The capital cities of the world are mostly well known. Yet around the world are some beautiful and charming small towns that are local beauty spots that inspire creativity and activity. Here are some of the best that you will want to visit for a unique and fascinating visit.
A little known and hidden treasure in France, Colmar is located in Alsace and has a unique blend of French and Germany architecture, culture and spirit. It is vibrant place to be and one that will create good holiday memories.
Along the coastline of the Liguria region are five villages included in the Cinque Terre National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Manarola, a charming fishing town, is one of the five, filled with vibrant coloured homes carved into the stone. Famous for its wine, particularly Sciacchetra, and the paintings of Antonio Discovolors. What also makes this small town special is the complete absence of all motor vehicles.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
A short trip from Prague, is the quaint, fairytale-like town of Cesky Krumlov. With small cobblestone roads, bridges everywhere and a lack of international stores, this town makes you feel as if you have stepped back in time. When travelling in the summer, visit Krumlov and raft down the Vltavy River for a thrilling experience.
Shirakawa is a mountain town famous for its unique gassho-zukuri buildings that have thatched roofs designed so that snow does not settle. This peaceful, rural area is very relaxed and calm. In 1995, Ogimachi village in Shirakawa was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has more than 100 gassho-zukuri buildings, some of which are more than 250 years old.
Another small town that has been made a UNESCO World Heritage site is Alberobello. The town has 100 unusual houses called trulli, that are white-washed conical-roofed houses on top of a hill, surrounded by lovely olive groves.
Situated in the mountains, Monsanto houses have been hewn out of the granite or are built between or under the 200 tonne boulders. Considered to be the epitome of Portugese style, with its rich culture and fascinating architecture, the red-roofed houses between mossy stone structures remind some of Hobbit land. The ruins of a twelfth-century castle offer a magnificent view of the countryside, as far as Serra da Estrela.
Famous for its “fairy chimney” rock formations, this beautiful town in Cappadocia was designated as a centre for tourism in the district and renamed Göreme in 1985 after the Göreme National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This simple Turkish town retains many of its traditional farming customs.
Hoi An, Vietnam
This ancient town on Vietnam’s central coast has a rich history and culture. the slow. The architecture is a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese temples, French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge.