Villages-rural destinations in Europe, for slow nomadism?

#1

Hi fellow nomads!

I’m currently on a quest to find some places for temporary living on a quiet, ideally green and mountainy village, somewhere in Europe, since I feel l could use a break from the busy lifestyles of Berlin and London.

Trouble is, everyone always goes for the big cities… finding villages with decent access (not requiring endless hours of driving from an airport) is proving to be tough so far :confused:

Some options are some inner, rural places in Romania and Slovakia, but I would love to hear what suggestions you come up with! Maybe somewhere in your home country that you know it’s a gem to decompress around nature ?

I would love to hear your thoughts :smile:
A cheer for slow living! :camel:

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#2

Hey! I spend most of my time in smaller places in Europe. Some favorites:

Slovenia’s Soca Valley and/or Lake Bled. Super affordable, really green, perfect for getting away into nature. I stayed in Kobarid for a month and it was lovely. It’s accessible by train and bus, but buses don’t run super often, so expect to be building your life a bit around bus schedules and/or hitchhiking, cycling, or walking.

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland - far from an airport, but fully accessible by train and very close to Interlaken if you need some city amenities. It’s not cheap, but it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Plus, lots of interesting people pass through since the region is a big tourism stop for outdoorsy folks and sports folks.

Freiburg, Germany - it’s a bit bigger than the other options I’ve mentioned, but it’s a great European university town right up against the famed Black Forest. Great hiking. Good food. And a great town.

Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France - For some quiet beach contemplation, this is a good option. Basque country. Interesting places to walk, swim, cycle… Great beach scenery. Good food.

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#3

Hi! There’s already a thread asking a very similar question, and it might be easier for future readers if the discussion is consolidated in one thread.

#4

Turkey- we are currently in Antalya, Turkey. We came to Turkey for a short trip about a month ago and drove everywhere. But of all the cities, we enjoyed Antalya’s weather in winter. It has been so beautiful and warm. Beaches are gorgeous. People are so friendly and food is amazing here.

#5

I adore Herault, in southern France. As soon as you get away from the coast you start going upland. Wonderful villages, wonderful mountains. Not Alps, no, but very civilised, great weather, fabulous footpaths. I spent the summer in a tiny village called Villeneuvette, which amazingly is well connected by public transport to the various hubs in the département, but there are plenty of other jewels!

#6

I like Mittenwald in Germany its small but in a great location with first rate mountain views and a short train ride to Innsbruck. Goslar (in the Harz) is nice too and both are small and relaxing but if you want somewhere warmer the villages in Sicily might work well but there are so many all with varying attractions its hard to pick one but these seven were short listed and I tend to agree because I know five of them and they are first rate.
Castelmola
Montalbano Elicona
Novara di Sicilia
San Marco d’Alunzio
Savoca
Cefalù
Geraci Siculo

Another option is Gozo in the Maltese Islands but maybe that is a bit too quiet.

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#7

Thank you so much for your suggestions! Slovenia is definitely on the list, and now I know where to be… :smile: Having a look into Kobarid.

Freiburg looks incredible, although a bit of a distance away from Berlin for those without a car (like myself). But the proximity to the Black Forest is very appealing! Do you think it’s doable to access it without a car?

Thanks again! I’ll later compile a list of all these recommendations with some more info to share with everyone!

#8

Oopsie, completely missed this topic, great suggestions there too. Thanks for pointing that out :smile:

At the end, I’ll compile a list of my findings and update both topics so at least this one serves a purpose. Thanks!

#9

Villeneuvette looks incredible! Very rural, exactly what I’m looking for :slight_smile: I’ll have a look at how easy (or not) it is to access. Traveling without a car and with very limited traveling hours is a bit of a limitation for me from where I am now.

Thank you for your suggestions, I’ll definitely have a look around the area, I completely forgot to look around Southern France :smile:

#10

Ahh, Turkey, love it as well… although I’ve never been to Antalya! If I remember correctly, Antalya is more of a beach-y, resort-like destination right? Although not exactly what I’m looking for, it’s definitely a good reminder to look around the area too. I forget how amazing the rural side of Turkey can be… !

#11

Surprisingly, Villeneuvette is easy to get to. I don’t drive and had to rely on public transport all the way. You can get a TGV into Montpellier, pick up a tram outside Gare St Roche to the end of the line, then catch a bus directly to Villeneuvette (only a €1 journey if you get a carnet of 10 tickets, which you’ll definitely use, so may as well!) The bus stops outside the village pretty much hourly from 6 am something to around 6 pm something. And the village has an eco-market every Tuesday evening. And a theatre festival in August. And regular concerts of all kinds in its church. And its own hiking path (the circuit de Villeneuvette) as well as paths leading you to many other places. I just loved it. Loved it loved it loved it loved it!!!

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#12

We’re based in Javea a small coastal town in Spain.
We live in a coliving space called www.sun-and-co.com
Very calm during the year but maybe it’s not as rural as what you’re looking for.

Another option could be Sende, also in Spain. During summer the weather it’s good. It’s located in Senderiz a very small and rural village. http://sende.co/

Last but not least, I heard pretty cool things from Slovenia, Bulgaria and Basque Country.

Any questions you’ve just let me know :wink:

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#13

I’ve never had a car in Europe, so all my suggestions are accessible by train/bus. :slight_smile:

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#14

Well, we’re based in Banska Stiavnica in the middle of Slovakia - 2 hour ride from Budapes or Bratislava.

The town is quiet but not dead and it is beautiful at the same time. Quite cheap living (~300 €/month for a nice flat). Browse through the map, see some pics: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Banská+Štiavnica,+Slovakia/@48.4443018,18.8353147,16536m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x471532da0c4e3f1f:0xb7b95f1d8cf0a454!6m1!1e1

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#15

Thank you! I am almost sold in Harz, to start with (it’s within train distance from Berlin). Googling up all those Italian villages makes me want to jump in there right away though, thank you so much for sharing those good finds!

Having a mountain close by is essential, since that’s mostly what I’m after right now. Anywhere/place in particular around the Harz you could recommend?

My contribution to this topic can certainly be the Azores & the Madeira Islands, part of the Portuguese territory. Often overlooked even by myself… and I’m Portuguese! :smiley:

I’ll add a compiled list of all the suggestions with more details in a few days to this topic!

#16

That is fairy tale like! Thanks for your suggestion, I would probably have stopped at Bratislava (which on its own doesn’t sound like a bad place to start, anyway!)

Is it okay to find a good connection over there, though?

#17

There is direct bus line between Bratislava and Banska Stiavnica each day (bus takes 3 hours though). In Slovakia all bus/train connections are listed on http://cp.atlas.sk/ - I just found out the page can be switched to English by hard-to-notice icon in the bottom :smiley:

#18

Three different a little more touristy, mainstream and sometimes less cheap ideas (partly already mentioned):

  1. Mallorca. Its fucking beautiful and has frequent and cheap flights to everywhere. Yet it really is not crowded if you escape the hotspots. Don’t trust other peoples negative stories if they are amateurs and haven’t travelled like a nomad does. It is extremely diverse for the size of the island. Probably the most wrongly prejudged place in Europe. The mountains “Tramuntana” are a world heritage site for good reason. Give it a try (costs you nothing to go there for 2 weeks) and decide on your own. Rental cars a extremely cheap. Get a car!

  2. Sicily. The most Italian place of whole Italy. Stay next to the volcano Etna. Walk in to a bar, have a coffee while standing, pay a weird price like 76 euro cents due to the strong competition and the Italians price sensitivity regarding their everyday expenses, leave no tip at all and walk out again in less than two minutes. Get back on your Vespa, enjoy the scenic views. Repeat every 3 hours.

  3. The other extreme: South Tyrol – the least Italian place in Italy. They speak German there. Probably the most beautiful bit of the Alps. Combine the best of German with the best of an Italian – this is what you get. Please google for pictures of the mountains.

All three really are amazing places matching all your requirements. If you haven’t seen these three places I would really recommend doing so before exploring some more remote secret escapes.

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#19

I actually use Aosta in Northern Italy as my European base, probably about 4-6 months of the year. It is just an hour from Turin by train, nestled in the heart of the Aosta Valley, so there’s winter sports and hiking etc in summer. I often spend every second week in London or elsewhere while i am there too. It’s heavenly.

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#20

Hi,

Goslar is the place in the Harz in my opinion. Small and with everything you need plus surrounded by forest. Check out http://www.goslar.de/english

Regards
Richard