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
Photo of Tara Jessop
20 May 2021

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.

Angles-sur-l'Anglin, France

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
Map View

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.

Rothenberg, Germany

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark
Map View

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
Map View

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
Map View

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.

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark
Map View

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
Map View
Colmar, France. Traditional Alsatian half-timbered houses Christmas decorated city in Alsace.
© 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.

These recommendations were updated on May 20, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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