There’s nothing quite as beautiful as seeing nature and civilization come together. Hovering precariously on the edge of Europe's sheer cliffs lie some of the world's most spectacular cities, made all the more majestic with their dramatic setting and sweeping views. We rounded up six of the best cliff-side cities to hit this summer that should fall at the very top of your bucket list.
With magnificent archaeological sites, traditional Mediterranean food, and a slew of volcanic islands that are every bit as beautiful as they look in the photos, Greece has something for everyone. Discover historic sites like the famous Byzantine monasteries in Metéora, explore the famed Acropolis of Athens, wander the winding streets of Mykonos and admire Santorini’s rust-red cliffs that plunge into the Aegean Sea.
Santorini, the Greek paradise famous for its whitewashed architecture and cobalt ocean is a destination that all travellers should experience in their lifetime. The island, formed from the remains of a volcanic eruption, offers non-stop adventure, award-winning wine and conceivably some of the best sunsets in the world. Watch the sun illuminate the sky with golden hues from Oia and Firostefani, two of the island’s most stunning sundown spots. Neighbouring island Mykonos is equally as enchanting, offering remarkable views and a lively ambiance.
From bustling modern cities, to sleepy villages, to world-class resorts, Spain offers that special something. The country prides itself on its fascinating culture that diverges across the regions, delicious cuisine and an endless coastline of golden beaches.
While it’s difficult to pinpoint just one must-visit destination, the Spanish mountain town of Ronda is a unique sight. Located in the province of Malaga, Ronda is one of Spain’s oldest towns and is said to be the home of modern day bullfighting. Perched atop a 100-metre canyon overlooking the El Tajo gorge, this historic cliff-top destination is known for its dramatic setting, rich history and quaint villages. Positioned in the heart of the Serrania de Ronda among some of Spain’s best-kept secrets, the town boasts acclaimed vineyards, ancient medieval sites and views of the untamed mountains. Don’t forget to check out the Puente Nuevo Bridge, Ronda’s most prominent landmark.
The Amalfi Coast, Italy
While Italy’s rich culture and cuisine are reason enough to visit, the country is home to ancient ruins, secluded islands and picture-postcard villages. The Amalfi Coast, in particular, provides some of the most breathtaking coastal views on the planet from the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula.
The Amalfi Coast is dotted with picturesque towns and dramatic cliffs that plunge into the clear waters of the Mediterranean. Get lost on the sensational walking trails that take you across the striking terrain and explore the sequestered beaches that fringe the rocky shoreline. The string of cute coastal towns offers a collection of pink, orange and sun kissed houses that cling to the vertical landscape. Positano, Sorrento and Revello are all must-visit destinations, each offering a charming slice of life on the elegant Amalfi Coast.
Whether you’re looking for a tranquil getaway, whimsical historic cities or a turquoise coastline, you’ll find your haven in Croatia. From unforgettable Game of Thrones scenery to exquisite cuisine, to over 1,000 islands and huge National Parks, Croatia should fall high on your travel agenda.
Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic, is one of the country’s most popular destinations and quite rightly so. The medieval city is surrounded by 1,940 metres of ancient stone walls that were first constructed in the 8th century and have been preserved to the present day. Ramble the winding cobbled side-streets of this enchanting city, and for a striking perspective, take the cable car up to the summit of Mount Srd for stunning views of the town against the speckled azure coastal backdrop. If Dubrovnik’s intricate systems of forts and bastions don’t fascinate you, the surrounding natural beauty and shimmer of the Adriatic Sea will undoubtedly win you over.
Few countries offer such diversity in surroundings and activities – whether you’re exploring Rome’s historic treasures, discovering the ruins of Pompeii, enjoying fine regional wine or cruising along the Amalfi Coast, Italy’s grandeur will take your breath away.
A destination not to be ignored is Sicily, the largest of the Italian islands laden with culture, cuisine and calm. There you’ll find lemon orchards, towering mountains, undiscovered beaches and smoking volcanic craters. Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, tour the Greek temples of Agrigento and wander the cliff-top town of Taormina. This Sicilian gem is an iconic destination known for its beautiful medieval buildings, mazes of winding streets and of course, hold-your-breath views of Mount Etna and the Gulf of Naxos. Home to a white sandy coastline and undisputed natural beauty, the chic resort town of Taormina is one of Sicily’s must-visit places.
A setting of tranquility, interesting history, stunning coastal cliffs, and outdoors adventures make Portugal one of Europe’s most popular destinations. Although often overshadowed by Spain, Portugal is home to an abundance of turquoise beaches and fairy tale-like towns such as Sintra.
Surrounded by mountain peaks and exquisite architectural sites, Sintra is a land of vibrant castles and a compelling past. Situated west of capital city Lisbon, Sintra is a popular tourist destination that sits high above sea level with its vast panoramic views and cultural treasures. Mosey the paths that lead you around the incredible Pena Palace and explore the exotic trees and plants of the Sintra forest. Admire the Atlantic Ocean in the distance, or if you’d rather soak in the magnificence of the vineyards and sand dunes, walk the 15-km walk from Sintra to the delightful coastal town that is Praia da Adraga.
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