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Shirakawa, Japan
Photograph: United Nations World Tourism Organisation

These are the best villages in the world to visit in 2024

From the colourful hills of Japan to the remote salt marshes of India, these villages are sure to provide you with some travel inspo

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

Sprawling urban metropolises and famous natural landscapes are all well and good, but some of the most authentic and undiscovered wonders of a place can be its rural communities. 

The UN’s World Tourism Organisation, a specialised agency that promotes ‘responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism’, has just released its annual list of the world’s Best Tourism Villages. The chosen villages are all running outstanding tourism projects to preserve their traditions and culture. 

This year, a whopping 54 villages were unveiled as the best in the world for tourism, a massive jump from the 32 announced for 2023. The entries range from incredibly remote villages such as Dhordo in India, located at the heart of an enormous salt marsh, to better-known places like Shirakawa in Japan, famed for it's ‘gasshō-zukuri’ buildings, which are now a World Heritage Site

Five Peruvian villages and four Chinese villages made the list, as well as communities from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Moldova. Here are some snaps of just some of the stunning villages UNWTO recommends visiting next year.

Lerici, Italy
Photograph: United Nations World Tourism Organisation— Lerici, Italy
Lephis Village, Ethiopia
Photograph: United Nations World Tourism Organisation— Lephis Village, Ethiopia
Jalpa de Canovas, Mexico
Photograph: United Nations World Tourism Organisation— Jalpa de Canovas, Mexico
Sigüenza, Spain
Photograph: United Nations World Tourism Organisation— Sigüenza, Spain
Huangling, China
Photograph: United Nations World Tourism Organisation— Huangling, China
Penglipuran, Vietnam
Photograph: United Nations World Tourism Organisation— Penglipuran, Vietnam

And here is the list of the UNWTO’s ‘best tourism villages’ for 2024

Al Sela, Jordan

Barrancas, Chile

Biei, Japan

Caleta Tortel, Chile

Cantavieja, Spain

Chacas, Peru

Chavín de Huantar, Peru

Dahshour, Egypt

Dhordo, India

Dongbaek, South Korea

Douma, Lebanon

Ericeira, Portugal

Filandia, Colombia

Hakuba, Japan

Higueras, Mexico

Huangling, China

Jalpa de Cánovas, Mexico

Kandovan, Iran

La Carolina, Argentina

Lephis Village, Ethiopia

Lerici, Italy

Manteigas, Portugal

Morcote, Switzerland

Mosan, South Korea

Oku-Matsushima, Japan

Omitlán de Juárez, Mexico

Oñati, Spain

Ordino, Andorra

Oyacachi, Ecuador

Paucartambo, Peru

Penglipuran, Indonesia

Pisco Elqui, Chile

Pozuzo, Peru

Saint-Ursanne, Switzerland

Saty, Kazakhstan

Schladming, Austria

Sehwa, South Korea

Sentob, Uzbekistan

Shirakawa, Japan

Sigüenza, Spain

Şirince, Türkiye

Siwa, Egypt

Slunj, Croatia

Sortelha, Portugal

St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria

Tân Hoá, Vietnam

Taquile, Peru

Tokaj, Hungary

Văleni, Moldova

Vila da Madalena, Portugal

Xiajiang, China

Zapatoca, Colombia

Zhagana, China

Zhujiawan, China

You can read more about these villages, and why they were selected, on UNWTO’s website here

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