Top 10 most beautiful villages in Europe

The countries of Europe can boast of some superb villages. Peaceful, timeless places, where people like to stroll through the streets and alleys to contemplate the architecture, stop in a shop and sit at a good table. The villages can be perched on top of a hill, nestled between the mountains or situated on the edge of the sea or a lake. The surrounding nature helps to make them unique. From Central Europe to the South, the East and the North, here are 10 of the most beautiful villages that can be found on the old continent. Just to give you some great ideas for a getaway

1- Giethoorn, Netherlands

Located in the heart of the Weerribben-Wiede National Park, Giethoorn is an example of how the Dutch live beautifully with water. There are no roads in this picturesque village, which can only be reached via its many canals. Beautiful thatched farmhouses are built on islands of peat and the presence of 176 charming little bridges gives the feeling of being in a small green Venice. The best way to visit the village is to take a boat tour or an electric boat. There are also several restaurants, also located on the waterfront

2- Bibury, England

The charming English village of Bibury is situated in the heart of exceptional valleys and green meadows. Located in the Cotswold district and the county of Gloucestershire, it is home to superb stone cottages with lots of greenery. The most picturesque part of the village is Arlington Row, where you can also walk along the River Coln. The River Coln is rich in trout and other fish, which are evident in the local cuisine. Another must-see in Bibury is the Trout Farm, where there are ponds dating back over a century and home to millions of rainbow trout.

3- Sovana, Italy

This village in southern Tuscany is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Italy. Of Etruscan origin, the village developed in the 7th century. Its stone houses are magnificent to see, as are its many medieval and ancient monuments. Starting with the remains of the ancient fortress of Aldobrandeschi, followed by the dome of Sovana. We then continue with its palaces, including the Palazzo dell'Archivio, which overlooks the charming Piazza del Pretorio. All the alleys are good places to wander, but the Via di Mezzo remains the main cobbled axis and a must-see. While in the area, you should also not miss a visit to the Etruscan remains, before relaxing with one of its famous wines.

4- Karytaina, Greece

When we think of Greece, we often think of its villages with white houses and blue domes overlooking a turquoise sea. They are certainly the pride of the island nation, but Greece has many strings to its bow and many other treasures to offer. One fine example is in the middle of the Peloponnese, 50 km from Tripoli. Its name is Karytaina. The houses and monuments found there are a delight for lovers of beautiful stones. The location of the village is idyllic, in the middle of the hills. The building that catches the eye first is the castle located on top of a hill. Only the ruins remain, but they give the village a timeless charm. The monasteries are also beautiful. From Karytaina, a path leads to the wonderful Lousios Gorge.

5- Fornalutx, Spain

We are now heading for the Balearic Islands to make a stopover in Fornalutx. Located in Majorca in the middle of the Serra de Tramuntana, the village's history goes back 1,000 years. Today, visitors enjoy walking through the narrow streets lined with stone houses with red roofs. The streets are full of flowers and there are many orange and lemon trees. Among the monuments not to be missed is the town hall, built against a 17th century defence tower in the traditional style. It is around the church of Fornalutx, a 13th century temple, that the narrow streets are the most beautiful. To refresh yourself or have a bite to eat, stop off at the Plaza de España, the nerve centre

6- Bled, Slovenia

Located next to the Triglav National Park, Bled is a great place to stay, with its exceptional monuments and breathtaking nature. It is a spa where you can enjoy the benefits of the springs as well as indulge in a sweet treat. Blejska kremšnita, a creamy dessert made from a mille-feuille-like cake, is a local speciality not to be missed. But what makes Bled so charming is its ideal location at the foot of the Julian Alps. A nature that is favourable to hiking, but also to water activities, since the municipality is located along the lake of Bled. A glacial lake with translucent waters, it shelters an island in the middle of which is the baroque church of Saint Mary of the Assumption. Architecture lovers should also visit Bled Castle, which is nestled on a hill.

7- Reine, Norway

Reine is a jewel of the Lofoten Islands. Surrounded by the fjords, the village can be visited in any season, but it is certain that the atmosphere takes on a whole new dimension when nature and the town are covered in snow. Lovers of the Great North, what a joy to be able to go hiking at the foot of the mountains during the day or to take a boat trip on the sea, before strolling through the streets of Reine and contemplating the superb wooden houses with their red, orange or white facades. Before another day of enjoying one of Norway's most beautiful villages and its nature, the best thing to do is to stock up on food in a grocery store and then warm up around a fire in a relaxing atmosphere.

8- Monsanto, Portugal

In the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is a country full of charming villages. One of the most remarkable is Monsanto. Located not far from the Spanish border, the village is unique in that the top of the hill on which it was built is covered with massive rocks. Some houses have been built around them, and some even serve as their roof! As you stroll through the streets, you can also take the time to contemplate the granite houses, before looking up to see the ruins of the castle that dominate the village. Several viewpoints offer an unforgettable panorama of the beautiful surrounding nature

9- Monschau, Germany

Located not far from the border with Belgium, Monschau is a German village with an incredible number of listed monuments. The town was spared the bombings of the Second World War, which allowed it to keep its medieval look. Its centre is full of beautiful half-timbered houses, each with a different colour scheme. The Maison Rouge is a typical example of a house inhabited by rich weavers in the 18th century. Among the monuments to see, the Protestant church and the castle overlooking the old town. Finally, there are several small museums to help you understand its history.

10- La Roque-Gageac, France

Only 12 km from Sarlat is this other Dordogne treasure. Leaning against the cliff along the river, La Roque-Gageac is a great place to get lost in the streets and alleys. One simply takes the time to contemplate the golden houses with their lauze or brown tile roofs, before reaching the 14th century church, whose courtyard reveals an exotic garden. Later on, you may want to climb up the cliffs to see the remains of a fortress built in the 12th century and enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. Another nice way to enjoy the village is to go down the Dordogne in a gabare, a traditional boat. Finally, in the evening, there is nothing like taking advantage of your stay in the Périgord Noir to enjoy the regional specialities.

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