While the bright lights of the big city may appeal to most travelers, it is the obscure and quaint countryside that holds the most alluring charms.
If you want a deeper look into a country’s culture, you will find it in the most unfiltered form in its countryside. Small villages with picturesque landscapes and close-knitted communities have more to offer than most people realize.
If you are looking for a long vacation or looking for the perfect hideout to disconnect on the weekends, you should consider visiting the countryside. Here are the top ten countrysides around the world you must visit.
1. Bibury, England
Many people don’t realize how scenic rural England is. The picturesque countryside of England is more alluring than its dazzling cities.
Often called the most beautiful village in England, the Bibury is a quaint village in Cotswold. The village is lined neatly with rows of grey 17th-century stone cottages, with the magnificent Coln river flowing through it.
Ramble through the small country roads or hike through the flowing meadows; this village is a dream for anyone who loves to explore. The idyllic setting, with its lush greenery and pretty flower gardens, is bound to make anyone feel warm and wholesome.
While there is a slim chance that you will get bored simply exploring this lovely little town, you can also take the beginner’s fishing class. The town has England’s oldest functioning trout farm, which produces over six million trout annually. You can also visit the gift shop or grab a bite at the local cafe.
2. Tossa de Mar, Spain
From one fishing village to another, Tossa de Mar is one of those places that you must visit at least once in your life. This breathtaking coastal village is actually a very popular tourist destination for its dazzling beauty.
The magnificent town of Tossa de Mar was built around the ancient fortress. Situated in the mountainous hinterland of Catalonia on the Costa Brava, its lush greenery-filled valleys, flowing gorges and natural spring create one stunning backdrop for the fortress.
Castillo de Tossa de Mar was built on the town’s headland to defend it from invasion. Today the only people invading the castle are tourists from around the world who flock to the fortress and the surrounding enclosure.
The gleaming warm lights from the castle and along the beach create such a remarkable view that visitors can’t have enough of it. Take a walk at the beach at night or dip into turquoise waters; every experience is worth having in Tossa de Mar. While in town, you must explore the winding, narrow cobbled streets, each path leading to beautiful little villas, boutique shops, cafes, and so much more.
3. Oia, Greece
Greece is the land of dreams for many. From Athens to Santorini, one lifetime may not seem enough to explore this ancient land’s charms.
Santorini is certainly one of the most Instagrammable islands on earth, and situated at the northwestern edge of Santorini is the traditional town of Oia.
Surrounded by the azure Aegean sea, this village may seem like the closest to heaven you will ever get on earth. The whitewashed buildings with beautiful touches of blue from the gates and church domes create an unforgettable sight bathed under sunlight.
Explore the many art galleries and small shops in the area, or simply enjoy local delicacies in one of the popular cafe restaurants. Staying in a town that is so beautiful will make you want not to close your eyes at all.
4. Bormes les Mimosas, France
Bormes-Les-Mimosas is a historic village situated in Provence, France. While France is a land of many charming villages, the visuals of this small village are unparalleled.
The village is situated on a steep hill, with a castle right on top of it. Numerous narrow cobblestoned streets wind down the hill, occasionally leading to minute open squares lined with charming peach-washed cottages adorned with floral vines or overhanging blossoms.
Exploring those winding streets will lead you to many boutiques, fancy shops, and charming little cafes.
You must remember that the historic areas of the village are situated in the upper parts of the hill. One of the few notable historic venues includes the small 16th-century Chapel built in tribute to Saint Francois-de-Paule, who saved the village from the ‘Black Death.
Another is the Church of Saint-Trophyme, which is popular for being frequented by French presidents. Up on the top are the 12th-century ruins of a castle. You can go even higher, to the top-most part of the hill, where you will find a 13th-century Chapel, which gives you the best panoramic view of the surrounding land and the Mediterranean.
5. Simiane La Rotonde, France
The villages in France are too picturesque only to have one of them on this list. Simiane La Rotonde, yet another village from the south of France, is one alluring place and a flower lover’s wonderland.
The hilltop village is a land of olive groves and flowing lavender fields. Enjoy the endless purple vista or explore the narrow cobbled streets that are lined with sun-kissed stone houses. Also, remember to visit the art shops, which include both pottery and contemporary art.
This is the land of fragrant flowers and overwhelming perfumes, so make sure to enjoy the colors and scents. This village is the biggest producer of fine lavender and lavandin essential oil in France, so make sure you get some while you are there. You can even attend talks on aromatherapy if you want.
There is a medieval castle and the Gardens of Valsaintes Abbey, so make sure you visit them while in town. The garden has a thousand types of roses and other aromatic plants that will take you to natural fragrance heaven.
6. Tarrenz, Austria
Tarrenz is a village with only approx. two thousand seven hundred and eighty-five people. This village’s small agricultural community is focused on sheep breeding. The area is particularly famous for its local beer.
The “Starkenberger” beer is brewed with Tarrenz’s own spring water. The Strakenberger brewery is one of the most interesting breweries on earth.
The brewery is housed in a 700-year-old Austrian castle that has seven beer-filled baths! Customs and tradition are deeply ingrained in the architecture of the village, with all the houses, shops, and buildings built in the Rhaeto-Romanic style.
7. Oshika, Japan
Japan is a place where the natural beauty shifts visibly with the season. You can see this happen spectacularly in Oshika. In the Southern Alps, at the bottom of a ravine, you will find Oshika. The majestic views of the mountains surround this tiny village, and while it is secluded from the world, it still is home to some of the happiest people in Japan.
The natural beauty of Oshika changes to a sophisticated pink with the Cherry Blossoms in Spring, becomes a lush green in the summer, rolls into gold and red with the turn of the season in fall, and becomes fully covered in snow during winter.
If you want a taste of traditional Japan, you must consider visiting Oshika. Get lost in nostalgia in the many shrines in the village.
8. Cua Van, Vietnam
Cua Van is another fishing village, the land of rising emerald mountains that rise out of the sea; it is the largest floating village in Halong Bay. Surrounded by limestone mountains, the village has generations of fishermen living in floating wooden houses.
The villagers meticulously take care of the sea by picking up the garbage, which makes Cua Van one of the cleanest villages on earth. Enjoy the vibrant culture of the villagers, and explore the caves and grottoes to find some of the most exotic marine life you will ever see.
9. Alberobello, Italy
Italy is yet another country of many villages, and situated in the Southeastern region is Alberobello. The small village is well-known for its dry stone cottages with cone-shaped roofs called the Trullo.
This is the only technique of construction, even though the houses aren’t old. But that doesn’t make them any less charming. Wander through the Trullo-lined streets, explore the many shops and try the local cuisines.
10. Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt is one of the most popular Austrian villages on earth. Situated in the Alpine countryside, this village is home to one of the oldest salt mines and a museum that has seven thousand-year-old artifacts.
The lakeside village gives you the most picturesque view, with the water and the lofty Dachstein Mountains. With no noisy vehicles, you can soak into the calm and stress-free atmosphere of this beautiful little village.
Now that you know about some of the most beautiful countryside escapes on earth, we hope you pay one of these beautiful locations a visit the next time you decide to venture out into the world. From Tossa de Mar to Cua Van, these villages will make you want to slow down and take in the sights!