Villages-rural destinations in Europe, for slow nomadism?

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… !

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!!!


We’re based in Javea a small coastal town in Spain.
We live in a coliving space called
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.

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

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

1 Like

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

1 Like

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:á+Štiavnica,+Slovakia/@48.4443018,18.8353147,16536m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x471532da0c4e3f1f:0xb7b95f1d8cf0a454!6m1!1e1

1 Like

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!

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?

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 - I just found out the page can be switched to English by hard-to-notice icon in the bottom :smiley:

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like


Goslar is the place in the Harz in my opinion. Small and with everything you need plus surrounded by forest. Check out


How is the internet in Sicily? I heard it is quite slow and unstable.

It depends where I find my 3G/4G is OK but like lots of places location is the key. I normally go to a village and check the WiFi and 3G etc with

Goslar it shall be, at least for one experimental weekend away! Will be on the lookout for Airbnb’s this week, so excited about it! If you have any recommendation in terms of accommodation (or even just where exactly to stay, close to the mountains for eg), please do shout :slightly_smiling:

Thank you!

Awesome tips, thanks! I never expected South Tyrol to look THAT good, it’s incredible! Certainly one to explore… added to the list. Never really considered Mallorca, given its reputation (ie, hyper touristy) and I never bothered to look up which exact places there are the quietest. But I trust your judgement! :slightly_smiling:

Hey mate,
I know it’s an age old question, but can’t help myself sharing the Hungarian Szentendre as one of the most beautiful rustic little towns. In the surrounding hills or on the nearby island in the river Danube you will surely find a peaceful setting and all amenities are near should you need them.

Probably too late to be helpful but for future reference :wink: The problem with southern France is the terrible busses, they rarely cross departmental borders and often only serve the local market town once a week. That said the Herault does seem to have some better buss routes as Ani said. I’ll actually be setting myself up with a base in Beziers next year, but that’s a bit bigger than a village :slight_smile:

The real hidden gem is that there’s still some underutilised regional rural railways, indeed whilst Beziers is a bit far from the hills for biking, in Languedoc-Rousillion (maybe Midi-Pyreenes soon too now they’ve merged) the train tickets are only 1€ (from the red machines), and in fact also 1€ on the main lines (but you have to print your own ticket and there’s limited numbers). I plan to simply hop on the train up to the gorges and plateaus near Bedarieux to do my biking from there.

I’ve lived around the Cevennes and Salagou and find that it tends to get a bit too hot and dry in the summer, but if you know where to go there are some nice cold streams and pools (usually with too many tourists in Aug). Nonetheless checkout all the villages along these lines as they get several trains/busses a day and you can surely find somewhere great. I’d also suggest investigating Le Puy-en-Velay, which is 2h train from Lyon and great for the greener summer countryside. Whilst it is a town, there are neighbouring villages but most of these towns wherever, are so small and lacking in suburbs that you can escape in a few minutes on foot. France is blessed with multitudinous well-marked walking paths.

Currently I’m in Carcassonne (same as Beziers it’s 2h direct train to BCN should you need big city life, but here also has all-year Ryanair connections) and whilst the countryside isn’t spectacular it entertains me more than enough. You can even swim in the river right here in town, as if you were in the countryside. Here’s a map with the cheap lines, but also look at the quiet lines north of Toulouse (it has a major airport). I wouldn’t rule out all the towns! Also have a look around the Vercors/Aspres-sur-Buech/Sisteron (in the Rhone-Alpes/Provence). I’ve also visited Jon and the guys in Javea and it was great but maybe not as secluded as you’re looking for? There’s places to retreat even near Berlin:€%20V9.pdf

1 Like

Try Gozo (Malta), Coconat just out of Berlin or Transylvania!

How about Competa, Andalucia, Spain ?

@steve3 Yes - what about Spain? There are large number of resort properties coming out of bank foreclosure in the Murcia area. Might be worth setting up a home base in the 50k euro range at one of these resorts (2 bedrooms), as they are very much slow, more remote, gated, and not in villages, although mostly filled with foreigners (not locals), but still a nice slow destination. It’s about as slow as you can get, as at these resorts during off season are ghost towns. :slight_smile: You really have the whole place to yourself, no crowds, no noise, no lines, etc… We spent a month in January 2014, and just booked 5 months starting December. Excited for some sun, relax, calm and slow work.

@jacob - We love the Beziers area, it’s a great location for sure. We stayed for 1.5 months in Caussiniojouls, just north and off the D909. It is a sleepy little town, but it was great. Community was so welcoming, the “Repas de Famille” was exceptional. We also had a car, so going to BCN or other larger cities was not an issue. Also I should mention, we are a family of 5 travelling together, so we have slightly different nomad criteria.