High in the sky
Whether you’re armchair travelling or planning for a post-pandemic trip, these 13 cliffside cities and towns will spark your imagination. It’s hard to imagine the difficulty of building cities in such precarious positions today, let alone when they were first created. At the time, though, defending these towns and villages was most important. The residents wanted to be able to see who was coming from afar and wanted it to be difficult to enter their cities, making the cliffside locations ideal. In modern times, these towns are more concerned with defending themselves from the onslaught of tourists who want to admire their spectacular views. For now, it’s best to enjoy these cities—along with this selection of tours of attractions that were on your bucket list—virtually.
Castellfollit De La Roca, Spain
This Spanish town of about 1,000 people is in the Garrotxa region of Catalonia. Castellfollit De La Roca is built on the cliffs above where the Toronell and Fluvià rivers meet. The old town dates back to the Middle Ages and, when you visit, you can wander through its streets and see the restored 11th-century Sant Salvador church. The best views of the town are likely from a hot air balloon where you can admire the whole Garrotxa region’s unique volcanic landscape.
Busan, South Korea
Busan is the second-largest city in South Korea, and it’s built right out to its beaches and seaside cliffs. This photo depicts the dramatically-situated Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan’s northeast. The temple was founded by Naong Hyegeunin in 1376. Naong dreamed of a sea god who told him that building the temple would bring an end to famine, the return of rain for crops, and happiness to the people who prayed there. The temple remains a popular spot for tourists today.