22 Secret small towns of Europe

WION Edge: From the Alps to the Mediterranean, these frozen-in-time European villages will make you appreciate the beauty of taking it slow.

Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

The Met?ora - is a formation of immense monolithic pillars and hills like huge rounded boulders which dominate the local area (Javier Vieras Flickr)

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges has become incredibly popular for travellers looking to photograph the lego-like houses in the city centre (pictured above). It still remains to be one of Europe?s prettiest little towns, but is now more popular than ever. (Joshua Poh Bruges)

Reine, Norway

Reine, Norway

This small fishing village in Norway is SO picturesque ? if a picture tells a thousand words, this would have to tell double. Stunning! (Harvey Barrison)

Torun, Poland

Torun, Poland

This magnificently walled Gothic town on the Vistula should be high on every traveler?s list, possibly as its delights seem low on everyone else?s, leaving visitors who make it here to revel unrestricted in its wealth of red-brick buildings, Unesco-listed sites and medieval city defenses, all of which WWII mercifully decided to ignore. (Kishjar Flickr)

Rothenberg, Germany

Rothenburg, Germany

A medieval gem, Rothenburg ob der Tauber (meaning ?above the Tauber River?) is top tourist stop along the Romantic Road. With its web of cobbled lanes, higgledy-piggledy houses and towering walls, the town is fairy-tale Germany the hordes of Japanese and Korean tourists came to see. (Lauren Travis Flickr)

Pucisca, Croatia

Pucisca, Croatia

Pucisca is a settlement in the middle part of the northern part of the island Brac turned to the channel of Brac, Omis and Makarska. (Florian Klien Flickr)

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Positano is a cliffside village on southern Italy's Amalfi Coast. It's a well-known holiday destination with a pebble beachfront and steep, narrow streets lined with boutiques and cafes. (Gina Le Flickr)

Marsaxlokk, Malta

Marsaxlokk, Malta

This town in Malta is the main fishing village for the entire country. It?s colorful, playful, and filled with Maltese spirit. (Juan Antonio F. Segal Flickr)

Odense, Denmark

Odense, Denmark

Odense is situated at the very heart of Denmark. Famous as the birthplace of author Hans Christian Andersen, you might not know that it is also the official bicycle city of Denmark. (Nigel Swales Flickr)

Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

At dusk, the lights of numerous millhouse restaurants twinkle across gushing streamlets. And in between, the Balkans' most celebrated bridge forms a majestic stone arc between reincarnated medieval towers. (Mandyist Flickr)

Manarola, Italy

Manarola, Italy

Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore, in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy. (Dimitry Anikin)

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt is a village in Austria's mountainous Salzkammergut region. Its 16th-century Alpine houses and Gothic Catholic church sit on Lake Hallstatt's western shore. (Alfred Pressi Flickr)

Goreme, Turkey

Goreme, Turkey

Surrounded by epic sweeps of golden, moonscape valley, this remarkable honey-coloured village hollowed out of the hills has long since grown beyond its farming-hamlet roots.

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent is one of Europe?s greatest discoveries ? small enough to feel cozy but big enough to stay vibrant.

Eze, France

Eze, France

This rocky little village perched on an impossible peak is the jewel in the Riviera crown. The main attraction is the medieval village itself, with stone houses and winding lanes, and the mesmerizing views of the coast. (Campus France Flickr)

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Crowned by a spectacular castle, and centred on an elegant old town square, Cesk? Krumlov is a pocket-sized Prague. Renaissance and baroque buildings enclose the meandering arc of the Vltava river, housing riverside caf?s and bars. (Klefer Flickr)

Colmar, France

Colmar, France

Colmar is a town in the Alsace region of northeastern France, near the border with Germany. Its old town has cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. (Traveltipy Flickr)

Bled, Slovenia

Bled, Slovenia

Bled, a Slovenian resort town in the foothills of the Julian Alps, is set along the glacial Lake Bled. On a cliff overlooking the lake is the 11th-century Bled Castle, which houses a museum, chapel and printing press.

Bibury, England

Bibury, England

Bibury is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England. It is on both banks of the River Coln which rises in the same District and which is a Thames tributary. (John Menard Flickr)

Arosa, Switzerland

Arosa, Switzerland

The relatively small town in the Swiss Alps is a hot favorite of the English Royal family, so if it?s good enough for them, it?s good enough for all of us! (Tambako The Jaguar Flickr)

Annecy, France

Annecy, France

Annecy is an alpine town in southeastern France, where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River. It?s known for its Vieille Ville (old town), with cobbled streets, winding canals and pastel-colored houses (Italo Settl Flickr)

Bergen, Norway

Bergen, Norway

Bergen is arguably Norway?s most charming, picturesque town. Situated on the West Coast of the country, Bergen was established before 1070 AD! (Juan Antonio F. Segal Flickr)