Europe has some of the most beautiful and historic villages in the world. So many small towns on the continent have been well preserved, making certain villages look like they’ve been taken straight from a fairy tale or are a set purpose built for a Hollywood film. Lakes, mountains, nature and ancient architecture is found throughout this list, and after checking the description of each place I can guarantee you’ll be plotting your next trip so as to pass through one of the quaint villages on here.
1. Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt is one of the most visited towns in Europe, and from the picture you can see why. The word idyllic was made for a place like Hallstatt, with the lake giving you two sides from which to paint your perfect picture. Walking through the whole town will only take you around 3 hours, so to make up your time you should visit the nearby village of Obertraun, and remember to visit Hallstatt’s ossuary.
2. Eguisheim, France
Eguisheim was voted the most beautiful village in France only a few years ago, and its popularity can be put down to the unique streets which make up the town. Colourful houses surround the cobbled streets to create an unforgettable walk through a historic, European village.
3. Manarola, Italy
One of the marvels of Cinque Terre, Manarola is a picturesque village situated on the Italian coast, between cliffs and vineyards and with rows of colourful houses. Two things you must do whilst here: visit the other villages which makes up Cinque Terre, and experience a boat trip around the villages. Manarola in particular looks unbelievable both at night and during the day.
4. Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Situated in a valley within the rocky mountains of the Alps, Lauterbrunnen is the perfect place for outdoorsy people as its hiking routes are second to none. You’ll fall in love with the landscape, the waterfalls and the quiet life, making you dream of this place as your retirement home.
5. San Gimignano, Italy
Another beautiful Italian village, San Gimignano is located in Tuscany and remains untouched by the passages of time. It’s known as the medieval Manhattan due to its towers, and is an unrivalled location on this list for cuisine.
6. Albarracín, Spain
Step into the Middle Ages with a trip to Albarracín, a village situated at an altitude of over 1000 metres in the Spanish hills. It’s village like none you’ll have ever visited before, with red houses, city walls, churches and a castle forming a historic area you’ll never tire of wandering through.