World’s most beautiful towns世界上最美麗的城鎮

They don't have impressive industries and they're not the most popular destinations; but these towns are as picturesque as they come

Yeh, yeh, a town is made by its people; but sometimes the buildings and landscape count for something too.

There’s a lot to be said for a town’s design. These ones do it best. 

Have you visited a town that struck you for its beauty? Tell us about it in the comments

Also on CNNGo: 10 of the world's most underrated cities


1. Gordes, France

Gordes, FranceA rare specimen -- attractive to both politicians and artists.

More than just a beautiful village perched on one of the most scenic hillsides of Provence, Gordes has seen serious political action.

Harnessed for its defensive vantage point by everyone from the Romans to the Normans, Gordes played a crucial role in the French Resistance during World War II, and suffered accordingly.

In peacetime it’s the beautiful central square and cobbled alleys overlooking the fields of the Vaucluse that have attracted artists including Chagall and Vasarely.

Today visitors come to enjoy the lively open market in the square dominated by a Norman castle, the surrounding lavender fields and the 12th-century Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque.

Nearest airport: Avignon, or Marseille for international arrivals;

2. Miyajima, Japan 

Miyajima, JapanThe temple that walks on water.
The name means “shrine-island” and this one has an exquisite torii.

The presence of the sea is as much a part of Miyajima’s charm as the shrine itself -- the village is lined with a boardwalk which is a great favorite with grazing deer. 

What you see is not necessarily all you get in Miyajima -- you need to walk behind the main street and away from the shrine to encounter an enchanting staircase leading to a Buddhist temple at the foot of scenic Mount Misen.

Nearest airport: Hiroshima;

3. Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira, MoroccoA blue, white and gold desert paradise.
In a country awash with red earth, Saharan desert heat and dust, Essaouira is a refreshing and surprising breath of fresh coastal air.

Not a resort, but a bustling little town with a fishing industry, it’s a vision of bright blue and white, with the odd golden accent. 

The Medina, or old market center, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where visitors shop for marquetry, textiles and hand-made raffia slippers known as babouches.

But an even bigger attraction is the fishing port, lined with outdoor restaurants overlooking the Scala Kasbah and a sea of blue fishing boats.

Nearest airport: Essaouira or Marrakech for international arrivals;


4. Savannah, Georgia, United States

Savannah, GeorgiaNearly lost, now much loved.
This jewel of the American South nearly fell apart from sheer neglect until a plan to demolish one of its mansions to make way for a parking lot shocked the populace into restoring more than 1,000 splendid buildings.

Even though Savannah boasts the largest historic district of any American city, it was overlooked by visitors until Savannah’s more colorful 20th-century citizens found themselves playing starring roles in the best-seller “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

Although it reads like a thriller, John Behrendt’s 1994 book is a factual history peppered with the socialites, low-lifes and eccentrics who made the city what it is today.

The fabulous Bonaventure cemetery central to the book would alone be worth a visit to Savannah. In death as in life, Savannah socialites are determined to outdo each other in extravagance, and the statuary, overhung by dripping live oaks, is outstanding.

Nearest airport: Atlanta;

5. Lucca, Italy

Lucca, ItalyAnother jewel from the land of sun, sea and love.
This walled medieval town is one of the loveliest in Tuscany, with a unique elliptical piazza, the Anfiteatro.

This former colosseum was converted in the 12th century into a residential space, now awash with cafés. It’s surrounded by many other picturesque piazzas, punctuated with spectacular churches. San Michele soars to crazy heights with its tiers of blind arches supported by wildly-decorated columns.

San Frediano, with its colorful mosaic facade, is another delight.

Lucca is equally beautiful on the outside. It’s surrounded by thick 16th-century walls on top of which locals stroll or bike, gazing over the surrounding parkland.

From the hotel strip just beyond the walls, it’s easy to slip into town on foot or bike through one of the many alleys.

Nearest airport: Pisa;

6. Safed, Israel

Safed, IsraelFull of character -- human and architectural.
You only have to stand in the centre of Safed, where the mysticism of the kabbalah was disseminated by rabbis hundreds of years ago, to feel the magic.

Historic little synagogues, cobbled alleys, blue-painted arches and far-ranging views from the hilltop make this one of the most scenic little towns in Israel.

The Great Stairs cut the town in two and were used by the British to separate Arab and Jewish Quarters, while the Citadel with its Crusader and Mamluk ruins and the eclectic shopping along Gallery Street add a mix of history and current culture.

Many local characters are keen to engage visitors in this New Age center, where natural healers and modern mystics abound.

Nearest airport: Tel Aviv;

7. Plockton, Scotland

Plockton, ScotlandA Scottish Hawaii -- or as close as it gets.
Palm trees in the Highlands? Bizarre as it sounds, the Gulf Stream has brought tropical foliage to this beautiful little village just over the water from the Isle of Skye.

Original named Am Ploc, it was a crofting hamlet until the 17th century and then a home for refugees displaced to make room for sheep during the Highland Clearances.

Today, the special feature of the high street is the gardens -- separated from their quaint little houses by the main road, they all face the sea and in spring and summer are a beautifully kept riot of brightly colored flowers and neat lawns.

Roam to the edges of town and you’ll find another attraction -- the beautiful shaggy brown
Highland cattle munching the outlying hedgerows.

Nearest airport: Inverness;

8. Taxco, Mexico

Taxco, MexicoCobbled streets and piazzas rest within kilometers of countryside.
This colonial silver-mining town 170 kilometers south of the capital is arguably the jewel in Mexico's crown. Its maze of cobbled streets and beautiful piazzas overlook the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding Guerrero countryside. 

The Federal Government has designated Taxco a national historic monument, so its 16th-century architectural heritage will be preserved.

Even the flocks of tourists shopping for silver on their rest stop en route to Acapulco (Taxco is half-way between the resort and the capital) don’t spoil the colonial ambience -- and if you want to get away from the shoppers, it’s easy to dive into the covered market, a great place for an authentic lunch, or the beautiful and central church of Santa Prisca.

Nearest airport: Acapulco;

9. Zhouzhuang, China

Zhouzhuang, ChinaVenice of the Orient.
If Shanghai is the Paris of the Orient, then this exquisite little town punctuated with canals, just a couple of hours to the west, is China’s Venice.

The highlight is the picturesque Zhouzhuang Double Bridge, and there are even Chinese gondoliers waiting to ply visitors down the canals.

But there’s more to Zhouzhang than the water -- fabulous examples of Suzhow-style architecture lining the banks which it’s said do not exist in Suzhow anymore.

And there are gardens beautiful enough to rival Suzhow’s much more famous ones.

Nearest airport: Shanghai;

10. Mendocino, California, United States

Mendocino, CaliforniaClapperboards and cannabis.
Once a Victorian whaling town, this gorgeous little village remains in a 19th century timewarp -- all clapperboard buildings perched on a clifftop, often shrouded in swirling mist.

Mendocino is at the heart of a new black economy -- the marijuana groves which surround it -- which may be one reason for the lazy pace of life in this tiny village of pretty inns, decent restaurants and highly eclectic shops.

Although it can be overrun in summer, it’s a delightful place to visit out of season and taste the local Russian River wines.


他們沒有令人印象深刻的行業和他們不是最熱門的目的地; 但這些城鎮作為風景如畫,因為他們來

葉,葉,一個鎮是由它的人提出; 但有時建築和景觀算是死得其所了。






法國Gordes一件珍品 - 雙方的政治家和藝術家的吸引力。








海的存在是盡可能多的宮島的魅力作為神社本身的一個部分 - 村鋪有木板路這是一個偉大的喜愛與放牧鹿。 

你看到的不一定是你在宮島得到 - 你需要走在後面的主要街道,遠離靖國神社遇到一個迷人的樓梯通往一個佛教寺廟在風景秀麗的山彌山腳下。































如今,高街的特色是花園 - 由主路從古樸的小房子分開,他們都面對大海,並在春季和夏季是鮮豔的花朵和整齊的草坪一座美麗的騷亂。






遊客白銀在他們的休息站購物途中阿卡普爾科甚至成群(塔斯科是中途度假勝地和資本之間)不破壞殖民氛圍 - 如果你想遠離消費者,它的容易潛入室內市場,一個地道的午餐的好地方,或聖普里斯卡的美麗和中央的教堂。





但還有更多的周莊比水 - Suzhow風格的建築襯裡它說,銀行的神話般的例子並不在Suzhow存在了。





門多西諾正處在一個新的黑色經濟的心臟 - 環繞它的大麻園 - 這可能是原因之一生活在美麗的旅館,像樣的餐館和高度兼收並蓄的商店這個小村莊裡的慵懶步伐。



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