Giethoorn, the Netherlands

The village of Giethoorn in northern Holland has been called many things, repeatedly:

“the Venice of the North,” ; “like something out of a fairytale,” for its thatched roof homes, centuries-old wooden bridges, and tree-lined footpaths.

Hallstätt, Austria

Isn’t she lovely?

There’s something special about Hallstätt, made evident when you pull up by ferry across the glassy lake, with mist rolling down from the towering Dachstein mountains.

Sintra, Portugal

In 1809, the British poet Lord Byron said mountaintop Sintra was, perhaps, the most beautiful town in the world. It has proposal-worthy views from every angle…

Taormina, Sicily

You’d be hard pressed to find a seaside town in Italy that doesn’t inspire romance, but there’s something especially dreamy about Taormina, a clifftop town in Sicily.

Colmar, France

On the Alsatian wine route in northeast France,

Colmar is flanked by vineyards and filled with pretty, pastel-colored houses, Renaissance churches, and tranquil, bridge-covered canals.

Soglio, Switzerland

Another town that inspires: Soglio is “the gateway to paradise,” mused Italian-Swiss painter Giovanni Segantini, but we’d argue that the Swiss town is paradise.

Korcula Town, Croatia

Known as “little Dubrovnik” among locals, the seaside town of Korčula (located on the island of Korčula) is Croatia’s best-kept secret.

Like Dubrovnik, it’s filled with medieval squares, Romanesque cathedrals, beautifully restored Renaissance buildings, and pretty clay-roofed homes.

Bamberg, Germany

Though not technically on Germany’s Romantic Road, Bamberg still fits the bill—and deserves a detour.

The UNESCO World Heritage town sprawls across seven church- or castle-topped hills, and is bisected by several picturesque rivers and canals.

Benasque, Spain

Flanked by the tallest peaks in the Pyrenees mountain range, Benasque looks more like a village in the Swiss Alps than northern Spanish.

Manarola, Italy

You’ve likely heard of Manarola before:

It’s one of the five colorful cliffside towns that make up the Cinque Terre. With its terraced vineyards and scenic harbor, it’s arguably the most romantic of them all.