1. Popeye Village, Malta
One of the most stunning villages in the world is a vamped up ’80s movie set, in an unexpected twist. Not long after filming the 1980 musical Popeye featuring late comedian Robin Williams, Popeye Village is now home to picturesque, colorful clusters of wooden buildings, a company of actors and a range of fun activities. See movies, go rides by plane, visit the Village, visit museums or go for a wine tasting while children break in the playhouses.
2. Hallstatt, Austria
Nestled between Hallstätter See and the Dachstein Range, Hallstatt is the oldest village in Austria, and also the most photographed. This magnificent European city boasts historic ancient temples, a subterranean salt bath, a museum of 7,000 year ancient objects and a glass-like pool set against the breathtaking backdrop of soaring mountains.
3. Simiane La Rotonde, France
Cast in the breathtaking south of France, surrounded by olive groves and lavender hills, this hilltop village is one of the world’s most magnificent cities. Tour the quaint village, walk through narrow paved streets and stone homes, admire the centuries-old architecture, attend aromatherapy lectures, visit the medieval castle and enjoy the scents and colors of the many flowers in the nearby Abbey of Valsaintes garden.
4. Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre is the common name given to five separate fishing villages, each with breathtaking coastal and mountain trails and majestic, traditional architecture. Cinque Terre offers a timeless attraction and a feeling of authentic Italy with its rugged coastlines and romantic town.
5. Ortahisar, Turkey
Ortahisar has continued to remain mostly conservative, and mostly slow-paced, despite its central position. While surrounding towns are increasingly touristy, Ortahisar remains rustic and charming. Get a drink and a meal in an underground cave restaurant, marvel at the 78-meter-high Ortahisar Castle built out of stone and read more about the safety of the underground cave where the citrus fruits are stashed until they ripen.
6. Oia, Greece
Oia is a traditional village with beautiful blue domed churches, sunny verandas, a number of art galleries and a labyrinth of small shops, almost all with panoramic views of the Ammoudi port and the volcano of Santorini. Of course Oia is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
7. Shirakawa-go, Japan
The peaceful mountain village of Shirakawa-go is situated at the foot of the Mt. Haku-san. Shirakawa-go is picturesque with its rolling rice fields and water, and it also boasts traditional roofed farmhouses, some of which are over 250 years old, and one of the last in Japan. Engage local residents, study the ancient art of weaving and dying and know how to make tasty soba noodles while you’re there.
8. Ait Ben-Haddou, Morocco
Ait-Ben-Haddou is a traditional Earthen village made of clay bricks in southern Morocco. The village sits in a valley near the mountains of the Atlas, thirty-two miles from Morocco ‘s busy movie capital. Traders have traditionally crossed the Sahara Trading Route and passed through the town bringing spices and gold on their way elsewhere. As the use of this proven trading route has faded, Kasbah has several (Fortresses) were abandoned at Ait-Ben-Haddou, and relics have since been preserved.
9. Cua Van, Vietnam
Enchanting and beautiful, Ha Long Bay is known for its natural beauty. Cua Van is only one of Ha Long Bay’s fishing villages but its most famous location is believed to be. The serene Cua Van, home to stunning and rare sea creatures, caves and grottoes suitable for exploration, is perched on an emerald green bay surrounded by mountains and is a lively village community.
10. Alberobello, Italy
Alberobello is a peaceful Italian city most notable for its beehive-shaped houses in the whimsical 14th-century style. Such stone structures are built of local calcareous and surmounted with conical roofs, frequently white-tipped as if dusted by snow and adorned with painted figures thought to carry sacred or superstitious significance. There are also a handful of local museums and the possibility to buy and seek locally grown produce. For a day trip, Alberobello is a nice little town.