Are you stick and tired of winter yet? Even though it’s only January our spring styles are going to start arriving this week, which makes us excited for the coming warmer weather. If you don’t have your summer vacation planned yet, take a look at this list of Europe’s Most Beautiful Villages posted by Travel and Leisure.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of today’s busy world, take a step back in time to these quaint little villages. Here are some of our favorites:
“The hilly Cotswold region is a designated “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” in southwestern England, and one of its loveliest villages is Bibury, where verdant meadows abut ancient stone cottages with steep pitched roofs. The River Coln, which bisects the village, teems with trout, but the most scenic area is Arlington Row, a lane of sepia-hued cottages built in the 17th century to house weavers from the nearby Arlington Mill.”
“Santorini’s streets sag with admirers, but on Folegandros, a nearby island in the Cyclades, you’ll find similar architecture—streets paved in slate, whitewashed buildings decorated with colorful flowers, the occasional Greek Orthodox church with a bright blue dome—without the crowds. For a secluded swim, trek to Katergo, a sheltered stretch of beach where gentle, emerald-blue waves lap the pebbly shore.”
“North of the Arctic Circle, Reine is a pretty fishing village in the Lofoten archipelago, an area of starkly beautiful Nordic wilderness, where sapphire bays punctuate fjords and mountains. Many of the bright red fishermen’s cabins (called rorbuer) have been converted into comfortable cottages for visitors that offer direct access to the Norwegian Sea. Settle in for a front-row view of the night sky and its mesmerizing entertainment, from summer’s midnight sun to winter’s northern lights.”
“A sliver of medieval Spain has been preserved within the fortified walls of this village, which is surrounded by the barren hills of the central Aragon region. Down Albarracín’s narrow alleys and winding lanes await ancient stone towers and ocher-hued castles and chapels. Towering above it all is a cathedral built in the region’s typical Mudéjar style with ornamental detailing rooted in Islamic art.”
“Gruyères is famous for its namesake cheese, whose mild, nutty flavor melts so well in fondue. But few are familiar with the town itself, a medieval hamlet in the upper valley of the Saane River in western Switzerland. A wide, stone-paved street leads up to the magnificent 13th-century Gruyères Castle, with its imposing fortifications and expansive views of the surrounding Alpine foothills.”