8 Incredibly Charming European Villages

With winding streets, colorful buildings, and plenty of places to explore, these 13 European villages are worth seeing.

4 Rue de la Herse, 68000 Colmar, France
An incredible French restaurant called Les Bateliers lies over the water just near the Rue Turenne Bridge in Colmar, France, providing a one of a kind view of the colorful historical architecture. If you had to choose one place to eat in Colmar, this would be it. This picture was taken on the bridge overlooking Colmar’s River. The view is known as La Petite Venise, resembling many of Venice‘s streets. I waited for the opportune moment when the eyes of those on the boat met with those at the restaurant, sharing gazes and absorbing the few-seconds of that moment in passing. It was a cloudy day that day, which provided a beautiful soft light over the charming Alsace city. Colmar, France is easily the most picturesque place to visit in Northeastern France, a good day trip out of Strasbourg. If you don’t come for the food, staying for the scenery is just as good.
Rathclaren, Farrannagark, Kilbrittain, Co. Cork, Ireland
On the coast south of Cork, this beautiful house is tucked away among cow pastures. The beds are comfy, the bathrooms clean and spacious, the doggies are friendly, but the thing that really struck us was how blissfully quiet it was. They had adjoining rooms, one of which had a bunkbed and a shelf full of kids books, that is perfect for families. You can play croquet, kick a soccer ball around, or just stroll around and say hi to the chickens and the cows. Or check out the family tree on the wall that traces the host’s roots back centuries.
A few kilometers inland from Mykonos Town, Ano Mera is a small Cycladic idyll of a village. To get a feel for how people lived before the tourism boom, wander the streets and smell the scent of fresh baked bread. The Panagia Tourliani church and the Paleokastro Monastery are centuries old, and you can also find graves of the ancient Geometric era of Greece here.
8355 Giethoorn, Netherlands
Giethoorn is the most amazing village I have ever seen. Canals go through the entire village making it a little Venice of the Netherlands. You park your car at the boat dock and then you walk or rent a boat to see the entire place. Giethoorn is a magical place, most houses have thatch roofs, beautifully decorated. There are lots of nice restaurants nestled between the wonderful houses. The locals do not mind you taking pictures of their homes.Many of them rent rooms out to tourists. If you decide to see the Netherlands, start here.
00060 Capena RM, Italy
The original settlement of Capena was founded on the site nowadays known as La Civitucola, some three kilometres north of present-day Capena. Ancient Capena was a thriving town, situated close to the Tiber river and the sanctuary and commercial hub of Lucus Feroniae, from the time of its foundation in the Iron Age to the end of the Roman Empire. The Capenati were one of the Italic peoples that prospered in Lazio before the advent of Rome. They wer then conquered by the Etruscans and later the Romans. The modern town is a lovely medieval village with a rural feel and a beautiful historic centre perched on a tuffaceous rock. It is a calm place to stay and only short distance from Rome, the perfect place for the tourist that prefers to go `off the beaten path` and discover the local traditions.
10 Rue de la Paix, 06360 Èze, France
A maze of narrow medieval streets wind up and down this village perched along the Grande Corniche. The ruins of a château are now an exotic garden, and the 18th-century neoclassical Notre Dame of the Assumption church is a national monument. Spectacular views inspire artists and artisans, and their galleries fill the village. Exceptional restaurants like the Château Eza are happy to welcome guests for a drink or a Michelin-starred meal as they relax and savor the scenery.
Am Hof 112, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria
Nestled between the Dachstein mountains and the Hallstätter See, Hallstatt looks as picturesque as any village could possibly be. The Hallstatt-Dachstein Salzkammergut area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List based on the its natural landscape and prehistoric salt mining. Getting there takes a little time, around 2.5 hours from both Vienna and Salzburg and typically involves a change of transportation.
08569 Rupit, Barcelona, Spain
In Rupit, Stone cottages with orangey-red terracotta roofs perch around a stream, half-hidden by the mountainous green hills. An hour and a half drive from Barcelona, walk around this beautiful, if tiny village (approximately 340 residents). Pose for pictures in the dovetailed doorway of the Smithy, and carefully cross its hanging wooden bridge, but remember, it will only support the weight of 10 people at a time. For sweeping views of the village, hike to St. Joan de Fàbregues, a Romanesque building perched on a hill.
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