during the French Revolution. Later, it was bought by a rich businessman until a fire in 1932 destroyed many main parts of the castle. Nowadays, people are making online donations to buy and restore the castle.
Have you visited any of these places? If not, which of them are you going to include into your travel list and why? Share your thoughts in the comments!