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Yangshuo, China
Yangshuo, China | © Ana Flašker / Alamy Stock Photo
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11 Towns To Visit at Least Once in Your Lifetime

Picture of Harry Stewart
Updated: 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.

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Nestled within the Riff Mountains of northwest Morocco, this delightful 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 cobblestone streets lined with local tanneries and weavers.

Chefchaouen, Morocco
Chefchaouen, Morocco | © Anette Andersen / Shutterstock

Yangshuo, China

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.

Yangshuo, China | © ESB Professional / Shutterstock
Yangshuo, China | © ESB Professional / Shutterstock

Lalibela, Ethiopia

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.

Lalibela, Ethiopia | © Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock
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 Mediterranean Sea. And despite welcoming an army of tourists each year, it still manages to retain a magical small-town feel.

Peering over the cliffs of Santorini | © Anastasios71/Shutterstock
Santorini, Greece | © Anastasios71 / Shutterstock

Mont-Saint-Michel, France

This is Mont-Saint-Michel, a historic island commune that surrounds a majestic eighth-century monastery. Home to around 50 inhabitants, it really is one of the most enchanting settlements on Earth.

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

Huacachina, Peru

Have you 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 not a mirage.

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Huacachina, Peru | © sparc / Shutterstock

Bruges, Belgium

Europe is full of Medieval hamlets that appear straight out of a fairytale, but few are as breathtaking as Belgium’s historic city of Bruges.

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Bruges, Belgium | © SenSeHi / Shutterstock

Alter do Chão, 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 Brazilian jungle paradise, Alter do Chão.

Alter do Chão, Brazil | © Exclusive Aerials / Shutterstock
Alter do Chão, Brazil | © Exclusive Aerials / Shutterstock

Hallstatt, Austria

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

Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria | © Pawel Kazmierczak / Shutterstock

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

Dubrovnik, Croatia | © Ihor Pasternak / Shutterstock
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 hiking trail and features an impressive display of colourful houses that stack like Lego on the rugged Italian Riviera.

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Cinque Terre, Italy | © Minoli / Shutterstock