Secret and Adorable Towns in Europe You Have to Visit in Fall

The Alpine village of Hallstatt, Austria, is especially beautiful in the fall
The Alpine village of Hallstatt, Austria, is especially beautiful in the fall | © Scott Wilson / Alamy Stock Photo
Tara Jessop

Fall is one of the best times to visit Europe, with far fewer tourist crowds and relatively mild weather. Many of the natural parks and scenic landscapes in Europe are simply jaw-dropping at this time of year as leaves turn shades of yellow, orange and red. Here are some of the most beautiful and underrated European towns you should visit in fall.

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Buje, Croatia

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
The Mediterranean climate of Buje in Croatia makes it an ideal wine-growing region, with more than 20 wineries in the area. The fall is prime wine-making season and a great time to get to know the local vintners and their produce.

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

© Alpineguide / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the most ethnically diverse towns in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mostar bears the scars of a troubled past but also harbours a beautiful Ottoman-era bridge that gives the town its name: the Stari Most or Old Bridge.

Piran, Slovenia

Museum, Theater

© Michael Abid / Alamy Stock Photo

On the Adriatic coastline, Piran has been described as the Vienna of Slovenia thanks to its well-preserved Venetian gothic old town centre. While summertime can be rather crowded, the fall is the best time to visit Piran for warm weather and half the crowds.

Angles-sur-l’Anglin, France

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
Among the most beautiful villages in France, Angles-sur-l’Anglin is a picturesque French town surrounding the Anglin river and the ruins of a medieval castle. The fall is a great time to admire the changing colours as you stroll along the river, which is also ideal for a relaxing canoe ride.

Hallstatt, Austria

Architectural Landmark

© Europe / Alamy Stock Photo

A quaint Alpine village set on the shores of a beautiful lake that shares the same name, Hallstatt is the epitome of Austrian mountain charm. Come when the trees have donned their autumnal coats but have not yet been covered in a blanket of snow for some spectacular scenery.

Rothenberg, Germany

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark
This quaint, fairytale German town was where Walt Disney got the inspiration for Pinocchio (1940). The old town is endlessly romantic thanks to its medieval architecture and is one of the stops along the Romantic Road, a 460km (290mi) long trail that traverses Germany between Würzburg and Füssen and is particularly enchanting at this time of year.

Orta San Giulio, Italy

Natural Feature
The romantic lakeside village of Orta San Giulio is where the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is said to have fallen in love, and it’s easy to see why romance flourishes here. Even better, it sits in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, which becomes a foodie’s paradise in fall when mushroom season brings the growth of some of the finest truffles in the world.

Skipton, United Kingdom

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
Skipton – the name comes from the Old English for sheep town – is a historic market town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. As the Gateway to the Dales, it’s the ideal place to stay come fall – this rolling section of English countryside is particularly majestic at this time of year, especially when the heather is in flower. Complete the trip with a visit to one of the best pubs in the area.

Besalú, Spain

Architectural Landmark

© mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

The Catalan countryside is home to a number of fairytale villages, but Besalú has to be one of the most magical. A former Roman settlement, the town centre has preserved medieval architecture, including the picture-perfect bridge that gives access to the town.

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark
A Unesco World Heritage village, Český Krumlov is a fine example of Czech renaissance and baroque architecture – like a mini-Prague. The most famous site here is the Český Krumlov castle, but there are also a number of lively bars and restaurants dotted across the town.

Colmar, France

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

© Alpineguide / Alamy Stock Photo

Traditional Alsace houses, crisp white wines, colourful floral displays and romantic canal-side walks are just some of things you can look forward to as you wander along the cobbled streets of Colmar. Located close to the border with Germany, the town is rich in history and culture, which residents are only too happy to share with visitors.

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