10 Most Beautiful Hilltop Towns in the World

Hilltop towns are picturesque settlements nestled on the top of hills and sometimes into the hillsides. They were built upon hills and often protected by defensive walls, steep embankments, or cliffs. Such hilltop settlements provided natural defenses for their inhabitants. Hilltop towns are common in Europe, especially in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. Machu Picchu, an Incan hill town completed in the 15th century in Peru, although now in ruins, is considered perhaps the most beautiful hilltop town ever constructed. Ancient examples of hilltop towns can also be found in Africa and Asia, especially in India.

There are many beautiful hilltop towns around the world. I've done a little research to find out 10 of the most beautiful hilltop towns in the world for you. Read...

1. Darjeeling, India


Located in the Indian state of West Bengal, Darjeeling is possibly the most beautiful hilltop town in the world. It is located in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in the Lesser Himalaya Range at an average elevation of 6,710 feet (2,045.2 meter) above sea level. The development of the town dates back to the mid-19th century, when the colonial British administration set up a sanatorium and a military depot. Today, Darjeeling is a popular tourist destination in India.

2. Eze, France


Eze is a small medieval hilltop town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. It is possibly the most beautiful hilltop town in Europe and is famous for its beauty and charm. Eze is a renowned tourist site on the French Riviera and is famous worldwide for the view of the sea from its hill top. Its many shops, art galleries, hotels and restaurants attract a large number of tourists and honeymooners.

3. Castelluccio, Italy


Castelluccio is a beautiful hilltop village in Umbria, in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy. The village lies at an elevation of 4760 feet (1452 meters) above sea level, making it the highest settlement in the Apennines. The village dates from the 13th century or slightly earlier, but was also settled by the Romans.

4. Shimla, India


Located in the northern region of India, Shimla is one of the most beautiful hilltop towns in the world. It is the capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The elevation of the city ranges from 300 to 2200 meters above sea level. Shimla is well known as a hub for India's tourism sector. Owing to its scenic terrain, Shimla is home to the legendary mountain biking race MTB Himalaya.

5. Calcata, Italy


Located in the Province of Viterbo in the Italian region Latium, Calcata is among the most beautiful hilltop towns in Italy. It is a charming fortified medieval town in Italy, rising on tufaceous rock in an area of luxurious vegetation and rich fauna, overlooking the valley of Treja river. The village now hosts a very active community of artists and intellectuals who live and work there.

6. Motovun, Croatia


Located in central Istria, Croatia, Motovun is a medieval town that grew up on the site of an ancient city called Kastelijer. It is situated on a hill which has an elevation of 886 feet (270 meters) above sea level with houses scattered all over the hill. Motovun is the most beautiful hilltop town in Croatia and is considered among the most beautiful hilltop towns in the world.

7. Calitri, Italy


Located in the province of Avellino in Campania region, Italy, Calitri is one of the most beautiful hilltop towns in Italy. The town is situated at an elevation of approximately 1740 feet (530 meters) above sea level and enjoys a comfortable weather even on the hottest day. Calitri is a beautiful town of over 2,000 years old, perched precariously on the side of a mountain overlooking the valleys below and snow-capped mountains all around.

8. Trevi, Italy


Trevi is one of the classic hill towns in the of Perugia in east central Umbria, between Assisi and Spoleto in Italy. It is located on the lower flank of Mt. Serano overlooking the wide plain of the Clitunno river system. Most of Trevi lies on sharply sloping terrain, and makes a striking appearance over the Umbrian plain. It commands one of the best views in Umbria, extending over 50 kilometers (30 miles) in most westerly directions.

9. Puycelci, France


Puycelci is a fortified village in the Tarn department in southern France. It is one of the most beautiful hilltop villages in France. The village itself was founded in the 10th century by Benedictine Monks.The fortified hilltop village of Puycelci is packed with pretty houses, some of them are half-timbered and corbelled. From the village, there is beautiful panorama on the surrounding countryside. 

10. Bucchianico, Italy


Bucchianico is a town in the Province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The town is situated on a hill between the river valleys Alento and Bucchianico Forum, and has a view extending from the Maiella to Adriatico. Bucchianico is mostly an agricultural village and there are many vineyards and olive groves. The commune has medieval origins and the first official documents in which it is mentioned date back to the 11th century.

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