32 Rural Villages to Visit Before Instagram and TikTok Ruin Them For Everyone

Wagrain Austria

One big trend that’s come out of the pandemic is a rise in travel to rural destinations.

In Australia, while international borders were closed, we were encouraged to visit our own backyard, which let’s face it, given our country’s size, features heaps of rural locations. And, now that we’re allowed to move around the world freely, we’re wanting to go to places our visits will benefit most: again, rural destinations.

In these spots, almost all of our spending goes directly back into the local economy, helping to support small communities that suffered during border closures. To help boost tourism even more to these locations, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has drawn up its second annual list of “best” rural villages around the world to visit.

“The accolade recognizes rural destinations that are embracing tourism as a driver of development and new opportunities for jobs and income while preserving and promoting community-based values and products,” the UNWTO, a United Nations agency focusing on responsible tourism, said.

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“The initiative also recognizes villages for their commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects — economic, social and environmental — and a focus on developing tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Each of the UNTWO’s 57 member states was allowed to submit up to three villages for consideration. And out of the 136 villages put forward, only 32 made the cut — with Spain including a whopping three villages; Rupit, Alquézar, and Guadalupe.

Guadalupe Spain
Image: Guadalupe, Spain, Getty Images

CNN notes that Choke Mountain Village is an interesting addition to the list. The farming community about 200 miles northwest of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa “uses solar energy, biogas and ecological waste management, operates sustainable land management, and has introduced fair trade tourism, where visitors can buy local honey, coffee, medicinal herbs and beer as a memento of their stay,” the publication writes.

So, without further ado, ahead, the world’s current best villages for tourism. Your 2023 travel inspo, sorted.

  • Zell am See, Austria
  • Wagrain, Austria
  • Puqueldón, Chile
  • Dazhai, China
  • Jingzhu, China
  • Choachí, Colombia
  • Aguarico, Ecuador
  • Angochagua, Ecuador
  • Choke Mountains Ecovillage, Ethiopia
  • Mestia, Georgia
  • Kfar Kama, Israel
  • Sauris Zahre, Italy
  • Isola del Giglio, Italy
  • Umm Qais, Jordan
  • Creel, Mexico
  • El Fuerte, Mexico
  • Ksar Elkhorbat, Morocco
  • Moulay Bouzerktoune, Morocco
  • Lamas, Peru
  • Raqchi, Peru
  • Castelo Novo, Portugal
  • Pyeongsa-ri, Republic of Korea
  • Rasinari, Romania
  • AlUla Old Town, Saudi Arabia
  • Bohinj, Slovenia
  • Rupit, Spain
  • Alquézar, Spain
  • Guadalupe, Spain
  • Murten, Switzerland
  • Andermatt, Switzerland
  • Birgi, Türkiye
  • Thái Hải, Vietnam

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