Europe's most picturesque small towns and villages

The owner of this eight-room antebellum mansion travels the world collecting antiques and art to decorate the B&B. Located in the center of Wilmington's historic district, The Verandas Bed & Breakfast features a formal living room, a piano room, a terrace and gardens in addition to its elegant accommodations. In the mornings, the dining room table is set with fine china for guests to indulge in house specialties like individual cheese soufflés with pesto and parmesan cheese.
Patmos
Slide 1 of 31: Charming villages full of traditional character, historic towns with plenty of cultural clout... Europe has them all. But where are the truly scenic destinations located?Browse the gallery and take a look at these photogenic eye-openers.
Slide 2 of 31: Perched on the shore of Hallstätter See, the beautiful Alpine village of Hallstatt is part of the of the Dachstein-Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Austria.
Slide 3 of 31: Bibury, in Gloucestershire, sits on both sides of the River Coln. The village's traditional Cotswold stone cottages are an architectural feature of this picturesque destination.
Slide 4 of 31: The town of Colmar exudes a charming European character, a personality upheld by its colorful half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.
Slide 5 of 31: The scenic fishing village of Reine is framed by spectacular mountain scenery. The destination is located on the Lofoten archipelago, above the Arctic Circle.
Slide 6 of 31: Glacial Lake Bled provides a magical setting for the town of Bled, known for its castle and the small offshore island with its church and needle-like bell tower.
Slide 7 of 31: Located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Freudenberg enchants visitors with its historic core, built entirely of half-timbered houses.
Slide 8 of 31: At an elevation of 1,638 m (5,374 ft) above sea level, the mountain village of Mürren features a jaw-dropping view of three towering peaks: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
Slide 9 of 31: Some of the island's best fish and seafood restaurants line the quayside of Marsaxlokk fishing village. The colorful boats moored in the harbor are equally attractive.
Slide 10 of 31: Regularly cited as one of the most attractive villages in the country, Tellaro glows with its brightly painted facades and sunny disposition.
Slide 11 of 31: Its town square lined with 16th-century renaissance and baroque houses and 17th-century chateau is why Telč is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Slide 12 of 31: Banská Štiavnica affords visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy a completely preserved medieval town. The town's historical value is such that UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site.
Slide 13 of 31: The historic center of San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, such is the rarity of the town's splendid medieval architecture. It's one of the highlights of any Tuscany sightseeing tour.
Slide 14 of 31: The delightful late 12th-century walled town of Óbidos once served as a retreat for Portuguese royalty.
Slide 15 of 31: Kinsale's streetscape is enlivened by a collection of colorful shop facades that brighten up this historic County Cork fishing town.
Slide 16 of 31: Located on the island of Brač, Pučiśća shimmers in sunlight when the town's white limestone facades positively sparkle.
Slide 17 of 31: Seemingly hewn out of mountain rock, sleepy Albarracín sits above the Guadalaviar River. Sturdy medieval walls accentuate the town's long and noble history.
Slide 18 of 31: Chora, a whitewashed town on the island of Folegandros, is built on the edge of a 200-m (656-ft) high cliff. Needless to say, the views are incredible.
Slide 19 of 31: The Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides has as its capital Tobermory, a town noted for its brightly colored waterfront.
Slide 20 of 31: A medieval town first mentioned in the 14th century, Porvoo Old Town draws visitors to its 18th- and 19th-century architecture. The old wooden warehouses sited along the river are of particular note.
Slide 21 of 31: Notorious for its smuggling activities in the 18th and 19th centuries, the quaint old Cornish fishing village of Polperro is today a major tourist attraction.
Slide 22 of 31: Buried deep in the Serra do Açor is a mountain village built entirely out of schist—Piódão. Many of the buildings feature doors and windows painted in vivid blue.(Photo: Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
Slide 23 of 31: Matera is celebrated for its fascinating ancient town, "Sassi de Matera," and an enviable collection of churches, monasteries, and the landmark Tramontano Castle.
Slide 24 of 31: Brimming with renaissance-era monuments, Kazimierz Dolny is also known for its collections of art. In fact, the destination draws art lovers from all across Europe and beyond.
Slide 25 of 31: The old village of Hollókő is an outstanding example of a deliberately preserved traditional settlement that dates back to the late 17th century. Together with the Hollókő castle ruins, the destination is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Slide 26 of 31: For the most part built of local dark stone, picturesque Beddgelert made national news in 1949 when a meteorite struck a hotel.
Slide 27 of 31: Red sandstone defines the village of Collonges-La-Rouge, with every structure built using the copper-colored rock. This is one of the most historically significant villages in the country.
Slide 28 of 31: The village of Giethoorn is embroidered with canals and can only be accessed by boat. Sometimes referred to as the "Venice of the Netherlands," the destination has over 180 bridges.
Slide 29 of 31: Set on the banks of the meandering Moselle River, Cochem is a town with a heart of gold. The central square is lined with traditional half-timbered houses set over cobblestone lanes. The hilltop castle is another highlight.
Slide 30 of 31: Sometimes referred to as "the smallest city in the world," Durbuy is easily explored on foot. Its Old Town, all narrow alleys and cobblestone streets, is lined with well-preserved 17th-century buildings.
Slide 31 of 31: Located on the shores of Lake Silijan, unpretentious Rättvik lies in the authentic heart of Sweden. It's noted for its historic wooden buildings.

Europe’s most picturesque small towns and villages

Charming villages full of traditional character, historic towns with plenty of cultural clout… Europe has them all. But where are the truly scenic destinations located?

Browse the gallery and take a look at these photogenic eye-openers.

Austria

England

France

Norway

Slovenia

Germany

Switzerland

Malta

Italy

Czech Republic

Slovakia

Italy

Portugal

Ireland

Croatia

Spain

Greece

Scotland

Finland

England

Portugal

Buried deep in the Serra do Açor is a mountain village built entirely out of schist—Piódão. Many of the buildings feature doors and windows painted in vivid blue.

(Photo: Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Italy

Poland

Hungary

Wales

France

Netherlands

Germany

Belgium

Sweden Lake

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