TravelCNN's top of Europe's most beautiful small towns

CNN’s top of Europe’s most beautiful small towns


Rome, Paris and Barcelona are the European urban destinations that attract the largest number of tourists every year and, of course, perfectly justified, because they are gorgeous cities with a rich history. But Europe is full of charming smaller cities with spectacular architecture and a culture and history as rich as the three iconic examples.

CNN has made a selection with some of the most beautiful small towns in Europe, which include old Percaran towns or medieval settlements hidden among the hills.

Giethoorn, Olanda PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Giethoorn, Olanda PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Guimarães, Portugalia PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Roscoff, France PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Anghiari, Italy PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Nafplio, Grecia FOTO: Profimedia Images

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Mazara del Vallo, Sicily PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Clovelly, Great Britain PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Dinkelsbühl, Germania PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Korčula, Croatia PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Kenmare, Ireland PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Piran, Slovenia PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Reine, Norway PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Tarnów, Polonia PHOTO: Profimedia Images


Giethoorn, Olanda 

It is called “Dutch Venice”. Giethoorn is a picturesque town which, unlike the Italian version, is not crowded with tourists. Like Venice, it is crossed by water, there is no car in the center, so the only way to get around is on foot or by water. It is also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant, Hollands-Venetië.

Guimarães, Portugal 

Guimarães is important to Portugal’s history, it was the country’s first capital in the 12th century, and its medieval core remains largely intact.

Roscoff, France

Little Roscoff is picturesque and prosperous thanks to its maritime trade. Today, it is a thalassotherapy center, using seawater to treat medical conditions.

Anghiari, Italy 

Anghiari is a delight, a small fortified town, a pedestrian labyrinth of alleys and narrow streets with a very interesting history.

Nafplio, Greece 

Beautiful Nafplio is a town on the Aegean Sea with a Venetian castle mirrored in the water. In fact, the city has several charming castles that delight visitors. It was the first capital of modern Greece, so there is more to see.

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

It was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century and has long been considered one of the finest examples of Balkan Islamic architecture.

Mazara del Vallo, Sicily 

Sicily is charming and Mazara del Vallo is a special little town. Founded by the Phoenicians almost 3,000 years ago, countless cultures have left their mark on it throughout this period.

Clovelly, United Kingdom 

Donkeys were the only way to get up and down the steep streets of Clovelly, a beautiful fishing village in Devon, southwest England. Even today, cars cannot enter this pyrrhic town.

Dinkelsbühl, Germania 

A cute historic town with wooden houses and sturdy towers. Dinkelsbühl is on Germany’s ‘Romantic Road’, a route known for its beautiful towns.

Korčula, Croatia 

The locals say that the adventurer Marco Polo was born here, but the Venetians dispute this. Either way, it’s a gorgeous city with gleaming white streets and stone-hewn buildings.

Kenmare, Ireland 

Kenmare is known for its food and its stunning views.

Piran, Slovenia 

A gorgeous city developed by the Venetians who conquered it in 1283. It’s a beautiful mini Venice with a huge bell tower and gorgeous architecture.

Reine, Norway 

It is one of the most spectacular places in the Lofoten archipelago, with breathtaking landscapes.

Regencos, Spain

It is located south of the “Dali Triangle”, the area where the surrealist artist lived and worked. A city bordered by mountains and peaceful medieval villages.

Tarnów, Polonia 

A city with beautiful medieval buildings reminiscent of Krakow before it became a major tourist destination. The Old Town Square is a mixture of architectural styles, there is a beautiful Gothic church and Jewish heritage, although the community was removed during the Second World War.

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