Quirky places to visit make for ideal mini-breaks away or a weekend vacation. Towns and villages that have quaint and unique characteristics can transport you into another world, away from the hubbub of the modernity. Quirky places crop up in unexpected locations and can be anywhere on Earth. Many towns or villages are deemed ‘quirky’ due to interesting architecture or cultural traditions. This list of 8 Quirky Towns and Villages Worth a Visit should give you plenty to choose from for your next break away!
1. Jimingyi Post Town, Hualilai, China
This town sounds a lot like the board game ‘Jumanji’ and its history is just as interesting. This quirky place to visit was an integral pit stop for Genghis Khan’s imperial couriers who would change their horses over whilst travelling. Jimingyi (meaning ‘cock crow’) is a dusty little walled town about 2 hours away from Beijing. It has numerous temples, including one that is 800 years old, aristocratic courtyard houses and features that have survived since the Ming dynasty.
2. Vlkolínec, Ruzomberok, Slovakia
This village is one of Europe’s quirky places to visit. Half of its houses are traditional 16th century log-houses, and the others are 19th century vacation homes! This village winds its way around mountainous lands, called the Carpathian slopes, and is famous for being nestled in rustic tradition: neither 16th nor 19th century houses have running water or sewers, and farm animals like chickens and goats run free in the village.
3. Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
This village is one of the last surviving «cottage camps» of the 1880s which were built for religious retreats during the summer. These were all the rage in the late 19th century, and Oak Bluffs features around 300 quaint Victorian cottages that resemble fairy-tale gingerbread houses.
4. Crespi D’Adda, Lombardy, Italy
This beautifully quirky place to visit was built by people who owned the Crespi cotton mill. It is a company town built between 1878 and 1928, and is structured as a small grid of spacious stucco houses. They were built by enlightened industrialists for workers and their families. Each house can hold two or three families in them, and are now largely disused but it remains as a World Heritage Site.
5. Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, England
The architecture of this town was influenced by the social reformer Ebenezer Howard. It was an urban planning experiment built in 1903 which pioneered many aspects still in use today. For example, it separates industrial and residential zones, preserves open spaces and greenery (such as trees and a surrounding green belt) and maintains affordable houses. A charmingly rural and petite town that’s worth a visit.
6. Portmeirion, Wales
This scenic and Mediterranean-styled village was built from 1925 – 1973. Its architecture is charming and harmonious, and is set against North Wales’ rugged coastline. It has Palladian villas, cottages and an art Deco hotel – all of these features serve to represent the village founder Clough Williams-Ellis’s ideas on the harmonious pairing of nature and architecture. Absolutely one of the quirky places to visit in the UK and especially if you’re a fan of The Prisoner TV show as it was filmed here.
7. Arcosanti, Arizona
This place represents ‘Arcology’ – the philosophy of Paolo Soleri, an Italian architect who marries architecture and ecology. The community project was launched in the high Arizona desert in 1970. It has a futuristic style, with a tunnel-like dome towering over an outside eatery, with clusters of solar-powered domes, greenhouses and vaults.
8. Civita Di Bagnoregio, Italy
This is one of the most beautiful, striking and unique towns in the world. It is set on top of a friable volcanic tuff that overlooks a river valley in the Province of Viterbo, Central Italy. Founded by Etruscans 25,000 years ago, this village was the birthplace of St. Bonaventure. However, it now only holds a mere 15 residents! This may be due to its continuous threat of collapse, as the edges of its surrounding cliff face crumbles away slowly destroying the buildings that live on top of it. It is definitely one of the most recommended quirky places to visit and, possibly dangerous.
Many of these quirky places to visit have their own glorious and imaginative architecture to transport you into another world. Their scenic architecture will guarantee beautiful photographs and stimulate your mind with their interesting histories, architecture and surrounding landscapes. Have you heard of any of these 8 Quirky Towns and Villages Worth a Visit? Let us know if you have or are planning on seeing one!
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