25 Secret European Villages

25 Secret European Villages

Cedric Angeles
Cedric Angeles
No traffic jams, no Internet cafés—just centuries-old charm and an authentic way of life. That's what you'll find in these towns all over Europe where time stands still

Check out T+L's updated coverage of Secret European Villages >>

1 Schwarzenberg
There are countless Baroque ski villages with immaculately groomed slopes in the Bregenzerwald in western Austria, but none of them trumps the superb Schwarzenberg. Every window box is blooming. Villagers would never go to market wearing anything but a regulation loden jacket. Dairy farms scattered across an impossibly emerald landscape enhance the timeless Alpine scenery. Angelica Kauffmann, a founding member of London's Royal Academy of Arts, painted the frescoes of the Apostles in the parish church.
POPULATION 1,637 HOW TO GET THERE Schwarzenberg is 125 miles north of Salzburg; the drive takes approximately 21/2 hours. WHERE TO STAY Gasthof Hirschen (Hof 14; 43-5512/29440; doubles from $194), a post-and-beam house built in 1757, has 34 bright guest rooms filled with antiques, including sleigh beds and simple pine furniture. WHERE TO EAT The hotel's wood-paneled restaurant offers Austrian specialties such as Tafelspitz, a boiled beef dish (dinner for two $108).

2 Korcula
The island village of Korcula is a jumble of colors: gray-green hillsides of terraced olive groves; black-cypress forests; red-roofed town villas; the intensely blue-green Adriatic Sea. Its architecture has a precision that is similarly jewel-like. Crowned by the spire of St. Mark's Cathedral, Korcula is filled with miniature Venetian Gothic and Renaissance palaces whose balconies almost touch above the narrow streets. Some historians question whether native son Marco Polo was actually born here, but locals are convinced—his family home is clearly marked.
POPULATION 3,225 HOW TO GET THERE The village—and the island it's named for—is a three-hour ferry ride from Dubrovnik. WHERE TO STAY Watch lively street life from the loggia of the 24-room Hotel Korcula (5 Obala Franje Tudjmana; 385-20/711-078; doubles from $39). WHERE TO EAT Konoba Adio Mare (Stari Grad; 385-20/711-253; dinner for two $30) serves grilled fish and octopus caught daily on nearby beaches.

3 Telc
People in Telc still talk about the Great Fire, a conflagration that leveled the town in 1530. Luckily, the rebuilt ring of pastel-hued structures has survived almost intact. Two medieval stone gates guard the entrance to Zachariase Z Hradce, a vast square bounded on one end by a late-Renaissance château. There's definitely a small-town sensibility in Telc: Hardware stores and a drogerie selling soaps, mops, and brooms are found alongside a handful of souvenir shops, and locals buying daily necessities almost always outnumber the very few tourists.
POPULATION 6,000 HOW TO GET THERE Telc is less than 100 miles southeast of Prague; it's a two-hour drive from the Czech capital. WHERE TO STAY Hotel Celerin (43 Namesti Zachariase Z Hradce; 420-56/724-3477; doubles from $50) has spacious rooms overlooking the main square. WHERE TO EAT U Marusky (28 Palackeho; 420-56/722-3866; lunch for two $10) serves upscale pub food and frothy mugs of Platan Regent, an excellent Czech beer.

4 Castle Combe
Tucked into a verdant valley in the Cotswolds are a 14th-century house (now a hotel) and a clutch of stone cottages beside a trout stream. Castle Combe was once a thriving center of the cloth trade, but now the most exciting event that's likely to happen here is an alfresco display of a 16th-century folk dance known as a morris: on one recent rainy day, a stalwart troupe in outrageous costumes bounded about while a small audience took shelter beneath a 14th-century carved stone cross that marks the site of the town's former wool market.
POPULATION 347 HOW TO GET THERE Castle Combe is 85 miles west of London; regular train service runs to Chippenham. WHERE TO STAY The castle for which the village was named no longer exists, but you can book a room in the Manor House Hotel (Castle Combe; 44-1249/782-206; doubles from $228). WHERE TO EAT Call ahead for high tea at the popular Fosse Farmhouse (Nettleton Shrub, Nettleton; 44-1249/782-286; high tea for two $13).

5 Chalfont St. Giles
When John Milton fled London's Great Plague in 1665, it took him almost 24 hours to travel the 25 miles to Chalfont St. Giles. Today, the 11th-century village is only 40 minutes away by car. But Milton's cottage—where he finished Paradise Lost—still stands (it was to have been shipped to America in 1887, but Queen Victoria said no). William Penn, the Quaker who gave his name to Pennsylvania, is buried in town as well, alongside his first and second wives.
POPULATION 6,600 HOW TO GET THERE Chalfont St. Giles is west of London; take the A40 to the A413. WHERE TO STAY There are seven classic British pubs here; the best is the White Hart (Three Households; 44-149/487-2441; doubles from $138). Four of its 11 rooms are housed in former stables. WHERE TO EAT Try the smoked salmon fish cakes at the pub (dinner for two $80).


6 Lacock
In 1944, Matilda Talbot, whose family had lived in Lacock's well-preserved 13th-century abbey since 1539, donated her house and most of this medieval Wiltshire village to the National Trust. As a result, Lacock has remained in a time warp, with nary a satellite dish, telephone wire, or neon sign in sight. A favorite location for BBC costume dramas such as Pride and Prejudice and Emma, the village has also escaped infestation by the twee tourist trade, so you won't see a single T-shirt vendor along streets lined with leaning Tudor houses and limestone cottages.
POPULATION 300 HOW TO GET THERE Lacock is south of the Cotswolds in southwest England; the drive from London takes just under two hours. WHERE TO STAY Sign of the Angel (6 Church St.; 44-1249/730-230; doubles from $200), a half-timbered 15th-century inn, has 10 antiques-filled bedrooms. WHERE TO EAT The inn offers a classic British dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, served before a huge stone hearth lit with a blazing fire (dinner for two $94).


7 Kuressaare
When the Soviets closed the island of Saaremaa to visitors in the 1940's, mainland Estonians lost their favorite summer playground, the village of Kuressaare. It reopened to the public in 1991; 50 years of isolation had preserved its small-town charms. On market days, the cobblestoned square smells of salted fish, wool, and juniper wood. A 14th-century dolomite castle dominates the waterfront; wander the maze of Gothic halls and passageways up to the battlements for a view across 40 acres of rolling hills.
POPULATION 16,000 HOW TO GET THERE Kuressaare lies 134 miles west of Tallinn; the trip takes less than four hours via car and ferry (there are also daily flights to the island from Tallinn). WHERE TO STAY The modern Hotel Ruutli (12 Pargi; 372-45/48100; doubles from $70; treatments from $3.50)still offers mud and mineral baths, a Saaremaa tradition that dates from the 1830's. WHERE TO EAT Sample Estonian fare—marinated eel, herring salad—at Vanalinna Restaurant (8 Kauba; 372-45/33689; dinner for two $25).

8 Cantobre
It's hard to distinguish the stone buildings from the blocky dolomite cliffs in Cantobre, a sky-high village—some 1,800 feet above sea level—in the Midi-Pyrénées, where falcons and eagles outnumber people (at last count, there were 11 full-timers). Residents Inge Hill and Dietmar Hagen have converted two ancient barns and a ruined castle into the village's only inn. Their pool overlooks rocky outcrops—with wild orchids—and a confluence of river gorges, excellent for canoeing over rapids or paragliding with the raptors.
POPULATION 11 HOW TO GET THERE Cantobre is six hours south of Paris by car; the TGV can get you to Montpellier (60 miles away) in 31/2 hours. WHERE TO STAY Auberge de Cantobre (33-5/65-62-18-13; from $744 per week) has two three-bedroom houses, both dating from the 18th century. WHERE TO EAT The auberge's restaurant (dinner for two $43) serves Provençale cuisine made with local ingredients, such as cheese aged in the caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, a few miles down the road.

9 Caseneuve
With its slender pedestrian ruelles stalked by tabby cats and fields of wild hollyhocks, Caseneuve is the last great virgin village of Provence's Lubéron Valley. Don't miss its annual rummage sale: on the last Sunday in July, locals lay out the contents of their attics, then gather for a communal lunch in the school courtyard. (Nonresidents are welcome, but reservations are crucial. Call 33-4/90-75-20-01.) Bring an empty wine bottle to fill with warm lavender essence drawn from a nearby still.
POPULATION 313 HOW TO GET THERE Caseneuve lies just beyond the market town of Apt, 40 miles east of Avignon in southern France. The TGV runs every hour from Paris to Avignon. WHERE TO STAY The village has no hotels, but to the west is La Bastide de Marie (Rte. de Bonnieux, Quartier de la Verrerie, Ménerbes; 33-4/90-72-30-20; doubles from $417), an 18th-century farmhouse with rooms designed by Jocelyne Sibuet, France's leading tastemaker. WHERE TO EAT Order the catch of the day at Bistro de France (67 Place de la Bouquerie, Apt; 33-4/90-74-22-01; dinner for two $50).

10 St.-Cirq-Lapopie
St.-Cirq-Lapopie is on a craggy escarpment high above the Lot River, and its stone-paved lanes, too narrow to accommodate any but the tiniest cars, wind steeply downhill from the village's ruined 13th-century castle. Surrealist poet André Breton lived here in the 1950's, but now only a handful of people inhabit the tile-roofed houses. Arched storefronts that once housed 19th-century artisans, mostly wood-turners, are again occupied by craftsmen, who still fashion boxwood into the spigots traditionally used in regional wineries.
POPULATION Under 200 HOW TO GET THERE St.-Cirq-Lapopie is 15 miles east of Cahors, in southern France. You'll need a car—a small one, of course—to reach it. WHERE TO STAY At the foot of the village is La Péllissaria (33-5/65-31-25-14; doubles from $90), a hotel in a 16th-century house; the 10 whitewashed guest rooms have leaded windows and canopy beds. WHERE TO EAT Not far from La Péllissaria is L'Oustal (33-5/65-31-20-17; dinner for two $44), a minuscule restaurant that serves seared foie gras caramelized with chestnut liqueur.


11 Arnis
Technically, Arnis is a city— albeit Germany's smallest. But this spit of land extending into the Schlei fjord—which runs through the east coast of Schleswig-Holstein, just south of Denmark—hardly has the feel of a buzzing metropolis: there's just one main street. Most residents can trace their families back to the generation of fishermen and boatbuilders who helped found Arnis in 1667, giving the Teutonic village the air of a New England coastal town.
POPULATION 382 HOW TO GET THERE Arnis is 92 miles north of Hamburg. WHERE TO STAY The nearest lodging is the Hotel Stadt Kappeln in Kappeln, 21/2 miles down the road (36 Schmiedestrasse; 49-4642/4021; doubles from $78). WHERE TO EAT Schleiperla (Strandweg; 49-4642/2085; dinner for two $62) serves no-frills seafood.


12 Cochem
The Rhine may be Germany's best-known wine region, but there's a stretch of the Moselle Valley that's a little secret among wine cognoscenti—especially fans of the dry white Riesling produced here. On a dramatic bend in the river is Cochem, a medieval village dominated by the neo-Gothic Reichsburg castle (the original was built in the 11th century, destroyed in 1689, and rebuilt in 1868). Surrounding hillsides are covered with 1,200 acres of terraced vineyards, most of which offer tours and tastings.
POPULATION 5,700 HOW TO GET THERE Cochem is 56 miles south of Bonn and 106 miles west of Frankfurt. WHERE TO STAY Most suites at the Moselromantik Hotel Kessler Meyer (12 Am Reilsbach; 49-2671/4600; doubles from $142) command impressive vistas; room No. 53 has prime 180-degree views of the river. WHERE TO EAT Sample that famous Riesling with Arthur Schmitz, proprietor of the Antique Weinstube Alte Gutssehanke (6 Schlossstrasse; 49-2671/8950), who organizes tastings from a vast collection that includes varietals from his own vineyard.

13 Molyvdoskepasti
Molyvdoskepasti sits just below an Albanian border crossing station which reopened last fall after being sealed nearly 60 years ago following World War II and the beginning of Communist rule in Albania. While its neighbor to the north has changed, much of this Greek village is still as it was before the war, with three Byzantine churches, a tsipouro (moonshine) distillery, an 800-year-old monastery, itinerant tinkers shining pots in the main square, and grizzled retirees sipping coffee with young soldiers in open-air cafés. The pristine Voidomatis River, the cleanest in Europe, is not far from Molyvdoskepasti and is perfect for white-water rafting.
POPULATION 103 HOW TO GET THERE Molyvdoskepasti is an hour's drive north of Ioánnina. WHERE TO STAY Townspeople say that their little village is where Europe begins, pointing to the upscale, clubby Hotel Bourazani (30-265/506-1320; doubles from $65) as evidence. WHERE TO EAT The hotel's dining room (dinner for two $54) offers wild boar, venison, and other game dishes.

14 Papingo/Mikro Papingo
There's not a whitewashed house or thong bikini in sight in the most traditional and, some would argue, most beautiful region in Greece. The Zagorohoria, a ring of 46 villages surrounding the 2,950-foot-deep Vikos Gorge (the deepest in the world), are known for their distinctive gray stone architecture. At the top of the Gamila Massif mountain range are Papingo and Mikro (Little) Papingo, two towns that offer something for everyone. Adventurers hike Vikos Gorge; sun-seekers bask on the rocks around a mountain-fed swimming hole; and history buffs wander cobblestoned paths leading to 18th-century churches and slate-roofed cottages.
POPULATION Papingo: 280; Mikro Papingo: 77 HOW TO GET THERE Just one mile apart, both towns are a 45-minute drive up a winding mountain road from Ioánnina, a 45-minute flight from Athens. WHERE TO STAY The rustic Papaevangelou Inn (30-265/304-1988; doubles from $76) has the best sunset views in Papingo. WHERE TO EAT Estiatorio (30-265/342-108; dinner for two $20) serves spanakopita and stuffed tomatoes.

15 Giethoorn
This 13th-century village has rivers and canals instead of streets. At rush hour, about the only traffic you'll encounter is villagers in push boats, taking their sheep out to pasture. Fanfare, a popular Dutch movie, was filmed here in 1958, and the town seems to have modeled itself to reflect the movie's vibrant, friendly spirit: the houses have massive gardens bursting with pink, yellow, and white tulips, and almost everyone sailing by calls out hello.
POPULATION 2,500 HOW TO GET THERE Giethoorn is an easy 93-mile drive northeast of Amsterdam. WHERE TO STAY Experience the town's slower pace by renting a boat and a waterside bungalow. Zwaantje (37 Hylkemaweg; 31-644/070-034; doubles from $48; boat rentals from $16) is a six-bedroom A-frame in the village center. WHERE TO EAT The specialty at the Fanfare Café (68 Binnenpad; 31-521/361-600; dinner for two $66) is baked eel.


16 Staphorst
Little has changed in Staphorst over the past couple of centuries. Two stoplights have been put in, but its strict-Calvinist villagers still adhere to old Dutch traditions. On Sunday afternoons, the cobblestoned streets are crowded with families in their churchgoing best: women wrap hand-painted shawls over blue skirts and black aprons and wear their hair twisted and pinned with gold brooches. Men are dressed in solemn black shirts with two rows of silver buttons, and dark pants with coins for fasteners. The town's businesses are also largely unaltered. The five-and-dime store sells a dozen varieties of clogs, while Folkloren Stoffen ("Folklore Fabric") peddles classic Dutch linens. One more concession to modern times: shops here now accept euros.
POPULATION 15,227 HOW TO GET THERE Amsterdam is 85 miles to the southwest; the drive to Staphorst takes under two hours. WHERE TO STAY Less than 10 miles outside town, the two-year-old Copper Heights Hotel (51 Lichtmisweg, Zwolle; 31-529/428-428; doubles from $164), a former water tower, offers a chance to see Staphorst from above. An exterior elevator rises past 18 standard rooms to the royal suite, a glass-enclosed bedroom. WHERE TO EAT The hotel's restaurant serves excellent Dutch and French fare (dinner for two $90).


17 Bormio
The mountain resort of Bormio, nestled in the Valtellina Valley to the north of Milan, is best known for World Cup ski events. But with the renovation of its 2,000-year-old Roman baths, the village is quickly becoming a spring and summer retreat for stressed-out fashionistas who flock here from Italy's style capital. Among the natural luxuries at the Bagni Vecchi spa are a 65-foot-long hot-water tunnel carved into a cave; warm waterfalls; and an outdoor thermal pool that looks onto the snowcapped Italian Alps.
POPULATION 4,100 HOW TO GET THERE Bormio is 122 miles northeast of Milan; it's a three-hour drive. WHERE TO STAY The rooms at the spa hotel Château Les Bains (Strada Statale dello Stelvio, Valdidentro; 39-0342/910-131; doubles from $200, including spa admission) are furnished with early-19th-century pieces. WHERE TO EAT Make time for a platter of salt-dried beef and a glass of Braulio, a medicinal-tasting herbal liqueur, at the pine-and-stone Bar Braulio (27 Via Roma; 39-0342/902-726).

18 Castagneto Carducci
Publicity-shy celebrities in search of an authentic Tuscan hideaway head for Castagneto Carducci, a hilltop village (circa a.d. 1000) surrounded by vineyards that sweep down to the sea. A-listers frequent the private estate of Count Gaddo della Gherardesca, whose annual June fte has drawn the likes of Naomi Campbell and Jetsun Pema, the Dalai Lama's sister. Among the village's other, less star-studded attractions: prizewinning "super Tuscan" Sassicaia wines from neighboring wineries, plus wool felt coats and corduroy hunting jackets made by a tailor in a nobleman's workshop that dates back to the early 1900's.
POPULATION 760 HOW TO GET THERE Castagneto Carducci is 85 miles south of Florence; the drive takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. WHERE TO STAY The friendly, family-run Hotel Bambolo (31 Via del Bambolo; 39-0565/775-206; doubles from $72) is an excellent value. WHERE TO EAT At the just-revamped Da Ugo (3A Via Pari; 39-0565/763-746; dinner for two $66), ordinary mortals often rub shoulders with supermodels (Elle Macpherson) and creative types (maverick photographer Oliviero Toscani) over dishes of inventive Italian cuisine.

19 Montepertuso
A lot of visitors to fashionable Positano never even make it to Montepertuso, an unassuming village mere minutes away. Too bad, because they miss outstanding views of the Galli Islands, where dancer Rudolf Nureyev famously secluded himself, which are among the best on the Amalfi Coast. Do as the Italians do and take the sociable public bus up, up, up from the beach, and then spend the morning at a café perfecting the art of far niente—doing nothing. Make the exhilarating descent to Positano on foot via a meandering path from the church of Santa Maria della Grazia.
POPULATION 900 HOW TO GET THERE Montepertuso is a 20-minute bus ride away from Positano, which lies 19 miles south of Naples. WHERE TO STAY After your day trip to Montepertuso, check into Positano's Le Sirenuse (30 Via Cristoforo Colombo; 39-089/875-066; doubles from $434). WHERE TO EAT Il Ritrovo (77 Via Montepertuso; 39-089/875-453; lunch for two $66) is a noted follower of the Slow Food movement. Try the cavatelli with zucchini and scamorza, a stringy cow's-milk cheese similar to provolone.

20 Possagno
Rome, Athens...Possagno?Architects, artists, and designers adore the giant Neoclassical temple built by 18th-century sculptor Antonio Canova in his native village in the Veneto. With its dome, 90 feet in circumference, and its sweeping flight of steps up to the double-columned façade, the structure wouldn't look out of place in one of Europe's grander capitals. Canova's house, now a museum, is not far from the temple; visiting art-lovers head straight for the 1957 wing by architectural genius Carlo Scarpa to view Canova's smooth plaster sculptures, bathed in pools of natural light from cleverly placed skylights and box windows.
POPULATION 2,075 HOW TO GET THERE It's a 90-minute drive to Possagno from Venice, 50 miles to the south. WHERE TO STAY Design die-hards can overnight 12 miles down the road at the Ca' Sette (4 Via Cunizza da Romano, Bassano del Grappa; 39-0424/383-350; doubles from $175), a classic-meets-contemporary villa-hotel that had a makeover in 2001. Ask for a frescoed room. WHERE TO EAT The hotel's restaurant (dinner for two $80) overlooks the garden; young chef Mauro Poggio creates nouvelle versions of local vegetarian and seafood platters, such as black squid-ink pasta piled with fresh shrimp and tomatoes.


21 Mundal
The Jostedal, one of Europe's largest glaciers, is only six miles from tiny Mundal. But that doesn't worry this small farming village in the Fjærland Valley. Indeed, the inhabitants have celebrated their proximity to the mountainous ice mass with the stunning concrete-and-glass Norwegian Glacier Museum, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn. Mundal also has dozens of multilingual bookshops set up in old barns and boathouses throughout town.
POPULATION 300 HOW TO GET THERE Mundal is four hours northeast of Bergen and seven hours northwest of Oslo. WHERE TO STAY The Hotel Mundal (Fjærland; 47-5/769-3101; doubles from $177), a turreted Victorian, has been run by the same family for more than a century. WHERE TO EAT The hotel's restaurant (dinner for two $114) features Norwegian cuisine; try not to think of Santa as you order the reindeer.


22 Kazimierz Dolny
When Warsaw's café society heads for the hills in summer, they go to Kazimierz Dolny, a sleepy farm town that became a river port under the 14th-century Polish king Kazimierz the Great. Visiting artists often stop to sketch the sumptuous early Baroque houses lining the Rynek, the main market square, while thrill-seeking types climb the rocky ruins of the king's stone fortress, which was destroyed by an army of marauding Swedes in the 1650's.
POPULATION 4,500 HOW TO GET THERE Kazimierz Dolny is a 2 1/2-hour drive east of Warsaw (75 miles). WHERE TO STAY The 37 rooms at Dom Pracy Tworczej Architekta (20 Rynek; 48-81/883-5544; doubles from $66) are furnished with dark woods and bright artwork. where to eat Domu Michalakow (24 Ul. Nadrzeczna; 48-81/881-0579; dinner from $18) serves salads, grilled fish, and traditional Polish soups in a flower-filled garden.

23 Tarifa
Although folklore says Tarifa's infamous blustery winds can drive a person mad, the powerful gusts have instead drawn Europe's adventurers here, among them wind surfers who skim the Mediterranean and kite surfers, who catch a breeze in their parachutes to soar high above the sea. The small Old Town is surrounded by a Moorish fortress wall, while Tarifa's newer district, on the other side, has a distinctly Californian vibe, with surf shops and bohemian cafés that spill out onto the aptly named Coast of Light—the undeveloped beaches that stretch all the way to Cádiz.
POPULATION 17,000 HOW TO GET THERE Tarifa is located on Spain's southern tip; on a clear day, you can see across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. Seville is 140 miles to the north. WHERE TO STAY Vines hang over the balconies of the oceanside Hurricane Hotel (National Rd. 340, Km 78; 34-95/668-4919; doubles from $125), which has 33 airy rooms. WHERE TO EAT Café Central (Sancho IV Bravo; 34-95/668-0560; lunch for two $26) has been the meeting place—for breakfast, drinks, or just tapas—since 1894.

24 Sigtuna
Sigtuna is Sweden's oldest town (dating back to 980), and it might have become the nation's capital if it hadn't been for the Black Death in 1350. Thankfully, the lakeside village is feeling fine. Filled with wooden houses painted red and mustard, Sigtuna also has dozens of 11th-century standing stones, an early Gothic church dating from 1230, and the photogenic ruins of three more churches.
POPULATION 7,000 HOW TO GET THERE Sigtuna is 28 miles north of Stockholm; Arlanda, Sweden's main airport, is only 11 miles away. WHERE TO STAY The Sigtuna Stads Hotell (3 Stora Nygatan; 46-85/925-0100; doubles from $253) juxtaposes old and new Scandinavian styles: traditional wooden furniture paired with Arne Jacobsen chairs and Bang & Olufsen televisions. WHERE TO EAT The spartan Amandas Krog (7 Langgrand; 46-85/925-0024; dinner for two $71) serves hearty Swedish cuisine.

25 Gimmelwald
Accessible only by the longest aerial tramway in the Alps (it's the first stop), Gimmelwald is a dairy-farming town that has more breeds of cattle than family names. Generations ago, this car-free village was declared an avalanche zone, which restricted development and helped preserve its original 18th- and 19th-century buildings. (Don't worry: while nearby glaciers are prone to icefalls—which sound like distant thunder—no major slides have been recorded.) Come summer, after the snow melts and the grass is long enough, farmers lead their herds up the mountain amid a chorus of cowbells.
POPULATION 130 HOW TO GET THERE Trains run hourly from Interlaken (10 miles to the south) to the Stechelberg bus depot; take a bus from there to Gimmelwald's tram station. WHERE TO STAY The eight-room Hotel Mittaghorn (41-33/855-1658; doubles from $52) is affectionately known as Walter's, after the kindly owner who serves guests a shot of schnapps with his signature coffee. WHERE TO EAT Take the gondola farther up the mountain to get a little movie history with your dinner at Piz Gloria (Mürren; 41-33/856-2156; dinner for two $24), a solar-powered revolving restaurant featured in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

CONTRIBUTORS Leslie Brenner, Mark Faas, Sunshine Flint, Eleni N. Gage, Hillary Geronemus, Peter S. Green, Marion Hume, Eve Kahn, Nicole Levine, Christopher Petkanas, Todd Savage, Catherine Thompson, Hannah Wallace, Valerie Waterhouse, Susan Welsh, Stephen Whitlock, Gisela Williams, and Kristine Ziwica.

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