The capital of central Alsace, Colmar offers visitors an exciting glimpse of 1000 years of European history. Besides, with its 67,000 inhabitants, Colmar retains a 'country town' atmosphere which contributes so much to its charm. Wonderfully preserved from the ravages of time, its homogenous historical centre is classed as a 'protected area' and has benefited from careful restoration and ongoing improvements for more than 20 years.
The Bibury village is known for its honey-coloured seventeenth century stone cottages with steeply pitched roofs, which once housed weavers who supplied cloth for fulling at nearby Arlington Mill. Until the 1980s, that building also housed the museum of Arlington Mill with a collection of period clothing, before it was shifted to Barnsley House. The Mill is now a private residence. The nineteenth-century artist and craftsman William Morris called Bibury "the most beautiful village in England" when he visited it.
Spello is an ancient town and comune (township) of Italy, in the province of Perugia in east central Umbria, on the lower southern flank of Mt. Subasio. It is 6 km (4 mi) NNW of Foligno and 10 km (6 mi) SSE of Assisi. The densely inhabited town, built of stone, is of decidedly medieval aspect, and is enclosed in a circuit of medieval walls on Roman foundations, including three Roman Late Antique gates (Porta Consolare, Porta di Venere and the "Arch of Augustus") and traces of three more, remains of an amphitheater, as well several medieval gates. Spello boasts about two dozen small churches, most of them medieval.
With its historical Old Town and unique location amidst the famous hedges and impressive scenery of the surrounding Venn region, Monschau is a health climate resort with plenty to offer. As a stroll through its winding alleys will soon reveal, the romantic half-timbered houses harbour a rich mosaic of art, culture and museums. The historic town center has many preserved half-timbered houses and narrow streets have remained nearly unchanged for 300 years, making the town a popular tourist attraction nowadays. An open-air, classical music festival is staged annually at Burg Monschau. Historically, the main industry of the town was cloth-mills.
Known as a modest fishing village in the beginning of the century, Yvoire is now ranked as one of the International Laureates of Floral Decorations, and is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France. This medieval city celebrated its 700 years in 2006. This medieval bourg, ideally situated on the expanse separating the "little lake" from the "great lake", still possesses some of the essential elemants of the fortifications of the 14th Century : the castle, doors and rampart.
Sighisoara is a small city in the Transylvania region of Romania, with a history dating back to the 1100s. Back then, the Hungarian king was begging Saxons to move to this part of the world in order to help defend his borders. German craftsmen and artisans took him up on it, and what resulted is today a fairy-tale-like fortified city in the heart of Romania. Sighisoara is a UNESCO World Heritage site. With cobbled streets, colorful buildings, and a pedestrian-friendly Old Town, it's difficult not to fall in love with Sighisoara. Yes, it's a touristy place. And yes, it can feel a bit crowded in the summer. But it's still well worth a visit.
Wengen is a village in the Bernese Oberland in the canton of Bern, located in central Switzerland at an elevation of 1,274 m (4,180 ft) above sea level. It is part of the Jungfrauregion and has approximately 1,300 year-round residents, which swells to 5,000 during summer and to 10,000 in the winter. It is one of very few car-free resort villages in Europe, although there are a few service vehicles, local farm vehicles, electric vehicles for taxiing to and from the railway station. This creates a tranquil atmosphere throughout the village and reduces traffic noise. For ecological reasons other resorts are considering following the car-free example.
Alesund is a sea port, and is noted for its unique concentration of Art Nouveau architecture. Alesund has an unusually consistent architecture, most of the buildings having been built between 1904 and 1907. Jugendstilsenteret is a national interpretation centre, visitors can learn more about the town fire, the rebuilding of the town and the Art Nouveau style. Alesund is a partner in the Art nouveau network, a European network of co-operation created in 1999 for the study, safeguards and development of the Art nouveau. The term "Little London" was often applied to the community during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany due to the Norwegian resistance work that took place here. Among other things, the city was central to the flights to Scotland and England.
Work up an appetite before dining at Bryggan Fjallbacka hotel and restaurant (Taste of West Sweden accredited), down by the harbour, by climbing Vetteberget mountain. You can't miss it, it towers above the town and once atop, you get fantastic views of the town and the Fjallbacka archipelago. Talking of which, there are many great boat trips you can take. Head for the Weather Islands for example. It is the most westerly, windiest and warmest cluster of islands in Sweden and there are 365 of them: one for each day of the year. Go for the peace and quiet, go for the nature reserve, go swimming in the clear blue waters or clamber and picnic among the rocks. If you're lucky you might even spot a colony of seals.
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village offers cottage accommodation, historical activities, and many fantastic walking, cycling and fishing opportunities. This coastal crofting village is situated in a secluded bay within the district of Carloway, on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. In addition to the variety of family cottages available for self-catering accommodation, there are many fun things to do in this authentic village. Step back in time and see how the people here once lived, by watching traditional activities including the weaving of the famous Harris Tweed. The village also boasts a small shop selling gifts to purchase and a cafe offering delicious homemade food. From the village, you can take the waymarked walk to the beautiful Dalmore and Dalbey beaches. To learn more about the history of the area, visit the world-famous Callanish Standing Stones and the Iron Age Broch at Doune Carloway.