Towns To Visit at Least Once in Your Lifetime

Yangshuo, China
Yangshuo, China | © Ana Flašker / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Harry Stewart
13 December 2018

Yearning to escape the pitfalls that modern living entails? While many travel Instagrammers would recommend a visit to one of the world’s greatest metropolises, a trip to a quaint town is the perfect antidote to those 21st-century blues.

Yangshuo, China

Historical Landmark
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Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Rooms, Yangshuo China Hotels 2BFDW5D
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Rooms, Yangshuo China Hotels | © Christopher Barclay / Alamy

Sure, the town centre 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

Architectural Landmark
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Beta Giyorgis (St. George's Church), Lalibela, Ethiopia. It is the best known and last built of the eleven rock-hewn monolithic churches in Lalibela. 2ARG5HT
Beta Giyorgis (St. George's Church), Lalibela | © Blaine Harrington / agefotostock / Alamy

An archaeologist’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.

Santorini, Greece

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
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Oia, Santorini - Greece. Famous attraction of white village with cobbled streets, Greek Cyclades Islands, Aegean Sea. M1FYE5 -
Famous attraction of white village with cobbled streets, Oia, Santorini | © Alpineguide / Alamy

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

Cinque Terre, Italy

Architectural Landmark
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Vernazza village in Cinque Terre national park, Italy 2C529N8
Vernazza village in Cinque Terre | © Stockbym / Alamy

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

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