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Fairytale Towns In Europe


You know the feeling you get when a fairytale town is described either in book form or in a movie and you can usually automatically picture it. Well these ten towns definitely belong in stories of their own. Looking at pictures of these towns can make you imagine that you are in your own fairytale. Let's dive in shall we.

 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is Germany’s best preserved medieval walled town, and one of the most popular stops on the Romantic Road. Step inside the walls of the Old Town and you’ll feel as is you’ve been transported into a story book. In fact, Walt Disney’s Pinocchio was inspired by sketches of the town. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is an easy day trip from either Munich or Frankfurt, taking only 2.5 hours each way. Or, opt to spend the night and enjoy the town all to yourself, as 80% of visitors come only for the day. Take a romantic stroll, snack on snowballs (a local specialty made from shortcake dough), or shop for Christmas ornaments in the famous Christmas Village (open all year). From the picturesque streets to their year-round infinity for Christmas, Rothenburg ob der Tauber might be one of the most most beautiful fairytale towns in Europe.

 

Bibury, England

Tucked away in the Cotswolds in SW England, Bibury is the quintessential English village. In a region known for its beautiful towns and villages Bibury is one of the most visited, and for good reason. At Bibury you’ll want to explore the famous Arlington Row, a picturesque row of higgledy-piggledy cottages that date from the 14th Century. Take a gentle walk past the stream to the Bibury Trout Farm where you can catch your own lunch and enjoy the gardens. If you’re not in the mood for fish then there’s a lovely pub next door to the trout farm. You'll want to arrive early in the morning or go in the off season to avoid tour buses.

 

Reine, Norway

Reine is a tiny, isolated fishing village on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Norway. If you’re looking to get away from it all and go off the beaten path, this is the place to go. Reine may be a bit out of the way, but the stunning natural landscape, outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking, and breathtaking views of the Northern Lights make this Scandinavian gem worth it.

 

Colmar, France

Old town Colmar, France is the most charming little fairytale town in the world. Why, you ask? Well, first of all, it looks like it’s taken straight out of “Beauty and the Beast”. I mean, just look at those colorful homes and cobblestone streets. This could be Belle’s hometown. Colmar is a medieval town from the 13th century, located in Alsace. Once upon a time, the canals were buzzing with butchers, tanners and fishmongers and Petite Venice was a center for art and learning. The town’s half-timbered houses is typical Alsace architecture, from the colorful fishermen’s houses on Quai de la Poissonnerie to the lovely old burghers’ houses of the 16th century.

 

Bled, Slovenia

With its iconic lake and backdrop of snow-capped mountains, Bled, Slovenia is undoubtedly one of the most magical places in all of Europe. Located a short drive or bus from Ljubljana, Bled is the perfect relaxing weekend getaway. Whether you like nature, history, or food, there are so many things to do in Lake Bled, Slovenia for travelers of all kinds. While in Bled, you can tour the lake and the small church that sits on Bled Island, making a wish by ringing the bell three times. Alternatively, you can explore Bled Castle for some amazing views of the lake and a history lesson on the town. Hike up to the Ojstrica and Osjonica viewpoints for postcard-perfect panoramas (sunset is a great time for this), or make your way to Vintgar Gorge and explore its turquoise waters jetting through a steep set of rock formations. And, of course, top it all off with a coffee and a slice of Bled’s famous cream cake, a delicious dessert that’s a specialty in the area. No matter what you do during your visit, you’re sure to fall in love with the charm and beauty of Lake Bled.

 

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is not just one destination, but the name given to five fishing villages along the Italian Riviera coastline; Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The colourful houses across the cliffs and beautiful hiking trails will ensure a trip to remember. Without any cars, the best way of getting between the villages is via the local train from La Spezia which runs frequently and stops in each of the villages. If you get the opportunity, hop on a boat tour to view the villages from the sea, alternatively take to the beaches and try some of the local gelato.

 

Sintra, Portugal

Sintra is a fairytale town about 33 km from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. It’s close makes it a popular day-trip. Sintra contains an amazing variety of architecture. The candy coloured façade of Pena Palace appears drawn from a fairytale and beckons visitors to explore once they enter the historical centre. Close by is the National Palace with it’s distinctive chimney stacks and intricately decorated rooms. The palace holds the title of being the most lived in royal palace in Portugal. The blend of Gothic, Manueline, Moorish, and Mudéjar architecture makes it easy to imagine those bygone days. Although not as frequented as the National and Pena Palaces, the Moorish Castle is a worthwhile stop. The hike along the walls beckons images of knights protecting the kingdom. Plus, the views from the top are spectacular.

 

Gruyeres, Switzerland

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.

 

Hallstatt, Austria

The storybook town of Hallstatt in central Austria enjoys a gorgeous setting on the bank of the Hallstätter See, between the pristine lake and a lush mountain that rises dramatically from the water’s edge. A history of salt mining dating back thousands of years has translated into enduring prosperity for the town, which is most evident in the beautiful square ringed with ivy-covered buildings. Hallstatt is very small – there isn’t a lot to do in this sleepy town. You could take a leisurely stroll along the lake, sip on a coffee with the most incredible views, hike up (or take a funicular) to the World Heritage Skywalk, an observation deck offering gorgeous vistas of the town, visit the museum in the town that talks about its salt mining history, buy souvenirs at the Market Square or visit the famous Catholic parish church of Hallstatt. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also known as the Pearl of the Salzkammergut and is located 1.5 hours away from Salzburg. It can be reached by either bus (from Salzburg) or a train (from Vienna or Salzburg) followed by a short ferry ride across the lake.

 

Giethoorn, the Netherlands

Giethoorn is a tiny village most famous for not having any roads! Canals are the only way to travel through this quaint Dutch village home to just 2,620 residents. Giethoorn is a charming little village in the Netherlands. The village is known for its waterways, steep wooden bridges and old Dutch farmhouses. Some people say it is the most beautiful village in the world! Motorized traffic is not allowed in the old part of Giethoorn, so the best to explore Giethoorn is by boat. You can easily hire a boat yourself or take a canal cruise. In the evening you can go for an atmospheric moonlight cruise. Giethoorn also has two interesting museums ‘Het Olde Maat Uus’ and ‘De Oude Aarde’. Float down the narrow canals, past thatched-roof farmhouses and cottages encircled by blooming gardens, and beneath dozens of wooden bridges that connect each grassy plot of land. Or return in the winter, when ice skaters glide on the frozen canals. Giethoorn is located only 1.5 hours from Amsterdam by car or 2.5 hours from Amsterdam by public transportation.

 

Hope you enjoyed today's post. Have you been to any of these towns? Which one is your favorite?

 

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