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Vintage wonderland

Friday, January 12, 2018

Have you ever been on holiday to an exotic locale and almost wished that time stood still so that you could take in all the beauty it had to offer? If so, Pearl Mathias brings you a few quaint villages from around the world that you’ll want to escape to right away!

Winding pathways, cobbled streets and lush floral sidewalks may seem like something straight out of a Jane Austen novel. But, these mesmerising locales exist in small pockets across the globe, and we’re taking you on a trip to some of them. Could it get any prettier than thatched roofs, streams flowing through villages and tiny shops lining the paths, with the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the streets? For your next trip, surpass the glistening city skylines and book a trip to these gorgeous towns that will carry you back to the days of old.

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
The medieval central European town of Ceský Krumlov was built around a 13th century castle. The name is derived from two cultures, Latin and German, and the castle was once home to several royal families. Situated on the banks of the Vltava River, the beautiful town from the Middle Ages is historic to its core. The Historic Centre of Ceský Krumlov has remained untouched by  urban development and industrialization, thus retaining its natural beauty. The facades, decorative details, a Baroque theatre and Renaissance-style carved wooden ceilings are some of the notable architectural features of this town.

Bibury, England

Known as the most beautiful village in England, Bibury is lined with ancient villages, a river that leads to its main street and a scenic church. With its stone slate roof cottages, Arlington Row looks like it’s come straight out of a postcard. There’s a small café at the Bibury Trout Farm, where you can indulge in fishing. With it’s beautiful stained glass windows, St. Mary’s Church is a marvel to look at and be in. The old-world charm of this picturesque town is enough for us to pack our bags and head over right away.

Colmar, France

When in Colmar, you’ll catch sight of neat cobblestone streets, timbered houses and a tranquil canal flowing through the town. There is a unique vibrancy in this city, which is unmatched in locations across the globe. There are many attractions in this old city, and if you’re a fan of medieval gothic architecture, St. Martin Church and Dominican Church should be at the top of your list. And, you simply must take a boat trip on the canal from Little Venice, from underneath the Saint-Pierre Bridge, to check out the beautifully restored houses in the area. The town is also home to a fruit and vegetable market, Rue de Turenne, and you’ll see the strong village atmosphere that is still prevalent to this day.

Alberobello, Italy

Located in the centre of Italy’s Apulia region (also known as the heel of Italy’s boot), the picturesque town of Alberobello attracts several visitors. What makes this town unique are the famous trulli, the traditional houses of the region. These houses are built out of limestone blocks, carefully stacked one above the other, and feature conical roofs. While most houses are built to last, the trulli were originally designed to be demolished and rebuilt in a short span of time. The unique trulli were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. They have now been converted into comfortable accommodations and you can get a feel of the culture by living in one when you visit.

Fenghuang County, China

The word fenghuang refers to the phoenix in Chinese. The ancient Fenghuang is located in the Hunan Province. With breathtaking landscapes and intriguing culture, Fenghuang is one of the most beautiful areas in China and it has retained its pre-modernisation architecture with postcard-perfect villages scattered around the area. With a history dating back more than 400 years, it has managed to preserve its ancient flavour. Standing at the Rainbow Bridge Art Building in the centre of the town, you’ll witness the scintillating scenery of the banks of Tuo Jiang River. If you love to watch the sun set, don’t miss the boat ride where you get to place a wishing lamp in the river, making your Tangled dreams come true.

Portree, Scotland

The small town of Portree is situated on the east of the Isle of Skye and is the capital of the island. The village is only 200-years-old and was created by the then Lord MacDonald as a fishing village. With cafés, restaurants and churches dotting the area, there are several cliffs in the landscape that add to its scenic beauty. When driving down the south-west side, you’ll spot vibrantly painted buildings while the north-west side features natural stone and whitewashed buildings. The village hosts several annual events such as the Portree Show, the Isle of Skye Half Marathon and the Skye Highland Games.

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