Europe is one continent everyone dreams of visiting but most preset travel itineraries drag you from one capital city to another while glossing over the small towns of Europe where the real beauty lies. These towns are a perfect blend of history, local culture, freshly made food and breathtaking sceneries making them ideal tourist destinations for all. You may not find fancy hotels here, but the friendly locals and local cafes more than makeup for this. Here is a list of the 10 best small towns in Europe you must visit at least once in your life.
Small Towns In Europe
1. Oia, Greece
Greece is a top destination all tourists to Europe love to go to and rightly so since the azure beaches, golden sands, delicious food and rich history is sure to leave you dazzled. The Santorini Island in Greece has become one of the most popular tourist destinations, but the lesser known village of Oia is something most tourists tend to miss. It is perched atop a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea and is most famous for its sunsets that leave the sky pink and glowing. Previously known as Apano Meria and still people call it locally as Pano Meria. It reaches the peace of prosperity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, however, Ancient Greek Oia was one of the two harbours of ancient Thera and it was situated in the southeast of the island.
2. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
This magical town in Europe is sure to transport you back to the medieval times of castles and gothic churches. There are many small houses that reflect the architectural styles of yore as well as eateries and cafes offering authentic local food. The Vltava River flows right down the middle of this town and petite bridges dot the landscape. The Czech Republic is also one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in Europe. The place is known for its grand castle, meandering river and quaint houses. The place is exceptionally beautiful with historic buildings surrounded by the greenery.
3. Reine, Norway
Northern Norway is not a destination that features in many tourist itineraries but the Island of Lofoten is one you must visit if you like scenic landscapes. There are no major cities in this area and most villages are similar to this one. Most houses are still built in the traditional way and are painted bright red with a backyard that leads to the lake. The famous phenomenon of Northern Lights can also be witnessed from this village. Reine is gaining popularity as a spot for wildlife enthusiasts since there is an abundance of alpine life surrounding this town.
4. Hallstatt, Austria
This picturesque city in Austria has been populated for thousands of years because of the presence of salt mines near this town, however today it has developed into a major tourist attraction. The city centre has many historic buildings and overlooks the Hallstatt Lake that is one of the most beautiful in the country. Apart from this, there are many natural wonders like caves, waterfalls, mountains and streams that are just walking distance from the centre. The small traditional houses and cobbled streets only add to the charm of this marvellous town.The beautiful island is located of Moskenesøya on northern Norway’s Lofoten archipelago. You will see beautiful red and white fishermen’s huts spans across the shoreline and surrounding peaks of granite. The village has been acclaimed as the most beautiful place in the world across the globe.
5. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
This German town appears to be stuck in time and never have moved past the 14th century. The city was walled off in the 14th century and most of the present day constructions date back to this time. The homes here are built in the traditional Bavarian style and the town has not changed much since that time. It is an architecture lover’s heaven and one can spend days photographing the cafes, streets, houses and city walls. Germany is also one of the most visited countries in the world. The town looks so beautiful that sometimes it will not look real to you at first glance. Some of the beautiful places are Town Wall, Rathaus, Marktplatz, Burggarten, St James’ Church, Medieval Crime and Justice Museum.
6. Ronda, Spain
Ronda is located very close to popular Spanish luxury resorts like Marbella and Malaga but that vibe has not touched this town yet. Entering Ronda, you step into a time machine and travel back to the 14th century when most of the structures in this town were built. The famous Puente Nuevo Bridge across the El Tajo Gorge is one of the main attractions as is the perfectly preserved Arabic bathhouse. Walking across the narrow winding cobbled streets in this town is also a favourite with tourists. Malaga in Spain one of the cities with best weather conditions in the world. The place is located at the heart of the heart of the Serrania de Ronda, 100kms from the city of Malaga with a population of approximately 35,000 inhabitants. It has a beautiful landscape with lush river valleys that will give you a lifetime experience.
7. Bled, Slovenia
Slovenia is not a name that pops into your mind when you think of scenic European countries but the small town in Europe may be an exception. This town is an oasis of beauty located on the shores of Lake Bled. The small traditional houses at the foothills of the Julian Alps are enough to charm every sceptic. The highlight of this town, however, is the small white church built in the centre of Lake Bled and looks like it has been pulled straight out of a fairytale. The boat ride to get to the church is also an unforgettable experience.
8. Giethoorn, The Netherlands
If waterfront cafes and hotels are your things, Giethoorn is a place that should definitely be on your list of small towns in Europe to visit. This country has architecture dating back to the 13th century and the star attraction of this town is its canal system that was originally built to support agriculture but today is more of a tourist attraction. There are many boats you can hire to sail down these canals and under bridges while enjoying the lush greenery and perhaps grab a coffee at one of the many waterfront restaurants in this town. The loudest sound you will hear in the village is the quacking of a duck or the noise made by other birds. It is located a the centre of Overijssel’s canal system and quite dependent on the waterways and few places cannot be reached by road. The best way to explore the beautiful small town by joining the canal cruise.
9. Bibury, England
Bibury one of the small towns in Europe is located in Central England and is the ideal place to detox after the bustle and rush of London. The town surrounded by hills, green open spaces and streams that interlace the town. The famous American entrepreneur Henry Ford too could not resist the charm of this town and called it the best place in England. The central attraction in this town is the Arlington Row of cottages that still use thatched roofs. The beautiful village is just a short drive from “The Capital of the Cotswolds”. The small town was once described by William Morris (1834-96) as “the most beautiful village in England”.
10. Marsaxlokk, Malta
This small Maltese fishing village is fast becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in for those looking to travel to small towns in Europe. It was first settled by the Romans and dedicated to the Goddess Juno. Today it is dotted with colourful fishing boats, seafood restaurants, and deck chairs. For anyone who loves blue waters and fish, this place is a must visit. You can go boating or take a cruise from this island to other nearby islands in Malta. The fishing village of Marsaxlokk situated in the South Eastern part of Malta just beside the Zejtun, Marsaskala and Birzebbuga. The nightlife is famous especially in Summer.
After reading about these beautiful towns, can you help but pack your bags and fly away to experience this bliss first hand?