Cute Little Towns That Ooze Charm
4. Paraty – Brazil
If you’re visiting Rio de Janeiro and have time to spare, make sure to travel down south to charming colonial Paraty. Paraty was part of the Brazilian gold trail and it was an important harbor for exporting the precious mineral to Portugal.
You’ll fall in love with the historic center boasting Portuguese imperial architecture and cobbled streets, where no cars are allowed – only pedestrians, bikes, and horses. From there you can take boat trips to nearby islands or taste local cachaças, the famous Brazilian spirit.
5. Essaouira – Morocco
Essaouira is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy some kitesurfing or windsurfing. The town was once a Portuguese colony called Mogador and was a major Moroccan port due to its proximity to Marrakesh.
The medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the place where you can find many arts and crafts, including “thuya” wood-carving, which is famous in the region. Essaouira also has many old synagogues, as it was the home of a large Jewish population who were invited to help in trading with Europe.
6. Eze – France
No trip to the amazing French Riviera is complete without a visit to the medieval village of Eze. It’s located between Nice and Monaco, and has a population of just under 3,000 people. You really feel like you’re going back in time as the oldest building dates back to 1306.
With most buildings still very well preserved, it’s sometimes labeled as a “museum village.” You can visit the Jardin Exotique d’Èze, famous for its cacti, and also appreciate the beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea.