Many of us have a passion for touring around big cities. Places like Manhattan, New York, and Tokyo are mesmerizing, to say the least. The skyscrapers, colorful lights, and bustle of the city keep us captivated and wanting more. But what lies beyond the walls of the concrete jungle is truly something to behold. These lesser-known villages offer some of the most breathtaking views and cultural enlightenment that the metropolises can’t offer. If you are looking to escape the asphalt and metal, these are a few of the world’s most picturesque villages to visit on your next vacation.
The lush greenery and towering trees of Bibury village offer the most tranquil and scenic views in the entire kingdom. English writer and designer William Morris even said it himself, and who are we to disagree. Nestled in between the Cotswolds’ cascading hills and meadows, every inch of the village offers a magnificent photo opportunity. The stone buildings in Bibury line the banks of River Coln and is renowned for its breathtaking weavers’ cottages that date back to before the 16th century.
Gásadalur, Faroe Islands
If you want to escape the bustle of the city and people, then Gásadalur is the place to be. With a total population of 18, quiet is certainly not hard to find. Besides the tranquility, this tiny village offers some of the most spectacular views Mykines islands and overlooks the sea. Before 2003, it was almost impossible to reach this remote island, but in 2004 a tunnel was created to ensure cars could reach the village and has since seen a rise in tourists.
Located between the Andalusia hills is the quiet village of Júzcar. The picturesque town was previously nicknamed ‘pueblo blanco’ because of the whitewashed buildings, but today it dons a different hue. In 2011, Sony approached the town’s leaders with a clever advertising deal for its upcoming movie, The Smurfs. The walls of the village were painted a bright blue to represent ‘The Smurf Village.’ While Sony had agreed to paint the walls back to white after the premiere of the movie, the town’s people voted to keep the blue walls instead. Some indicate that this is because tourist figures rose to 95 000 in just six months following the paint job!
Burano is famous for being one of the most colorful villages in the world. Also known as the little island of lace, the vibrant village adorns its walls with bright colors set against the emerald green water of the channels, which feels like a tropical escape from everyday life. The channels are lined with charming houses as well as a bell tower that dates back to the 17th century. Burano gets its nickname from the town’s lacemaking expertise, which had brought the famous Leonardo da Vinci to the village in the 1400s.
Oia is a postcard-worthy village set against the backdrop of the Santorini volcano and port Ammoudi. The stark blue-domed buildings, labyrinth of alleys lined with art galleries and shops, and the sun-soaked verandas make for the perfect urban jungle escape. If good food is on the agenda, Oia is the place to be since it is home to the Golden Chef’s Hat award-winning restaurant, 1800.
Some of these exquisite destinations are proof that it really does take a village to make a work of art!