Turreted castles hidden in the clouds. Romantic pathways covered with lush vegetation. Forests carpeted with wildflowers.
These ethereal sites may seem straight out of a Grimms’ fairy tale, but they exist in the real world and they are as incredible as any place in a storybook.
Hohenzollern Castle, Germany (pictured above)
Set atop a 768-ft bluff in the foothills of the Swabian Alps, this picturesque castle is more than just nice to look at: With its many towers and fortifications, it’s considered a relic of 19th-Century military architecture. It is perhaps most impressive on overcast days when it peeks out above the fog, a Castle on a Cloud.
There is something about Hallstatt, it is clear when you pull up by ferry on the glassy lake of the same name, with mist rolling down from the surrounding Dachstein mountains. Within the UNESCO World Heritage town, you will find churches that date to the 12th Century, along with a buzzing market square and plenty of cozy, candlelit restaurants.
Beginning in Y 1940, Italian electric company Montecatini Edison built a dam to unify 2 lakes in the Italian province of South Tyrol: Reschensee and Mittersee. The area was once home to several villages, but the towns were flooded during the dam-building process, and now the only visible reminder of the drowned cities is the steeple of a 14th-Century church, which juts out from beneath the crystalline water.
With its timber-framed houses, colorful facades, and flower-lined canal, the charming town of Colmar in France’s Alsace region looks like it was plucked from Walt Disney’s imagination. But it is not just lovely to look at, there is plenty to delight in, whether it’s strolling the town’s cobblestoned streets or taking a boat ride on the water.
The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
Even fairy tales are dark and full of terrors, and this tree-lined road in Northern Ireland, which famously appeared in Season 1 of Game of Thrones looks like it was plucked from a storybook’s scariest pages. Local legend has it that the Grey Lady haunts the road at dusk.
Mont Saint-Michel, France
Rising up from vast sandbanks and powerful tides, the rocky island of Mont Saint-Michel off of Normandy on France’s northwestern coast gives off an otherworldly appearance. The island’s crown jewel is undoubtedly the Benedictine Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, which was built in 708 AD and served as inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Tangled.
Château de Chenonceau, France
The entire Loire Valley is a treasure trove of beautiful castles, but Château de Chenonceau easily rises to the Top both in terms of beauty and popularity. Construction of the current château, which sits on the site of an old mill, began in Y 1514, while the trademark bridge and gallery were added about 60 yrs later. Today, the river-spanning structure and surrounding gardens are one of the most-visited attractions in the entire country.
Have a healthy week, enjoy your travels and Keep the Faith!
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