These charming European villages were just ranked among the best according to a report from the UN World Tourism Organization.
The WTO just announced its Best Tourism Villages of 2023.
Many villages around the world, including 16 in Europe, were reported among the best at “preserving landscapes, cultural diversity, local values, and culinary traditions.”
Each of these villages is a fascinating tourist destination that’s well worth a visit, but we’ve gone ahead and ranked five of the very best to check out.
These are the top villages in Europe to add to your travel bucket list according to the WTO:
1. Ericeira, Portugal
Ericeira is one of the trendiest entries on this list. This small village in Portugal has been exploding in popularity lately. It’s known for being one of the fastest-growing digital nomad hotspots in Europe, as well as a destination for beginner and advanced surfers alike.
The great surfing beaches are one of the biggest draws of Ericeira, making it a premier surf destination in the country. Once a quiet fishing village, Ericeira has grown into a bustling tourist hotspot.
With its whitewashed buildings accented with bright colors and quaint cobblestoned streets, Ericeira is the quintessential village of southern Portugal.
3. Oñati, Spain
Oñati is a lesser-known destination in the Basque region of Northern Spain. Basque Country is known for its distinctive culture that is very different from the rest of Spain. Many residents in this area still speak the Basque language in their day-to-day lives.
Basque Country is an emerging destination in Spain thanks to its rich culture and beautiful scenery.
Oñati is a historic village dating back to medieval times. It’s home to the University of Oñati, a former university that was once the only university in Basque Country, and the Sanctuary of Arantzazu, an ancient Franciscan sanctuary.
3. Morcote, Switzerland
Switzerland is one of the most picturesque countries in all of Europe, filled with hundreds of charming towns and villages, but Morcote, in the Swiss canton of Ticino, is one of the most scenic of them all.
This tiny village is situated on Lake Lugano, a stunning glacial lake on the border of Switzerland and Italy. Morcote is situated on the Swiss side of the lake, but the primary language spoken is Italian, which adds an interesting cultural aspect to this village.
4. Tokaj, Hungary
There are many reasons to visit Hungary, one of the best countries in Eastern Europe, and yet most travelers only see the capital city of Budapest.
However, there’s so much more to Hungary, such as the charming small town of Tokaj. This historic village is located in northern Hungary, and it’s the heart of the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region.
Surrounded by vineyards and scenic countryside, Tokaj is a great place to visit to sample local wine and enjoy the slow-paced life of a small village.
5. Şirince, Türkiye
Şirince is one of the most beautiful villages in Türkiye. Located in the Izmir province of Türkiye, this ancient village dates back to the Hellenistic period and is only a few miles away from the famous ancient city of Ephesus.
With a population of fewer than 500 people, there’s not much to “do” in Şirince — but it’s a wonderful place to soak up the historic ambiance and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
It also helps that Türkiye is currently one of the cheapest destinations in Europe to visit, making this winter an excellent time to visit.
6. Sigüenza, Spain
Finally, another Spanish village that stands out from the crowd is Sigüenza. This lesser-visited village is located in central Spain, about an hour and a half from Madrid.
Sigüenza is known for its well-preserved centuries-old architecture, which makes a stroll through the village feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Some highlights of Sigüenza include the imposing Sigüenza Cathedral and Sigüenza Castle.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com