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Sensory hikes and ancient wines: why you should visit these European villages in 2024

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16 of UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages of 2023 are located in Europe.


From Venice to Athens, Europe’s most popular destinations are struggling to bear the weight of unsustainable tourist numbers.

Visitors encounter crowds, queues, and crumbling infrastructure. While local people are facing tight resources promote growth dissatisfaction With tourists.

So how can I be sure I’m one? solutionrather than a problem?

it’s time to explore devastatedtracking. To help you find unknown destinations, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has published its Best Tourist Villages of 2023.

These are the places where tourism is preserved culture and traditions, respect diversity, provide opportunities, and protect biodiversity.

In short, in rural areas, sightseeing Beneficial for locals and tourists alike.

This year, 53 villages around the world (16 of them in Europe) received the award, with the winners announced in October. UNWTO General Assembly In Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Here you will find all the award-winning villages in Europe.

Ordino, Andorra: traditional stone houses and alpine lake

Although the population is less than 80,000, andorra It is one of the smallest states in Europe.

This small country nestled between France and Spain and high in the Pyrenees is popular for its skiing and duty-free shopping, but there’s much more to it than that.

Ordino is a medieval town lined with picturesque stone houses, one of which you can peek inside at the Casa Areni Museum.

Once you’ve explored the town itself, the local parish has plenty to offer. outdoor adventure.

From the alpine Lake Tristaina and Soltenj National Park (the country’s largest natural area) to Casamanya Mountain and the Ordino Alcalis ski resort, there is no shortage of panoramic hiking trails and powdery slopes to conquer.

You can take a day trip to Ordino. BarcelonaGirona or Toulouse are each approximately 3 hours’ drive away.

St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria: adrenaline-pumping skiing and sensory hiking

expensive tyrol alpsSt. Anton am Arlberg is the gateway to the Arlberg ski area.

The region is known as the “Birthplace of the Alpines” and there’s no better place to hit the slopes. skiingHe was honored for his pioneering role in the invention of the sport. Learn all about it at the St. Anton am His Arlberg Museum, housed in a wooden ski cabin.

If you are tired of snow sports, feelings The Wonder Wonderweg (Wonderful Hiking Trail) consists of a barefoot walk, an alpine herb trail, and an alpine flower trail.

Schladming in central Austria also received a UNWTO award.of Former mining town Today, it’s known for its world-class skiing, beautiful biking and hiking trails, and refreshing lakes.


Slunj, Croatia: waterfall and traditional watermill

Most tourists are CroatiaDalmatian Coast, but if you head further into the country’s mountainous interior, you’ll find cascading waterfalls and riverside beaches.

The town of Slunj is a short drive from famous tourist destinations. Plitvice Lakes But it provides a watery spectacle of its own. At Rastke, 23 waterfalls flow into the Korana River, which is lined with traditional watermills.

During the summer, take a refreshing dip in the water before cycling through the peaceful Jervik Forest along the river.

Tokaji, Hungary: Sample sweet ‘noble rot’ wines

Wine lovers can’t miss historic wines Hungarian Tokaji town. This is the heart of the Tokaj-Hegyalca wine region and home to Tokaj, the original “noble rot” wine.

This sweet, complex liquor relies on botrytis, a special type of fungus that attacks overripe grapes, turning them into shriveled, sweet fruit. This process requires local weather conditions and the grapes are harvested by hand.


Needless to say, the visit wine tasting party Session and trip to the World Heritage Wine Museum in Tokaj.

Lerici, Italy: A sustainable experience of the Italian Riviera

Lerici, on Italy’s northwest coast, is dotted with iconic, colorful buildings. cinque terre It is known for.

But it is because of the town’s blue economy efforts that it was recognized by UNWTO.

Here you will find the Santa Teresa Smart Bay, Italy’s first underwater “living” laboratory.Scientists monitor destructive activity here ocean acidification By observing the growth rate of bryozoans – aquatic invertebrates.

This research will aid in their mission to protect the Bay’s delicate ecosystem and promote sustainable tourism in the region.


Soltera, Portugal: To go back in time

From Lisbon to Porto Portugal In recent years, its popularity as a tourist destination has skyrocketed. However, the country still has many hidden gems to discover.

Among them is the ancient walled town of Soltelja, which preserves medieval and Renaissance architecture.

Overlooking an imposing 13th-century castle, rural granite houses paint a picture of the past, and wind turbines paint a vision of a sustainable future.

Portugal has won numerous awards at UNWTO’s Best Tourism Village award.

Also, the award was given to surfing The paradise of Ericeira, the green mountain village of Manteigas and the Villa da Madalena on Pico Island in the Azores.


Varenj, Moldova: Pelican Watching at Lake Vero

jump in moldovaA beautiful natural wonder in Vareni, a village in the south-west of the country.

This destination has been growing its tourist reputation since 2014, when Eco Village Vareni was established as a base for tourists to explore the region.

Witness a flock of pelicans heading to the Danube Delta at Lake Bellow and explore the Lower Plut Nature Reserve, part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Siguenza, Spain: A medieval train journey

Siguenza in the center Spain It is known for its fortress-like castle and the diocesan museum, which houses famous religious art.

But in recent years, the city’s living museum has stagnated due to: Depopulation.


We are now on a mission to change this by becoming a focal point for regional development, and tourism is a key piece of the puzzle.

The city encourages weekday travel on the 1 hour and 20 minute Medieval Railway, which runs from Madrid. Troubadours and knights will accompany you on your journey with music and music. theater To tell the stories of the villages and towns we pass through on our journey.

Onati – Basque town smart tourism – And the historic municipality of Cantavieja also won the UNWTO Best Tourism Village award.

Morcote, Switzerland: Relax by the lake

Morcote, on the postcard-perfect Lake Lugano, is a charming destination.

Against a backdrop of greenery, the arcades of old aristocratic mansions line the water’s edge, welcoming the ferry from Lugnano to this protected area. swiss village.


The Swiss town of Saint-Ursanne, with its Romanesque abbey church and medieval houses, also won the Best Tourist Village award.

Sirinje, Turkiye: For a peaceful escape

Şirinçe, with a history dating back to the Hellenistic period. Turkiye We try to maintain the old-fashioned atmosphere.

car is Banned The town’s narrow streets mean that locals travel on foot or by horse.

The hilltop town was a Greek village before the Greco-Turkish War. It is located 12 km from the ancient city of Ephesus and is surrounded by beautiful natural surroundings. vineyardolive orchards and fruit trees.

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