Aren’t we all emotionally exhausted of car-rides through desolated streets only to end up at a grocery store or a vegetable mart? Yes, 2020 indeed has been nothing short of a long and uncomfortable ride through rough highway roads. Amidst every aspect of our social lives that we most coveted throughout the lockdown, travel definitely tops the list.
As we slowly undergo the process of unlocking, the traveller in us continues to gaze at the sky hoping to catch a glimpse of an airplane and imagine magically landing into bustling cities. But, if you’re one of them who plugs in their earphones and hits the play button on John Denver’s ‘Country Roads Take Me Home’ and immediately transports into a world with unparalleled picturesque of quaint towns; here are few exotic global villages you must plan your trip to as soon as travel resumes.
Located in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region, Hallstatt is a village straight out of a painting, best known for its mesmerizing views. Alongside being one of the most photographed spots in Austria, this village has enriching historical significance including one of the oldest salt mines in the world. Salzkammergut, which literally translates to ‘Domaine of Salt’, has been mined since 5000 BCE and has brought an abundance of wealth to Austria. The breath-taking village is exempted from any vehicles, thus allowing the visitors to experience the serene atmosphere and an exotic old-world charm.
Situated within the Southeastern part of Malta, Marsaxlokk is an incredibly stunning traditional fishing village that's notable for its fishing market. A plethora of colorful boats (also known as ‘Luzzus’) cruising on its harbor makes it one of the most striking villages on the planet. Aside the natural exuberance, the village also is renowned for featuring military outposts built by the British to protect the harbor in World War Two. The Marsaxlokk church is dedicated to the Madonna of Pompeii and Fort St Lucian built in 1610, this quaint village encompasses a long history that you simply could not encounter in any other place.
Göreme is a town in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey. The hidden treasure of this blissful getaway is located just east of town is the Göreme - Open Air Museum, with cave churches and frescoes from the 10th to 12th centuries. To add to the endless beauty, on the Southwest is Uçhisar Castle - a fortification carved into a large rock, with panoramic views from the top. And to the north is the mighty landscape at Paşabağ Valley, known for Cappadocia’s “fairy chimneys” and cone-shaped rock formations.
If you’re a serenity seeking soul then, Giethoorn is a beautiful and peace-loving village situated in The Netherlands. It is one of most spectacularly green places of the country, that is enclosed by the extensive Weerribben-Wieden parkland. The local community follows a sustainable way of living and it is hence an automobile free village, offering several stunning canals instead of roads. What connects the lands of Giethoorn together is a magnificent hundred and fifty bridges to see this village from every possible viewpoint. This village has several similarities with Italy’s Veneto region that it's additionally known as ‘the Venice of Netherlands’.
If countryside is truly your calling, then Bibury is without any doubt, a must-visit. The charming village is settled on the bank of the stream Coln in the County of England. It comprises of the seventeenth century stone cottages and delightful Coln stream and attracts a lot of photographers in and outside of UK.
Set on the highest cliffs of oh-so-stunning Santorini, Oia is a coastal town on Aegean island. If you’re planning to visit paradise that is, Greece, whilst immersing yourselves in the most iconic views of the Santorini volcanic crater, you must definitely opt for a walk through the narrow streets of some very Instagramable blue domed churches, colorful rooftops, the maritime museums and the remnants of a Venetian fortress. And to top it all, it is also one of the most recommended spots to experience a stellar sunset.
The list doesn’t end here but it could definitely be the start of your next travel planning in the ‘new normal’. These countryside adventures will not only be a socially distant intimate affair but also be serving a greater purpose altogether.
This World Tourism Day, the travel and tourism communities around the world are together embarking on a mission by celebrating the theme ‘Tourism and Rural Development’. The objective of the same being the holistic upliftment of remote villages in terms of infrastructural growth and betterment of livelihood of local people by empowering them with opportunities of tourism. Here’s hoping that we get to travel on these roads less taken and experience the enigmatic beauty of quaint old towns and slow rustic life.