19 charming small villages you've probably never heard of but should definitely visit

Visit the Gordes Village in France

Sometimes it's worth going far off the beaten track.

While these small villages might not be on your travel radar just yet, many of them are home to unparalleled settings, historic attractions, and a tranquility you won't often find in large cities.

We've put together a list of 19 villages to add to your bucket list, from the fishing community of Reine, Norway, to a rainbow-clad village in Taiwan.

We defined a village as a community with a population of roughly 3,000 or fewer.

19 charming small villages to visit (BI)
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19 charming small villages you've probably never heard of but should definitely visit

Reine, located in the Lofoten archipelago of Norway, is a small fishing village where you'll find stunning scenery, beaches, and incredible views of the Northern Lights. Activities include hiking, kayaking, and of course, fishing.

Click here to learn more about Reine »

(Photo via Getty Images)

The Rainbow Village in Taiwan is the playful creation of Huang Yung-Fu, or "Grandpa Rainbow", as he has become known. Fu began painting designs across the walls and floors of the village when it came under threat of demolition. Today, it's a popular tourist attraction.

Click here to learn more about the Rainbow Village »

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Nestled between the edge of the Hallstätter See lake and the towering Dachstein mountains is the tiny Austrian village of Hallstatt. Take a ferry ride across the lake to enjoy the village’s sheer beauty, learn about its rich mining history, or walk the Echerntal trail for impeccable views.

Click here to learn more about Hallstatt »

(Photo via Getty Images)

Malta's Popeye Village was originally created as a film set for the 1980 film "Popeye" before being repurposed into a theme park. The set was created using tree trunks brought in from Holland and nearly 2,000 gallons of paint. Today, visitors can enjoy boat rides, a winery, and water trampolines.

Click here to learn more about Popeye Village Malta »

(Photo via Getty Images)

The charming mountain village of Wengen, Switzerland, is home to cozy timber houses and chalets where you can stay before trying out activities like paragliding, river rafting, or hiking along the area's stunning valleys and meadows.

Click here to learn more about Wengen »

(Photo by Alec Brown via Getty Images)

The Hahoe Folk Village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province of South Korea. The area preserves the architecture of the Joseon period and is organized according to the guidelines of Korean feng shui. It is known for being built in the shape of a lotus flower.

Click here to learn more about the Hahoe Folk Village »

(Photo via Getty Images)

Nicknamed the "Dutch Venice", Giethoorn is a waterfront village in Holland. Located at the center of Overijssel's canal system, the quaint and picturesque village is home to more than 55 miles of canoe trails, by which houses, canal-side museums, and even restaurants can be accessed via boat.

Click here to learn more about Giethoorn »

(Photo by George Pachantouris via Getty Images)

Júzcar is a small village located in the Valle del Genal in Andalusia, Spain. The entire village was painted blue back in 2011 for the "The Smurfs 3D" movie, and it has remained that way ever since.

Click here to learn more about Júzcar »

(Photo via Getty Images)

Kalk Bay is a popular seaside village in Cape Town, South Africa, where you can enjoy shopping and prime dining with plenty of fresh seafood. Along its main road, you'll find a variety of antique stores, coffee shops, galleries, and restaurants.

Click here to learn more about Kalk Bay »

(Photo by Sheila Marchant Webb via Getty Images)

Bremm, located in Germany, is revered for its wine. Visit one its vineyards, explore the culinary treats that await, and enjoy activities like hiking, biking, or taking a boat trip across the river.

Click here to learn more about Bremm »

(Photo by Hans-Peter Merten via Getty Images)

Head to the charming fishing village of Woods Hole on Cape Cod for some of the best waterfront restaurants on the Upper Cape. Not only does the village host attractions like an aquarium and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, but it's also a favored jumping-off point to Martha's Vineyard.

Click here to learn more about Woods Hole »

(Photo by Doug Lemke via Getty Images)

The village of Bourtange, located in the municipality of Vlagtwedde in the Netherlands, is famous for its star-shaped fort built in 1593 during the Eighty Years’ War. Today, the fort is an open-air museum you can visit before exploring the canals and medieval architecture of the village.

Click here to learn more about Bourtange »

(Photo by Amos Chapple via Getty Images)

Built in the foothills of the Vaucluse Mountains in France, Gordes is a popular village thanks to its dramatic location and its reputation for being a destination for movie stars and artists. Explore its narrow cobblestone streets or head to the nearby Sénanque Abbey, where you can see honey, lavender essence, and liqueurs being produced.

Click here to learn more about Gordes »

(Photo by Paul Atkinson via Getty Images)

China's Xijiang Miao Village is the largest Miao village in the country, often referred to as "the thousand household village". The village's setting includes a lush valley surrounded by overlapping mountains and terraced fields.

Click here to learn more about the Xijiang Miao Village »

(Photo by William Yu via Getty Images)

Monsanto, which sits off of a mountaintop overlooking Portugal's countryside in the Idanha-a-Nova municipality, is known for its architecture set among the area's massive boulders. Walk through its tiny streets and you'll come across homes with boulders coming out of their roofs or even fitted as doors.

Click here to learn more about Monsanto »

(Photo via Getty Images)

Bibury, located in Gloucestershire, England, is a scenic Cotswold village with honey-colored cottages. Thanks to its setting alongside the River Coln, it is often considered one of the most picturesque destinations in the Cotswolds.

Click here to learn more about Bibury »

(Photo by Linda Mckie via Getty Images)

Hongcun, located in China's Yi County, has around 150 residences that date back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. One of the biggest, the Chenzhi Hall, also contains a small museum where you can learn about the area's history.

Click here to learn more about Hongcun Village »

(Photo by Dove Lee via Getty Images)

Located at the edge of a tall cliff overlooking the ocean in the Faroe Islands, the village of Gásadalur was immensely difficult to access until a tunnel was created back in 2004. Now, adventurers who come here can enjoy the unforgettable landscape it boasts.

Click here to learn more about Gásadalur »

(Photo via Getty Images)

The Xidi Village is located in the Yi County of China and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside the village of Hongcun. The village still maintains wooden residences from both the Ming and Qing dynasties, many of which are open to the public.

Click here to learn more about the Xidi Village »

(Photo via Getty Images)


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