12 Travel Bloggers Reveal Their Favourite Small Towns and Villages Around The World
It's no secret that we love small towns and villages, so we decided to get the opinions of several other travel bloggers about their favourite small towns around the world to get a feel of the vast cultural differences you can experience by sticking with small-town travel. We got submissions of villages from Central America, Europe, and Asia, which are all completely different yet similar in their intimate, authentic feel.
Take a look at what these travel bloggers have to say about their favourite small towns and villages:
Submitted by Kiara of Yin Yang Yogi
What Kiara has to say about Guatape:
"Guatape, you little gem! Straight out of a storybook, straight out of the imagination and oh, so enchanting. I could not help falling in love with this tiny town covered in brightness and coloured to perfection. I asked myself the same question when I visited Valparaiso, Chile – why don’t all cities use buckets of coloured paint to brighten their every day and express their culture? But then if everyone did it, it wouldn’t be so special would it!
Guatape is a small town famous for its vibrant frescos which adorn doorways, steps, balconies and even furniture. Illustrations depicting animals, people and even dragons cover many of the buildings and give the entire town an incredibly captivating feel. It isn’t clear exactly where the custom originated but it appears families started painting their homes and then things just snowballed!"
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
Submitted by Laureen of My Fab Fifties Life
What Laureen has to say about Veliko Tarnovo:
"Beautiful Bulgaria is not yet on the tourism radar but it will be soon, and Veliko Tarnovo (mostly referred to as just TOR-no-vo) and the surrounding area in the north is a spectacular spot to spend several days. The town itself seemingly hangs from a cliff, with houses and buildings stacked one upon the other high above the Yantra River. Often referred to as the City of Tsars, the Old Town retains its charm with cobbled streets, small cafes, and the imposing Tsarevets Fortress visible for miles. Take a Free Tarnovo Walking Tour to get your bearings and spend some time hiking the surrounding hills. Hike or drive to the village of Arbanasi, a favorite day trip for tourists filled with many historic sites and Bulgarian Revival Architecture.
Bulgaria is blessed with sunshine, plentiful water and rich soil and as a result, the cuisine is abundant with beautiful fresh produce all year long. Try the national “Shopska” Salad, or the popular Tarator Yogurt Soup (Bulgarians claim the invention of yogurt), or one of the delicious rich stewed meats or soups and fish. The wine is excellent and a bottle will cost you about $3. Currently, Bulgaria is not on the Euro and the exchange rate is exceptional. Veliko Tarnovo is a bargain of a village; good food, interesting history, beautiful scenery and friendly people."
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Submitted by Sheri of A Busy Bee's Life
What Sheri has to say about Cesky Krumlov:
"I love it because it is so close to Vienna where I live and I think many people have not visited this secret gem. It is a town in the South Bohemia region of the Czech Republic and is home to Krumlov Castle. It is absolutely beautiful. I loved walking on the cobblestone streets and through the King's Gardens. Being in Krumlov made me feel like I was back in the medieval times. Make sure you don't miss out on tasting Trdelník, the traditional Slovak cake and sweet pastry."
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Submitted by Gonca of Journal of a Yogini
What Gonca has to say about Inle Lake:
"Inle Lake is a freshwater lake in Nyaungshwe Township of Shan State, Myanmar. The people of Inle Lake, live in four cities bordering the lake, in numerous small villages along the lake's shores, and on the lake itself. My attention is, of course, the life on the lake itself.
So imagine a village sited on the lake. They take their showers in the lake, they hunt their main food; fish from the lake and they grow their vegetables the lands that they set up on the lake. The reality for the people who live there is to go to the shop by boats. During my boat trip in the lake, we stopped by at some workshops that they spin from lotus flowers, long-jee facturing, producing Burmese tobacco and cigar, producing hand-made Burmese umbrellas and so on… Everything aside, the floating market and Kayan Women seem attractive to me."
Greve in Chianti, Italy
Submitted by Claire of Claire Imaginarium
What Claire has to say about Greve in Chianti:
Greve in Chianti is a little village nested in the hills of Tuscany. Not as famous as its neighbours San Giminiano and Volterra, it will give you glimpse into the everyday life of the locals with less tourists around. This village is also very close to my heart as we used to rent a house close by with my parents for our summer vacations when I was a child. My favourite thing to do in Greve in Chianti is to go to the market, the main square gets very busy on that day and you can find everything from food to local arts and crafts.
Make sure to visit Antica Macelleria Falorni to get some Tuscan products, they have the most delicious cheeses and charcuterie! Then depending on the time of the day, grab a table at one of the terraces around the main square for a coffee or an Aperol Spritz. And if you fancy doing a wine tasting, check out Viticcio winery which is a very short drive away!
Submitted by Jem of Little Adventures
What Jem has to say about Totnes:
"Totnes is a unique English market town nestled in Devon, surrounded by the patchwork fields of the countryside. A bustling little town with regular markets. Between May and September, there is an Elizabethan market, where the locals and traders go about their daily business dress in Elizabethan costume. An unusual sight if you stumble upon it unexpectedly. Totnes is steeped in history, there are 66 houses in the town dating to before 1700 but the town can be dated back to 970 AD. Here is home to one of the oldest Norman motte and bailey castles, Totnes Castle and is a stone's throw away from Berry Pomeroy Castle, rumoured to be one of the most haunted castles in England.
Totnes was my first experience of an English town. I was surprised at how busy it was for such a small place. The town itself is quaint and has a whimsical vibe. Rows of stone buildings lean against each other, the river Dart runs through the centre of the town with an array of small boats either sitting on the muddy bank or the swelling river, depending on the tide, trees lining the bank and tall towers of churches compete for grandeur. All the while, the Castle sits patiently above the town, watching over the hustle of the packed main street."
Submitted by Malia of The Bucket List Connection
What Malia has to say about Lindau:
"Lindau is a pristine medieval village on Lake Constance at the crossroads of Austria, Switzerland and Germany, which makes it a great stopover destination if you are traveling in the area. The old town center is located on an island, but bridges make it easily accessible by car and train. The once Imperial Free City is true quintessential Europe - a lively square, cobbled lanes, colorful half-timbered houses, boutique shops and a plentiful array of cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating.
The air is fresh and the mood feels relaxed, timeless and classy. Spend a perfect day here eating and drinking under a shady umbrella, exploring back streets of the old town, strolling the lakeside promenade and stopping to enjoy an ice cream with views of the lake harbor and Alps in the distance. For those with more time, there are traditional lake activities like boat excursions, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, pedal boats, fishing, swimming, and bicycle rentals."
Submitted by Elizabeth of Digital Travel Guru
What Elizabeth has to say about Penestanan:
"Penestanan is located in Bali near Ubud, I fist visited this village also known as the 'artists village in 2011'. I quickly fell in love with the village due to the beauty of the area that it is located in. The village is quite famous as Walter Spies the famous painter, composer, musicologist lived here in the 1930’s as well as Arie Smit the Dutch-born Indonesian painter.
The village is located 1km from Ubud, and it is a true oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Ubud, otherwise known as Bali’s artistic and cultural capital. The village is surrounded by incredible rice fields and accommodation rages from small cosy guest houses to traditional villas which are set amongst locals that live in the area. It was fantastic staying in this location and being able to talk and mix locals of Penestanan and see them going about daily life such as working on the rice fields, selling coconuts and cooking the most delicious food in the local Warungs (traditional Balinese cafe) as well as doing their daily offering’s and rituals outside their homes to the Hindu gods.
The area offers a wide range of places to eat and stop by for coffee, each with it’s own backdrop of beautiful scenery the area has, from rice fields, and rivers to jungle views, Penestanan has it all."
Submitted by Noel of Ten Thousand Strangers
What Noel has to say about Kawagoe:
"Kawagoe is a small city in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. There is a castle town district which earned the title "Little Edo" for having been able to preserve the old structures that are reminiscent of the past Edo Period.
One of the most popular destinations in Kawagoe is the Kurazukuri no Machinami or the Old Warehouse District. It is a street lined with clay-walled warehouses which were built and became the standard building style after the Great Fire of Kawagoe burnt the whole town in 1638. This is the perfect place to visit if you want to see the old style buildings in Japan.
Standing at the center of the area is the Toki no Kane or Bell of Time Tower. It had been rebuilt and relocated to its current location following the town reconstruction. In olden times, the bell was being rung manually to tell the time several times each. Now it is being struck mechanically at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.
Kawagoe is just 30 to 60 minutes by train from central Tokyo. There are four train stations with regular services from Tokyo - Kawagoe, Hon-Kawagoe, Kawagoe-shi, and Nishi Kawagoe."
For more information about Kawagoe check out Noel's blog post here!
Submitted by Nirmal and Jyoti of Story at Every Corner
What Nirmal and Jyoti have to say about Gumnewala:
Driving along the desert, we spotted a small village at distance. I was instantly attracted by the clean brown walls with freshly painted designs in white and green. We stopped to have a chat and learn about the village. We were surely in for a treat. We spent an hour with them and learnt so much about their life in the deep desert. Overall it was a blast hanging out with the kids and their animals.
I was most impressed by how articulate and intelligent some kids were, in three languages - Marwari, Hindi and English.
For more info about Gumnewala, check out their blog post here!
Submitted by Marcin of Destination: Overlooked
What Marcin has to say about Montepulciano:
Montepulciano is a medieval hill town in southern Tuscany right near the border with Umbria. The closest major city is Siena. They are world renowned for their superb wine: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, their cheese: Pecorino Toscano, as well as pici pasta, millefiori honey and other delights. But the best part of Montepulciano is the panoramic view from pretty much anywhere in town, overlooking the vineyards, farmland, and sprawling villas of the Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana valleys.
It has gotten a little more touristy over the years due to being a filming location for one of the Twilight movies, but still much quieter than the big cities even in the summer. No matter when you go or how you get there, trust us, this town is worth it to enjoy the streets, the views, the food and the wine.
For more info on Montepulciano, check out our blog post here!
Submitted by Delisa of Destination: Overlooked
What Delisa has to say about Buckingham:
We want to share with you the town that we lived in for a short while. Buckingham (the town, not the palace!) is a typical small market town in Buckinghamshire, England. It is nestled alongside the River Great Ouse and set amongst the gorgeous, sheep-dotted English countryside. It only takes 2-3 minutes to drive all the way through the town, but we definitely think it is worth a stop.
Today it is home to one of the only private universities in the UK, University of Buckingham. So you are likely to see quite a few international students roaming about town. It also means that there is likely a play or concert happening in town if you want to experience some culture. Smack dab in the middle of High Street is the Old Gaol, built in 1748, which is now home to the Buckingham History Museum. But be prepared - admission is cash only!
Within a five minute drive you have Stowe Landscape Gardens and Stowe Manor where you can eat up a whole day walking the grounds and taking in the natural beauty of the area and also its former owner’s eclectic taste in architecture. The gardens are home to over 30 temples and monuments.
If you are lucky enough to be in Buckingham on Sunday then you will most likely be treated to the sounds of the church bells coming from St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church. Our flat in Buckingham had a great view of the church from our living room. We miss that view!
These are just a select few of the fabulous small towns and villages the world has to offer, and its a shame it would be impossible to see them all! Do you have a favourite small town/village you'd like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!
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