The world is a big place – filled with amazing, well-known destinations. And plenty that are far less familiar with travellers. From an old town situated near the Adriatic Sea to a village located in the south-western shore of the Hallstätter See – the images in this gallery represent 10 such places. Know some of them already Then count yourself as a well-informed, questing traveller. If you are unaware of many of them, then here is your chance to discover?
Cesky Krumlov Bohemia, Czech Republic
The southwestern castle city of Cesky Krumlov is one of the Czech Republic’s finest medieval sites. Its Old Town is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, a maze of twisting alleys built around the extensive Cesky Krumlov castle. The Vltava river, popular with rafting enthusiasts, glides through the town. Stroll through crooked cobblestone streets on foot and soak up the atmosphere of this impeccably preserved medieval setting.
Annecy Rhone-Alpes, France
Romance is the essence of Annecy, a town in the Rhone-Alpes region of southeast France that’s complete with castles and cathedrals and softly curving architecture. Stroll hand in hand with your loved-one across Pont des Amours (the lover’s bridge) before taking in the Imperial Palace and the baroque Cathedral of Saint-Pierre.
Polperro Cornwall, England
Polperro, lies just a few miles along the coast from Looe. Sheltered from the effects of time and tide in its cliff ravine, it’s captivating jumble of cottages, boat stores and alleyways, all set around a beautiful granite harbour. Once home to the Cornish fishermen, where they stored their gear and carted barrows of fish it was also a thriving centre for the area’s smuggling of tobacco and alcohol. So much so you can visit the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling & Fishing to find out more.
Once home to Portugal’s monarchs, Sintra is a magnificent town of marvellous historic mansions, all set against the backdrop of stunning hills. Sintra’s many castles include the Palácio Nacional de Sintra (the main residence of Portuguese royalty until the early 20th century), the hilltop and storybook Palácio da Pena, Quinta de Regaleira (incorporating several architectural styles and with gorgeous surrounding gardens), the Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle), and the Palácio de Monserrate.
Dolceacqua Liguria, Italy
Dolceacqua is one of the medieval villages of the Nervia valley and it’s placed along the river of the same name. Its oldest part, dominated by the castle of Doria, is called Terra and it’s situated at the foot of Mount Rebuffao. The newest part of the village, called Borgo, is situated on the opposite bank of the river along the road that climbs up the valley.
Bonifacio Corsica, France
Corsica is a weird and wonderful island, full of gorgeous beaches and breathtaking mountains. Bonifacio, a harbour city on the southern tip is rich with history. Check out the prehistoric Araguina-Sennola caves and the Genoese towers, and be sure to take the train through the mountains to the beach’a spectacular adventure. Biking, hiking, rafting and diving are popular activities.
Gorgeous and tiny Trogir (formerly known as Trau) is beautifully set within medieval streets knotted and maze-like. It’s fronted by a wide seaside boardwalk lined with bars and cafes, and yachts in the summer. Trogir is unique among Dalmatian towns for its profuse collection of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture (which flourished under Venetian rule); this, along with its magnificent cathedral, earned it World Heritage status.
Gruyeres is much like all the other medieval villages in Switzerland, cobbled stones, a castle and endless fondue eating places. But what makes this French-speaking region of Switzerland different is its strange obsession with Aliens! Yes the HR Giger Museum has an extensive art collection dedicated to aliens among other things. Across the street from the museum there is also anAlien Bar which is one of two of Alien-themed bars in Switzerland with the other being in Chur.
Valldemossa Majorca, Spain
Set on a gentle rise, the village of Valldemossa is made for aimless strolling, with tree-lined, cobbled lanes, longstanding stone houses and impressive villas.
With pastel-coloured 16th century houses next to a beautiful lake and towering mountains all around, Hallstatt’s beauty alone would make you want to visit the village. If you visit Hallstatt, during its annual Corpus Christi procession you will see that the event takes place largely in small boats on the lake.