Since most of you appreciate unconventional tourism, we figured we would dedicate a post to small town and villages, as a holiday alternative to crowded, famous cities.

When traveling to Europe this year, why not consider experiencing the charm of a small medieval town, or the heath of a fresh mountain village? Why not take a boat to get around, rather than spend hours in the traffic jam, looking up at concrete buildings from the tour bus? Without further ado, here is our selection of unique locations when it comes to traveling to Europe.

You can click on each of the photos below for more pictures and details about each location.

1. Cinque Terre (free translation: Five Lands) stands for five villages called Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterossoo, each of them offering a genuine traveling experience. Visitors can explore the villages on foot or by boat (cars are only allowed in the area one day a week).

2. Located between Salzburg and Graz, in the Salzkammergut Lake District of Austria, Hallstatt is a little town of breathtaking views. Considered to be the oldest still inhabited settlement in Europe, Hallstatt is a UNESCO heritage site and an important Austrian tourist attraction. Click the photos below for more details.


3. It is said that great poets have sung its praises and that its majestic shape hides the secrets of Atlantis. Santorini is a volcanic island in the Cyclades group of the Greek islands, famous for its breathtaking sunsets, dramatic landscapes and buildings of the color of white aubergine.

4. Gimmelwald is a beautiful mountain village located in the Bernese Highlands region of Switzerland. It is a perfect place for Alp-aholics because it offers incredible views with majestic cliffs, colorful mountains and impressive peaks. Aside from the picturesque surroundings, the travelers are drawn by the peaceful setting and quiet laid-back attitude.

5. With a charming country-town atmosphere and a strong historical heritage, Colmar is not only “the most Alsatian town in Alsace”, and the wine capital of the region, but also a place for the fairytale believers. The best way to explore the town is by taking long walks through the old city center and admiring its well preserved architecture.

6. Brousse-le-Château is a French county located in the Aveyron region, South-West of France. Some people like to refer to this medieval wonder as the most beautiful village in France. With a rich and well preserved history, Brousse-le-Château is not just a place where one can feel safe in the comfort of nature, but also a location for exploring traditions and architecture of past centuries.

7. Portofino is a small Italian fishing village and tourist resort at the Mediterranean Sea, located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. It is said that Portofino was founded by the Romans, who first named the place “Portus Delphini” (“Port of the Dolphin”), because of the dolphins that inhabited the area. With its romantic and unique design, Portofino has become a perfect place for an unforgettable vacation. Since the 50′s, because of  the village’s incredible attraction, tourism had supplanted fishing as the town’s chief industry, and its waterfront was faced with the continuous ring of restaurants and cafés.

8. Giethoorn, also known as “the Venice of Holland” or the “Venice of the North”, is a beautiful village in the Netherlands. There are no cars or roads here; tourists leave them out of the village and have to travel by water or on foot over the scenic wooden bridges.

9. Český Krumlov is a small city in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, well  known for its fine architecture and art of the historic old town. In 1992, Old Český Krumlov has been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Site and was given this status along with the historic Prague castle district. Construction of the town and castle began in the late 13th century near to Vltava River, which was important in trade routes in Bohemia.

10. Filzmoos is an alpine village located within the district of St. Johann im Pongau in the state of Salzburg, Austria, perfect for a mountain getaway. The views it offers seem taken from childhood postcards and brought to life with the help of the fascinated groups visiting this place all year round. Aside from its delightful picturesque landscape, Filzmoos is a lively and youthful place, an unusually- dynamic location and a must-see for every traveler. During summer, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, archery, horse-riding and fishing are just a few of the activities that take place in the village.