…IDEAL for a quiet holiday celebrating the stillness.
Sure, we’ve all been on city breaks. Most have enjoyed a beach holiday sprawled out on the golden sand. But somewhere in between, with stunning scenery and the quaint simplicity of a slower pace to life, is a small village holiday; the perfect cultural experience to be treasured for a lifetime. With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with the experts at Property Turkey to bring you these; our 7 of the most beautiful village vacations in the world.
Goreme (also known as Cappadocia) is a picturesque village surrounded by steep slopes, providing residents and travellers alike with jaw-droppingly beautiful views of this rocky wonderland. The rock formations sparkle in the sun to such an extent that they have been named the ‘fairy chimneys of Cappadocia’. As well as this, tourists can visit the cave churches, castles and open-air museums of the village. And of course, they can see the most famous experience of all here; the spectacle of hot air balloons rising above the rocks daily.
GIETHOORN, THE NETHERLANDS
Giethoorn is a peaceful village in The Netherlands, enclosed by the extensive Weerribben-Wieden parkland, it’s one in every of greenest places in the country. And that’s saying something.
Being an automobile free village, it boasts several stunning canals for transport rather than roads. And if you’re doing things on foot (you should), then connecting the surrounding ‘islands’ of Giethoorn are a magnificent one hundred and fifty bridges, allowing you to see this village from every angle. And trust us, this place needs to be seen to be believed. Due to the many similarities with Italy’s Veneto region, Giethoorn is affectionately known as ‘the Venice of Netherlands’. Check it out!
Situated in the far north of the sub-continent, over 3500 metres (11,500 ft) up on the high plateau, Ladakh is often referred to as ‘Little Tibet’. Ladakh’s geography means the rapid expansion of neighbouring China hasn’t affected the traditional way of life here. As a result, it contains one of the most intact Tantric Buddhist societies left on earth.
With a high-altitude desert dominated by rugged snow-capped mountains and deep turquoise lakes, Ladakh’s surrounding scenery represents some of the most picturesque vistas on earth. Since it’s within the rugged terrain of the Himalayas, it’s best to take a guided tour to best navigate around this stunning rural village.
Bibury is a charming village settled on the bank of the Coln in England’s Gloucestershire. William Morris, the notable English designer and poet, once called Bibury “the most stunning village in England”. Perhaps he was right, though the Bibury has some stiff competition. Comprised of seventeenth century stone cottages and that delightful Coln stream (a Thames tributary, no less), Bibury is one of the most photographed villages in the UK. Bring your camera and take your own, pronto.
Located on the highest cliffs of Santorini, Oia is a coastal town on the famous Aegean island. Whilst getting the most amazing views of the Santorini volcanic crater, visitors can also walk through the narrow streets to see blue-domed churches, colourful rooftops, the maritime museum and the remnants of a Venetian fortress which Instagram has made so popular. From this height, you’ll also get the most picture-perfect sunset views. Bragging rights, of course, are simply a by-product.
Situated within the southeastern part of Malta, Marsaxlokk is a stunning traditional fishing village that’s notable for its bustling, vibrant fishing market. A huge number of colourful boats (also known as ‘Luzzus’) cruising in its harbour creates one of the most gorgeous village spectacles on the planet (the fish ain’t bad to eat, either).
Featuring military outposts built by the British to protect the harbour in World War Two, the Marsaxlokk church dedicated to the Madonna of Pompeii, and Fort St Lucian, built in 1610, this quaint village boasts a rich and varied history to keep you entertained long after another delicious dinner of Lampuki fish pie or the famed octopus stew, stuffat tal-qarnit.
In Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region sits Hallstatt, a shore village known for its breathtaking views. Alongside being one of the most photographed spots in Austria, this village has an abundance of historical significance including one of the oldest salt mines in the world. Salzkammergut, which literally translates as the ‘Domaine of Salt’, has been mined since 5000 BCE and has brought prosperity and wealth to Austria. A village that is free from any vehicles, if you’re looking to experience the stillness, Hallstatt is where you should head.