18 Of The Most Stunning Cliff-Side Villages


There are many reasons to build a town right into the side of a cliff. It’s advantageous in terms of defense, and also provides the perfect scenic views. There are many cliff side villages all around the world, each one more breathtaking than the next.

Check out 18 of the most stunning cliff-side towns here!

Rocamadour, France 

Located in south western France, Rocamadour sits high above the River Dordogne, and includes the famous sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, along with many other historically significant monuments.


Azenhas Do Mar, Sintra, Portugal 

Incredible food, gorgeous views, there are endless reasons that many people consider this seaside village a highlight of Portugal.


Santorini, Greece 

This island located in the southern Aegean Sea is located 200 km from the mainland of Greece. There are endless things to do in this famous seaside town, complete with black sand beaches, authentic shopping, and bright white buildings.


Ronda, Spain 

Some 35,000 people call this incredible Spanish province home. Located in southern Spain, this historical town is one of the oldest in Spain.


Riomaggiore, Italy

Situated on the upper edge of Italy’s boot sits this beautiful location with the most pristine blue waters. While bad weather has badly damaged other Cinque Terre villages, Riomaggiore has a higher altitude which helps keep it safer.

Riomaggiore village on the Cinque Terre coast of Italy,Europe

Manarola, La Spezia, Italy 

Manarola is considered a frazione of Riomaggiore, pictured above. Manarola is the second smallest of the popular chain of Cinque Terre towns.


Vernazza, Italy 

This town is one of the 5 towns that create the Cinque Terre region.


Positano, Italy

This village and commune is located on the Amalfi Coast, largely tucked into an enclave in the hills. During Medieval times and into the 16th and 17th centuries this town was very prosperous, but around the mid-ninteenth century most of the population up and moved to America. For a while it remained a poor fishing village but has since regained a lot of popularity, largely thanks to John Steinbeck who wrote in Harper’s Bazaar, “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”


Pitigliano, Grosseto, Italy 

Often referred to as the little Jerusalem, this town has always had a well integrated Jewish community, complete with their own beautiful synagogue.



Piodao, Historical Village Of Portugal 

Perched high up in the mountains this small village, made predominately of stone, has around 250 residents. The journey here is long, steep, and a bit scary, but oh so worth it.


Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria 

Famously know as the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, this city has beautiful views and endless examples of historical architecture.

Typical Balkanic houses on a hill in Veliko Tunovo, Bulgaria

Civita Di Bagnoregio, Italy

80-miles from Rome this incredible town sits perched atop a hill. Civita was founded more than 2,500 years ago. Throughout the 20th century its residents dwindled to 6, but it has since regained some popularity, especially with tourists. Today around 12 people live here throughout the winter, and over 100 people live here in the summer.


Bonifacio, France 


Meteora, Greece 

Meteora is considered one of the biggest and most important complexes in regards to Greek Orthodox monasteries, second only to Mount Athos.


Wadi Dawan, Yemen 

Located in central Yemen, this desert valley town is largley noted for its mud brick buildings.


Al Hajjarah, Yemen

Tucked away in the Haraz Mountains, this is one of the easiest mountain villages to access in Yemen.


Haraz, Yemen 



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