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Bruges, Belgium | © SenSeHi/Shutterstock
Bruges, Belgium | © SenSeHi/Shutterstock

11 Different Magic Towns to Visit At Least Once in Your Lifetime

Picture of Harry Stewart
Updated: 2 March 2018

Yearning to escape the pitfalls that modern living entails? While many inspirational Instagrammers would recommend a visit to one of the world’s greatest metropolises, here are Culture Trip we know all too well that a quaint little village is the perfect antidote for those 21st-century blues. Here are 11 of the best from all corners of the globe.

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Nestled within the Riff Mountains of northwest Morocco, this delightful bright blue village was founded as a fortress in the 15th century to fend off the marauding Portuguese. These days, it’s an amicable mishmash of cobblestoned streets lined with little more than local tanneries and weavers.

Yangshuo, China

Sure, the town center may seem a little touristy at present, but just a short bike or boat ride away is where the real magic is at. Pointy mountains jut out through the mist, while whimsical old men with wispy grey beards and conical hats ply the rivers to fish with their well-trained birds of prey.


Lalibela, Ethiopia

An archeologist’s wonderland, the monolithic stone churches of Lalibela are among the most underrated on earth. These impressive sacred structures are carved out of sheer rock, a series of ancient pilgrimage sites that give the town a truly mystical air.


Lalibela, Ethiopia | © Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock



Santorini, Greece

The undisputed king of the Greek Islands, Santorini is renowned for its countless whitewashed abodes that peer out over the dazzling waters of the Mediterranian Sea. And despite welcoming an army of tourists each year, it still manages to retain a magical small-town feel.

Mont Saint-Michel, France

This is Mont Saint-Michel, a historical island commune that surrounds a majestic 8th-century monastery. With just 44 old-school inhabitants, it really is one of the most enchanting settlements on earth.


Mont Saint-Michel, France | © Gaspar Janos/Shutterstock


Huacachina, Peru

Ever wanted to visit a real-life oasis smack bang in the middle of the desert? Well here’s your chance, for this incredible Peruvian town is more than just a mirage.

Bruges, Belgium

Europe is full of medieval hamlets that appear straight out of a fairy tale, yet few are as breathtaking as Belgium’s most historical town of Bruges.


Bruges, Belgium | © SenSeHi/Shutterstock


Alter Do Chao, Brazil

Could a tropical island paradise really exist in the middle of the Amazon? You better believe it! So pull up a towel and get some serious R&R at the Brazillian jungle paradise known as Alter Do Chao.


Ilha do Amor in Alter do Chao, Brazil | © Exclusive Aerials / Shutterstock

Hallstatt, Austria

Straddling a glistening lake beneath forest covered peaks lies Hallstatt, an Austrian wonderland of distinct European flair.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Internationally famous for its stunning fortress that lines the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, it’s little wonder this Game of Thrones locale is the jewel of Croatia’s tourism crown.


Dubrovnik, Croatia | © Ihor Pasternak/Shutterstock


Cinque Terre, Italy

Not just one but five sleepy seaside villages, Italy’s Cinque Terre is not to be missed. Each settlement is accessible via a breathtaking hiking trail and features an impressive display of technicolored houses that stack like lego upon the rugged Italian Riveria.

Cinque Terre | © Minoli/Shutterstock