Europe's beautiful villages. Photo: KnowInsiders
Europe's beautiful villages. Photo:
Table of Contents

Depending on the kind of travel experience you're looking for, Europe has a lot to offer. Seeing as how many villages are found in coastal and warmer climates is perhaps not surprising, as these locations are major draws for tourists from all over the world.

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The List of 10 Most Beautiful Villages in Europe

Village Country Continent Population Total number of Instagram posts Total number of Pinterest pins Combined total social media appearances
Oia Greece Europe 1,545 1,609,706 2,965 1,612,671
Göreme Turkey Asia / Europe 2,000 1,129,021 279 1,129,300
Hallstatt Austria Europe 754 794,326 4,887 799,213
Vernazza Italy Europe 776 491,902 1,232 493,134
Tobermory Isle of Mull (Scotland) Europe 1,000 241,926 284 242,210
Furnas The Azores (Portugal) Europe 1,435 227,533 175 227,708
Folegandros Greece Europe 650 152,160 2,062 154,222
Wengen Switzerland Europe 1,300 121,013 1,124 122,137
Portree Isle of Skye (Scotland) Europe 2,480 119,750 125 119,875
Albarracin Spain Europe 1,006 107,878 120 107,998

Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in Europe

1. Oia

Photo: Quà tặng in hình
Photo: Quà tặng in hình

Greece's Oia is at the top, having made more appearances on social media than the other seven villages put together. With breathtaking views of the southern Aegean Sea and a rich architectural and religious history, it is easy to understand why Santorini, which was built on the slopes of a volcanic island, is ranked first on the list.

Perched atop Santorini's cliffs, Oia is a stunning village in a breathtaking location. The charming village is perched on a steep slope, giving locals and visitors alike breathtaking views of the well-known Santorini caldera. Elegant white buildings shining in the sun dominate the cityscape, with the windmill—possibly the most iconic structure in this quaint village—and the Captain's houses standing out as notable structures. A ruined fortress faces the entire area.

Oia is a charming village that attracts a lot of tourists in the summer, but it still has its own special charm. Situated on the stunning Greek island of Santorini, Oia is endowed with picturesque blue-domed churches and whitewashed houses.

2. Göreme

Photo: Elite World Hotels
Photo: Elite World Hotels

Göreme, which came in second on the list, promises to be a distinctive travel destination. Situated amidst Turkey's renowned "fairy chimney" rock formations, this splendid village offers hot air balloon excursions along with the chance to explore nearby artisan marketplaces and striking churches.

Perched atop Santorini's cliffs, Oia is a stunning village in a breathtaking location. The charming village is perched on a steep slope, giving locals and visitors alike breathtaking views of the well-known Santorini caldera. Elegant white buildings shining in the sun dominate the cityscape, with the windmill—possibly the most iconic structure in this quaint village—and the Captain's houses standing out as notable structures. A ruined fortress faces the entire area.

In the center of Turkey, in Central Anatolia, sits the little town of Göreme. One of the greatest locations to visit if you want to get a close-up look at these incredible rock formations is among the fairy chimneys, which are renowned throughout the world.

The area, which was first inhabited some 2,000 years ago, has an ethereal quality, perhaps because many of the homes and some of the exquisitely adorned churches are etched straight into the rock.

3. Hallstatt


Out of the top 10, Hallstatt, an Austrian UNESCO World Heritage Site, has the most Pinterest pins (4,887), nearly twice as many as Oia and Folengandros. With just under 800,000 Instagram posts overall, they are unable to move up the list past third place. This would be an excellent place to explore the majestic glaciers, hilly terrain, and old salt mines.

Not only is the lakeside village of Hallstatt incredibly picturesque, but it also has a rich history. It is situated in the heart of Austria, southeast of Salzburg. The village is well-known for naming the Hallstatt culture, which is primarily connected to the ancient Celts. It was historically wealthy due to its abundant salt mines. These days, it is so popular that a scale model of the village, complete with homes and a church, was constructed in China.

This breathtaking European town boasts a glass-like lake, a museum housing 7,000-year-old artifacts, subterranean salt lake, and gorgeous old churches all surrounded by towering mountains.

The oldest salt mine in the world, Hallstatt Salt Mine, is another well-liked destination. Dachstein Giant Ice Cave, which features some striking stalactite formations, is another must-see.

4. Vernazza

Photo: Italy Travel – German Travel Boutique for Italy
Photo: Italy Travel – German Travel Boutique for Italy

Fourth position With less than 500,000 social media posts, Vernazza, an ancient fishing village in Italy, has a protected harbor on its northwest side and a smattering of neighborhood eateries, castles, and churches. It might provide you with a classic, Mediterranean-style vacation experience.

Vernazza, one of the Cinque-Terre villages in northern Italy, welcomes visitors with picturesque turquoise waters and a well-kept harbor. This little city, which occupies a mere 12 square kilometers, is home to over a thousand people and epitomizes a relaxed rural lifestyle. Travelers have plenty of opportunities to sample the regional cuisines of Italy thanks to its cobblestone streets, which are lined with cafes and roadside eateries.

According to the oldest historical accounts, Vernazza served as a naval base for the Italian nobility of Obhertenghi circa 1080 and joined Genoa in 1286. Later, Castello Doria, a medieval fortress, was constructed to keep out pirates and defend the city. It is purported to be the oldest fort still standing today. On October 25, however, Vernazza suffered a great deal of damage as a result of the heavy rains and mudslides, and the city was evacuated for an extended period of time. After much suffering and labor, its beauty was brought back. For example, in the fourteenth century, the current Santuario di Nostra Signora di Reggio was converted into a Latin Cross.

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5. Tobermory

Photo: Power & Motoryacht
Photo: Power & Motoryacht

Or maybe you want to see all that the UK has to offer in terms of beauty. The Isle of Mull's Tobermory (242,210 social media appearances) and the Isle of Skye's Portree (119,875 social media appearances) round out the top ten in fifth and ninth place, respectively. Tobermory, which served as the backdrop for the children's television series Balamory, is known for its vividly colored stores and eateries that line the immaculate white sands and glistening North Atlantic Ocean.

In the Scottish Inner Hebrides, Tobermory is the capital and, up until 1973, the only burgh on the island of Mull. It is situated close to the northern entrance of the Sound of Mull on the east coast of Mishnish, the northernmost point of the island. The Dumfriesshire engineer Thomas Telford's designs served as the basis for the village's layout when it was established in 1788 as a fishing port. There are currently about 1,000 people living there.

A lot of Main Street's buildings, which are mostly stores and eateries, have bright paint jobs, which makes it a popular setting for TV shows like the kids' program Balamory. The burgh is home to the first catch and release aquarium in Europe, Mull Aquarium, the Tobermory whisky distillery (which also housed a brewery, the Isle of Mull brewing company, from 2005 to 2009), and the Mull Museum.

6. Furnas


Furnas, who came in sixth place with 227,708 social media appearances, might be the right person for you if you're looking for something different. This gorgeous little village is nestled inside a massive volcanic crater, providing a serene environment for geothermal pools, hot springs, and steam holes. It is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, east of the Azores.

The village of Furnas is located next to Lagoa das Furnas, the easternmost of the three magnificent caldera lakes on the island of Sao Miguel, along with the neighboring volcanic complex of geothermal springs. In contrast to other locations in the Azores, Furnas, one of the primary tourist destinations on Sao Miguel, is incredibly unique, authentic, and, when compared to mainland Portugal, seldom visited. Most likely as a result of the lack of beaches and consistently sunny weather.

But it's capable of so much more! It is beautiful, easily accessible, and occasionally perplexing, but in a very good way: as soon as you leave one of the quaint towns, you start to question whether you are actually in Portugal and instead believe you have been teleported to a blended version of Iceland, Ireland, and New Zealand.

7. Folegandros

Photo: Liadis Travel
Photo: Liadis Travel

Take a flight back to Greece and visit the amazing village of Folegandros (154,222 social media appearances) for seventh place on the list. This is an incredibly beautiful natural setting that has managed to hold onto its raw charm despite being largely unexplored by foreign tourists. Among the most appealing destinations in the area, it boasts a tranquil atmosphere, untamed natural landscapes, and classic white-washed Cycladic architecture.

Small island Folegandros (32 km2, 650 registered residents). Though it has gained popularity, this peaceful, Cycladic piece of land has managed to retain its unspoiled essence of authentic Greece. It's an island to love and fall in love with because of the laid-back vibe that permeates the entire area and the kindness of the local populace.

Three small villages make up Folegandros: Chora, Ano Meria, Karavostasi (the port), and Agali, which we also like to mention. The villages are linked by a single, paved road running alongside them. The first thing that strikes the eye is the never-ending string of "dry-placed" walls that the locals have built over the ages to build terraces on the sunny slopes of the area so that they can grow cereals.

8. Wengen

Photo: Lữ Hành Việt Nam
Photo: Lữ Hành Việt Nam

Similarly, Wengen, with a relatively low 122,137 social media appearances, comes in at eighth place. However, don't let that deceive you; this quaint village, situated on a sunny, protected terrace beneath the Bernese Alps, offers breathtaking views over the Lauterbrunnen valley in addition to an abundance of hiking trails that wind through meadows filled with wildflowers and pine forests.

Originally a predominantly alpine farming village, Wengen has developed into a resort town brimming with visitors ready to ski the snow-covered slopes in the winter and hike the paths in the summer. Despite the surge of visitors, the mountain village with its wooden homes, strategically placed vacation chalets, towering mountains, and breathtaking scenery has managed to maintain its picture-perfect, homey feel.

9. Portree

Photo: GetYourGuide
Photo: GetYourGuide

Alternatively, you can travel a short boat ride and a little further north to Portree on the Isle of Skye, where you can explore a traditional fishing village with a charming pier and harbor surrounded by hills and lots of hiking trails.

The capital and biggest town of the Isle of Skye in Scotland's Inner Hebrides is Port Rígh. Portree High School, the island's sole secondary school, is housed there. There is only one type of public transportation: buses. The harbor in Portree is surrounded by cliffs and features a Thomas Telford-designed pier.

The town's attractions include the Aros Center, which honors the Gaelic heritage of the island. Additional arts programming is provided by the Creative Scotland-funded arts organization ATLAS Arts. In addition, the town acts as a hub for visitors who are island hopping.

939 individuals, or 37.72% of the total population, speak Scottish Gaelic.

The Quiraing landslip is reached by the A855 road that heads north from the town, passing through the villages of Achachork and Staffin as well as the rocky Storr landscape.

10. Albarracin

Photo:  AFAR Magazine
Photo: AFAR Magazine

The famous village of Albarracin rounds out the list and might provide one of the most unusual experiences. This is a gem, so don't be fooled by the comparatively low number of social media appearances (1079.98)! Within the formidable, walled enclosure resides a village that has managed to retain its blend of medieval and Islamic elements. This site, which is surrounded by cliffs and red sandstone boulders, provides a mix of adventure and passive tourism opportunities.

The historic walled town of Albarracín, which is home to about 1,000 people, is situated on the hills above the Guadalaviar River and is roughly three and a half hours' drive east of Madrid.

The town of Albarracín derives its name from the Banu Razin, a Berber dynasty that settled here sometime in the 9th century and is best known for its exquisitely preserved medieval city center, despite the fact that the surrounding area has been inhabited for centuries (cave paintings have been found nearby). In addition to the remains of a Moorish alcázar, the town boasts a Gothic cathedral and was peacefully returned to Roman Catholic control in the 12th century, following centuries of Muslim rule.

Uswitch's Report Methodology

* The villages in the dataset were gathered from various sources using internal metrics, and they span a wide range of global locations. The Excel document that goes with this article contains the complete list of sources.

* Only places that fit National Geographic's definition of a village were chosen for additional examination in order to narrow the focus of our research: "Some geographers specifically define a village as having between 500 and 2,500 inhabitants."

* The population of each location was ascertained by utilizing pertinent sources and the most current official government census population data.

* The total number of Instagram hashtags for each of the 40 remaining villages in our sample was acquired. Variations of each hashtag were also taken into consideration when applicable.

* After that, scraped Pinterest to find out how many pins were associated with each village. To guarantee that the pins were relevant, certain search parameters were applied.

* A total popularity ranking was then produced by combining the data from Pinterest and Instagram.

* By continent, the rankings were further separated. Note that despite being categorized as Asian nations by the UN, Georgia and Turkey have been included in Asian and European rankings because of their historical, political, and geographic ties to Europe.

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